How to Plan a Day Layover Trip in Shanghai?

Written by Ruru Zhou Updated Jun. 4, 2021

Do you plan to spend only 6 to 24 hours in Shanghai? Don’t know what to do in the city during a long period of waiting for an onward flight? This article tells you how to enjoy a stop-over or a day trip in Shanghai.

Shanghai as an important metropolis in China, is one of the main passenger transit places, owning one of China’s largest airports - Pudong International Airport. Many travelers from overseas choose Shanghai as an entry for China visits.


144-Hour Visa-Free Access

Shanghai is one of the cities that have a 144-hour visa-free policy. Travelers from 51 countries and regions can go to Shanghai without visa and they can stay there for 6 days. During the visa-free time, permitted passengers can get around in Shanghai.

How to Get to Shanghai from Pudong International Airport

Time Needed

It takes about 1 hour to get to the urban area of Shanghai from the airport, and you need to go back to the airport 2 hours before your flight leaves.

Luggage Storage at the Airport

In Pudong International Airport, there are 6 left-luggage offices offering baggage storage:

Terminal 1 Building: between Gate 4 and Gate 5 and between Gate 10 and Gate 11 in the Departure Hall; between Gate 6 and Gate 7 in the Arrival Hall.

Terminal 2 Building: near Island A and Island M in the Departure Hall; near the International Exit in the Arrival Hall.

It is a good idea to leave your baggage at your departure hall.

The price of luggage storage varies according to luggage size and the storage time. Leaving large luggage costs 50 Yuan a day, and leaving smaller pieces is cheaper.


You can take the metro, the Maglev train, a bus or a taxi to get to the inner city.


Metro line 2 can take you to the urban area. In the airport, there are clear signs guiding to the metro stop. You need to change from a four-car subway train to an eight-car one at the Guanglan Road (广兰路) stop so that you can continue your journey.

Note: The subway trains traveling from the airport to Guanglan Road station have 4 cars, running from 6am to 10pm. The 8-car trains travel from Guanglan Road station to East Xujing (徐泾东) station, with a longer operating time.


Taking Shanghai Maglev train can shorten your journey. The line runs between Pudong International Airport and Longyang Road (龙阳路) station, and it only takes 8 minutes to complete the distance of 30 km (19 miles). You can transfer to subway line 2 to continue your journey.

The place to buy a ticket is on the second floor of Pudong International Airport Station.

Ticket Prices
Single Trip: 50 Yuan for Economy class; 100 Yuan for VIP class
Round Trip: 80 Yuan for Economy class; 160 Yuan for VIP class


There are 10 airport bus lines available, traveling between the airport and the inner city of Shanghai. Follow the signs at the airport, to direct you to the bus ticket center. The ticket costs 20 to 30 Yuan.


Taking a taxi is expensive but convenient. The distance between the airport and the city center is about 50 km (31 miles). It costs about 180 Yuan if you go to popular commercial centers or tourist attractions like Xujiahui (徐家汇), Lujiazui (陆家嘴), People’s Square and Jing’an Temple (静安寺).

Recommended Half-Day/Day Tour Itinerary

Pudong Airport – Yu Garden – the Bund – Nanjing Road - People’s Square–the Oriental Pearl Tower - Pudong Airport. Apart from the time traveling between the airport and the city center, visiting the five attractions takes at least 12 hours. So select attractions according to your interests and available time.

1. Yu Garden (豫园): The gardens are very beautiful with a classical Chinese style. The nearby markets offer countless selections of traditional Chinese crafts and souvenirs. You can take your favorite ones home.


2. The Bund: This corridor along the Huangpu River provides a very scenic stroll and leisure spot. The Bund is also special for 52 European-style buildings lining the riverside, dating back to 1990s. Landmark buildings of Shanghai like the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Tower are opposite the Bund.

The Bund

3. Shopping and Eating in Nanjing Road (南京路): It is one of the most famous pedestrian streets in Shanghai. It consists of East Nanjing Road and West Nanjing Road and the east one is more popular. A wide range of products and delicious food are offered there.

nanjing road

4. People’s Square: The People’s Square is surrounded by the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Art Museum, Nanjing Road, Jing’an Temple, etc. It is like Central Park of New York city, the most central point in Shanghai and good for sightseeing.

5. The Oriental Pearl TV Tower: As the fifth highest tower in the world, it is the best place to take a bird's-eye view of the Bund, both by day and by night. The main facilities are Shanghai History Museum, Revolving Restaurant and Space Capsule.


Option A: 220 Yuan per person for all three spheres + Shanghai History Museum
Option B: 160 Yuan per person for the first and second sphere + Shanghai History Museum
Option C: 35 Yuan per person for Shanghai History Museum

6. Return to the airport from the Oriental TV Tower: Three hours before your boarding time, it is time to return the airport. Get back to Lujiazui subway station and take line 2 to the Pudong International Airport. It takes about 1 hour.

Suggested Layover Itineraries in Shanghai


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