PUDONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (PVG)
It is by far the main airport in Shanghai, with more than 60 million travelers in 2015. It is located 30 km east of the city center. It has two terminals and another new satellite under construction whose inauguration is scheduled by the end of 2019. You can go from one to another walking or using a free shuttle every 10 minutes (from 6 am to 9 pm) between gates 1 and 8 from Terminal 1 to gates 23 and 27 in Terminal 2. There are left luggage lockers, open from 6am to 11pm. The price varies between ¥ 10 to ¥ 45 (depending on luggage size) up to 4 hours or ¥ 50 for a day.
The most recommended way to get there is using the new and ultra-modern Maglev train, which levitates by magnetism:
- Reaches a maximum speed of:
- 430 km/h in rush hour (09:02-10:47, 15:02-16:47).
- Out of rush hour we will have to settle for a measly 300 km/h ((07:02-8:47, 11:02-14:47, 17:02-21:42, 22:15, 22:40).
- Operative every 15-20 minutes:
- From the airport to Longyang Rd: 7:02 am to 10:40 pm.
- From Longyang Rd to the airport: 6:15 am to 9:40 pm.
- It costs 50 ¥ one way (40 if we have a flight) or 80 ¥ round trip (valid during the 7 following days to the first trip). There is a VIP ticket that in my opinion is not worth it.
- It only has one stop, in Longyang Road subway station (龙阳路 地铁 站), which is reached in 8-25 minutes, and is far from the center, so we must change to subway line 2 or a taxi, but the experience may be worth it.
- To bear in mind that as we approach the train station in Longyang and the airport it is likely that people will approach us saying that it is broken; This is a frequent scam, what they want is for us to take a taxi that they will recommend to us.
It is the cheapest option and the time it takes is reasonable.
- Metro line 2 (green) reaches Pudong airport since 2010.
- Open from 6 am to 10 pm, ticket 8 ¥ (may vary, more expensive the farther we go).
- You have to change trains on Guanglan Rd (get off the train and go up on the opposite side).
- It takes almost an hour and a half to get to the People’s Square and continue to the other airport, Hongqiao (2 hours), although not all trains get there.
It is the option that we use, since our hotel was in East Nanjing Road; It took a little over an hour and cost 7 ¥.
- They take between 1 hour and 90 minutes.
- From the airport to the city they usually start at 7 am and end at 11 pm. From downtown to the airport they start at approximately 5:30 and end at 9:30 pm.
- The most interesting for tourists are:
- Airport bus 1 and District Line 2: (¥ 30) From Pǔdōng Airport to Hóngqiáo Airport. Every 15-25 minutes. From 7 am to 11 pm.
- Airport bus 5: (¥ 16 to ¥ 22) To Shanghai Central Train Station via People’s Square. Every 30 minutes from 5:10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Airport bus 7: (¥ 20) To the southern train station. From 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Night bus: (¥ 16 to ¥ 30) From 11 pm; Arrives at Hongqiao Airport via Longyang Rd subway station.
As in any important airport, the main international companies have offices. However, foreigners are discouraged from driving in China, since they need to apply for a provisional Chinese driver’s license, a process that requires a lot of bureaucracy.
Remember that at the end of 2018 in mainland China there is no Uber. There is a similar App called DiDi, which currently doesn’t work very well, but has the advantage that there are way less scams, because drivers know they will be evaluated.
The fastest and most expensive way to move around. Close to luggage pick up belts there are screens that show the approximate prices according to where we go.
- Price in day time (the night rate, from 11 pm to 5 am, is 35% higher):
- 14 or 16 ¥ depending on whether or not the toll is taken for the first 3 km.
- 2.5 ¥ per km from 3 to 10.
- and 3.6 ¥ each km above 10.
- There are rows of taxis at the airport in both terminals. It is very likely that official and unofficial taxi drivers will approach us in the queue offering their services. Always reject them, most likely they’ll try to take detours to overcharge or have tricked the taximeters; in case of using them, the most reasonable thing is to agree on a price and leave it written down on a piece of paper in front of the taxi driver, so that when he arrives at the destination he does not ask for another amount. In Shanghai it is illegal to share a taxi with strangers, so if a taxi driver tries, we can refuse.
- To city center: it should take between 45 minutes and an hour, and the trip costs approximately 160 ¥ (taximeter).
- To Hongqiao Airport: it should take the same town as going downtown; 200 ¥.
Many hotels offer transfer to the airport. Prices are usually around 40 ¥.
LONG DISTANCE BUSES
From the airport there are buses that go directly to neighboring cities:
- Sūzhōu: ¥ 84, three hours, 18 a day.
- Hángzhōu: ¥ 100, three hours, 12 a day.
- Others less frequent to Jiaxing, Yiwu, Qingtian, Wenzhou, Kunshan, Wuxi and Zhangjiagang.
HONGQIAO AIRPORT (SHA)
18 km west of the center, the old airport has remained for domestic flights and some international destinations (Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei). It is completely restored and modernized and is part of the new Hongqiao Transportation Hub, which also includes a bus station, train, metro, Maglev (not yet operational) and taxis. It has 2 terminals separated by 2 km; a free shuttle connects them from 6 am to 10:30 pm, every 30 minutes, taking 20 minutes; we can also go from one to the other by metro (one stop, 3 ¥). There are lockers to leave your luggage, open from 7 am to 8:30 pm.
There are two lines:
- Line 2 (green). Only in T2. Operative from 5:30 am to 10:50 pm. Those arriving at Pudong Airport (8 ¥, almost 2 hours) goes from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and remember to change trains at Guanglan Rd. It takes 30 minutes to People’s Square.
- Line 10 (violet). Open from 5:55 am to 10:05 pm.
There are fewer “airport” lines, but being closer to the city, there are several urban lines that get there. Although there are others, the most interesting for tourists are:
- Airport bus 1: (¥ 30) To Pudong Airport. Every 15-25 minutes. From 7 am to 11 pm.
- Airport shuttle bus (¥ 4, 7:50 am to 11:00 pm). From T1 to Jìng’ān area.
- Bus 941: (6 ¥), to Central Train Station. From 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., every 20 minutes.
- Bus 925 (¥ 4, 5.30am to 10.30pm) To People’s Square via Hongmei Rd and Shimen No 1 Rd.
- Night bus: 316 (11am to 5pm) and 320 (11am to 5pm). To East Yan’an Rd, near the Bund.
- Bus 806 (¥ 5, 6am to 11pm) to Lùpǔ Bridge, south of Pǔxī.
TAXIS AND OTHER AUTOMOBILES
Up to the center should cost approximately ¥ 100 and up to the other airport ¥ 200. The information on rental cars and hotel shuttles is the same as in the case of Pudong airport.
LONG DISTANCE BUSES
They leave from Terminal 2, since it is included in the Hongqiao Transportation Hub. There are buses to multiple destinations, to highlight Sūzhōu, Nánjīng, Qīngdǎo, Túnxī (Huángshān), Hángzhōu and Dēngfēng (Shàolín Temple).
LONG DISTANCE TRAIN
Hongqiao Train Station is also part of the Transportation Hub. Open from 6 am to 10:30 pm. There are high speed trains to all the major cities of China (see the post GET AND LEAVE SHANGHAI BY TRAIN).
MORE TRANSPORTATION IN SHANGHAI: