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Live in Beijing, commuted to Chongqing for work

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Asia > China > Chongqing > Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport > Useful Info
Updated on Dec 26, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to downtown Chongqing from the airport

  • Chongqing's main airport is called Jiangbei International Airport. It is located 20km north of the downtown Yuzhong District where all the skyscrapers are
  • There are 3 ways to in to city center from the airport:
  1. Metro: good for budget travelers without a lot of luggage
  2. Taxi: good for travelers with lots of luggage or in groups
  3. Airport Express bus: good for going to suburban destinations
  • I think for most people taxi or metro is the best way to get in. Below is in-depth guide for how to take each of these options


  • Option 1) Metro (best option if you don't have lots of luggage):
  • Chongqing's metro system is made up of a extensive network of subway and monorail trains, and there are two lines that link the airport: line 3 and line 10
  • At the moment only line 3 will get you to downtown area direct as line 10 is still partially under construction. I recommend line 3 because it can get you to more places downtown with fewer transfer than line 10 can. This is what the lines currently look like (line 3 is the blue line and line 10 is the purple line; downtown area is where the blue line crosses the green and red lines):User submitted photo of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
  • Line 3 is a monorail line, and it departs from Terminal 2 (the domestic terminal) only, so if you're in T3 (the international terminal) you should make your way to T2 with the free inter-terminal shuttle to board the train. The important stops on line 3 are:
  • Chongqing North Railway Station South Square (重庆北站南广场): one of the major transportation hubs in Chongqing where you can catch trains and high speed trains to other cities. You can also catch taxis here to take you to your hotel if you're staying north of the downtown peninsula
  • Niujiaotuo (牛角沱): you can transfer to subway line 2 (the green line) at this station. Line 2 can get you to the northern parts of the downtown area
  • Lianglukou (两路口): you can transfer to line 1 (the red line) at this station. Line 1 can get you to the central parts of the downtown area. Lianglukou is also the metro station that serves Chongqing Railway Station, which is the main train station and a major transportation hub in Chongqing, so you can easily catch a taxi from here to take you to your hotel
  • Line 10 is a subway line. If you want to take it to downtown, you need to transfer to line 6 at Hongtudi Station (红土地) and then get off at Xiaoshenzi Station (小什字) to either transfer to line 1 or walk to your final destination. So as you can see line 10 involves more transfers
  • Fare: 6RMB ($0.85USD) to get to downtown
  • How to buy tickets: tickets can be bought at the metro station inside terminal 2. Payment method is cash only for foreigners (you can also use WeChat Pay or AliPay but most foreigners won't have that), and can be done at the self-serve machines which have English instructions with ¥1 coins, or ¥5 and ¥10 notes. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Schedule: line 3 runs between 6:30am to 10:30pm everyday, every 10-13 minutes
  • Travel time: it'll take 1 hour from the airport to get to Lianglukou station which is the closest station on line 3 to the downtown area. You can then transfer to line 1 which will take another 15 minutes to get to downtown
  • How to find the metro line 3 station at the airport:
  • If you decide to take line 10, you can do that at either T2 or T3.
  • If you decide to take line 3 and you're not in T2, make your way to T2 first with the free shuttle bus, which runs between 4:30am and 10:30pm every 5 minutes and takes 10 minutes to get to the other terminal:User submitted photo of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
  • Then once you're in T2, follow signs in T2 for "Rail Transit Line 3", like this:User submitted photo of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport


  • Option 2) Taxi (best option if you have lots of luggage)
  • The airport is served by metered taxis. China doesn't really have those flat-fare airport taxis that you'd find in many cities elsewhere in the world. The metered taxis are yellow, like this: User submitted photo of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
  • The taxis are available in both T2 and T3, and the queue is right outside the arrival halls on ground level in both terminals
  • Fares: 80-100RMB ($11.5-$14.2USD) to get to downtown area
  • Payment method: cash or mobile payments (AliPay and WeChat Pay, which you can now set up) only, no credit cards accepted
  • Travel time: 40-50 minutes normally, 60-80 minutes during rush hour
  • Taxi hailing app: in addition to the traditional metered taxi, you can also use Didi Taxi , which is the Uber of China. To use the app, you must have a Chinese phone number, and you need to download the app from within China from Didi's official website (https://www.didiglobal.com). When you order a car at Jiangbei airport the app will tell you where to meet the driver
  • English communication: I'd say that 99% of the taxi drivers do not speak English beyond "hello". So if you're going to take a metered taxi, make sure you write down your destination in Chinese, even if it's a the name of a major hotel chain like Westin or Marriott. Find out from your hotel what its Chinese name is and write it down
  • Taxi touts: like most airports in China, you will run into touts who try to get you to take their private cars. I highly suggest you avoid them because they will usually inflate the rate by 3X. If you go to the official taxi line and take one of the taxis there, you will not run into any problems whatsoever because these cars are very tightly controlled


  • Option 3) Airport Express Bus (only good for going to suburban destinations)
  • There are 6 buses called Airport Express that can get you from Jiangbei International Airport to various spots in the city: line K01, K03, K05, K06, K07, K08. There's no line K02 or K04 (there used to be line K02 until June 2019, at which point the service was discontinued because metro line 10 replaced it)User submitted photo of Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
  • Only line K01 gets you to the downtown core area. The other lines go to more suburban destinations
  • This map shows the six lines' respective destinations. You can click on the pins to see which bus line goes there. The red pins are the stops for line K01; the yellow pins are the stops for K03-K08; the blue shaded area is the downtown core:

  • Fares:
  • Lines K01, K03, K05, K07: 15 RMB ($2USD)
  • Line K06, K08: 20 RMB ($3USD)
  • You can board the buses at both T2 and T3, so you don't need worry about changing terminals when you arrive
  • How to buy tickets: to be honest I'm not sure as I've never taken them before; when you get to the airport just ask the information desk and they should be able to tell you where to buy tickets and where to board the buses.
  • Schedule and travel time:
  • Line K01: 8:30am to 30 minutes after last flight arrival, every 30 minutes, total travel time is ~70 minutes each way
  • Line K03: 8:30am to 11:30pm, every 40-60 minutes, takes ~75 minutes each way
  • Line K05: 8:30am to 10:30pm, every hour, takes ~70 minutes each way
  • Line K06: 8:30am to 9:00pm, every 30-50 minutes, takes ~70 minutes each way
  • Line K07: 8:30am to 9:00pm, every 40-60 minutes, takes ~65 minutes each way
  • Line K08: 9:00am to 8:00pm, every 40-60 minutes, takes ~70 minutes each way
  • Express bus or metro: I don't recommend taking the buses if you're going to central Chongqing, simply because it's more hassle than taking the metro and more hassle. However, if you're going to suburban locations (refer to the map above), taking the bus makes a lot of sense because most of these places are not served by metro; or, if they are, takes a long time and lots of transfers by metro
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