Guangzhou Travel Guide

Guangzhou Travel Guide 2020

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is the capital city of Guangdong Province as well as the third biggest city in China (after Beijing and Shanghai). Founded in 214 BC, Guangzhou has a history over 2200 years and is always a mix of old and new, ancient and modern, Chinese and western. This “City of Goat” is a booming metropolis full of cutting-edge architecture, tasty Cantonese food and plenty of interesting points to explore. Besides attending “the oldest and biggest trade fair in China” - Canton Fair and sightseeing, many travelers come to Guangzhou for seeking their root, eat and shop.

Situated at the heart of the most-populous built-up metropolitan area in Pearl River Delta and close to South China Sea, Guangzhou was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road and served as a major port and transportation hub in the area. It is about 120 km (75 mi) north-northwest of Hong Kong, 145 km (90 mi) north of Macau, and neighbors Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan and Zhongshan. Since 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area has been coming into being, forming one of the largest urban agglomerations on the planet and the most potential area in China. And also, Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city in mainland China.

Why visit Guangzhou:

  • Mix of Modernity and Tradition. With a history over 2200 years of Chinese culture influenced by western cultures, Guangzhou boasts its unique Lingnan culture which was reflected in many aspects of modern Guangzhou, such as Lingnan architecture, Lingnan gardens, Cantonese opera, Cantonese cuisine, Lingnan painting and Cantonese language. Old and modern, traditional architectures and uprising skyscrapers...can be easily found on both sides of the central axis.
  • The Annual Canton Fair. Guangzhou is the city held the “China Import and Export Fair” in the spring and autumn seasons every year since the spring of 1957. The Canton Fair is with the largest scale, the most complete exhibit variety and the broadest distribution of overseas buyers and the greatest business turnover. The event place is Canton Fair Complex located on the south bank of Pearl River and close to Canton Tower. Guangzhou welcomes you for business.
  • Transport Hub in South China. Connected by very mature transportation network, Guangzhou is served as an very important transport hub linking with Hong Kong/Macau and mainland China. For most travelers travel inland, Guangzhou will be the stopover between Hong Kong/Macau and inland destinations. For travelers who want to leave China, Guangzhou is also the hub for transit.

144-Hour Visa-Free Transit Policy: Since May 1, 2019, Guangdong Province has been implementing 144-hour visa-free period for nationals from 53 countries. The qualified travelers can enter Guangdong via its three airports - Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport and Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport, and exit via the province’s 32 ports. Learn more about Guangzhou visa-free policy >>

Top Attractions

With profound history over 2200 years, Guangzhou has been a springboard for trading, cultural exchanges, many revolutions and reforms, making it an unavoidable stopover to understand what shapes the modern China. A visit to Guangzhou, travelers can explore the mix of Chinese and Western, ancient and modern, inland and marine culture, and feel the breeze of freedom and innovation everywhere...Below is the list of elegant towers, beautiful parks, exquisite architectures, incredible villages and wild safari paradise to make most of your time when visiting the metropolis. To know all the top-rated attractions in Guangzhou, please check our Top 16 Attractions in Guangzhou >>.

Canton Tower in Guangzhou
Canton Tower

Being the landmark of Guangzhou and the tallest sightseeing tower in China, Canton Tower is the must-see site to capture the panoramic view of flourishing Guangzhou.

Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou
Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

Praised as the Pearl of Lingnan Architecture, Chen Clan Ancestral Hall is an exquisitely decorated academic temple and a lively folk museum with Guangdong culture.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Guangzhou
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is an octagon-shaped magnificent building which was built with funds raised by locals and overseas Chinese in memory of Sun Yat-sen - “Father of the Nation” in China.

Yuexiu Park in Guangzhou
Yuexiu Park

It is the largest park in downtown Guangzhou. Take a relaxing walk and explore the highlights - Five Rams sculpture, Zhenhai Tower, Sun Yat-sen Monument.

Temple of the Six Banyan Trees (Guangzhou)
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees

With 1500 years' history, Temple of Six Banyan Trees is one of the four Buddhist temples in Guangzhou and is famous for its17-story octangular Flower Pagoda.

Museum of the Mausoleum of Nanyue King (Guangzhou)

Museum of the Mausoleum of Nanyue King

This museum houses the tomb of the Nanyue King Zhao Mo with a history of 2000 years. It is the oldest and largest Han tomb with the most funerary objects in Lingnan area.

Kaiping Diaolou & Villages
Kaiping Diaolou & Villages

Listed as World Heritage Site, Kaiping Diaolou & Villages feature the Diaolou, multi-storyed defensive village houses which display a fusion of Chinese and Western architectural styles.

Chimelong Safari Park

Chimelong Safari Park

Chimelong Safari Park is the best-known, most beloved, and the largest animal park in China where you can see over 500 species including giant pandas, koalas, rhinoceros, tigers...

Featured & Inspiring Activities

Wonder what to do after the daytime sightseeing in Guangzhou? Don’t worry. You’ll never get bored and there are many inspiring activities to try to enrich your life in Guangzhou. Just open your mind, hold your breath and do now! Learn more about Top 15 Things to Do in Guangzhou and Top Things to Do at Night >>.

Pearl River Night Cruise

Pearl River Night Cruise

The Pearl River is the third largest river in China. To fully appreciate the beautiful river and stunning sites and tall buildings along the banks, taking the night cruise is the best choice. It is a 70-minute cruise sailing through the most prosperous and bustling section.

Cantonese Food

Taste Cantonese Gourmets

As the paradise of gourmets, Guangzhou houses countless mouth-watering food to please you highly. Various kinds of exquisite dim sum, desserts, Char Siu, seafood, flavorful porridge and nutritious soups... All those in big restaurants and small street shops are so wonderful for a food discovery!

Chimelong International Circus

Chimelong International Circus

If you are family with kids, it is a good choice to watch the awe-inspiring Chimelong International Circus. It is the world’s largest circus - a combination of traditional acrobatics and aesthetic modern arts. It is performed at 19:30~21:00 every night.

Shopping in Guangzhou

Do Shopping in Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a shopping paradise for buying most fashionable clothes and local specialties. Travelers can get to clothing wholesale markets, pedestrian streets or high-end shopping malls to do some shopping.

Weather & When to Go

Guangzhou Weather

Guangzhou is situated in the Pearl River Delta in Southern China which has a humid subtropical climate with very mild winters and hot, rainy and muggy summers. The average temperature is 23 °C of the year and the average high temperature can reach 34 °C and the average low temperature is about 10 °C. Rainfall is abundant, around 1700 millimeters (68 inches) per year. The rainiest period is from May to September and the least rainy period is from November to January.

Spring (March to May) is mild and pleasantly warm. Summer (June to August) is hot, humid and rainy, and sometimes with heavy showers or thunderstorms. The average temperature in summer is around 32/33 °C. Autumn is from September to November. September is still hot and October to November is with rare rain and less frequent sun. While the winter (December to February) is mild with average temperature of 13 °C. Guangzhou can be visited all year around and the best times for traveling are March to early May and September to December.

Learn more about Guangzhou Weather, Climate & Best Time to Go >>

Transportation

Guangzhou Airport Guangzhou South Railway Station Hong Kong Guangzhou High Speed Train Guangzhou Metro

Get to Guangzhou City: by Flight & High Speed Train

By air: The airport in Guangzhou is called Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, which is about 34 kilometers driving distance north from central Guangzhou. Numerous international and domestic flights are well connecting with Guangzhou. The international destinations include Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Auckland, Bangkok, London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Seoul, San Francisco and more; while domestic destinations include Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Zhangjiajie, Huangshan, Xiamen, Kunming, etc. So travelers can transit easily during your tour in the vast China. >> Flights to Guangzhou

By train: Guangzhou operates normal trains and high speed trains with most cities in China. To experience the super fast speed and travel in comfortable way, it is highly recommended to use high speed trains. Three frequent used train stations are Guangzhou Railway Station, Guangzhou East Railway Station and Guangzhou South Railway Station. Travelers can take bullet trains to Shenzhen (0.5 -1 hour), Hong Kong (around 1 hour), Guilin (2.5-3 hours), Guiyang (4.5-5.5 hours), Beijing (8-10 hours), Xian (7.5-9 hours), Wuhan (7.5-9 hours), Changsha (7.5-9 hours), Shanghai (7-8.5 hours), Chengdu (8-10 hours), Huangshan (around 7 hours), Hangzhou (6-7.5 hours), Xiamen (around 4.5 hours) and more cities in China. To know all the high speed train schedules and tickets information, please head to Guangzhou High Speed Trains.

City Transportation: by Taxi, Metro, Shuttle Bus or Private Car

Public transportation system is comprehensive and mature in Guangzhou. To transfer independently, you can take taxi, metro, shuttle bus or local bus to transfer among airport, railway stations and different points of interests. The basic taxi fare in Guangzhou are CNY 10 for the first 2.5 kilometers, CNY 2.6 per kilometer between 2.5 and 35 km, and CNY 3.9 per kilometer after 35km. To save money, you can take metro instead which is also fast enough. There are altogether 14 metro lines in operation by the end of 2018. Metro is access to the city center and almost tourist attractions, like Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Yuexiu Park, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Canton Tower. To transfer without any trouble, it is suggested to our private tour service which cover the private cart service with experienced driver and local guide showing you everything about Guangzhou.

Useful Links: How to Get to & around Guangzhou | How to Get from Guangzhou Airport to City Center

Get from Shenzhen/Hong Kong/Macau to Guangzhou

Ways are lot to transfer from Shenzhen to Guangzhou, Hong Kong to Guangzhou, Macau to Guangzhou, travelers could choose among high speed trains, through trains, flights, ferries, bus, private car, etc. To know detailed distance, length and how to choose your way, you can head to How to Get from Hong Kong to Guangzhou 2020 | How to Get from Shenzhen to Guangzhou 2020 | How to Get from Macau to Guangzhou 2020.

If you have your own plan to travel to other destinations in Guangdong Province from/to Guangzhou, please feel free to drop your questions and ideas to us and our professional travel consultants are here to give you a suitable transportation plan as well as the tour arrangement.

Accommodation & Best Places to Stay

Guangzhou Shangri-La Hotel

Guangzhou is so large and have no idea where to stay in Guangzhou? No matter you are travelers or business people, you’ve got several good options of best areas for accommodation in Guangzhou, including Tianhe District, Yuexiu District, Haizhu District , Liwan District, Pazhou Exhibition area and Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, etc.

Staying in Tianhe District with modern cityscape of Guangzhou, you can choose Oakwood Premier Guangzhou (5 Star), The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou (5 Star), The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou (5 Star) and more. If you stay in Yuexiu District, your hotel will surrounded by many iconic attractions, including Yuexiu Park , Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King. The recommended hotels include Baiyun Hotel (5 star), Asia International Hotel (5 star), Hotel Landmark Canton (4 star). If you are in Canton Fair, it is better to stay in Pazhou Exhibition and Haizhu District. The recommended hotels include Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou (5 star), Langham Palace Guangzhou (5 star).

To know all the accommodation plan in Guangzhou, please check Where to Stay in Guangzhou - Best Guangzhou Accommodation Areas | Recommended 5 Star Hotels in Guangzhou | Recommended 4 Star Hotels in Guangzhou.

Cantonese Food & Best Recommended Restaurants

Cantonese Dim Sum Guangzhou Restaurant

There is a saying “Eat in Guangzhou” - that’s telling you the ultimate goal in Guangzhou is to eat! It is full of delicious food here! Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province, which is famous in China and throughout the world as the home of Cantonese food or Yuecai (粤菜) in Chinese. As one the 8 famous Cuisines of China, Cantonese Cuisine has special local flavor to match the climate, environment, and lifestyle of people, which is specialized in light, fresh and tender favors.

You must have a try at the most recommended food, like Dim Sum (Har Gow 虾饺, Shumai 烧麦, Rice Noodle Roll 肠粉, Char Siu Bao 叉烧包, Salted Egg Yolk Buns 流沙包), traditional Cantonese dishes (White Cut Chicken, Roasted Goose, Sweet and Sour Pork), Cantonese old fire soups, Wonton Noodles Soup, and so on. To enjoy Dim Sum, the best restaurants include Dian Dou De (Ju Fu Lou) (点都德聚福楼), Tao Tao Ju (陶陶居), Pan Xi Restaurants (泮溪酒家), Lian Xiang Lou (莲香楼). To have traditional Cantonese dishes, you can go to Guangzhou Restaurant (广州酒家), Bing Sheng Pin Wei (炳胜品味), Lai Heen Restaurant (The Ritz Carlton Guangzhou), or Bing Sheng Mansion (炳胜公馆) and other recommended restaurants.

Useful Links: Cantonese Cuisine - Top Food to Eat in Guangzhou | 10 Best Cantonese Restaurants in Guangzhou

Latest & Useful Guangzhou Maps

We’ve collected and made some useful Guangzhou maps - all are downloadable and latest! These Guangzhou maps will help you get a vivid impression and know detailed location of Guangzhou’s main tourist attractions, airport, railways stations as well as locations with neighboring destinations, like Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai and more.

For more maps, please check Guangzhou China Map | Guangzhou District Map | Guangzhou Google Map | Guangzhou Tourist Map | Guangzhou Transportation Map | 2020 Overall and Updated Guangzhou Maps.

Other Destinations in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area

Guangzhou is core metropolis situated in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area which consists of 9 cities and 2 special administrative regions. Among all the cities and regions, travelers can combine Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai into a discovery. Click the links and check the features and travel guides of each destination below!

Other Hot Destinations in China

Guangzhou is usually served as transportation hub. It is a good idea to travel from Guangzhou to other destinations in China. If you are first-timer to China, the following top 4 destinations will definitely be your first choice. Get inspired!

Guangzhou China Map

Chinese Name: 广州

Chinese Pinyin: guǎng zhōu

English IPA: ['ɡwɑ:ŋ'dʒəu]

Population: 14.5 million

Language: Mandarin & Cantonese

Tel Code: 020

Zip Code: 510000

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan your Guangzhou Tour

About 2 to 4 days is the most suitable length in and around Guangzhou. Most travelers usually spend 2 days in Guangzhou downtown area for in-depth exploration. The stunning highlights for classic city tours include Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Canton Tower, Yuexiu Park, Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Shamian Island, etc.

Traveling out of Guangzhou, you can spend 1 full day extending to Kaiping Diaolou and Villages in Jiangmen City (about 2.5 hours’ drive), or 1 day to the home of Cantonese Opera, Kung Fu and Lion Dance - Foshan, or 1 day to Shunde to have a bite of the classic Cantonese food. Besides, you are highly recommended to cover Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau and other hot destinations into your Guangzhou China tour! All these tours can be tailor made according to your plan, time and interests and demands. Feel free to select your likes or customize your tour with us!

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