The first place to stop for tourist souvenirs is Suzhou Embroidery when shopping in Suzhou. The Suzhou Embroidery, Hunan Xiang Embroidery, Sichuan Shu Embroidery and Guangdong Yue Embroidery are known as the four most famous embroideries in China.
Huqiu Wedding Dress Street is one of the places where wedding dresses are produced in China. Manufactured by individuals in workshops, the wedding dresses win customers' praises since they’re able to provide it at an affordable price while remaining fashionable. In fact, the wedding dress supply is often unable to meet the demand of wedding seasons throughout spring, autumn and winter. Also, it attracts foreign merchants seeking to customize wedding dresses.
Furthermore, Suzhou Bi luoChun Tea, one of China’s Top Ten Famous Tea, is a good gift for friends and family. Other local specialties include Suzhou Folding Fans, Song brocade and Taohuawu Woodblock New Year Printsl. In addition, Suzhou’s local specialties include the Dried Bean Curd.
Main shopping destinations:
Suzhou Guanqian Street is a world-renowned commercial street setting entertainment, catering and tourism in one, with Sightseeing Vehicle driving on the streets. Suzhou Huqiu Wedding Dress Street is another place favored by tourists selling wedding dresses and camera equipments, and Shiquan Street is regarded as Tourist Souvenirs Street. Moreover, the Stone Road Walking Street outside Changmen Gate and the Huaihai Street in the New Area, are known as the commercial district.
Additionally, on Pi Shi Street is a flower and bird market, and South Gate commercial district is the most bustling downtown are in the southern part of the city. The Nanhao Street (a street of great antiquity, where the Immortal Temple with a history of thousand years was rebuilt on the original site and the annual traditional festival "bumping into immortals" is held. By taking tour bus No.2) to show the spectacle it is considered "the foremost places in the world for wealth and luxury" in the Dream of Red Mansions.
Lastly, China Pearl City in Hejiawan Country of Weitang Town is the largest pearl trading center in Suzhou, where it can be reached by taking Bus No. 83 from the Suzhou Railway Station directly, or taking No.712(originally No.12)/No.84.
Characteristic Street Specially Recommended:
1. Wedding Dress Street in Huqiu Road
Introduction: It is located in Huqiu Road north of Suzhou, close to Tiger Hill Scenic area. The wedding dress stores are located on Huqiu Road, with an amount of more than one hundred. The stores on the trunk street are on a shop area the prices are relatively higher, and some famous stores like Elaus and Tianyiwufeng (meaning Flawless) are there. However, there are also many small stores distributed in small sideways with a relatively lower price. Also, a newly developed market named Tianci Wedding Dress Plaza is located in front of official gate of Tiger Hill Scenic area, and many wedding dress stores are there are as well.
Price: Generally, many common wedding dress costs range from CNY 100 to 200 , while a middle-grade ranges CNY 300 to 500 , cheongsam for CNY 150 and embroidery on the shoe CNY 50 . You can get everything you want, tailoring or alternating on the nail, getting back immediately.
Transit routes: You can get there by taxi by spending CNY 13 while taking Tour Bus No.2 and Bus No.529 for public buses.
Driving: If you are driving, you can turn on the Zhajiasu (Zhapu-Jiaxing-Suzhou) Expressway (also called Suzhou-Jiaxing-Hangzhou Expressway after entering into Jiangsu Province) from the Zhajiasu highway entrance in Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway, and then turn on the Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway of Suzhou direction from the eighth entrance, getting out from the 5B Suzhou Exit soon to Shanghai Expressway-G312 (highroad in north of the city), through Hufu Road to get to Huqiu Road.
2. Guanqian Street
Introduction: Guanqian Street is located in the center of Ancient Town in Suzhou, with an area of 0.52 square kilometers. The district is a booming business center, with various brand name stores, historical sites, miscellaneous stores with clothes, headdress flowers, jewelry, shoes and hats to fruits, food, bonsai, handcrafts and glassware. It is regarded as the downtown center of business, culture, religion and tourism full of local color.
Transportation: You can take Tour Bus No.1, 2 and 4 to get there.
3. Shiquan Street
Introduction: Shiquan Street is located in the southeastern part of the Ancient Town in Suzhou, from Renmin Road, which is the trunk road of south-north trending in the Ancient Area, to Fengmen Gate of the Ancient Area in the east. With an overall length of 2 kilometers, it is 5 kilometer far from the Railway Station while 2.5 kilometers from Guanqian Street.
Walking on Shiquan Street and at a glance, you will find the street is in a picturesque order, with white walls while black tiles. Behind the new building and houses full of the Ming and Qing Dynasties' styles, the restaurants and handmade item shops with their own features have been in business for a long time. In addition, the scenic areas including, Master of Nets Garden and Pavilion of Surging Waves are available to visit.
Recommended stores: Suzhou Embroidery Hall sells Suzhou Embroidery products, Jinsha Pavilion and Bogu Hall selling antique pottery and porcelain, and Ruiguang Room selling Calligraphy & Painting. There you can find everything you need except, for instance, red porcelain, pottery, silk, painting and calligraphy, gold stone, jasper and mahogany articles.
Transportation: You can get there by taking Tour Bus No.2./4. Stone Road Pedestrian Street.
Introduction: Stone Road was built by Sheng Xuanhuai, member of Westernization Group in the last stage of Qing Dynasty, paving the road surface with stones, hence the name Stone Road. There are many stores along Stone Road, among which historical stores occupy the majority. The stores in the walking street usually close until 22:00 o'clock in the evening.
In the business district of Stone Road, there are more than ten stores that were large and medium sized comprehensive, professional malls such as Bamianfeng Mall, Yaxiya Mall, Weinisi Mall, Taipingyang (Pacific Ocean) Mall, Huifeng Mall, boutiques buildings, stationery buildings and air conditioning market. Additionally, there are many banks, post offices, hostel, hotels, restaurants, bath centers, dance hall, bowling alley and consolidated booking office, among others.
Transportation: Hundreds of miles far from the northern side of Stone Road is the Suzhou Railway Station and Bus station, it is convenient in traffic, also the most central area for tourists from other places.
4. Maple Bridge Avenue
Introduction: Maple Bridge Avenue located in the Maple Bridge Scenic areas, is the tourist culture street rich with color, spreading architectures from the Ming and Qing Dynasties that demonstrate a traditional simplicity. The bristly shops collect almost all art products in the south of the River, including silk, Suzhou Embroidery, painting and calligraphy, the four treasures of the study (writing brush, ink stick, ink slab, paper), Red sandalwood carving and sandalwood fan, as well as kinds of curios shops, pearl shops, teapot stores and galleries owned by the artists to sell their own art products.
Transportation: You can get there by taking Bus No.33, 44, 301, 307 and Tour Bus 3.