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Shanghai Train Stations - A Total Guide for 2024

Last updated: June 2, 2024

Looking to take a train out of Shanghai? You’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out about the different places you can travel to from Shanghai by train, the different train stations, as well as the best place to book tickets.

For most visitors, you’re probably looking to take a high-speed train, which start with the letter G or D and make up most of the trains departing Shanghai. If you’re looking for a more traditional train experience or looking to save some money, you can also consider taking a K train (non-high-speed).

Shanghai Trains Stations

There are multiple train stations around Shanghai, with most of them providing access to high-speed trains. Choosing which station to depart from will be a matter of which city you are looking to travel to, and which station is physically more convenient for you. For nearby destinations like Suzhou, there are typically trains leaving from all stations, but if you’d like to head somewhere smaller or further away, you might need to leave from a specific station.

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station

This is by far the biggest train station in Shanghai, and serves only high-speed G and D trains. It’s located on the western side of town, around 15km west of People’s Square, and is located right near Hongqiao International Airport. It’s an extremely efficient and busy station, and serves as a great introduction if you’re looking to explore the modern side of China’s railway network. It’s easily accessible from Line 2, Line 10 and Line 17 if you’re taking the metro, which is typically the easiest way to get there.

Shanghai Railway Station

While the naming convention isn’t particularly helpful, Shanghai Railway Station is the older station, which is located in the inner north, around 3km north of People’s Square. If you are looking to take an older K series (non-high speed) train this is most likely where you’ll leave from, however these days it also has plenty of G and D series high-speed trains. It’s also easy to access via the metro, on Line 1, Line 3 or Line 4.

Shanghai South Railway Station

Located on the South West side of the city, this is station is smaller than Hongqiao but nonetheless an important station. Typically, most trains will depart Shanghai in a southerly or westerly direction, so it’s unlikely you’ll be heading to Beijing on a train departing from here. While it serves mainly high-speed trains, it does cater for non high-speed trains as well.

Shanghai West Railway Station

This is a relatively small and insignificant railway station located in the north-west on the city. It only serves a limited amount of trains and as a tourist it’s unlikely you will depart from here.

How Can I Book Tickets

Tickets are available for purchase at all stations however we don’t recommend it. Typically there will be a ticket selling window located somewhere outside the station itself. Purchasing tickets online is the standard these days, even for locals.

By far the easiest way to book train tickets for is with You can pay using you standard credit/debit card and most importantly the whole process is in English or any other language you might want. They are run by China’s biggest travel agency, so they know what they are doing!

Short Trips from Shanghai By Train

Suzhou: Suzhou, known for its elegant classical gardens, is an easy day trip or multi-day excursion from Shanghai by train. Spend a day exploring the UNESCO-listed Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, and Master of Nets Garden, marveling at their exquisite designs. Stroll along the charming canals or take a boat ride in Pingjiang Historic District. Visit Tiger Hill, Hanshan Temple, and Suzhou Museum to delve into the city's rich history and culture. With more time, discover Tongli or Zhouzhuang water towns nearby.

Train travel time: 23 mins+ | Suzhou City Guide

Hangzhou: Hangzhou, famous for its stunning West Lake, is a perfect getaway from Shanghai by train. Spend a day walking or cycling around the lake, admiring the picturesque landscapes and visiting iconic sites like Broken Bridge and Leifeng Pagoda. Explore the serene Lingyin Temple and the adjacent Feilai Peak grottoes. Indulge in Longjing tea tasting and visit the Tea Museum. With more time, venture to the ancient water town of Wuzhen or hike the scenic trails of Moganshan.

Train travel time: 45 mins+ | Hangzhou City Guide

Ningbo: Ningbo, a coastal city with a rich maritime history, is easily accessible from Shanghai by train. Visit the Tianyi Pavilion Library, the oldest existing library in China, and explore the adjacent Tianyi Square. Take a leisurely stroll along the Old Bund, admiring the architecture and river views. Discover the city's Buddhist heritage at Asoka Temple and Tiantong Temple. With more time, relax on the beaches of Dongqian Lake or explore the picturesque Siming Mountain.

Train travel time: 1 hr 34 mins mins+ | Ningbo City Guide

Nanjing: Nanjing, the ancient capital of multiple dynasties, is a compelling destination reachable by train from Shanghai. Spend a day exploring the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the burial place of the Hongwu Emperor, and the Nanjing Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Chinese art and artifacts. Visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall to learn about the city's tragic history. Stroll along the Qinhuai River and sample local delicacies in Fuzimiao area. With more time, hike Purple Mountain or visit the impressive Nanjing City Wall.

Train travel time: 59 mins+ | Nanjing City Guide

Longer Trips From Shanghai By Train

Beijing: Beijing, China's vibrant capital, is a must-visit destination easily reached by train from Shanghai. Spend a few days exploring the city's rich history and cultural treasures. Visit the awe-inspiring Great Wall, stroll through the vast Tiananmen Square, and discover the Forbidden City's imperial grandeur. Wander through the tranquil Summer Palace gardens and temples, and indulge in delicious Peking duck. Immerse yourself in traditional culture at the Temple of Heaven and the hutongs, or explore modern art in the 798 Art District.

Train travel time: 4 hrs 18 mins+ | Beijing City Guide

Changsha: Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, is a vibrant city known for its spicy cuisine and rich history, accessible by train from Shanghai. Spend a few days exploring the Yuelu Academy, one of China's oldest universities, and the nearby Yuelu Mountain with its stunning views. Visit the Hunan Provincial Museum to discover the region's cultural heritage, and take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Xiangjiang River. Don't miss the opportunity to savor the famous Hunan spicy food in the bustling night markets.

Train travel time: 4 hrs 25 mins+ | Changsha City Guide

Wuhan: Wuhan, a bustling metropolis in central China, is a great destination for a multi-day trip from Shanghai by train. Spend time exploring the iconic Yellow Crane Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city and the Yangtze River. Visit the Hubei Provincial Museum to discover the region's ancient history, including the famous Chime Bells. Take a leisurely cruise along the East Lake, and enjoy the beautiful gardens and temples surrounding it. Indulge in the city's famous hot dry noodles and other local delicacies.

Train travel time: 3 hrs 30 mins+ | Wuhan City Guide

Xiamen: Xiamen, a charming coastal city in Fujian Province, is a perfect getaway from Shanghai by train. Spend a few days exploring the city's beautiful beaches, such as Gulangyu Island, a car-free island with stunning colonial architecture and a relaxed atmosphere. Visit the Nanputuo Temple, a serene Buddhist temple with a rich history, and stroll through the picturesque Shuzhuang Garden. Discover the city's vibrant night markets and savor the delicious seafood and local Fujian cuisine.

Train travel time: 5 hrs 19 mins+ | Fujian City Guide

Qingdao: Qingdao, a charming coastal city in Shandong Province, is known for its stunning beaches, delicious seafood, and famous Tsingtao Beer, easily accessible from Shanghai by train. Spend a few days exploring the city's German colonial architecture, such as St. Michael's Cathedral and the Governor's House. Take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful coastline, visit the Zhanqiao Pier, and relax on the golden sands of Golden Beach. Don't miss the opportunity to tour the Tsingtao Beer Museum and sample the city's famous brews.

Train travel time: 4 hrs 17 mins+ | Qingdao City Guide