Suzhou Silk Museum

Why is Suzhou Silk Museum So Special?

The entire museum design is dignified and elegant – yet unconventional – combining a sense of ancient civilization with modern style. It is divided into eight parts: the Introductory Hall, the Ancient Exhibit Hall, the Silkworm-Rearing Room, the Silk Weaving Workshop, the Vegetable Garden, the Central Hall, the Neoteric (1840-1919) Exhibit Hall, and the Modern (1919-1949) Exhibit Hall. There are also retail stores for purchasing silk.

Where is Suzhou Silk Museum

Suzhou Silk Museum is located in the North Shouta Scenic Area of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province. It is known as “paradise on earth” in Suzhou City. Suzhou in Jiangsu Province is not only a famous cultural city and garden city, but also the silk capital of China.

History of Suzhou Silk Museum

During the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, it was the silk producing center; in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties most of the high-grade silk produced for the royal families was made by silk weavers here.

Suzhou Silk Museum was completed and opened in 1991. It is the first specialized silk museum in China.

Main Attractions of Suzhou Silk Museum

The Entrance Hall

Entering the entrance hall, you will first see the glorious history of silk. There is a stone wall carved with four Chinese characters in the middle of the hall. These inscriptions are modeled on inscriptions on oracle bones or tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century BC). These four words sum up all the exhibits in Suzhou Silk Museum, namely silkworm, mulberry leaf and silk. On the left side of the hall, a huge stone mural vividly depicts the evolution and scientific achievements of ancient Chinese silk. Near this mural stands a statue of a beautiful woman. She was dressed in an ancient costume with a cocoon in her hands. The expression in her eyes seemed to tell people that she was thinking deeply. This is a legendary woman in Chinese history and mythology: Lei Zu, wife of Yellow Emperor, was also the first silkworm raiser. On the right side of the wall, a group of huge and vivid sculptures depict a camel caravan crossing the vast desert. It reminds people of the Silk Road, the earliest place for East-West communication. Looking up, countless milky white and transparent cocoon-shaped lamps remind you of the ancient world of silkworm rearing.

The Ancient Exhibition Hall

In the ancient exhibition hall, the exhibits show the long history of silk in the form of precious silk cultural relics, models and pictures, from the late Neolithic period to the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is no exaggeration to say that the exhibits in this hall are the condensed history of ancient Chinese silk.

As we all know, silk, silkworm and mulberry are closely related. The silkworm room reproduced the conditions of the late Qing dynasty. You will enjoy the relaxation of simple time. Here you will see thousands of silkworms eating their favorite food mulberry leaves. This is an unforgettable experience and will remain in your mind forever.

Silk Weaving Workshop

Entering the silk weaving workshop is like entering another world. Various ancient looms display traditional silk weaving techniques and provide you with a rare opportunity to experience the glory of Suzhou’s silk industry centuries ago. Weaving girls dressed in ancient costumes demonstrated the working procedures on the spot. They produce all kinds of silk products, such as brocade, green silk and velvet. You will be surprised by what you see.

The Central Hall

Through the gate symbolizing Jiayuguan Pass on the ancient Silk Road, you enter the Central Hall. A granite passageway extends from the entrance hall to a stone bridge at the western end of the central hall and leads to the west gate of the silk museum. On one side of the stone bridge hung a model of a ship that once served Zheng He’s voyages to the West. On the other side, the model of Xi ‘an Wild Goose Pagoda stands in the water, which is the only way along the Silk Road. These two models respectively represent the route of the Silk Road on land and at sea. They combine with each other to show the ancient civilization to the world.

The Exhibition halls of Modern Times

In the exhibition halls of modern times (1840-1919) and modern times (1919-1949), you can roughly understand the exquisite workmanship of Suzhou silk. You will see a variety of exhibits, including silk garments, silk products that have won international awards, skilled craftsmen, celebrities in the silk field, the development of the local silk industry and the history of the Silk Road.

Ming and Qing Street

In Suzhou Silk Museum, you will also find a “Ming and Qing Street” flanked by replicas of ancient silk shops. Its traditional Suzhou flavor will leave a deep and unforgettable impression on you. You can’t go to these stores without wanting to buy something!

Whenever you come to Suzhou, a paradise in the world, please don’t miss the Suzhou Silk Museum. It won’t let you down!

Best Time to Travel Suzhou Silk Museum

March-April and September-October are the best travel times in Suzhou Silk 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. 4, bus no. 1, 5, 8, 38, 54, 101, 102 or 602 and get off at Pingmen Station.
  • Take bus no. 313 and get off at Beisita Station.

Useful Travel Tips

Admission Fee Free of charge
Opening Hours 9:00 – 17:00
Closed on Monday (except public holidays)
* Note: Visitors are not allowed to enter after 16:00.
  • If you want to walk longer, be sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes.
  • Whether you are traveling to West Lake or Hangzhou, bicycles are very good choices. 

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋