Here are the latest options for travel between Beijing and Shanghai including new bullet trains, overnight trains, and flights with a comparison of each.
Train vs Plane Comparison Table
Beijing to Shanghai flight vs train cost and time comparison including transfers from/to city center. Fares based on second class seats/economy and soft-sleeper for overnight trains. Fares retrieved Oct, 2018 and note that airlines from time to time offer discount tickets below standard fare.
|Method||Cost||Travel Time||Travel Time + transfers|
|Flight – Beijing (PEK) to Shanghai (SHA)||730 RMB||2h 20m||+55m+43m=3h 58m|
|Flight – Beijing (PEK) to Shanghai (PVG)||990 RMB||2h 20m||+55m+80m=4h 35m|
|Flight – Beijing (NAY) to Shanghai (SHA)||760 RMB||2h 10m||+80m+43m=4h 13m|
|Flight – Beijing (NAY) to Shanghai (PVG)||860 RMB||2h 25m||+80m+80m=4h 50m|
|Bullet Train – Beijing South Station to Shanghai Hongqiao||553 RMB||4h 40m||+40m+43m=6h 3m|
|Bullet Train – Beijing South Station to Shanghai Station||558 RMB||4h 28m||+40m+11m=5h 29m|
|Overnight Train – Beijing South to Shanghai Station||630 RMB||12h 7m||+40m+11m=12h 58m|
Beijing to Shanghai High-Speed Rail (aka bullet trains)
All high speed trains depart from Beijing South Station and terminate at either Shanghai Hongqiao or Shanghai Station.
There are approximately 38 fast train services departing Beijing South Station daily towards Shanghai. The fastest service takes around 4 hours and 18 min with the slowest of the fast trains taking just over 6 hours.
Trains are G series trains and offer second class, first class, and business class (as seen in the main image). For more detailed info including class guide and schedule see the full guide to Beijing-Shanghai Trains.
Beijing to Shanghai by Overnight Train
These are D series trains which are modern and comfortable and have a high speed of 250 km/h. Currently, there is one daily service departing from Beijing South which arrives at Shanghai Railway Station being the D311.
The journey time is approx 12 hours. For more detailed info including sleeper berth photos and schedule see the full guide to Beijing-Shanghai Trains.
Beijing to Shanghai Flights
There are approximately 50 daily flights that depart from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and there are also a few daily flights by China United that depart from or Nanyuan Airport (NAY).
Flights from both airports land at either Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) or Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) with the journey time to either being the same at just over 2 hours.
Station Translations and links to station info