To reduce the drag of a cylinder, numerical simulations and experiments for both smooth cylinder and circular cylinder with the dimpled surface are carried out in this paper. The numerical simulation focuses on the variation of pressure coefficient, skin friction coefficient, and vortex shedding strength of the smooth cylinder and the circular cylinder with the dimpled surface. It is found that the dimpled structure can effectively reduce the drag of the cylinder within a specific range of Reynolds number, and the maximum drag reduction rate reaches up to 19%. Another conclusion is that the pressure drag and skin friction drag have an essential influence on the total drag of the circular cylinder with the dimpled surface. On the other hand, the strength of vortex shedding also decreases with the decrease of cylinder drag. Then, the flow field of both cylinders is measured using the particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique, confirming that the dimpled structure can affect the velocity field, the release of vortices and the scale of the vortex. More specifically, the velocity recovery of the circular cylinder with the dimpled surface is faster than that of the smooth cylinder, and the dimpled structure delays the release of the vortex at a specific range of Reynolds number.