Layover in Shanghai: All about Stopover Ideas
Shanghai Layover Visa: 144-Hour Visa Free Policy
The citizens from 53 countries/regions are eligible to enjoy the visa free policy. These countries include 24 Schengen Agreement Countries, like Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, etc.; 15 other European countries, like Russia, UK, and Ireland; 6 American countries, such as USA & Canada; 6 Asian countries – Korea, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Qatar & United Arab Emirates; and Australia and New Zealand.
On arrival at Shanghai airport, the eligible passengers need to apply for this visa free transit, and the valid passport and the departing air ticket to the third country or region are checked. With the visa free stay permit, the passengers getting off at Shanghai airport are allowed to travel into Shanghai downtown, Zhejiang and Jiangsu within 144 hours. There are a lot of things to do on the layover in Shanghai up to 6 days.
Read More: 144-hour Visa-free Transit in Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu
Layover in Shanghai within 6 Hours: Stay at the Airport
6 hours are too short to go out of Shanghai airport, because on a layover in Shanghai, you need to set aside 2-3 hours on the way from/back to the airport, and 2 more hours to cope with boarding procedures. Thus you may stay at the airport, to feed your stomach with local snacks, purchase some specialties, souvenirs and brand commodities, surf the Internet, or have a rest in the airport time lounge. Both Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport provides complete facilities including free 5G Wi-Fi, restaurants, shops and lounges.
What to Do in Shanghai Airport - Pudong Airport
8 to 12 Hours Layover: Half or One Day Tour of Shanghai
If the 8 hours layover is at night, you’d better stay at the airport or rest in a hotel near the airport, for there is no public transport and there is no much thing to do even if you go to downtown at night.
If the 8-hour layover in Shanghai is in the day or you have longer layover duration, you may go for a half-day or one-day city tour. Excluding the time for travelling between the airport and attractions, and going through the boarding, you have at least 3-4 hours for sightseeing. The Bund, Huangpu River, Yuyuan Garden, Xintiandi, etc. are the top attractions in the city.
Read More: How to Spend 3 to 12-Hour Layover in Shanghai
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12 to 24 Hours Layover: Shanghai Day Tour
The same as 8-12 hours layover, it is the best choice to stay at the airport when the stopover time falls at night. As you get 12 or a few more hours’ layover during the daytime, you can have a day tour in Shanghai, to visit a few more attractions in addition to Yuyuan Garden, Xintiandi and the Bund. You can add People’s Square, Nanjing Road, Yuyuan Bazaar or even Huangpu River Cruise to the above 8-12 hours stopover itinerary.
You may plan your tour well and get familiar with the itineraries in advance, for the time is limited. For accommodation, you can check into a hotel near the airport if you arrive at night. A hotel in the downtown is also acceptable if you get to Shanghai during the day.
Read More: What to Do on an Overnight Layover in Shanghai: 12 to 24 Hours
Recommended Tour: Shanghai One Day Tours
Long Layover: Explore Shanghai and the Nearby Suzhou and Hangzhou
For a 1-6 days layover in Shanghai, you may plan your itinerary depending on the number of days of your stay.
As to the first 3-4 days, you can go to see more most-visited highlights around the city, like Zhujiajiao Water Town, Shanghai Museum, Tianzifang, Jade Buddha Temple, etc. You may see the attractions hurriedly with limited time on the layover less than one day, now you can visit them in depth, such as taking a cruise on Huangpu River, enjoy the Shanghai nightlife in a bar at Tianzfang, and going up a skyscraper on the east bank of Huangpu River, like Oriental Pearl Tower or Shanghai World Financial Center, to overlook the city. You may also go farther away from the downtown. For example, you can have fun in Shanghai Disneyland Park, or explore the ancient town of Qibao or Fengjing.
For the last 2 days, it is suggested to visit another city close by, such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wuxi, and Nanjing, which can be reached by high speed train from Shanghai in 23-50 minutes, 50-90 minutes, 30-80 minutes, and 1h 30min-2h 30min respectively. They are all historical cities with many heritages.
Read More: Long Layover in Shanghai: How to plan 1 to 6 days in Shanghai
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