Shanghai in one day? No worries, I’ve got you covered

You only have one day in Shanghai and it is probably during a layover, since I cannot imagine anyone travelling to China for just a few hours?  You do not want to miss this opportunity? Well great because this article is just for you????

Pudong airport, Shanghai, China

What do you need to know in the beginning?

Chinese currency is the yuan (CNY). Exchanging currency is really simple and you can easily do it at the Pudong Airport when you land, it might not be the best conversion rate but for a day trip it is enough. You can use your credit and debit cards as well, meaning you have many choices on how to pay.

If you are travelling with carryon luggage it is better to leave it in the luggage storage located at the airport. Your baggage will be x-rayed and cost for storage will depend on length of storage, as well as the size of your bag. You will pay when you pick up your baggage. For example, for 24 hours you should pay no more than 45 CNY (7 USD).

I have a tendency to learn at least a few words in the countries language that I will be travelling to. That being said you will say hello by 你好Nǐ hǎo and thank you 谢谢Xièxiè. That is the bare minimum anyone should know in my opinion.

Important note to remember is that Google services are not existent in China. They are blocked by the Chinese Government. What does that mean? You will not be able to check your Gmail, use Google Maps or do anything that basically makes your life easier when you are using it without even thinking about it. A way around it is to use a VPN to connect to the Internet while being in China.


You do need a visa to travel to China, however the “72-hour visa free permit” exists for transiting through China in only select cities. Be sure to check out the link in the previous sentence. If you have a layover or you just stay there for less than 72 hours, you do not need an actual visa. What is needed is proof of travel, so your boarding pass for the next flight for example will be fine. This is a wonderful thing, since you are able to explore at least a little and not just sit and wait at the airport.

Magnetic train and metro

Maglev is a train that is an attraction in itself. It connects Pudong airport with Longyang Rd. Station and reach speed of 267 mph (430km/h). The entire 19-mile trip only takes 8 minutes to travel across. Cost of a one-way ticket is 50 CNY (8 USD), but there is an option to buy a ticket that includes two-way Maglev ride and unlimited metro rides in a 24-hour time period for 85 CNY (13 USD). That is a perfect for what you need during a short stay. The Maglev train is an amazing experience that you simply cannot miss while visiting Shanghai! It is not only an attraction for men, I enjoyed it a lot, but let me tell you seeing my husband trying not to blink and being so focused onto something, I have not seen that in a while????

Maglev, Shanghai, China

The metro is very easy to use, signed well, so you should have no problem with getting wherever you are going. What is incredible in Chinese metro are the people and the way you enter/exit the stations and trains. It was an experience that still makes me smile when I think about it and when I actually was there my only thought was: “OMG it’s like a movie” ????. To get to the famous The Bund from the Longyang Rd. Station we took a green Line 2 and we got off at East Nanjing Rd. From there you are just a few steps from the Huangpu riverfront.

Shanghai metro, China

Click here for Shanghai’s one day itinerary.

13 Replies to “Shanghai in one day? No worries, I’ve got you covered”

  1. I hate one day in any place. It’s just NOT enough time! But it happens sometimes. It good to know you can do Shanghai for 72 hours without a visa. And of course we would have to try out the train because the hubby would love it. thanks for sharing a one day itinerary for such an amazing city.

  2. Great stuff to know! I am always checking airport websites for information on lockers for luggage. I was actually talking to someone who lived and worked in China for a year the other day and I was gobsmacked by the idea of no Google or social media! She loved it though 🙂

    1. I am glad you found it helpful and … surprising 🙂 I was as shocked as you when I landed there, so I figured it would be good to know about it before travelling to China.

  3. Great information, but make sure that your readers know that the 72-Hour Visa is only good in certain parts of China (in this case Shanghai) not in all of China. I made the mistake when researching cities and had to book a new flight because I had a layover in a city in China that did not accept 72-Hour Visas. Great tips for a short visit there!

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