Best Travel Options between Shanghai and Beijing

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Many travelers choose metropolitan Shanghai as their entry city either on business or leisure trip to China. Cannot resist the temptation to see Great Wall of China or other highlights in Beijing? We’ll help you analyze the advantages and disadvantages of all the travel options from Shanghai to Beijing and make a better travel schedule for your Shanghai Beijing tour.

Beijing is situated northwest of Shanghai, about 1450km apart, 5 hour and half hours by high-speed train, 12 hours by overnight bullet train, one and half hours by flight.

Beijing is an ancient and vibrant city. You can even make a day trip from Shanghai to Beijing. But we suggest you stay one or more nights in Beijing to dive a bit deep into Beijing’s long history and splendid culture.

1. Travel From Shanghai to Beijing by High Speed Daytime Train
There are 3 major railway stations in Shanghai, namely Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station ( for high speed trains to Beijing ), Shanghai Railway Station ( for overnight trains to Beijing ) and Shanghai South Railway Station ( mainly for the trains going south ).

High Speed Train

So traveling Beijing by high speed trains, you should go to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. Beijing terminus for the high speed trains from Shanghai is Beijing South Railway Station.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
Add:West of the Hongqiao Airport, Minhang District, Shanghai 200335
Tel: 021-51245555

At the time of my writing, there are about 40 daily high speed trains running between Shanghai and Beijing, taking 5-6 hour. You are          supposed to reach the station at least half hour before departure. It is relatively easy to book your train tickets at non-holiday or low tourist season. But train tickets are hard to get during national holidays.  It is better to have advance ticket booking.

Shanghai to Beijing: First train leaves at 6:39 and last at 19:00;
Beijing to Shanghai: First train leaves at 6:44 and last at 19:00.
First Class Train Ticket: 933 yuan; Second Class Train Ticket: 553 yuan

Advantages: Easily Accessible, On Time, Faster, Safe, Frequent, Comfortable, Daytime Window sightseeing
Disadvantages: Higher Prices, Often Need Advance Booking

Note: For online train ticket booking, check out  China Train Ticket Booking.

2.  Getting from Shanghai to Beijing by Overnight Train
There are two overnight D trains running between Shanghai and Beijing with the train journeys lasting 12 hours and one overnight T train taking 15 hours. All the three overnight trains start from Shanghai Railway Station.  The two D trains arrive at Beijing South Railway Station and the T train arrives at Beijing Railway Station.

4-Bed Cabin Overnight Train

Important Notice:
The above-mentioned overnight trains start from Shanghai Railway Station. So don’t be confused with Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station which accommodates the high speed trains going to Beijing.

Advantages: Direct from Downtown Shanghai, On Time, Save One Night Accommodation, Safe, More Daytime Sightseeing, affordable Prices

Disadvantages: Longer Travel Time, No daytime Sightseeing, Hard to Get Your Tickets

Note: For online train ticket booking, check out  China Train Ticket Booking.

3. Traveling from Shanghai to Beijing by flight
There are about 90 daily flights connecting Shanghai and Beijing, mainly operated by three domestic airlines – Air China, Eastern China Airline, and Hainan Airline. The 2-hour flight makes it possible for people to have a day trip to Beijing from Xian and return on the same day.

Shanghai Hongqiao Airport

Basically there are two major airports in Shanghai – Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA) and Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG). Both airports operate flights from Shanghai to Beijing. If your flight ticket shows PVG, then it is Pudong Airport while SHA for Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.

No matter which airport you use in Shanghai,  most of the flights arrive at Beijing Capital International Airport which has three terminals – T1, T2 and T3.  But if you take the flights  operated by China United Airlines, you will land at Beijing Nanyuan Airport.

Advantages: Fastest, Easy to Book Your Tickets, Frequent and often less expensive than train
Disadvantages: Airport Inconvenience, Sometimes not On Time, Both Airports in Beijing and Shanghai are out of town.

4. Hassle-Free Organized Shanghai Beijing Tours
If you’d prefer not to DIY, here are some options for Shanghai Beijing Guided Tours.

Beijing Day Trip from Shanghai by High Speed Train
Shanghai Beijing 2 Day Tour by High-speed Train
Xian Day Tour from Shanghai by Flight
Beijing Day Trip from Shanghai by High Speed Train

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

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2 Responses to “Best Travel Options between Shanghai and Beijing”

  1. Ahmed says:

    Dear Sir or Madam, I want to buy one train ticket from Beijing with multiple cities? For example, can I buy one ticket from Beijing with a layover for 72 hours in SHANGHAI then continue to Shenzen.
    Please advise,

    Thank you,

  2. Daniel says:

    Dear Ahmed,

    Basically you can buy several tickets for the major cities you are going to visit starting from Beijing in advance. Please buy your train tickets online and use the following train ticket booking website:

    http://english.ctrip.com/trains/

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