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Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a dynamic, bustling metropolis and the third largest city in China. It’s also renowned as a popular tourist hotspot with numerous attractions and fantastic shopping and nightlife. As one of the first Chinese cities to be ‘opened up’ to visitors, there’s plenty of cultures, from the ancient era as well as from modern times, making Guangzhou a must-visit destination.

Tours and activities in Guangzhou

Guangzhou offers so much to see and do, planning your time and organizing your transport can be one headache you don’t need. Maximize your time here with a local city guide; an expert on Guangzhou who can bring you the best of the city without all the stress.

From taking you to the best antique shops to booking the perfect table for dinner, Guangzhou guides will be there to help. They can show you around the parks, arrange an evening Pearl River cruise, or help you get tickets for any of the city’s festivals and events. Find out more below or get in touch for advice.

Best time to visit

Guangzhou has a sub-tropical climate with a warm temperature all year round. The rainy season is between April and August, so your best time to visit would be from October to December. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and while there will still be rainfall, you’ll get to experience the joys of wandering around the “City of Flowers” in full bloom.

Top Attractions in Guangzhou

Guangzhou is among the most significant urban agglomerations in China which offers a wide variety of modern-day activities to its visitors. The city is populous and has a metropolitan structure, but still, it has amazing lakes, parks, museums, and several other exciting spots.  

The Pearl River
1. The Pearl River
Landmarks and icons

The Pearl River flows through the city, and it’s worth taking a boat tour at night; the city is breath-taking in the evening.

 

Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family
2. Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family
Landmarks and icons

If you’re looking for historic destinations, the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family should be top of your list of landmarks to visit. Crafted in exquisite detail in wood, stone, and brick, with metalwork that includes copper and iron, the temple is magnificent. Inside, you’ll find the Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts, displaying carvings of nature in wood, pottery, brick, and stone.

 

The Guangdong Museum
3. The Guangdong Museum
Museums, galleries and exhibitions

The Guangdong Museum contains over 166,000 items of calligraphy, paintings, woodcarvings and ceramics with five permanent exhibitions covers aspects of Guangdong culture and history. It is considered one of the premier museums in China and you’ll easily lose hours wandering around its many displays.

 

Guangzhou Museum
4. Guangzhou Museum
Museums, galleries and exhibitions

Another important museum is the Guangzhou Museum in Yeuxiu Park. Containing items of historical importance for the city itself, it has two major exhibition areas. The Zhenhai Tower contains many historical relics, while the Art Gallery displays local craftworks.

 

 Lotus Hill (Lianhuashan)
5. Lotus Hill (Lianhuashan)
Nature, parks and outdoors

If nature is your thing, you’ll want to visit the Lotus Hill (Lianhuashan). Home to an ancient quarry site that has been preserved, this has resulted in spectacular sandstone cliffs, stelae and peaks. The “hill” is actually a series of peaks, including Swallow Rock, the Eagle Cliff, and the Lion Stone, all of which offer vistas that will take your breath away.

Lingnan Impression Park
6. Lingnan Impression Park
Nature, parks and outdoors

Lingnan Impression Park offers the opportunity to step back in time and into the Lingnan culture, with houses, temples, and actors working hard to replicate the authentic experience. Spanning 40 acres, the park is based on the original Lianxi Village, and offers an immersive cultural experience for all the family.

Guangzhou Zoo
7. Guangzhou Zoo
Things to do with kids

If you’re looking for something to keep the kids occupied, Guangzhou Zoo is a massive urban zoo that is home to a variety of rare animals, including giant pandas, South China tigers, and golden monkeys. It also contains Guangzhou Ocean World, a fantastic aquarium that hosts regular shows including mermaids, seals, and sharks.

 

Yuexiu Park
8. Yuexiu Park
Things to do with kids

If some fresh air and energy release is required, Guangzhou has more than its fair share of beautiful parks and open spaces. Yuexiu Park is one of the best –featuring glassy lakes, amazing topiary sculptures and lush greenery stretching for several acres. The Million Sunflower Garden deserves to be mention here too, stretching over 260,000 square meters and home to more than a million sunflowers.

 

Chimelong Paradise
9. Chimelong Paradise
Things to do with kids

There are also theme parks and water parks nearby, including Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Water Park, Guangzhou CrocoPark and Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park. Whatever your family enjoys, there will be no excuses for boredom in this city!

Flower street at Baohua Road
10. Flower street at Baohua Road
Leisure and shopping

It’s hard to imagine a city that offers such a variety of shopping choices as Guangzhou. From mega massive modern malls to cluttered antique shops in back alleys, whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find here eventually.

As with many Asian cities, shopping is arranged in districts, so it’s a good idea to understand what you’re looking for before you set out. Take your pick from flower street at Baohua Road, toy street at Yide Road, antique street near Liwan Park or cultural street at Wende Road.

 

Antiques street near Liwan Park
11. Antiques street near Liwan Park
Leisure and shopping

It’s hard to imagine a city that offers such a variety of shopping choices as Guangzhou. From mega massive modern malls to cluttered antique shops in back alleys, whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find here… eventually.

As with many Asian cities, shopping is arranged in districts, so it’s a good idea to understand what you’re looking for before you set out. Take your pick from flower street at Baohua Road, toy street at Yide Road, antiques street near Liwan Park or cultural street at Wende Road.

 

Cultural street at Wende Road
12. Cultural street at Wende Road
Leisure and shopping

It’s hard to imagine a city that offers such a variety of shopping choices as Guangzhou. From mega massive modern malls to cluttered antique shops in back alleys, whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find here… eventually.

As with many Asian cities, shopping is arranged in districts, so it’s a good idea to understand what you’re looking for before you set out. Take your pick from flower street at Baohua Road, toy street at Yide Road, antique street near Liwan Park or cultural street at Wende Road.

 

Beijing Lu and Shangxiajjiu
13. Beijing Lu and Shangxiajjiu
Leisure and shopping

For modern-day shopping enthusiasts, the walking streets at Beijing Lu and Shangxiajjiu have late opening stores that sell pretty much all you could ask for. You’ll also find large malls such as the China Plaza and Tee Mall which provide a more western style shopping experience.

 

China Plaza
14. China Plaza
Leisure and shopping

You’ll also find large malls such as the China Plaza and Tee Mall which provide a more western style shopping experience. You can get anything and everything in these malls. From clothes to souvenirs, stationery to accessories, decoration pieces to weaved rugs and everything in between these. 

Tee Mall
15. Tee Mall
Leisure and shopping

Tee mall looks like an ordinary mall but in actual its not! It has the essence of Chinese culture in every bit of it. The items being sold here are surprisingly unique and very artistic.

Spring Festival Flower Fair
16. Spring Festival Flower Fair
Regular festivals and celebrations

Guangzhou hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. Also known as the “City of Flowers” due to its abundance of evergreen plants and flowers, it’s perhaps no surprise to know that flower festivals are popular, with the Spring Festival Flower Fair taking place in February and the Lotus Flower Festival, which takes place every June.

 

Christmas
17. Christmas
Regular festivals and celebrations

Christmas is also popular here and is celebrated more as a time to get together with friends and loved ones more than as a religious festival. The many busy shopping areas in the city become even more swamped with crowds, but the lively atmosphere and extensive range of tasty snacks, and sweets make it a joyful experience.

Getting here and getting around

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is one of the three busiest air travel hubs in China and is situated about 28 Km from the center of the city. Plenty of international and domestic flights make Guangzhou accessible from the rest of China and the world beyond, with connections to Europe, Australia, Canada, the US, and many other Asian destinations.

The ground transportation system from the airport is comprehensive, with taxis, express and shuttle buses available. The most convenient transfer is by Metro Line 3, which will shuttle you into the city center in just 50 minutes for ¥12. Taxies take around the same amount of time to get into the city, but cost from ¥120 and can have waiting times of 45 minutes and more.

Three railway stations in the city operate to Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Lhasa, and many other Chinese cities. You can also get long-distance buses from one of 20 stations. Guangzhou is a port city with ships available to over 100 domestic and 300 foreign ports, so if you’re using the city as a stopover, you might want to consider taking a passenger ship to visit other parts of China.

City buses and a subway system with nine lines allow easy transportation across the city and taxis are widely available, with fares starting at ¥10.

Eating and drinking

Thanks to its wide range of influences over the years, you can sample all kinds of cuisines in Guangzhou. However, Cantonese delicacies are among the most widely available and include dishes popular in other parts of the region, as well as local snacks.

Dim sums are popular, with the Panxi Restaurant offering over 1,000 different varieties. Local people enjoy Chang Fen, a steamed vermicelli roll, which is available in almost all local teahouses and night markets. Try Guangzhou Jiujia for a fantastic selection of local specialties.  

Herbal tea drinking is also prevalent – locals use it to reduce summer heat and to cure sore throats in the winter, so you’ll find an abundance of teahouses. Gongu Cha has become popular here, and the making of the tea is an art in itself! Well worth trying. If you’re looking for something sweeter, try Tangshui, or Sweet Water, which is enjoyed as a soft drink.

As it was one of the first Chinese cities to open up to the rest of the world, Guangzhou has a bustling and exciting nightlife, comprised of Karaoke parlors, pubs, and opera houses. There are three streets full of bars – Binjiang Lu, Huanshi Lu and Bai’e Tan, the latter of which is the most exotic.

Getting a good night's sleep

Guangzhou has an almost limitless number of places to stay, whatever your budget. One top-class, 5-star place is the Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun hotel at the airport. If you want to make the airport your case while you explore the city, this luxurious, air-conditioned hotel is ideal. Stylish interiors, a ballroom, gym, and entertainment facilities mean you have everything on your doorstep.

Guangzhou Boyi is a fantastic mid-price option in a great location in the city. Great value for money means you don’t skimp on luxury and with plenty of facilities, you’ll find this an ideal place to stay. Location in Tian He, a popular area with travelers who are interested in gourmet and local food.

If you’re traveling on a budget, there’s no need to miss out on the more beautiful things with the Denise Hotel ShangXiaJiu Branch. En suite bathrooms and the opportunity to book tours from the main desk, this hotel is in a great location if you want to venture out and sample some fantastic street food.