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Occupying an ever-expanding peninsula on the central coast of China, Shanghai is the industrial and financial nerve centre of East Asia, and the most highly populated city in the world.
Fast-paced and futuristic, Shanghai’s complex history as a major trading port led to an influx of global influences over previous centuries, though the presence of the British, the French, the Russians and the Americans never detracted from the unwavering Chinese culture at the core of city life.
If you’re flying to Shanghai from the UK, you’ll land at Pudong International Airport, one of China’s largest and busiest aviation hubs. Situated around an hour east of downtown Shanghai, it’s a major hub for several of China’s major airlines as well as being an important cargo hub.
Shanghai’s second airport, Hongqiao International, was the primary airport until the opening of Pudong International in 1999. It’s closer to Shanghai city centre but predominantly serves domestic routes and handles relatively few international flights.
Most direct flights from the UK to Shanghai go from London Heathrow, but you can also take non-direct routes with stopovers in Zurich, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Paris or Amsterdam.
For cheaper ways to Shanghai, consider booking a one-stop flight from another UK airport, from London Gatwick via Dubai, Istanbul or Hong Kong. Alternatively, depart from a regional airport such as Manchester and fly with via Doha or Beijing, or find similar one-stop deals from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Birmingham.
Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, don’t the miss the opportunity to explore fascinating Shanghai in greater depth.
Start by walking along the Bund, the centrepiece of Shanghai’s colonial architectural heritage. Facing the skyscraper-filled Pudong district on the other side of the Huangpu River, the waterfront is lined with banks, custom houses, shopping centres and grand hotels in a mix of styles from Gothic Revival and Neo-Classical to Beaux-Arts and Art Deco.
Then head to the old city for temples, gardens, and atmospheric streets lined with shops, teahouses and traditional lane houses, or to the former French Concession for tree-lined boulevards filled with fancy boutiques, contemporary restaurants and a clutch of museums, including the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum and the Sun Yat-Sen House, a two-storey mansion which once belonged to the founding father of the Republic of China.
Across the river in Pudong, take a lift to the observation level of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, once the highest building in Shanghai. Or head to the World Financial Center Building, which contains the world’s third-highest hotel, an observation deck, and multiple floors of shopping, dining and exhibition space.
For direct and cheaper non-direct flights to Shanghai, use Expedia’s search tool to find flight times, fares and routes that work best for you.
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