Suzhou Travel Guide
Located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province and in the central of Yangtze River Delta, Suzhou is a famous historic and cultural city in China. First built from 514BC, Suzhou now has a history over 2500 years. This city embodies the classic flavor of Jiangnan, rich in tourism resources, and Suzhou gardens and water towns are the most famous among all. Suzhou gardens can be traced back to the royal garden in 6th century BC.
Located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province and in the central of Yangtze River Delta, Suzhou is a famous historic and cultural city in China. First built from 514BC, Suzhou now has a history over 2500 years. This city embodies the classic flavor of Jiangnan, rich in tourism resources, and Suzhou gardens and water towns are the most famous among all. Suzhou gardens can be traced back to the royal garden in 6th century BC. People always say “Suzhou Gardens are the finest under heaven”, that’s not an exaggeration. Besides that, the water ancient towns, like Tongli and Zhouzhuang also attract numerous tourists for is elegant and quiet flavor.
Why Visit Suzhou?
- Classic Suzhou Gardens - Suzhou Gardens are the perfect combination of architecture, landscape, flowers and trees, sculpture and painting and calligraphy. Natural beauty and artistic charm value have united in the winding and changeable views.
- Water Towns - There are many water towns in Suzhou, like Tongli, Zhouzhuang, Luzhi, Mudu, Jinxi, etc. The water towns here can be called the most beautiful and most classic water towns in China. Travellers can experience the peaceful local life and appreciate the charm of the Oriental Venice.
144-hour Visa-free travel: From Jan. 30, 2016, qualified travelers of 51 countries could travel among Shanghai, Jiangsu Province (Suzhou included) and Zhejiang Province (Hangzhou included) for 144 hours (6 days) without visa.
In Suzhou, the top attractions you must visit are the Suzhou gardens and water towns, like Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Lion Grove Garden, Tongli Water Town and Zhouzhuang Water Town. Other attractions like Panmen Gate, Suzhou Museum and Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory are also recommended. Another feature activity in Suzhou is cruising on the Suzhou Grand Canal, and Suzhou is the only place travellers can cruise on the Grand Canal.
The largest and most famous Suzhou garden, listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is the most classis private garden in China.
Lingering Garden is a UNESCO-recognized Chinese Classical Garden with delicate designed architecture, featured shaped stones and idyllic scenery.
With a history of over 2,500 years, Tiger Hill in Suzhou is an attractive place which enjoys lots of historical legendary and old buildings. It was reputed as the "No.1 Sight of Suzhou"
Suzhou Museum designed by I. M. Pei is popular among archetecture lovers with abundant historical and cultural relics of Suzhou.
Established for near 100 years, Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory is the best place to see the real process of making Suzhou silk items from silkworms to the delicate silk products.
Tongli of over 1,000 years old is a featured Jiangnan water town with ancient residences, old streets, stone bridges, anthentic folk customs, etc.
Zhouzhuang is the "No. 1 Water Town in China" of nearly 1000 years old and a great place to see old buildings and picturesque waterscape on the boat.
Master of the Nets Garden is a perfect garden in pocket size. By unique adopting skills for creating "Mountain and Water" garden, it gives the visitor an unbelievable visual feast.
Lion Grove Garden, one of the four famous gardens in Suzhou is praised as the "Kingdom of Rockeries" that offers you a lot of joyment and real visual feast.
An important part of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, and cruise on the Grand Canal is definitely a unique experience to experience the water scene of Suzhou.
Shantang Street from 825 AD is a famous prosperous street block to savor the local Suzhou buildings, river sceneries, boating fun, real ancient street scene, etc.
Pingjiang Road is a historical street which dates back to the South Song Dynasty. With well-preserved blocks, it acts as an epitome of ancient Suzhou.
Suzhou Silk Museum is the first museum that specializes in silk in China which well demonstrates the thousand years’ Chinese silk history, displays silk relics, fragments, garments and tapestry, etc.
In the picturesque Jiangnan area, there are top 10 ancient towns scattered near Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou, such as Zhujiajiao, Zhouzhuang, Wuzhen, Tongli.
Classical Gardens of Suzhou are the great masterpieces in the history of gardening and World Cultural Heritages, including Humble administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden...
Visiting Suzhou, you will have a lot of interesting things to do to feel the rich culture and long history of this ancient city in Jiangnan. Enjoying Kunqu Opera and Pingtan, boating on the old canal, watching a night show in the Master of the Nets Garden, tasting the delicious food, etc. To know more information, Please check All Activities in Suzhou.
Kunqu of over 600 years old from Suzhou is reputed as the "mother of Chinese operas" and the "World Intangibel Heritage" with elegant soft singing, graceful performance, poetic lines and classic stories. The famous "Peony Pavilion" written by Tang Xianzong is one of the best Kunqu operas and praised by many people.
Take a wooden boat to appreciate the waterscape in downtown of Suzhou ancient city is really fun, beacuse you can feel the previous prosperity and the past water transportation of ancient people on the old river. Also, taking a sculling boat in a water town to see the old residences is full of joy.
Night Show in Master of the Nets Garden
Night Garden Traditional Art Performance in the Mater of the Nets Garden is famous among visitors from the whole world. Splendid lights and shows including traditional ballad singing, instrument performence, classic dances, etc. Held from 19:30 to 21:00 (May to November) with an admission of about RMB 100
Suzhou cusine of over 3000 years profound is one of the Four Famous Cusines in China. Focused to keep the origin flavors of food and with some sweet taste, Suzhou cusine is welcomed by visitors. Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish, Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Sweet Rice Wine, etc. are the most popular.
Weather & When to Go
Feature in typical subtropical monsoon climate, the weather in Suzhou is relatively moderate with a clear distinction between the four seasons. Average temperature is about 15.7℃, while 2.5℃ in January and 28℃ in July. Abundant rainfall in all year and average annual precipitation is about 1100 millimeters.
Since the weather is very moderate, so you can visit Suzhou all year round, especially in spring. Spring is the most beautiful time of the gardens, for the flowers will blossom and trees will sprout in this season. From April to October, the pink peaches and green willows set each other off, and lotus root, Biluochun tea, waxberry, loquat and hairy crabs will be on the market in turn, and you will satisfy your eyes as well as your appetite. Though winter scenery is not beautiful as other season, it’s a low season for tourism, so it’s a great time for those who prefer less crowded Suzhou.
Getting to Suzhou
With a good location in the southeast of Jiangsu and central part of Yangtze River Delta, Suzhou enjoys convenient traffic condition.
By Flight: Suzhou has no airport, however, travellers can take flight to Sunan Shuofang International Airport in Wuxi, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International airport from different cities. Then take a high-speed train (from Shanghai) and shuttle bus (from Wuxi) to Suzhou.
By Tran: There are four train stations in Suzhou: Suzhou Railway Station, Suzhou North Railway Station, Suzhou Yuanqu Station and Suzhou Xinqu Railway Station. The high-speed train to Shanghai from Suzhou is only about half an hour, while to Hangzhou is about 1.5 hours.
By Road: Suzhou enjoys a sophisticated highway system. Visitors could easily get to Shanghai and Hangzhou within 2 hours and 2.5 hours by expressway. The road to Wuxi (45 km, 70 minutes’ drive), Zhouzhuang Water Town (46 km, 1 hour’s drive) and Tongli Water Town (27 km, 45 minutes’ drive) are also in good condition.
Getting around Suzhou
To travel around Suzhou, travellers can take public bus, tourist bus, Bus Rapid Transit, metro, taxi, bicycle and rickshaw. Choose the suitable transportation tools according to your detailed itinerary and needs.
Suzhou offers tourists with all kinds of hotels, from 5-stars international brands to economic hotels and hostels. International brands, like Kempinski, Shangri-La and Crown Plaza can be found in Suzhou. The economic hotels in the city center are mainly located in Lindun Road and Yuanlin Road, while Guanqian Street, Shiquan Street, Ganjiang Road and Industrial Park have more starred hotels. For travellers who have other destinations after Suzhou, it’s recommended to stay near the railway station – not far from the attractions and has a convenient transportation. Besides, water towns of Suzhou are fully equipped with accommodation facilities.