How to Travel from Shanghai to Hangzhou

Written by Sally Guo Updated Oct. 31, 2023

Hangzhou is around 175 km (109 mi) from Shanghai, and naturally, there is no flight between the two cities due to the short distance. There are two modes of transportation between Shanghai and Hangzhou; here is a comparison of their prices, speed, and convenience.

Shanghai to Hangzhou Transport

There is a proposal to construct a maglev train connecting Shanghai and Hangzhou. The proposed speed for the maglev train is 600 km per hour (373 mi), which means that you can complete a trip in less than 30 minutes.

Shanghai to Hangzhou by Bullet Train (Recommended, Fastest)

The recommended way to travel between Shanghai and Hangzhou is by high-speed/bullet train. It is the fastest and most popular way to travel and takes about 1–1½ hours. Around 150 trains run between these two cities daily.

In Shanghai, most trains to Hangzhou depart from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station.

Trains to Hangzhou depart between 05:44 and 21:29. There is a train every 10 minutes, and the journey takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 49 minutes, depending on the type of train chosen.

Hangzhou East Railway Station (杭州东站) is the central high-speed train station in Hangzhou, so there are around 150 high-speed trains that start from this station and only 10 trains from Hangzhou Railway Station (杭州站).

Hangzhou East Railway Station
Entrance of Hangzhou East Railway Station

In Hangzhou, trains to Shanghai depart between 05:55 and 22:32. There is a train every 10 minutes, and the journey takes from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the train.

Tickets on bullet trains are generally divided into three types, second class, first-class, and business class, price varies from RMB 47 (USD 7) to RMB 279 (USD 40).

Shanghai to Hangzhou by Bus

The bus takes about 2½–4½ hours from Shanghai to Hangzhou, with tickets priced at RMB 71–106 (USD 10–15), depending on the route. There are several bus stations from where you can catch a ride. Travelers most frequently use the following three.

If you decide to take a bus back from Hangzhou to Shanghai, you could choose to depart from one of these two stations: Hangzhou Changyun Coach Station (杭州长运公路汽车站) to Shanghai, between 06:35–18:35, or Hangzhou Chengzhan Bus Station (杭州城站汽车站), between 07:30–16:30.

Shanghai Airport to Hangzhou

From Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Hangzhou

1. By train - fastest and most convenient

Take Shanghai Metro Line 2 from Pudong Airport to Hongqiao Railway Station. This will take an extra 1.5 hours so you are advised to allow at least 2 hours for the transfer, to make sure you won't miss the train.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is the most used station in Shanghai with more than 150 pairs of high-speed trains every day depart to Hangzhou, the trip takes 1 hour.

2. By Bus

It is easy to find the long-distance bus station just next to Pudong Airport, the bus to Hangzhou costs approximately RMB 110 per person, with departure times at 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30, and takes 3 hours at the roadway.

From Shanghai Hongqiao Airport

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station is located 800m west of Shanghai Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2, and 3km west of Terminal 1.

Take Shanghai Metro Line 10 from Terminal 1 to Hongqiao Railway Station, then take the high-speed train to Hangzhou.

Just 15 minutes walk from Terminal 2 to Hongqiao Railway Station and catch the train to Hangzhou.

Hongqiao Railway Station
Hongqiao Railway Station

Plan a 2 Days Tour in Hangzhou from Shanghai

Day 1

Starting from Shanghai in the morning to catch the train to Hangzhou. Upon arrival, take Hangzhou Metro Line 1 at the exit of the station to Longxiang Bridge (龙翔桥), a 2-minute walk to West Lake.

Take a cruise boat on the West Lake and feel the gentle ambiance of Hangzhou. Visit Chenghuang Pavilion at Wushan which is 1 km from the West Lake.

In the afternoon, move on to Lingyin Temple, one of the most prestigious Buddhist monasteries in China. Flying Peak, located at the side of Lingyin Temple. With a collection of more than 300 exquisite Buddhist carvings.

Day 2

Spend the whole morning visiting the dragon well tea plantation in Meijiawu Village to explore the authentic Chinese tea culture.

Cruising on the Jinghang Grand Canal gives you an opportunity to see the authentic life of ordinary people.

Visit the oiled paper umbrella workshop. The oil-paper umbrella is often related to love stories and is best known in Hangzhou. Experience making an oiled paper umbrella with a craftsman.

After the tour, head to Hangzhou East Railway Station and your onward train back to Shanghai.

Accommodation Ideas

1. West Lake Scenic Area

Most star-rating chains and boutique hotels are situated in the downtown ring.

Choosing a hotel to stay near West Lake would be a good choice, also surrounded by most key attractions in Hangzhou.

2. Wushan Night Market

For visitors who like to experience nightlife in Hangzhou, staying at Wushan Market would be a good choice, browse the street selling clothes, shoes, handbags, phone covers, also multiple food options available at very cheap prices.

The accommodations near Wushan Market are mostly apartment hotels and B&Bs.

Hangzhou Cuisine

The food you must try is Sweet and Sour West Lake Fish (西湖醋鱼), Dongpo Pork (东坡肉), Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea (龙井虾仁), Aunt Song Fish Broth (宋嫂鱼羹), Beggars' Chicken (叫花鸡), Tofu with Eight Delicious (八宝豆腐).

Restaurants Specializing in Hangzhou Cuisine

The most typical flavor in Hangzhou is light taste and freshness, usually, cook in stir-fried or steamed.

1. Grandma’s Home

Cheap and cheerful, is considered the most popular Hangzhou restaurant in the city. The dishes you must try are Grandma's tea-flavored chicken, milk-flavored green bean paste, Longjing green tea cake, Grandma's braised pork, and Dongpo pork.

2. Xin Bai Lu

Popular local restaurants, usually queue up during dining time and need to reserve in advance. The recommended dishes are egg yolk ribs, sweet and sour ribs, sizzling perch, and egg yolk fried chicken.

3. Lou Wai Lou

Neighboring West Lake is a time-honored restaurant with hundreds of years of history famed over the world. The signature dishes you must try are Sweet and Sour Fish, Song Fish Soup, Dongpo Braised Pork, and Longjing Tea Shrimp.

144-Hour Visa-Free Policy

You can enjoy a visa-free stay of up to 6 days in Shanghai and Hangzhou, check the 144-hour visa-free policy to see if you are eligible.

144-hour visa-free transit areas

Travel Tips

We try to provide accurate transportation information, as far as possible. However, timings and prices are subject to change, depending on day-to-day scheduling.

Although there are many trains between Shanghai and Hangzhou every day, it is best to book your tickets at least 3 days ahead of your departure date to ensure availability.

Traveling with China Travel

Embrace the beauty of Shanghai and Hangzhou with us, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. We offer a range of services, including train ticket bookings, transfers, personalized one-day excursions, and full tour packages.

Our team is dedicated to crafting your dream trip. Choose from our popular itineraries or let us tailor-make one for you.

If the suggested itineraries don't catch your eye, our expert travel advisor can tailor a Shanghai tour just for you, perfectly fitting your schedule, preferences, and budget.

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