Shanghai is China’s most populous city and the world’s largest port. The Shanghai Pudong International Airport is situated in the eastern fringes of the city, but with advanced transportation technology, its proximity to the city seems closer than it really is.
In the Airport. A barrage of restaurants, shops, conference centers and even a by-the-hour hotel can be found inside the Shanghai Airpot. A Burger King at the airport has been a layover favorite, the Heineken Bar is another favorite, though there are several Asian options like a teriyaki restaurant, Korean BBQ and Hong Kong dumplings. In case you don’t have RMB, cash machines and several banks have offices inside the airport. You can also find the normal fare of duty free shops.
Near the Airport. Although there isn’t much more than the standard airport hotels and mass-prodiced, sub-par restaurants near the airport, the maglev train means that you can get into the city in less than ten minutes, meaning any layover with more than a few hours could give you time to explore a decent Chinese restaurant or even take a peek at a tourist hot spot.
Will you Make it Back in Time? The Shanghai Pudong International Airport boasts the world’s fastest Maglev train. You can be whisked into the city at an impressive 500 kph, which gives you a lot more free time to explore the city if you choose to leave the airport. It will deposit airport travelers in Pudong, the eastern business part of Shanghai. It takes a mere seven minutes to get from the airport to Longyang Station in Pudong. From there, you can easily hop in a cab to anywhere in Pudong or else transfer to another subway line and visit even more of the city. For a safe layover, consider taking a cab from Longyang Station to JinMao Tower, from the Sky Lounge you can see an impressive panoramic view of the city, and an especially beautiful view of the Huangpu River while you sip a reasonably-priced martini and snap pictures of your layover adventure from on high.
For the Longer Shanghai Layover. If you have more than a six-hour layover, consider exploring a few of the key tourist spots in Shanghai– especially if you visit on a weekday when the sights are less crowded. For example, you could easily make it to Puxi to see the famous Bund walkway, which affords an astonishingly beautiful view of Pudong and the ever-popular Oriental Pearl TV tower. Directly nearby is Yu Gardens, with impressive souvenir shopping so you can bring the kids back the beloved snow globe or panda T-shirt.
Whether your layover is a few hours or a day, you’ll have plenty of time to see a bit of the city thanks to the unique and technologically fascinating maglev train into Pudong. Don’t sit around trying to connect to different wi-fi hot spots, instead, stow your laptop and head into town to snap a few pictures and make the most of your holiday layover.