China created cities that are replicas of Europe’s most popular destinations. Can you guess which photo was taken where?

Which is the real Eiffel Tower and which is the Chinese knockoff?

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Which is the real Eiffel Tower and which is the Chinese knockoff?
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Bertrand Guay & Guillaume Payen / Getty

  • China recreated some of the most famous European cities, like Paris, Venice, and Florence.
  • The knockoff Chinese cities look very similar to their original European counterparts.
  • Can you spot which city is a knockoff and which one is the original?

European influences can be seen all over the world, especially in food, culture, and architecture. But China has taken the influences a bit too literally.

In the 1990s, China experienced an economic boom and started building communities and villages outside of the populated cities. They recreated some of Europe’s most popular cities down to the finest details. The result is a bunch of European copycat communities scattered throughout China that are hardly lived in.

Although the Chinese towns aren’t exactly like the originals, the resemblance is uncanny and may be difficult to identify.

Can you spot the knockoff city? Keep reading to find out.


Is this the Champ de Mars in Paris or a copycat in China?

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Is that the real Eiffel Tower?
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Reuters/Aly Song

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Answer: This is the town of Tianducheng, just a few hours outside of Shanghai, China. The town was built as a copycat city to Paris. There’s even a 354-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.


Is this a quaint Italian town on a canal or a copycat in China?

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Is this a real canal?
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David Gray/REUTERS

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Answer: This is actually Florentia Village in Tianjin, China. The village is an outlet mall that resembles some of the most charming features of Italy – like fountains, mosaics, and, yes, even canals. In the Italian-inspired shopping center, you can find shops like Gucci and Prada.


Is this a European town or a Chinese knockoff?

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Where can you find this street in the world?
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Athanasios Gioumpasis/ Getty

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Answer: This is Bern, Switzerland, known as one of the oldest towns in the country, making it a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site.


Is this the Austrian Alpine village of Hallstatt or its replica in China?

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Where is this village?
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Wade Shepard for Vagabond Journey

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Answer: This village in the Chinese province of Guangdong is an exact imitation of the Austrian village of Hallstatt. The original Austrian village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the community pictured here cost China $940 million to build.


If you take a walk down this street, where in the world would you be?

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Is this street in China or Europe?
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Frank Bienewald/ Getty

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Answer: You’d be walking down a narrow street in Venice, Italy. The Italian metropolis is best known for its canals that run throughout the city.


Where is this street located: Europe or China?

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Is this Europe or China?
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Vagabond Journey/YouTube

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Answer: While it may look like an Italian street, this is Breeza Citta di Pujiang, located just outside of Shanghai. Italian architects built the small town to resemble a more modern-day Italian city. But the community is mostly a ghost town.


Is this the real Champs-Élysées or one of China’s replicas?

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Is this real or fake?
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Shutterstock

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Answer: This is the real Champs-Élysées located in Paris, France. Many of the copycat towns in China are abandoned or desolate, so it’s rare there would be that many people on its streets.


Where in the world would you find this quaint small town?

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Europe or China?
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ullstein bild / Getty

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Answer: This is the real town of Hallstatt in Austria. The scenic village dates back to the 16th-century and sits near the jaw-dropping Lake Hallstatt.


Where is this street: China or somewhere in Europe?

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Is this China or Europe?
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Courtesy of Su Landscape

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Answer: This is Tonghui Town International Bar Street in Beijing. The street is a mirror image of Interlaken in Switzerland. Although the Beijing street is mostly deserted, it was intended to have bars, restaurants, and other late-night hotspots.


Is this woman walking down the streets of Italy, or is she somewhere in China?

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Where is this lady?
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David Gray/REUTERS

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Answer: This is another photo taken in China’s Florentia Village. The shopping outlet sits on top of a former cornfield and opened in 2011.


Is this a Chinese imitation or a European original?

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Where in the world is this?
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Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola/ Getty

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Answer: This picture was actually taken in Catalonia, Spain, on one of its quaint side streets.


Is this man farming alongside the real Eiffel Tower?

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Where is this farmer?
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Lang Lang/Reuters

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Answer: No, this farmer is a few hours outside of Shanghai in Tianducheng, dubbed “The Paris of the East.”


Is this a Chinese knockoff of classic European houses?

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Answer: Yes, it is. These homes are in the Chinese province of Guangdong, which was built to resemble Austria’s Hallstatt.


Where in the world is this street?

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Where is this street located?
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Gideon Mendel/ Getty

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Answer: Although this quaint street looks like a quintessential English block, it’s actually located just outside of Shanghai. It’s called Thames Town, and it’s a knockoff of England’s streets, homes, and pubs.


What about this one — European or Chinese?

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Where is this?
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Tristan Fewings / Stringer

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Answer: Experienced travelers should immediately recognize this as Amsterdam where the streets overlook famous canals.


Can you tell where this waterfront is located?

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Is this Venice or China?
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Olivier CHOUCHANA/ Getty

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Answer: This photo is taken just outside of Hangzhou, China, in a village that modeled itself off of Venice. The town has been named “Venice Water Town” because it’s situated on a canal – much like the famous city it is based on.


Is this an authentic European windmill?

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Where can you find this windmill?
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Reuters/Sheng Li

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Answer: Although this may look like Holland, the windmill is actually in China. Fittingly named Holland Town, the community’s builders modeled the town after Dutch designs that can be found in Amsterdam and Amersfoort.