Most international arrivals are at Shanghai's new airport at Pudong, east of the city. Arrivals from some Asian countries are at the older Hongqiao airport which is to the west of the city, which mostly operates domestic flights. Pudong airport has flights to Taiwan also.
For connecting flights from Shanghai one should always find out which airport the flight is from as transfer between the two takes about 1 hour by taxi and nearly 2 hours by metro.
Domestic air tickets should be booked in advance but can also be bought at the airport on the day of departure. When backpacking, it may often be cheaper to book a flight along a busy route like Shanghai-Beijing, Shanghai-Guangzhou, Shanghai-Shenzhen and travel the rest by bus or train.
The city of Hangzhou, about a 90-min train ride from Shanghai, can be considered if tickets are not available to Pudong or Hongqiao.
The Pudong Airport lies 40 kilometres east of Shanghai and has two huge terminals. The two terminals are connected by conveyor belts and free shuttle buses for passengers. The Hongqiao Airport also has two terminals and is well connected to Pudong Airport.
Both the airports are well connected to the city with regular bus and taxi services. Metro Line 2 connects Hongqiao Airport and Pudong Airport to the People’s Square in Shanghai city.