How to get from Beijing to Shanghai
When travelling from Beijing to Shanghai you have the options of flying, taking a train or an overnight journey on a long distance bus. Flying is marginally quicker when allowing for the time it takes you to get to the airport and check-in times. An overnight train is the slower, cheaper option, while a high speed train is probably the most convenient.
How far is it from Beijing to Shanghai?
The distance from Beijing to Shanghai is 1,160 km or 721 miles.
How long does it take to get from Beijing to Shanghai?
The flying time from Beijing to Shanghai is just 2 to 2.5 hours. The high speed train takes between 4.5 and 6 hours while a long distance bus will take 14 hours.
How much does it cost to travel between Beijing and Shanghai?
The cost of flying from Beijing to Shanghai to Beijing is from CNY720 for an economy class ticket, up to CNY5210 when choosing to fly first class. The train to Shanghai costs CNY200 for an uncomfortable hard seat (not recommended) on an ordinary train (19.5 hours), up to CNY2000 for a business class seat on a high speed train. The second class seats on high speed trains cost from CNY555. The price of a ticket on a long distance bus is CNY340-450.
How to get from Beijing to Shanghai by train
The train from Beijing to Shanghai is very convenient with more than 40 high speed trains operating on this route every day. There are also slower overnight trains on this route.
Is it necessary to book train tickets in advance?
Oh yes. This is an extremely popular route and buying tickets in advance is usually required.
Which train stations in Beijing do trains to Shanghai depart from?
There are four main railway stations in Beijing, so it is essential that you travel to the correct station. The stations are all easily reached by using the Beijing subway. Most high speed trains depart from Beijing South Railway station and go to Shanghai Hongqiao railway station.
How long does it take to get from Beijing to Shanghai by train?
High speed trains take from 4.5 to 6 hours to complete this journey. Overnight sleeper trains take from 8.5 hours up to 12 hours while slow ordinary trains can take anything from 12 hours up to 19.5 hours.
If you need to arrive as quickly as possible we would recommend taking the high speed trains, they are very efficient and usually on time. Taking a sleeping berth on a night train can save you the cost of a night’s hotel accommodation.
How much does it cost to get from Beijing to Shanghai by train?
On a high speed train during the day a first class seat costs around CNY1000, a second class seat is CNY600 and a seat in business class will cost CNY1900.
On a high speed sleeper train, a first class sleeper ticket costs CNY800, while a second class seat costs CNY500.
The T109 train leaves Beijing station at 7.30pm and arrives in Shanghai station at 10.43am the next morning. The ticketing options on this train are first class sleeper CNY550, second class sleeper CNY400, deluxe first class sleeper CNY1200 or hard seat CNY 200.
Train travel tips
Train tickets generally go on sale 28 days before the date of departure. It is highly recommended you buy your tickets as early as possible, particularly if you are travelling during a peak travel period.
If travelling on a high speed train then the second class seats are comfortable and recline. On an overnight train we would recommend either the first or second class sleeper. The deluxe sleeper price seems a little excessive for what it is.
We would strongly advise against travelling in the hard seats on a journey greater than one or two hours.
In the dining car, the food is generally good but very expensive. Unless you speak Chinese we would advise against using the dining car.
The toilets on the high speed trains are generally clean with some western style toilets available. On the slower trains you will only find squat toilets and cleanliness is not always a priority.
How to get from Beijing to Shanghai by bus
Travelling such a long distance by bus is not the preferred option for most people on this route. Yet there is at least one operator on this route with a daily bus leaving from the Xianglong Zhaogongkou Bus Station which is located in Fengtai district close to the Liujiayao station on subway line 5 or Jingtai station on line 14.
In Shanghai the buses arrive at the city’s Intercity Bus Terminal close to Shanghai Railway Station.
How long does it take to get from Beijing to Shanghai by bus?
The bus departs from Beijing daily at 3.50pm and the journey takes approximately 18 hours to complete.
How much does it cost to travel from Beijing to Shanghai by bus?
The cost of this bus journey is CNY340-450. Children’s tickets are available at half price and the child must be below 1.5m tall to qualify for a child ticket and be travelling with an adult. Children below 1.2m in height can travel free but must share the seat/berth of their accompanying adult.
Bus travel tips
The buses used on this route are sleeper buses, so instead of conventional seats each space is a bed, with beds in two or three tiers with little headroom available for sitting upright.
The buses stop regularly every two or three hours using motorway service stations on route.
Toilets are available on board, though they are solely the squat type and not western style.
During the summer air-conditioning is used, as is heating during the winter, it can sometimes be excessive. All communication on board is conducted in Chinese.
How to get from Beijing to Shanghai by plane
In Beijing there are two airports, The Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Nanyuan Airport. Shanghai is currently the only city in China that has two international airports, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Most flights between the two cities are from Capital to Pudong airports.
How to get to Nanyuan airport in Beijing?
From Beijing’s city centre to Nanyuan airport you have the options of shuttle buses or a taxi. A taxi will cost around CNY40-50 from the city centre and take anything from 30 to 45 minutes to reach the airport.
Shuttle buses operate from Beijing Railway Station to Nanyuan from 7am until 7pm at 30 minute intervals. It takes around 90 minutes and costs CNY16 (although if you can produce a valid ticket for that days travel it is free). Another shuttle leaves Beijing West railway station at hourly intervals from 7am until 7pm; it takes around 1 hour and costs CNY24.
How to get to Beijing’s Capital airport?
The options to get to Beijing’s Capital airport from the city centre are the airport shuttle bus with 16 lines operating from various locations across the city including the railway stations as well as Wangfujing in the city centre. They operate from 4.30am until 10pm. The shuttle buses take from 70 to 100 minutes to make the journey and cost from CNY20 to 30.
A taxi will cost CNY100 to 150 depending where in the city you are travelling from and take between 70 and 90 minutes to reach the airport.
You could also take the subway line 2 or 13 to Dongzhimen, or line 10 to Sanyuanqiao. From either of these then take the airport express train direct to the airport costing CNY25 and taking 60 to 80 minutes from the city centre. It operates from 5.30am until 10.30pm.
How to get from Pudong and Hongqiao airports in Shanghai to the city centre?
On arriving in Shanghai you can take the Maglev from Pudong airport to Longyang Road, the 8 minute journey costs CNY50.
Line 2 of the Shanghai metro runs through the city centre and links both international airports and costs from CNY3-9 depending on the length of your journey.
A taxi from either airport will cost around CNY150 and take a little less than one hour.
There are 9 shuttle bus services operating from Pudong to the city centre and 10 shuttle buses operating from Hongqiao airport. They take around 1 hour and cost up to CNY30.
How long does it take to get from Beijing to Shanghai by plane?
Flights between these two cities take from 2 to 2.5 hours. Every day there are 54 direct flights from Beijing to Shanghai making flying a very convenient option.
How much does it cost to fly from Beijing to Shanghai?
The cheapest seats cost CNY720 rising up to almost CNY1500 for economy class seats. Seats in business class can cost up to more than CNY5000.
Air travel tips
For the cheapest tickets book flights in the early morning as these are generally the cheapest options. By booking your seats early and online you should be able to get a good discount off the listed price.
Expect delays as the airports between these two cities have a poor record of flight punctuality.