Thames Town, Shanghai

Located in the core area of Songjiang New City, Songjiang District, Thames Town is a large British style community. It is about 41 kilometers (25 miles) from central Shanghai. The town covers a total area of about 1,000,000 square meters (247 acres), with a total construction area of 500,000 square meters (124 acres). In recent years, more and more visitors flock to the town for relaxation, taking photos, or attending various exhibitions and activities.

When visiting the Thames Town Shanghai, you can't help but be attracted by the beautiful and dreamy town where streets, squares, houses, sculptures, streetlights and signboards just remind you of Britain. At the heart of town is a commercial area with many shops, restaurants, galleries, bars, cafés and wedding dress shops. The north, south and west of the town's commercial area are residential areas not open to tourists. To the east of the business district is a scenic lake where you can take a yacht ride or paddle around the lake.

Best Places to Visit & Top Things to Do

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is the landmark building of the Thames Town. With the largest area, it’s one of the most beautiful spots of the town. Its appearance is like an English castle and characterized by the Baroque style. Surrounded by green spaces on three sides, the main body of the church has three spires, all of which have cross symbols. And the painted glasses of the church are extremely fancy under the sunshine. The church also attracts many new couples to take photos. It should be noted that the church closes early, so it is recommended to first hit when you visit the Thames Town Songjiang.

Zhongshuge Bookshop – One of the Most Beautiful Bookstores in China

Visitors to Thames Town Shanghai cannot miss the Zhongshuge Bookshop, one of the most famous shops in China for its exquisite layout and well-designed bookshelves. This English-style building with jujube red exterior wall perfectly integrates into the street view. Its glass curtain wall is painted with selected passages from classic books from all over the world. Once you enter this bookstore, you will be impressed by the books on the wall, the glass ground and even the glass ceiling. But the books on the ceiling are fake, just for decoration. The bookshop has two floors. The first floor is divided into nine rooms according to different themes. The second floor is full of curved white bookshelves. The ceiling is mirror-like, so is the backboard of the bookshelf, making people seem to fall into the sea of books. There are afternoon tea areas on the first and second floors. Sitting by the window, you can see the street view of Thames Town.

Songjiang Art Museum

The simple and elegant Songjiang Art Museum has three floors. In addition to a few geometric chairs with a strong sense of design for visitors to rest, the museum leaves space for artists' works to the maximum extent. The museum is open for free and invites different artists to hold itinerant exhibitions every week, displaying various works from avant-garde abstract oil paintings to traditional calligraphy and landscape paintings. In addition, there is a film salon on weekends. Most of the low-budget films produced by European directors are shown and people can spend most of the afternoon leisurely here.

Cruise on Huating Lake

Located in the east of Thames Town Songjiang, Huating Lake is a beautiful artificial lake with an area of 200,000 square meters (49 acres). Around the lake, there are houses, hotels, green lawns and viewing platforms. On the west bank of the lake is a wharf with yachts in line. A wonderful yacht cruise can be experienced here. The yacht goes north along the Shengjingtang River, passes Songjiang University Town and finally arrives at the Guangfulin Site of Ancient Culture, offering fancy river views along the way. Grand dragon boat races are held every year on the lake in Dragon Boat Festival, the 5th day of the fifth lunar month.

Sightsee around the Town by Bike, Train

It takes about 2 – 3 hours to walk around the Thames Town. The statues, signposts, red English architecture and shops with different characteristics can be seen along the way. At the same time, there are open-air tea seats, coffee seats and sunshade umbrellas, which can be used for tourists to rest. If interested, you can rent tandem bicycles, bicycles for three and a sightseeing train. The bicycle costs CNY60/hour.

How to get to Thames Town

By Metro:

Take Metro Line 9, and get off at the Songjiang University Town, Exit 1. Walk north about 100m to take the Songjiang Tram Line T2 and get off at the Thames Town West Station. Opposite the station is the Thames Town

By Bus:

Take Songjiang Bus 24, 19, get off at the Wencheng Road Yuhua Road and then walk east for about 3 minutes. Take Songjiang Bus 14, 15, 19, get off at North Sanxin Road New Songjiang Road, and then walk south for 4 minutes.

Ticket & Timings

Attractions Opening Hours Ticket
Thames Town Open all day long  
No Ticket, Enter for Free
Catholic Church Monday to Friday: 10:00-16:00
Saturday: 14:00-16:00
Sunday: 10:00-12:00 
Zhongshuge Bookshop Monday: 11:00 - 21:00
Tuesday to Monday: 10:00 – 21:00
Songjiang Art Museum 9:00 – 17:00; Closed on Monday
- Last updated on Oct. 23, 2020 -
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