Must See Traditional Shanghai: The Top 10 Ancient Water Towns & Old Streets

Shanghai whilst being a modern mega-city it holds a whole lot of ancient charm at the same time. Be sure not to miss the wonder of traditional Chinese architecture, culture and way of life. Most of these old streets, especially the inner city locations, are very touristy featuring stall after stall selling curious and souveniers, but you can still peep past all that and into the old ways of Shanghai. There is also a map at the bottom of the page to easily get your bearings on where to head.

The Top 10 Ancient Towns & Old Streets

Yu Garden


At the center of old Shanghai this garden tells a beautiful story, dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the garden was built especially for a man’s parents, so they could live out their old age in peace and happiness. Today, it is one of the most popular areas in Shanghai. More than a garden, it features many halls and pavilions, rockeries, water features and the famous zig-zag bridge.

There are several streets surrounding the garden which feature traditional architecture and are loaded with famous old stores and many places selling touristy trinkets, snacks and so on. The area takes up a block which is defined by Fanbang Middle Road, Jiuioachang Road, Fuyou Road and Anren Street.

Fannbag Middle Road (listed below) is also a major attraction as is the nearby Temple Of the City God (listed below).

Address: 218 Anren St, Huangpu
Chinese name 豫园
Chinese address 200010黄浦区安仁街218号


Shanghai Old Street


Dating back to the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1911) Dynasties, Fangbang Middle Road, or “Shanghai Old Street”, stretches for 825 meters, and is in the Yuyuan Garden Tourism area. The road runs from east to west starting at the intersection of Zhonghua Road through to Henan Road South, with traditional Chinese gates at either end. The eastern section has the characteristics of residences in the late Qing Dynasty and early Republican day.

Address: Fangbang Middle Road
Chinese name 豫园老街
Chinese address 黄浦区方浜中路


Shanghai Temple Of the City God (Chenghung Miao)


The temple features nine palaces paying tribute to three iconic figures in the city’s history. The temple features loads of snack stalls and trinket sellers.

Address: CNR of Fangbang Middle Road and Anren St
Chinese name 上海城隍廟
Chinese address 黄浦区方浜中路



Jinze Ancient Town


A water town that features traditional style architecture and 7 (small) bridges that date back to the Chinese empires of the Song (960-1279), Yuan (1279-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912).

Address: Jinze Town, Qingpu District
Chinese name 金泽古镇
Chinese address 201700青浦区金泽镇


Zhaojialou Ancient Town


A traditional water city with the ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The city features many stone and wooden bridges. The North Street and Kezhi Garden are two other highlights.

Address: Pujiang Town, Minhang District
Chinese name 召稼楼古镇
Chinese address 201112闵行区浦江镇


Fengjing Ancient Town


A beautiful ancient water town, with waterways lined by traditional Chinese buildings connected by stone bridges.

Address: No.39 Xinfeng Road, Fengjing Town, Jinshan District
Chinese name 枫泾古镇
Chinese address 201500金山区枫泾镇新枫路39号


Nanxiang Water Town


The home of the famous Xiaolongbao steamed bun, one of Shanghai’s four famous historical and cultural ancient towns, and home to one of the city’s five most important classical gardens, the Guyi Garden. The Old Street, ‘Nanxiang lao jie’, is full of stalls selling traditional snacks, eat up!

Address: Nanxiang Town, Jiading District
Chinese name 南翔老街
Chinese address 嘉定区南翔镇


Shanghai Xinchang Ancient Town


An ancient water town with many buildings preserved from the Ming and Qing Dynasty era.

Address: Xinchang Town, Nanhui District
Chinese name 上海新场古镇
Chinese address 201314南汇区新场镇


Shanghai Qibao Town


An ancient water city dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126). One of the easiest to get to with a metro station right at its door.

Address: Qibao Town, Minhang District
Chinese name 上海七宝古镇
Chinese address 201101闵行区七宝镇


Anting Old Street


Also home to Puti Temple, a pagoda and traditional Chinese architecture, bridges, and stonework. The Auto Museum is also near here.

Address: Anting Town, Jiading District
Chinese name 安亭老街
Chinese address 201805嘉定区安亭镇

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