Discover boutique hotels in Suzhou, China

Nicknamed the Venice of the East, Suzhou is sought for its placid canals, manicured gardens and historic water towns – but this sprawling city is also famously forward-thinking, with a thriving business sector that’s got its eye firmly set on the future. In the historic centre, wooden boats punt down lantern-lined canals and glide beneath old stone bridges, ensuring the city’s 2,500-year history is plain to see. It’s a leafy city, too, home to more than 60 classical gardens, the largest of which is the Ming-era Humble Administrator’s Garden, considered by many to be a masterpiece.

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When to go

The best time to visit is spring (March to May), when the temperatures are usually warm but not too hot. Be aware of the public holiday in the first week of May, which will bring crowds from across the country.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Suzhou doesn’t have its own airport, so the best place to fly into is Shanghai, where you can catch a bullet train to Suzhou, a journey that takes just 25 minutes.
  • Automobiles

    You won’t need your own car in Suzhou, where taxis are plentiful and public transport is cheap.