It can be hard to find affordable airline tickets for an international trip, but sometimes if you’re willing to have a longer travel day with long layover you can find much better deals!
It’s a win-win because not only do you save money on flights, but you usually have enough time to leave the airport and explore a new city (and sometimes country). It’s like two trips in one!
That’s what I did on my trip to Korea. We found a great deal on a flight that was 27 hours (ugh) but we got to spend 12 hours in Shanghai (yay). At first I was a little nervous to leave the airport with such limited time, but we actually got a lot done in 12 hours!
Shanghai is like the Beverly Hills of China. It’s a bustling, picturesque city with beautiful gardens, temples and yummy food galore. If you’re just passing through, heres a sample of what you can do on a 10–12 hour layover.
How to get around: We took the train to the main part of the city and from there either took the metro or walked. It was so simple and easy! Taxi is also an option.
Money: China uses Yuan. Before you leave the airport, I would recommend exchanging some of your cash for yuan so you can use that throughout the day.
Take the Shanghai Maglev Train from the airport (Pudong International Airport) to Longyang Rd. Station. It only has one stop and this is the main train station where you can switch lines or get off and walk around. Its 80 Yuan round trip or about $11.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
There are less than 6 Starbucks Roasteries in the world so this is a must! This epic, two story Starbucks features baked goods and pastries you won’t find at your typical Starbucks as well as a full drink and lunch menu. You can also see where they roast all the beans for their coffee! I recommend getting the cold brew malt and a nutella croissant.
Jing’an Sculpture Park and Shanghai Natural History Museum
Even if you don’t go into the museum, the sculpture park surrounding it is so beautiful to walk through.
It started to rain so we didn’t want to wait in line to go into this museum but if you want to beat the heat and learn about Shanghai, this museum is free!
Shanghai Baiyun Taoist Temple
For only 5 Yuan or $.071 you can go into this exquisite temple and learn all about Taoism. My favorite part was seeing the Jade Emperor in the main hall.
From the museum we walked over to the Huangpu river where we could catch a breathtaking glimpse at the Shanghai skyline. I think the pictures speak for themselves!
Shanghai Old Street
Walking down this street gives you a real flavor for Shanghai and Chinese culture. The streets are lined with fashion stores, knick knack shops and pretty much anything you could think of!
City of God Temple Shanghai
This temple is massive!! Right around the corner from Yu Garden you can explore this national treasure and take in the historic architecture. As you exit there’s an expansive food court with delicious food called snack square!
Shanghai Disneyland Resort
By this point in our day we only had 2 hours before we needed to be back to the airport so we didn’t have time to go to Disneyland but we would have regretted not going up to the gates to experience the magic from afar. Just a quick stop all the way to the end of line 11, the train brings you practically all the way to the gates of happily ever after. On my way back to America I went straight here and spent my entire layover in the park, but if you have limited time, it’s still fun to stroll through Disney Town, grab a snack and a souvenir and say you saw it. (if you decide to enter the parks, tickets are only about $65!) Check out the vlog I made when I went into the parks!
Whether you spend your entire day at Disneyland or roaming through the streets of Shanghai, I hope this guide gives you a few fun ideas on how to have a more exciting layover on your way to your destination.
Thank you so much for reading! Before you go, head to the homepage and join the #DoStuff team! Love you so much and am so thankful for you!
P.S. Here’s a bonus video of the food I tried in Korea 🙂
xx Nicole #DoStuff