Taxis in Shanghai: A Convenient and Affordable Way to Explore the City

When it comes to getting around in Shanghai, taxis are a popular and convenient mode of transportation. Whether you’re a tourist exploring the city’s vibrant attractions or a local going about your daily routine, taxis offer a hassle-free way to navigate the bustling streets of Shanghai. In this article, we will guide you on how to use taxis in Shanghai, including information about taxi stops, how to hail a taxi, and what you can expect in terms of prices.

Finding Taxi Stops

One of the first things you need to know when using taxis in Shanghai is where to find taxi stops. Fortunately, these stops are scattered throughout the city, making it easy for you to hail a taxi whenever you need one. You can find taxi stops near popular tourist attractions, shopping centers, hotels, and transportation hubs like train stations and airports.

Look for designated areas with a line of taxis waiting for passengers. These stops are usually marked with a sign that says “Taxi” in both English and Chinese. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask a local or hotel staff for directions to the nearest taxi stop.

Hailing a Taxi

Once you’ve located a taxi stop or you’re on a busy street, it’s time to hail a taxi. In Shanghai, taxis are color-coded based on their company. The most common taxis are the yellow ones, but you may also come across green, blue, or white taxis. Don’t worry too much about the color; they all operate under the same regulations and provide similar services.

To hail a taxi, stand on the side of the road where the traffic is flowing in the direction you want to go. Raise your arm slightly to catch the driver’s attention. As the taxi approaches, make sure the “空车” sign on the dashboard is lit, indicating that it’s available. If the sign is off, it means the taxi is occupied.

Once inside the taxi, greet the driver and tell them your destination. It’s helpful to have the address written down or saved on your phone in Chinese characters, as some drivers may not speak English fluently. If you’re unsure about the route or want to avoid any miscommunication, you can use navigation apps like Baidu Maps or Didi Chuxing to guide the driver.

Taxi Prices and Tips

Shanghai taxis operate on a metered fare system, which ensures transparency and prevents overcharging. The initial flag-down fare varies depending on the type of taxi, but it’s generally around 14-18 RMB (Chinese Yuan) for the first 3 kilometers. After that, the fare increases incrementally based on the distance traveled.

It’s important to note that taxi fares may be subject to additional charges during peak hours, late-night rides, or when crossing certain toll roads. These additional charges will be clearly displayed on the meter, so you don’t need to worry about unexpected fees.

As for tipping, it’s not customary to tip taxi drivers in Shanghai. However, if the driver provides exceptional service or goes above and beyond to assist you, a small tip or rounding up the fare to the nearest whole number is appreciated.

Lastly, if you prefer to pay by cash, make sure to have small bills on hand, as drivers may not always have sufficient change for larger denominations. Alternatively, many taxis in Shanghai now accept mobile payment methods such as WeChat Pay or Alipay, which are convenient and widely used in China.


Taxis in Shanghai offer a convenient and affordable way to explore the city. With taxi stops located throughout the city, hailing a taxi is a breeze. Remember to check for the “空车” sign to ensure the taxi is available, and don’t forget to communicate your destination clearly to the driver. Enjoy the ride as you discover the vibrant streets and iconic landmarks of Shanghai!

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