China has different cities on the water, and Zhujiajiao Water Town is one of the most famous ones. Zhujiajiao city is located 74 km from Shanghai as a typical and ancient water town in the Qingpu District, south of the Yangtze River. Historians have estimated that Zhujiajiao Water Town dates back to 1,700 years ago.
Venice of Shanghai
Since China has several cities on the water, Zhujiajiao Water Town has earned the title “Venice of Shanghai”. When you set foot inside this charming town, you can see lovely waterways, curved rock bridges, old streets cemented with stone, and over 10,000 buildings dating back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911).
Zhujiajiao As a Business Town
There are four ancient towns in Shanghai, and Zhujiajiao Water Town is the best-preserved one among all. During the Three Kingdoms time, Zhujiajiao Water Town was host to country fairs and successful business deals.
Walking On a Fresh and Elegant Painting
If you want to feel like walking on a fresh and elegant painting, Zhujiajiao Water Town is the place to go. Taking a stroll on the zigzag stone pathway and the long winding lanes would definitely bring you that feeling.
Highlights of Zhujiajiao Water Town
Zhujiajiao Water Town is around 47 square km, and if you want to see everything properly, you will need to spend a good 3 hours here. You can see several historic sites and gardens here mostly built during the eras of Qing and Ming Dynasties.
Located at the northern edge of the old district on Xijing Street, Kezhi Yuan is a garden, which dates back to 1912. It is the biggest manor-style private park in Zhujiajiao Water Town and one of the largest gardens in southern China.
“Kezhi” means “learning to plant”, so this place functioned as a classroom for planting. The Lawn has lovely sights and a quiet environment. The area includes three parts, the main hall, a garden, and an artificial hill.
The highlight of Kezhi Yuan is its foursquare five-story building that features a pavilion on the roof named as “Moon View Pavilion”. This building is the tallest structure of Zhujiajiao Water Town.
Fangsheng Bridge, also known as “The Rainbow of Zhujiajiao”, is one of the main attractions of Zhujiajiao Water Town constructed in 1812. It stands around 5.8 tall and stretches for 70 meters resting on five archers.
In English, “Fangsheng” means “releasing animals” which is interpreted as “humans are merciful to animals, so Buddha will also be merciful to them”, according to local people. There are other stone bridges in the area, but The Fangsheng Bridge is the largest and best-preserved one that still stands firm.
If you want to see the bridge, you need to take a boat trip. Small boats, which contain seats for five adults or six children with a low fare of 80 Yuan (13 USD), are available to see this beautiful bridge from up close.
Zhujiajiao Water Town Culture and Art Museum
Located at the entrance of Zhujiajiao Water Town, Zhujiajiao Culture and Art Museum is the best place to start your day in the town. The museum covers an area of 2000 square meters displaying fantastic paintings and statues. Zhujiajiao helps you to gain a better understanding of Zhujiajiao’s history and culture.
Qing Dynasty Former Post Office
Located on Xihu Street, this post office was built during the rule of the Qing Dynasty. This old post office was a witness to the development of China’s post services. It’s one of the best-preserved post offices of its era in China.
Here, you can visit a large number of old stamps, envelops, postcards, and even old letters written on bamboo in the two-floor building. There are four paintings on the second floor that would show you how mail carriers delivered messages in old China.
City God Temple
God Temples are often built to commemorate a local hero, and as the name says, they look like temples; however, in Zhujiajiao Water Town, the case is a bit different. It does not look like a temple and it resembles a garden more. If you are visiting the town, you can take a rest and appreciate the exquisite rockery, pool, and pavilions of the temple site.
Handcraft Exhibition Hall
Located in a house with a history of over 200 years, The Handcraft Exhibition Hall of Zhujiajiao Water Town is home to the masterworks of hundreds of Artists from all over China. Because of the updates of the artifacts inside the hall, the exhibitions are changed over time.
When you hear about a Buddhist temple, you are expecting to see many statues of the Buddha inside, but you won’t see many here. Qinghua Pavilion terrace of the Yuanjin Temple is the right place if you want to admire the views of Zhujiajiao Water Town.
Walk along Bei Dajie
There are nine old streets in Zhujiajiao Water Town, and Bei Dajie or North Street is the best-preserved one. Some of the buildings of this neighborhood date back to the Qing Dynasty era (1644-1912).
Today, this narrow street is filled with restaurants, bars, and coffee shops; therefore, when you take a stroll along the street, besides watching the old neighborhood, you can taste some local snacks or relax in the bar or restaurant of your choice.
Take a boat to see Zhujiajiao Water Town
You can look for Small gondolas to see and enjoy the city. These Gondolas can hold six people, and you can arrange short or long distances.
If you choose the long-distance option, they will take you all over the town and back again, but if you want a short-distance trip, the boat will only take you up and down the main canal for about 10 minutes. You can take a boat trip from three docks: Fangsheng Bridge, Kezhi Yuan, and the City God Temple.
How to get to?
Metro line 17 helps you to reach Zhujiajiao Station. You will need 15 minutes of walking to the north to arrive.
Huzhu Express Line
- Working Hours: 06:00-22:00 & 05:10-21:00
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Fee: 12 Yuan
Huzhu Special Line
- Working Hours: 05:50-21:00 & 05:50-17:15
- Duration: 90 to 120 minutes
- Fee: 8 Yuan
30 Yuan Ticket
The 30 Yuan ticket is for the entrance of these attractions:
- Tongtianhe Medicine Shop
- Qing Dynasty Post Office
- Y-Art Gallery
- and Kezhi Garden
60 Yuan Ticket
The 60 Yuan ticket is for the entrance of these attractions:
- Y-Art Gallery
- Tongtianhe Medicine Shop
- Qing Dynasty Post Office
- City God Temple
- Yuanjin Meditation Room
- Handwork Exhibition Hall
- Quanhua Art Hall
- Kezhi Garden
The entrance ticket for children below 1.3 meters or 4.3 feet is free of charge.
The attractions of the town are open to the public from 8:30 to 16:30.
As the town is highly crowded on holidays and weekends, it’s recommended to visit the Zhujiajiao Water Town on weekdays. Have you ever visited such cities on the water? How was your experience? Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts. Also, for more detailed information, send us your questions so that our professional guides will reply as soon as possible.