The capital of Guangdong province, Guangzhou, is a vibrant city that is the beating heart of trade, not only in the province, or southern China, but perhaps even the whole of China itself. It’s home to the country’s number one trade fair, the Canton Fair, and has throughout history been a major domestic and global exporting hub.
More than just trade, the city is a booming metropolis featuring a modern transport system, modern shopping malls, pedestrian shopping streets along with wholesale markets, nightlife, and some of the finest food experiences that are there to be had.
At the heart of the city is Cantonese culture which along with its own unique language it also lays claim to being holding of one the eight famous Chinese cuisines. Cantonese cuisine is a must-try.
The city is also home to Chimelong Tourist Resort which contains Chimelong Safari Park, China’s largest amusement park Chimelong Paradise, and the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.
It’s also home to the second tallest building in China, and fourth tallest in the world being the visually impressive Canton Tower which also features the world’s second-highest observation deck. It’s an observation deck with a difference as you get to travel in one of 16 glass cabins that follow a track around the very top of the building.
Top Ten Attractions
1. Guangxiao Temple – Bright Filial Piety Temple (光孝寺)
Address: No. 109 Guangxiao Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 4, 88, 186, 250 or 823 and get off at Ximenkou Station.
Admission: 5 yuan.
2. Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family (Chen Clan Academy) (陈家祠)
Address: No. 34 Enlong Lane, Zhongshan 7th Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 85, 88, 104, 107, 109, 114, 128, 193, 204, 233, 250, 260, 268 or 286 and get off at Chen Clan Academy Station.
Admission: 20 yuan.
3. Shamian Island (沙面)
Address: Liwan District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 9, 38, 105, 208, 219, 236, 270 or 556 and get off at Huangsha Wharf Station.
4. Yuexiu Park (越秀公园)
Address: Jiefang North Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 109, 110, 111, 201, 234, 269, 271, 278, 301, 543 or 550 and get off at Yuexiu Park Station.
5. Western Han Nanyue King’s Tomb Museum (南越王墓博物馆)
Address: No. 867 Jiefang North Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 203, 273, 552, 7, 543, 211, 29 or 7 and get off at Jiefang North Road Station.
Admission: 12 yuan.
6. Baiyun Mountain (White Cloud Mountain) (白云山)
Address: White Cloud Mountain South Road
How to get there: Take bus No. 24, 199, 223, 36, 285 or 540 and get off at Yuntai Garden Station.
Admission: 5 yuan.
7. Temple of the Six Banyan Trees & Flower Pagoda (Liurong Temple) 六榕寺和花塔
Address: No.87 Liurong Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
Admission: 5 yuan.
Hours 09:00 – 17:20
8. Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九步行街)
Address: Liwan District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 38, 31, 103, 823 or 102 and get off at Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street Station
9. Former Site of Whampoa Military Academy (黄埔军校旧址)
Address: Changzhou Island, Huangpu District, Guangzhou
How to get there: Take bus No. 43 or 292 and get off at Xieshan Station.
Admission: 15 yuan.
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (closed on Monday)
10. Sacred Heart Cathedral (石室圣心大教堂)
Address: No. 56 Yide Road
How to get there: Take bus No.4, 8, 61, 82, 238 or 823 and get off at Yide Road Station.
Weekday Daily: 6:45 AM (Cantonese)
Saturday: 6:45 AM (Cantonese), 4:30 PM (Korean), 7:30 PM (Mandarin)
Sunday: 6:30 AM (Cantonese), 8:30 AM (Cantonese), 10:30 AM (Mandarin), 3:30 PM (English)
Top Ten things to Eat in Guangzhou
I would not blame you if you went to Guangzhou just for the food. Plenty of people do!
1. Dim Sum 点心
2. Double Skin Milk 双皮奶
3. Rice Rolls/Chang Fen 肠粉
4. Shrimp Wonton Noodles 鲜虾云吞面
5. Litchi Bay-Style Congee 荔湾艇仔粥
6. Pigs Feet and Ginger Stew 豬腳薑
7. Roasted Goose 烧鹅
8. Sliced Boiled Chicken 白切鸡
9. Lotus Root Soup 莲藕汤
10. Barbecued Pork 叉烧
The top foodie areas include Beijing Road which is popular for street food and Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street the same while also featuring some of the cities top Dim Sum restaurants.
Top restaurants for Dian Xin (Dim Sum) in Guangzhou include (with links to google maps and Chinese address)
- Jade Garden – Address: 太古汇 Tianhe Rd, Tianhe Center, Tianhe District. CN: 广东省广州市天河区天河中心天河路太古汇号
- Guangzhou Restaurant CN: 广州酒家 – address: 2 Wenchang S Rd, Shang Xia Jiu, Liwan District CN: 广东省广州市荔湾区上下九文昌南路2号
- Bingsheng Mansion CN: 炳胜公馆 – Address: 2 Xiancun Rd, Tianhe, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China CN: 广东省广州市天河区冼村路2号
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (广州白云国际机场, IATA: CAN) services domestic and numerous international routes and is a major airline hub in southern China. The airport is located 28 km (17 mi) north of central Guangzhou and is serviced by Metro Line 3.
The journey on Metro Line 3 to the central area (Tiyu Xilu Metro station) costs 12 CNY and takes around 50 minutes.
A taxi from the airport to the same area would cost around 120 CNY and also take around 50 minutes.
There is also an Airport Express shuttle service, Line 1 is the most popular taking you from the airport to Guangzhou Railway Station at a cost of 16 CNY and about 50 minutes.
Guangzhou has four train stations inc. (with links to google maps). It is very easy to take high speed rail to any major city in the country.
The Guangzhou Railway Station (广州火车站) offers fast intercity C type trains to Shenzhen and slower K and Z type trains to places such as Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Shaoguan, and Maoming.
The East Station (广州东站) offers fast intercity C type trains to Shenzhen and slower K and Z type trains to places such as Meizhou, Shantou, Beijing, Harbin, Changchun, Xiamen, Chengdu.
The South Station (广州南) offers high-speed rail travel via G and D type trains to places such as Shenzhen, Wuhan, Zhuhai, Changsha, Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, and Taiyuan.
The North Station (广州北) offers high-speed trains G type trains to Wuhan, Changsha, Beijing, and slower K type trains to Chongqing, Ganzhou, Hanzhong, Wenzhou, and Zhangjiajie.
For cities not covered by high speed train you can take an intercity bus. The bus network covers the entire province and nearby major cities. The major long-distance bus stations are
- Provincial Bus Station – 145-149, Huanshi Xi Lu – 广州市环市西路145-149号
- Guangzhou Passenger Station – 158, Huanshi Xi Lu, Yuexiu District – 广州市环市西路158号
- Fangcun Bus Station – 251 Huadi Dadao – 广州市花地大道中51号
- Tianhe Bus Station – 633, Yanling Lu, Tianye – 广州市燕岭路633号
- Yuexiu South Bus – Yuexiu Nan Lu and Dongyuan Heng Lu, Yuexiu District – 越秀南汽车站
- Guangyuan Bus Station – 283, Guangyuan Zhong Lu – 广园汽车客运站
For travel and sightseeing in Guangzhou, there are three tourist lines and three sightseeing lines, as per
• Tourist Line 1
Zhongshan Balu – the end of Liwan Lu – Chen Clan Academy – Zhongshan Qi Lu – Ximenkou – Liurong Lu – Sanyuangong – Yingyuan Lu – Xiaobei Huaquan – Xiaobei – Luhu Park – White Cloud Immortals Temple – Yuntai Garden
Hours: 08:00 – 19:00 every 30 minutes
• Tourist Line 2
Zhongshan Balu – the end of Liwan Lu – Chen Clan Academy – Kangwang Zhong Lu – Hualin Temple – Kangwang Nan Lu – Nanfang Mansion – Aiqun Mansion – the end of Jinghai Lu – Wende South – Dongdi – Dashatou Dock – Yanjiang Dong Lu – Provincial Chinese Medicine Hospital – Xinghai Musical Hall – Ersha East – Wuyang New Village – Nanfang Newspaper Office – Xinghuiyuan – Xiancun Lu North – Tianhe Post Office – Tianhe
• Tourist Line 3
Zhongshan Balu– the foot of Pearl River Bridge – Nan’an Lu – Xichang Overpass – Xicun – Keshan – Provincial Maternity and Child Care Center – Guangyuan Zhong Lu – Dajinzhong Lu – Keziling Arch – Cuiying Huating – Guangzhou Gymnasium – Baiyun International Conference Center – the West Gate of the White Cloud Mountain Scenic Area – Guangzhou Foreign Language College – the end of Huangshi Dong Lu – Chentian Village – Yuanxiatian – Hongtao Stone Products Factory – Baiyun Animal Husbandry Company – Yongtai New Village – Yongtai Square – Yongtai Passenger Transport Terminal
The three lines are in service between 09:00 and 17:00 all the year round. Tickets are 50 CNY and offer unlimited use in 24 hours (hop on hop off).
• City New Axis Line (Yellow Line)
Dashatou Dock – Ersha Island – Asian Games Park – TeeMall – Canton Tower – Canton Tower East – Sun Yat-sen University – Dashatou Dock
• Ancient City Line (Red Line)
Dashatou Dock – Tianzi Dock – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street – Mt. Yuewang – Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall – Museum of Art – Yuntai Garden – Guangzhou Zoo – Huanghuagang Park – Martyrs’ Park – Dashatou Dock
• Xiguan Style Line (Blue Line)
Beijing Road Pedestrian Street South – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street North – Guangxiao Temple – Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street – Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family – Litchi Bay – Shamian Island – Sacred Heart Cathedral – Haizhu Plaza – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street
The metro system is modern, cheap and easy to use. If you are staying for several days and plan to use the metro a lot, go to a service counter at the station and buy a card, preload it with 50 RMB and you’ll be able to easy swipe in and swipe out of the station, works on buses too. For single journeys, there are dual language ticket machines that take small notes and coins.
Click for larger map
Top Ten Hotels in Guangzhou
These are the top-rated and most luxurious hotels in Guangzhou, and you may be surprised at how affordable they are.
1. The Garden Hotel Guangzhou 5-star hotel
2. Langham Place Guangzhou 5-star hotel
3. Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou 5-star hotel
4. Fraser Suites Guangzhou 5-star hotel
5. Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre 5-star
6. Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich 5-star hotel
7. Marriott Guangzhou Tianhe 5-star hotel
8. Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou 5-star hotel
9. W Guangzhou 5-star hotel
10. Park Hyatt Guangzhou 5-star hotel
Guangzhou has no shortage of high-quality hotels and, barring trade fair dates when you need to book early, they offer great value for money. For your comfort and convenience, I recommend staying at four-star and up hotels. Also, See the Hotel reviews at GZ Shopper
Shopping in Guangzhou
Guangzhou is a shoppers paradise, featuring modern malls, street markets, and wholesale markets. For the top destinations and reviews see GZ Shopper
The key shopping destinations
- Beijing Road (北京西路) read more – Beijing Road (Beijing Lu) is located in the center of Guangzhou and is part historic attraction, part shopping district.
- Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (上下九步行街) read more – The most famous, and most popular pedestrian shopping street in Guangzhou, it also has a rich history and is also a great place for trying local snacks.
- Grandview Mall 正佳广场 – read more – the Tianhe area and central CBD is packed with malls and Grandview is one of the larger featuring IMAX, and Aquarium and lots of flagship stores.
Guangzhou Top Attraction and Hotel Map
More Posts on Guangzhou
- Guangdong Victory Hotel Shamian Island Guangzhou
- Beijing Road in Guangzhou
- Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in Guangzhou
- Shamian Island, Guangzhou [Plus where you need to stay]
- Back to Guangzhou for the Canton Fair
- Guangzhou Trade Fairs: International Sourcing Expo
- Guangzhou Metro (subway)
- Train from Shenzhen to Guangzhou
- A new Global Mega-City like No Other: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area