This 150-year-old street is one of the "four famous shopping streets" in China. It is known far and wide for its unique blend of old and new attractions. Gourmands and tourists should not miss the cuisine and culture contained on this classic strip.
- Length: 760 meters
- Popular attractions: century-old and modern shops, Xuanmiao Temple, authentic Suzhou cuisine
- Suited to: travelers looking for easy walking, classic cuisine, local products, and historic architecture
- Time needed: 1–4 hours
History and Shopping
The street consists of the eastern, middle, and western sections. The eastern part is filled with ancient buildings of historical significance. The middle section features the temple, and the western section boasts many fashionable shops for pedestrian shoppers.
With its century-old shops and restaurants serving authentic Suzhou cuisine, strolling on Guanqian Street is a favorite pastime for locals and tourists alike who wish to enjoy ancient history with modern sights. The restored ancient street is used to reach the magnificent temples on and around it to discover centuries of Chinese history.
Only recently has the encroaching modern China made it a place for elegant shopping and tourism.
- Chinese: 观前街 Guānqián Jiē /gwan-chyen jyeah/ 'Look Front Street'
- Location: in front of the Xuanmiao Taoist Temple, about 5 km (3 miles) southeast of the city center
- Transport: an 8–10 minute walk from Lindun Road or Leqiao station on metro line 1, or a taxi from the city center costs around 15 yuan.
Best Times To Visit
The best times to visit Suzhou are March–May and September–November when the weather is at its best.
It is advised to avoid visiting on the weekend rush or during any national public holidays, such as Labor Day (May 1 to 7) and National Day (October 1 to 7).
- Open: all day every day. Saturday afternoon/evening is a popular time to go, and can be particularly crowded.
Touring Guanqian Street with China Highlights
Let us plan your ideal tour of Suzhou. You can customize the following popular tours or start from your ideas.
- 1-Day Suzhou Highlights Tour — One day to visit the most famous Suzhou gardens and explore local life.
- 2-Day Essential Suzhou and Tongli Watertown Tour — Experience classical gardens and Tongli Watertown.
- 4-Day Shanghai and Suzhou with Watertown Culture Tour — Cultural tour of watertown life
- 5-Day Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou Bullet Train Tour — Visit the 3 most important cities of the Yangtze Delta.