Zhujiajiao 朱家角 is a water town on the western outskirts of Shanghai and was established about 1,700 years ago. Today, the central portion of the area is a popular tourist destination.
The old water town is fairly large with a big river in the middle and of course, there is a bridge. The small canals are quite charming with lots of food and shops. The surrounding neighborhoods are more authentic and still lived in and I recommend wandering around a bit. The central part of the area has been heavily commercialized and exploited for tourism. It’s not too bad although if you ever been to other water towns then most everything will be familiar.
The main highlights to see are Fengsheng Bridge, Kezhi Garden, Bei Dajie (North Street), and a boat ride. You don’t need a ticket to walk around and explore but some attractions do require a ticket which can be purchased at the main gate of the town.
There are many interesting bridges in Zhujiajiao crossing over the canals. The largest one called Fangsheng Bridge is sort of the centerpiece of the town and seems everyone has to walk across then stop for photos. I sat in a cafe to enjoy people watching as a constant stream would pose for selfies.
How to Get to Zhujiajiao
The easy way is take metro line number 17 to the Zhujiajiao Station. The trip take about 75-minutes from central Shanghai. Upon exiting the station just follow other tourist looking people and signs to the old town.
Keep in mind that Zhujiajiao is quite large and most of it is still inhabited. Whereas the central portion is the touristy area with canals and stuff. Therefore when you are walking along the main street (with cars and buses) consider going into the old town and wander around the narrow lanes. Of course, I’d recommend you use a smartphone map.