Shanghai's two major international airports—Pudong (PVG) and Hongqiao (SHA)—make it easy to get here from the rest of the world. Many major world cities have direct flights: United Airlines runs daily direct flights from Newark to Pudong; Delta flies direct from Pudong to Atlanta; Air France offers direct flights between Paris and Pudong. A few budget airlines, such as Air Asia, fly from Shanghai (to Kuala Lumpur for example), with most leaving from Pudong.
Most international flights go through Pudong International Airport (PVG), which is 45 km (30 miles) east of the city, whereas many domestic routes and some flights from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea operate out of the older Hongqiao International Airport (SHA), 15 km (9 miles) west of the city center.
Taking a taxi is the most comfortable way into town from Pudong International Airport. Expect to pay around Y200 to Y260 for the 45-minute trip to downtown Puxi; for a cab to Hongqiao, a western suburb, tack on Y80. Puxi is the west side of the Huangpu River and Pudong is the east side. With the exception of Pudong, all areas listed here are in Puxi, which is home to Shanghai’s historic center. From Pudong Airport, getting to places in Pudong takes 25–30 minutes and should cost no more than Y115. At rush hour, these times and rates can easily double; if you will be arriving between 8 and 9:30 am or 4 and 7 pm, it’s best to book a car service that charges a flat rate.
For the quickest ride, catch the Maglev train, which tops out at 431 kph (268 mph). At the Longyang Lu metro station in Pudong it connects to Lines 2, 7, and 16 which can get you downtown in about 25 minutes. It costs Y50 for a single trip (Y40 if you present your ticket from a same-day flight) and Y80 per round-trip. For a mere Y7, you can hop on metro Line 2 at Pudong International Airport, cross the platform at Guanglan Road Station, and be downtown in just over an hour. Note that the Maglev train runs 7 am–9:40 pm and the metro 6 am–10 pm, so these are not early-morning or late-night options.
From Hongqiao Airport, a taxi downtown will cost you Y55–Y85 and takes 30 to 40 minutes; it takes about half an hour to an hour to reach Pudong depending on traffic. You can take metro Lines 2 and 10 from Hongqiao for Y5. A taxi from one airport to the other takes about an hour and 20 minutes and costs upward of Y270. Metro Line 2 also connects Hongqiao Airport and Pudong Airport, making trips between the two significantly cheaper.
Many hotels offer free airport transfers to their guests. Otherwise, shuttle buses link Pudong Airport with a number of hotels (routes starting with a letter) and transport hubs (routes starting with a number) in the city center. Most shuttle buses depart every 10 to 20 minutes between roughly 7 am and midnight. Trips to Puxi take about 90 minutes and cost between Y25 and Y40. From Hongqiao Airport, Bus 71 runs along the Yan'an Lu overpass with stops near Jing'an Temple and People's Square. It costs Y2.
The best bus for travelers going to Pudong Airport is the direct airport bus from Jing’an Temple. It’s well known and easy to find. If you are standing in front of Jing’an Temple facing West Nanjing Road, it’s a few minutes’ walk to your left. The bus departs every 15 minutes from the ground-level parking lot; tickets cost Y22 and can only be paid for in cash.