Shanghai’s Metro Line 2 now connects the city’s two main airports, Pudong and Hongqiao. But if you’re connecting between two flights, how long can you expect the journey to take?
We set off to find out! We started the clock at Pudong International Airport‘s arrivals gate.
The metro station is located between the two terminals. Take the “central path” and follow the signs for the metro. It’s only about 5-6 minutes walk to the entrance gate. You can either buy a ticket here (to Hongqiao Airport will set you back 8 RMB) or use a Shanghai Public Transportation Card).
Only one way to go: toward “midtown”.
Trains from Pudong run every 13 minutes between 9am and 4pm during the trial operation. Opening hours should be extended soon.
We were lucky and a train arrived in 2 minutes.
Out of Pudong the metro is above ground, proving excellent views of … the airport …
vast swathes of empty land being dug up by bulldozers…
There are 7 intermediate stations between Pudong Airport and Guanglan Road. They are: Haitiansan Road, Yuandong Avenue, Lingkong Road, Chuansha, East Huaxia Road, Middle Chuangxin Road and Tangzhen. After Lingkong Avenue station the line goes underground.
At Guanglan Road you’ll have to interchange onto a main line Line 2 train for the remaining stretch to Hongqiao. Only 4-car shuttles serve the Pudong International Airport stretch while 8-car trains serve the rest of the line. Interchanging is very simple, thanks to a cross-platform interchange: simply walk off one train, cross the platform and board the train opposite. Heading west there are trains every 3-6 minutes. If you’re heading in the oposite direction there may be up to a 13 minute wait.
With 42 minutes elapsed we boarded the train toward East Xujing (the current terminus of Line 2, one stop beyond Hongqiao Airport).
Two stops on is Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, the former eastern terminus of Line 2. Since the opening of the new extension there is a new underground station here which has gone sone way to help solve the chronic overcrowding problems at the old station.
3 stops further on is Longyang Road, the terminal station for the Shanghai Maglev Train. If you don’t mind spending an extra 50 rmb and want the experience of travelling at 431km/h you can take the Maglev from Pudong Airport and join Line 2 here, although given the extra waiting around and walk between the Maglev terminal and the metro station, you’ll probably only trim 20 minutes from the total journey times between the two terminals.
Runnng through the centre of Shanghai there are lots of opportunities to interchange to other lines: in fact you can transfer to 9 of the 11 other Shanghai Metro lines from Line 2! Line 1 at People’s Square, Line 3 at Zhongshan Park, Line 4 at Century Avenue or Zhongshan Park, Line 6 at Century Avenue, Line 7 at Jing’an Temple or Longyang Road, Line 8 at People’s Square, Line 9 at Century Avenue, Line 10 at East Nanjing Road and Line 11 at Jiangsu Road!
Finally, with 1 hour and 44 minutes on the clock, we arrived at Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 station.
Until Line 10 is extended to Hongqiao Airport Terminal 1 later this year, to reach Terminal 1 you’ll need to catch a shuttle bus. Reaching Terminal 2 is pretty simple however, just follow the signs from the basement level.
There’s a short escalator up to arrivals, or an extra-long escalator all the way up to Level 3 departures. Be sure to take the escalator on the left!
And finally we made it to check-in at Hongqiao, 1 hour and 50 minutes after departing arrivals at Pudong.
If you’re in a big rush and don’t mind spending 300RMB+, a taxi is probably still your best option. There’s also a bus link linking the two airports (Airport Line 1), but like taxis it can be very slow if traffic is jammed. Taking the metro is not fast, but it’s reliable and a pretty hassle-free way to get between the two airports. Just don’t expect great views!