Public transportation in Shanghai is very developed, modern and it perfectly serves its purpose. This city can brag about having one of the biggest public transports in the world. Of course, there are many options, such as metro, taxi, regular and sightseeing buses. The special attraction are Huangpu River cruises, but they are not very practical a mean of transportation, so people usually use them just to enjoy the cruise. The best option for transportation around the city is metro, which is quite cheap and good. Metro stations are near to all the main attractions, so this is a form of transport that tourists who visit Shanghai commonly use. Taxi is also not expensive and can be found as a good option. Buses may be inconvenient for tourists who do not know Chinese and are not really familiar with city landmarks. There is a Shanghai Public Transportation Card, which can help you deal with public transport, so it is highly recommended to use it. Rush hours in Shanghai start from 7:30 until 9:30 and then later from 17:00 to 19:00. It is the time when crowds can be huge and sometimes unbearable, so you should learn how to manage with it. Shanghai Maglev Train is definitely a shiny star of Shanghai public transport. It runs between Pudong Airport and Longyang Road in Pudong, with a speed up to 431 km/h (267.8 mph)
Shanghai Public Transportation Card
Shanghai Public Transportation Card (SPTC) (上海公共交通卡; www.sptcc.com; CNY20 deposit; up to CNY1,000 credit) is a contactless smart card, which can make usage of the public transportation in the Shanghai much easier. This multi-usage card can be used in all forms of public transport, including metro, bus, taxi, ferry, and Maglev. It can also be used for paying parking, highways, and at gas stations. SPTC can be purchased and recharged in multiples of CNY10 on all MTR stations, convenience stores, and branches of Bank of Communications, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. You will get 10% discount on metro fares if you spend more than CNY70 within one month. The card can be returned and balance with deposit taken at some metro stations, including Hanzhong Road, Hengshan Road, Jinjiang Park, Jiangsu Road, Nanjing East Road, Dongbaoxing Road, Zhenping Road, and Yangshupu Road. If balance is greater than CNY10 when returning card, 5% of the balance will be charged.
From and to airport
There are two airports in Shanghai, Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Hongqiao International Airport (SHA).
Pudong International Airport (PVG)
Pudong International Airport (PVG) (上海浦东国际机场; en.shairport.com) is main air hub in Shanghai. It is located 30km (19mi) east of Shanghai’s city center. Most of international and domestic flights in Shanghai are from/to this airport. You can go to/from this airport by metro, Maglev train, bus, and taxi.
Metro Line 2 connect Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport, and pass through several centrally located and important MTR stations like Lujiazui, East Nanjing Road, People’s Square, West Nanjing Road, Jing’an Temple. Metro station in PVG is located between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.Trains operates between 6:00 and 22:00, on every 8.5 minutes, or even less during rush hours. Ride between PVG and city center takes about 70-80 minutes, while ride between two airports (PVG and SHA) takes about 100 minutes. Ticket cost from CNY3 to CNY9, depending on distance (CNY3 for city center, CNY8 for Hongqiao International Airport).
Time-saving and money-consuming Shanghai Maglev Train (上海磁浮示范运营线; www.smtdc.com; CNY50/80 single/round trip for economy class; CNY100/160 single/round trip for VIP class) is definitely most attractive way mean of transportation from/to Pudong International Airport. This high speed train reach up to 430km/h speed, proving that even trip to/from airport can be fun. It operates between Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road Metro Station in Pudong. Maglev Train departure from PVG between 7:02 and 21:42, and from Longyang Road Metro Station between 6:45 and 21:40, on every 15 or 20 minutes. Trip takes about 8 minutes. On Longyang Road Metro Station you can make transfer to metro line 2 or 7.
There are 6 shuttle bus lines between PVG and city. Buses run from both, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, usually between 6:35 and 23:00, on every 15-25 minutes. Bus trips usually takes from 60 to 90 minutes depending on distance and traffic.
Line 1 (PVG-SHA7:00-23:00; SHA-PVG 6:00-23:00; via Hongqiao Railway Station; CNY30)
Line 2 (PVG-Airport City Terminal 6:30 – 23:00; Airport City Terminal-PVG 5:30 – 21:30; near Jing’an Temple; CNY22)
Line 5 (PVG-Shanghai Railway Station 6:30 – 23:00; Shanghai Railway Station-PVG 5:30 – 21:30; via People’s Square; CNY16-22)
Taxi is also very good option to reach PVG, but most expensive too. There are taxi stations in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Taxi ride between PVG and city center usually takes about one hour, and cost about CNY140-160.
Hongqiao International Airport (SHA)
Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) (上海虹桥国际机场; en.shairport.com), older of two Shanghai’s airports, is situated 13km (8mi) west of Shanghai’s city center, and 60 km (37.3mi) from Pudong International Airport.
Metro Line 2 (SHA-downtown 5:35-22:50; downtown-SHA 6:05-23:38; on every 8.5 minutes) and Line 10(SHA-downtown 5:56-22:01; downtown-SHA 6:36-23:01; on every 8-13 minutes) connect Hongqiao International Airport with downtown. Line 10 have stops at Terminal 1 and 2, but Line 2 have stop at Terminal 2 only. Check Metro Line 2 paragraph in Pudong International Airport section above for more details about this line. Line 10 have few important stops, including Changshu Road, Shaanxi Road South, Yuyuan Garden, and Nanjing Road East. Ticket on Line 2 cost from CNY3 to CNY9 (depending on distance), while ticket on Line 10 have a fix price CNY6.
There are shuttle buses running from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to the downtown and back. Operating hours are usually from 6:00 to 22:00. From Terminal 2 there are buses 24-hours. Bus trips to the downtown usually takes about one hour (CNY6-8).
Taxi ride between SHA and city center usually takes about half an hour, and cost about CNY60-100.
Shanghai Metro (上海 地铁; www.shmetro.com) is the most popular form of transportation in Shanghai with both tourists and locals. Shanghai has a modern, safe and efficient subway, with very good network, and it is also cheap. Metro network in Shanghai consist of 14 lines with the length of 548 km (341 mi), making it the largest in the world. In the near future a new extension of the network of a few hundred kilometers is planned in order to extend the existing network. With the metro, you can reach any attraction in Shanghai.
Almost every line have different working hours, but generally trains operate from 5:30 to 22:30. Check official web site for the most accurate times: www.shmetro.com
Singe ride fares range from CNY3 to CNY10 depending on distance. For rides between Shanghai’s main attractions tickets usually cost CNY2-4. You can also buy one day (CNY18) or three days (CNY45) metro ticket at metro stations. After you use it, you don’t have to return either of these tickets.
Public bus network is very well developed and reaches parts of the city that are not covered by the metro network. Buses run 24 hours, and they are cheaper than the metro (CNY1-2). On the other hand, their drawback is that the signs and information on the stations are written in Chinese and is a lot slower than the metro. In some buses there is a conductor, and in some you need to insert coins into the machine. As a tourist, it is unlikely that you will use the bus as a means of transportation in Shanghai. If you still plan to use this way to explore the city, on this link you may find information in English about the stations and working hours for all bus routes in Shanghai: msittig.wubi.org/bus
There are thousands of taxis (出租车; chūzūchē) in Shanghai, and they are cheap. Usually, drivers will use meter, but if they not find another taxi. Make sure you have your destination written on Chinese, because very little taxi drivers speak English.
Flag-fall rate is CNY14 for the first 3km (1.9mi), after that CNY2.4 will be added on every kilometer up to 10km (6.2mi), and CNY3.6 will be added on every kilometer after first 10km. CNY1 fuel surcharge will also be charged.
During the night (from 23:00 to 5:00) flag-fall rate is CNY18 for the first 3km (1.9mi), after that CNY3.1 will be added on every kilometer up to 10km (6.2mi), and CNY4.1 will be added on every kilometer after first 10km. CNY1 fuel surcharge will also be charged.
Ferry is not just the cheapest, but the most interesting way also to cross the Pudong River. Ferry lines connect Puxi and Pudong District. There are about 20 river lines, out of which the most useful are the ones that connect The Bund with Dongchang Road in Pudong:
North Bund-Pudong: Jinling East Road Ferry (金陵东路渡口)-Dongchang Road Ferry (东昌路轮渡); 6:00-22:00; CNY2
South Bund-Pudong: Fuxing East Road Ferry (复兴东路轮渡)-Dongchang Road Ferry (东昌路轮渡); 6:00-19:00; CNY2
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