Flights to Shanghai
Shanghai has two airports: Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport. Pudong Airport is Shanghai’s main flight hub and services most of the international airlines in the world. It is located about 40kms from the city centre and is split into two terminals and significantly modernised and expanded for the Expo 2010.
Pudong Airport has grown into the busiest airport in China, handling over 17 million passengers a year. The airport services over 30 international airlines and offers direct connections to cities all over the world. For visitors from Australia, Chinese airlines offer the cheapest flights to and from Shanghai. Other cheaper options will require stopovers in other Asian cities.
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport used to be Shanghai’s main international airport, but was relegated to second place after the completion of Pudong Airport. However, Hongquiao Airport services a range of domestic and international flights, although it does focus more on domestic flight connections. International connections are currently limited to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.
After its expansion, Pudong Airport significantly expanded its public transportation options as well. Thanks to the Expo, a high-speed Maglev train connection was built. The train connects the airport to Longyang Road Metro station. There are also buses to the city centre, but these can be slightly difficult to figure out. Taxis are also available right outside the terminal building and are a cheap transportation option. However, most taxi drivers do not speak English, so it is good have your hotel name or destination written out in Chinese.
Hongqiao Airport also has good public transportation connections. It is directly connected to Shanghai’s subway network, which makes it convenient. Buses are also available from the airport to the city centre. As with Pudong Airport, it is also convenient to take a taxi into the city from the airport. The two airports are connected by rail.
Shanghai has been renewed and received international acclaim, having recently hosted the successful Expo 2010. Roughly 73 million visitors flocked from all over the world and waited in line for hours to see the amazing exhibits and pavilions. Shanghai is an unusual blend of Chinese, Western and modern influences, making it a unique destination in China. With 23 million inhabitants, it is the largest city in China and probably the most vibrant.
Known for its ultra-modern skyline, Shanghai grew out of being an important trading port. It was home to many foreigners and was known for its vibrant western culture and fashion in the 1930s. This lead to the development of the Bund, along the riverside, which is still home to many beautiful colonial buildings from that era. However, this western lifestyle was frowned upon by the government and quashed in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Today, Shanghai is probably the most modern and most vibrant city in China. It is considered to the business and financial centre of China and prosperity is growing. Many foreign banks and businesses have set-up offices in Shanghai to benefit from its high-growth economy. The amazing skyline of the Lujiazui financial district is unmistakable. The nouveau riche class is growing and expensive condominium and luxury brand shops are springing up all over the city.
In contrast to this is the historic part of Shanghai. There are many temples and museums to see, as well as many historic buildings dotted around the city. The Bund and French Concession have become fashionable again and many colonial buildings have been renovated to their former glory. The Old City is the historic Chinese district of the city, where many Shanghai-style wooden buildings have been preserved.
As a modern city, Shanghai offers a lot to the shopper. The most famous shopping area is Nanjing Road, which has everything from jewellery and clothes to the ubiquitous Chinese knock-offs. There is a pedestrian section of the road as well and on weekends can be very packed. There are plenty of other markets, shopping malls and even luxury brand stores to browse.