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suzhou top things garden

Top Things to Do in Suzhou

“Up above there is Paradise, down here there are Suzhou and Hangzhou." Setting against a stunning backdrop of crisscrossing canals and rivers, Suzhou is a city of classical charm which exudes not just through its traditional gardens and water towns, but also through the graceful melody of its ancient Kun Opera, the leisure life of its locals, as well as the exquisite Suzhou cuisine.
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One of the most enchanting tourist destinations in China, Suzhou offers loads of fun and enjoyment on a weekend getaway from Shanghai or Hangzhou.
Appreciate Suzhou Classical Gardens
Suzhou Classical Gardens

The well-preserved Suzhou gardens dating back as far as to the sixth century is the symbol of the city’s everlasting charm and draw admirers from all corners of the globe.

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Walk into the 500-year-old Humble Administrator's Garden, the largest and most illustrious garden in Suzhou, where you will be amazed by picturesque landscape perfectly fusing ancient trees, pavilions, halls, ponds, rockeries and zigzag bridges. Wandering around the Master of the Nets Garden famed for its exquisite layout, you are provided a good chance to enjoy traditional Suzhou performances along with its magical night scene. Another outstanding example is the Lingering Garden, presenting stunning garden views at every turn.

Experience Suzhou’s elaborate gardens at our 1 Day - Classic Suzhou Private Tour

Wander around Quaint Water Towns

Graceful Suzhou is also celebrated by its pretty water towns. Walking through the alleys or drifting leisurely along the winding canals, one cannot fail to be enthralled by its postcard-perfect landscape and frozen-in-time flavor.

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Zhouzhuang, one of the country's oldest water towns, captivates you with beautiful scenery of Chinese style dwellings, arched stone bridges and vigorous local life. Tongli, only half hours’ drive from Suzhou, reveals more serene beauty with its laid-back atmosphere and ancient residential houses built upon a sprawling network of waterways. Also, there are some lesser-trodden ones like Luzhi, where you can leisurely explore its 2500-year-old history through ancient alleyways, residences and historical relics.

Suzhou gardens and water towns can be explored at:
2 Days - Suzhou at a Glance
3 Days - Discovery of Suzhou Garden & Watertown

Discover Old Suzhou in Historic Streets
Shantang Street

The epitome of old Suzhou, Shantang Street is a great place to discover centuries of Suzhou’s history. Strolling on the street, you can admire ancient Ming and Qing-style buildings, browse century-old shops for all kinds of snacks and pick up some interesting souvenirs. A boat ride on the winding canal is highly recommended to get a feel of its timeless beauty.

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Or relax in a rickshaw ride on Pingjiang Road, a more authentic historical block still retaining its original style in Tang Dynasty through old residential buildings and leisure existence of local life.

Experience Old Suzhou in:
1 Day - Suzhou Essences Private Day Tour

Visit Suzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum

The pride of Suzhou people, Suzhou Museum is renowned for a fascinating blend of modern architectural design with many traditional Chinese elements in gardens of Suzhou, like artificial pond, bridge, rockery, whitewashed wall and black tile, creating an elegant and tranquil environment for strolling around.

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Stepping inside, you can appreciate an outstanding collection of artifacts going back millennia. Ceramics, jade wares, ancient handicrafts, Chinese paintings and calligraphy offer a vivid picture of the rich culture of Suzhou.

Enjoy Traditional Suzhou Performance
Kun Opera

Suzhou Pingtan is an ancient art of storytelling and ballad singing in soft Suzhou dialect. Kun Opera, reputed as the forefather of all Chinese operas, is popular with audience with its elegant story-lines, melodious tunes and graceful movements of performers. As time-honored legacy of Suzhou, these art performances should not be missed for a taste of the city’s ancient charm.

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Order a pot of green tea, try some delicate Suzhou dim sum and watch graceful Suzhou performances; the quintessential Suzhou lifestyle at local teahouses and theatres will enchant you immensely.

Find more night activities in Suzhou nightlife

Savor Delicious Suzhou Cuisine
Suzhou Cuisine

One of China’s top foodie cities, Suzhou is justifiably famous for its delicious Suzhou cuisine built on century-old traditions of freshness and seasonality. A traditional dish is Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish; the delicate appearance and appetizing flavor are both a delight.

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Where to pig out the most authentic Suzhou flavor? The well-preserved ancient streets highlight the city’s most exciting gastronomy scene. From the oldest and best-known restaurants to hawker stalls laden with a huge array of snacks, Suzhou is full of amazing eateries for eating out.

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