Thames Town | Finding Europe in Shanghai

This year has been anything but normal. And if you're a travel enthusiast like me, you're probably dying to hop on a plane. Lucky for those who live in Shanghai, the city has been back to normal since May. It's as if we live in this safe bubble from the world and covid never existed here.

The past couple of months being "stuck" in Shanghai has made me explore place I never would've thought of going. And on a sunny morning, I was browsing through the Dianping app (Chinese review app for businesses/places), I stumbled upon this place called "Thames Town". I didn't think twice and went straight there. 

This little town modeled after architecture from the UK, France, and Germany, so this is a perfect place to go to if you are going to miss flying home for the holidays this year! 

  • District: Songjiang
  • By Didi: 1hr drive east of Puxi 
  • Chinese Name: 泰晤士小镇 Taiwushi Xiaozhen 
If you go by Didi and enter Thames town, the driver should take you across a bridge and enter from the south side of town. When you get close to CJAO Italian restaurant on the map, have the driver drop you off and you can start there. I've mapped all of the places I took pictures from on the map below for reference! 


(Photo Above: Starting point, CJAO Restaurant)

(Photo Above: Plaza with canal)

(Photo Above: Church of Thames Town)


(Photo Above: Church from the South Side)

(Photo Above: Intersection near Starbucks)

(Photo Above: Intersection right by Starbucks)

(Photos Above: Block of buildings by the florist)

(Photo Above: Little garden area behind the church)

(Photos Above: Germany section near Lil' Green Cafe)


(Photos Above: Hedge Maze & Thinker Cafe)


(Photos Above: Lil Green Cafe)

If you are stopping for lunch, I highly recommend Lil Green Cafe. It has a huge selection of western food and beverages such as juices, coffee, and tea. They also have high chairs for those bringing kids. Wifi is also available at this cafe. 

Lastly, all of these photos were taken on my Huawei P30 Pro phone on a tripod with a bluetooth clicker, edited in Lightroom. This tripod is the Foto Pro FY800 bought on Taobao. You can also find something similar on 

| Bonus - Venice in Shanghai |

If Thames Town is a bit too far, Shanghai also has a mall modeled after Venice! There's even gondolas you can ride on. Entrance to the mall itself is also free like Thames Town. 
  • District: Putuo (No1685 Jinshajiang Lu) 
  • Subway line 13, Zhenbeilu Station 
  • Chinese Name: 威尼斯小镇 Weinisi Xiaozhen
The mall itself does have shops, but the options were a bit more local Chinese so I didn't end up having any food there. Nothing against Chinese food, I just wasn't in the mood for hot pot at noon! There also seems to be an outdoor market that opens in the afternoon/evening time! 


Bonus again: the entrance has a mini Louvre, except it's not a museum, it's a Starbucks! (And a KFC downstairs)

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