How to Plan Shanghai Suzhou Tours
Both Shanghai and Suzhou are very popular with Chinese travelers as well as foreign travelers. There are many travelers chose to travel Shanghai with Suzhou or make a side trip to Suzhou from Shanghai to experience their different cultures, attractions, livings, arts. Planning a Shanghai Hangzhou tour is easy as following steps:
Best time to go
- To Shanghai
Mild and Most, this is how the weather generally is in Shanghai. There is seldom extreme weather like strong snow, rainstorm, typhoon, which make Shanghai suitable for travel all year around. It has a distinct four seasons – warm spring, hot and rainy summer, cool autumn, dry and cold winter. The yearly average temperature is about 18 °C. Generally speaking, the autumn days (September to November) is the best time to visit Shanghai when it is cool, clean and comfortable. Other months are also good time for travel because visiting Shanghai is mainly about cultural sites rather than seasonal nature scenery. learn more about Shanghai Weather
Near to Shanghai, Suzhou has a similar climate as Shanghai – also mild and moist, which features in the monsoon ocean climate. Spring is warm and pleasant, summer is hot and humid, autumn is sunny and cool, winter is cold and humid. The average yearly temperature is around 15~17℃. The highest temperature is about 38℃ in July, and the lowest is 0℃ in January. Rainy seasons usually last from June to September. Generally speaking, Suzhou is suitable for travel all year around, but the best seasons are spring and autumn. Spring is the blooming season for flowers in the gardens in Suzhou. Besides, it’s warm and less crowded. While during autumn, you can enjoy a sunny and cool weather, also less rainfalls. learn more about Suzhou Weather
Autumn of Shanghai
Autumn of Suzhou
Decide Your Travel Length
Traveling Shanghai and Suzhou won’t take you a lot of days. It can be done in a week, or several days because they are near to each other, and most of attractions are located in the city area and nearby surroundings. Generally speaking, you are suggested to spend two or three days for sightseeing in Shanghai, and then extend with a day tour or two days’ tour to Suzhou, which will only cost you about 4~5 days, but allows you to cover both the highlights in Shanghai (the Bund, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road even Disneyland) and Suzhou (Classical Gardens, Suzhou Museum, Tongli or Zhouzhuang Water Towns).
How to travel: Shanghai - Suzhou or Suzhou - Shanghai?
According to our local-based experience, most travelers traveled from Shanghai to Suzhou because Shanghai is usually the arrival hub for vast international and domestic travelers. You will have more flexible choices of flights and trains for transfer. This doesn’t means you can’t travel to Shanghai from Suzhou. If you come to Suzhou from other cities in China, such as Hangzhou, Beijing, you can then travel to Shanghai easily by driving or high speed bullet trains.
Having a Day Tour to Suzhou from Shanghai is very popular and valuable. Take the early morning high speed bullet trains around 7am, and arrive at Suzhou around 8am, next spend a full days exploring gardens, canals, ancient streets, etc., and last take a bullet train back to Shanghai around 6~7pm.
High Speed Bullet Train
Choices of Transportation
- High Speed Trains (Most Recommended): the bullet trains are fast, only cost you around RMB 40 and transfer you to the convenient locations in the Suzhou and Shanghai. At the same time, they are clean, comfortable and well equipped.
The modern bullet trains cost you only about 1 hour to transfer between Shanghai and Hangzhou, at the same time, offers you a comfortable travel conditions. Currently, there are about 100 bullet trains transfers between or make stops by Shanghai and Suzhou, starting to operate from around 6am to 22pm. The prices for second class seats are around RMB 30, around 60 for first class seats and about 120 for luxury class seats.
- Driving: For those who travel by a small group, driving is a great option. It is only an about 100km’s driving, taking about twof hours on well-paved high ways. Compared to public transfers, self-driving will be more flexible.
Notes: there is no airport in Suzhou city, travelers can firstly get to Shanghai, Wuxi, Nanjing, then transfer to Suzhou by trains or driving.
Shanghai Suzhou Bullet Trains
Shanghai Suzhou Highways
Explore highlights in Shanghai and Suzhou
Highlights of Shanghai – Garden, Western-style Streets, Modern Architecture and Blocks, Disneyland, Museum
- Classic 2 Days Shanghai Tour
D1: Firstly go to appreciate some national precious relics in Shanghai Museum, then visit the traditional Chinese garden art at Yu Garden, and join the crowds of Yuyuan Bazaar. Next, climb the second highest building in Shanghai ( SWFC) to have a panoramic view of Shanghai. Lastly, go for some leisure walking at the prosperous Nanjing Road and the Bund.
D2: Firstly take a visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center to see how Shanghai became a cosmopolitan city from shabby fishing village, then go to stroll around the peaceful French Concession area, or go to experience local traditional Buddhist culture at Jade Buddha Temple. The rest afternoon is free for your departure from Shanghai.
- What to Do for More Days
Have a day tour to visit a water town – Zhujiajiao or Fengjing;
Plan a day’s happy adventure at Shanghai Disney Land;
Take a Side trip to Suzhou and return back to Shanghai in a day.
Highlights of Suzhou - Lingering Garden, Tiger Hill, Suzhou Museum, Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory
Brief Day Tour
- Start your trip with a visit to one or two most classical Suzhou gardens - Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden or Master of the Nets Garden, then move to the famous Suzhou Museum to find out how the architectural master f Mr. I.M.Pei merged the traditional Chinese architectural design with the future. Lastly, go to explore the Tiger Hill, a popular spot featuring beautiful landscapes. As for the night activities, you can go for a relaxing walking on the Pingjiang Road, or take a night cruise on the Grand Canal.
In-depth Two Days Tour
- Visiting a water town is one of the MUST things to do in Suzhou. Don’t have to go very far within 30km, you are able to explore two of most outstanding water towns in China – Tongli and Zhou Zhuang. Zhou Zhuang, called “Venice of the East”, is the No.1 water town in China, noted for its profound cultural back, the well preserved ancient residential houses and the elegant watery views. The charming old town can be explored on foot or via a boat tour on the canals. Tongli is 28 kilometers away from Suzhou with 20 minutes’ drive. It is an-aged but very well preserved water township with a history of more than 1,000 years, giving visitors a good idea of what Suzhou must have been like in its heyday. It is smaller than Zhou Zhuang but the scenery is more original, the locals still live in a traditional way. Usually, you are suggested to spend a half or a full day to visit one of these two water towns.
Recommended Shanhgai Suzhou Tours
Lujiazui in Shanghai
Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Zhouzhuang Water Town
Choose accommodations in Shanghai and Suzhou
Accommodation will not be a problem for your vacation in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Both cities are two of most developed cities of either economy or tourism. There are a bunch of international luxurious hotel brands running hotels in both cities, including Shangri-La, Continental, Starwood, Hilton, etc. Most hotels are situated conveniently in the city central areas. There are also a lot of great domestic hotels established for tourism, ranging from economy class to luxury 5-star standard. These hotels are usually located near to the tourist sites, such as the West Lake, Hefang Street in Hangzhou, and The Bund, Nanjing Road in Shanghai. Please click Shanghai Accommodation and Suzhou Accommodation for details.
China Discovery offers travel fully exclusive Shanghai and Suzhou tour packages which will cover some experienced and well-equipped hotels with cozy accommodation environment. Check our packages here >
Shanghai JC Mandarin Hotel
Extended destinations from Shanghai and Suzhou
If time and budget allows, we strongly advise you extend you vacation to some of other charming places near to Shanghai and Suzhou which can be reached conveniently and cost you only a few days. You can 3~4 days’ trip to Yellow Mountain, 1~2 days to Hangzhou, 2 days to Putuoshan, 1 day to Wuxi, etc.
If you want to travel Shanghai and Suzhou with other hot destinations in China, it is easy to connect with Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Zhangjiajie, Yangtze River, even Tibet very easily. Check following itineraries:
Recommended Shanhgai Suzhou Tours
West Lake in Hangzhou
- Things to do in Shanghai
- Things to Do in Suzhou
- Interesting activities in Shanghai
- Featured Activities in Suzhou
- Shanghai Weather & Seasons
- Suzhou Weather & Seasons
- Hotels in Shanghai
- Hotels in Suzhou
- How to get to & around Shanghai
- How to Get to & around Suzhou
- Shanghai FAQs & Tips
- Suzhou Maps
- More Shanghai Travel Guide
- More Suzhou Travel Guide
- How to Transfer Between Shanghai and Suzhou
Recommended Shanghai Suzhou Tours
Top 3 Shanghai Suzhou tours chosen by most customers to explore Shanghai Suzhou in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary,or tailor your own trip now with us.
- 5 Days Shanghai & Suzhou Highlights Tour with Tongli
Shanghai / Tongli / Suzhou / Shanghai
- 5 Days Shanghai Hangzhou Suzhou Highlights Tour
Shanghai / Hangzhou / Suzhou / Shanghai
- 5 Days Essence of Shanghai & Hangzhou Tour
Shanghai / Hangzhou / Shanghai
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