Traveling Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China. With a population of more than 24 million, it is the largest and traditionally the most developed urban area in China. Shanghai is a global financial, innovation and technology, and transportation hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the Eastern China coast. Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China. The city is renowned for its historic buildings — including those along the Bund and in the Former French Concession —and for its unique cuisine and dialect (Shanghainese). Every year, Shanghai hosts numerous national and international events, including: Shanghai Fashion Week, the Chinese Grand Prix, and Chinajoy.

Traveling to Shanghai

In most cases, a visa should be obtained from a Chinese embassy or consulate before arriving anywhere in mainland China. Many travel agencies will assist you with the application and some can submit it on your behalf. Plan on applying for a visa at least a month before your trip; if needed, there are services available to expedite the process and shorten the wait time. For further details, please refer to the "Practical Information" page on this conference website.

By Air

For the Shanghai region, Pudong International Airport (PVG) is the main international airport and Hongqiao Airport (SHA) is the main domestic airport. Both will, however, have direct international routes and domestic flights. Pudong International Airport is located 30 km (17 mi) east of central Shanghai and Hongqiao International Airport is located 13 km (8 mi) west of central Shanghai.

Intra-city Transportation


Taxis in Shanghai are abundant. Shanghai taxi drivers almost always use the meter as required by law. During daytime, taxis in downtown Shanghai charge CNY14 for the first 3km, CNY2.5/km for 3 -15km, and CNY3.6/km over 15km. At night, taxis charge CNY18 for the first 3km and CNY3.1/km for a 3 -15km range.

Do not accept solicitations for rides to the city. Sometimes, people will stand at the arrivals area and ask if you need a taxi. These taxis are illegally operated and use unmarked vehicles. They usually cost a lot more than licensed taxis and will prey upon the ignorance of unwary travelers.

Overall, not many of the city’s taxi drivers speak English. It is therefore important that you present the driver with the name of the destination (in written Mandarin), present them with a printed taxi card from your hotel (see your hotel's website for further details), or be able to point out your destination on a map or app. If necessary, you can also use the free Google translate app to speak and interact with your driver (download Offline translation - Chinese, before you leave on your trip).


Opened in 1993, the Shanghai Metro is a rapid transit rail network in Shanghai and is the world's largest rapid transit system by route length. Fares range from ¥3 to ¥14. Most of the signs and announcements are in both Mandarin and English. There are currently 17 lines in operation. Metro schedules are available online or at the stations, or apps on your smartphone (MetroMan, ExploreMetro, etc.) can help you to navigate the subway system.

The Shanghai Metro system is connected to both airports (PVG, SHA) and to the main train station (Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station) which has both high-speed and regular trains. For daily travel, the metro is the most convenient mode of transport to convey you to most parts of the city, including: the Bund, the Pudong New Area – CBD, the Former French Concession, etc.

References and Recommended Reading

Travel & Tourist Information

Shanghai Airport

Shanghai Taxi

Shanghai Metro