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. 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.

Photography at Fangsheng Bridge

Fangsheng Bridge (放生桥), rebuilt 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 for 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 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 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 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 in 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 one 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 post cards which represent the living condition and folk customs of different social strata.

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

Recommended Visiting Route

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 leisurely 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 panoramic view of Zhujiajiao, have a look at City God Temple before heading to Shanghai Handcraft Exhibition Hall. Then, continue your trip to Tong Tianhe Chinese Pharmacy, Humanistic Museum and Y-Art Gallery before you leave.

>> 3 Days Classic Shanghai Tour with Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town Map Click to Enlarge Zhujiajiao Tourist Map

How to Get to Zhujiajiao from Shanghai

The distance between Shanghai and Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is 48 kilometers. It takes about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  • From Shanghai Tourist Center: there are buses running between 07:00~16:30, leaving every half hour. It takes about 1 hour from Shanghai Tourist Center to Zhujiajiao.
  • From Renmin 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 05:30~18:40 which leave every half hour.

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

Travel with China Discovery (Top Recommended):

If you want to get rid of 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

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