ZhouZhuang water town is more like a mini village packed with many oriental shops, cafes and restaurants serving nice food and Chinese tea located about two hours drive from Shanghai in Jiangsu province and it is considered one of the best Chinese water towns. This ancient town has centuries of history with many houses built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
There are historical scenic houses and building to photograph and visit.
Zhou Zhuang Museum, covering an area of 1,000 square meters, Zhouzhuang Museum was once the residence of a Zhu family in the early years of the Republic of China.
Shen’s House built it in 1742 with many courtyards, five archways, and 100 rooms.
Zhang’s House built in 1449 with six courtyards and more than 60 rooms.
They are some of the buildings you can visit during your day in the village. There are many wonderful shops where you can easily spend half a day browsing the shops and finally choose one of the numerous cafes and restaurants to relax and refresh. It is well worth the traveling time as you will have a very relaxing walk around the town taking photos and exploring the various shops selling all varieties of Chinese-made souvenirs.
How to go to Zhouzhuang Water Town from Shanghai
1. Take the metro Line 1 Red and Line 4 Purple to Shanghai Indoor Stadium, look for General Station of the Shanghai Tour Bus Center. They usually depart for Zhouzhuang water town in the morning. 150 RMB Zhouzhuang water town admission fee included, Senior Citizens, are entitled to discount for the entrance fee in Zhouzhuang
2. Take a bus from Shanghai Long-Distance General Bus Station or Shanghai Hongqiao Long-Distance Bus Station. Buses start departing from 7 am.
How to get to Zhouzhuang Water Town from Suzhou
From the Wuzhong Bus Passenger Station
Northern Bus Passenger Terminal
Suzhou North Railway Station
Even though many residents understand and speak English enough to communicate with you and give you information, you might want to carry with you a handy Mandarin Chinese Phrase Book and a map.
When is the best time to visit ZhouZhuang water town
The best time to visit ZhouhZhuang is spring and fall. During Chinese holidays many local tourists from other parts of China go to Zhouzhuang which is why you want to make sure NOT to go there.
During holidays such as Chinese New Year in February, the streets are jammed with tourists. Try to visit Zhou Zhuang during weekdays instead of weekends.
The best way to fully enjoy and delve deeper into the culture and history of Zhouzhuang water village is with locals. Book a day trip from Shanghai that will take you to Zhouzhuang and Suzhou, the main water town in the area, to visit the main landmarks and sample a traditional meal.
Click here for more information on tours and current prices.
The highlights of the ZhouZhuang water town
– Zhou Zhuang museum and the historical old houses
– One hour boat ride in the Canals of water town (costs 120 RMB per boat)
– The local food and souvenir shoppings
How much time needed to visit ZhouZhuang water town
Consider at least one day for the trip because 5 to 6 hours are for the transportation from the hotel to Zhou Zhuang and back to the hotel and then at least 4 hours strolling around ZhouZhuang Water Town. It’s definitely worth it unless it’s a rainy day or a holiday as it can get pretty crowded.
ZhouZhuang Water Town opening hours
The town is open all seasons from morning to evening.
The scenic buildings inside are open from 8 am-4.30 pm except for Zhang House and Shen Houses as they are open all day.
ZhouZhuang Water Town admission fee
Daytime Ticket fee: 100 RMB for entry to the town and visit 15 scenic spots
Night Ticket: 80 RMB for entry after 4 pm and seeing only two scenic spots (Shen House and Zhang House)
Free of charge for children below 4.6 feet (1.4 meters).
Note if you go with the private vehicle. Pay the vehicle entrance fee and tell the driver to take you to the main ticket office, buy the ticket for the Village and tell the driver to drop you in the actual ZhouZhuang water town as it is a bit far from the vehicle entrance and ticket office.