Shanghai metro

Shanghai Metro: Routes, Fares, and Tips for Easy Commuting

As one of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the world, Shanghai can be challenging to navigate, especially during peak hours. However, the city’s efficient and extensive metro system makes commuting in Shanghai a breeze. In this article, we will provide an overview of the Shanghai Metro, including its routes, fares, and tips for easy commuting. Whether you are a tourist visiting Shanghai or a resident looking for a convenient way to get around, this guide will help you make the most of the Shanghai Metro.

Benefits of the Shanghai Metro

Shanghai Metro
Source: Internet

The Shanghai Metro offers numerous benefits for commuters and tourists alike. It is a fast, reliable, and affordable mode of transportation that allows you to travel conveniently throughout the city. The metro system is also well-connected, making it easy to transfer between different lines.

Shanghai Metro Routes

Shanghai Metro
Source: Internet

The Shanghai Metro consists of multiple subway lines that cover the city and its outskirts. Currently, there are over 16 lines, with more under construction. Each line is color-coded and numbered, making it easy to identify the routes. The metro system extends to major transportation hubs, such as airports and railway stations, providing seamless connections for travelers.

Fares and Ticketing

The Shanghai Metro operates on a distance-based fare system. The fare is calculated based on the number of stations traveled, with prices starting at 3 RMB for the first 6 kilometers and increasing by 1 RMB for every additional 10 kilometers. Tickets can be purchased at ticket vending machines or through mobile payment methods, such as QR codes or Metro Cards.

Navigating the Shanghai Metro

Shanghai Metro
Source: Internet

Navigating the Shanghai Metro is relatively straightforward. Metro maps are available in both Chinese and English, displaying the entire network and station names. Stations are announced in Mandarin and English, and signs are displayed in both languages as well. Pay attention to the station announcements and signs to ensure you disembark at the correct stop.

Peak Hours and Crowd Management

Shanghai Metro
Source: Internet

As with any major city, the Shanghai Metro experiences peak hours when it can be crowded. Morning rush hour (7:30 am to 9:00 am) and evening rush hour (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) tend to be the busiest times. To avoid the crowds, consider traveling outside of these peak hours if possible. If you do find yourself commuting during peak times, be prepared for crowded trains and plan for additional travel time.

Metro Etiquette and Rules

When using the Shanghai Metro, it’s important to observe proper etiquette and follow the rules to ensure a comfortable and safe journey. These include:

  • Allowing passengers to exit the train before entering.
  • Giving up seats for those in need, such as the elderly, pregnant women, or people with disabilities.
  • Keeping personal belongings close to you and not occupying extra seats.
  • Avoiding loud conversations or using loud electronic devices.
  • Queueing and following the flow of traffic when entering or exiting the station

Accessibility and Facilities

The Shanghai Metro is designed to be accessible for passengers with disabilities. Elevators and ramps are available at most stations, making it easier for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues to access the platforms. Additionally, many stations have designated areas for strollers and luggage.

Safety and Security

The Shanghai Metro prioritizes the safety and security of its passengers. Security personnel are present at stations, and CCTV cameras provide surveillance throughout the metro system. In case of emergencies or suspicious activities, there are emergency intercoms available on each train and platform.

Tips for Efficient Metro Commuting

To make your metro commuting experience in Shanghai more efficient, consider the following tips:

  • Plan your route in advance using maps or online apps.
  • Avoid rush hour whenever possible.
  • Be prepared with a Shanghai Metro Card or mobile payment for quicker ticketing.
  • Stand to the side of the escalators to allow others to walk past.
  • Familiarize yourself with the exits at major transfer stations to save time.
  • Use the metro apps for real-time updates on train schedules and delays.

Shanghai Metro Apps

To make navigating the Shanghai Metro even easier, several mobile apps are available. These apps provide real-time train schedules, maps, directions, and station information. Some popular apps include Explore Shanghai Metro, Metroman, and ExploreMetro Shanghai.

Exploring Shanghai with the Metro

The Shanghai Metro not only serves as a means of commuting but also offers a convenient way to explore the city’s attractions. Many popular tourist destinations, such as The Bund, Nanjing Road, and Yu Garden, are easily accessible by metro. Use the metro system to your advantage to save time and travel efficiently while visiting Shanghai.


The Shanghai Metro is a convenient, efficient, and cost-effective way to travel around the city. By understanding the routes, fares, and etiquette of the metro system, you can master navigating Shanghai with ease. Whether you are a local, an expatriate, or a tourist, make use of the Shanghai Metro to explore the city’s attractions, commute to work, and experience the vibrant culture of Shanghai.


Are Shanghai Metro tickets valid for the entire day?

No, Shanghai Metro tickets are valid for a single journey only. You will need to purchase a new ticket for each separate trip.

Can I use a foreign credit card to purchase metro tickets in Shanghai?

Yes, major credit cards are generally accepted at the ticket vending machines. However, it is advisable to have some cash on hand in case of any card payment issues.

Are there any restrictions on carrying luggage or bags on the Shanghai Metro?

While there are no specific restrictions on carrying luggage or bags, it is recommended to be considerate of other passengers and keep your belongings with you. Large or bulky items should not block the aisles or entrances/exits.

Is the Shanghai Metro safe for solo travelers at night?

The Shanghai Metro is generally considered safe, even for solo travelers at night. However, it’s always a good practice to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

Can I eat or drink on the Shanghai Metro?

Eating or drinking is generally not allowed on the Shanghai Metro, except for water in sealed containers. It is considered polite to consume food and drink before or after your metro journey.

Are there any dedicated women-only carriages on the Shanghai Metro?

No, the Shanghai Metro does not have dedicated women-only carriages. However, some subway systems in other cities in China do have designated women-only carriages during certain hours.

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