Average flight time from London to Shanghai: 11 hours 30 minutes
Airlines flying direct from London to Shanghai: Virgin Atlantic, China Eastern and British Airways
Airports in Shanghai: Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao
Distance from London to Shanghai: 5719 miles
Business Class flights to Shanghai
Virgin Atlantic, China Eastern and British Airways all offer direct business class flights from London to Shanghai. Virgin Atlantic flies to Shanghai with a 787 Dreamliner and a journey time of 11 hours and 10 minutes. The outbound flight is an overnight flight arriving at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in the morning, while the return flight is a daytime flight. When flying with Virgin Atlantic you’ll be able to enjoy a complimentary chauffeur-driven car to and from the airport as well as access to the airline’s famous Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow. The Business Class cabin features roomy leather seats that convert into lie-flat beds and ottoman seats so you can invite your travel companion to dine with you. For more info, check out our reasons to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class.
British Airways flies to Shanghai utilising a Boeing 777 equipped with the airline’s Club World Business Class product. In Club World you’ll be able to sit back and relax in a seat that converts into a 6ft long bed, with the added comfort of luxury bedding provided by The White Company. The seat features adjustable headrest and lumbar support, in-seat power and a 10.4″ entertainment screen. Business Class perks include access to the airline’s Business Class lounges at Heathrow, as well as a complimentary treatment in the Elemis Travel Spa.
China Eastern also operates the route with a Boeing 777 aircraft, which features 52 Zodiac Cirrus seats in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout. Seats offer plenty of legroom (190cm to be precise) and are equipped with 16-inch entertainment screens as well as in-seat power. Business Class passengers receive complimentary pyjamas and slippers, plus Clarins amenities with a dental kit, eye mask, ear plugs, moisturiser and lip balm.
Getting to and from the airport
When flying with the above airlines you’ll fly into Shanghai Pudong Airport. If you’re flying with Virgin Atlantic you’ll be treated to a chauffeur-driven car to your hotel. With other airlines, you’ll need to reserve transport or make your own way into the city. Taxis can be hailed from outside arrivals and rates will vary according to the distance and time of day you are travelling.
Alternatively you can take the Maglev train to Longyang Rd then transfer to the metro to get into the city centre. The Maglev train is a magnetic levitation train that departs every 15 or 20 minutes and the duration of the journey is less than 25 minutes. There is also the option to travel by Metro Line 2 (green) although the journey time is much longer, taking around 60 minutes to get to the city centre. You’ll need to transfer at Guanglan Road, then continue on the Metro Line 2 to People’s Square.
Where to stay in Shanghai
Dubbed “The Paris of the East”, Shanghai is known for its luxurious and elegant hotels. Situated on the historic Bund waterfront, The Peninsula Shanghai is the only new building to be opened on the waterfront in the last 70 years and some of the rooms offer unparalleled views of the Huangpu River and Pudong skyline. Foodies can dine in one of two Michelin starred restaurants – Yi Long Court and Sir Elly’s – or enjoy the much-celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea in the hotel’s lobby. Definitely the most glamorous spot in Shanghai.
If you fancy somewhere a bit different, Shanghai’s first “luxury urban resort” The Puli Hotel and Spa offers 193 rooms and 36 suites plus a Health Club with gymnasium, sauna, steam room, experiential showers, jacuzzi pool, 25-metre lap infinity pool and the first Anantara Spa in Shanghai. The hotel offers a serene atmosphere and yet it is located in the heart of Shanghai, centrally located between Nanjing West Road and YanAn Road.
Things to do in Shanghai
The largest city in China, Shanghai has a futuristic skyline dominated by famous skyscrapers such as the Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. Yet amongst all the modern buildings you can also find plenty of history, particularly if you venture to the Bund – a famous promenade with colonial buildings. Whether you’re visiting Shanghai for business or leisure, here are some of the city’s best attractions:
The Bund – One of Shanghai’s most popular spots, The Bund is a picturesque waterfront area that is ideal for taking pictures of the Shanghai skyline, including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center from across the Huangpu River.
Yu Garden – This Classical Chinese garden is located next to the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of Shanghai and is Shanghais’ best green space. Covering an area of 5 acres, it boasts 30 pavilions and six main areas, as well as many elaborate structures including ornate pagodas and decorated bridges. The garden was initially intended to be the private garden for Ming-dynasty official Pan Yunduan and his family but ended up being occupied by both the British and the French.
Shanghai World Financial Center – The glittering Shanghai World Financial Center is one of the world’s tallest buildings and resembles a giant bottle opener. Take the elevator to the Sky Walk on the 100th floor and you’ll be presented with unforgettable birds eye views from the world’s highest observatory.
Before travelling to mainland China you will need to obtain a visa and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months when you enter China. For more information, visit the Visa Application Center for China – there are visa centres in London, Manchester and Edinburgh and Belfast. If you plan on visiting Hong Kong and then returning back to mainland China, you will need a visa that allows for multiple visits.