Lijin Ke

Shanghai operates an extensive public transportation system and all of its signs, maps, and announcements are in both English and Chinese. As such, it is a convenient and cost-effective way to travel around the city. In Shanghai, the main methods of public transportation are the Shanghai metro, taxis and bikes. The Shanghai metro is probably the most convenient way for travelling around the city during the daytime. Rentable bicycles can be found throughout the city as well. Taxis are plentiful and the best option at night. In addition, there are ‘Uber-style apps that you can use here, such as DiDi Chu Xing and Wechat cab.

How to Use Shanghai Metro

Fare rates: depending on distance, rates can range from 3-9 RMB. You can check ticket prices by downloading the Shanghai Metro app.

Recommended pass type: while there are several types of tickets available (e.g. single-journey, one-day travel pass), for long-term use we advise acquiring a stored-value public transportation smartcard known as the Jiaotong Ka.

Jiaotong Ka (交通卡): you can purchase this card at the automated ticket machines or from the service counters in the metro stations. The cost is 20 RMB for the card itself and the minimum top-up amount is 10 RMB. The Jiaotong Ka can also be used to pay for taxis and buses!


DiDi Chuxing is a popular app to call a taxi in Shanghai and across China. The app has an English version and it is user-friendly. However, we advise you to avoid taking taxis during rush hours during weekdays due to busy traffic (7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday). As to its rates, the meter starts at 14 RMB for the first 3 kilometers (2 miles). Additional kilometers are charged as 2.5 RMB per kilometer. Please note that these rates increase at night, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.


As is now common in other major cities, sharing bikes can also be found all over Shanghai. To use the bike-sharing system, you will need to have an international phone plan or use a Chinese SIM card as you must have internet on your phone to rent a bike. There are several major bike-sharing companies e.g. HelloBike. To use a Hello bike for example, you can download the Alipay app that requires you to connect to your bank account or credit card for payment. In terms of cost, rides are priced around 1.5 RMB for a typical 15-minute journey.

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