Moving/Relocating to Beijing: 9 Shocking Truths Revealed

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Are you looking for a change of pace? To take part in the hustle and bustle of a world-class metropolis? Or take it slow and enjoy a culture that’s hundreds of years old? Why not both? Then, living in Beijing might be your next big step.

The capital city of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing, is the 2nd largest city by population and is the centre of culture and politics. So you might wonder, how much is the cost of living in Beijing? What is life in Beijing like? And, is it for me?

Moving to Beijing is not easy, but for a city of millions, the opportunities are endless, and life there might totally surprise you! With nicknames like “the Celestial City” and “the Centre of the World”, Beijing brings up thoughts of ancient cultures alongside modern living. Read up on these nine shocking truths we’ve unveiled and get to know what it means to be living in Beijing today!

1. Living In Beijing Means Going Around Ring Roads!

Now on its seventh beltway, Beijing has, over the years, continued to add ring roads that go around the entire city. As part of its economic growth plan, the roads connect nearby areas and drastically reduce traffic and travel time when going about the city. Each ring has its own personality to offer, and it’s best to get to know the areas where you plan to move to.

The Central Business District is the “centre” of the city and is where you will find most high-end apartments, shopping malls, and skyscrapers. Sanlitun is also a great choice if you want to live a vibrant life as its nightlife and ‘Bar Street’ is lined with the best pubs in Beijing as well as amazing restaurants and trendy clubs that will make you want to party all night long.

If you want to live the city life while not having to bother with the crowd and for you to enjoy your personal space, Chaoyang Park, Lido, and Wangjing are also excellent choices for expats. These places have well-developed residential areas that would be a great place to live your life in Beijing. These areas are also close to parks, schools, entertainment, and other amenities.

black and gray curtain building during daytime

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2. Travel In Beijing Is Easier Than You Think!

Transportation in Beijing is excellent, thanks to well-maintained and affordable public transport systems. The first thing you should do is buy a subway card, as the Beijing subway is the best way to get around the city. 25 subway lines serve the city and are an excellent way to save time and get around the city, especially during rush hour.

The city also has a fleet of City Buses that is extremely extensive, is most widely used by the general public, and is the most affordable. Much of the buses are operated by the state-owned Beijing Public Transport Holdings, Ltd, with a few routes operated by a private operator. Bus fares are incredibly affordable, beginning at only 2 ¥, which is further subject to discounts when using the Yikatong Card.

Other modes of travel are the usual taxis, public bicycles, and even the traditional rickshaw, which is an excellent way to experience the old Beijing. Taking you around old Hutongs with the rickshaw pullers relaying the history of the streets, is probably one of the best ways to get to know the city.

3. The Cost Of Living In Beijing Won’t Burn A Hole In Your Pocket If You’re Smart

Like most metropolises, the cost of living in Beijing varies greatly depending on where you live. The highest cost will mostly go to housing, and depending on whether you’re single, married, or married with kids, the cost of living changes drastically.

Additionally, depending on which part of the Ring Roads you choose to live in, prices change with those closest to the centre being more expensive. Food and other utilities and services are considerably affordable if you take the time to look. The best way to save is always to try and be a local and find the hidden secrets of the city.

4. Get A High Paying Job When You Move To Beijing

Beijing is a center for business and commerce in China, and with that comes a very competitive job market. The Haidan District is a prime example of a source of job opportunities, especially for the tech industry.

You will find the Zhongguancun electronics district, sometimes called the Silicon Valley of Beijing, your go-to if you have your eyes set on working for big Chinese tech companies such as the Founder Group, Lenovo Group, or Loongsoon. Many international companies have also set their headquarters and offices right here. If you ever plan on trying your luck for Intel, AMD, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and so much more, you will definitely find yourself in Zhongguancun.

Another destination for job seekers is the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area (BDA). Businesses that focus on pharmaceuticals, information technology, and mechanical and electronic equipment thrive in BDA. If you have expertise in these fields, finding a high-paying job within the city will be easy for you.

Tourism, metallurgy, textiles, appliances, and manufacturing are some of the other industries with a strong presence in Beijing that also offer an abundance of opportunities for every job seeker.

5. Continue Your Education And Upskill In One Of Beijing’s Top Universities

With such a thriving job market, you might want to consider pursuing a degree in higher education. Tech-related jobs are fast-evolving, and it is always best to keep up with the tech. Luckily for you, some of the highest-rated Universities in China are in Beijing.

Always on top of the list, Tsinghua University and Peking University consistently perform strongly in the sciences and engineering. Other notable universities in the city include Beijing Normal University, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China University of Political Science and Law, and the Renmin University of China.

Depending on which university you go to, you can expect to pay around 11,480 to 20,880 ¥ per academic year, with the more prestigious schools having a lower acceptance rate. If you want to pursue a job or seek a promotion from big tech companies, you might want to consider continuing your education and developing your skills!

people walking on white concrete building during daytime

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6. Enjoy Art And History And Celebrate Events In The Cultural Hub Of China

When in new a country, it’s normal to experience a little culture shock, especially if you’re going to live in a city like Beijing with such a long history. Still, the amazing Chinese culture is wonderful to explore, and life in Beijing doesn’t need to be at all daunting.

Beijing is the cultural hub of China. The home to 6 dynasties over the span of more than two thousand years, Beijing has a rich history that survives to this very day. Explore parks and gardens, walk around century-old temples showcasing imperial architecture, and visit protected hutong lanes. Take part in celebrations of art in the Beijing Opera and National Art Museum of China. There’s always something to enjoy.

Technology is transforming the way we live so much that life in cities like Beijing has become almost science fiction. If you’re more into tech, there are cutting-edge AI parks that you can visit. With facial recognition, unmanned delivery, and even Augmented Reality Tai-chi, new technologies are merging with our day-to-day life, making it even more enjoyable.

Beijing is also one to celebrate festivals and events that you should not miss. The Chinese New Year is one of the biggest to be celebrated every year. Other events you should watch out for are the Beijing Mid-Autumn Festival and 798 Art Festival in September, the Dragon Boat Festival in June, and maybe even take part in the annual Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon in May.

7. Visit For Up To 6 Days Without A Visa

So, you’re not sure yet about living in Beijing, or you want to explore the city to gauge the cost of living? Thanks to the 144 Hours visa-free transit policy, anyone can visit China through select cities without a Visa, and of course, Beijing is one of those cities.

If you want to get a feel of the city or have decided to make the move to Beijing and plan to have family come and visit soon, this policy is your best friend. There are thousands of expats living in Beijing, so this policy is a great way for other expats to enjoy the city, and perhaps consider living in Beijing as well.

8. Air Quality Has Improved Immensely

It’s no mystery that large cities will have some problems with pollution, specifically air pollution, in such densely populated areas. But moving to Beijing doesn’t mean that you’re putting your health at risk. In fact, a new report has stated that air quality has improved significantly over the past few years.

The decline is largely attributed to the more stringent implementation of clean air strategies. The report, published by a group of over 150 scientists, results from over five years of work and shows that the clean air strategies work and that pollution levels can be reduced.

9. Get In Close Proximity To SEVEN World Heritage Sites

Beijing has a history of more than 3000 years, and China has done a great job of preserving its cultural heritage. Moving to Beijing means you get to live a stone’s throw away from all these historic and gorgeous sites. So, whether you plan a dash of all these sites in a few days or spread it over time, access to such historical places close to the city is a huge plus.

The Great Wall

An icon of architecture and one of the most recognizable structures in the world, the Great Wall of China is an amazing place and a must-visit for anyone.

The Forbidden City

Probably the most important structure of these sites, the Forbidden City lies at the heart of China and is one of the largest and most well-preserved ancient wood structures there is.

The Summer Palace

Used as a summer getaway by the past Emperors, the Palace is another amazing work of ancient architecture.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven Complex is a beautiful religious complex and is considered to be the holiest of imperial temples in Beijing.

The Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties

The tomb complex features statues and carvings of elephants, camels, and dragons, among ministers and generals, all standing guard of the Sacred Way.

Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

The Peking Man Site, coupled with a large and maintained museum, is well worth the visit for those interested in even more ancient sites.

The Grand Canal

The world’s longest and oldest Canal is a great place to cap off your day and relax in the peaceful waters in one of the many pleasure crafts along its banks.

a building with a tree in front of it

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Conclusion On Moving To Beijing

Beijing is a city that melds together the past and the present. If you’re looking for a place that looks forward to technology, progress, and economic growth, then Beijing is definitely a top choice. And if you’re ready, just get in touch with Sanelo and we’ll make your move as easy as can be.

Sanelo is here to help you make that international move hassle-free. Relay your relocation details to our representatives and we’ll do the rest.

Interested in other amazing places you can relocate to and find new opportunities? Check out these articles Shanghai, China, and Hong Kong.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Beijing

How Is The Weather In Beijing?

Beijing has four seasons throughout the year. Summers come with rain and humidity peaking in July, while the winters are cold and dry, usually worst in January.

What Is The Average Cost Of Living In Beijing?

A single person usually averages at 4,736.92 ¥ (702 USD) without rent per month. Depending on the location, monthly rent for one-bedroom apartments near the city centre can go for 9,100.00 ¥ (1,350 USD), while prices can drop as low as 5,000.00 ¥ outside the city centre.

What Is Considered A Good Salary In Beijing?

In 2022, 75% of the population of Beijing will earn greater than 13,400 ¥ (1,993 USD), while the median salary is about 25,000 ¥ (3,719 USD). Contrasting to the cost of living, the average salary in Beijing will allow you to live comfortably, as long as you continue to up skill, be on the lookout for better job opportunities, and use your money wisely.

What Is The Best Food In Beijing?

The Peking Duck or Beijing roast duck is a must-try. Other favourites include Shredded Pork in Beijing Sauce, Mongolian Hotpot, Tuckahoe Pie, and Iron Grid Barbecue. The food in Beijing is so good you can never go wrong, so explore and try as much as possible. But if you are looking for western food, there are a lot of amazing places all over the city.


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