Turn your Shanghai layover into a mini vacation with Trip.com

Join these free layover city tours by Trip.com Group.

Trip.com Group's “Shanghai Express” are free layover city tours that show you the top highlights of Shanghai before your next flight—all within a few hours. (Screenshot: Trip.com)
Trip.com Group's “Shanghai Express” are free layover city tours that show you the top highlights of Shanghai before your next flight—all within a few hours. (Screenshot: Trip.com)

Travel portal Trip.com recently launched “Shanghai Express” which are free layover city tours that show you the top highlights of Shanghai before your next flight—all within a few hours. This means you don’t have to wait for hours in the airport terminal but can make the most of your transiting time.

Starting from 15 April 2024, international travellers stopping by the Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) for over eight hours can join these layover city tours—the first of their kind in Shanghai. You don’t have to worry about researching where to go and how either, as these tours take care of everything: airport pick-up and send-off, attraction tickets, e-sim cards, and more.

Who can join the layover city tours

The tours are available to international travellers who are eligible for China’s 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy as well as those holding a 24-hour temporary entry permit issued by the airport border inspection.

Currently, nationals from 54 countries, including Singapore, are eligible for the 72/144-hour transit visa-free policies in 23 cities across mainland China. As long as they hold valid international travel documents and interline tickets to countries or regions with confirmed dates and seats, they can apply for visa-free transit at the border inspection in the designated city ports.

Additionally, foreign nationals with international connecting flights within 24 hours can transit through nine designated airports in mainland China without immigration procedures. Those interested in exploring the local city within this timeframe may obtain a 24-hour temporary entry permit by presenting their passports and connecting ticket flights and fill out the Temporary Entry Card.

“As visa-free transit policies open up new avenues for international travellers to explore China, Trip.com Group is excited to unveil this innovative programme for those with just a short stopover,” said Ms Han Feng, Head of Marketing at Trip.com. “We will leverage our extensive resources to ensure a memorable tour experience and provide world-class customer service to help flyers enjoy what Shanghai has to offer.”

How to join the layover city tours

After going through the customs at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, head to the Trip.com Group currency exchange counter on Island A in the Departure Hall of Terminal 2 for in-person registration. A professional guide is available at the counter one hour before the start of each tour to assist with the registration process. Registrations are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

There are also several tour timings throughout the day to choose from. Each free tour accommodates a maximum of 10 travellers and lasts five to six hours, including transportation from and back to the airport. These tours feature some of the top attractions on the AI-powered Trip.Best list for Shanghai based on user reviews and expert curation.

Available layover city tours

Several tour timings are available throughout the day. (Photo: Trip.com)
Several tour timings are available throughout the day. (Photo: Trip.com)

1. Shanghai Highlights City Tour (9:00-14:00)

A tour of classic Shanghai highlights, which includes exploring traditional Chinese architecture in the Yu Garden and viewing Shanghai’s iconic and futuristic skyline at the Bund.

2. Strolling Under the Trees Citywalk Tour (16:00-22:00)

A tour for the romantics and urban history lovers, which includes a city walk through the old villas and charming cafes along the beautiful Wukang Road, an immersive visit to the Yu Garden, and a stroll along the historic Bund.

3. Huangpu River Cruise Sightseeing Night Tour (18:00-23:00)

A unique experience in the city that never sleeps, which includes the breathtaking night view of the Bund aboard the Huangpu River Cruise and a deep dive into the bustling Yu Garden at night.

Led by English-speaking guides, each tour includes transportation, tickets, e-sim cards, and team insurance. Those seeking to travel light may store their luggage at the airport or on the shuttle bus if space permits. These free tours do not include meals, though the guides are more than happy to offer dining recommendations. Detailed information about the tours can be found here.

If you’re thinking of exploring Shanghai on your own, check out our guide on the best things to do in Shanghai or read more on Trip.com's China Travel Guide.

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