Top things to do

Top Choice Landmark in Sūzhōu

Pán Gate Scenic Area

This quiet part of Sūzhōu is lovely, with a section of the city wall straddling the outer moat in the southwest corner of the city. You can find Sūzhōu’s only remaining original coiled gate, Pán Gate (sometimes sign…
Top Choice Bar in Sūzhōu

Birdland

Named after a Patti Smith song, Birdland is one of the first bars in Sūzhōu to offer craft beer on tap. There is an ever-changing selection of 12 well-kept, local brews, including some by Master Gao, one of the lead…
Top Choice Street in Sūzhōu

Pingjiang Lu

While most of the town canals have been sealed and paved into roads, the pedestrianised Pingjiang Lu offers clues to the Sūzhōu of yesteryear. On the eastern side of the city, this canalside road has whitewashed loc…
Top Choice Gardens in Sūzhōu

Garden of the Master of the Nets

Off Shiquan Jie, this pocket-sized garden is considered one of Sūzhōu's best preserved. Laid out in the 12th century, it went to seed and was later restored in the 18th century as part of the home of a retired offic…
Top Choice Gardens in Sūzhōu

Humble Administrator’s Garden

The largest of Sūzhōu's gardens, the Humble Administrator’s Garden is often considered to be the most impressive, but its fame draws in constant crowds, so get here early in the morning if you can. First built in 15…
Top Choice Museum in Sūzhōu

Sūzhōu Museum

This cubist/geometric IM Pei-designed triumph takes a modern interpretation of a Sūzhōu garden, with its confluence of water, bamboo and straight lines, and mixes it with a fascinating array of jade, ceramics, woode…
Top Choice Dumplings in Sūzhōu

Yáng Yáng Dumpling Restaurant

Downtown branch of this popular restaurant that specialises in dumplings but also offers a variety of tasty, locally inspired and classic Chinese dishes. The set menus offer great value for money. This branch is hou…
Gardens in Sūzhōu

Garden of Cultivation

This small but perfectly-formed garden is often overlooked by visitors who are drawn to Sūzhōu's larger and more famous gardens. Its simple layout makes use of the most basic methods of classical garden design - roc…
Street in Sūzhōu

Shantang Jie

This picturesque canalside street has been in use for more than a thousand years, having been built in the Tang dynasty (around 825-826) to transport Sūzhōu’s upper classes to Tiger Hill for leisurely outings. Nowad…
Taoist Temple in Sūzhōu

Temple of Mystery

Lashed by electronic music from the shops alongside, the Taoist Temple of Mystery stands in what was once Sūzhōu’s old bazaar, a rowdy entertainment district with travelling performers, acrobats and actors. The temp…