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How to arrive at Tianjin

Translator: Wikitravel Editor: release date :2014-01-04

By plane

Tianjin Binhai International Airport (IATA: ZBTJ) is located in the east of the urban area, in Dongli District, which is only 15 km (9 miles) to the east of the urban area. It is a second alternative to high-speed train, especially if wanting to reduce the added travel time and cost that comes associated with flying into Beijing -- just some 120 km (75 miles) from Tianjin. The city will also be served by the new Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, currently under construction and to be completed by 2017.

Domestic routes include Changchun, Changsha, Changzhou, Chengdu, Chifeng, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou,

 Harbin,Hefei, Hohhot, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Weihai, Wuhan, Xi'an,Xiamen, Yantai, Yuncheng, Zhengzhou, and Zhuhai.

A few international routes are available, including Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Nagoya, Seoul-Incheon,Singapore, Taipei-Songshan, Tapei-Taoyuan, and Ulan Bator. However the destinations are far more than that, if Beijing Capital International Airport is taken into account, which is so near. Because the fairly short distance between the two cities, and bullet train service available, consider both cities as an arrival point.

Airport Shuttle Bus
There are four routes, and the most expensive price is ¥25. No change is given on the bus, so make sure you have exact change for the fare.

New terminal and second runway

A new terminal was open in 2008. The airport expansion provides a state-of-the-art terminal building, which is more than three times bigger than the current one at 116,000 m2. When the three construction phases are complete the airport terminal will be over 500,000 m2 and be able to handle 40 million passengers a year. Over the period of the project the airport site will enlarge from the current 25 km² to 80 km². The airport as a whole will resemble Amsterdam's Schiphol airport in size and will be able to handle over 500,000 tons of cargo and 200,000 flights a year.

The expansion, with a total investment of nearly 3 billion yuan (409.5 million U.S. dollars) widened the runway to 75 meters from 50 meters and lengthened it to 3,600 meters. In May 2009, the airport has also completed the construction of a second runway, and the expected number of passengers will exceed ten million.

By train

Tianjin Railway Station is the largest station in the city. It was first built in 1888 and then rebuilt in 1988. The station was again renovated in 2008 in preparation for the Olympic Games. Tianjin North is another railway stations in the urban area. Tanggu station serves the seaside district of the same name. Tianjin West and Tianjin South stations serve bullet trains to Shanghai, while Tianjin West in urban area and Tianjin South is a bit far from the city.

Tianjin railway station is open for the bullet train to Beijing South train station. One-way tickets are ¥55 for Economy, ¥66 for Business, or ¥94 for VIP. The bullet train designation is a 'C' and takes about 33 minutes, travelling up to 300 km/h. Some C-series trains make a stop in Wuqing, add 5 more minutes to the whole trip.

There are shuttle buses between Tianjin railway station and Tianjin airport. A ticket costs ¥15 per trip. It stops about 200 m from the train station northern gate (back gate). When one get down from the shuttle bus, just walk along the pavement and you will reach the train station.

Should you choose to take taxi, use the official taxi stand (just follow the signage). The taxi fare from Tianjin railway station to Tianjin airport is about ¥50-65. It is not advisable to use any of the touts that offer taxi services. The official taxi stand has plenty of taxis.

If leaving the station by taxi, be prepared for a production-line approach to getting the punters into taxis. Marshals keep the queue moving so have baggage ready to stow and a destination in mind or possibly be forced to go to the back of the line and wait your turn again.

Starting July, 2011, The Tianjin South Railway Station opened, handling some of the high-speed rail service to Shanghai. However, it is not near the city, being relatively far from the city centre. There are some bus routes from the South Railway Station to the city, and the taxis are predominantly of the illegal variety, so plan accordingly. The renovated Tianjin West Station also handle the high-speed rail service to Shanghai. It can be reached by Tianjin Metro Line 1. Tianjin South serves as an intermediate station for bullet trains between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao. Tianjin West is not located on the main line, but as a termini for trains between Tianjin West and Shanghai Hongqiao.

The Tianjin Railway Station is also locally called the 'East Station', due to its geographical position. In January 2007, the station began another long-term restructuring project to modernize the facility and as part of the larger Tianjin transport hub project involving Tianjin Metro lines 2, 3, and 9 as well as the Tianjin-Beijing High-speed rail.

Tianjin West Railway Station and Tianjin North Railway Station are also major railway stations in Tianjin. There is also Tanggu Railway Station is located in the important port area of Tanggu District, and TEDA Railway Station located in TEDA, to the north of Tanggu. There are several other railway stations in the city that do not handle passenger traffic.

Construction on a Beijing-Tianjin high-speed rail was completed by August 2008.

The following rail lines go through Tianjin:

Tianjin West Railway Station, Jingshan Railway, from Beijing to Shanhai Pass Jinpu Railway, from Tianjin to Pukou District, Nanjing Jinji Railway, from Tianjin urban area to Ji County, Tianjin Jinba Railway, from Tianjin to Bazhou, Hebei Starting from Aug. 1, 2008, all trains stopping at the previous Tianjin Temporary Passenger Station will now instead use the newly completed Tianjin Railway Station.

Also, the inter-city trains between Beijing and Tianjin will adopt a new numbering system: Cxxxx (C stands for interCity.). The train numbers range between C2001~C2298:

C2001~C2198: From Beijing South Station to Tianjin, non-stop. C2201~C2268: From Beijing South Station to Tianjin, with stops at Wuqing Station (武清站) or Yizhuang Station (亦庄站); C2271~C2298: From Beijing South Station to Tanggu Station of Tianjin. The new C trains take only 30 min between Beijing and Tianjin, cutting the previous D train time by more than a half. The ticket price as of Aug. 15, 08 is 69 RMB for the first-class seat and 58 RMB for the second-class seat.

By car

Some spots in Tianjin, including roads and bridges, have names from Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People (for example, Minquan Gate on Zhonghuan Road). Names harkening back to the era of the Republic of China on the mainland also appear (e.g. Beiyang Road). Many roads in Tianjin are named after a Chinese province or city. Also, Tianjin is unlike Beijing, in that very few roads run parallel to the major four compass directions.

Tianjin has three ring roads. Unlike Beijing, the Inner and Middle Ring Roads are not closed, traffic-controlled roadways and some often have traffic light intersections. The Outer Ring Road is the closest thing to a highway-level ring road, although traffic is often chaotic and sometimes more than chaotic.