If you’re landing in China, you’re probably going to be heading into Shanghai or Beijing. Whilst both cities are full of culture, good food and the general buzz associated with a large city, you may be feeling the need to escape to the country (or at least a less busy city). In this article, we’re going to focus specifically on how to get from Shanghai to Suzhou using both public and private transport.

High Speed Train Between Shanghai & Suzhou

One of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to get between Shanghai and Suzhou is via the high speed trains. Travelling at around 300kmph and taking around 30 minutes, the high speed trains are available from several the following railway stations: Shanghai, Shanghai Hongqiao and Shanghai South. If you’re in the centre of the city, heading to Shanghai railway station is your best bet as trains leave every 10 minutes. However, if you’ve just arrived in China via Shanghai Hongqiao airport, then you’ll be pleased to know the railway station is closely connected.

Cost: 39元 (£3.90ish)

Where to buy: At the railway station or via my favourite app: Trip.com

Top tip: Whilst this is definitley my favourite method of transport between the two cities, I would not reccomend doing this journey if you are arriving into Pudong airport. The metro line between Pudong and Shanghai central railways station takes over an hour and can be quite busy.

Slow Train Between Shanghai & Suzhou

One of the least favourable ways to travel between the two cities, but one that is cheap and relatively simple to navigate – the slow train. Following the same lines as the fast trains, these ones are (no surprises) slower. Taking about 90 minutes and costing about £4, these trains are available from all Shanghai railway stations.

Cost: 45元 (£4ish)

Where to buy: At the railway station or via my favourite app: Trip.com

Top tip: This is my least favourite method to travel between the two cities, largely because the trains are dirtier, busier and slowwwww. That being said, if you have no other options, they will still get you from Shanghai to Suzhou.

Long-Distance Bus Between Shanghai to Suzhou

One of the slower ways to travel between the two cities but a great way to get between the two cities if you have luggage. Following the same route as a private taxi, this is a relatively cheap but quite slow type of transport. Taking about 90 minutes and costing about £4, these buses are available from Shanghai’s intercity bus station – a 5 minute walk from Shanghai Railway Station.

Cost: 40-50元 (£4ish)

Where to buy: Bus Station/Bus Terminal.

Top tip: It’s not as easy to book bus tickets online. For any bus tickets, you will need to go to the Bus Station ticket office and ask for the tickets. I would recommend having the Chinese character for Suzhou (苏州) and Shanghai (上海) to make this process easier. If you need to get return tickets, I would recommend buying these at the same time – it will make the return process a lot quicker and easier.

Private Car Between Shanghai & Suzhou

This is the best way to travel if you’ve never been to China before and your first stop in Suzhou. Drivers will collect you from the arrivals terminal and take you to your destination without the hassle of navigating tickets to terminals. Taking approximately 90 minutes, a private car obviously depends on how busy the roads are – which can be super busy during national holidays. 

Cost: 400-600元 (£40-60ish)

Where to buy: Contact drivers via WeChat. Please email me for details: ellen@withoutatour.co.uk

Top tip: This is the BEST way to travel if there are multiple people with luggage or if you have an early morning/late night flight into Shanghai.

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