Be aware that the traffic jam can make you loose a lot of time.
If you have decided to take a taxi to for example the Beijing Opera, then try to make a good timetable, so that you will not miss it because of all the traffic...
Pedestrians are lowest on the food chain on the streets of Beijing. You must watch out for everything. After pedestrians come bikes, then cars, then cabs and finally buses. Cabs stop for no one with the exception of buses. A friend of mine told me that his cab hit a guy on a bike. Most cars, especially cabs, will honk to let you know that they're coming. This is a warning to get out of the way. The will most likely not stop or even slow down. Even ifit seems that you have th righ of way as a pedestian a cab will just move on in. You will quickly learn how and when to cross the streets in Beijing. I'm amazed that I saw no accidents with cars, bikes or pedestrians when I was there.
Be careful on pavements -many holes, spikes, levels etc. You get used to it after a while
Be even more careful crossing roads -try and be with someone else or in a group
Potentially dangerous foods are everywhere -enjoy!
The worst is probably McDonalds and other 'western' cuisine. Pizza Hut is a possible exception.
Public transport is good esp subway. Busses are a good way of getting around.
Be careful when crossing streets. Not onlky do you have to watch out for for the usual cars and buses, but also bicycles and scooters. These frequently dont abide by the rules as the 4 wheeled vehicles.
As I was leaving it was evident that a lot of residents were eagerly swapping their pedal cycles for motor cars. Goodness knows what this will do to the already overcrowded roads. It was a nightmare travelling across town and the simpilest/shortest of journeys could take hours. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, particularly the airport if you've got a connection to make.
Our tour bus had a little crash with another car when we were going to the Great Wall.
I don't know where is the worst place to drive: China or Mexico City... honestly I knew it would happen any time soon during our visit to Beijing so, watch out!
Also, be careful crossing streets, traffic is crazy and really busy, as you can see in the picture!! Until you know what you're doing shadow someone or use the overpasses. Same for bike riding.