Suzhou Museum – a combination of classical gardens and modern arts
Last Update: 15th October 2020
Set up in 1960, Suzhou Museum has an area of 26,500 square meters. The new Suzhou Museum was designed by Leoh Ming Pei (1917 – 2019). It is a comprehensive museum integrating the modern building architecture, ancient architecture and innovative landscape architecture.
Suzhou Museum Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Suzhou Bowuguan (苏州博物馆)
- Area: 26,500 x square meters
- Things to do there: Photography, History and Culture, Architecture
- Who visits: Photographers, History and Culture Lovers, Architects
- Time required: 1 – 2 x hours
What to expect at the Suzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum features white walls and black tiles. Walk around the museum and you’ll find many creative landscape views, which reflects the characteristics of Suzhou City. The structure itself is a feast for eyes and great photography materials.
More than 40,000 pieces (sets) of collections are preserved in Suzhou Museum. Permanent exhibitions are situated in the West Area. Theses exhibitions offer precious cultural relics to appreciate. You’ll see the very exquisite olive-green porcelain flower bowl, small jade carvings, diverse thumb rings, ivory carvings, jade, and gold carvings, etc. Rare bronze wares from the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC – 1046 BC) to the Warring States Period (475 BC – 221 BC) are precious items to study the then lifestyle.
If you have a good knowledge of art, the ancient calligraphy and painting works in the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644 – 1912) Dynasties in the museum will definitely amaze you. In addition, the tree-dimensional landscape paintings created in modern methods are also impressing. It is worth appreciating a variety of porcelains in the Ming and Qing Dynasties with pictures presenting the then local life and values as well.
Suzhou Museum also showcases the ways of designing, and building the classical gardens and presents different styles of the gardens from the Yuan Dynasty through the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Tools used in the construction of the garden are also on display there.
The Zhongwang Palace of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in the museum introduces some of the history of the kingdom as well as presents around 400 square meters of Suzhou Painting with landscape, flowers, fishes, birds or characters. In addition, the palace is a classical garden with narrow corridors and wooden carvings. You’ll see some significant materials in the related exhibition halls.
Best time to visit the Suzhou Museum
It is suggested to visit the museum in the early morning as it is also popular among tourists.
The best months to visit the museum are from April to October.
How to get to the Suzhou Museum
You can take Bus Y1, Y2, Y5, 55, 178, 202, 309, 313, 518, 529, or Bus 923 to the Stop of Suzhou Bowuguan (苏州博物馆). Then, walk to the museum. Alternatively, you can just rent a vehicle to it.
Additional Suzhou Museum Travel Advice
- Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (visitors are not permitted to enter the museum from 16:00) from Tuesday to Sunday.
- As at 15th October 2020, visitors can explore the museum for free.
- As at 15th October 2020, visitors are required to book the free entrance ticket via Suzhou Museum official account or Suzhou Tourism Official Account (苏州旅游总入口) on WeChat, or Suzhou Museum APP.
- As at 15th October 2020, just 200 visitors are permitted to visit the museum every hour.
- The museum offers English interpretation services for an extra charge. The services for permanent exhibitions last for 1 hour. For a group of up to 10 persons, the pricing is from 200 CNY per group.
- It is forbidden to drink or eat food in the museum.