Famous Suzhou Gardens

Humble Administrator's garden in Suzhou China

Humble Administrator's Garden

Experience the pristine beauty and divine tranquility of Suzhou’s beautifully manicured classical gardens — nine of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two that are considered China’s most famous (Lingering Garden and Humble Administrator’s Garden). Thanks to impeccable preservation, this graceful place has seemingly stood still for thousands of years.

Classical Chinese garden design aims to create a flawless miniature landscape and emphasize the profound harmony between man and nature — and Suzhou’s gardens are regarded as masterpieces of the genre. Though these elaborate, private gardens owned by the rich and royal date back to the sixth century B.C., it wasn’t until the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties that Suzhou’s garden art reached its zenith.

Today, guests are welcome to visit the gardens and wander the paths, enjoying fragrant flora, rippling ponds and quiet pavilions along the way. Evoke the countryside and commune with nature, just like the people of Suzhou did so long ago. You, too, will discover why Suzhou’s classical gardens give merit to the moniker, “Heaven on Earth.”

Explore the Beauty of Suzhou Gardens

Humble Administrator's garden in Suzhou China

Humble Administrator's Garden

Humble Administrator’s Garden is Suzhou’s largest garden and considered the archetype of classical garden design.

Lingering Garden in Suzhou China

Lingering Garden

Lingering Garden is famous for its striking architecture and corridor adorned in ancient inlaid calligraphy.

Master of Nets Garden in Suzhou China

Master of Nets Garden

Suzhou’s smallest garden, Master of the Nets, boasts an intricate design and creates the illusion of a much larger space.

Lion Grove Garden in Suzhou China

Lion Grove Garden

Lion Grove Garden’s whimsical rock formations and imposing manmade mountains are the garden’s biggest draws.

Huanxiu Mountain Villa in Suzhou China

Mountain Villa

Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty captivates its audience with its soaring mountains and cliffs, deep caverns, stone houses and more.

Couple’s Retreat Garden in Suzhou China

Couple’s Retreat Garden

Fall in love with the Couple’s Retreat Garden, a romantic oasis sandwiched between three restful canals and a bevy of dramatic pavilions and verdant landscaping.

Canglang Pavilion

Canglang Pavilion

A flawless union of architecture and nature, Canglang Pavilion is the oldest garden in Suzhou and home to a mesmerizing forest of weeping willows, viridian bamboo and other ancient trees.

The Garden of Cultivation

The Garden of Cultivation, with its mist-cloaked hills, deep springs and placid pools, is simpler than the others — yet its beauty is commanding.

Retreat and Reflection Garden

Located in the picturesque water town of Tongli, the Retreat and Reflection Garden is notorious for its pavilions that seemingly float atop the pond’s peaceful surface.

expert tips:

In Suzhou, the regional Chinese language is called Wu, the subgroup is called Taihu, and the local dialect, one of nine, is known as Suzhounese, considered one of the most elegant, flowing in all of China. Most people are bilingual in Mandarin used in schools, because Suzhounese is not mutually intelligible with either Mandarin or Cantonese.