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Why Visit Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

Zhujiajiao (朱家角) Ancient Town, or Zhujiajiao Water Town, reputed as "Venice of Shanghai", was listed as one of the top four cultural ancient towns in Shanghai, about 48 kilometers west from Shanghai downtown area. Zhujiajiao ancient town is located in Qingpu District of Shanghai, linked by subway line 17, close to Dianshan Lake scenic spot. It is a typical ancient Chinese water town. The town has many sites to see such as traditional couryards and gardens, as well as many snacks and souvenir shops. It is the top ancient town to visit around Shanghai. It is with 150 hectare which is three times larger than Zhouzhuang Water Town (周庄) in Suzhou.

Someone called it a dazzling pearl situated along Dianshan Lake (淀山湖) and now this 1700-year-old ancient town is still bright and flourishing. Once you visit this gorgeous town, the beautiful scene will fix in your memory - clear waters with traditional boats sailing on, old bridges standing across the rivers, thousands of Ming-Qing architectures flanking both banks of the river, old and long streets stretching through the whole town…It is primitive, full of charm and enjoyment. It is an exquisite water town taking you to relax your body and mind for a day trip from Shanghai.

Highlights & Experience in Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

The featured cultural sites of Zhujiajiao Ancient Town are one bridge, one street, one temple, one hall, two gardens, three bays and twenty-six alleys, showing the magnificence in some ways. Of course, as a traveler, you will have many interesting things to do to be immersed in the beautiful water town.

Zhujiajiao Water Town Opening Hours

As a small village, Zhujiajiao Water Town is opening all day. but some attractions, shops and restaurants might be close on certain time according to their own will.

Zhujiajiao Entrance Fee

It's free to enter Zhujiajiao village. There are also additional fee to certain attractions. You are recommended to buy the combo ticket to enter 7 attractions, including Museum of Humanities, Tibetan Culture Museum, Qing Dynasty Post Office, City God Temple, Handicraft Museum, Yuan Jin Temple, Kezhi Garden (人文艺术馆+扎西达娲藏文化体验馆+大清邮局 +城隍庙+手工艺馆+圆津禅院+课植园). If you would like to take a boat, the price is about CNY 30 per person per time.

Where to Put the Luggage

The tourist service center of Zhujiajiao provides luggage storage service.

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Photography at Fangsheng Bridge

Fangsheng Bridge (放生桥), built in 1571, is standing across Caogang River (漕港河), linking the north and south part of Zhujiajiao. It is the symbolic spot of Zhujiajiao Ancient Town. What’s more, it’s called the No. 1 bridge of Shanghai for it is the longest, largest, tallest bridge with five holes. The name of Fangsheng is releasing animals that on the first day and the fifteenth day of every lunar month, monks and Buddhists will gather here to release animals.

Fangsheng Bridge is the best site for travelers, even for photographers to take some awesome pictures – Ming-Qing buildings with white walls and black tile standing both sides of the river, traditional boats coming and going...It will add more exquisiteness to the pictures when it is sunny, rainy, and misty.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - Fangsheng Bridge Fangsheng Bridge - Symbol Spot of Zhujiajiao

Impressed by Concept of Life in Kezhi Garden

Kezhi Garden (课植园) is a hidden treasure with a typical Jiangnan style. The former owner was Ma Weiqi (马维骐) whose family were salt merchants for generations, being one of the richest men in Zhujiajiao Ancient Town. The garden is divided into two parts, one is the study area (Ke Garden, 课园) and the other is the farming area (Zhi Garden, 植园), implying that people should study and farm to keep the house. There are over 200 buildings linking each other and among them, Wangyue Tower (望月楼) and Shucheng (书城) are the architectures with a combination of Chinese and Western style. The poetries of the Four Scholars of Jiangnan (Tang, Zhu, Wen and Zhou) in the Ming Dynasty were inscribed on the tablet corridor.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - Kezhi Garden Kezhi Garden - Treasure of Jiangnan Style

Stroll along Hundred-year-old North Street

The North Street (北大街) is the most well-preserved Ming-Qing Street in Shanghai. Strolling leisurely along the stone-paved old street, you’ll be immersed in the busy commercialized feeling and explore different kinds of art shops and century-old brand shops, like Club Teahouse, Handalong Sauce, and Pickles Shop and see the locals talking with each other over the window on the second floor. Walking on the street and looking up, you’ll find the sky turning into a finedraw, so the North Street is also called “A Street of Finedraw”.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - North Street North Street Strolling - Get Old Chinese Feeling

Have Panoramic View on Yuanjin Buddhist Temple

Yuanjin Buddhist Temple (圆津禅院) was built in Yuan Dynasty with more than 600 years’ history. This temple enshrines Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and so the temple is called “Niang Niang Temple”. Travelers can explore the peaceful temple by visiting the Maitreya Hall, Hall of Three Saints (Amitabha, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Mahasthamaprapta), Yongyue Well, Yuantong Treasure Hall, and Qinghua Pavilion. You can climb up to the third floor of Qinghua Pavilion to have the panoramic view of Zhujiajiao Ancient Town.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - Yuanjin Buddhist Temple Yuanjin Buddhist Temple - over 600 Years Old

Visit Three Treasures in City God Temple

Zhujiajiao was flourished with Buddhism and Taoism in ancient times. You have known that Yuanjin is a Buddhist temple while this City God Temple (城隍庙) is a Taoist temple with typical Taoist architecture. The main duty of City God Temple is to protect the wellness and happiness of the local people. Entering into the temple, you’ll see a screen wall with “The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea” and a pair of stone lions. Besides, travelers can have a look at the three treasures – the old drama stage, big abacus and hundred-year-old gingko tree.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - City God Temple City God Temple - Typical Taoist Temple

Know Postal History by Visit Qing-dynasty Post Office

Do you know the history and development of post and postal service in China? Paying a short visit to the Qing Post Office (大清邮局) which is the only well-kept Qing-dynasty post site in Shanghai, you will have a brief understanding about the thousand-year-long post and postal service of China. It was first set in 1903 and in the exhibition hall, you can see different kinds of Qing postcards which represent the living condition and folk customs of different social strata.

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Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - Qing-dynasty Post Office Qing-dynasty Post Office - Established for over 100 Years

Relax on Lovely Water to Enjoy Fascinating Scenery

Spend about 30 minutes relaxing yourselves on a boat sailing on the lovely water and you’ll enjoy the fascinating scenery of Zhujiajiao along the way. Travelers usually take the following popular routes: Fangsheng Bridge – Kezhi Garden, City God Temple – Kezhi Garden and Kezhi Garden – Fangsheng Bridge. The maximum number of tourists on a boat is six people, which is comfortable and less crowded.

There are eight piers scattered in the whole town and the boats will pass Yong’an Bridge (永安桥), Zhonglong Bridge (中龙桥), Tai’an Bridge (泰安桥), Lang Bridge (廊桥), Chenghuang Bridge (城隍桥) and Yongfeng Bridge (永丰桥) and traditional buildings and sites along the way. Please discuss your favorite route with your local tour guide.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Shanghai - Boat Leisure Time by Boat in Zhujiajiao

How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town

Recommended Visiting Route From South Entrance: The ancient town of Zhujiajiao is not very big. You can walk around it and have a tour for about half a day to one day. After entering the ancient town from the south entrance, you will first come to Zhuxi garden and the Museum of Humanities. Zhuxi garden is a small and exquisite garden, which is now open for free. The Museum of Humanities is a modern white building with unique shape, which records the local history and culture of Zhujiajiao in the form of oil paintings and sculptures.

After passing the Museum of Humanities, you come to the North Street. There are a lot of tourists having snacks and shopping. You can eat the famous rice dumplings, sauced pig's feet, and all kinds of exquisite cakes here.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Map Click to Enlarge Zhujiajiao Tourist Map

Walk slowly along the North Street, and on the right there are several bridges with different shapes, such as Yongfeng bridge and Tai'an bridge. Caohe street is on the other side of the river. There are many scenic spots along the river, such as the Qing dynasty post office, Wang Chang memorial hall, City God's Temple, Yuan Jin temple and so on, which can be visited leisurely. Besides scenic spots, there are many small shops and bookstores.

There is a bridge on the right side of North Street across the main river, which is the famous Fangsheng bridge in Zhujiajiao. On the other side of the Caogang River, there are still small waterways. And the most important traditional garden in Zhujiajiao scenic spot is also here.

Recommended Visiting Route From North Entrance: Your Zhujiajiao Ancient Town tour usually begins from Kezhi Garden which is close to the north entrance to the studying area and farming area of Kezhi Garden, pay a visit to Shanghai Quanhua Art Gallery to enjoy water townships and watercolor, take a leisure walk to Fangsheng Bridge and take some great pictures, stroll along the old North Street which takes your back into old times, cross Tai’an Bridge and reach Yuanjin Buddhist Temple and climb up Qinghua Pavilion to have a panoramic view of Zhujiajiao, have a look at City God Temple before heading to Shanghai Handicraft Exhibition Hall. Then, continue your trip to Tong Tianhe Chinese Pharmacy, Humanistic Museum, and Y-Art Gallery before you leave.

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How to Get to Zhujiajiao from Shanghai

The distance between Shanghai and Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is 48 kilometers. It takes about 1 hour by car. Linked by subway line 17, you can easily transfer from Shanghai downtown area to Zhujiajiao in Qingpu district.

  • From Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station: You can take the subway line 17 from Hongqiao stop to Zhujiajiao Stop with a duration of about 1 hour. After getting off the train, you can get to Bus Zhujiajiao No. 2 to the scenic area directly.
  • From Shanghai Tourist Center: there are buses running between the tourist center and Zhujiajiao. It takes about 1 hour from Shanghai Tourist Center to Zhujiajiao.
  • From People's Square: travelers can take buses at Pu’an Jinling Road which leaves every half hour and takes about 1 hour.
  • From Shanghai South Railway Station: buses are available during the daytime which leave every half hour.

The above is the general travel information and may subject to change. For more detailed transportation info from Shanghai to Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, please feel free to contact our professional travel consultants.

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If you want to get rid of the hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Zhujiajiao Water Town with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Location Map Click to Enlarge Zhujiajiao Location Map

How to Plan a Shanghai Tour

How to Get to Shanghai: You can fly to Shanghai directly from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Los Angeles & many overseas countries (regions) and almost all major Chinese cities, like Beijing, Xian; or take high speed bullet train to Shanghai from domestic cities.

Best Time to Visit Shanghai: March to May (in spring) & September to November (in autumn), because these periods offer beautiful nature scenery and comfortable weather for outdoor sightseeing and activities.

Top Attractions to Visit in Shanghai: The Bund, Lujiazui Skyscrapers, Yu Garden, Shanghai Museum, French Concession, Shanghai Disney Resort…

Best known as an international popular tourist destination, Shanghai perfectly preserves mixed culture of the western and eastern. The duration and theme of your Shanghai tour can be flexibly arranged based on your time and interests. Usually, tourists spend 2 days on sightseeing the most famous landmarks, including the Bund, Yu Garden, skyscrapers like Shanghai Tower, World Financial Center, Former French Concession, Shanghai Museum, etc. With one extra day, you can enjoy family fun in Disneyland Park or visit Zhujiajiao Water Town in the suburb. Don't miss the Shanghai Maglev Train, wonderful nightlife and Shanghai Cuisine.

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Convenient transportation makes it quite efficient and popular to make day trips from Shanghai to Hangzhou, Suzhou, and longer vacation in Huangshan Mountain, Nanjing, Mount Jiuhua and other places in surrounding areas. So you can visit West Lake and learn Chinese tea culture in Hangzhou, marvel at tasteful classical gardens and witness Chinese silk productive process. Splendid rocky mountains with exotic pine trees are highlights in Huangshan Mountain.

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Beijing Xian Shanghai are golden triangle cities often visited together for a week holiday. You can use 3 days to visit the Great Wall and major iconic spots like Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and leave 2 days for fulfilling your Terracotta Warriors tour in Xian. With more time, you can extend the trip from Shanghai to Zhangjiajie, Guilin, Chengdu, Yunnan, Silk Road, Tibet and more phenomenal destinations to enrich your China discovery. (more top China tours from Shanghai >>)

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Travel with China Discovery

As a leading travel agency in China which dedicates to offering high-quality China tours, China Discovery has helped thousands of travelers enjoy their trips to Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, etc., in China. Travel with us, you can enjoy worry-free tour services as well as well-organized itineraries, even our assistance of Chinese Visa application, convenient airport/train station pick-up & drop-off and transfer between all scenic spots, knowledgeable tour guide, safe & licensed private vehicle, satisfactory accommodation and dining and so on. You are free to choose from our most popular Shanghai tour packages or contact us to design a memorable holiday in Shanghai, China.

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