Looking at a map of the metro system in Shanghai, with all of its 16 lines as of April 2015 (and counting), and still expanding on its existing 337 stations, can seem a bit like a badly rolled up yarn. Making any sense of it, let alone finding your destination can be a real pickle diddle. To help you figure it all out we've prepared this guide. If you can make it to the station before 10:30 pm you're guaranteed a fast ride back inside Shanghai's belly. Here are some stops of interest; please mind the gap.
Tickets: You can purchase single trip tickets from the machines inside the station, which can be operated in English. Alternatively, if you plan to get around the city mostly by metro, or if you're staying for a longer period, it may be worth getting one of the blue transit cards which have a streak of lightning across a background of blue. This card is super useful, and convenient as it can be used for the metro, taxis, buses and the ferry. See Shanghai Transport.
Starts at Xinzhuang and ends at Fujin Rd.
The first metro line built in 1993 coincidentally runs through the oldest parts of the city. Most of Shanghai's old city centre can be reached via the handy red line.
- Shanghai South Railway Station: The original train station in Shanghai travels mostly south of the city, and is equipped with a lot of older but slower trains. Hard seats and open windows for the adventurous voyager.
- Xujiahui: Famous for its electronic equipment mega malls, and the historic St. Ignatius gothic cathedral built by Jesuits in the early 20th century.
- Hengshan Road: This is one of the streets in French Concession district. Nightlife, nightlife, nightlife. Stopping at Hengshan Road station at around 10 pm guarantees you a night of fun. From the over the top decor at Phebe's, to Mexican Zapata's, it is a good street to bar/club hop and let loose after exploring nearby sites.
- Changshu Road: The station is in the northern end of the Former French Concession, near the Russian orthodox church on Xiangbei Road, the Cafe and boutique studded Anfu road and some of the prettiest alleys of old Shanghai.
- South Shaanxi Road: More old Shanghai. Exiting from this station you'll find yourself right in the middle of the French Concession, split between north and south you can either cross Huaihai road to go up for a more pristinely kept jazz era city, or go down Shaanxi to see a more original Shanghai. Look at the old buildings, and smell the home cooking wafting from the windows.
- People's Square: Accessible by Line 2 also. Right in the centre of the city, from this stop you can visit some of the city's main cultural attractions, such as Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Museum, The Grand Theatre, The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. It is in walking distance to both Nanjing West Road, Huaihai Road, the Bund, and the architectonic melange of the old International Settlement behind it. If you want to go to one of the most elaborate fake markets in Shanghai, get off at this stop and walk toward 580 Nanjing Road - a 5 minute walk from exit 9.
- Shanghai Railway Station: Equipped with the most modern of trains, Shanghai Railway station helps take you without a sweat to just about anywhere in the Middle Kingdom. Hong Kong included.
- Shanghai Circus World: The tradition of Chinese acrobatics meets new age circus. Jugglers and contortionists show off their bravura in often heart-stopping stunts. A station of interest for those interested in seeing Chinese performing arts while in Shanghai.
- Tonghe Xincun: Shanghai Museum of Glass. A recent addition to Shanghai's cultural scene, and already a favorite. Fittingly housed in a renovated glass factory, and displaying a great collection of everything from ancient to contemporary glass work.
Starts at East Xujing and ends at Pudong International Airport.
- Hongqiao Railway Station and Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2: This line is one of the most important metro lines, connecting you to the two airports at the opposite ends of the city, as well as to one of the major railway stations.
- Jing'an Temple: A significant point of interest because of its eponymous temple, as well as some of the city's most popular bars among locals and expats. Jing'an is one of the liveliest spots in downtown Shanghai - a must visit.
- West Nanjing Road: Shop until you drop on West Nanjing Road's many shops, or go for an evening stroll on its nicely lit sidewalks. You can stop by the pristinely preserved lilong Jing'an Villa to see Shanghai as it was in the 1920s right amidst the ultra modernity of Nanjing Dong Lu.
- Shanghai Science and Technology Museum: A point of interest for the tech oriented. As well, a more organized, less aggressive version of the more popular Nanjing Road fake market is inside the station.
- Century Park: Pudong's most beautiful and one of the largest city parks, this is a great place to end your vacation in Shanghai. If the weather is nice, renting one of the rickshaw bicycles is well worth the 100 RMB.
- Pudong International Airport: It is incredibly convenient to be able to avoid the expensive taxi ride, or uncomfortable bus ride to the airport with a much cheaper metro ticket. The station is inside the airport, and everything inside will be clearly indicated in English. The downside - this journey can take over an hour's time, and if you are taking the metro at peak hours (8 - 9 am or 5:30 - 7 pm), best to avoid with your baggage et all because the crowds would remind of you sardine cans.
- Maglev: The first commercial maglev train in the world, this is a super fast, super comfortable way of getting to the airport (in under 8 minutes) from Longyang Lu. Pride and joy of Shanghai, this.
Inner circular metro line. No start or end point.
- Zhongshan Park: One of Shanghai's prettiest parks, with ponds, fun rides for children and adults, and boat rides for rent in the pond.
- Luban Road: Ciuciciuci at 23424 luban road is a must for photo/videography aficionados, boasting 6 floors of cameras, lenses, tripods, vintage 8mm and 16mm cameras and analog photography curiosities, such as Shanghai's local brand of cameras "Seagull".
- Shanghai Stadium: If you feel like catching a game of football, this is the place to check out. This stadium is known to hold football matches between the major Chinese football leagues. Not to be confused with Hongkou Football Stadium.
Starts at Shendu Highway and ends at Shiguang Rd.
- Hongkou Football Stadium: Home to Shanghai's biggest soccer stadium, this will be a good place to catch one of Shanghai's SCC Club's games, as well as seeing a truly authentic Shanghainese neighborhood. Hongkou is one of the most authentic neighborhoods in the city.
- Laoximen: This central, old part of town is home to both Shanghai's most famous outdoor flea market, and the animal and plant market.
Starts at Meilan Lake and ends at Huamu Rd.
- Qibao: Shanghai's own ancient water town. And it's not a replica! Easily reached from central Shanghai is the pretty, if commercialized Qibao canal town. Worth a day trip, if you have the time.
- Dapuqiao: Stop here to see the famous tourist hot spot, Tianzifang, converted into a crowded maze of stores, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops, that's sent hundreds of residents packing to soulless skyscrapers in Pudong.
Starts at two points: a) Hangzhong Rd., b) Hongqiao Railway Stn., and ends at Xinjiangwancheng.
- Hongqiao Airport Terminal 1: If you are looking to get to terminal 1 of this airport, this is the line that connects you. Nearby Hongqiao Railway Station, Terminal 2, and Shanghai Zoo are on this branch.
- Yuyuan Garden: This line will also get you to one of Shanghai's star attractions — elegant Yu Garden.
Shanghai Subway Lines & Stations
Xinzhuang - Waihuan Road - Lianhua Road - Jinjiang Park - Shanghai South Railway Station - Caobao Road - Shanghai Indoor Stadium - Xujiahui - Hengshan Road - Changshu Road - South Shaanxi Road - South Huangpi Road - People's Square - Xinzha Road - Hanzhong Road - Shanghai Railway Station - North Zhongshan Road - Yanchang Road - Shanghai Circus World - Wenshui Road - Penpu Xincun - Gongkang Road - Tonghe Xincun - Hulan Road - Gongfu Xincun - Bao'an Highway - West Youyi Road - Fujin Road
East Xujing - Pudong Intl Airport
East Xujing - Shanghai Railway Station - Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 - Songhong Road - Beixinjing - Weining Road - Loushanguan Road - Zhongshan Park - Jiangsu Road - Jing'an Temple - West Nanjing Road - People's Square - East Nanjing Road - Lujiazui - Dongchang Road - Century Avenue - Shanghai Science and Technology Museum - Century Park - Longyang Road - Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park - Jinke Road - Guanglan Road - Tangzhen - Middle Chuangxin Road - East Huaxia Road - Chuansha - Lingkong Road - Yuandong Avenue - Haitiansan Road - Pudong International Airport
Shanghai South Railway Station
- North Jiangyang Road
Shanghai South Railway Station - Shilong Road - Longcao Road - Caoxi Road - Yishan Road - Hongqiao Road - West Yan'an Road - Zhongshan Park - Jinshajiang Road - Caoyang Road - Zhenping Road - Zhongtan Road - Shanghai Railway Station - Baoshan Road - Dongbaoxing Road - Hongkou Football Stadium - Chifeng Road - Dabaishu - Jiangwan Town - West Yingao Road - South Changjiang Road - Songfa Road - Zhanghuabang - Songbin Road - Shuichan Road - Baoyang Road - Youyi Road - Tieli Road - North Jiangyang Road
(Circle Line): Yishan Road - Shanghai Railway Station - Century Avenue - Yishan Road
Yishan Road - Hongqiao Road - West Yan'an Road - Zhongshan Park - Jinshajiang Road - Caoyang Road - Zhenping Road - Zhongtan Road - Shanghai Railway Station - Baoshan Road - Hailun Road - Linping Road - Dalian Road - Yangshupu Road - Pudong Avenue - Century Avenue - Pudian Road - Lancun Road - Tangqiao - Nanpu Bridge - South Xizang Road - Luban Road - Damuqiao Road - Dong'an Road - Shanghai Stadium - Shanghai Indoor Stadium - Yishan Road
Xinzhuang - Minhang Development Zone
Xinzhuang - Chunshen Road - Yindu Road - Zhuanqiao - Beiqiao - Jianchuan Road - Dongchuan Road - Jinping Road - Huaning Road - Wenjing Road - Minhang Development Zone
Gangcheng Road - South Lingyan Road
Gangcheng Road - North Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone - Hangjin Road - South Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone - Zhouhai Road - Wuzhou Avenue - Dongjing Road - Jufeng Road - Wulian Road - Boxing Road - Jinqiao Road - Yunshan Road - Deping Road - Beiyangjing Road - Minsheng Road - Yuanshen Stadium - Century Avenue - Pudian Road - Lancun Road - Shanghai Children's Medical Center - Linyi Xincun - West Gaoke Road - Dongming Road - Gaoqing Road - West Huaxia Road - Shangnan Road - South Lingyan Road
Huamu Road - Shanghai University
Huamu Road - Longyang Road - Fanghua Road - Jinxiu Road - South Yanggao Road - West Gaoke Road - Yuntai Road - Yaohua Road - Changqing Road - Chuanchang Road - Dong'an Road - Zhaojiabang Road - Changshu Road - Jing'an Temple - Changping Road - Changshou Road - Zhenping Road - Langao Road - Xincun Road - Dahuasan Road - Xingzhi Road - Dachang Town - Changzhong Road - Shangda Road - Nanchen Road - Shanghai University
Shiguang Road - Aerospace Museum
Shiguang Road - Nenjiang Road - Xiangyin Road - Huangxing Park - Middle Yanji Road - Huangxing Road - Jiangpu Road - Anshan Xincun - Siping Road - Quyang Road - Hongkou Football Stadium - North Xizang Road - Zhongxing Road - Qufu Road - People's Square - Dashijie - Laoximen - Lujiabang Road - South Xizang Road - Yaohua Road - Chengshan Road - Yangsi - Linzhao Xincun - Luheng Road - Pujiang Town - Jiangyue Road - Lianhang Road - Aerospace Museum
Songjiang Xincheng -
Middle Yanggao Road
Songjiang Xincheng - Songjiang University Town - Dongjing - Sheshan - Sijing - Jiuting - Zhongchun Road - Qibao - Xingzhong Road - Hechuan Road - Caohejing Hi-Tech Park - Guilin Road - Yishan Road - Xujiahui - Zhaojiabang Road - Jiashan Road - Dapuqiao - Madang Road - Lujiabang Road - Xiaonanmen - Shangcheng Road - Century Avenue - Middle Yanggao Road
Hongqiao Railway Station / Hangzhong Road - Xinjiangwancheng
Hongqiao Railway Station - Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 - Hongqiao Airport Terminal 1 - Shanghai Zoo - Hangzhong Road - Ziteng Road - Longbai Xincun - Longxi Road - Shuicheng Road - Yili Road - Songyuan Road - Hongqiao Road - Jiaotong University - Shanghai Library - South Shaanxi Road - Xintiandi - Laoximen - Yuyuan Garden - East Nanjing Road - Tiantong Road - North Sichuan Road - Hailun Road - Youdian Xincun - Siping Road - Tongji University - Guoquan Road - Wujiaochang - Jiangwan Stadium - Sanmen Road - East Yingao Road -Xinjiangwancheng
Jiangsu Road - Anting
Jiangsu Road - Longde Road - Caoyang Road - Fengqiao Road - Zhenru - Shanghai West Railway Station - Liziyuan - Qilianshan Road - Wuwei Road - Taopu Xincun - Nanxiang - Malu - Jiading Xincheng - Baiyin Road - West Jiading - North Jiading - Shanghai Circuit - Shanghai Automobile City - Anting
Madang Road - Expo Avenue
Madang Road - Lupu Bridge - Expo Avenue