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Zhujiajiao Water Town – the Nearest Ancient Town to Shanghai

The ancient town of Zhujiajiao, the elegant side of Shanghai, is known for delicious snacks, delicate stone bridges, little rivers, old houses, willow trees and zigzag stone streets.

With a history dating back over a thousand years, it is still the best-preserved town near Shanghai. Walking around in it takes you back in time and you may suddenly feel you are part of some Chinese legend.

  • Transport: 1 hour’s drive from the Bund, Shanghai
  • History: over 1,700 years
  • Visiting time: 3 hours
  • Suitable for: all people (but not recommend for the disabled)
  • English signs: not many

Why We Recommend Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town

Zhujiajiao Water Town

Although the atmosphere in Zhujiajiao is different from Venice, it is known as the “Venice of the East”, because of all the waterways going through the town. There are 36 old bridges and 9 streets lining the rivers. It is a pearl of southeast China.

  • It is a foodie’s paradise. Visitors like to sample snacks there.
  • There are not many visitors in town in the mornings (before 12:00) on weekdays.
  • It is the nearest popular ancient town to Shanghai.
  • Over 1,000 well-preserved houses built in the Ming (1368–1644 AD) and Qing (1644–1912 AD) dynasties line the streets.

Explore the Highlights

The following 4 highlights of Zhujiajiao are highly recommended by China Travel.

The Qing Dynasty Post Office

1. Taking a Gondola

Never miss to take a gondola in a water town. It is the best experience. Boat time is about 20 minutes.

2. The Qing Dynasty Post Office

Built in 1892, it was the first post office in eastern China. There you will see many curious objects, such as the fish-style envelopes used in ancient times and post cards of old Shanghai. You will get to know about the development of the Chinese postal service.

3. Kezhi Garden

This is a garden used for learning and planting; it is tranquil and peaceful. It is situated on the North Street and consists of a gallery, an artificial hill and a park.

There are rock formations you can climb on and caves to walk into, and a fish pond where you can feed fish. You will see many decorations and tiny bridges, a lot of vegetation and carved seats.

Fangsheng Bridge

4. Fangsheng Bridge

Linking the two sides of the main waterway, it is a medieval bridge used only by pedestrians. It is best seen from the gondola. So you can take a boat to visit it.

Nearby Attractions

Seven Treasures Ancient Water Town

Why is it called Seven Treasures Town?  Find your answer on Qibao Ancient Town.

The town is basically divided into 2 streets - South Street and North Street. There are many delicious snacks sold on South Street. It is an attraction for foodies and people from all over the world.

Jinze Ancient Water Town (2 hours)

  • It is untouched by tourism. Most visitors don’t know this water town. But there are well-established facilities in the town. It is just 30 minutes drive from Zhujiajiao.
  • It is the only water town near Shanghai to boat on your own. If you wish to boat for a while, the boatman will teach you. You can also just sit in the gondola and be taken around.
  • It is famous for bridges. There were 42 famous bridges but only 7 can be seen now. The oldest bridge dates from the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

After visiting Zhujiajiao and Qibao, it is recommended that you also visit Jinze on the day.

How to Get to Zhujiajiao

Bus/Subway: The most-affordable method.

  • There is a tourist bus from Shanghai Stadium (Gate 5) in the mornings. The buses go directly to Zhujiajiao.
  • Take Huzhu Express Line which is found at People's Square, Pu'an Road, and Jinling Road. The bus leaves every 30 minutes and the trip to Zhujiajiao Bus Station takes about an hour. Cost: RMB 12. Get off the bus and walk about 10 minutes to the town.
  • Take Metro Line 17 from Shanghai Hongqiao Subway Station to Zhujiajiao Subway Station.

Our Customers and Guide

Taxi: One way costs over 200 RMB. But it is hard to find a taxi to take you back to Shanghai. 

With China Travel: This will solve your problems, like not knowing Chinese, finding the bus station, going to a wrong town and waiting. Our English-speaking guide and experienced driver will make your trip easy and fun, and serve your party only.

We pick you up at the place you tell us (hotel, cruise terminal, airport or train station) and guide you in Zhujiajiao, and then transfer you to the place you want to go: 1-Day Private Zhujiajiao Tour.

Best Time to Visit : in the morning of weekdays

The scenery is suitable for a visit all year round. But you will find that there are less people in the morning of weekdays. Also avoid Chinese public holidays like National Day and Labor Day.

Admission Fee

  • RMB 80 for a boat cruise and eight scenic spots:  Kezhi Garden, Shanghai Quanhua Watercolor Art Gallery, Yunjin Buddhist Temple, Shanghai Handicrafts Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall,City God Temple, Qing Dynasty Post Office, Zhaxidawa Experience Museum of Tibetan Culture,Y-Art Gallery
  • RMB 60 for eight scenic spots: Kezhi Garden, Shanghai Quanhua Watercolor Art Gallery, Yunjin Buddhist Temple, Shanghai Handicrafts Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall,City God Temple, Qing Dynasty Post Office, Zhaxidawa Experience Museum of Tibetan Culture,Y-Art Gallery
  • RMB 30 for four scenic spots: Kezhi Garden, Qing Dynasty Post Office, Zhaxidawa Experience Museum of Tibetan Culture,Y-Art Gallery

Our Customers' Reviews on Trip Advisor

Fábio L
Reviewed May 17, 2019

From the moment Kenny was there in the airport waiting for me and my family, until the time she walked us to our departure flight, we felt very welcome and happy during our 3-day stay in Shanghai.
Great stories and highlights from the city, excellent restaurant recommendations, great connection with my 6 year old daughter... Kenny was an excellent host during our time in the city.
The city is very well organised, modern, tourist friendly... really felt in love with Shanghai!

Reviewed May 15, 2019

Daniel Shao was an excellent guide. I enjoyed his company and his expertise. He took me to the best Chinese restaurant I ate at during my month-long stay in Shanghai.
The Shanghai Highlights back office leaves something to be desired, however. Do inquire as to alternate payment methods - such as giving cash to your concierge and having them pay via one of the many Chinese payment systems we foreigners don't have access to - as they don't advertise them.

Click to see all our customers’ reviews on Trip Advisor>>

Tour Zhujiaojiao with China Travel

Our Customers and Guide

Join our Zhujiajiao Water Town Tour from Shanghai, we will help you enjoy the following:

  • Exploring the highlights listed above without any hassles
  • Taking a boat ride along the canal in Zhujiajiao
  • Sampling snacks on South Street in Seven Treasures Town
  • A driver with over 5 years of experience and an English-speaking guide with excellent knowledge of water towns, dedicated to serve your private party only on your tour day.
  • Being picked up at the place you wish

Included in the Price:

  • Private English-speaking guide service fee
  • Private transfer service with air-conditioned 7-seater business car
  • All entrance tickets and lunch
  • Service charge and tax
  • China life tourist accident/casualty insurance

Good to Know

  • This is a private no-shopping tour. Your guide and driver only serve your party on your tour day.
  • You will receive a confirmation letter within 24 hours of payment.
  • An extra fee will be applied if you need to be transferred to or from the airport, cruise terminal or train station.
  • An extra fee will also be applied if your hotel is outside the middle ring road in Shanghai.
  • The meal will be in a Chinese restaurant and your guide will order dishes according to your taste.

Related Reading:

You may get confused with which water town is the best to go if you are first time to visit, so we list all the water towns with detailed information for your inspiration: