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Getting There in Shanghai

By Air

Shanghai has two main airports, with Pudong the main international gateway and Hongqiao serving mostly domestic flights. Transfer between the two takes about an hour by taxi. There are also direct shuttle busses.

You can get between the two airports by Metro (subway). Both airports are on Line 2, the main East-West Line through downtown Shanghai, but at opposite ends of it. You can reduce the time some by taking the Maglev train part of the way. A traveller making that transfer with a few hours to spare and a desire to get a quick look at Shanghai (and not too much luggage) might get off at Nanjing Road East and walk a few blocks to the Bund.

Both airports also have direct bus service to major nearby cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing, though the new fast trains may be preferable, especially from Hongqiao Airport which has Hongqiao Railway Station quite nearby (one subway stop or a fairly long walk).

Pudong International Airport is about 40 km to the east of the city. Arrivals are on the first floor, departures on the third, and the airport has all the features you would expect of to find in the major hubs around the world. There are two gigantic terminals (T1 and T2). A free shuttle bus service connects the two in case walking a few minutes (or using the conveyor belts) are too cumbersome.

Depending on your final destination in Shanghai, it may be quickest to use the Maglev train (7.5 minutes to Longyang Road station, then 20 minutes to People's Square by Metro). It costs ¥50 one way (¥40 if you have a flight ticket) or ¥80 for a round-trip ticket (good for up to seven days from date of purchase).

By Water

There are ferry services from Kobe and Osaka (Japan) weekly and Hong Kong.

By Rail

The Ministry of Railways operates all trains in China. Trains travel at regular intervals from Beijing and Hong Kong, arriving at Shanghai Railway Station. Reservations, especially for sleepers, should be made three to five days in advance. There are four different classes – soft sleeper, soft seat, hard sleeper and hard seat.

The T99/T100 train to and from Hong Kong runs every other day (alternating between Shanghai->Hong Kong and Hong Kong->Shanghai) from Shanghai Railway Station (T99 leaves here at 6:20 pm, T100 arrives here at 10 am), arriving at Hung Hom station in Kowloon (T99 arrives here around 1 pm, T100 leaves here at 3:15 pm). If traveling alone, expect to pay ¥800 each way for the soft sleeper, but discounts are given for group purchases (¥364 each way per person in a soft sleeper if purchased in a group of four, for instance). Unless you are on a very tight budget, try to get the 'Deluxe Soft Sleeper' which has compartments of two beds and a private mainland-style mains socket (but with the introduction of new train cars, the regular soft sleeper also has a private mains socket for each room as well as one in the corridor of each car). Spaces are limited, so book well in advance. Keep in mind that you will still have to go through Customs and thus need a new visa for re-entry into mainland China (unless you have a multiple-entry visa). However, going through Customs at the train station is much quicker than Customs at the airport. Ticket pricing depends on a number of factors, including number of people booking at once; two extremes are a hard sleeper for a single traveller costing ¥700+ each way and a soft sleeper being only ¥364 per person each way if buying four tickets (filling one compartment) at once.

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