Shanghai is the largest city in China and a global centre in finance as well as culture, fashion, media and technology, so you can be sure that there will be plenty of intriguing things to see and do once you arrive on your flight to Shanghai.
All this has added up to a shimmering city with towering and shimmering skyscrapers which vie for attention with bustling markets. But it's not all about the speedy pace of life, with plenty of leafy suburbs and more than a handful of places to catch your breath. A Shanghai flight puts you right at the heart of this exciting city, which is gaining stature in the tourism stakes all the time.
The quick pace of life means that locals work hard and play hard, although there is still a traditional Chinese undercurrent to everything. Look for Shanghai hotels in Puxi to stay in the older centre, or in Pudong to be at the heart of the modern centre. Wherever you stay after your flight into Shanghai you will be able to choose from a range of hotels from the sumptuous to budget-friendly.
Flights To Shanghai
If you're on direct Shanghai flights, then you can expect to spend between 11 and 12 hours in the air. However, this is definitely not the cheapest way to fly to Shanghai, but if your holiday time is at a premium then it's definitely the right way to go.
Alternatively, to save money on your flight to Shanghai from the UK, look for indirect Shanghai flights. But be warned, it's often cheaper to take just one stop rather than two, and is faster! Expect a flight with stops to take upwards of 13 hours. Check your itinerary carefully though so you can make sure you're not going to waste precious time in Shanghai for the sake of t few pounds off your flight price.
Most flights arrive into Shanghai Pudong International Airport which is located 19 miles from the city centre. If you're on a domestic flight to Shanghai from another airport in China, you might also arrive into Hongqiao but this doesn't accept international flights. There are a range of ways to get into the city after your Shanghai flight touches down, with onward travel times of around an hour, although be aware that traffic can affect your journey time if you're going by road.
Airport Shuttle There are a variety of routes that will take you from the airport to downtown so be sure to do a little research before you embark on Shangai flights and you'll be at your hotel in no time - traffic dependent of course!
Metro Offers a fast route to the city, but be aware if you have large luggage as all passengers must change trains at Guanglan Road. The trains operate from early morning to evening, so if your cheap Shanghai flight arrives late you won't be able to use this method.
Bus With services taking up to 90 minutes, this is certainly not the fastest way to get going on your holiday! It won't break the bank, but as the Metro is faster and cheaper this is not a popular method, especially in rush hour. It does run 24 hours a day though, so is a good option for early landers or late arrivals.
Taxi Expensive but convenient, be sure to join the queue as touting drivers can be pretty unscrupulous!
Car Hire Although the roads are crowded, getting some Shanghai car hire when you arrive can also be a good way to get around. It also solves many of your transport problems for sightseeing, as in a city this big you're going to be travelling a lot. As a tourist you have the chance to avoid rush hours, so plan your trips accordingly!
Getting Around Shanghai
Whatever you do, you're going to have to get on some form of transport if you hope to take in the main sights in this huge city. If you know that you're going to be making some longer excursions then a hire car can really help with that. Buses and taxis are alternatives if you want to be out on the roads, but buses can be confusing and taxis can be expensive, especially if you get stuck in traffic!
The Metro offers a fairly comprehensive system so you should be able to travel to all the main tourist destinations this way. If you find that the Metro has stopped running by the time you want to return to your hotel, then the buses will always be on hand!
Other options include sightseeing buses, ferries and even a sightseeing tunnel, which doesn't show you any sights, but does get you between Puxi and Pudong in record time!
Also, try to walk as much as you can. Shanghai is actually very pedestrian friendly, although long distances may not be! Plus, you get to see a lot more along the way.
What To See In Shanghai
Expect a wonderful mix of modernity, ancient temples, peaceful parks, shopping malls and market stalls. Must-sees include the Yu Yuan Garden, Nanjing Road, the Jade Buddha Temple, The Bund and The Shanghai Museum. For more inspiration visit our Shanghai guide.