Suzhou is one of the major cities in the Yangtze River Delta Basin surrounded by several important big cities within 2 hour's driving distance, such as Shanghai (100 km), Wuxi (50 km), Hangzhou (160 km). Transportation in and out of Suzhou is busy and very convenient.
There is no passenger airport in Suzhou City, but there are four airports near it: Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai, Wuxi Sunan Shuofang Airport, and Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport. All are easily accessible within 2 hours to/from Suzhou by shuttle bus.
Pudong Airport is 120 km from Suzhou, and Hongqiao is 86 km away. Pudong has international flights and Hongqiao is mainly for domestic flights. Shuttle buses between these two airports and Suzhou run every day.
From Suzhou to Pudong Airport via Hongqiao Airport, buses start at Suzhou Arster Hotel (115 Gangjiang West Road, Suzhou Ticket Office, Eastern Airline) at 6:20, 6:50, 7:20, 7:50, 8:20, 8:50, 9:30, 10:10, 10:50, 11:50, 12:50, 13:50, 14: 50, 15:50.
From Pudong Airport to Suzhou via Hongqiao Airport, passengers could get on the parking lot on the 2nd floor of the Terminal 1 in Pudong Airport( at 10:40, 11:20, 11:50, 12;50, 13:50, 14: 40, 15:20, 16:10, 16:50, 17:50, 18:50, or 19:40); or Hongqiao Airport at 10:10, 11:00, 11:50, 12:30, 13:00, 14:00, 14:50, 15:50, 16:30, 17:20, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, or 20:30. The shuttle buses also stop at Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP(, 2 Zhongxin Road, Yuanqu District), Tongguan Fang, and finally at Suzhou Arster Hotel.
Ticket price and journey time: Hongqiao Airport – Suzhou: CNY 50, 1 hour; Pudong Airport – Suzhou: CNY 80, 2 hours 20 minutes.
|Departure Times||Departing From||Ticket Price|
|Suzhou – Wuxi Airport||05:40 08:20 09:50 12:00 14:50 17:40||West side of Suzhou Conference Center Building, 100 Daoqian Street (0512-65229688)||30 yuan/person|
|Wuxi Airport – Suzhou||10:20 11:50 14:00 16:10 18:40 20:50||Exit of domestic flights arrival hall||30 yuan/person|
Shuttle buses between Hangzhou Airport and Suzhou operate daily, taking about two hours and thirty minutes. They leave from Gate 14 of Hangzhou Airport's arrival hall and Zhongshan Hotel in Suzhou (559 Renmin Road). From Hangzhou Airport to Suzhou buses run from 14:00 to 20:15, whilst from Suzhou to Hangzhou Airport it's 9:15 to 16:45 (CNY 95/person).
Suzhou has four railway stations connecting Suzhou with most big cities in China, and each one has its own function.
Suzhou Railway Station (苏州站), located at 27 Suzhan Road, is a part of the Shanghai–Nanjing Main Line (Hu-Ning Line). All T- and K- services (slower and lower class) to Suzhou stop at this station. Also some G- and D- trains stop there.
Suzhou North Railway Station (苏州北站) on Fulin Road of Xiangcheng District is only for D- and G- trains running between Beijing and Shanghai via Suzhou. It takes around 5 hours from Suzhou to Beijing.
Suzhou Yuanqu Railway Station (苏州园区站) in the Industrial Park and Suzhou Xinqu Railway Station( (苏州新区站)), lying in Huqiu District, both only serve D- and G- trains running on the Nanjing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. It takes only 30 minutes from Suzhou to Shanghai and about an hour to Nanjing. Other high-speed trains to cities nearby are frequent like to Wuxi, Changzhou, and Zhenjiang.
Train tickets can be bought at ticket windows in every station and self-service machines are available in the station. Only passengers holding a Chinese ID card can buy tickets for G- and D- trains using self-service machines. It is wise to buy train tickets a few days ahead in China. If you are familiar with Chinese and have a Chinese bank account, you can also book tickets online on Chinese Railway’s official website 12306.cn without any extra fees.
There are five main bus stations in the city linking Suzhou with places in Jiangsu Province and most big cities around Jiangsu Province.
Suzhou North Bus Station
Located at 29 Xihui Road, it mainly offer bus services between Suzhou and Zhejiang, Northen Jiangsu, Shandong, Hubei, Henan, Guangdong, Shanxi, Fujian, Anhui provinces, and Shanghai Municipality. It also has buses running between Suzhou and major cities in Jiangsu Province like Wuxi, and six county towns belonging to Suzhou Prefecture.
Suzhou South Bus Station
Located at 601 Nanhuan East Road, at the junction of Nanhuan Road and Yingchun Road, it is the biggest passenger bus station in the city, linking Suzhou with Shanghai, the main cities of Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei, Shandong, Henan, and Jiangxi provinces, and most places in Jiangsu Province including Wujiang City.
Suzhou West Bus Station
Also called Suzhou Xinqu Bus Station (78 Jingshan Road), it is quite far from the city center, and most buses departing there are for nearby cities around Suzhou like Wuxi and county towns belonging to Suzhou Prefecture. Bus service between Suzhou and other big cities in China are also available, but not so many choices as from Suzhou South Bus Station.
Suzhou Bus Station
It is in the North Square of Suzhou Railway Station. This bus station is for intercity buses between Suzhou and nearby cities, such as Zhangjiagang, Wuxi, and Kunshan.
Wuzhong Bus Station
Wuzhong Bus Station (10 Guangjian Road) is for places in Northen Jiangsu, the six counties of Suzhou Prefecture, and all towns belonging to Wujiang. It is convenient for passengers in the south of Suzhou City to take buses from this station.
Suzhou to Zhouzhuang
By Ferry: Departure time 10:40, 14:30.
By Bus: Wuxian bus station, departure time: 7:15, 9:40, 14:15, 14:20. Northbus station, departure time is 6:45 and 18:00 to return. It comes every half an hour and takes about 60 minutes.
Suzhou to Tongli
Take bus from Suzhou North Gate Long Distance Bus Station or directly from Suzhou Train Station.
Suzhou To Luzhi
There are many buses from Suzhou to Luzhi. Tourist bus departs from Suzhou railway station for Luzhi daily. Suzhou northern bus station also offers bus services to Jiao. From 6:30am to 6:30 pm, bus leaves the northern bus station for every 30 minutes.
Suzhou to Mudu
Take direct bus 38、621、69、2、43, tourist bus 4 at railway station, bus station; take midibus to West Hill, East Hill and Guangfu at Wuxian Bus Station, pass by Mudu.
Though public buses are not always the first choice for foreigners since all bus information is only in Chinese, some bus services in the city may help you out in certain situations.
Buses run all over the city and mostly charge CNY 1, or CNY 2 with air-conditioning. Make sure you have exact change on hand before hopping on a bus. Some longer routes may charge CNY 5 like bus 69 to Xishan.
There are five tourist buses connecting most sights in the city: 游1–游5 (or Y1–Y5: 游, pinyin you, pronounced “yo”, means 'tour'). These air-conditioned buses are usually CNY 2/person, but every March, April, October, and November they only charge CNY 1.
|Tourist Bus Routes||Operation Time||Main Attractions|
|Line 1 (游1)||5:15am to 9pm||Liuyuan Garden, Shizilin Garden, Zhuozhengyuan Garden, Suzhou Museum, and Beita Temple|
|Line 2 (游2)||5:45am to 6:45pm||Shizilin Garden, Zhuozhengyuan Garden, Suzhou Museum, Wangshiyuan Garden, Panmen Scenic Area and the former residence of the famous poet Tang Yin of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).|
|Line 3 (游3)||5:05am to 8:45pm||Suzhou Train Station and Suzhou Amusement Park in Suzhou New District|
|Line 4 (游4)||5am to 21:10pm||Silk Museum (at Pingmen Stop), Beisi Pagoda, Yiyuan Garden, Canglang Pavillion, and the former residence of the famous poet Tang Yin|
|Line 5 (游5)||6am to 10:15pm||Suzhou Train Station, Shizilin Garden, Zhuozhengyuan Garden, Suzhou Museum, and Panmen Scenic Area|
Though there are over 4,000 taxis owned by around twenty taxi companies in the city, you may still find it hard to take a taxi during rush hours or rainy days or public holidays. If a taxi presents the illuminated Chinese characters “空车”, it is available.
Taxis run day and night in Suzhou, but charges are different. In the daytime (5am–10pm), the flag-fall rate is CNY 11 covering CNY 1 of fuel surcharge and the first three kilometers. After 3 km it is CNY 1.8 or CNY 2 per kilometer depending on the type of taxi. After 5 km it is CNY 2.7 or CNY 3 every kilometer. If you are in a traffic jam, you pay for the waiting time, and 5 minutes waiting time equals a kilometer.
At night (12am–5am), the flag-fall rate remains the same as in the daytime. However, additional fees are charged at 2.16 or 2.4 per kilometer after the first three kilometers.
Currently only Subway Line 1 is available in the city, operating between Wuzhong District Mudu Station and Zhongnan Street Station in SIP (Suzhou Industrial Park), with 24 stations in total. The ticket price goes from CNY 2 to CNY 6 according to different distances. The operation time is from 06:29 to 21:26 starting from Mudu Station and 06:29–22:24 departing from Zhongnan Station.
China has been famous as “the kingdom of bikes”, and visitors can get a glimpse of this “kingdom” by being one of the cyclers in Suzhou. Suzhou has a good network of cycle lanes in the city alongside the roads, helping cyclists travel easily. A kerbed strip, landscaped with flowers or a row of trees, or an iron fence is set between the cycle lane and motor vehicle lanes. In rush hour times riding a bike can be much faster than traveling by car, but stay alert as other road users will come at you from all directions.
Bikes can be rented in most youth hostels or bicycle shops. Generally a slow, heavy, 1-speed road bike costs CNY 30/day. Bicycle Kingdom Rental Agency on Pingjiang Road offers both road bikes and mountain bikes at CNY 150 – CNY 300 or so a day.
Since 2010 a public bicycle service has been available in Suzhou for people who have cards. There are 49 parking stations for the public bicycle service and most are located near the main streets.
One thing to remember is to protect the bike from thieves, especially in crowded places. A U-lock might help, but best is to bring it wherever you go. In some places an attendant will watch the bike for CNY 1, but this service is only offered in big place like Guanqian Street.
Pedi cabs can be seen everywhere in Suzhou especially near the main attractions. It is a good way to see the real life of this city at a slow pace. But it is not cheap, and sometimes even costlier than taking a taxi.
Make sure you bargain with the driver hard first and insist on the agreed price at the destination. In summer the price will be a bit higher as it is the peak season for tourism, and it is also very hot work for the drivers.