The Shanghai Transportation System
First of all, note that Shanghai is one of the cities where it’s possible to request a 144 hour visa extension.
In addition, here you’ll find our guide on international flights for China (and local flights in China).
Pudong International Airport
The main airport of Shanghai is Pudong International Airport, where the majority of intercontinental flights arrive.
The airport is located in the far east of the city; without a doubt the easiest way to get there is to take Line 2 of the Metro (see below for more information on the Shanghai Metro) to the end (Pudong International Airport, in fact). Note that at Guanglan Road station, you’ll have to get off the Metro and take another for the final leg (even though it’s still Line 2).
You can also decide to get off at Longyang Road station and take the famous Maglev, which, with a speed of 431 Km an hour is the fastest train in the world.
Despite its speed, if you take into consideration the time you waste changing stations, buying tickets, waiting on security lines and for the train, the reality is that the time it takes to get to the airport is more or less the same as with the Metro (but the Metro costs much less and you don’t have to change stations!).
It’s also possible to get to the airport buy bus. Here you’ll find the departure points of the various buses that go to the airport (they all depart from the area of Metro stations).
To close, you can also get there by taxi. The price of a trip from the city center is about 150 Yuan.
Shanghai also has another airport, Hongqiao Airport, situated 13 Km to the west of the city, in the Changning district.
Hongqiao Airport mostly serves domestic flights and getting there it much easier than getting to Pudong since it is in a much more “central” location. The fastest way to get to the airport is to take Metro Line 2 toward East Xujing (the same one, in the opposite direction, brings you to Pudong Airport) and get off at the Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 stop.
You can also get to the airport by taking Line 10 of the Metro in the direction of Hongqiao Railway Station, which stops at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the airport.
In Shanghai there are four train stations:
Shanghai Railway Station
The Shanghai Railway Station is the most important station in Shanghai. It’s located in the Jingan District, and you can get there via lines 1, 2, and 4 of the metro (Shanghai Railway Station stop).
It is from this station that the majority of trains on the north-south route (from Beijing to Hong Kong) pass, as well as trains that go west, toward the interior of China.
Shanghai South Railway Station
Second in order of importance, Shanghai South Railway Station is found in the Xuhui district and you can get there with metro lines 1 or 3 (Shanghai South Railway Station stop).
From here the majority of trains headed toward the nearby province of Zhejiang depart along with many trains going toward the southern provinces (even though the Shanghai-Hong Kong train leaves from Shanghai Railway Station).
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
The Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, which opened in 2010, is the most extensive train station in Asia. You can get here via Lines 2 or 10 of the Metro (Hongqiao Railway Station stop, just one stop after Terminal 2 of Hongqiao Airport, where you can also get there on foot without leaving the station).
At the moment, all trains that leave from Hongqiao station are high speed trains (class G or D), including those for Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and the first section of the future high speed line between Shanghai-Kunming.
Note that normal speed trains for the same destinations leave instead from Shanghai Railway Station or Shanghai South Railway Station.
Shanghai West Railway Station
The Shanghai West Railway Station is located in the Putuo district and you can get there via Metro line 11 (Shanghai West Railway Station stop).
The station, which used to be called Zhenru station, reopened in 2010 and, at the moment, only high speed trains for Nanjing leave from there (some of which also stop at Changzhou and Suzhou).
The Shanghai Metro system
The Shanghai Metro system is, currently the most extensive on the planet.
Here is the official website of Shanghai Metro, click to check more information about time & ticket. http://service.shmetro.com/en/
Shanghai Public Transport Card
If you’re staying in the city for more than two days, I recommend that you get the “Shanghai Public Transport Card (SPTC)” (交通一卡通 or jiaotong yi katong, in Chinese), which you can either pick up or recharge in pretty much all Metro stations as well as many “convenience store” throughout the city. It’s a rechargeable “contact-less” card (similar to the Oyster Card of London).
The initial cost is 20 Yuan (which will be refunded if and when you return the Transport Card). To recharge it, all you have to do is go to any window at the Metro and give your card to the attendant along with the money you want applied to your card.
Besides the Metro, the Transport Card can also be used for buses, boats, taxis, tourist attractions, parking lots, service stations, highways and the Maglev.
Buses in Shanghai
In Shanghai there are more than 1000 bus lines, run by 10 different bus companies. The most important stations are at the Shanghai Railway Station, Zhongshan Park, People’s Square, Xujiahui and Shanghai Indoor Stadium.