The top 10 pristine ecological ancient towns near Shanghai are most suitable for self-driving

The hustle and bustle of the city can be overwhelming at times, and it's natural to yearn for some leisure time in a serene ancient town by a small bridge and flowing water. This is especially true in Shanghai, a fast-paced metropolis, where one may feel the occasional urge to escape and experience tranquility. Today, we bring you a guide to the most worthwhile one-day trips to Shanghai's original ecological ancient towns. Take a look and plan a visit over the weekend to capture the unique scenery that awaits your discovery.

With a history of over 800 years, the ancient town of Xinchang in Suzhou is renowned for its beauty. It was formed when the salt fields of the Xiasha Salt Field were relocated to the south. The town now boasts 150,000 square meters of well-preserved ancient architecture, including over 100 old residential houses with courtyards and exquisite traditional features dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Admission is free.

Zhujiajiao Town

Here is one of the earliest and better cities in many ancient towns in Shanghai. "Shanghai Venice", "Shanghai Hollywood in the suburbs", "Nan Zhouzhuang, Bei Zhouzhuang, not as good as Zhu Jia's corner"... these are the reputations of the ancient town. The old streets of Zhu Jia Jiao are full of ancient charm, with winding alleys and mysterious tranquility. The bustling area is lined with shops, and upstairs are residential houses. One house is next to another, bustling all day long, extremely lively! Admission: Free.
Legend has it that the kingdom of Eastern Wu built a pond here to train the navy, so it is called "Liantang". "Narrow lanes and small houses with a nearby flowing bridge" are the unique landscapes of Liantang. Most of the people here love to listen to Pingshu (storytelling to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument). There is also a Pingshu Art Museum in the town, which introduces a lot of knowledge about Pingshu. Interested friends are welcome to visit for free. Admission: Free.
"Pudong's largest town", it is tranquil despite its 450-year history and is a rare peaceful place in the bustling city. The ancient city wall built to resist Japanese invaders, Yue Fei's hand-engraved Yuebei Pavilion, old items from Wenchang Temple, and the remnants of the Anti-Japanese War ancient artillery platform... all serve as commemorations of history left by Chuansha for the world. Strolling through the nostalgic streets of Chuansha, one can feel the air of the past emanating from the stone-textured wooden windows, the white walls and gray tiles recounting history, and the blue brick and small stones carrying the tranquil time~ Admission: Free.
Located in Baoshan District, Shanghai, it has a history of over 700 years. It was once a major commercial town in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and is renowned as "Jinluodian". The rivers, ancient stone bridges, arch railings, and old shops along the long streets and corridors all exude the elegant charm of the water towns in the Jiangnan region. The most famous is the street and river pattern of "Sanwan Jiujie Shiba Lang", admission is free.

Qibao Town

"Everyone says 'To see the Bund in Shanghai for a century, to see Qibao for a millennium'. Qibao Ancient Town has a long history, which can be glimpsed. It is the closest ancient town to the city, so it is crowded and bustling. There is a folklore that Qibao has 'seven treasures', including the Flying Buddha, the Diving Bell, the Golden Lotus Sutra, the Divine Tree, the Golden Rooster, the Jade Axe, and the Jade Chopsticks. When you visit Qibao, you can try to find these seven treasures. Admission: Free."
Sijing Ancient Town is also a millennium-old town, known as "one hundred years in Shanghai, one thousand years in Sijing". Unlike the famous ancient towns like Zhujiajiao and Fengjing Town, Sijing Ancient Town seems to be relatively unknown. However, when it comes to the culture of Sijing Ancient Town, it is truly a treasure trove. Anfang Tower, Fulian Bridge, Futian Jing Temple, and Ma Xiangbo's Former Residence all have deep cultural and historical origins. "Four Waters Meeting Waves" is one of the 24 scenic spots in Songjiang, with vast and misty waters, resembling a fairyland. Admission: Free.

Nanxiang Old Street

Nanxiang Ancient Town is one of the four famous historical and cultural towns in Shanghai, and it was once known as the "Little Nanxiang competes with Suzhou City". With its typical Jiangnan water town scenery of small bridges, flowing water, and houses, it showcases the beauty of this Jiangnan garden and water town. Nanxiang has double towers, which are the oldest in Shanghai and a precious treasure among ancient towers in China. It is worth a visit and admission is free.
Fengjing Ancient Town, one of the Eight Scenic Spots of the New Shanghai, is located at the convergence of Wuxi and Yue countries. It is known as a famous town of Wuxi and Yue and is a typical water town in the Jiangnan region. It has a history of more than 1500 years. Fengjing Ancient Town is crisscrossed by waterways, with numerous rivers and canals. It is known as the "Three Steps, Two Bridges, Ten Harbors" with its famous "Three Bridges of Fengjing": Qingfeng Bridge, Zhuhang Bridge, and Beifeng Bridge, which are connected near the intersection of Zhongda Street and Shengchan Road, connecting the scenery and local culture on both sides. Admission: Free (if you visit the exhibition hall, you need to purchase a joint ticket for 50 yuan).
This ancient town of Shanghai has been beautiful for over 800 years! "Ten miles of smoke breaking, the sound of the harvest bell," Harvesting Tower is the earliest cultivated area in Shanghai, and Harvesting Tower culture is the origin of Shanghai's agricultural culture. It witnessed our ancestors, from diligently cultivating and farming in ancient times to the legendary process of towering buildings in Shanghai today. Forgetting the bumpy field ridges, we can never forget those difficult yet warm years. It is a beautiful thing to come here during leisure time to feel the past years! Admission: Free.