I am planning a trip to Shanghai and noticed there are two airports: Hongqiao International Airport and Pudong International Airport. Which one should I choose to fly to? The criteria I was thinking of are cost and time required to travel to the city centre.
First of all, on most flight search websites, when specifying Shanghai as your destination, search is for both Hongqiao (SHA) and Pudong airport (PVG).
With some exceptions domestic flights tend to arrive at SHA while international flights (and all inter-continental flights to my knowledge) are headed to PVG. Notable exceptions of international flights to SHA are some city shuttle flights from Tokyo, Seoul, HK and Taipei.
In the case that you do have the choice between both airports, here are some considerations:
- Even though SHA is the older airport, it has been restructured and IMHO is equally nice to PVG
- Both airports are connected to the metro system of Shanghai. PVG being further out it takes roughly 65mins to People's Square, from SHA it takes ca. 30mins. (source)
- From PVG there is the Maglev, for many an attraction in itself, which cuts the above journey short to ca. 30mins (from the Maglev you transfer to the regular metro system.
- Cost: if taking the metro, both airports are inexpensive to reach. For the Maglev figure 40-50 RMB more. PVG by taxi is anywhere around 200 RMB, SHA ca. 100 RMB.
Shanghai has two international airports something no other city in China can boast. Pudong International Airport handles 60% of flights, while the remaining 40% use Hongqiao International Airport. The two airports enjoy convenient transportation links with the center of Shanghai. Here is a map of bus transfers at Pudong and Hongqiao International Airports for your reference:
Pudong International Airport Situated on the south bank of the Yangtze River estuary in east Shanghai, Pudong International Airport, completed in 1999, is about 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from the city center and 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Hongqiao International Airport. In total about fifty airlines have flights to over sixty domestic cities and over seventy cities of other countries and regions.
It has two terminal buildings and the Termial 2 (T2) was newly completed in 2008. There are buses and other means to shuttle between the termials. 52 airlines worldwide has agents in T2 and 13 airlines in T1.
Hongqiao International Airport Located in the west of Shanghai, Hongqiao International Airport is only 13 kilometers (8 miles) from the city center. It mainly handles the domestic flights. There are two terminals with two runways. Terminal 2 (T2) is open into public use on March 16, 2010. Fourteen airlines are in Terminal 2 (T2) and another fourteen airlines are in T1. Passengers should make sure to get to the right terminal.
I hope this can help.