The best way to get around in Shanghai is taxi and Metro. Taxi works best if you are not that cost senstive, since taxi is cheap compared to U.S. and Europe. 11 RMB (1.3 USD) – 20 RMB can get to most places, especially those attractions. Metro works better if you want to experience the Metro, or you don’t want to challenge yourself to speak English or mandarine with a taxi driver.
Besides taxi, and metro, bus is another good way to get around – cheap, and more importantly, you can see street scenes in a slow pace.
There are several types of buses you can choose.
Air Con vs. Non Air Con
Most route offers buses with air condition, or without it. The stops are exactly the same, but the price is not. Typically, buses with A/C charges 2 RMB (25 US cents) for the whole route, and buses without A/C charges 1 RMB.
10 years after the first air con bus put into operation in 1996, now 63% of buses are aircon buses. In 2007, 50% of Shanghai buses (or 70% of urban buses) will be equipped with aircon. In 2010, all urban buses will have aircon installed.
Typically, buses with A/C are of better condition. See these Scrawl on Shanghai Buses without A/C.
Self-served or conductor-served
Many buses are self-served. There is no conductor on the bus, and you have to pay either with Shanghai Transportation Card, or coins (no change is provided). The driver acts as a conductor.
On other buses, you can give cash to a conductor, and they provide changes. Look at the side of the bus to determine which type it is. It is really embarassing to get on to a bus without a conductor, and you don’t have the change to pay the fee. You either deposite big bills like 10 RMB or 50 RMB into the box, and donate the part higher than the ticket to the bus company, or leave. Some passenger does deposite 10 RMB, and stand at the gate to be temp conductor, and collect coins from the next 4 passengers. It happens all the time.
Urban Buses or Suburb Buses
There are still other types of buses. Most buses are urban buses, and you can tell it from their numbers, for example, Bus 42, 926, 911… There are some buses named by two Chinese characters, like Xumin Line 徐闵线. Chances are, these buses go to suburb areas of Shanghai. There are some speical buses, like Bridge Line #1 – #5, Tunnel Line #1 – 6, and Pudong Airport Shuttle #1 – #7.
Buses are very easily accessed in the whole city. If you can read Chinese maps, do spend some time on the map and study the route of buses. Typically, you can get to any place by one bus, or two buses. Here is instruction on How to Read Shanghai Bus Stop Plate.
Have questions? Call 96900 for Navigation Direction. Please note: this phone charges about 1 RMB per minute (not so sure though).
Hi Jian Shuo,
I’m an international student at Jiao Tong Univeristy this summer. Your blog about the new train from Shanghai to Beijing was very helpful. My friend and I are planning to go to Beijing this weekend. Any recommendations on transporations in Beijing? Thanks!
Take taxi in Beijing, or metro.
wow, very informative… thanks for such informations… I together with my kids will definitely explore riding the Shanghai Bus, but have to wait until December, the winter season & Holiday season (Christmas break)… since it’s the only free time they have from school here…
definitely, I’ll have it written in my notepad!!! for our next visit in your city…
momsy in the phil
question remain, bus timing and regular stops over… certainly not a shine point…. :-)
i live in PD, 987 is my bus which i can take if lucky twice a week, as it suppose to pass at my stop at 7.30 approx… but sometime arrives at 7.50 sometime at 7.20 and then show up at 8,10. sometime 2 bus attached of 987 arrives together ,meanign that the early one missed somehow… something…. so it travelling attached the next one, then after a while get lost again….. :-(
i rembember in other cities such Geneve, Milan, Munich, at the bus stop you have the timing schedule and if not “act of gods” happen, not later then 5 min. the bus was coming”…
so now a days what i do, i go to the bus stops on time… wait no more then 10 min if nothign show up onthe orizont ( 987 is a nice yellow bus) , then i pick up the first taxi…… without gettign upset , let call it SH bus philosofy :-)
they told me there is another 2 buses that does my route, but they got no number, Just CH characters, obviuosly as Lao Wei my CH is very poor, so simply forget them…
Mr. Wang, do you know your interactive map is not working, will you be able to have it mix and your effort is much appriciated by all. Many thanks
loretta, I know that, but don’t have time to fix it yet. Will try in the next month if possible.
I’m just a Chinese student at Shanghai tourism institute. So English is very important to me. I want to learn pure American English.Pronunciation is a difficulty. So I want to know an some one who can speak fluent English an a little Chinese. I can teach him or her Chinese.
If some one want to,Please relate me!
Hi JianShuo, do you know the seat61 (http://www.seat61.com/China.htm#Z%20trains) has made a connection with your blog for your pictures about the train Z from Shanghai To Beijing? Till now in China there is not an official English website for serving the foreign train passengers, it is so disappointing! Your blog opened a window to it! It could be very interesting to deep this presentation!
Maybe you could update the information about the Pudong Airport Shuttle #2 listed in those pages about the busses?
Last time I took that bus, in the end of May 2006, it didn’t stopped at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre like you state in those posts but right next to Jing An Si. (On Nanjing Xi Lu, Huashan Lu. It stops underneat a building, it looks a bit like a parking garage).
Wow – this blog has been fantastic. So much information! Much better than any tour-guide books.
I’ll be visiting Shanghai later this month and really want to do a day-trip to one of the water towns (preferably Tóngli or Nánxún ). Anybody know exactly how to get there? Err, the best way of going about this excursion? I’m not a fan of group tours and am traveling alone – hoping to do it cheap. I’d appreciate any help.
Tongli is in JiangSu province,the north of Shanghai and Nanxun is in Zhejiang province,the south of Shanghai.
Go to Suzhou(苏州) by train in Shanghai railway station.There are a lot of trains going there.You can buy tickets from Shanghai to Suzhou very easily.About 15 RMB is enough. It takes about 40 minutes.
Then in Suzhou railway station,you can take a kind of white microbus with “Suzhou transportation tour” （苏州交通旅游）written on it from Suzhou to Tongli. 6 RMB.It takes about 1 hour.But you can only take the bus before 6 pm.
The ticket of Tongli costs 50 RMB.
Why not Xitang? I think it’s more attractive than the other water towns. “Xitang is level,densely distributed with rivers and has a very quiet natural environment.” I like it very much. U can visit http://www.xitang.com.cn/eyou.asp.
Hi Jian Shuo,
Please update info on Pudong Apt Shuttle.
Line 2 end at City Terminal, Nanjing Xi Lu, costs CNY19/-.
Line 6 end at Zhongshan Gongyuan costs CNY20/-
Hi Jessie and Sophia,
Jessie thanks so much for the information! Just a quick questions. . .can a trip to Tongil and back to Shanghai be done in one day? Also, is it possible to purchase a train ticket to Suzhou the day you plan on going or is it best to go the day before?
Sophia – would love to visit xitang, but really am only looking for a day trip. Is it possible? If so, any idea about directions?
Thanks again for your help!
For a one-day trip, I think you can go to Tongli, Zhouzhuan,Xitang. You’d better go to Shanghai Luyou Jishan ZHongxi, 上海旅游集散中心，where the tickets are sold,100-200yuan, including round-trip ticket and gate money of the town.
BTW, Xitang is in Zhejiang province,the south of Shanghai.
Go to Jiashan(嘉善) by train in Shanghai railway station.There are a lot of trains going there.About 12 RMB .
Hi Jian Shuo
I will be visiting Shanghai and Suzhou (ZhouZhuang) soon. If I wish to go Suzhou (ZhouZhuang) – should I take the Sight Seeing Bus from the SightSeeing Bus Center @Shanghai Stadium
If not, what would be your recommendations?
If there any other recommended attractions for just a day trip to Suzhou?
The sight seeing bus is the most convineint way to reach Zhouzhuang, better than any other alternatives (normal bus, taxi, or self-drive)
Is Tonli on the way from Shanghai to Suzhou?
Can anyone recommend an itinery for an overnight trip from Shanghai to Suzhou with a side trip to Tongli (inculding start time, return time and mode of transportation)?
I am thinking of taking the bus from Shanghai to Suzhou, spend the night there, then return to Shanghai the next day. If possible, I like to take the Tongli excursion on the Suzhou Shanghai jleg. Otherwise, I am starting from Shanghai again for the Tongli excursion.
Should I make Shanghai Luyou Jishan Zhongxi the hub? Is it at Shanghai Stadium?
It is the first time I visit your web, but I really need your help.I’m living in Shanghai and
I want to go to Zhouzhuan and I know I can take the bus, the problem is I don’t know where can I get this bus. I heard it is close to the Shaghai Stadium, but please can you tell me the address, and also in Zhouzhuan how much we have to pay for the ticket and which are your advices to enjoy the place…
We are 4 people, and we would like not to spend too much money.
Thanks in advance and have a nice day!!!!!
Laura, you can get on the bus at the Shanghai Stadium. Your information is correct. Just take Metro Line #1, and there is a Shanghai Stadium Station. The bus station is on the north gate of the station – you don’t need to find out direction, just follow the sign. There are many signs to the bus stop. It is not very expensive. I forgot the number, but not expensive for the ticket – something less than 50 RMB? I remember.
How do I find out about day trips offered by Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center? I am interested in visiting Suzhou and Hangzhou. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I am interested to live and work in China, and wish to make more friends in China. I am from Singapore. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peng Xin Guo
If I’m in Shanghai and want to visit 2 or 3 water towns would anyone recommend these 3 as the best: Tongli, Zhouzhuan and Xitang?
Can anyone tell me if I can see Tongli and Zhouzhuan in one day and return to Shanghai that night? If it is possible, what is the best way to travel – train or bus?
Also, if I want to go to Xitang on another day, what is best – train or bus?
Thanks very much!!!
Sorry, forgot to ask if anyone knows of any clean but inexpensive hotels near the Bund with easy access to the train and bus stations.
My wife and I are staying in Lin Tong Hotel, 188 Lin Tong Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai City. We want to proceed to Pudong International Airport today and want to take a bus. Where is the nearest bus stop and what bus # shall we ride? Thanks.