Public Transport in Suzhou
Much of Suzhou’s Old Town can be covered on foot and, indeed, taking your time to walk the canal-lined streets and poke your head down alleys is a great way to experience Suzhou. However, the footpaths are narrow and crowded and some of the distances are difficult to cover, so you will need to use public transport as well.
Getting Around Suzhou By Taxi
Taxis are the most convenient transport option for getting around Suzhou. Taxis are plentiful and you can usually hail a cab from anywhere. It becomes more difficult to find a taxi during peak hours or when it is raining. To avoid communication problems, take the names of your destinations written in Chinese and show these to the taxi drivers. Make use of our “Show the taxi driver” notes beneath every place mentioned in our guide. It will make getting around Suzhou by taxi much easier.
Flagfall in Suzhou is ¥10, which covers the first 3km. Each additional kilometer costs ¥1.8. Prices increase slightly at night.
Getting Around Suzhou By Bus
The bus system in Suzhou, as elsewhere in China, is difficult to decipher. However, there are some useful bus routes. Bus #1 runs from the train station down Renmin Lu, stopping at the North Pagoda and at Guanqian Jie (the center of the Old Town), while there are a number of tour buses that run between the various attractions (see the sightseeing section of this guide for details). Most buses cost ¥1 or ¥2. The fare is displayed at the bus stop next to the bus number on the schedule. You drop the money in the slot next to the driver when you board the bus. No change is given so try to have exact change.
Getting Around Suzhou By Bicycle
The crowded nature of the Old Town with streets clogged with cars and footpaths filled with pedestrians and electric bikes, means the cycling around Suzhou isn’t the most pleasurable experience. However, if you think you can handle it, then some hotels and hostels will rent bikes starting at ¥20 per day.
Getting Around Suzhou By Rickshaw
Rickshaw drivers lurk around all the major tourist attractions and a ride on one of them through Suzhou’s back alleys can be very enjoyable. The price should be agreed in advance and you will need to bargain.
The Suzhou Subway
With a planned opening in 2012, Suzhou’s subway is still a fair way off. Construction has begun on the first two lines (north-south and east-west) with an additional two lines planned for the future.