Wuzhen Water Town, located in northern Zhejiang Province, China, is a charming ancient town that dates back 1300 years and is renowned as one of the top six ancient towns in South China, designated as a national 5A scenic area. Divided into four sections by picturesque waterways, namely Dongzha, Xizha, Nanzha, and Beizha, Wuzhen beautifully preserves the architectural and cultural heritage of a traditional water town, showcasing its stone bridges, black-awning boats, the intriguing foot-binding museum, and the enchanting bridge-in-bridge scene, making it a compelling candidate for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List.
- Location: Wuzhen Town, Tongxiang City, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, China
- Opening time: East Scenic Zone: 7:00 – 17:00. West Scenic Zone: 9:00 – 22:00
- Ticket price: 110 Yuan for East Scenic Zone, 150 Yuan for West Scenic Zone, 190 Yuan for a combined ticket
- Time Needed: 1 ~ 2 days
- Best time to visit: March to May (spring) or September to November (fall)
- Suited to: history and culture lovers, photography enthusiasts, leisure seekers
What to See and Do in Wuzhen Water Town
Visit the East Scenic Zone
In the East Scenic Zone (Dongzha), immerse yourself in a rich cultural experience with museums, exhibitions, and captivating folk performances including shadow plays, Huagu Opera, and boat martial arts. Explore the Ancient Bed Museum, Folk Custom Museum, Hundred-Bed Museum, and Blue Calico Museum, showcasing the heritage of Wuzhen through diverse exhibits. Witness traditional crafts like woodcarving, bamboo weaving, indigo dyeing, and wedding ceremonies, presented in engaging exhibitions. Delight in lively folk performances held at various venues throughout the day, showcasing local art forms and skills.
Explore the West Scenic Zone
In the West Scenic Zone (Xizha), marvel at the fascinating bridge-in-bridge scene created by the intersecting Tongji Bridge and Renji Bridge, offering a unique architectural spectacle. Discover the Foot-Binding Museum displaying over 500 pairs of shoes, providing insights into the history and culture of foot binding. Visit the sauce and pickle workshop, where you can observe traditional techniques and savor a variety of delectable sauces and pickles. Pay homage at the Temple of General Wu, dedicated to the renowned general who lost his life during a war, and learn about his heroic tale.
Take a boat ride along the waterways and admire the ancient architecture
Embark on a serene boat ride along the enchanting waterways, allowing you to admire the ancient architecture and scenic beauty of the water town. Choose from a selection of boat types, such as black-awning boats, gondolas, or rowboats, to enhance your experience. Marvel at the picturesque stone bridges, wooden houses, shops, and workshops lining the riverbanks, immersing yourself in the town’s ambiance. Glide peacefully on the water, embracing the tranquility and allure of Wuzhen.
Taste the local delicacies
Indulge in the local culinary delights, including the pungent yet flavorful stinky tofu, succulent braised pork, and Wuzhen rice wine. Delight your taste buds with deep-fried stinky tofu served with chili sauce, savor the tenderness and richness of braised pork cooked with soy sauce, sugar, wine, and spices. Experience the sweetness of Wuzhen rice wine, a traditional alcoholic beverage crafted from glutinous rice with low alcohol content.
Best Time to Visit Wuzhen Water Town
The ideal time to visit Wuzhen Water Town is during the pleasant seasons of spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November), offering comfortable weather and breathtaking scenery, with the allure of mist and drizzle in spring and clear skies accompanied by a refreshing breeze in autumn. By choosing these seasons, you can avoid the summer heat and crowds as well as the cold and dryness of winter, ensuring a more enjoyable experience. Moreover, spring and autumn are characterized by vibrant traditional cultural events in Wuzhen, including the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition, and Wuzhen Dialogue, adding to the richness of your visit.
How to Get to Wuzhen Water Town
From Shanghai: Catch a high-speed train departing from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station (approximately 40 minutes), followed by a bus ride on K282 to Wuzhen Bus Station (around 50 minutes). Alternatively, opt for a direct bus service from Shanghai South Bus Station or Shanghai Long-Distance Bus Station, which will take approximately 2 hours to reach Wuzhen Bus Station.
From Hangzhou: Take a high-speed train from Hangzhou East Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station (approximately 20 minutes), and then transfer to bus K282, heading to Wuzhen Bus Station (around 50 minutes). Another option is to board a direct bus from Hangzhou North Bus Station or Hangzhou Jiubao Passenger Transport Center, with a travel time of about 1 hour to Wuzhen Bus Station.
From Suzhou: Board a high-speed train departing from Suzhou Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station (around 30 minutes), and then transfer to bus K282, which will take you to Wuzhen Bus Station in approximately 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can choose a direct bus service from Suzhou North Bus Station or Suzhou South Bus Station, with a travel time of around 2 hours to Wuzhen Bus Station.
Attractions nearby Wuzhen Water Town
Wucun: A quaint village adjacent to Wuzhen, Wucun preserves the authentic rural lifestyle and culture, showcasing ancient houses, farms, temples, and ponds.
Muxin Art Museum: Dedicated to the renowned Chinese writer and artist, Muxin, who was born in Wuzhen, this museum exhibits his paintings, calligraphy, manuscripts, and personal belongings.
Nanxun Water Town: Located in Zhejiang Province, Nanxun is an ancient water town offering a less crowded and commercialized experience than Wuzhen, with elegant gardens, mansions, bridges, and canals to explore.
Feng Zikai Memorial: Pay a visit to the memorial hall honoring Feng Zikai, a celebrated Chinese painter, writer, and educator who resided in Tongxiang, where you can appreciate his artworks, books, letters, and photographs.