When is the cheapest time to fly to Shanghai?
Autumn and Spring are peak holiday season in Shanghai, so it's best to search for direct flights in the summer or the winter to get the cheapest flights. If you want a last-minute bargain, these tend to crop up more frequently in the summer months. Shanghai’s subtropical monsoon climate means that the summers are often be hot and wet, while the winters are very cold. To make the most of the weather, the best time to book flights to Shanghai is either between March and May, or October to November.
If you decide to fly to Shanghai in Spring, the beauty of the Yuyuan Gardens alone is more than worth the money. Alternatively, you could keep your eyes peeled for last-minute flights around the Chinese New Year and catch a glimpse of the lantern festival – where better to celebrate?
Things to do in Shanghai Take some time out in the Yuyuan Gardens with their classic Chinese landscaping and beautiful architecture. Here you can truly get away from the hustle and bustle whilst still in the city. Nearby is a busy shopping area – so you’re still not too far from civilization. If you're lucky enough to visit during Chinese New Year, you can watch the amazing lantern festival from here.
Historians and romantics alike will be enchanted with well-preserved Old Shanghai. Walk along the Bund with its neo-classical embassies and banks, facing the riverside with its elegant promenade. Make your way into the heart of Puxi to discover Old Shanghai and its unmistakable architecture and narrow streets.
But it's not all about history here. If you love contemporary, modern cities, you'll be delighted by the luxurious new shopping malls filled with designer flagship stores. You could book a stay in one of the swanky hotels, and enjoy fine dining at celebrity restaurants – the perfect reward for finding those cheap flights.
How long does it take to fly from the UK to Shanghai?
Flights from London to Shanghai
take around 11 hours on average, if you fly direct. If you book an indirect flight, your journey will take longer – but could save you money.
Airports and airlines
The main airport serving Shanghai is Pudong. Search for flights to this airport with Netflights to ensure that you know you are getting the best deal on your Shanghai flights in 2023 / 2024
. Try to be flexible with your travel plans, as midweek flights are often cheaper. Don’t rule out indirect flights to Shanghai either – there may be a hidden deal lurking, if you don’t mind a stopover.
Shanghai Pudong Airport
Getting around the airport
To cope with the high level of passenger traffic that passes through Shanghai airport every day, purpose-built highways connect the two terminals, and you can ride a free shuttle bus between the two. As a result, despite its huge size, getting around Pudong airport is surprisingly easy.
Getting to the city from the airport
Shanghai Pudong Airport is well connected to the city. Choose from taking a convenient shuttle bus to the city centre, hopping on a very affordable and very frequent Maglev Train to Longyang Road, or take the Metro Line 2 into the centre. Whilst taxis are readily available, they are much more expensive than the reliable and budget-friendly public transport network.
Don't forget before you fly
If your stay in Shanghai is longer than 144 hours (six days), you'll need to apply for a visa, and make sure that you have return flights or onward flights booked. It's best to contact the Chinese Embassy or the China Visa Application Service Centre for advice and guidance.