As of July of 2023, there is just one direct high-speed train daily running between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The journey takes approximately 8 hours and covers a distance of about 1,600 kilometers. The direct train departs from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. One-way fares for second class seat start at ¥894.
However, the best way to make the journey is to take a connection at Shenzhen North (Shenzhenbei). This option offers more trains choices and is more flexible with your schedule.
- 1. Hong Kong – Shanghai by direct train: G99 / G100
- 2. Hong Kong – Shenzhen North – Shanghai: with more trains
Train or Plane
While air travel may seem quicker, it can be stressful with long wait times, delays, and unpredictable weather conditions. Traveling by high-speed train instead offers a comfortable, punctual, and modernized experience. With up to 16 – 17 daily trains (if you make a connection at Shenzhen North), passengers can travel directly between city centers in just a few hours, and enjoy stunning views of China’s landscape along the way.
Option 1. G99 / G100 by Direct Train
If you choose to travel with the direct train, you’ll find that there is just one daily direct high-speed train available between Shanghai & Hong Kong: G99 & G100, both of which are using Hong Kong West Kowloon Station & Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, taking about 8 hours.
|Train No.||Departure Station||Departure||Arrival Station||Arrival||Frequency||Duration||Fares|
|G100||HK West Kowloon||11:25||Shanghai Hongqiao||19:25||Daily||8 hrs||￥894|
|G99||Shanghai Hongqiao||14:09||HK West Kowloon||22:05||Daily||7h56m||￥894|
For a live schedule & ticket availability & refer to www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/
G99 / G100 Train Route
The G99 / G100 run along the major railway arteries between Hong Kong & Shanghai, making stops at major cities’ train station, including Shenzhen North, Huizhou North, Ganzhou West, Nanchang West, Jinhua, Hangzhou East.
Option 2: Making a Connection at Shenzhen North
The second option is to make a connection at Shenzhen North (Hong Kong West Kowloon – Shenzhen North – Shanghai). This option offers more flexibility in terms of departure and arrival times, as this route typically offers up to 65 daily high-speed trains running between Hong Kong West Kowloon and Shenzhen North, as well as 12 daily high-speed trains running between Shenzhen North and Shanghai.
Of the 12 daily high-speed trains between Shenzhen North and Shanghai, 11 trains arrive at Shanghai Hongqiao station, with only one, however, arriving at the at the Shanghai Railway Station.
If you plan on making a connection at Shenzhen North, it is recommended to allow at least 45 minutes in the station for the transfer.
Which Train Station in Shanghai
If you are traveling between Hong Kong & Shanghai, be it by a direct train or making a connection at Shenzhen North, Shanghai Hongqiao is your major station option in Shanghai, as it serves most of the bullet trains to or from Hong Kong, Guangzhou South, Shenzhen North. Another major station Shanghai Railway Station serves just 1-2 trains to Shenzhen, with no trains to Hong Kong available.
You can use the official Shanghai metro http://service.shmetro.com/en/ to plan your route.
Shanghai is served by several train stations, including Shanghai Hongqiao, Shanghai Station (Shanghai Railway Station), and Shanghai South. Here’s a comparison of these stations:
|Features||Shanghai Hongqiao||Shanghai Station||Shanghai South|
|Location||Minhang District||Jing’an District||Xuhui District|
|Transportation||metro line 2, line 10, line 17||metro line 1, line 3 and line 4||metro line 1, line 3 and line 15.|
|Distance from City Center||17.5 km (10.9 miles)||3.5 km (2.2 miles)||11 km (6.8 miles)|
|Train Service||High-speed trains,||High-speed trains & regular trains||Regular trains|
|Destinations||Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong||Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Beijing||Kunming, Guiyang, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, etc|
Hong Kong West Kowloon Station
Hong Kong West Kowloon Station is currently the only train station that operates high speed trains to mainland China. It operates once daily direct train to Shanghai Hongqiao Station. You can take the MTR to the West Kowloon Station. It is located between Kowloon Station & Austin Station. Just use www.mtr.com.hk/en/customer/jp2/ to plan your route.
Photo Guide: how to take a train from HK West Kowloon
How to Buy Tickets Online
There are several ways to book your train tickets online. Just remember that booking herizon for train tickets opens 15 days before your travel date. It is recommended to book you tickets as soon as possible in advance to secure your seat at your desired departure time.
Check Live English Schedule
1. Book with 12306 China Railway
Jack’s friendly reminder: In the official site www.12306.cn, you can enter “hkw” or ‘hkwestkowloon‘ as Hong Kong West Kowloon Station; and “shanghaihongqiao” or “shhq” as Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, and enter “shenzhenbei” or “szb” as Shenzhen North Railway Station.
2. Book with China Highlights
www.chinahighlights.com is a trusted online ticket agent who get possitive reviews & is often recommended on Trip Advisor forum. They offer real-time train schedule online, English-language support, They can also provide assistance in case of any issues with your tickets or travel or when you’re running into trouble. Even they can deliver tickets to your hotel in advance. You can place orders with them any time. They are helpful, especially when you’re not familiar with the China’s transportation system or do not speak Chinese.
How to Buy Tickets at Train Station
If you prefer to purchase your train tickets in person at the train station, you can do so at either Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, or any train stations in Shanghai, including Shanghai Hongqiao, and the centrally-located Shanghai Railway Station. Remember to bring your passports or any other necessary documents when buying your tickets.
When to Buy Tickets
Tickets can be booked up to 15 days on the official 12306 China Railway website. It is always advisable to buy tickets in advance to secure ticket availability or seat assignment. Ticets tend to sell out quickly on this popular route especially during the bussy travel peak period, such as the public National Days (Gold Week), Labour’s Days, Chinese Moon Festival or Qingming Festival. But if you use an online ticket agent www.chinahighlights.com, you can order tickets any time with them and they will book it for you once the tickets are released online.
Immigration & Customs Procedures at Hong Kong West Kowloon
Hong Kong West Kowloon Station is a joint checkpoint between Hong Kong and mainland China, which means that border control and immigration procedures for both Hong Kong and mainland China are conducted in one place in Hong Kong West Kowloon Station. So prepare for all necessary travel documents like passports and visas at hand and allow surfficient time for the immigration and customs procedures for both Hong Kong and Manland sides.
How much time do I need to clear immigration at West Kowloon Station
It is advised to arrive at the West Kowloon Station at least 45 minutes before your departure time, as you need to go through both the Hong Kong Port and the Mainland Port on the same floor of the station. The immigration process may take longer during peak hours or holidays, so you should plan ahead and allow enough time for clearance.
Boarding Tips and Procedures
Make sure to arrive at the train station early enough before departure time to allow for ticket checks, immigration and custom procedures, security checks and boarding. You will need to present your passport and train ticket for verification before boarding the train.
Visa to Mainland China
You need a visa to enter mainland China if you are taking a train from Hong Kong to Beijing. While most passports are granted visa on arrival for Hong Kong, you’ll still need a visa to enter mainland China. Just apply it in advance.
Hong Kong Train Travel Video Guides
How long is the bullet train from Shanghai to Hong Kong?
The bullet train, or high-speed train, from Shanghai Hongqiao to Hong Kong West Kowloon takes approximately 7 hours and 56 minutes.
How fast is the high-speed train from Shanghai to Hong Kong?
The high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao to Hong Kong West Kowloon travels at a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), making it one of the fastest ways to travel between these two cities.
How far is Shanghai from Hong Kong?
The distance between Shanghai and Hong Kong is around 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) when traveling by train.
Hong Kong to Shanghai by train or plane?
Both train and plane are viable options for traveling between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The high-speed train takes approximately 7-8 hours, while a flight takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. The choice between train and plane will depend on factors such as travel budget, time constraints, personal preference, and availability of transportation options.
Trusted Online Ticket Agents:
Option 1: China Highlights is a reliable online agency for China train ticketing. They get positive reviews on TripAdvisor & Trustpilot. Sharon and her team help you buy tickets & plan rail routes even deliver tickets to your hotels with a service fee.
Option 2: Trip.com is an internatioal brand owned by Ctrip Group, China's largest online travel booking platform. Trip.com offers booking service for flight, train, hotel, activities, etc