In April of 2019, I spent ten incredible days exploring the cities of Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou in China. It was my second trip to China in four years – I had first traveled to the country in 2015 with my dad. During that trip, I explored Shanghai, Beijing, and Xi’an. I couldn’t wait to explore, but first I had to give my Shanghai Maglev train review as I made my way into the city!
After nearly 24 hours of travel from Miami, I still wasn’t actually in the city of Shanghai. The airport is located outside the city. The Shanghai Maglev train is the fastest way to get to the city from the airport. It’s the fastest train in the world and travels at speeds up to 268 miles per hour! It operates by magnetic levitation and is the first and only commercially operated Maglev train in the world. It’s something you must experience when you visit Shanghai!
This train only takes 8 minutes to get from the airport to Shanghai. It’s been running for almost 20 years. I saw a similar Maglev train in development during my trip to Japan in January of 2019. I was so excited to ride it!
The train would take me to a station in the center of Shanghai, where you can catch the metro line or buses. The ticket costs 50 Yen for regular economy and 100 Yen for VIP. There’s a new train every 15-20 minutes, so you never have to wait long for one.
I chose VIP and made my way to the platform to begin my Shanghai Maglev train review. I was alone in the car. There’s a monitor on the ceiling that shows you how fast you’re going. I kept watching the numbers go up as we picked up speed and soon the buildings and scenery outside were zipping by! This Maglev train is so much quieter than the bullet train I rode in Korea and Japan. All I could hear was a gentle hiss!
Once I made it to the station, I’d have to get an Uber or use the metro or bus, but that was okay because this experience was worth it! It’s super luxurious and there are no servers because the ride is so short.
I could actually feel the car swaying as the train turned. I had never felt anything like it in my life. You definitely need to stay seated while the Maglev train is moving. You could hurt yourself otherwise!
We maxed out at about 401 km/hour, or about 249 miles per hour. I wasn’t sure why we never reached peak speed, but it was fine. Something really great about the Maglev is that it’s super easy to find. After you go through Immigration, you see Maglev signs everywhere that point you in the right direction, so just follow them and you’ll find a ticket counter, where you pay, and then you go down to the platform! That’s definitely a plus in my Shanghai Maglev train review!
And just like that, my first Maglev ride was at an end! I couldn’t wait for Japan to get this train, which would cut the travel time from Tokyo to Osaka to just 67 minutes.
From there, I wanted to catch an Uber to my apartment in People’s Square, which is one of the main squares in Shanghai. I’m familiar with the area and it only cost me $30 per night. But unfortunately, there is no Uber, so I had to catch a taxi instead.
I had to meet up with a fan from Sweden at a local camera mall to buy a new lens because my lens and camera broke the previous day. The traffic was really bad and I only had an hour and a half to get to the store. We finally got there after an hour. Luckily I knew they had the lens I needed because my friend Nea from Stockholm told me it was there!
I got my lens at the camera mall! The lens made such a huge difference. From there, Nea and I took a taxi and she told me the street food in Shanghai is gone due to sanitation concerns. But there are still hole-in-the-wall eateries.
I arrived in People’s Square and had to search to find my Airbnb. I finally found it and headed up to the top level to get to my tiny studio apartment. It had a super low ceiling and was hard to get to with the luggage! But it was everything I needed: a place to leave my stuff and a place to sleep at night, so it was perfect for me!
What an adventure! I hope you enjoyed my Shanghai Maglev train review and my journey through Shanghai! If you did, please give it a thumbs up and leave me a comment. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of my upcoming travel/food content!