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March 10, 2011

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Searching the city -- by subway

WITH Shanghai's Metro network expanding, it's getting easier to tour the city by riding one of the 11 lines connecting different areas. Even if you have only one day available, there is plenty of scenery and a variety of popular attractions within reasonable walking distances of the many stations dotted along the various Metro lines.

Here we present a brief guide to what you may find on some of the routes. Whether it's local culture, creative environments, shopping destinations, delicious food or leisure pursuits, it's all within reach of Shanghai's Metro system.

And what makes Shanghai Metro so great is the price. For only 18 yuan (US$2.74), a person can have unlimited travel on the Metro's 11 lines for 24 hours.

Metro Line 1

People's Square is the largest station on Metro Line 1 and is surrounded by various interesting attractions, including Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Grand Theater and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Like its famous London predecessor, the Shanghai wax museum contains a variety of life-size waxworks of famous people including the great scientist Albert Einstein, kongfu star Jackie Chan and recent addition Lady Gaga.

Shanghai Circus World is another popular station because this is where to head if you want to check out the multimedia stage extravaganza "ERA: Intersection in Time."

For those interested in culture and architecture, South Shaanxi Road is the perfect stop to alight because the former residence of late Premier Zhou Enlai, as well as Nanchang Road, Sinan Road and Fuxing Road M. are all close by.

At 7 Xiangshan Road, you will find a two-story, European-style building where Sun Yat-sen, one of the greatest forerunners of the Chinese republican revolution, lived with his wife Soong Ching Ling.

There are lots of impressive buildings on Sinan Road displaying a range of European architecture styles including French, Britain, German and Russian.

Hengshan Road is a popular station with foreign visitors looking for some lively nightlife as the surrounding area contains some of Shanghai's most popular bars, clubs and restaurants.

Disembark at Xujiahui for Xujiahui Catholic Church, a grand red-brick building which not only demonstrates traditional church architecture but should also stir dreams of a fairy-tale wedding setting between lovers.

Jinjiang Amusement Park is just a five-minute walk from the line's Jinjiang Park station.

Metro Line 2

The Bund, the most famous landmark in Shanghai, is less than 10 minutes' walking distance from East Nanjing Road station.

Close to the West Nanjing Road stop on Metro Line 2 is the Former Residence of late Chairman Mao Zedong, the greatest man in recent Chinese history.

Another popular station on Metro Line 2 is Jing'an Temple where designer clothing stores and modern buildings present a stark contrast to the traditional Chinese temple they surround.

Take Metro Line 2 under the Huangpu River to Pudong and alight at Lujiazui station, where Shanghai's financial heart beats. The area contains offices, shopping malls, cinemas and the splendid buildings that make up Pudong's iconic skyline including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower.

Metro Line 3 and Metro Line 4

Metro Line 3 is the only line on the Shanghai Metro system that is predominantly elevated, while Metro Line 4 runs in a continuous loop. Together the lines share several stations, and with them a variety of places to visit.

If you fancy whiling away an afternoon playing board games, get off at Jinshajiang Road and visit MuCa, a bar with a great range of table-top games.

Shanghai's famous artistic enclave, M50 on Moganshan Road can be reached by walking from Zhongtan Road station. Here you will find many galleries displaying work by local and foreign artists as well as a lengthy wall where graffiti artists show their skills.

But this isn't the only creative destination on these lines.

Red Town is a trendy art and culture community that consists of many unique galleries, restaurants and a working studio surrounded by interesting sculpture works. It can be reached by alighting at Hongqiao Road station on Metro Line 3.

Similarly, 1933, which is located only 10 minutes walk from Metro Line 4's Hailun Road station, is a former abattoir that has been converted into a thriving cultural hub.

Metro Line 5 and Metro Line 6

Of the 11 lines, Metro Line 5 and Line 6 are two regional lines, Line 5 running in Minhang District and Line 6 in Pudong New Area.

Line 5 begins at Xinzhaung station where Metro Line 1 finishes, and extends to Minhang Development Zone. Xinzhuang is a popular station for families to disembark as this is where Eday Town is located. At this "edutainment" theme park, kids can spend hours pretending they are grown up, and adults can relive their childhood years.

Line 6 runs through Pudong connecting people in the north and the south with the center of the new area at the Century Avenue station.

Metro Line 7

Chuanchang Road, Houtan, Changqing Road, Yaohua Road and Yuntai Road saw thousands of visitors alight in 2010 as these were the main stations on Metro Line 7 serving the Shanghai Word Expo area. Today, the nearby Mercedes-Benz Arena holds many concerts and shows and visitors can reach the venue from Yaohua Road station.

Metro Line 8

Line 8 links Yangpu District in city's northeast to downtown area. Accessible tourist attractions along the line include Shanghai Museum and Shanghai Grand theater at the People's Square station as well as the nearly centenary Great World entertainment center.

Metro Line 9

The Metro system's expansion means people can easily escape from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai's downtown area to the ancient setting of Qibao Old Town by Metro Line 9, which is less than 19 kilometers away.

At the Western end of Line 9 is Songjiang Xincheng, with a nearby warehouse that many video-game enthusiasts head for to take part in a real-life version of popular shoot-'em-up console games.

Also on this line is Sheshan station, which connects visitors to Happy Valley Amusement Park, an outdoor theme park with plenty of white-knuckle rides.

Metro Line 10

With lots of designer stores, exquisite restaurants and fancy clubs, Xintiandi's mix of traditional and modern Shanghai is a popular destination.

Also on this line is Yuyuan Garden station. Alight here for a taste of traditional Shanghai at the tourist-heavy Yuyuan Garden and City God Temple.

Metro Line 11

A shuttle bus from Shanghai Circuit station takes eager go-kart racers to Shanghai International Kart World, an outdoor go-karting track located on the grounds of the circuit where next month's F1 Chinese Grand Prix will take place.

Get off at Nanxiang station to visit various ancient attractions in Jiading District, including Guyi Garden, which is a large Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Suzhou-style Park, and Yun Xiang Temple, which is the biggest temple in Shanghai.

Nanxiang also deserves a visit as it is the home of Shanghai-style xiaolongbao, a food popular with tourists and locals alike.


Single journey ticket: starting from 3 yuan (46 US cents)

One-day ticket: 18 yuan for 24 hours

Interchange Station

Century Avenue: Line 2, Line 4, Line 6 and Line 9

People's Square: Line 1, Line 2 and Line 8

Shanghai Railway Station: Line 3 and Line 4

Zhongshan Park: Line 2, Line 3 and Line 4

Zhenping Road: Line 3, Line 4 and Line 7

Yishan Road: Line 3, Line 4 and Line 9

Hongqiao Road: Line 3, Line 4 and Line 10

Caoyang Road: Line 3, Line 4 and Line 11

Outerchange Station (transfer within 30 minutes)

South Shaanxi Road: Line 1, Line 10

Hongkou Football Stadium: Line 3, Line 8

Shanghai Railway Station: Line 1, Line 3, Line 4

Yishan Road: Line 4, Line 3, Line 9

To airports

Pudong International Airport: Line 2 & Line 7

Hongqiao Airport Terminal 1: Line 10

Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2: Line 2 & Line 10


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