Flights to Shanghai

Cheap Flights to Shanghai

To visit Shanghai is to look into the future. This modern metropolis is the biggest city in the world and the wealthiest in China. Its futuristic skyline is notable for the second tallest building in the world. In this city, the East meets the West in a dynamic blend. Ancient culture remains side by side with contemporary art, modern architecture, and high-class fashion designers.

Airlines flying to Shanghai

Flying to Shanghai from Australia is very affordable. Chinese owned airlines offer the most competitive prices, with return airfares from $420. Currently, direct flights are available from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with China Eastern Airlines or Qantas.

Make the most of your trip with a stop en route.
The following airlines fly to Shanghai from Australia:

  • Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong departing from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane
  • China Southern via Guangzhou departing from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane
  • China Air via Beijing departing from Melbourne and Sydney
  • Singapore Airlines via Changi departing from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane
  • Thai Air via Bangkok departing from Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney
  • Hainan Air via Haikou Meilan or Shenzhen departing from Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane
  • Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur departing from Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney
  • Xiamen Airlines via Xiamen departing from Sydney and Melbourne
  • AirAsia X via Kuala Lumpur departing from Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney
  • ANA via Narita departing from Perth and Sydney


Remember that Australian passport holders will need a visa to enter China. Single entry tourist visas to china cost $110. Ensure you allow at least ten business days for your visa application to be processed.

Getting to and from the airport

Shanghai Pudong International Airport is located about 50km from central shanghai. Thankfully, there are several convenient options to get you into the city centre.

Maglev Airport Train: Enjoy your first taste of Shanghai's modernity by catching the world's first commercially operating magnetic levitation high-speed train. Don't forget to take a photo when the speedometer reaches 431km/h! The train departs every 15-20 minutes and takes about 25 minutes to reach Shanghai. A one-way ticket is about $10AUD.

Metro: Catching the metro is the most economical way to transfer from the airport. Although the trip takes about 70 minutes to downtown Shanghai, tickets are less than $2AUD.

Airport Shuttle: Nine airport shuttle bus lines operate from the airport to various suburban and metropolitan areas in Shanghai. Including an airport night-line, which is a safe and cheap alternative to catching a taxi if you arrive late at night. Fares range from $2-6AUD depending on where you get off. The trip takes 70-80 minutes.

Taxi: A taxi will get you to downtown Shanghai in about 40 minutes. The fare will depend on your destination, but expect to pay about $35AUD. Ensure you have the name of your accommodation written down in Mandarin to assist the driver.

Getting to Shanghai

Using the subway is the best way to get around, even if you'll probably never get a seat. Shanghai's subway system is cheap and easy to use. Tickets range from $0.50AUD to $3AUD depending on the distance travelled.

What to do in Shanghai

Shanghai's vibrancy makes it one of the best cities in the world. You'll never run out of things to do in this dazzling megalopolis.

The Bund: Soak up the view of Pudong's futuristic skyline while strolling along the 1.5km waterfront promenade, known as the Bund. With Gothic, Neoclassical, and Baroque style buildings lining the street, the Bund is an architectural museum of Shanghai's colonial past. The historic buildings are now home to designer retail, gourmet restaurants and contemporary art galleries.

Yùyuán Gardens and Bazaar: This revered garden is only surviving garden from the Ming Dynasty in Shanghai. It's an oasis of shimmering fish ponds, carefully manicured pine trees, floating pagodas and ornate bridges. Adjacent to the gardens is Yùyuán Bazaar, where you can find teahouses, restaurants, and plenty of shops for souvenir shopping. It's a great place to try Shanghainese street food, such as Yangchun noodles and steamed buns.

Disney Land: Delight your inner child at mainland China's only Disney Land! The park has six themed parks, including a world first, Treasure Cove, pirate-themed land. Shanghai Disney Land's Fantasia Castle is also the biggest in the world.

M50: Underneath Shanghai's glitzy exterior, is a thriving arts subculture. M50 is an art complex set up in old industrial buildings, such as cotton mills. The vast spaces display art from up and coming and well known contemporary artists.

What to eat in Shanghai

Shanghainese cuisine has blended some of the best flavours from neighbouring provinces to create a unique culinary style. Expect sweeter and oilier dishes, and don't worry about food being too spicy. For a taste of Shanghai, don't leave without trying these dishes:

Dumplings: Shanghai's favourite style of dumplings are Xiǎolóngbāo, small soup dumplings. Dip them in a mix of vinegar and soy sauce, and try not to burn your tongue! Make sure to try Shēngjiān too. They're pan-fried dumplings, coated with spring onion and sesame, and stuffed with a pork filling.

Drunken Chicken: This succulent appetiser consists of chicken marinated overnight in Shaoxing rice wine, then steamed.

Muslim Noodle Soup: Made fresh to order, enjoy watching the waiter create these hand-pulled noodles right before your eyes. At about $5 a bowl, it's a bargain for a live show and a delicious bowl of noodle soup.

Check if you need a visa to travel

It is a requirement for most nationalities to have a visa to enter for more than 72 hours.  Visa information can be found here.

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