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Grand Canal Tours

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Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the longest and oldest man-made waterway in the world, once covering 1,115 miles (1,794 kilometers) from Beijing to Hangzhou. Dating from the fifth century BC, this engineering marvel is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some sections are still in use today.
 
The Basics
With traditional buildings and historic sites still lining the Grand Canal, it’s best appreciated from water level. Travel through hundreds of years of history and gain a better understanding of how the canal transformed trade and commerce in China during a guided canal cruise, or get a closer look at historical buildings during a walking tour alongside the canal.
 
Visitors in Hangzhou can take a boat from Wulinmen Pier. Visitors in Suzhou or Shanghai can join an organized day tour, covering portions of the canal in Suzhou, along with other attractions, such as a classical garden and an ancient city gate, or activities, such as a rickshaw ride or a visit to a silk mill.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The canal is open to the public, but canal cruises charge a fee.
  • Different cruises travel along many sections of the canal. Be sure you’re clear on your departure and drop-off points, if not traveling as part of a guided tour.
  • Full-day tours from Shanghai can last more than 10 hours.
 
How to Get There
Hangzhou and Suzhou feature two popular sections of the canal for visitors. In Hangzhou, cruises depart from Wulinmen Pier. The best way to get to Wulinmen Wharf is by taxi. In Suzhou, the cruise from Xinshiqiao Dock to Shantang Street is popular. Xinshiqiao Dock is about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Suzhou Railway Station, and the easiest way to get there is by taxi.
 
When to Get There
Most cruises are offered year-round. Daytime cruises allow you to better see the details of the buildings alongside the canal, while nighttime cruises offer more atmosphere, as many sights will be illuminated. Visit during spring or fall for the most pleasant weather.
 
History of the Grand Canal
TheGrand Canal’s oldest sections date back to the fifth century BC, but it wasn’t until the Sui dynasty in the seventh century that the different sections were first connected. There was an organized approach to connect the five major rivers: the Hai River, Huai River, Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Qiantang River. Once completed, the Grand Canal greatly developed China’s economy and enhanced communication throughout the country.
Address: China
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52 Tours and Activities to Experience Grand Canal

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Suzhou Private Essence Tour of Rickshaw Ride and Grand Canal RideFull-day Tours

Suzhou Private Essence Tour of Rickshaw Ride and Grand Canal Ride

star-4
Spare yourself the challenge of negotiating with boatmen and rickshaw drivers, and let your private guide do the heavy lifting on this classic Suzhou tour. Check off not one but two UNESCO World Heritage sites as you tour the Lingering Garden and enjoy a private cruise down the Grand Canal. After a rickshaw ride, explore Shantang Street and Suzhou No. 1 Silk Mill before your private driver drops you back.
...  More
  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$143,20 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$143,20 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Suzhou Day Tour of Grand Canal and Master of Nets GardenPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Private Suzhou Day Tour of Grand Canal and Master of Nets Garden

star-5
Combine three of Suzhou's top attractions—Master of Nets Garden, the Panmen Gate, and the Grand Canal—in a single private tour. Stroll through the classic Master of Nets Garden, built in 1174; and learn about the historical significance of the Panmen Gate. Take a ride in a vintage wooden boat down the Grand Canal, accompanied by enlightening commentary from your dedicated guide.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$154,10 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$154,10 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Suzhou in One Day with Grand Canal CruisePrivate Day Trips

Private Suzhou in One Day with Grand Canal Cruise

star-4.5
Get acquainted with the wonders of Suzhou, historic city home to the Grand Canal, on a private full-day tour. Ideal for first-time visitors with limited time, this tour includes a boat ride on the Grand Canal—a manmade landmark reputedly visible from space—and a panoramic tour of highlights such as Panmen Gate and Pingjiang Road. Plus, you’ll watch a traditional performance featuring comic opera and storytelling in a teahouse.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$256,80 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$256,80 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Suzhou Day Tour of Grand Canal and Master of Nets GardenDay Trips

Private Suzhou Day Tour of Grand Canal and Master of Nets Garden

Combine three of Suzhou's top attractions—Master of Nets Garden, the Panmen Gate, and the Grand Canal—in a single private tour. Stroll through the classic Master of Nets Garden, built in 1174; and learn about the historical significance of the Panmen Gate. Take a ride in a vintage wooden boat down the Grand Canal, accompanied by enlightening commentary from your dedicated guide. *Private tour combines Master of Nets, Panmen Gate, Grand Canal *Learn about the cultural and historical significance of each through guided commentary *Boat ride down the Grand Canal *All entrance fees included *Round-trip private transportation
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$124,17 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$124,17 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Suzhou Day Trip from Shanghai by Bullet Train with All Inclusive OptionDay Trips

Private Suzhou Day Trip from Shanghai by Bullet Train with All Inclusive Option

star-5
Escape the bustle of modern Shanghai and enjoy a relaxing day in small-town China during this all-inclusive day trip to Suzhou, a picturesque riverside city famed for its centuries-old heritage. The Trip include a round-trip bullet train ticket. Upgrade your tour with all-inclusive package which offers a complimentary traditional Chinese lunch, a scenic boat ride along the Grand Canal, and a private rickshaw ride through history-packed Pingjiang Road.
...  More
  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$198,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$198,00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Custom Tour: 2-Day Suzhou City Highlights TourMulti-day Tours

Private Custom Tour: 2-Day Suzhou City Highlights Tour

star-5
This 2 days private tour takes you to explore the most famous attractions in Suzhou, which is noted as the "Garden of City". You will be able to see Lingering Garden, one of four famous classic gardens in China, the No.1 Ancient Street--Shantang Street, the most impressive garden in Suzhou--Master of Nest Garden and the UNESCO World Heritage Site-Longest artificial canal in the world--Grand Canal, etc. Moreover, the itinerary can be 100% customized based on your own interests. 
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$296,40 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$296,40 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 days
  • Free Cancellation

Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village Full Day Coach Tour from ShanghaiDay Trips

Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village Full Day Coach Tour from Shanghai

star-5
Spend the day exploring beyond Shanghai’s city limits—and discover two of the region’s most beautiful destinations—on this full-day tour of Suzhou and the Zhouzhuang Water Town. Following pickup from one of several central locations, travel via comfortable, air-conditioned coach to Suzhou, where you’ll visit the UNESCO-listed Master of Nets Garden, will see the Grand Canal, and more. Then, transfer to the Zhouzhuang Water Town, where you’ll explore the centuries-old buildings and waterways by boat.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$135,00 
From  
US$135,00 
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Tour to Suzhou by Bullet Train, pickup from your hotel(Residence)Day Trips

Private Tour to Suzhou by Bullet Train, pickup from your hotel(Residence)

star-5
The winding canals, historical buildings, and classic gardens of Suzhou earned the city its nickname as the "Venice of the East." Tour Suzhou's must-see sites and hidden enclaves from Shanghai on this private 9-hour tour, which includes transportation on a bullet train, a customizable itinerary, lunch, entrance fees, and more. -Instant Confirmation -Private day trip from Shanghai to Suzhou -Great overview and orientation of the city -Perfect introduction for first-time visitor -Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences -Private guide for a more personalized experience -Travel by boat and see the sights from the water - Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
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  • 10 hours
From  
US$213,07 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$213,07 
Price varies by group size
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  • 10 hours

4-Hour Flexible Suzhou City Highlights Private TourHalf-day Tours

4-Hour Flexible Suzhou City Highlights Private Tour

star-5
Make the most of your limited time in Suzhou, and see more of the city in less time, when you book this convenient, half-day tour. Pick between morning and afternoon tour times, and set off with just a private guide for company. In the space of just a few hours, you’ll discover top city highlights like the UNESCO-listed Humble Administrator’s Garden, the lofty Tiger Hall, the historical Panmen Gate, and more. On this flexible, customizable tour, you can also go for a boat trip down the Grand Canal.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$114,29 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$114,29 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

All Inclusive Suzhou Highlight Tour with Boat Ride and LunchFull-day Tours

All Inclusive Suzhou Highlight Tour with Boat Ride and Lunch

star-5
Often called “the Venice of the East” because of its scenic canals, Suzhou is a sightseer’s paradise—and this private, full-day tour offers a seamless way to explore. Meet your guide in the morning at the local train station, and set off. You’ll visit the UNESCO-listed, classical Lingering Garden; will admire Panmen Gate and stroll Pingjiang Historic Street; will go for a boat ride of the Grand Canal; and more.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$179,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$179,00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Hidden and Historical Suzhou Exploration from ShanghaiDay Trips

Private Hidden and Historical Suzhou Exploration from Shanghai

star-5
Shanghai may be a bustling metropolis, yet within a short drive of this urban space travelers can find historic gems that are all too easy to miss. You can uncover more than 2000 years of history in the city of Suzhou on this private tour from Shanghai. See gardens and canals, visit a Buddhist pagoda, and even take a boat ride. With your personal guide's narration and easy travel included, this tour is a great way to uncover China's history.
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  • 8 hours
From  
US$200,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$200,00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours

Suzhou and Zhouzhuang One Day Group Tour from ShanghaiDay Trips

Suzhou and Zhouzhuang One Day Group Tour from Shanghai

star-5
Spare yourself the time and hassle of Chinese public transport with this convenient guided tour that covers two picturesque water towns: Suzhou and Zhouzhuang. In Suzhou, discover the Master-of-Nets Garden, the old city wall at Panmen Gate, and a silk mill. In Zhouzhuang, admire attractions like the celebrated Double Bridges. Tour includes a local restaurant lunch.
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  • 9 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$144,00 
From  
US$144,00 
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  • 9 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Full Day Tour to Suzhou from Shanghai in Your WayDay Trips

Private Full Day Tour to Suzhou from Shanghai in Your Way

star-5
Escape Shanghai for a day and discover the peaceful and historical city of Suzhou—often described as “the Venice of the East” due to its picturesque canals. Pick between a private guide service, with transportation at your own expense, or upgrade for a tour by private vehicle. Upon arrival in Suzhou, you can stroll along its canals, spot centuries-old architecture, stop by a local restaurant for lunch (own expense), venture to Tiger Hill, explore scenic gardens, and more: the flexible itinerary is based around your interests.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$108,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$108,00 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Day Excursion to Suzhou and ZhouZhuang Water Village from ShanghaiDay Trips

Private Day Excursion to Suzhou and ZhouZhuang Water Village from Shanghai

star-5
It’s a matter of debate which of Suzhou and Zhouzhuang really counts as the Venice of the East. But after this fabulous private door-to-door (or port-to-port) tour you’re bound to have an opinion. Spend the morning in Suzhou, exploring the Master-of-Nets Garden, Suzhou No. 1 Silk Mill, and Panmen Gate. After a restaurant lunch, admire Zhouzhuang’s scenic bridges, lanes, and canals on foot and by gondola.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$220,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$220,00 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Independent Tour of Suzhou from ShanghaiDay Trips

Independent Tour of Suzhou from Shanghai

Explore the historic water town of Suzhou on this guided excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, head to Suzhou and stroll around the houses, ponds, and pathways of the UNESCO-designated Humble Administrator’s Garden. Enjoy a boat trip on the old Grand Canal, marvel at the history of Panmen Gate, and hop in a private rickshaw for a ride along picturesque Pingjiang Road.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$98,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$98,00 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Shanghai Getaway: Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village Day TripDay Trips

Shanghai Getaway: Suzhou and Zhouzhuang Water Village Day Trip

star-4
Depart Shanghai for a full-day tour that visits Suzhou’s gardens and Zhouzhuang water village. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou, crafted during the 11th to 19th centuries, are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their impressive Chinese gardens. See masterpieces such as Lingering Garden during your tour. After lunch and a stop at a silk factory, head to the water village of Zhouzhuang to tour the ‘Venice of the East,’ including stops at Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$207,88 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$207,88 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Suzhou Private Customized Day Trip from Shanghai by Bullet TrainDay Trips

Suzhou Private Customized Day Trip from Shanghai by Bullet Train

star-5
Experience China’s “Venice of the East” on this guided excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, upgrade and relax on first-class bullet train tickets from Shanghai. Then explore this historic water town with an informative, professional guide and visit sites like the Humble Administrators Garden, Shantang Street, Suzhou Pingtan Opera, and Suzhou Museum. Enjoy a boat ride along the old canals and a complimentary meal.
...  More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$209,40 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$209,40 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Suzhou Tour to Explore the Hidden Door of Suzhou Old TimeBus Tours

Private Suzhou Tour to Explore the Hidden Door of Suzhou Old Time

Maximize time in Suzhou with a full-day private tour. Get picked up at your hotel and set out to see historical sites including Fengqiao Bridge, Hanshan Temple, and Shantang Street. Board a private boat for a scenic ride on the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Complete the tour with a visit to a silk mill and learn about the silk-making process.
...  More
  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$177,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$177,00 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Full-Day Suzhou Tour to Explore Suzhou Old and New PartBus Tours

Full-Day Suzhou Tour to Explore Suzhou Old and New Part

If you want to explore Suzhou deeply and wildely, you can not miss this tour. Full Day Suzhou tour is a customized tour to suit you and your group to explore both old and new parts of Suzhou. With your personal knowledgeable tour guide, you are able to see Humble Administrator's Garden, which is one of the most famous Chinese classic gardens in Suzhou, Marvel at Grand Canal and enjoy the private rowing boat cruise, witness the roaring development of Suzhou by walking around the Jinji Lake and appreaciate the unique design of Zhongshu Book Store.
...  More
  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$172,23 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$172,23 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Full Day Tour to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang from ShanghaiDay Trips

Private Full Day Tour to Suzhou and Zhouzhuang from Shanghai

star-5
Visit Suzhou without the hassle of driving or waiting for other passengers on this private guided tour from Shanghai. Explore the city's canals and gardens and discover why it is often called "the Venice of the East." Your tour includes a visit to a silk store, Chinese-style gondola cruise, and lunch.
...  More
  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$267,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$267,00 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 8 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Suzhou Private Tour including Panmen Gate, Pingjiang Road and Classical GardensDay Trips

Suzhou Private Tour including Panmen Gate, Pingjiang Road and Classical Gardens

This is the only 1-day historic and cultural tour where you will experience the Venice in the East. You have the opportunity to go by time-car back to the old days to feel the life style by visiting the beautiful garden which actually was the living house of the local riches back in that time. 1. Learn about the history and tradition from an expert guide 2. Enjoy free time to explore Pingjiang on your own 3. Enjoy the beauty of top famous garden in China 4. Have a boat cruise in small canals to experience the life of “Oriental Venice”
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$215,76 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$215,76 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

2-Day Unlimited Private Trip to Suzhou and Hangzhou by Bullet Train from ShanghaiOvernight Tours

2-Day Unlimited Private Trip to Suzhou and Hangzhou by Bullet Train from Shanghai

star-5
An old Chinese proverb says, “In heaven, there is paradise; on earth, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.” Experience these two classical cities from Shanghai with a private guide to put the culture in context on this 2-day adventure by bullet train and private car. Choose between a guiding and transfer service, with fast train tickets, or upgrade for an all-inclusive package with lunch, entrance tickets, and a Suzhou boat ride.
...  More
  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$468,00 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$468,00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures

Private Suzhou Night Tour:Master of the Nets Garden, Ancient Canal with DinnerHalf-day Tours

Private Suzhou Night Tour:Master of the Nets Garden, Ancient Canal with Dinner

Enjoy a relaxing and memorable night out by visiting famed UNESCO garden: The Master of the Nets garden when it’s lit up with the charming lights on the traditional buildings, watch the local art performances and enjoy the traditional Chinese music and opera sinning with the amazing garden setting. Savor a delightful dinner along the ancient canal and immerse yourself in the beautiful night view of the water town scenery, explore the ancient canal street full of colorful stores with arts, crafts and trinkets with your local guide and get a great insight into local custom, culture and sounds.
...  More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$145,27 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$145,27 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

The Most Recommended Suzhou Day Tour For First Time VisitorsBus Tours

The Most Recommended Suzhou Day Tour For First Time Visitors

Experience the best of Suzhou on this exciting day tour. Wander among lotus ponds and bamboo groves at the Lingering Garden. Explore the Surging Wave Pavilion's charm. Learn more about Chinese history when you do the private boat cruise on Grand Canal, take a pleasant stroll down Shantang Ancient Street and visit the Suzhou No. 1 Silk Mill..
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  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$171,23 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$171,23 
Price varies by group size
Learn More
  • 6 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Grand Canal?

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(888) 651-9785
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