Planning on visiting Shanghai? We put together a go-to guide packed with information for getting around the city, including getting to and from the airport.
With lots of transportation options, and a concentrated area of attractions, shopping, and restaurants, getting around downtown Shanghai is easy.
The downtown area is compact, and with so much to do in one area comes busy streets and sidewalks. Although easy to navigate, allow extra time to get from attraction to attraction. Here are a few tips and tricks for getting around the Paris of the East.
Planning to see lots of Shanghai attractions? Check out the Go Shanghai Card—the more you do, the more you save.
Shanghai Public Transportation
Shanghai’s public transit system is an extensive network of trains and buses. While the metro can get very crowded during rush hour traffic, you’ll avoid the inevitable street traffic this way. With base fare just $0.45 USD*, all signs, maps, and station announcements in both Chinese and English, this is the preferred way to get around Shanghai for international travelers.
Walking & Biking
Despite it’s size, you’ll be amazed at how navigable the city really is! It’s worth taking a stroll along the Huangpu River, where on either side you have access to breathtaking views of the city skyline at the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, Shanghai World Financial Observatory, and Jin Mao Tower Observation Deck.
Or, consider using a bike share for the day for a fun and memorable way to get around the city and experience Shanghai like a local. If you’re up for this adventure there are a few bike sharing apps that you can download to your smartphone to reserve bicycles for as low as $1.00 USD/half hour*, such as Mobike and Ofo. Bikes can be picked up where ever you find one available on the app, and dropped off conveniently at your destination.
Note: there is a one-time refundable insurance deposit to use these bike shares.
Taxis & Rideshares
Taxis are widely available, easy to flag down, and a great option for getting around the city during the metro’s rush hours. Popular ride-sharing services, like Uber, are available in Shanghai as an alternative to taxis as well. However, the most recommended local taxi company is the aqua-colored Dazhong Taxis.
For all local taxis, there is an initial meter charge. Fare are calculated based on distance traveled with extra surcharges during rush hours and rides over 10 km.
You can also take a Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour to see the sites at your own pace. The Go Shanghai Card All-Inclusive Pass even includes a Hop On/Hop Off City Sightseeing Tour that offers a ferry route via the Huangpu River, making getting from one side of the river to the other even easier!
Getting To Shanghai
Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport mainly serves international flights, and is located 30 km (18 mi) outside of downtown. Travelers can easily grab a cab, reserve an Uber, or take public transportation.
To get a taxi, simply follow signs to ground transportation. Rush hour traffic can add a significant amount of time to your trip so plan accordingly.
Public transportation to and from Pudong is an affordable alternative to a taxi and a great way to avoid traffic. Metro Line 2 is connected to Pudong International Airport by the Pudong International Airport Station stop and is connected to all other metro lines.