Suzhou Museum

Why is Suzhou Museum So Special?

Suzhou Museum follows the theme of “Design for China”. It combines the modern exhibition hall with the architecture of classical gardens. The whole building consists of three floors, including the underground floor. There is a second floor in the midwest of the museum. The main building is less than 20 feet (6 meters) high, surrounded by beautiful courtyards. Tourists will feel that the museum itself is like an exquisite artwork when appreciating the treasures and exhibits in the museum.

Where is Suzhou Museum

Suzhou Museum is located at 204 Dongbei Street, gusu district, the ancient city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. It is adjacent to the Humble Administrator’s Garden. The museum was first established at Prince Zhong’s mansion in 1960. The new exhibition building was designed by the world famous Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei and opened to tourists in October 2006.

Layout of Suzhou Museum

The total area is 22,723 square yards (19,000 square meters), and the overall layout indicates that the building is symmetrical on the axis. The museum includes three main areas: the central area, the western area and the eastern area.

  • The central area includes the entrance, the city hall and the museum garden.
  • The western region includes the main exhibition area, including four basic exhibition halls.
  • The eastern part shows the secondary exhibition area, including the Modern Art Museum, Wisteria Court and the administrative district. This area is also connected to Zhongjun House (the exit of the museum).
  • The east-west exhibition area totals 4305 square yards (3600 square meters). More than 15,000 exhibits are distributed in 32 exhibition halls.

Basic Exhibition

The permanent four exhibition halls with local characteristics contain Wu’s cultural relics (222-280, whose original capital is Suzhou). The halls are themed on treasures of Wu, relics of pagodas, elegant life style and calligraphy and painting. Wu Baodian is located underground. This exhibition hall includes prehistoric pottery, jade and bronze ware. Wu Painting and Calligraphy Museum displays precious paintings from Suzhou and Yangzhou during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

National Treasure

The celadon lotus bowl is the standard porcelain of the five dynasties (907-960) and the northern song dynasty (960-1127), and is the most precious treasure of Suzhou museum. It was discovered at the tiger hill site in 1956. This kind of porcelain consists of bowls and dishes. The bowl is engraved with seven different lotus designs. The saucer is decorated with several lotus petals to make the shape look more realistic. This clever and wonderful exhibition attracts most tourists.

Prince Zhong’s Mansion

After enjoying many precious exhibits, tourists can visit Prince Zhong’s Mansion. Looking at Chinese history, Zhongjun Mansion is still the most complete and best preserved site of the Chinese peasant revolution. Compared with historical value, tourists can also appreciate its exquisite decoration. In addition, it has preserved more than 300 colorful paintings with scenery, which are very complete and carefully preserved.

Other Exhibitions

In addition to the four basic exhibitions, there are three exhibition halls showing different traditional local customs-festivals and folk activities, auspicious gods and beliefs, reproduction and educational customs.

The museum has also held some temporary exhibitions on the themes of Ming and Qing paintings, Qing silk embroidery, porcelain and Kunqu opera, one of the original forms of Chinese opera, which has a history of more than 600 years.

Best Time to Travel Suzhou Museum

March-April and September-October are the best travel times in  Suzhou Museum.

But in Hangzhou, there is no season or weather. No matter in spring, summer, autumn and winter, rain or shine, rain or snow, it can conjure up a beautiful appearance. September-November: The weather is crisp in autumn, and sweet osmanthus trees full of Longgui rain are fragrant for ten miles. Before and after the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can watch the spring tide in Qiantang during the day and enjoy the moon in the lake at night. March-May: The spring breeze is warm and the spring water is intoxicating. It is most suitable for strolling along the Suzhou Creek and enjoying the flowers.

How to Get There

Take tourist bus no. 1, 2 or 5 or bus no. 55, 178, 202, 262, 309, 518, 529, 811, 923 or 925, and get off at Suzhou Museum Station.

Useful Travel Tips

Admission Fee The museum and Prince Zhong’s Mansion are all free.
Opening Time 9:00-17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Monday except public holidays)
(No admission after 16:00)
Free Video Shows

The Collections
The Prince Zhong’s Mansion of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom
The Story of I. M. Pei and the New Museum
Roaming around the Museum
09:15 – 10:15; 11:00 – 12:00; 13:15 – 14:15; 15:15 – 16:15

  • Tickets are free, and volunteer interpreters provide free lectures every day.
  • The temperature in the museum is around 20℃ all the year round, please pay attention to the appropriate clothes, do not wear slippers into the museum, enter the museum to go through security checks
  • Do not carry food and colored drinks.
  • In case of legal holidays, it is normally open and may be temporarily closed for major activities or maintenance.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋