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Recent News: From May 1st, 2019, Suzhou Museum starts to implement real-name online reservation policy during different time periods, which enables only 3 visitors (including accompanies) for each one registration ID every day. 600 visitors are allowed every hour of a visiting day (maximum visitors of 4,200 of a day), therefore, it is highly suggested make a reservation in advance 1-7 days. Please contact us if you have any questions or needs.
Suzhou Museum (苏州博物馆), designed by the universally well-known American-Chinese architect Mr. Ieoh Ming Pei (贝聿铭), has its new museum completed in 2006 and becomes very famous over the world since its opening. Because I. M. Pei has lived in Suzhou during his childhood, many typical traditional elements of Suzhou gardens and Jiangnan can be appreciated from the simple but elegant appearance to the distinct environment in the halls. Covering a wide area of 10,700 s. q. m, just beside the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou Museum enjoys over 40 thousand historical and cultural relics exhibiting to the public, like, jade, ceramics, bronze, stone, ivory, etc. among which the ceramics, paintings, calligraphies, and handicrafts are the most of high standards. Catch the chance to see the “Little Daughter” of Mr. Pei and learn history and culture of Wu Region (吴) in ancient China.
Suzhou Museum is generally in the outlook of the traditional Chinese styles, with white walls and black tiles, looking harmonious and elegant among the surrounding ancient buildings. But for more visual effect and functions, Mr. Pei meticulously designed the museum with very nice lines and modern charm with the traditional elements. Moreover, in Suzhou Museum, you can be surprised to find the typical Suzhou garden elements, and even a lovely and tranquil water garden in there, which is nearly the unique design among other museums.
In the main 3 parts of Suzhou Museum, the West Wing is formed with 3 floors, with the first floor being the basic exhibition area and the second floor as well as the basement 1 being the temporary exhibiting places. The central part consists of the entrance, hall and the garden that you can find through the glass wall. And on the east, there are the modern art gallery, tea house, etc. with the link path to the Prince Zhong’s Mansion.
Within the exhibiting area of about 3,600 s. q. m, Suzhou Museum has over 1,160 pieces of cultural relics from the remote ancient times, Ming and Qing dynasties, to the modern times, etc. on show, therefore, it is a good opportunity to admire these precious objects and learn the culture, history and art of Wu Kingdom, ancient Suzhou and the whole China.
As one of the proud exhibiting series in Suzhou Museum, ceramics are terrifically of high standard. Olive Green Lotus-Shaped Bowl (越窑秘色青瓷莲花碗) (907-960 AD), a fine ware from the Five Dynasties, was found in the third floor of Yunyansi Pagoda (云岩寺塔) on the Tiger Hill, appearing very lovely like a blooming lotus flower. And for its good technique of using olive green, this bowl is one of the most precious collections of Suzhou Museum. Furthermore, you can see a Purple Clay Washer (紫砂干果洗) in a lifelike style with a walnut, peanut, litchi, and other nuts being the holder and feet of the ware. Besides, the Blue-and-White Plate with Flowers and Fruits Pattern (青花折枝花果纹大盘) (1426-1435 AD) as well as the Globular Shape Vase with peaches (青花釉里红桃子天球大瓶) (1636-1911 AD) are of high skills and flowing lines. Go to see more various shapes of ceramic relics to know more about this city.
You shall not miss the outstanding handicrafts in Suzhou Museum, since they will renew your present memory of the Chinese handicrafts. The Pearl Pillar of the Buddhist Shrine (真珠舍利宝幢) is a very precious Buddhist artwork found in the Ruiguangsi Pagoda (瑞光寺塔) in Panmen Scenic Area (盘门景区). Made about one thousand years ago, this creation of 122.6 cm high is shining with many expensive materials like gold, silver, crystal, pearls, jade, etc. which demonstrates the very high level of making art works of the ancient Wu people in Suzhou. Besides, Ruyi-Scepter Inlaid with Nephrite Ornaments (白玉三镶如意) (1644-1911 AD) from Qing dynasty consists of three graceful jades with beautiful carvings on the long handle and is regarded as a gem. Apart from that, a precious Jade Cong (玉琮) (3300-2200 BC) has 12 levels and stands for the high standard of making jade ware in the Liangzhu Culture (良渚文化) and the brilliant history of that period. Also, there are many diverse shapes of brush pots in Suzhou Museum, among which, the Eaglewood Brush Pot with Fishing Patterns (沉香木雕刻渔钓图笔筒) (1644-1911) of 11.5 cm high has plants much bigger than figures but superb carving technique everywhere. Besides, there are other interesting and excellent handicrafts like the Blue-and White Figure-Design Bowl in Openwork (青花人物镂孔大碗), Gold Coronet (女金冠) (1271-1368 AD), Flower-Shaped Cup (粉彩绿里花型盃), and so forth.
Calligraphic and painting collections are another shining point of Suzhou Museum. On the rare Scroll of Seven Bamboo Paintings (七君子图) from the Yuan Dynasty, seven bamboo works from the six famous bamboo painters in that period perfectly present under the artist’s brush. Furthermore, you can stroll in the halls to appreciate more excellent paintings to know better about the painting art in China.
Suzhou Museum has a series of high-level bronze wares on display, so you can walk in the halls to enjoy these wares and understand the great skill of bronze making in ancient Wu region. You can find a great number of bronze wine wares, wine cups, bowls, cooking vessels, etc. with very magnificent patterns on the wares, and those are mainly the representative items from the ancient Wu kingdom.
In Suzhou Museum, there is a special hall for showing the folk art collections, where you can appreciate many interesting and lovely items and scenes of the daily life, official’s court, ancient figures and so on in ancient Suzhou.
Walking out from the exhibiting area, you can find a new different land, which is the super terrific garden in Suzhou Museum. Here Mr. Pei designed it with the traditional elements in gardens in Suzhou, like pool, pavilion, rockery, bridge, bamboo forest, etc., but using specially great technique to present the most beautiful image of Suzhou Museum, making it a poetic place of sightseeing and breathing.
Prince Zhong’s Mansion, or Zhong Wang Fu’s Restoration (忠王府), is between the Humble Administrator’s Garden and Suzhou Museum, and you can get there after visiting the inner garden in the museum. Built during 1860 and 1863 by Li Xiucheng who is the Prince Zhong in the period of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (太平天国), this mansion is the perfect building of that time preserved in China. You can step in to admire the colorful paintings on the walls, pillars, beams, etc. the ancient opera stage, precious old furniture, cultural relics and so forth, and feel the history of that time.
Enter Suzhou Museum and appreciate the precious cultural relics from remote times on the first floor, then go to the second floor and the basement 1 to admire the excellent temporary exhibitions. After that, go back to the first floor and exit from the exhibiting area to enjoy the great scenery of the inner garden. Finally, see the paintings and other precious relics in the Prince Zhong’s Mansion on the east. (For about 1-2 hours)
Suzhou Museum is situated at the southwest side of the Humble Administrator’s Garden, so it is very easy to find this place. You can get there by bus, bicycle, subway, taxi, rickshaw, etc.
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Suzhou Museum with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
Opening Hour: 9:00-17:00 (Tuesday - Sunday); no entering after 16:00; Close on Monday (Excluding national holidays)
For the maximum of 900 visitors permission every time, visitors are required to queue in a line and have the security check before visiting Suzhou Museum.
Chinese: 100-150 for 60-80 min (maximum of 30 / group)
English: 200-250 for 60-80 min (maximum of 30 / group)
Video hall with comfortable seats is on the basement to show the introduction of Suzhou Museum, its collections, I. M. Pei & Suzhou Museum, etc.
(09:15-10:15, 11:00-12:00, 13:15-14:15, 15:15-16:15)
Clothes can be put in the cloak-room, where umbrellas and wheel chairs are provided for free within the museum;
Barrier-free facilities, Wi-Fi, restaurants, tea house, guest center, toilets, medicine cabinet, etc. are available here.
1. Since Suzhou Museum is very popular among visitors, there usually is a long queue at the entrance, but people move on very fast. To avoid the long-time queuing, it is recommended to arrive at Suzhou Museum early in the morning, about before 10:00 a.m.;
2. Temperature in Suzhou Museum keeps at 20℃ all year round, so dress suitably;
3. Suzhou Museum’s official account is available in WeChat (Weixin in Chinese,微信). If you understand or can read Chinese, you can follow it and type the number of the displayed artwork to get the text or audio interpretation.
4. There are frequent temporary exhibitions from other places in China and other countries and regions like the Forbidden City, Italy, held on the basement, and if you are interested to see more excellent relics, you can spend more time to enjoy it;
5. You can take pictures in most galleries, but do not use flashes in order to protect the relics, and look out while photographing;
6. Food and colored drinks are not allowed to bring in.
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >