One-day tour recommendations near Shanghai
Outside the city
Published: Apr 22, 2018 02:33 PM
In many Chinese literature essays, writers describe April as the most beautiful season on earth. Although the saying goes that "Just as there is paradise in heaven, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth," Shanghai, the city between Suzhou and Hangzhou, also has a lot to offer in April.

The municipal government's tourism bureau recently introduced a handful of venues for people to enjoy a one-day journey outside the city.

Among them, Zhujiajiao in Qingpu district, Songjiang university town in Songjiang district and Disneyland town in Pudong are located in suburban areas. Thanks to the fast development of the city's public transportation system, people can now get to these places through metro lines.

With the newly opened Metro Line 17, it takes tourists much less time to go to Zhujiajiao than before. The free ancient water town attracted so many visitors during this month's Qingming Festival that they were ordered by authorities not to stand on the old stone bridges for too long so as to avoid possible breakage.

There is also a modern leisure compound just across Zhujiajiao's river. With the water town in view, people can enjoy the combination of foreign brand coffee bars and Shanghai-flavor snacks. Bookstores and streetside fashion stores can help kill time.

With several of Shanghai's top universities having moved to Songjiang district from downtown since 2001, Songjiang's reputation as a university town is well deserved. Metro Line 9 has connected Songjiang with other parts of Shanghai.

Because all of the relocated universities and colleges were built on vast rural land, and many Chinese people dream of elite Western universities, you can find exotic architecture here and there on different campus.

Take Shanghai International Studies University as an example, where all the buildings are designed in different styles based on their function. There are Arabic, Japanese, European, American and Russian style buildings.


There is also a real estate project called Thames Town in Songjiang, which is a 2-kilometer drive from the university town. A beautiful bookstore, the Zhongshuge Bookstore, is a local landmark.

Every weekend, people of different ages from different parts of China pay a visit to Thames Town, most of them just take a selfie and post the photo on their social media account to brag that they have been here. Foreign brand restaurants are also open here.

Even though complaints about Disneyland in Pudong New Area have never stopped since its grand opening two years ago, the town outside Disneyland park is another free place for people to go if you have already visited Disneyland in different countries or regions. Take Metro Line 11 to get there very easily.

In the urban area, the tourism bureau recommends Wukang Road, Tianzifang, Sinan Mansion, the West Bank, and the China Art Museum at the previous World Expo main hall in Shanghai.

Those different venues provide various Shanghai-style architecture and cultural backgrounds. Wukang Road still has the former French concession flavor, with many foreign-targeted cafes and restaurants.

At Tianzifang, classic stone-gate lane houses are symbolic of Shanghai. Sinan Mansion is not only famous for the renovation of its villas, it has also become a gathering place for famous writers from both home and abroad. In all three venues, you can find fusion of Chinese and Western food and start-ups by people of all nationalities.

The West Bank covers the area along the western banks of Huangpu River, most of it in Xuhui district. On the one hand, many art venues boom, and on the other hand, people make use of the space for free outdoor activities and sports.

The China Art Museum is free except for an exhibition of the famous painting the Riverside Scene of Qingming Festival, which charges 20 yuan ($3.2).

View of Zhujiajiao (file photo) Photo: VCG


Thames Town in Songjiang district Photo: Feng Yu