Exploring Zhouzhuang: A Charming Water Town near Shanghai

Welcome to Zhouzhuang, a picturesque water town located just a short distance from the bustling city of Shanghai. With its ancient canals, traditional architecture, and tranquil atmosphere, Zhouzhuang offers a delightful escape from the fast-paced urban life. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Zhouzhuang has something to offer for everyone.

Getting to Zhouzhuang from Shanghai

Getting to Zhouzhuang from Shanghai is easy and convenient. There are several transportation options available, depending on your preferences and budget.

By Bus

One of the most popular ways to reach Zhouzhuang from Shanghai is by bus. You can take a direct bus from Shanghai South Bus Station, which operates daily. The journey takes approximately two hours, and the buses are comfortable and air-conditioned. It is advisable to check the bus schedule in advance and arrive at the station early to secure your seat.

By Train

If you prefer a faster option, you can take a train from Shanghai to Kunshan South Station, and then transfer to a local bus or taxi to reach Zhouzhuang. The train journey from Shanghai to Kunshan takes around 30 minutes, and from there, it is a short 20-minute ride to Zhouzhuang. Trains in China are known for their punctuality and comfort, making it a convenient choice for travelers.

Exploring Zhouzhuang

Once you arrive in Zhouzhuang, you will be greeted by a charming town filled with historic landmarks and scenic beauty. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to enjoy during your visit:

1. Twin Bridges: Shide Bridge and Yong’an Bridge

Start your exploration by visiting the iconic Twin Bridges, Shide Bridge and Yong’an Bridge. These two ancient stone bridges are the symbol of Zhouzhuang and are beautifully reflected in the tranquil waters of the canals. Take a leisurely stroll across the bridges and admire the stunning views of the surrounding architecture.

2. Zhang House

Step back in time as you visit the Zhang House, a well-preserved traditional residence that showcases the architectural style of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Explore the elegant courtyards, intricate wood carvings, and exquisite gardens. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Zhouzhuang as you wander through the various rooms and halls.

3. Shen House

Another must-visit attraction in Zhouzhuang is the Shen House, a grand mansion that belonged to the wealthy Shen family. Marvel at the intricate woodwork, delicate stone carvings, and beautiful gardens. Learn about the opulent lifestyle of the Shen family and gain insights into the social and cultural aspects of the town during ancient times.

4. Boat Ride along the Canals

One of the best ways to experience the charm of Zhouzhuang is by taking a boat ride along the ancient canals. Sit back and relax as you glide through the narrow waterways, passing by traditional houses, stone bridges, and lush greenery. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance and capture memorable photos of this enchanting town.

5. Local Cuisine

After a day of exploration, don’t forget to indulge in the delicious local cuisine of Zhouzhuang. Sample traditional dishes such as Wansan Pork Knuckle, Braised Fish, and Steamed Dumplings. There are also numerous teahouses and cafes where you can savor a cup of fragrant tea or enjoy a leisurely afternoon break.


Zhouzhuang is a hidden gem that offers a unique glimpse into China’s rich history and cultural heritage. With its charming waterways, ancient architecture, and peaceful ambiance, it is the perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway from Shanghai. Immerse yourself in the beauty of this historic town, explore its top attractions, and savor the local flavors. A visit to Zhouzhuang is sure to leave you with cherished memories and a sense of tranquility.

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