Shanghai is massive, so it is very useful to have an up-to-date transportation or “jiao tong” map.  This can be found in most hotels and convenient stores, some include outlines of subway and bus routes. Here you can find english metro map and metro station search. The city has a great public transportation system offering busses, ferries, a subway, and a light rail. Taxis will also get you anywhere you want to go. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with where you want to go and far it will be.  While some areas are close enough to walk, it is good to get a sense of this early. 

Remember that Shanghai is split into two main areas divided by the Huangpu River and is made up of 16 districts and three counties. The district east of the river is the area of most rapid growth in a slightly more suburban setting called Pudong (meaning Pu east, using part of the name of the river).  The area on the west, the larger portion of the city, is generally referred to as Puxi (meaning Pu west).  It is helpful to know if you are going to Pudong or Puxi, and then which district.  Shanghai's roads change all the time, and it helps in asking for directions if you know where you are headed in a general sense.

Taxis are the speediest form of transportation in the city, except during rush hour.  Rush hour goes from about 7:30 to 9:00AM, and then again in the evening from about 4:45-6:30PM.  This is a time when you will need to budget in extra time for travel.  The subway is not affected by rush hour in terms of time, but it is extremely crowded.