Shanghai, the Paris of the East, blends rapid development with reminders of China's culture and colonial history. At night, the city is bedecked with enchanting lights, and you will find fine dining, nightclubs, museums, and areas for both high-end shopping and bargain hunting. Cheap flights to Shanghai are available year-round, and there's always something unique and exciting to experience.
Arriving in Shanghai, China
Shanghai, a major transportation hub, sits on the Yangtze River Delta on China's east coast, between Beijing and Hangzhou. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), 19 miles east of the city's downtown district, hosts international flights and will most likely serve as your destination when you embark on flights to Shanghai. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA), 8 miles west of downtown, serves mainly domestic flights. The Pudong International Airport Station is Pudong Airport's terminal for Shanghai Metro Line 2 and the Shanghai Maglev Train.
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is next to Terminal 2 at Hongqiao International Airport while Terminal 1 is located on the opposite side of the airfield. The Hongqiao Railway Station is a major hub served by the Shanghai–Nanjing Intercity High-Speed Railway, the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, and the Shanghai–Hangzhou High-Speed Railway. In addition, Terminal 1 is served by Metro Line 10, and the railway station and Terminal 2 are served by Metro Lines 10 and 2.
Shanghai's Metro Lines are part of a rapid transit system that includes light railway lines and subways. Shanghai's public transport system also includes buses and taxis. Taxi fares from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to downtown Shanghai should be around $16, and taxi fares from Honqiao International Airport to downtown Shanghai should be around $6. Fares for any part of Shanghai's public transport system can be paid with Shanghai's Public Transport Card.
Attractions in Shanghai
A walk along the Bund waterfront area, called the museum of buildings, reveals China's colonial history through architecture. A cruise on the Huangpu River lets you contrast the historic buildings with some of the world's tallest skyscrapers, including the space-sculpture-like Oriental Pearl Tower. On a nighttime cruise, you can enjoy the view of the city's lights.
The Jade Buddha Temple and Yu Garden offer insight into China's art and culture. Pay close attention to details when visiting the garden. From Shanghai, travel west by Maglev train or high-speed rail to Xian to see the once-buried Terracotta Army, or venture southwest to Guilin to see China's water-carved karst landscape. Travel northwest to Beijing to see the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.
When to Visit Shanghai
Shanghai's warm summers include high humidity, pouring rain and thunderstorms. Winter is damp and chilly, and thanks to winds from Siberia, nighttime temperatures sometimes drop below freezing. March through May and September through November offer the most enjoyable weather. However, summer and winter visits offer travel bargains, so keep that in mind if you're seeking cheap flights to Shanghai.
Flights to Shanghai during China's Labor Day holiday at the beginning of May brings you to the city during a busy national holiday, when Shanghai residents are likely to patronize their local attractions in large numbers. Since January 2016, visitors from 51 countries can enjoy a 144-hour, visa-free visit to Shanghai, however, they must then travel on to another region or country.