Welcome to Sūzhōu

Having said that, the city still retains enough pockets of charm to warrant two to three days’ exploration on foot or by bike. And the gardens, Sūzhōu’s main attraction, are a symphonic combination of rocks, water, trees and pavilions that reflects the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony. Adding to the charm are some excellent museums, surviving canal scenes, pagodas and humpbacked bridges. The gardens in particular can get busy, so avoid visiting at the weekend or during public holidays, if possible.

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$134.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village Day Trip from Shanghai

Founded in around 600 B.C., Suzhou is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze basin and is known for its beautiful gardens. With its interconnected waterways and beautiful environment, the city is often referred to as the Venice of the East. Suzhou was one of the few cities in China to escape the ravages of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and its famous gardens survived almost intact. Upon arrival in Suzhou, your first stop is the Net Master Garden, the town's best example of a model Ming Dynasty garden. The gardens embody the harmonious principles of Chinese garden construction, which dictate that gardens should re-create a microcosm of the universe in a confined space. After enjoying Suzhou's gardens, you'll view the town's ancient city wall and Grand Canal. You'll also take a tour of a silk-spinning factory to see how Chinese silk has been produced since the 14th century. After lunch, it's time to visit the water village of Zhouzhuang and board a Chinese-style gondola to cruise the town's beautiful waterways. Zhouzhuang's simple, well-preserved architecture dates back more than 900 years. The majority of residences were built in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and nearly 100 classic courtyards and 60 carved-brick archways are still in use. In this water village, locals live their life on the waterways, continuing to carry out everyday activities on the water, from washing clothes to shopping from vendors in boats.

$80 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Private Trip to Suzhou from Shanghai

Your professional guide will pick up you at the hotel at 9 a.m. and then take you to the train station for the high speed train. About 30 minutes later, you will arrive at the beautiful garden city of Suzhou where your day adventure starts. First, visit one of the four most famous gardens in China –The Humble Administrator’s garden. This is also the largest garden in Suzhou with typical southern east Ming Dynasty classic garden, including special Taihu lake rock-hills, delicate pavilions, lush flowers and trees, ponds, and 150 different Bonsai trees. After that take a walk or rickshaw along the old canal section on the historical Pingjiang Road. Then, you will have lunch at an authentic local restaurant. After lunch activities depend on your interests. You will have option of visiting the 13th century Buddhist temple with classic garden complex in Suzhou, or you can choose to visit a silk factory located in the old Japanese Concession where you will learn how famous Chinese silk is produced from the little silk worm to the garments. Continue to the “No.1 ancient street,” and you can take a boat trip along the canal. By cruising on the old waterways, you will see the typical southeast old houses built along the canals, women washing clothes, old men playing cards, and children playing around. This offers you the true experience of all the sights, sounds, and scents of Suzhou. At the end of the cruise, you will have a look at the famous leaning pagoda on the Tiger Hill, regarded as the second leaning pagoda after the Leaning Tower of Pisa.( Due to the cleaning up of the canal , the boat cruise will not be able to take you to the leaning Pagoda , instead you will wonder along the ancient canal street after the boat ride.) Then transfer back to the train station in Suzhou and back to Shanghai.Note: 1. If you have travelers between 1 to 3 pax ,we have different packages available ( Public transfer which includes the fast train experience with local taxi/cabs or Privae transfer which has NON fast train experiences , instead you will travel by private car during the whole day from Shanghai). If you do not like the local taxi /cabs traveling around , please book the options of private transfer directly. 2.For groups with 4 people or more, instead of taking the fast train, you will be provided with a private transfer from Shanghai to Suzhou directly. 

$93 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Suzhou and Zhouzhuang or Tongli Tour from Shanghai

Meet your private guide and driver at your central Shanghai hotel at 9am, and make the approximately 1.5-hour journey to Suzhou by private, comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. Founded in 514 BC, the old town of Suzhou is steeped in 2,500 years of history and serves up many well-preserved relics from the past. Sometimes known as the ‘Venice of the East’ or the ‘Venice of China,’ its canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens all help to make it one of China’s top tourist attractions. The town has also been an important center for China’s silk industry since the days of the Song Dynasty, between 960 and 1279. On arrival, pay a visit to one of the four most famous gardens in China: The Humble Administrator’s Garden. The largest in Suzhou and a stunning example of a south-eastern Ming-Dynasty classical garden, this immaculate oasis features Lake Taihu rocks, delicate pavilions, ponds, and lush flowers and trees, including 150 types of Bonsai tree. After exploring here, visit Suzhou’s best-known silk factory, located in the former Japanese concession and housed in what was the Japanese consulate. See the process used to produce China’s famous silk, from the tiny silkworms to the beautiful finished garments. After your morning tour, enjoy an authentic Chinese lunch at a local restaurant (own expense), and then make an afternoon visit to your choice of one of two ancient water towns: Zhouzhuang or Tongli. Both offer picturesque natural landscapes, classical canals, and wonderful examples of Ming- and Qing-dynasty buildings. If you choose Zhouzhuang — renowned as the first water town in China — take a stroll to soak up its charms and admire its ancient twin bridges. Plus, visit Mr. Shen Wansan’s House, the courtyard residence of a 14th-century tycoon whose wealth inspired the envy of the first of China's Ming emperors. Admire the classical architecture of Shen’s House as you learn about his fascinating life, and take an optional boat trip (own expense) along Zhouzhuang’s beautiful canals. If you choose to visit Tongli, take in its UNESCO-listed Tuisi Garden, one of the most splendid Qing-dynasty gardens in China. Admire the pavilion-dotted garden, see Tongli’s famous ring of three bridges, and enjoy an optional gondola boat ride (own expense) along the serene and pretty canals. Your tour then finishes with a transfer and drop-off back at your hotel in downtown Shanghai.

$103 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Private Day Tour to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village including Humble Administrator's Garden from Shanghai

Meet your guide at the lobby of your hotel in Shanghai city centre at 8am, and your driver will transfer you to Suzhou (approx. 2 hours). Suzhou is also called the Venice of the East and China’s garden city. It is renown for its waterside architecture, with many areas still preserving the network of canals and waterways that used to crisscross the city. However, Suzhou’s greatest claim to fame, more so than its canals, is its classical gardens. These splendid gardens date back to the Ming dynasty and have since been regarded as paragons of Chinese classical garden design. During this tour you will visit the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the largest and most well known of Suzhou’s famous gardens. Its unique design, ethereal beauty, and enduring cultural significance have seen it proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then you will follow your guide to visit the Silk factory to see the process of making silk products and you will have a traditional Chinese lunch in a local restaurant. The tour will continue visiting Zhouzhuang Water Town, where you will board a Chinese-style gondola to cruise the town's beautiful waterways. Zhouzhuang's simple, well-preserved architecture dates back more than 900 years. The majority of residences were built in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and nearly 100 classic courtyards and 60 carved-brick archways are still in use. In this water village, locals live their life on the waterways, continuing to carry out everyday activities on the water, from washing clothes to shopping from vendors in boats. After this, you will be transferred back to your hotel at Shanghai city centre

$89 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Day Tour: Suzhou Expedition from Shanghai

Because this is a private tour, your departure time is flexible: most guests find 8:30am works best. It's around a 2-hour drive to Suzhou from downtown Shanghai, and your first stop will be the Panmen Gate and its surrounding scenic area. Suzhou has over 2,500 years of history, and much of it is encapsulated in this gate beside the moat that encircled the old city, with buildings that date back to the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. A local saying goes that 'You should visit the Great Wall in Beijing and you must see Panmen in Suzhou'. From here, it's a short drive to Shantang Street, a historic street that encapsulates the leisured relaxation of southern Chinese life beside the water. Discover Suzhou's unique cuisine in a local restaurant here, complete with fantastic views over the canals. Suzhou has long been famous for silk, so after lunch you'll visit one of the best silk factories in China. Discover the history, culture, and art of silk, and learn how silk is made from the mulberry to the loom. Your guide will help you shop for silk here, should you wish. Suzhou's classical gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so your final stop on this tour will be one of these stunning formal gardens-Master of Nets Garden. Built in 1342 by a Buddhist monk, its sculptural rock forms make this arguably the finest of the four UNESCO-listed gardens in Suzhou. You'll drive back to your hotel in Shanghai around 6:30pm.

$139 Day Trips & Excursions

Small Group Day Tour to Suzhou with Tongli Water Town from Shanghai

After enjoying breakfast in your hotel, you will be picked up and transferred to the meeting point. (Our guide will contact you in advance to confirm the pickup time.)First, drive to beautiful Suzhou to enjoy the exquisite Master of the Nets Garden. As one of the four most prominent gardens in Suzhou, the Garden is a typical private house owned by several great Chinese scholars in different dynasties so besides the gorgeous view of the well-designed traditional garden with strange stones, peaceful lakes and beautiful flowers, you will also see stone tablets with these scholars’ poems and articles.Then hop aboard your van and drive to Tongli, a dreamy and picturesque water town famed for its sprawling network of rivers, ancient bridges and house complexes. Stroll along the old residential houses by the water;Afterwards, review your photos or take a nap on the way back to Shanghai hotel.