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Taxis are the preferred mode of transport for visitors in Shanghai. The metered Volkswagen cabs in primary colours are easy to identify and plentiful. The smaller, older cars are generally cheaper. All can be hailed on the street or booked by telephone. The Shanghai subway, costing just a few cents a ride, is perfect for covering long distances, as it covers the entire downtown area and connects to the airports. Alternatively, public buses are common and extremely cheap; however, they can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient experience for travellers, being hot, crowded, unreliable, and frequented by pickpockets. Many visitors opt to join the city's millions of cyclists and rent bicycles from their hotels or one of the numerous hire shops in the city. Shanghai is also a good city to explore on foot and sometimes the best way to get around in the city is just to walk.
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plug types vary, but the two-pin flat blade and oblique three-pin flat blade plugs are common. Adapters are generally required.
China's currency is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY), which is divided into 10 jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because you may have difficulty exchanging the currency outside China's borders. Foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most Western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities, but acceptance may be limited in more rural areas. ATMs are scarce in rural areas.
The international dialling code for China is +86. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices and hotels; phone booths on the streets are usually for local calls only. In hotels, local calls are generally free or will be charged only a nominal fee. Mobile phone networks are very advanced and Chinese networks have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns.
Emergencies: 110 (Police); 120 (Ambulance)
Metro Line 2 (Green Line) connects the airport with the city, with regular departures between 6am and 10pm. Public buses also service the airport. Taxis are available and are a convenient way to get to the city, but they are a more expensive option. Many hotels provide an airport pick-up service for their guests.
Car hire is available at the airport and vehicles can be booked in advance.
Taxis are available outside the airport terminal. Do not expect drivers to speak English; use a map to indicate your destination, or get it written down in Chinese. The drive into central Shanghai takes about 45 minutes.
Shuttle buses run between the terminals at 10 minute intervals between 6am and 12am.
Facilities at the airport include banks, ATMs and currency exchange, a post office, luggage storage, and business facilities. There are also several restaurants and shops, including duty free.
Short-term and long-term parking is provided at Shanghai Pudong Airport. Rates range from CNY 10 per hour, for the first two hours, up to a daily maximum of CNY 60.
Free wifi is provided.