The distance between Shanghai and Suzhou is just 62 miles (62 km) making it easy to hop from one city to the other, even as a day trip. The bullet train makes the trip in just half an hour, and the drive is 90 minutes. You can also catch a direct shuttle bus from either of the two airports in Shanghai, straight to Suzhou.
Duration: 30 minutes
With 175 bullet trains leaving from Shanghai to Suzhou each day, there's no need to book in advance—you can just turn up and buy a ticket at the station. You can choose to depart from either Hongqiao Railway Station or the main Shanghai Railway Station. These arrive at Suzhou North Railway Station and the more centrally located Suzhou Railway Station. This is easily the best and fastest way to make the journey.
Duration: 1.5 hours
If you prefer to go by car, simply hail a taxi in Shanghai or ask your hotel to book one for you. Alternatively, consider renting a car with a driver for a full day. This will make it far easier to get to the sights in and around Suzhou, particularly the classical gardens and the water towns of Tongli, Luzhi and Zhouzhuang-especially if you plan to return to Shanghai the same day.
By Airport Shuttle
Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours
If you plan to make your way directly to Suzhou from the airport in Shanghai, you can also hop straight on a bus from either the 2nd Floor of Terminal 1 at Shanghai Pudong Airport (2.5 hours) or from the parking area at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (1.5 hours). The bus stops at both airports before continuing to the Suzhou Industrial Park, Tongguan Fang and finally the Suzhou Aster Hotel on Gangjiang West Road. Shuttle buses depart every 30 minutes throughout the day.