Going from Tianjin to Beijing must be done by either Train or Bus, as the two cities are so close together that there is no airplane service ( an is not needed to be honest). The total ride consumes less than 30 minutes and it cost less than 10$.
Riding the train is everyone’s favorite way to cover this mini-trip, even busses are available too but they are not as convenient.
Extra-tip: It’s very doable to go from Tianjin to Beijing in the morning, sightseeing around Beijing in the morning/afternoon, and be back to Tianjin by nighttime. You will beat tired, but works. And vice-versa works too! 🙂
How to book the ticket and ride the train:
This mini-guide should serve for going for going from Tianjin to Bejing, but also vice-versa ( Beijing to Tianjin by train ), or to any other city in China actually. Steps:
- Open the trip.com/trains and choose the English version.
- Choose the day, and in the next screen choose hour. Nothing weird.
- Choose the station, I recommend the main Tianjin station, that’s the one who doesn’t have a second name and merely says “Tianjin”.
- Choose Beijing station, just choose “Bejing South” (北京南). Which is the main Beijing train-station.
- Make a photograph of the confirmation number with your phone. (Or print the page, or note down the number. But I recommend phone snapshot).
- At the day of departure go to the station 1 hour before departure (At least).
- Go to the tickets counter and get in line (yes).
- Once it’s your turn give your phone with the confirmation number to the lady.
- She will print your number.
- Go with this ticket and pass the security, scanning, etc.
- After that, look for your gate.
- Once time arrives (10-20minute before train departure). A big line will form itself in front of the gate.
- After they let you in, just hop on the train and look for your seat.
- To locate your seat check the screenshot I attach below to how to decipher a Chinese train ticket.
- Rinse and repeat, it’s actually pretty easy.
The actual important part besides date. Is 车 indicating the carriage number. And 号, seat number (upper right). Below, the train number and door number are also indicated (useful).
- Trip.com is the English version of Chinese website ctrip.com
- Alternatively, qunar.com can be used too but it’s in Chinese language only.
- Be careful to (not) take trains on Chinese new year. Especially long distance ones.
- Tianjin-Beijing trains almost never (under normal circumstances), sold out.
- Alternatively one can just show up at the train station and but it’s ticket there, and depart in less than 1 hour. Again, if there are tickets available.
- The Tianjin-Beijing route has a very modern bullet train that goes seriously fast.
- The trains have electrical plugs that can be used to charge phones or laptops.
- Eating can be done on the trains, and often they sell food onboard too.
Same day bookings are Okay too, prices are the same. As you can see there are several trains per hour covering the BJ/TNJ route.
What Tianjin station is the main station?
I had some confusion myself here too because Tianjin has over 4 stations (West, South, etc). Tianjin main train station is Tianjin Zhan (天津站). Stick to this station if you can because is the main one. The most centrally located, the easiest to find since 2 subway lines service it, and the easiest to find. For Beijing, the equivalent is (北京南).
As a final note, I would say that it not as hard as it might sound. Very doable, very fast, and very cheap. Just hop it, and have fun. 🙂
If you need hotels in Tianjin check here.
If you need hotels in Beijing check here.
Agoda has consistent great prices that compete with the Chinese website’s prices, and fully served in English.