Suzhou, sometimes referred to as Soochow, is an important economic city in South Eastern China in the Jiangsu Province. Suzhou doesn’t have its own airport, so the easiest way to reach this city by air is via the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) or Pudong International Airport (PVG) and then take the train direct to Suzhou. 

You may want to consider this 13-day itinerary, in which you'll visit Suzhou, learn the history of China's ancient capitals, and embark on a Yangtze River cruise.  

From Shanghai

Duration: 30 minutes by high-speed train; 1.5 hours by regular train, taxi, or long-distance bus

The quickest way to reach Suzhou from Shanghai is by rail covering a distance of 62 miles (100km). Trains depart frequently from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and the Shanghai Railway Station and arrive in Suzhou Railway Station, the most centrally located train station is Suzhou Railway Station with the highest frequency of trains each day and North Railway Station

You can opt for the high-speed rail, also known as the bullet train, with a 25-35 minute ride. There are frequent bullet trains operating per day, from early morning till night, offering plenty of possibilities to reach Suzhou. Regular speed trains are an option too, and take 1-2.5 hours depending on the train time and stops. 

A second class ticket is fine, however, a first-class ticket offers more amenities, including wider and more comfortable seats, foldable tables and wider aisles. 

Taxis are an option and take an hour and a half. It’s recommended that you agree on a price with the driver before entering the taxi as most taxi drivers prefer not to use the meter. 

Long-distance buses are another way to reach Suzhou with a travel time of 1.5 hours.  

From Beijing

Duration: 5-6 hours by high-speed train; 13-21 hours by regular train

Covering a distance of 770 miles (1,240 kilometers) between Suzhou and Beijing, the most convenient way to reach Suzhou is by high-speed train. Bullet trains take between 4.5-5.5 hours with speeds upwards of 186 mph/h (300 km/h). A regular train takes 13-21 hours with a shorter travel time during the night. Sleeper cars are available if you hope to get a good night's rest and wake up in a new city ready to go. 

Most trains leave from the Beijing Railway Station and arrive in Suzhou North Railway Station. There is a food carriage with drinks, snacks, and meals available for purchase or you can bring your own food onboard.

From Xi’an

Duration: 6-10.5 hours by high-speed train; 14-23 hours by regular train

The high-speed train is the most efficient and most convenient option to travel from Xi’an to Suzhou. High-speed trains take between 6-10 hours depending on time of day and stops. The overnight trains “D308/D306” are the fastest with speeds of 155 mph/h (250 km/h)  and take around 10-10.5 hours.   

The regular trains take 14-23 hours with “Z” trains taking the shortest time, typically 14-15 hours and the “T” train is the next best option. The overnight regular train is a great choice and if you prefer to travel by night and begin sightseeing the following day. There are also options to book a sleeper car, which have 4 beds per cabin. 

Food is available for purchase onboard and you’re also welcome to bring your own. 

On this train journey, Suzhou is not the final destination so be attentive so you are ready with your belongings to off-board when the train stops in Suzhou.