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Home > Shanghai info > Arrival in Shanghai
Arrival in Shanghai

The transportation in Shanghai
Shanghai is one of China’s main travel hubs and getting in from pretty much anywhere is easy.

By plane
Shanghai has two main airports with Pudong the main international gateway and Hongqiao serving most domestic flights. Be sure to check which one your flight is leaving from, and allow at least one hour to transfer if needed!
Domestic airplane tickets should be booked at least two days in advance at one of the many travel agencies. Fares are generally cheap, but vary depending on the season. When backpacking, it may often be better to book a flight along a big traffic line (Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Chongqing, Shanghai-Shenzhen etc.) and travel the rest by bus or train.

Pudong International Airport
Pudong (浦东机场 PVG) is Shanghai’s new international airport, located 40 km to the east of the city. Arrivals on the first floor, departures on the third, and has all the features you’d expect — but head up to the 3rd if the sole ATM in the arrivals hall is out of order.
Taxi:The most convenient but also the most expensive way to get to central Shanghai is by taxi, but figure on ¥100 and up to an hour to get to the center of the city.
Maglev Train: More a tourist attraction and prestige project than practical means of transport, the Transrapid maglev train is now open to the public and shuttles from Pudong to Longyang in 8 minutes flat at a blazing speed of 430 km/hour — but it’s another half an hour by subway from here to Puxi, and it’s a bit of a hike both in the airport (2nd floor) and to transfer to the subway. That said, the maglev to Longyang and a taxi from there is the fastest way to get to the city, and the ride is definitely an experience in a roller coasterish way. Services currently operate from 7 AM to 9 PM daily and cost ¥50 one way (¥40 if you have a same-day ticket) or ¥80 same-day return. You can also pay double for “VIP Class”, which gets you a soft drink and bragging rights.

Hongqiao Airport
Shanghai’s older airport Hongqiao (虹桥机场 SHA) now serves only domestic flights. 18 km away from the center, a taxi can manage the trip in 20 minutes on a good day. Public buses (numbers 925 and 505) run to People’s Square regularly and cost only ¥4, but take around an hour. An extension of Metro Line 2 to Hongqiao Airport is under construction.

Shanghai has a number of train stations.
1/Shanghai Railway Station (上海站). Shanghai’s largest and oldest, located in Zhabei district, on the intersection of Metro Lines 1, 3 and 4. Practically all trains used to terminate here, but southern services are being shifted out to the new South Station.
2/Shanghai South Railway Station (上海南站). A new, greatly expanded terminal opened in July 2006 and is set to take over all services towards the south, including trains to Hong Kong. On Metro lines 1 and 3.
3/Shanghai West Railway Station (上海西站). The smallest of the three, with limited services to Yantai, Zaozhuang, Hengyang, Ganzhou, Chengdu. Not reachable by metro.
Train tickets are also most conveniently booked in advance at one of the many travel service agencies. If urgent, they could also be directly booked at the train stations and the Shanghai Railway Station even has an English counter.

In recent years many highways have been built, linking Shanghai to other cities in the region, including Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, etc. It only takes 2 hours to reach Shanghai from Hangzhou.

Taxi is generally a good choice for transportation in the city. It is affordable (only 11 yuan for the first 3 kilometres) and saves you a lot of time, but try to get your destination in Chinese characters as communication can be an issue. Drivers, while generally honest, are sometimes genuinely clueless and sometimes out to take you for a ride. Insist on using the meter and, if your fare seems out of line, demand a printed receipt before paying.
Taxi colors in Shanghai are strictly controlled and indicate which company the taxi belongs to. Turquoise taxis operated by Dazhong (大众), the largest group, are often judged the best of the bunch. Watch out for dark red taxis, since this is the ‘default’ color of small taxi companies and includes more than its fair share of bag apples — bright red taxis, on the other hand, are unionized and quite OK.

There are several different companies offering sightseeing buses with various routes and packages covering the main sights such as the Shanghai Zoo, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, and Baoyang Road Harbor. Most of the sightseeing buses leave from the Shanghai Stadium’s bus Centre

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