Getting to Suzhou
Getting to Suzhou in the Jiangsu Province is a breeze — simply choose your airline, airport and train or shuttle, and you’ll be there in no time.
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) is one of two airports located in the booming city of Shanghai. After landing at SHA, visitors can make the short trip to Suzhou by train, shuttle bus or taxi. Because of its close proximity to Suzhou and convenient (and quick) train transportation, American and Canadian travelers usually opt to fly into SHA.
Distance from Suzhou: 50 miles (80 km)
Driving: 1 hour 15 minutes
Bullet/High-Speed Train: 30 minutes
Regular Train: 1 hour
Pudong International Airport (PVG) is Shanghai’s second (and largest) airport. Located in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai, the airport is a fast growing hub for all things international. Trains, shuttle buses and taxis are the best mode of transport for visitors landing at PVG.
Distance from Suzhou: 65 miles (104 km)
Driving: 1 hour 45 minutes
Bullet/High-Speed Train: 30 minutes (Requires transferring lines)
Regular Train: 1 hour (Requires transferring lines)
Sunan Shuofang International Airport (WUX) is the closest airport to Suzhou. While many travelers are enticed by its proximity to the oriental water city, the airport is relatively small and there are no nonstop flights from the U.S. or Canada into WUX, so travelers will inevitably transfer in another city before making their final arrival.
Distance from Suzhou: 14 miles (22 km)
Driving: 30 minutes
Bus: 40 minutes
Two additional airports — Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) and Nanjing Lukou International Airport (NKG) — are also available and often used by travelers visiting Suzhou. The distance from each airport to Suzhou is roughly 100 to 125 miles (164 to 203 km) and about a two- to two-and-a-half-hour drive, respectively.
Fly from the U.S. or Canada to Shanghai (SHA or PVG) nonstop aboard a variety of airlines including those listed below.
Additional airlines offer service between North America and Shanghai, check your preferred carrier’s website for the latest information.
After arriving at a nearby airport, the quickest way to get to Suzhou is by train. Suzhou has four main train stations that welcome travelers daily. Simply select your train of choice (high-speed or regular), sit back and enjoy the ride. Fares vary for each destination, and visitors must purchase their tickets from the railway station counter or through the ticket office at the airport.
Suzhou Railway Station
Line: Shanghai–Nanjing Main Line
Location: 27 Chezhan Road, Gusu, Suzhou (Gusu District)
Suzhou North Railway Station
Line: Beijing-Shanghai (Jinghu) High-Speed Railway
Location: Fulin Road, Xiangcheng District (northwest Suzhou)
Suzhou Yuanqu (Industrial Park) Railway Station
Line: Shanghai–Nanjing Main Line
Location: Zhihe West Road, Suzhou Industrial Park
Suzhou Xinqu (New District) Railway Station
Line: On the Shanghai–Nanjing Main Line, but used for high-speed trains to/from Beijing only
Location: Hushuguan Town, Suzhou New Zone 215004
Make your way to Suzhou by bus, coach or shuttle. Suzhou’s three main bus terminals are conveniently located throughout the city and provide daily transport to and from surrounding airports to Suzhou and other major cities.
South Bus Station
It’s the largest of the three stations and is located just south of downtown Suzhou.
Location: Yingchun Road and Nanhuan Road East, Suzhou
Destinations: Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou
North Bus Station
It’s the newest of the three stations and is located next to the Suzhou North Railway Station, about a 20- to 30-minute walk from downtown Suzhou. The express buses from Wuxi and Shanghai are ideal for quick trips from WUX and SHA to Suzhou. Includes the bullet train to and from Shanghai.
Location: 29 Xihui Road, Suzhou
Destinations: Shanghai, Wuxi, Zhangjiagang, Changzhou, Kunshan, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Zhenjiang, Nantong, Jiaxing, Taicang
West Bus Station
Due to its location north of the Suzhou Amusement Park along the edge of Suzhou’s New District, this station is the furthest from downtown Suzhou. Express service is available to and from some locations — including Shanghai.
Location: Jinshan Road and Changjiang Road, New District Suzhou
Destinations: Changshu, Zhangjiagang, Kunshan, Zhenhu, Nantong, Wuxi, Liyang, Hangzhou and Nanxun
Featured Tour Packages
14-Days : Beijing to Hong Kong on a Shoestring
On Day 6 - you will visit Suzhou, the "Venice of the East." Get out and explore historic Suzhou and its beautiful garden. Big Night Out: Private Karaoke Session - release your inner rock star and let loose like the locals with a karaoke session.
2 Night: 3 Days Suzhou & Tongli Water Town Tour
3 Days Suzhou & Tongli Water Town Tour
9 Night: Uncover Chinese Culture Through Expansive Artistic Venues
China’s mystical heritage is transposed into handcrafted sculptures, digital masterpieces, graphic design and aesthetic paintings – resulting in unrivaled creations. Amid the 1.3 billion people, you will encounter quiet spaces brimming with carefully constructed artwork throughout all four stops of your adventure across China. In Beijing, you will find a synchronized balance between hushed viewings and popular, must-see attractions; in Suzhou, you will be enveloped by breathtaking scenery, which is highlighted by lush garden beds and the stream stretching through middle of the city; in Shenzhen – the urban hub for shoppers and extravagant restaurants – you will be enraptured by its futuristic modern style and architecture; and in Taipei you will find that its contemporary, yet peculiar interpretations will perfectly tie together your exploration through China’s finest artistic venues.
Humble Administrator’s Garden is one of China’s finest, the centerpiece of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises nine classical Suzhou gardens. Visitors during spring and summer may attend the azalea or lotus festival. Adjacent, the Suzhou Museum is the latest masterpiece of China’s most famous architect, I.M. Pei. For transportation, take tourist buses No.1, 2 or 5.
Traveling with children? Don't miss the Suzhou Amusement Park at Junji Lake with zipline ride, a dancing water fountain show on weekends and one of the world's tallest Ferris Wheels. The 60 cabins carrying a total of 300 passengers take 20 minutes per rotation, providing great views of the lake and the Suzhou skyline.
Currency in Suzhou, and throughout China, is abbreviated as CNY for Chinese Yen or as RMB for Renminbi. Along with 13 other major currencies, US dollars can be exchanged at all the outlets of the state banks of China at the same rate. Bring a passport to make any transaction.
Known as the "Silk Capital of the World", those keen to see silkworms in action can be guided through the process from mulberry leaves to finished product at Suzhou No. 1 Silk Mill. The region's temperate, subtropical zone that's ideal for deciduous mulberry trees has supported 5,000 years of silk cultivation.
Picturesque canals, stone bridges, temples, gardens and pagodas make the ancient city of Suzhou one of China's top tourism destinations. Calligraphy carved onto Tiger Hill rocks indicate that it has attracted visitors for thousands of years. A Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi, said, "It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill."
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.
Atop Tiger Hill, the Yunyan Pagoda, nicknamed the Leaning Tower of China, stands as a symbol of Suzhou. Completed during the Song Dynasty in the year 961, the 1,000-year-old pagoda is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa and has become a symbol of Suzhou. The 3-degree tilt means that since 2010, visitors are no longer permitted entry.
Visit an authentic Buddhist monastery and temple just 3 miles west Suzhou old town. The temple has been well-known since the Tang Dynasty of the 7th and 8th centuries. Take bus No. 3, 6, 9, 17, 21, 31, 301 or Y3 and get off at Fengqaio Station.
Suzhou Railway Station, one of China's busiest, dates back to 1906. Now throughly modernized, the fast train connection with a design speed of 217 miles per hour covers the 52 miles to Shanghai in a journey of only a 24 minutes.
One of the best ways to tour the "Venice of the East" is from a front row seat on a hand-steered canal boat. Afterwards, stop into 130-year-old Pin Von Teahouse for exotic teas served in private booths on the second floor. It overlooks Pingjiang Lu, an 800-year-old lively pedestrian street, one of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets."