Best Shanghai Travel Tips For First-Timers


Best Shanghai Travel Tips For First-Timers

If you’re planning your first trip to Shanghai or are an experienced traveler, here are some helpful tips for making the most of your experience.

In this vibrant Chinese city, there’s plenty to see and do. From architectural wonders to museums, stunning towers to ancient bazaars – there is something for everyone here! Fly into Shanghai with Cathay Pacific and remember the following.

On-demand taxis

When planning a visit to Shanghai, on-demand taxis may be your best bet. These are available throughout the city and provide an efficient means of getting around without having to worry about traffic or other logistics – particularly during rush hour! These limo-like vehicles provide an enjoyable way to experience Shanghai without worrying about traffic or other hassles.

There are a few ways to use taxis, but the simplest is through an app. These tools help you locate a driver and book your ride ahead of time – saving time and hassle when arriving in Shanghai.

These apps can also help you avoid overpaying for a taxi, as they often offer incentives to drivers. These may include free rides, discounted rates or cash back rewards.

Many of these apps are also available in English, so you don’t need to worry about translating a ride request. Even if you don’t speak Chinese, these services still allow for communication with the driver through pre-set messages.

The primary advantage of an on-demand taxi service is that you can access reliable transportation at any time. This is especially helpful if you need a ride during late nights or busy times like rush hour.

These services have seen an uptick in popularity around the world, especially where there aren’t enough taxis to go around. They can also be a great way to explore a city on your own as they’re usually affordable and user-friendly.


Rickshaws are one of Shanghai’s oldest forms of public transportation, having been introduced by French businessman Menard in 1873.

Rickshaws have become an integral part of the city’s history, serving to transport migrant workers during China’s cultural revolution.

Rickshaws remain a popular form of transport in many Asian countries, particularly China and Japan.

Auto rickshaws are the most common form of rickshaw in most cities, but hand-pulled rickshaws remain popular in places like Kolkata.

A rickshaw is a two-wheeled vehicle with seating at the back. It can either be pedaled or driven by electric motor. Most rickshaws are painted yellow to stand out among other vehicles on the street.

Shanghai offers a variety of rickshaw companies, each with their own distinct style. It is important to be familiar with the rules applicable to each one before booking one.

In most cases, rickshaws are only allowed to carry one passenger at a time in order to protect both drivers and passengers. This policy helps guarantee the safety of both parties involved.

When using a rickshaw, ask the driver to take you to your destination at a prominent landmark or intersection. Doing this will help ensure you do not get lost in the city.

In addition to rickshaws, Shanghai offers many other ways of getting around. Taxis are one of the most common modes of transport here but you could also consider ride-hailing apps or shared bikes for added convenience.

Bike sharing

Biking has become an increasingly popular way of getting around Shanghai. It provides a fast and cost-effective way of covering short distances, while helping you avoid traffic jams.

Additionally, bike sharing is beneficial to the environment as it conserves energy and reduces carbon emissions.

Many cities throughout China have implemented bike share programs, which enable people to rent bicycles on a pay-per-use basis. These usually feature a mobile application that scans a QR code to unlock the bike and use it along an established route.

Though bike share can have some drawbacks, such as unlicensed operators and lack of self-monitoring, there are also plenty of advantages. These include reduced air pollution, improved fitness levels and preventing obesity.

Studies have demonstrated that people who bike commute spend less time driving to and from work. Furthermore, they report lower levels of stress and depression.

Some of the best places to use a bike share are near subway stations, as they provide easy access to public transport and are often close to shops and other attractions. Furthermore, these areas tend to have more bicycles than usual, making it easier to park your bicycle while waiting for a train.

In Shanghai, there are various companies that offer bike share. The two most popular are Mobike and Ofo.

These companies operate on a pay-per-use model, so you can choose to rent for an hour, day or week. You may pay with credit cards or cash at the kiosk; in certain cities you may even purchase a monthly card that allows free rides on selected bikes.

Public transportation

Shanghai boasts one of the most comprehensive public transport systems in China, consisting of buses, subways and taxis. Furthermore, the city features a rapid transit system that integrates subway and light rail lines for faster travel around town.

Buses offer an economical and convenient way to move around the city. There are over 1,100 official bus routes that run throughout the day, though some only operate during peak hours or in the evening.

A single-journey ticket costs 2 yuan, or 3 yuan for children under 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) tall. Tickets can be purchased at the station or vending machines.

The metro system in Shanghai provides a swift and efficient means of getting around. Lines run daily from 5:30am to midnight, with most remaining open an hour later on Fridays, Saturdays, and Chinese Public Holidays.

Navigating the transportation system in New York City can be overwhelming without a guide. To make things easier, download an app or map for city travel so that you can see your route and which buses or trains need to take.

It’s wise to purchase a Shanghai public transportation card (jiaotong ka), which can be used for most trips. These cards are readily available at most subway stations and convenience stores.

Another popular mode of transportation is the ferry, which runs between mainland and three islands on Huangpu River. This makes for a convenient way to move between districts and visit some of Shanghai’s main sights without needing to rent a car.

Biking around Shanghai is a popular way of getting around. You’ll find bike rental stands scattered throughout the city, though some roads may not allow bikes so you should plan your route carefully.

Getting around the city

Shanghai’s extensive public transportation system is the best way to get around. Whether you’re heading towards Pudong International Airport, between downtown areas of Xintiandi and Hongqiao, or exploring far reaches of French Concession, there’s a line that will take you there.

For those wanting to explore Shanghai quickly and conveniently, the Metro is your best bet. There are 14 lines covering over 617km of track that connects popular residential areas to some of its furthest suburbs.

At subway stations, tickets can be bought from vending machines and swiped over turnstiles to enter and exit the train. A travel card is also available that allows users to use the metro without carrying cash with them.

Those who find walking too strenuous can opt for a bus or taxi instead. Unfortunately, taking a cab will cost more than other forms of transport, especially during rush hours when traffic is at its highest.

For those who feel more confident on their feet, walking is the ideal way to explore Shanghai. It may take some getting used to navigating through the streets, but it’s an excellent way to soak in the atmosphere of this bustling city.

As in any city, it’s essential to abide by traffic rules and pay attention to pedestrian lights. Jaywalkers who disregard traffic signals may face fines of up to Y=50.

Bicycling is a popular mode of transport in the city, yet it can be challenging when riding through congested streets. Cyclists need to keep an eye out and be prepared for potential collisions with drivers who fail to respect lane markings.