Travelled to 9 countries / regions

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Live in Beijing but travels to Shanghai frequently



Asia > China > Shanghai > Useful Info
Submitted on Dec 10, 2019 Useful Info

How to buy tickets for Shanghai metro

  • Shanghai has an extensive metro system and is one of the best ways to get around the city for cheapUser submitted photo of Shanghai
  • Also, like all tier 1 cities in China, traffic gets really crazy during rush hours so the metro can also be the quickest way to get around the city at 8am-9:30am and 4:30pm-7pm
  • You can find the detailed metro map here. You can use Google Maps or Baidu Maps to help you determine which line to use and how to transfer
  • Prices: there are three types of fares you can buy
  1. Single Journey Ticket: this is the most popular type of ticket that tourists buy. Fares vary by distance, but I'd say 70% of the rides within the city cost just 3-4RMB ($0.4-$0.6USD) per ride. Even going from one end of the city to the other, your ticket will not be more than 7-8RMB ($1-$1.15USD). Ticket can be purchased at the automated ticketing machines
  2. Day Pass: 18RMB ($2.6USD) for unlimited rides on the metro within the 24-hour period starting from the first time you enter a metro station with the ticket. This type of ticket can only be purchased at the human booth at a metro station
  3. 3-Day Pass: 45RMB ($6USD) for unlimited rides for 72 hours starting from the first time you use the ticket to enter a metro station. Again, this type of ticket can only be purchased at the human booth at a metro station
  • How to buy ticket:
  • All tickets can be bought at any metro station
  • Day Pass and 3-Day Pass must be bought at the human booth, whereas Single Journey Ticket can also be bought at the automated ticketing machine available at all metro stations
  • Payment method is cash RMB, Alipay, or WeChat Pay (details on setting up AliPay or WeChat Pay). Credit cards are not accepted for payment
  • Here's a step-by-step guide on buying the Single Journey Ticket at the automatic ticketing machine:
  1. Go into the metro station and locate the ticketing machines that look like this (in the picture below the three machines on the right are the ticketing machines):User submitted photo of Shanghai
  2. Go to the screen of one of these machines, and tap the right top corner (red circle in the picture below) to toggle the language between Chinese and English. Then, click on the metro line number at the bottom of the screen (yellow circle in the picture below) of your destination station (for example, if you're headed to People's Square station which is located on line 2, then you click on line 2 along the bottom of the screen):User submitted photo of Shanghai
  3. At this point, the main screen will show only the stations of the line you've chosen. on the main screen, click on the destination station:User submitted photo of Shanghai(The colored numbers below the station names represent the other metro lines that you can transfer to at this station. For example, in the picture above which shows all the stations on Line 2, at People's Square station you can transfer to Line 1 and Line 8)
  4. After you've clicked on your destination station name, you will need to choose the number of tickets you want to buy. 1 is selected by default so if you don't choose anything you will get 1 ticket:User submitted photo of Shanghai
  5. After you've selected the number of ticket, the screen will NOT change and will remain on the same screen as step 4 above. At this point you can insert your cash notes (only 5, 10, 20, or 50 RMB notes are accepted) or coins (0.5 or 1 RMB coins) into the machine
  6. How to pay by AliPay or WeChat: instead of paying by cash in step 5, you can also pay by AliPay or WeChat Pay by scanning a QR code. This is how I usually pay when I visit Shanghai and is extremely quick. AliPay and WeChat Pay are now available to tourists without Chinese bank accounts since November 2019 (details on setting up AliPay or WeChat Pay). To pay for Shanghai metro by mobile payment, click on the yellow "QR code payment" button after you've picked the ticket quantity:User submitted photo of ShanghaiThen the screen will show you the QR code that you have to scan with AliPay or WeChat Pay:User submitted photo of ShanghaiAfter you scan the QR code with either AliPay or WeChat Pay, the app will ask you to confirm (you don't need to enter the amount in your app, you just need to tap one button to confirm)
  7. As soon as you've inserted enough cash, or confirmed your payment through AliPay/WeChat Pay, the ticket will slide out at the bottom of the ticketing machine:User submitted photo of Shanghai
  8. Take the cardUser submitted photo of Shanghai
  9. To enter the station, tap the ticket at the turnstile to get in. When you've arrived at your destination station, you must insert the ticket into the exit turnstile to get out