Travelling to Beijing

Warning: When in china, attendees may experience some website blockages and should plan for and anticipate some reduced accessibility.

You can find travel tips, such as attractions, currency, transportation, climate and electricity on this page. For how to get to the conference venue (Beijing International Convention Center), see Venues.


The official name for the currency of China is Renminbi (RMB). It is denominated into Yuan (元) or Kuai (块). Foreign currency can be exchanged for RMB at the airport, banks and hotels. Major credit cards are honored at most hotels. Banks usually open at 9:00 in the morning and close at 17:00 in the afternoon all working days.


Beijing has subways, taxis, buses for public transportation. Subway is convenient for most of the time. Avoid taking taxis / buses to the urban area (inside 3rd ring) during rush hours (typically around 8:00 and 18:00). You can get the route by public transportation on Google Maps.

To drive a car in China, you need a local driving license. Foreign driving license / international driver's license are not accepted in China. It is possible to obtain provisional driving license at Car Service Center, Beijing Airport Terminal T3-C, opposite to Gate 7 on Floor 1, the procedure may not be very easy though. Three 1-inch photos with white background are needed. Tel: 86-10-64530010 (Chinese only) / 86-10-12122.

Climate and Clothing

Late June in Beijing is both summer and the start of tourist season in Beijing. The average temperature in Beijing is 19°C / 66°F - 30°C / 86°F. Generally, summer clothes such as shorts and dresses are enough for this time in Beijing. The sunlight may be very strong in the afternoon, so do prepare some sun-tan oil, lotion, cream if you are going to go outdoors. You may also pack a raincoat or umbrella for any sudden rain during travel.


Electricity is supplied at 220V, 50Hz AC throughout China. Major hotels usually provide 115V outlet for razor.


Over the 5,000 years history of China, Beijing has been the capital for many dynasties, Jin, Yuan, Ming, Qing, etc. It has many historical attractions. As the capital of China, Beijing is also a modern city with 20 million population. There are abundunt place to visit in Beijing.Dynasties in Chinese History

You can get to most of the places listed below by subway except The Great Wall and Ming Tombs. If you take a taxi, show the Chinese characters to the driver.


  • Forbidden City (故宫)[Google Map]
    Chinese Imperial Palace from Ming Dynasty to the end of Qing Dynasty. Largest and best preserved palatial buildings in the world.
  • Summer Palace (颐和园)[Google Map]
    Chinese imperial gardens of Qing Dynasty. A vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces in Beijing.
  • Temple of Heaven (天坛)[Google Map]
    A complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing.
  • Ming Tombs (十三陵)[Google Map]
    Tombs of 13 emperors of Ming Dynasty.
  • The Great Wall of China (长城) [Google Map]
    Defensive wall built from Qin Dynasty (~2200 years ago), 8000+km long. You can get to the Great Wall by the S2 train from Beijing North Railway Station, which is connected with Xizhimen Subway station (Line 2, 4, 13).
  • Modern

  • Olympic Village (奥体中心)

    China National Convention Center is in the Olympic Village. You can walk to Bird’s Nest (National Stadium) and Water Cube.

    TODO add more information of Olympic Village, like ticket or open hours.

  • Wangfujing (王府井)[Google Map]
    Commercial district, has many snacks to eat along the street.
  • Tian'anmen Square (天安门广场) [Google Map]
    Center of Beijing, largest city square in the world. Has many landmark building of PRC. Such as Monument to the People’s Heroes, Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, Great Hall of the People.

For more information, see

2013-2014 ICML | International Conference on Machine Learning