Like other Chinese cities, Suzhou is developing rapidly, but it has not forgotten the culture of its ancestors. Nostalgia and newness exist at the same time here. The industrial park is the modern part, where you can find all kinds of modern elements, such as skyscrapers, shopping malls, bars, and restaurants. While the old city still retains a lot of traditional life track. The following Suzhou attractions must be arranged in your visit plan when coming to Suzhou.
Master of the nets garden
There are probably more than 200 gardens in Suzhou, but the Master-of-Nets Garden must be at the top to rank Suzhou attractions. This garden is not significant, maybe only one-sixth of the Humble Administrator’s Garden, but the Su-style gardens are exquisite, regardless of size. Bridges, streams， and pavilions are natural and harmonious. The twists and turns in the garden are all connected. What a fantastic layout!
Interestingly, many young people wear ancient Chinese costumes while walking around gardens. I highly recommend the immersive folk art performance at night. These performances will bring you dreamlike feelings as if you have entered a different parallel time. You can simultaneously experience various ancient Chinese art, such as Pingtan, Kunqu opera, dance, and Musical Instruments. The performance lasts about an hour, which is a perfect experience.
Admission :40 RMB (order online)
Ticket price:100 yuan (order online)
Opening hours: 07:30-17:30, Evening Tours open from 19:00 to 22:00
Transportation: Take a taxi or go green
Address: No. 11 Kuojiatou Lane, Daicheng Bridge Road, Gusu District
On December 31, Hanshan Temple holds a bell-ringing ceremony to mark the beginning of the New Year. The ceremony rings the bell 108 times, an annual ritual for families to get together and listen to the bells. Hanshan Temple is not one of the landmark Suzhou attractions. People of the older generation say that seeking marriage in Hanshan Temple is very effective. On weekdays, there are not many tourists in the temple. People often choose to eat a bowl of vegetarian noodles at the snack bar near the temple entrance.
Spending an afternoon wandering in the temple and copying Buddhist scriptures during the peach blossom season is also a good idea. The temple has courtyards everywhere, scattered and interlinked, exquisite and compact. There are both natural scenery and historical stories, the koi in the pool swaying, chanting sutras in the ears, incense exuberant, such piety, people awe.
Address: No. 24 Hanshan Temple Lane, Gusu District
Opening hours: 08:00-16:30 all year round
Special reminder: Buy tickets online in advance and enter the temple directly
Friendship reminder: enter the temple do not go back
Suzhou Museum is the final work of the architect I.M. Pei. The museum is divided into a vestibule, a central hall, and the main courtyard. White walls and blue tiles are the main architectural forms. The shape is simple, combining the beauty of classical gardens and modern architecture. Stone rockery, winding bridge, and octagonal pavilion reflection in the water like to create another layer of space as if there is a kind of transcendence.
The museum has many exhibits such as sarira, sarira pagoda, secret color porcelain bowl, porcelain, jade, sculpture, bronze ware, painting, and calligraphy. Professional commentators explain all exhibits in the form of vivid and easy-to-understand stories. Suzhou Museum is connected with the Zhongwang Mansion, so it is very convenient to enter it directly.
Address: No. 204, Dongbei Street, Suzhou
Admission: Free, with daily volunteer sessions.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00-17:00, no entry at 16:00; Closed on Mondays (normal for public holidays), and may be temporarily closed for major events or maintenance.
Shantang Street has a history of 1200 years and is the number one street in Suzhou. It has been a prosperous area of Suzhou City since ancient times. The eastern section of Shantang Street embodies the charm of ancient Suzhou, including stone arch bridges, narrow river channels, dwellings on the river, and various historical sites on both sides of the bank. When night falls and the red lanterns are lit, it seems to be back to the ancient city of Suzhou.
Address： No. 177, Shantang Street, Gusu District, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Opening hours: 08:00 – 21:00
Humble Administrator’s Garden
The Humble Administrator’s Garden, founded in 1509, is an outstanding representative of Chinese gardens and a model of private gardens south of the Yangtze River. It has a long history of humanities, rich cultural connotations, high gardening achievements, natural style, and elegant and beautiful scenery. And well-known in the world.
Address： No. 178, Northeast Street, Gusu District, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Admission: ￥70 – ￥80
Opening hours: 07:30 – 16:30
Pingjiang Road is a historic old Suzhou street, a small river road. It is the most intact area of the ancient city of Suzhou so far, and it can be called the epitome of the old town. Pingjiang Road has continued the urban square pattern since the Tang and Song dynasties and has maintained its vitality. The width of the river road is narrow, and raking boats are walking on it. At the same time, only bicycles can run on the road. It maintains the pattern of “parallel water and land, adjacent rivers and streets” and the unique style of “small bridges and flowing water, white walls and black tiles.”
Address：65 Baita East Road, Gusu District, Suzhou City