Beijing, China, is one of the world’s largest cities, with a population of more than 20 million. It is the second largest city in China after Shanghai, and is the country’s political, educational, cultural, and business capital. Beijing is divided into 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Running in Beijing can be a challenge. The city is densely crowded and there is a lot of traffic. Air quality is another issue. The city experiences a good amount of pollution and smog, and there are some days where is unhealthy or even dangerous to run. If the air quality index (AQI) is more than 150–200 (depending on your sensitivity), consider the hotel gym as an alternative.
The best places to run in Beijing are in some of its lovely parks. Several of them, such as Olympic Park, Purple Bamboo Park, and Chaoyang (Sun) Park , have well-marked, well maintained running paths or tracks. Running in the area around the Olympic sites is very popular. We’ve also put together a ‘running tour’ of some of Beijing’s more important sites in the area around the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
Beijing has an extensive public transportation system. There are buses, subways, and taxis. The subway is inexpensive and a great way to get around, with English language signage. There are also extensive rail links, including to the airport, other cities, and destinations such as the Great Wall. Beijing’s weather can also be challenging for running. Winters can be cold and summers can be uncomfortably hot and humid.