Travelling to Shanghai
Shanghai has two international airports, with almost all flights from abroad landing at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PFV). Lufthansa and Air China offer direct flights from Frankfurt and Munich. Shanghai Hongqiao Airport is mainly used for domestic flights. Pudong International Airport is connected to Pudong city centre (Longyang Road metro station) via the transrapid magnetic levitation train (Maglev). The Maglev takes just eight minutes to travel 45 kilometres, at speeds of over 435 kph. Price: EUR 6.50 (RMB 50). For those heading to the other side of the river, take a taxi from one of the official companies such as Dazhong or Lanqiu, recognisable from the prices on the doors. Transfer cost: about RMB 150 (around EUR 20).
Travel in the city
Given the chronically congested roads, the bike rental business is booming. Bikes are cheap and available almost anywhere. They are unlocked and paid for via the Wechat app. Travelling by taxi in Shanghai is cheap, but few drivers speak English. The “Taxi Card” app is therefore recommended, which not only shows the destination in Mandarin, but also pronounces it. Travelling on one of the extremely punctual 14 metro lines costs between three and six RMB (40 to 80 cents). If you are staying for a few days, buying yourself a Public Transportation Card (RMB 20 deposit) is a good idea. It is easy to top up with credit and can be used on buses, in taxis and on the ferry.
A visa is required to enter the People's Republic of China and it must be applied for in advance. According to the Federal Foreign Office, German citizens can no longer obtain their visas by the express route. Anyone arriving by plane and departing again to another country within 144 hours is entitled to visa-free travel in the administrative areas of the city.
Dates to avoid
The New Year celebrations fall on a new moon, between 21 January and 21 February. This is the most important Chinese holiday. Celebrations last three days, and in this time, many restaurants and shops are even closed. Around Labour Day on 1 May, many Chinese people may have about five days holiday and take advantage of this to travel widely, particularly within the country. The same applies to the days before and after the national holiday on 1 October. For the exhibition season in Shanghai – March, April and May – rooms should be booked in good time.
Despite its size, the city is safe – even for night-time strolls. Travellers prone to heart or circulatory problems should avoid late summer in Shanghai, when temperatures soar and humidity reaches subtropical levels.
Tips are not the norm at all. Business travellers can shop tax-free in designated shops and reclaim eleven percent of the purchase price on departure at the airport.