Discover Shanghai in less than 24 hours

BANGKOK, 9 APRIL 2024: International passengers with layovers at Shanghai Pudong International Airport for over eight hours can join Trip.Com Group’s free layover city tours, which will launch on 15 April.

Introduced by Group, the ‘Shanghai Express’ tours will be offered to international travellers eligible for China’s 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy and those holding a 24-hour temporary entry permit issued by the airport border inspection.

“As visa-free transit policies open up new avenues for international travellers to explore China, Group is excited to unveil this innovative programme for those with just a short stopover,” said Head of Marketing Han Feng. 

Explore Shanghai between flights

Upon passing customs at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, travellers join the tours at the Group currency exchange counter on Island A in the Departure Hall of Terminal 2 for in-person registration. 

A professional guide will be 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.

Travellers will be able to choose from several tour timings. Each free tour accommodates a maximum of 10 travellers and lasts five to six hours, including transportation from and back to the airport.

Free tour options

Shanghai Highlights City Tour (0900-1400): A tour of classic Shanghai highlights, including exploring traditional Chinese architecture in the Yu Garden and viewing Shanghai’s iconic and futuristic skyline at the Bund.

Strolling Under the Trees Citywalk Tour (1600-2200): This tour is for romantics and urban history lovers. It 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.

Huangpu River Cruise Sightseeing Night Tour (1800-2300): Experience the city that never sleeps, including a breathtaking night view of the Bund aboard the Huangpu River Cruise and a deep dive into the bustling Yu Garden at night.

Each tour, led by English-speaking guides, includes transportation, tickets, e-sim cards, and team insurance. If space permits, those seeking to travel light may store their luggage at the airport or on the shuttle bus.

The International Air Transport Association reveals that transit numbers have increased, with over 330,000 travellers experiencing layovers in mainland China last December alone. This represents a monthly growth of 47%. International airports in mainland China, particularly in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou, have been hubs for international flights to and from the Asia Pacific.

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

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 filling out the Temporary Entry Card.

The Shanghai Express Tours are set against the backdrop of Group’s various initiatives to support international travellers in discovering the beauty of China with ease as the country relaxes visa requirements.

With visa-free entry extended to Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg on 14 March, China is now visa-free for eligible travellers from 15 countries. Group witnessed a triple-digit year-on-year rise in international travel bookings to China in the first two months of 2024. Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Chengdu drew the most attention from global travellers, with theme parks like the Shanghai Disney Resort and historic sites like the Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum capturing significant interest.


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