Top things to do

Top Choice Landmark in Sūzhōu

Pán Gate Scenic Area

This far quieter 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, dating f…
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 Bar in Sūzhōu

Bookworm

Běijīng’s excellent Bookworm wormed its way down to Sūzhōu, serving as a kind of comfy cultural hub, library, bookshop and cafe. The food is crowd-pleasing (lots of Western options) and the cold beers include Tsingt…
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 Bar in Sūzhōu

Locke Pub

Any place that plays Tom Waits is good in our book and we're also partial to friendly labradors. This charming spot has ample space, comfy sofas, homemade ice cream, a whole wall of English books, hot whisky, Leffe,…
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…
Gardens in Sūzhōu

West Garden Temple

This magnificent temple, with its mustard-yellow walls and gracefully curved eaves, was burnt to the ground during the Taiping Rebellion and rebuilt in the late 19th century. Greeting you as you enter the stunning A…
Pagoda in Sūzhōu

North Temple Pagoda

The tallest pagoda south of the Yangzi is a beauty, dominating the northern end of Renmin Lu. The nine-storey pagoda is an element of Bào'ēn Temple (报恩寺; Bào'ēn Sì) and you can climb it for sweeping views of hazy mo…