How to Take Shanghai Metro

Metro system is more or less different from place to place. Here we offer a detailed Shanghai metro transportation guidance to facilitate your travel on Shanghai subway trains. A subway trip usually contains the following eight steps:

1. Entering the Station

You can get to your starting metro station by bus or taxi. There is a well-marked signpost within 200 to 500 meters of the station. Follow it, you will easily find an entrance. A metro station usually has two or more entrances and exits, each of which has a clear sign with both Chinese and English description on it, including the station name, entrance/exit number and the line number.
Entering the Station
Step1: Entering the Station
Buying Subway Tickets
Step2: Buying Metro Tickets

2. Buying Metro Tickets

After entering the station, you can follow the guide signs to find the ticket office. You should decide what kind of ticket you want to buy - single journey ticket, Shanghai-Public-

Transportation-Card-paid ticket or souvenir ticket. Ticket prices vary from CNY 2 to CNY 9 according to the mileage between your starting station and destination.

There are two ways to buy tickets:
First, you can buy tickets in the ticket booth after looking up the fare on the station's  signboard or asking the ticket issuing clerk for the fare.

Secondly, you can do self-service ticketing at a multifunctional ticket machine. Here offers the method for using the machine: Click the number of the subway line you want to take on the screen and click your destination station. The machine then shows you the single trip price. Please click the number of the tickets you want (no more than 9 at a time) and then the total price appears on the screen. Now you need to put a certain sum of notes or coins according to the total price into the slot on the machine. Well, you can take the change and tickets and go for the next step.


3. Entering the Turnstile

With the ticket and follow the guide signs you can go to the turnstiles at the entrance to the platform. Each of the turnstiles has two indicator lights. You can use the turnstile when its green light is on. However, a turnstile is temporarily out of service when its red light is on.

'Right Hand Principle' is adopted when entering the turnstile. Please hold your ticket in the right hand and hold it slightly above the round intelligent card reader on the panel of the turnstile controller on your right. After a few seconds of inspection and validation, the screen on the panel of the controller will show the value of the ticket (except the souvenir ticket, which will have 'please go' in Chinese on the screen) and then you can get through the turnstile.

Enter the Turnstile
Step3: Enter the Turnstile
Waiting for the Train
Step4: Waiting for the Train

4. Waiting for the Train

Follow the guide signs to find the correct platform to wait for the train in the direction of your destination. If you wait at the stations shared by Line 3 and 4, please pay attention to the train's color belt to prevent from taking the wrong train. The arrival time of the next train is displayed on the screen at the platform. Please be patient and stand within the safety line.

5. Getting on the Train

When your train comes, please wait until the train stops and the doors completely open. You can get on the train after some passengers getting off. Before the train leaves, the caution lights on the train doors will blink and the buzzer will ring for six or seven times. If you haven't got on the train at the time, please stand within the safety line and wait for the next train. Remember to not touch the train doors during the opening or closing of them.
Getting on the Train
Step5: Getting on the Train
Getting off the Train
Step6: Getting off the Train

6. Getting off the Train

During your trip, the screens in the compartments of the train show the name of the next station and the detention time. The train announcer also broadcasts the related information repeatedly. The train usually stays 30 to 40 seconds at a station, so you should prepare to get off betimes. When the train arrives at your destination, please get off the train quickly however do not forget to take your belongings.

7. Exiting the Turnstile

Exiting the Turnstile
Step7: Exiting the Turnstile
After getting off the train, you have to go through the ticket inspection formality at the turnstiles at the exit of the platform area. 'Right Hand Principle' is also used. Please have the ticket in your right hand.

Shanghai Public Transportation Card users can do as you enter the turnstile in your starting station - hold the card over the round card reader on the turnstile controller and then the screen on the panel of the controller will show the balance of your card. You can get out then.

Passenger who holds a single journey ticket should insert the ticket into the slot on the turnstile controller and exit the turnstile then.

If you hold a souvenir ticket, please insert the ticket just as the single journey ticket users do. However, the ticket will be returned to you after inspection. You can take it on the top of the controller and exit the turnstile.


8. Exiting the Station

Now you need to choose an exit that leads to your destination. With the help of the guide signs you can easily get out.


On Subway
On Metro
1. Guide Sign: You can find many guide signs in and around the Shanghai subway stations. The signs in white show the way to enter a station and buy tickets and take a train, while the signs in yellow show the way to exit a station.
2. Metro Line Transfer: If you plan to make a transfer at a station, please do not exit the turnstile after you get off the first train. You can pass through a special passage leading to the platform for trains on the next line you plan to take.
3. Time Limit: The whole trip should be finished within three hours due to the validity period of the ticket.
4. Safety: The importance of safety can not be overemphasized. Remember to stand within the safety line and be watchful of the train doors when they open or close. Please note that there is a drop of 10 cm. from the trains to the platforms of Line 6 and 8.
5. Children: One adult passenger can take one child shorter than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) who can enjoy free metro service.
6. Luggage: One passenger's luggage should be lighter than 20 kilograms (44 pounds) and smaller than 0.15 cubic meters (5.3 cubic feet). The total of the length, width and height of one's luggage should be within 1.8 meters (5.9 feet).
7. Metro Service: You can ask the staff for help when you have inquiries or problems.
- Last modified on May. 05, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on How to Take Shanghai Metro
Asked by Rao from INDIA | May. 01, 2019 00:01Reply
I have 40 to 60 kgs of luggage to carry to Shanghai Pudong airport.
Can I travel in Metro? If I need to pay extra fare for luggage, how to pay it?
Answers (1)
Answered by David from USA | May. 05, 2019 02:45

No, you cannot travel by metro since its limit of luggage is 23kg.
Asked by Leo from SINGAPORE | Apr. 25, 2019 00:00Reply
How can I go from Shanghai Pudong airport to East Nanjing Rd station?
Do I need to take any shuttle train from Pudong airport to Pudong airport metro station? Can I buy the metro ticket at Pudong airport or I have to buy at Pudong airport station?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jesse from USA | Apr. 26, 2019 01:49

1. Take East Extension Line of Metro Line 2 to Guanglan Road and then transfer to Metro Line 2 to East Nanjing Road.
2. No, just walk to the metro station following the English signs.
3. You have to buy it at Pudong Airport Metro Station.
Asked by David Tan from SINGAPORE | Apr. 12, 2019 18:15Reply
children without ticket going thru the turnstile in Shanghai
Since children under 1.2 meter does not require a ticket, does the child have to be carried by the adult to pass thru the turnstile?
Answers (1)
Answered by Thomas from DENMARK | Apr. 16, 2019 01:09

Yes, the child has to be carried by the adult.
Asked by Naved from INDIA | Mar. 31, 2019 23:25Reply
How far from Shanghai pudong airport to guxiang hotel? How can i reach airport to hotel?
Answers (1)
Answered by Levi from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 03, 2019 23:31

The distance is around 40km. You can take metro line 2 from the airport to East Nanjing Road Station, Exit 4. Afterwards, walk southwest around 650 meters to find the hotel.
Asked by Jie Sun from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 16, 2019 16:04Reply
Can I buy a Shanghai 3 days metro pass at airport using foreign credit card?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ruth from CANADA | Mar. 20, 2019 02:50

Oh, as I know, you cannot. You need to prepare some cash to purchase the 3 days metro pass.
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