Suzhou Museum

Top choice in Suzhou

This stunning museum, one of only two in mainland China designed by IM Pei, is a modern interpretation of Suzhou architecture, with its confluence of water, courtyards and a distinctive grey-and-white motif. Although the impressive architecture steals the show, the collection contains a fascinating array of jade, ceramics and textiles, mostly labelled with informative English captions.

Don't miss the clever mountainscape by the pond or Zhong Wang Fu mansion, a 19th-century courtyard complex that makes up the final section of the museum.

Visitor numbers are limited so crowding isn't an issue and the queue to get in tends to move quickly. Before you join the queue, drop off any large bags at the luggage facility opposite.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Suzhou attractions

1. Sūzhōu Garden Museum

0.09 MILES

This informative little museum, west of the ticket office for the Humble Administrator's Garden, gives an overview of the history, evolution and aesthetic…

2. Suzhou Arts and Crafts Museum

0.17 MILES

Housed in a historic building, this small museum boasts an impressive range of modern handicrafts created by skilled Suzhou artists. Its nearly 1000-piece…

3. Lion Grove Garden

0.17 MILES

Constructed in 1342 by the Buddhist monk Tianru to commemorate his master, who lived on Lion Cliff on Zhejiang’s Tianmu Mountain, this garden's curiously…

4. Humble Administrator’s Garden

0.21 MILES

The largest of Suzhou's gardens, the Humble Administrator’s Garden is often considered to be the most impressive, but its fame draws in constant crowds,…

5. Bao'en Temple

0.48 MILES

The oldest Buddhist temple in Suzhou, Bao'en Temple dates back 1700 years and its current reincarnation goes back to the 17th century. The temple's star…

6. Suzhou Silk Museum

0.53 MILES

The Suzhou Silk Museum houses fascinating exhibitions detailing the history of Suzhou’s 4000-year-old silk industry. Exhibits include a section on silk…

7. Suzhou Art Museum

0.64 MILES

A dazzling use of daylight and design merges in this new museum, hung with contemporary landscapes, calligraphy and modern art that stands out boldly from…

8. Temple of Mystery

0.73 MILES

Lashed by electronic music from the shops alongside, the Taoist Temple of Mystery stands in what was once Suzhou’s old bazaar, a rowdy entertainment…