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Cheap Flights to Shanghai
|Most popular in||July||High demand for flights, 21% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||November||Best time to find cheap flights, 3% potential price drop|
|Average price||£396||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||£322||From London to Shanghai|
Cheapest prices for Shanghai flights by month
When is the best time to fly to Shanghai?
Choose a month below to see average flight price and weather conditions.
£375 - £696
8 - 32 °C
4 - 44 mm
Although the temperatures are high throughout the summer, many people book flights to Shanghai between May and November. Labour Day which is May 1 is a particularly busy time. This is also known as International Workers’ Day and is associated with the start of spring. Expect the city to be very crowded during this public holiday. Other peak times usually occur around National Day (October 1) and Chinese New Year (January or February, the exact date depends upon the lunar calendar). The atmosphere in Shanghai during the Chinese New Year celebrations is electric. A number of events take place across the city, including a number of lantern shows. The most popular is at Yu Garden. Fairs also take place, in particular Guqi Garden New Year Fair which has a whole host of traditional Chinese festivities, including lion and dragon dances, lantern shows and children’s activities.
If you are looking for cheap flights to Shanghai and are happy to brave the colder weather, the months of December, January and February are the best. Although do consider that Chinese New Year falls during this period and Shanghai will be teeming with people. You may also be able to find cheaper flights and lower hotel rates during the shoulder season months of March and April.
When is the best time to book flights to Shanghai?
The price you pay for your flight to Shanghai may vary depending on when you book. For the best chance of a lower fare, look to book 51 days in advance of your trip. Fares are likely to increase a fortnight or so before your departure date.
Which day is cheapest to fly to Shanghai?
The cheapest day to fly to Shanghai is usually Tuesday. At the moment, Saturday is the most expensive.
What time of day is cheapest to fly?
Shanghai flights can be made cheaper if you choose a flight at midday. Booking a flight in the afternoon will likely mean higher prices.
Shanghai is China’s largest city with about 23 million residents. Although it is considered the engine room of the Chinese economy, this is no dry destination. In the past, the river Huangpu, which divides Shanghai into east (Pudong) and west (Puxi) was centre of the opium trade and its nickname was “whore of the Orient”.
Pudong is the ultra-modern financial hub. The Pearl TV Tower stands 468 metres high and double-decker elevators whiz up at seven metres per second. Puxi boasts the Bund riverfront park, more than 50 beautiful buildings in different architectural styles, Yu Yuan Garden and swanky shops including Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.
If your yuan doesn’t stretch to haute couture, the Lu Jia Bang Road market has tailors in residence who will run you up a new wardrobe in a couple of days.
Shanghai is the only Chinese city with two international airports – Pudong and Hongqiao. Pudong International is the airport at which most (about 60 per cent) of people on flights to Shanghai arrive, while Hongqiao handles the remainder. International flights arrive from London and other world cities and there are domestic flights to Beijing, Guangzhou and other cities around China.
Summer in Shanghai can be quite uncomfortable. July and August temperatures can reach the mid-30s (Celsius) with 80 per cent humidity. Winter is damp and chilly with December and January temperatures hovering around the freezing mark, but it rarely snows. Temperatures in May and October are in the teens and 20s. Spring has more rain than autumn, but an occasional typhoon can hit during these months.
Most visitors choose to take a taxi in Shanghai. Not only are they easy to find, but they’re cheap too. Just keep an eye out for the primary-coloured Volkswagen cabs and flag one down. You’ll find that the smaller, older cars tend to be cheaper, and they all have meters.
The subway is the best public transport option. It’s inexpensive. Public buses are very crowded and can be confusing for visitors.
The adventurous traveller might want to rent a bike. There are plenty of well-defined bike lanes, but it can be a bit scary with all the traffic. Stick with the other bikes when crossing a street or intersection.
Heading out on foot is a great way to soak up the local colour. Between the pedestrians, motorists, scooters and cyclists, streets can be very crowded; be aware of your surroundings. Jaywalking can be dangerous and is frowned upon anyway.
Tourists are allowed to rent cars for use inside the city limits.
Getting from the Airport to the City
Flights to Shanghai are served by two airports. Shanghai Hong Oiao International Airport (SHA) which is situated 8 miles southwest of central Shanghai and Pudong International Airport (PVG)which is located 19 miles from central Shanghai.
Taxis are available outside the airport but finding the right one can be confusing without assistance. Taxi drivers usually do not speak English so it is best to indicate your destination on a map, or have it written down in Chinese. Public buses serve the airport linking to People’s Square and the main railway stations. The bigger hotels offer shuttle bus services to and from the airport.