Zhujiajiao Water Town is about 50 km away from the Bund, Shanghai. If your time is limited, Zhujiajiao would be the best and 2nd nearest option to get a feel of such ancient towns around Shanghai. Similar to Venice in Italy, there are many well preserved bridges and boat ride is available.
Zhujiajiao Water Town Facts
- Chinese: 朱家角 Zhūjiā Jiǎo /joo-jyaa jyaoww/ ‘Zhu Family Settlement’
- Area: 47 square kilometers
- Age: over 1,700 years
- Popular activities: boating, walking, and photography
- Must sees: ancient buildings and bridges
- Suited to: travelers who have limited time in Shanghai
- Time needed: 3 hours
Top Things to Do in Zhujiajiao Water Town
Zhujiajiao is a township in the Qingpu District of Shanghai. In the centuries past Zhujiajiao was a trading area due to the many canals, which were used to ferry products along in little boats and barges.
This ancient town is well endowed with waterways, 36 ancient bridges, and traditional Chinese-style residences.
1. Walk Along Bei Dajie (North Street)
Among Zhujiajiao’s nine old streets, North Street is the best preserved ancient street with some of the buildings dating back to the Qing Dynasty era (1644-1912).
Nowadays, plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops line both sides of the narrow street. You can take a stroll along the street to see the ancient buildings, sample some local snacks or relax in a artsy bar.
2. Visit Kezhi Yuan
Kezhi Yuan at the northern edge of the old district on Xijing Street is a garden dating back to 1912. The word “kezhi” means to learn to plant, a lesson on plants or a class about plants, so it was a place to see and learn about them.
The area consists of a main hall, a garden, and an artificial hill. The landmark of the gardens is a five story building with a pavilion on its roof – the tallest structure in the ancient town of Zhujiajiao.
3. Go to a Qing Dynasty Post Office
On Xihu Street, there is a post office that was built during the Qing Dynasty, and it is said to be the best preserved of its era in China. There are many exhibits and among them are old letters written on bamboo and antique postcards of old Shanghai.
4. Visit Fangsheng Bridge
Fangsheng Bridge is one of the main attractions among the ancient the 36 ancient stone bridges, some of which are only a yard wide. It was built in 1812 and is said to be the largest stone arch bridge in Shanghai, resting on five arches, and being about 70 meters long and 5.8 meters tall.
One way to see the bridges is to take a boat trip – these small boats seat five adults or six children. The fare is about 80 yuan (13 USD).
5. Have a Zhujiajiao Cruise
Small gondolas can be seen everywhere in the town, and are a nice way to get a view of the town from the water. Each gondola can hold six people. There are two kinds of trip: short distance and long distance.
The short-distance trip takes passengers up and down the main canal, and the price is about 80 yuan per boat for about 10 minutes.
The long-distance cruise travels all over the town and back again, and the price is 150 yuan per boat. Tickets can be bought at the small wooden ticket booths.
Docks you can take a boat trip from: Fangsheng Bridge (放生桥), Kezhi Yuan (课植园) and the City God Temple (城隍庙).
How to Get to Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town from Shanghai
From Downtown Shanghai
- By Metro: Take Shanghai Metro Line 17 and get off at Zhujiajiao Station, and then walk for about 20 minutes to get there.
- By Taxi: A trip to Zhujiajiao Water Town costs about 200 yuan. Make a note of the address and show it to the driver.
- By Bus: There is a tourist bus operating from Shanghai Stadium (Gate 5) in the mornings. There is also an inexpensive small pink bus that leaves from Pu’an Road Bus Station or Shanghai Ti Yu Guan Station. Take the bus line called Hùzhū Gāosù Kuàixiàn. The trip takes an hour and costs 12 yuan.
From Pudong International Airport
If you have 12 hours layover in Shanghai, you can consider a trip to Zhujiajiao Water Town.
Take a shuttle bus or the Metro Line 2 from Pudong Airport to Hongqiao Airport, then walk to the subway station from where take the Metro Line 17 and get off at Zhujiajiao Station. It takes about 2.5 hours one way.
We suggest booking a private tour. A private tour can make the most of your time and improve the comfort and pleasure of your journey. Your local guide and driver will meet you at your designated place to pick you up. During your whole tour, your guide and driver will escort you until you arrive at your hotel or airport safely.
Travel Essentials for Planning a Trip
- Location: located in Qingpu District, about 50 km away from the Bund, Shanghai .
- Opening hours: 8:30am-4:30pm
- Entrance fee: You don’t need a ticket to walk around, but it is an official tourist area, so some attractions and buildings require a ticket. For your reference:
1. CNY 30 for four scenic spots (including Tongtianhe Medicine Shop, Qing Dynasty Post Office, Y-Art Gallery, and Kezhi Garden);
2. CNY 60 for eight scenic spots (including Y-Art Gallery, Tongtianhe Medicine Shop, Qing Dynasty Post Office, City God Temple, Yuanjin Meditation Room, Handwork Exhibition Hall, Quanhua Art Hall and Kezhi Garden);
3. CNY 80 for cruise boat and eight scenic spots metioned above.
- Tip: This place is crowded with both local and foreign visitors during weekends and public holidays in China. You’d better visit the town on a weekday.