Like my Dublin Airport post, this one is also just a quick guide on how to get away from the Shanghai airport and start exploring.
Many of you maybe noticed that Shanghai and Beijing now have a 72 hours visafree entry for certain countries(for more information check this link) , if you are doing a stopover in China.
This gives you a great chance to explore China a bit, before deciding if you are up to really travelling there 😉
You just have to fill in the immigration form like everybody else and then they will sort the stuff out at immigration.
But what then? Now you are at the Airport and if you are not one of those lucky people getting picked up with a lovely name sign, you maybe are feeling a little lost.
They are not very big on tourist information. I never saw one, maybe there is one hidden somewhere, let me know if you find it 😉
But fear not getting into the city is actually quite easy. There are 4 options.You can get into Shanghai by Metro line 2, Bus, Maglev and Taxi... Click To Tweet
1. Take a taxi
This is the easiest and probably also the fastest. But you will need a bit of preparation for this.
Most Taxi drivers don’t speak English and they don’t read it either. Make a picture of the chinese address of your hostel/hotel with your cell phone and show it to them. That’s the easiest way.
Just get into proper taxis! Yes go and stand in the taxi line like the locals do. I think they don’t allow inofficial taxis anymore, at least not in the airport area (careful in Beijing they still do and boy they will rip you off).
And always ask them to turn their meter on. In Shanghai it works actually quite well, so far I didn’t have to tell anybody.
Don’t drive with them if they refuse to turn on the meter, you will pay more than you should. There is no such thing as a special deal. Otherwise enjoy the relaxed drive, it will take about an hour to get into the city and probably cost about 120-160 RMB.
2. The Maglev
Your into speedy things? This speed train is one of the most modern ways of transportation. Originally designed in Germany, they sold it to China, because they didn’t have the money to actually built and use it.
Now it is driving in Shanghai from the airport into the city and back.
In the end it is just a very speedy train, but why not threat yourself to something special. Max. speed is 431 km/h, so it will take you just about 8 min. till you are in the city.
A one way ticket will cost you 50RMB, but I think it is well worth it. But don’t forget from there you still have to take either the metro or a taxi to your final destination.
For all of you budget travellers (like me) there is still the Metro. Line 2 connects the airport with Shanghai. They will announce the stops in English and Chinese and also the signs are written in both languages, you will be fine.
First you have to get the ticket from the machine, it will be around 3-10RMB depending on your destination.
Then they will scan your luggage and you are good to go. Just remember the Metro can get very, very full, especially around 9am and 17-18pm. The stops in the city center will be overflowing.
Don’t take the Metro if you are scared of big crowds.
UPDATE: For everybody more interested into traveling with the metro in Shanghai and on how to get a Public Transport Card (saves you loads of time you would waste on buying tickets) head over to a fellow travel blogger and check out his post about the Shanghai Metro System.
This is a method I would just take if you are somewhat familiar with the Chinese language and are able to read the signs. There are about 8 different bus routes connecting to the airport. Depending on the length of your journey it will cost 3-22RMB.
It is definitely faster than the metro, but be prepared to maybe sit on the floor. Usually there is somebody helpful on the bus, who will tell you when you have to get off.
At least that was how it was two years ago.
So you are set.
Pick your transport and I will meet you in the city =)