Suzhou, China, December 18, 2020 / - While international travel restrictions remain in place, travelers can get a head start planning the ultimate insiders’ trip to Suzhou using personal recommendations from China-based expats. Through the Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism’s new #SecretsOfSuzhou Instagram campaign, foreigners based in China share their first-hand tips for making the most of a trip to Suzhou.

The campaign launched last month with a trip organized by Time Out Shanghai, that brought a group of 30 expats and travel enthusiasts to Suzhou where they explored historical sites like the Suzhou Museum of Inscribed Stone Tablets, took in traditional cultural performances in Suzhou’s classical gardens and on its romantic canals, experienced local life along Shantang Street, enjoyed the outdoors on a hike by Taihu Lake, and more. Several new weekend tour packages departing from Shanghai recently launched as a result of the trip which focus on Suzhou’s architecture and history.

Here are some of the recommendations from those who attended the trip and other foreigners who spend their days in the “City of Culture & Arts.”

Emily Axen, American living in Shanghai

Emily recently attended the nighttime cultural performance held in Master of the Nets Garden and reviews it as a great look into ancient life in Suzhou. She also shares, “I think going to museums with a guide is key. You get so much more information from a guide as a lot of the information is not written in English.”

Christian Wischnewski, German living in Suzhou

According to Chris, Suzhou has a great atmosphere with the perfect mix of history and modernity. He suggests getting out into Suzhou’s beautiful natural areas, including Mudu Old Town, Sanshan Island, and the water town of Tongli. As for a bite to eat? “I really like squirrel-shaped mandarin fish, with the sweet and sour sauce. It’s something really unique that I haven’t seen in more than 60 countries that I have visited until now,” he says.

Robyn Cronje, South African living in Shanghai (IG: @littlebitsofruby)

“Definitely visit the gardens and watch the Kunqu Opera. It is such a great way of storytelling that will leave you feeling like you have experienced a bit of China itself. The boat ride on the canals is also a must. It’s tranquil and really gives you the feeling that you’re in Venice!” Robyn says.

Yunus Emre, Turkish living in Shanghai

“I always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Suzhou every time I’m there,” says Yunus. He describes the city as “culturally deep” and recommends that visitors take the time to enjoy the Suzhou’s historical side on any trip.

About Suzhou

For more than 2,500 years, Suzhou has been known as a center of arts and culture. Intellectuals, artists, and high profile public figures have long been drawn to the city’s romantic canals and stunning classical gardens, nine of which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Performing arts including the Kunqu Opera and Pingtan storytelling originated in Suzhou, and the city is also important to the design and fashion worlds as a center for silk making and embroidery. In addition to its arts and culture, Suzhou is home to plentiful natural areas that allow for boundless outdoor activities. Visitors seeking Suzhou’s modern side will find five-star hotels, the iconic Lake Jinji, limitless shopping, and China’s largest overwater Ferris Wheel in the upscale and contemporary SIP District. Each year, millions of tourists travel to Suzhou to experience the destination’s more than 400 attractions, ranging from pagodas and temples to historical districts and world-class museums.

Suzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta, approximately 60 miles west of Shanghai. Suzhou is easily accessible via direct air service from North America and Europe to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG.) and is well connected with nearby cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Nanjing by frequent high speed trains.

For more information on Suzhou, visit, and follow the destination on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.