Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists fly to China to see Beijing and Shanghai on one trip. These are the largest and most famous cities in the country, where there are many historical and modern attractions. Despite the large distance between these megacities, it is not very difficult to get from Beijing to Shanghai and back and the prices are fairly affordable considering the distance. Below on the page you will find information about the most convenient ways to move between Beijing and Shanghai, the schedule and cost of trains and planes from Beijing to Shanghai, as well as useful tips on choosing and using transport between cities.
If you do not want to spend your time reading, you can simply use the search form below. Just enter your desired date and click “Find Tickets”. In the results you can see the schedule of transport and its cost, read reviews about transport companies and see the place of landing and disembarking on the map. Also there you have the opportunity to choose 1 of 10 supported languages, as well as currency – local or any of the 25 others.
Distance between Beijing and Shanghai
Beijing is located in northeastern China, and Shanghai is on the east coast of the country. If you look at the map of the People’s Republic of China, the distance between Beijing and Shanghai will not seem too large. But due to the fact that China is one of the largest countries in the world, the real straight-line distance from the center of Beijing to the center of Shanghai is 1,060 km or 660 miles.
Of course, even airplanes do not fly strictly in a straight line, so the real distance between cities is much larger. For example, when using highways, the shortest route to Shanghai from Beijing is 1,213 km (754 miles). When using rail transport, the distance from the capital of the country to the largest city in China, which is Shanghai, will be at least 1,300 km (808 miles). And the distance between the main international airports of Beijing and Shanghai is 1,100 km or 684 miles.
Buses from Beijing to Shanghai – slow and expensive
China is investing heavily in the country’s transport infrastructure; therefore, modern high-speed highways are currently being built between all major cities. However, buses from Beijing to Shanghai and back are not in high demand among tourists and locals for several reasons. Firstly, such trips take too much time: approximately 18 hours, taking into account all the stops on the route. Secondly, the cost of travel by bus to Shanghai from Beijing starts from 350 yuan (about 50 USD).
This is too high a price for low-income locals who prefer to use less expensive trains, and too slow and not very comfortable transport for those who flew to China for tourism. In other words, the price / quality ratio of buses from Beijing to Shanghai is not the best. Therefore, we can recommend trips by bus on this route only to those people who for some reason do not like trains or airplanes. The long distance between the cities also makes it impractical to use a taxi or a rented car.
From Beijing to Shanghai and back by plane
The total number of residents in Beijing and Shanghai exceeds 40 million people, so there is nothing surprising in the fact that over 6 million people fly between these cities annually (the route is the fifth largest in the world in terms of passenger traffic). Unlike slow buses, using an aircraft from Beijing to Shanghai and back saves time, because the flight lasts from 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the time of departure and the type of aircraft. At the same time, the cost of the flight between the cities starts from 70 USD for an early purchase of a ticket).
10 Chinese airlines fly along the route: Air China, China Southern, China Eastern, Shenzhen Airlines, China United Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Hainan Airlines, etc. As a result of such a large number of offers, the competition is very serious and may be periodically sale. And in order not to check the cost of the flight for your dates for each of the airlines separately, we recommend using the Jetradar service, which in just a few seconds will check all the offers on the market and offer you the lowest prices for flights from Beijing to Shanghai from airlines and reliable air ticket sales agencies. . You can also check the cost of air tickets using the search form at the top of this page.
Please note that when using an aircraft from Beijing to Shanghai, you must remember about additional time required to travel to the airport and complete all standard procedures there. China’s airports are convenient because you can get there using the lines of the urban metro. However, you must add to the price of airfare the cost of a trip by metro (up to 7 USD or 50 yuan). Also note that due to the large number of flights per day (and their number may exceed 100), airlines can combine their flights with other flights or flights of other airlines. Therefore, we advise you to arrive at the airport in advance and closely monitor the information boards, checking the status of your flight to the very beginning of boarding the plane.
How to get from Beijing to Shanghai by high-speed train
For almost 10 years, there has been an ultrafast railway line between Beijing and Shanghai, on which modern trains can reach speeds of 350 km / h (218 mph). This allows you to get from Beijing to Shanghai or back by train in 4.5 – 5.5 hours. On the one hand, it is about two times slower than on an airplane. However, in reality, traveling by train may take less time than a flight on a similar route. Using the train, you should not waste time and money on a trip to the country airport, should not waste time on procedures at the airport. In addition, despite the high speed of the trains, you can see more from the window of the train than from the airplane window.
In the process of booking and buying tickets for high-speed trains in China, always pay attention to the points of landing and disembarking, which may differ for trains at a comparable price. In the situation with Beijing, everything is standard – trains arrive and depart for Shanghai from the South Station (VNP Beijing South). Иге if we are talking about Shanghai, then you need to choose the right station for you. Closer to the city center is the AOH Shanghai Hongqiao station, which is located about 18 km from the center of Shanghai, near the old airport. Many trains initially follow to the city of Suzhou (OHH station Suzhou North, Shanghai in the search results), and after a short stop follow to Shanghai. The distance between Shanghai and Suzhou is more than 100 km, so if you do not want to visit this beautiful city with old gardens and bridges, then choose the right ticket to Shanghai.
Trains depart from 6 am to 8 pm every hour and even more often, so there is no need to give here a detailed schedule – you can see it using the search form. All high-speed trains from Beijing to Shanghai have carriage of three classes and you can only buy seats on these trains. The lowest prices for seats in class 2 carriage: when ordering online, you can buy a ticket from 630 CNY (about 90 USD). The seats in class 2 carriage are inferior in terms of comfort to seats in class 1: here you will find 5 seats in a row (3 2 formula across the aisle) and the lack of electrical outlets for passengers. However, you can save 50-70 USD per person when choosing this option. If you are traveling together or three, then you can save up to 200 USD by choosing a class 2 carriage instead of the first.
If you are not interested in saving money and you prefer comfort, then choose class 1 trains. The layout of the seats in these cars 2 + 2 through the passage, respectively, the seats are wider and more comfortable. Also an additional advantage is the availability of electrical outlets for each pair of places. The cost of travel in a class 1 car starts from 1050 CNY (155 USD), but this is the flight option that most foreign tourists and wealthy Chinese prefer. The third class of carriage is VIP, but the cost of a trip in such a car is about 300 USD, which even by European standards is a lot. As a rule, you can easily find tickets for VIP seats at the bus station ticket offices even before the train departs, so there is no need to buy them in advance.
Cheap trains from Beijing to Shanghai (from 29 USD)
Not only high-speed, but also ordinary trains you can use to travel from Beijing to Shanghai. In this case, you can count on the duration of the trip from 15.5 to 19.5 hours. The cost of travel in regular trains starts from 29 USD (200 RMB), however you should be prepared for a number of inconveniences during such a trip. The cheapest trains are indicated in the search results as cars with hard seats, and the seats in such trains are actually hard and uncomfortable. As a rule, you will not be able to change the angle of the back, and the seats themselves are often intended for Asians, i.e. people of short stature. However, the main test may be the overcrowding of such cars, and it is not only that all the seats in the cabin r will be occupied. Often, the Chinese buy cheaper tickets with no seats, but few are willing to stand all 19 hours while moving to Shanghai from Beijing or back. Therefore, passengers without seats occupy all the free space on the aisles, in the vestibule and even in the toilet of the carriage.
The situation is somewhat better with a different type of carriage in cheap trains – hard sleeper ones. The advantage of such cars in the ability to overcome the path from Beijing to Shanghai in the prone position. Sleeping carriage inside is divided into compartments, each of which has 6 beds – three in height. The cost of tickets to a sleeping car starts from 360 yuan (53 USD), and the price of a nightly sleeping train, which for obvious reasons is in higher demand, starts from 400 yuan (59 USD). This is not cheap, but budget travelers can take advantage of such trains at night and save money on hotel accommodation. Of the advantages of conventional (not high-speed) trains, it can be noted that such trains use train stations in the central part of both cities for departure and arrival, which may be more convenient for a number of passengers.
Thus, despite the large distance between Beijing and Shanghai, you can easily find transport between cities of all price categories. True, most options involve a compromise between comfort, travel time and cost. The choice is yours! By the way, given the high average cost of travel from Beijing to Shanghai and back, it often makes sense to fly to China and fly away from this country from different airports, so as not to go a long or expensive way between Beijing and Shanghai twice. Have a good trip!