Top 15 Things to Do in Guangzhou 2019/2020

No matter you are going to have a short 3-day stay or spend a longer week vacation in Guangzhou, the top 15 things to do favored and ranked top by lots of tourist people to this charming city will make your time there a real blossom! After putting your luggage in the accommodation in this prosperous modern megacity decorated with verdant plantations, take your curiosity to have a nice encounter with its skyline in Tianhe Zhujiang New Town, exquisite buildings in the old Yuexiu and Liwan districts, world well-known dim sum and other kinds of Cantonese food, exciting shows and activities at Chimelong Park, mysterious history changes, surprising markets for budget shopping, and so forth. Start your Guangzhou closing up from our guide of the top must-do for your Guangzhou tour planning!

Guangzhou Tourist Map Guangzhou Tourist Map

Top 1: Ascend Canton Tower for Guangzhou Panorama

Opening Hour: 09:30-22:30, everyday

Best Time to Experience: All Year Round (At Dusk and Night of a Day)

How Long to Spend: About 1~3 hours

Ticket Price: ¥150~¥398 based on different heights and activity items you choose

Where & How to Go There: No. 222 Yuejiang West Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou (广州市海珠区阅江西路222号 - 广州塔); It needs 50 minutes (50km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 3 and APM Line (Canton Tower Station) are available.

Canton Tower as the tallest building in Guangzhou with the height of 600 meters and the landmark of this city is surely your must-go place. Apart from admire its “Slim Waist” outlook from the land, it is more suggested to take the superfast elevator up to the observation deck in the air. From the world highest “Outdoor Observation Deck” at 488 meters, panorama of Guangzhou City is easily caught, including IFC Tower and other skyscrapers in Zhujiang New Town, Flower City Plaza, the central axis of urban planning, Pearl River, etc. Many people go there in the late afternoon to appreciate the city’s full view in clear, and then with the lights and neon lit on gradually, the shining night view is the main course for your visual feast! After getting down to the foot of Canton Tower, you can even enjoy the amazing changing light show of this appealing tower.

Besides, visitors also can enrich your experience at Canton Tower to have fun with other exciting amusement, such as sky drop between 450m-484m, Bubble Tram at 460m, world longest spiral staircase - spider walk between 168m-344.8m, etc.

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Guangzhou Panorama from Canton Tower Canton Tower Night View from Canton Tower

Top 2: Marvel at Lingnan Buildings at Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

Opening Hour: 08:30~17:30 Everyday

Best Time to Experience: All Year Round

How Long to Spend: 2-3 hours

Ticket Price: ¥10 per/person

Where & How to Go There: No.34, En Long Li, Zhongshan 7 Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou (广东省广州市荔湾区中山七路恩龙里34号 – 陈家祠); It needs 50-60 minutes (32-43km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 1 (Chen Clan Academy Station) is available.

It may be failed to visit Guangzhou if you go there without a visit to Chen Clan Ancestral Hall! Housing and preserving the outstanding seven wonders, which are wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery figures, stucco relief, iron and copper casting and colored drawing, this old house composition is a heaven for Guangdong architectural arts. Once you step in front of the entrance, its colorful carvings and sculptures of vivid figures and articles on the roofs will draw your attention very tight and well. Walking in there, you will see more delicate patterns and decorations of typical Lingnan elements arranged in the tranquil traditional compound. Follow the materials of words, pictures and relics to know its history from an ancestral hall to an academy and figure out why it is so popular among world visitors to Guangzhou!

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Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Artistic Carvings Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

Top 3: Discover Guangzhou Dim Sum and Other Cantonese Gourmets

Best Time to Experience: morning hours (better avoid weekends and public holidays)

Per Capita Consumption: ¥30-¥150 for morning tea dim sum

Where to Experience Guangzhou Dim Sum: Pan Xi Restaurant, Dian Dou De, Tao Tao Ju, Lian Xiang Lou, etc.

Making a trip to Guangzhou, there is no reason not to try its food since this is a great place for gourmets. The best recommendation is absolutely the Yum Cha “Cantonese morning tea”, as hundreds of and even over one thousand kinds of “Dim Sum” of different delicious flavors and feelings are offered in any one local morning tea restaurant to give you a big feast for tongue and eyes. The fresh and transparent Shrimp Dumplings are not to be missed. Furthermore, you are also highly recommended to discover more delicious Cantonese Cuisines and street snacks during your free time in Guangzhou, including Char Siu, desserts, seafood, porridge, old fire soups, etc.

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Cantonese Food Various Dim Sum for Cantonese Breakfast

Top 4: Admire Historical World Architectures at Shamian Island

Opening Hour: all day long, every day

Best Time to Experience: all year round, except very hot summer days

How Long to Spend: 2-3 hours

Ticket Price: free

Where & How to Go There: North Bank of Baietan Area, Pearl River, Liwan District, Guangzhou (广州市荔湾区珠江白鹅潭畔北岸 - 沙面); It needs about 50 minutes (40km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 1 (Huangsha Station) and Metro Line 6 (Cultural Park Station) are available.

Shamian Island in Liwan is a nice place to seek the opposite appearance of Guangzhou. Keeping more than 150 buildings of strong European features left from the colonial period during the 19th Century, Shamian is reputed highly as a “Museum of World Architectures”. There you can not only see buildings of Baroque, pseuso-Gothic, neo classic styles, etc., but also find a lot of precious historical relics such as the previous site of Britain Consulate, Soviet Consulate, HSBC, Guangdong Museum of Foreign Affairs, the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, etc. Taking a leisure stroll between the typical exotic buildings, it seems being in a European country.

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Guangzhou Shamian Historical European Building at Shamian Guangzhou Shamian Church of Our Lady of Lourdes

Top 5: Have Fun with Kids at Chimelong Resort

Opening Hour: Chimelong Safari Park: 09:30-18:00 on Monday - Friday; 09:30-18:30 on Saturday - Sunday; Chimelong International Circus: 17:00-21:00, etc.

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: 1-2 days

Ticket Price: Chimelong Safari Park: ¥210 per/person for children and 300 per/person for adults; Chimelong International Circus: ¥245-550 per/person for different types of seats, etc.

Where & How to Go There: Hanxi Avenue, Panyu District, Guangzhou (广州市番禺区汉溪大道 - 广州长隆度假区); It needs 1 hour (60km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 3 (Hanxi Changlong Station) is available.

To get a lot of fun and laughter with your kids and family member, Chimelong Tourist Resort is surely your must-visit site in Guangzhou. Chimelong Safari Park with over 500 species of animals from different countries and regions, including the chubby giant pandas, cute koalas, etc., is really good to stimulate your innocent smiles and create interesting moments for memorable photography. More than that, you will have wonderful time with the international class performance and acrobatic shows at Chimelong International Circus, screaming amusement activities in Chimelong Paradise, Water Park…

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Chimelong Safari Park Giraffes and Zebra at Chimelong Safari Park Chimelong Safari Park Meet Flamingoes at Chimelong Safari Park

Top 6: Take the Pearl River Night Cruise

Popular Used Pier: Dashatou Pier (the largest and most frequently used pier)

Opening Hour: 18:00-22:20 for Dashatou Pier; 18:40-21:00 for Tianzi Pier (Jetty Tianzi)

How Long to Spend: about 70 minutes

Ticket Price: ¥58-¥198 for different types of seats

Where & How to Go There: Dashatou Pier: No.466, Yanjiang East Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区沿江东路466号 - 大沙头游船码头), Guangzhou Metro Line 6 (Donghu Station) is available; Tianzi Pier: No.200, Yanjiang East Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区沿江中路200号 - 天字码头)

Pearl River traveling through Guangzhou downtown is the mother river of this city. Taking a night cruise Pearl River is very popular for many tourists to see this city in a different angle and different time. Starting from Shamian Island, you can travel from the old Guangzhou during colonial years with various foreign buildings, vibrant streets of bars and pubs, to meet the new area of lots of high risings in Tianhe District, including Canton Tower, Zhujiang New Town, etc. You will successfully see this southern Chinese girl change into a charming lively lady with dazzling costume of lights.

Learn More about All Top 6 Things to Do in Guangzhou at Night >>

Pearl River Night Cruise Night Cruise on Pearl River

Top 7: Watch Symbol of Guangzhou at Yuexiu Park

Opening Hour: 06:00-22:00 every day

Best Time to Experience: all year round except very hot summer days

How Long to Spend: 3-5 hours

Ticket Price: free

Where & How to Go There: No.988, Jiefang North Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区解放北路988号 - 越秀公园); It needs about 50 minutes from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 2 (Yuexiu Park Station) is available.

Yuexiu Park as the very old site of Guangzhou City preserves a lot of precious historical materials and feelings of this city. More importantly, boasting the “Five Rams Statue” which is the symbol of Guangzhou and explaining perfectly of why people call it “City of Rams”, Yuexiu Park is quite suggested to pay a visit to appreciate more culture and historical remaining. As many people play Tai Chi, dance, practical Cantonese Opera there in Yuexiu Park, it is a great place to get close to life of local citizens.

Learn More about Yuexiu Park >>

Yuexiu Park Five Rams Statue at Yuexiu Park Yuexiu Park Local People Dancing at Yuexiu Park

Top 8: Seek Guangzhou History at Nanyue King Museum

Opening Hour: 9:00-17:00, all year round, except Feb. 28th and Aug. 31st.

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: 1-3 hours

Ticket Price: ¥12

Where & How to Go There: No.867, Jiefang North Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区解放北路867号 - 西汉南越王博物馆); It needs about 50 minutes (about 32km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 2 (Yuexiu Park Station) is available.

The Museum of Mausoleum of Nanyue King is one of the most important archeological discoveries in the 1980s in China. Displaying more than 10,000 pieces precious cultural and historical relics, including the unbelievable “The Jade Burial Suit with Silk Thread”, rich types of pillows in old styles, and the royal mausoleum of Zhao Mo, the second king of Nanyue Kingdom 2,000 years ago, this museum is the best place to explore the old history of Guangzhou, the evidence of Guangzhou once being a capital city in China, and know the change of politics, economies and culture of the whole Lingnan area in southern China.

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Museum of Mausoleum of Nanyue King Museum of Mausoleum of Nanyue King Museum of Mausoleum of Nanyue King The Jade Burial Suit with Silk Thread

Top 9: Enjoy Serene Buddhist Culture at Temple of Six Banyan Trees

Opening Hour: 08:00~17:00 everyday

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: around 2 hours

Ticket Price: ¥5 per ticket

Where & How to Go There: No.87, Liurong Road, Zhongshan Six Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区中山六路六榕路87号 - 六榕寺); It needs about 1 hour (about 35km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 2 (Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall) is available.

Temple of Six Banyan Trees, historical as about 1,500 years, is one of the 5 great Buddhist temples in Guangzhou. Many cherished historical relics are preserved well there including the symbolic standing out Flower Pagoda of 57.6 meters, precious Sarira, old temple structures, etc., just for your good knowledge of the long history of this temple. furthermore, enormous amount of Buddhist believers visit here to express their sincere hope of better life and health, so you can see the particular scene of incense and red candles burned nearly nonstop in rich Buddhist atmosphere. Besides, the nearby Guangxiao Temple as the oldest temple in Lingnan area is also recommended to visit its Iron Pagoda of over 1,000 years.

Learn More about Temple of Six Banyan Trees >>

Temple of Six Banyan Trees lower Pagoda at Temple of Six Banyan Trees

Top 10: Wander or Go Shopping at Beijing Road / Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Streets

Opening Hour: all day long, all year round

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: 1-2 hours

Ticket Price: free

Where & How to Go There: Beijing Road: from Guangwei Road to Yanjiang Middle Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区北京路); Guangzhou Metro Line 6 (Beijiing Lu Station) is available; Shangxiaxiu Pedestrian Street: Liwan District, Guangzhou (广州市荔湾区上下九商业步行街); Guangzhou Metro Line 6 (Cultural Park Station) is available.

Wandering along the city’s most prosperous pedestrian street is the best way to feel the prosperity and people’s passion and lifestyle there. Beijing Road of 2,000 years old is in the center of Yuexiu District. As the nationally famous and vibrant pedestrian shopping street, it is really popular among tourists to do nice shopping along with various shops and stores lining on both sides. Apart from that, Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street in central Liwan is also favored for locals with countless budget buying options. No matter you want to take something there, take a leisure walk along the historical streets lined with featured Arcade buildings is so special to seek the past look of Guangzhou in 19th century. And rich kinds of local food are handy to get more joy!

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street Prosperous Beijing Road Pedestrian Street Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street with Old Arcade Buildings

Top 11: Pay a Meaningful Visit to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Opening Hour: 08:00-18:00 every day (no entering after 17:00)

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: 1-3 hours

Ticket Price: ¥10

Where & How to Go There: No.259, Dongfeng Middle Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区东风中路259号 - 中山纪念堂); It needs about 1 hour and 10 minutes (about 45km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 2 (Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall) is available.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Yuexiu Park is constructed by local Guangzhou people and overseas Chinese to commemorate that great Father of the nation of China. A large quantity of materials, real historical relics and cultural records give detailed introduction of Mr. Sun and his devotion to make China rise up. Besides, the inner design of non-pillar of the hall, combination decoration of Chinese and Western styles and the magnificent appearance of octagon in blue and red, statue of Mr. Sun, etc. are must to admire for most visitors there!

Learn More about Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (Guangzhou) >>

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Inner Auditorium with No Pillar

Top 12: Have a Nice Look at Qingping Chinese Medicine Market

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: about 1 hour

Ticket Price: free

Where & How to Go There: No.226, Liuersan Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou (广州市荔湾区六二三路336号 - 清平中药材市场); It needs about 1 hour from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 6 (Huangsha Station) is available.

Favored by lots of foreign tourists there, Qingping Market in Liwan is a nice place to have a walk and see the authentic life of Guangzhou people who put much emphasis on keeping in good health. Unnumbered sorts of traditional Chinese herbs, dried seafood, preserved food materials including tens of kinds of mushrooms, and so on are offered in the open-fronted shops along the worn out roads. Aroma of the Chinese medicine products, the busy sellers and hardworking removers offers the best pleasant moment to feel the simple but passionate hope of life of people in Guangzhou.

Qingping Market Qingping Chinese Medicine Market Qingping Market Locals Buying Precious Ingredients

Top 13: Take Great Photos at Sacred Heart Cathedral

Opening Hour: 8:30-11:30, 14:30-17:30 from Tuesday to Sunday

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: 1-2 hours

Ticket Price: free

Where & How to Go There: No.56, Yide Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区一德路56号 - 广州石室圣心大教堂); It needs about 1 hour (35km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 6 (Yide Lu Station) is available.

As one of the must visit attractions in Guangzhou for visitors home and aboard, Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral is also a top nice recommendation for you! Built for 25 years since 1863 AD by Chinese with the design of French architects, this cathedral is the most magnificent and characteristic Christianity church in Guangzhou and also one of the only 4 Gothic churches of full stone structure in the whole world (the other three are Notre Dame de Paris, Westminster Abbey in London and Cologne Cathedral in Germany). Besides admiring the beautiful typical Western facade, you will surprisingly find some traditional Chinese elements like Chinese lions at the water outlets, sticky rice and China wood oil instead of concrete at the whole church, and Cantonese styled wood carvings.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Guangzhou Shishi Sacred Heart Cathedral Sacred Heart Cathedral Inner Decoration of Sacred Heart Cathedral

Top 14: Attend Canton Fair at Proper Time

Opening Time: 9:30 to 18:00; April 15th-19th, April 23rd-27th, May 1st-5th, October 15th-19th, October 23rd-27th and October 31st-November 4th every year

Where & How to Go There: No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou (广州市海珠区阅江中路380号 - 广交会展馆); It needs about 1 hour (48km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro Line 8 (Pazhou Station) is available

Held twice every year in spring and autumn, Canton Fair is a superb world class trading fair to see enormous number and kinds of products, and that is why there are always a large amount of people participate in this grand fair every year. Arranged into 3 phases during 20 days, Canton Fair gives outstanding exhibition of tens of thousands of things from wearing, eating, living, traveling, to entertainment, etc. to please your curiosity and vision. Traveling in Guangzhou, you are surely not to miss this wonderful event.

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Canton Fair World Visitors on Canton Fair

Top 15: Savor More Culture at Guangdong Museums

Opening Hour: 9:00-17:00; Tuesday to Sunday

Best Time to Experience: all year round

How Long to Spend: 2-4 hours

Ticket Price: free (valid documentation is needed for entry)

Where & How to Go There: Guangdong Museum: No.2 Zhujiang East Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou (广州市天河区珠江东路2号 - 广州省博物馆); It needs about 1 hour (42km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car; Guangzhou Metro APM Line (Guangzhou Opera House Station) is available. Guangzhou Museum of Art: No.38, Yanyu Road, Ersha Island, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou (广州市越秀区二沙岛烟雨路38号 - 广东美术馆); It needs about 1 hour (40km) from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by car.

Guangzhou houses multiple museums of different types to let you get more culture and joy of this region in slower pace. Guangdong Museum in Zhujiang New Town is a national first class museum and collects more than 166 thousand pieces of exhibitions of historical development, traditional and modern culture, valuable folk arts and skills, and natural resources and creatures in Guangdong Province. Guangdong Museum of Art on Ersha Island offers proud collections of paintings, sculptures and ceramic crafts of coastal art in modern time of China and modern Guangdong area.

Guangdong Museum Chaozhou Wood Carving in Guangdong Museum Guangdong Museum Dinonaur Fossil in Guangdong Museum

Apart from the top 15 things to do in Guangzhou mentioned above, this vigorous cultural city also has many other popular places to ignite your trip there. for example, you can seek the old Xiguan Mansion and Arcade structure, learn the historical stories of the nationally influential Whampoa Military Academy, catch the fresh air as well as urban panorama at Baiyun Mountain, enjoy the classic Cantonese Opera at Guangzhou Opera House, enjoy a relaxing sip along the famous bar streets, etc. Do not worry about what to do, if you have done all those we recommended, you can meet more surprises just walking on the streets in old Guangzhou or lay back by the sea.

How to Plan Your Guangzhou Tour

For most regular travelers to Guangzhou, they spend 2-4 days to enjoy the best highlights of the culture, history, food, architectures and development of this City of Flowers, including Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, Yuexiu Park, Canton Tower, Temple of Six Banyan Trees, Museum of The Mausoleum of The Nanyue King, dim sums, etc. You can also spend 1 more day to have fun at Chimelong Safari Park with you family. If you want to discover Guangzhou deeper, you can spend more days there to experience the top things to do we recommended above. Besides, for many visitors, they also combine a trip to Guangzhou together with Hong Kong, Guilin, Macau, Guizhou, and other nearby cities like Shenzhen, Foshan, etc. to enjoy more delicious food and explore the southern China deeper!

Learn More about How to Plan a Guangzhou Tour >>

If you are considering a personal trip to Guangzhou and other destinations in China but do not want to do the detailed planning of every transportation, hotel and connection of each attraction, you can feel free to contact our travel expert for professional advices and recommendations, and we will help you sincerely with your Guangzhou tour planning according to your interests, needs and budget!

Travel Guangzhou with China Discovery

Traveling with China Discovery, we can help you arrange everything in Guangzhou according to your likes and budget very well, so you can worry free about anything. To enjoy a relaxing and joyous trip experience, you can also choose our private transfer service for traveling in and around Guangzhou. Our professional local guide and driver will escort you from your hotel, train station, airport to all attractions with comfortable private car with speed and convenience and let you catch the highlights of every site and this city, so you can get really relaxed on the way and focus on what you are interested. Please contact us directly to tell your needs if you are interested!

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