Get in Suzhou by plane
Suzhou doesn't have a passenger airport. The closest airports with flights of use to most travelers are in Shanghai. There is one in Wuxi which is closer, but it serves mostly domestic flights. Nanjing and Hangzhou are also an alternative.
Via Shanghai: Pudong International Airport (IATA: PVG ICAO: ZSPD) has most international flights and Hongqiao Airport (IATA: SHA ICAO: ZSSS) has mostly domestic flights. They are 120 km (75 mi) and 86 km (53 mi) away from Suzhou respectively but regular Shuttle buses run between Suzhou and the airports daily, taking about one hour and forty minutes to get you where you want to go.
Shuttle bus services between Suzhou and Shanghai Airports
Shanghai-Hongqiao to Suzhou. Departs from Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. On the hour from 10AM-4PM; and one at 5:30PM and 7PM. RMB50.
Shanghai-Pudong to Suzhou, 26 kerry rd. Departs from the parking lot on the 2nd floor of Terminal 1 building. Almost hourly 10:40AM-7:40PM, RMB82.
Suzhou to Shanghai-Pudong. Departs from the CEAG (China Eastern Airlines Group) ticket office (No.115, Ganjiang West Rd). Almost hourly 6:20AM-2:50PM. RMB80.
Suzhou to Shanghai-Hongqiao. The China Eastern Airlines buses going to Pudong pass through Hongqiao first.
A shuttle bus between Pudong and Hongqiao leaves every 10 minutes from 6AM-9PM and costs RMB30
Via Hangzhou:Intercity Bus between Suzhou and Hangzhou airports. You can go to Waiting Room,the location is North of Entrance 5 to the Arrival Hall, First Level of Terminal Building. Price range is CNY20 to CNY30.
Via Wuxi: Wuxi Airport is situated to the southeast of Wuxi and has several domestic and few international flights (e.g. to Taiwan) From airport to Wuxi city center (Wuxi train station) there are infrequent (every 30 minutes) buses, just on the right side when you exit the airport (see blue plate with chinese characters and timetable for 1,2,3 routes). Allow at least 40 minutes to ride to Wuxi center and about 15 minutes for a ride between Wuxi and Suzhou on a high-speed train.
Get in Suzhou by train
There are four major train stations in Suzhou: Suzhou Station (Suzhou Zhan), Suzhou North Station (Suzhou Bei Zhan), Suzhou Industrial Park Station (Suzhou Yuanqu), and Suzhou Xinqu Station.
If you live in SIP it's more convinient to use Suzhou Yuanqu station (note some trains stop on that one instead of Suzhou Station)
Suzhou North Railway station is used for high-speed trains departing to/from Beijing. It's situated a bit outskirts. A ride to Beijing usually takes 5 hours.
Suzhou Station is located just north of the downtown on the northern ring-road (Beihuan Lu) and is on the Shanghai-Nanjing mainline. There are frequent high-speed trains to Shanghai, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang and Nanjing. A train ride to Shanghai takes less than half an hour and Nanjing is about one hour away.
The slower and lower class T- and K- services from other provinces on their way to Shanghai or Nanjing stop at Suzhou, but if you are traveling from anywhere within Jiangsu you're advised to take a fast G-train.
Buying tickets for G- and D-trains using self-service machines is not possible for people without chinese ID card since June 2011 - only using ticket office. All other tickets can be bought at the counter at the railway station or at railway ticket offices throughout the city. For services other than the high-speed trains, it's wise to book outbound tickets a few days in advance as they fill up quickly, especially during public holidays. If you have a Chinese bank account, it is possible to book a ticket at the railways' official 12306.cn, it is in Chinese only and only accept UnionPay payment. The official 12306.cn doesn't charge any fees.
Ticket Offices in the city: 8 Taijian Alley Guanqian Jie, 566 Renmin Lu, 50 Jinmen Lu, 22 Beiju Lu, 18 Shi Lu, 120 Sanxiang Lu and Xiangwang Lu (Near the east end of Shi Quan Jie
From the Suzhou Railway Station into town
The new train station is exceptional and has metered taxis only and bus services well set out. Buses mostly services will head towards the Guanqian Street/Ganjiang Lu area of downtown (15-20 minutes), although it's advisable to check. Buses 6, 26, 29, 178 will go to the SIP. It is possible to buy a tourist map (English-Chinese,) indicating the bus routes in one of the tourism offices on the lefthand side of the walkway leading up to the North exit. Once outside the station, the bus stops can be found on the righthand side. Bus You1 and You4 (both heading towards Renmin Lu) leave from platform 4. On foot, it takes about 20-30 minutes to walk to most of the sights - simply go outside the station and head right. At the first intersection, make an immediate right into either one of two tunnels heading under the train tracks. A pedestrian path is available that will take you to the old part of town. Once you cross the river, the 8-story pagoda called Beisi Ta should be in plain sight. In summer, it might not be very convenient to walk downtown as temperatures might easily get up to 40 degrees. If you are adventurous you can try to unofficial e-bike taxi - guys standing right to the station outside, you can negotiate to about RMB20 to city center.
Get in Suzhou by bus
Suzhou South Bus Station (Yingchun Rd, East Nanhuan Rd, 0512-65204867), the largest station, a modern, clean terminal serving regular shuttles to Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou as well as most other major destinations around eastern China. It is just south of the city centre and is connected by many local buses and taxis. You can arrive at the bus station by taking buses 29, 30, 31 and 101.
Suzhou North Bus Station (29 Xihui Rd, 0512-67530686) is immediately adjacent to the train station. It mainly serves nearby cities such as Wuxi, Zhangjiagang, Changzhou and Kunshan as well as less-frequent services to other cities including Nanjing. The station was recently completely rebuilt and is much cleaner and more spacious than before, and is now a smoke-free zone. The ticket office and departure gates are located on the 1st floor whilst arrivals are located in the basement. All buses serving the train station also stop at the North Bus Station, and you can walk into the city centre in 20-30 minutes.
Suzhou West Bus Station (Jinshan Road Changjiang Road New District Suzhou (Suzhou Xinqu)) is on the far edge of the Suzhou New District (north of Suzhou Amusement Park) and mostly serves nearby towns of little interest to travellers.
The China Eastern Airlines City Air Terminal on the intersection of Renmin Lu and Ganjiang Xilu also has a small terminal for shuttle buses to Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong airports, see Get In/Air for details.