Guangzhou (pronounced /gwung-jo/) is the capital city of Guangdong Province in southeast China. A major South China Seaport, it is China’s southern gateway to the world as well as a hub city of the Belt and Road Initiative.
This metropolis thriving from its tremendously changed history dating back to over 2,000 years ago offers too much to sock in its rich traditional flavor and brand new modern charm, as the third-largest city in China is the new rising star in the world.
Besides being a key city for world trade, more and more tourists are going to Guangzhou to enjoy new attractions, old museums/temples, and its mild climate. Its huge Chimelong Amusement/Wildlife Park is now Mainland China’s number 1 theme park.
Spend 3 minutes to imagine meeting the unique Lingnan culture, legendary history, world-famous Cantonese food, particular Cantonese language, etc. while being astonished by its awesome up-to-date skylines and booming development energy.
And now, it’s your turn to visit this appealing old and new, prosperous and traditional, hot and cool city in person!
Guangzhou, the south gate of China, has a satisfying transport system radiating to the whole country and even the world.
It has direct flights with Los Angeles in the US, Vancouver in Canada, London in the UK, Paris in France, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Sydney, Melbourne in Australia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Bangkok in Thailand, and many other Asian destinations.
If you are already within China, a wide range of vehicles can facilitate your trip to and from the city, including planes, trains, long-distance buses, and ships. Urban transportation is generally good due to the orderly planning of roads and the developed city buses, taxis, and subways.
Get to Guangzhou By Air
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is one of the largest international airports in China, about 34 km driving distance from central Guangzhou. There are two connected terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, serving international and domestic airlines.
How to Travel between T1 and T2?
1) Free Shuttle Bus
Pick-up sites: T1: Gate 10; T2: Gate 42
06:00 – 08:00 & 15:00 – 18:00: every 5 minutes;
08:00 – 15:00 & 18:00 – 23:00: every 10 minutes;
23:00 – 06:00 the next day: every 15 minutes.
Guangzhou metro line 3 extends to the north and reaches the Baiyun International Airport. Passengers can travel between Airport South Station at Terminal 1 and Airport North Station at Terminal 2. Commuting is also feasible.
This metro line is regularly operated from 6:00 to 23:45 and departs every 5 minutes, taking around 2 minutes between the two terminals.
International flights include Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Amsterdam, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Bangkok, Hanoi, Istanbul, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket Island, Moscow, New Delhi, Mumbai, Paris, Nairobi, Perth, Seoul, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, and Vancouver.
Besides, with over 210 domestic routes, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport connects most airports in China, including cities like Hongkong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Sanya, Wuhan, etc. Visitors can transfer to most big cities in China through Guangzhou airport.
Address: No.888, East Airport Avenue, Huadu District, Guangzhou (广州市花都区机场大道东888号)
When is the Best Time to Visit Guangzhou?
When overseas tourists think about the best time to travel to Guangzhou, China’s public holidays should be excluded. One should better avoid visiting Guangzhou during the Chinese New Year holiday in late January or early to middle February, or the Chinese National Day Holiday from Oct. 1st to 7th.
Otherwise, tourists may feel upset by the expensive accommodation charge and the crowded scenic spots. Other holidays worth noticing include the Qingming Festival, May Day, Dragon Boat Festival, etc.
In addition, the typhoons may land in Guangzhou from July to August, and tourists may pay heed to the weather forest and avoid going out on typhoon days. In this guide, I will talk about travel to Guangzhou in 4 seasons and how to pack up your suitcase.
Spring: February to March
The spring in Guangzhou is very humid, accompanied by lots of rainy and foggy days.
Average temperature: 13-20℃ (55-68℉)
Clothes: Thin jacket, long-sleeve shirt, blouse, jeans
South China Botanical Garden
Although the weather is not very pleasant, February to March is Guangzhou’s best time to visit blooming flowers. At the South China Botanical Garden, one may see the beautiful azaleas, eastern redbuds, and other rare subtropical plants.
Yellow rapeseed flowers and pink plum blossoms are also waiting for you at Baiyun Mountain. If you come here in early February, you may also join the temple fair and lantern show to see how Chinese people ring in the New Year. Another strongly recommended attraction in spring is Yuexiu Park.
Here, one can not only enjoy the common bombax flowers and breathe fresh air, but also visit the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and enrich knowledge at the Guangzhou Museum.
Summer: April to September
The summer of Guangzhou features high temperatures and frequent typhoons.
Average temperature: 26-33℃ (79-91℉)
Clothes: T-shirt, singlet, dress, short pants, sandals, sunglasses
As the Canton Fair runs from Apr. 15th to May 5th every year, this period is reckoned as the best time to visit Guangzhou by overseas businessmen to seek import and export opportunities. As for other tourists, a summer resort they cannot miss is Lotus Hill.
A shady path, lush vegetation, and beautiful lotus let people free from the hot wave. Besides, one may have chances to taste foods made of lotus root and seed. Nevertheless, water recreation is the most useful way to beat the summer heat.
Then, why not come to the Chimelong Waterpark to experience an exciting waving pool and water slide? In the evening, it is recommended to have a Pearl River Cruise. The prosperous cityscape, together with the blowing wind, will round off your day.
Autumn: October to November
Guangzhou’s weather in autumn is warm and pleasant.
Average temperature: 18-27℃ (64-80℉)
Clothes: T-shirt, polo shirt, dress, thin jacket, jeans
Temple of the Chen Family
October and November are the best months to visit Guangzhou because of the comfortable climate. Moreover, many historical attractions look much better on sunny days.
At the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, tourists can see the well-preserved buildings of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) as well as many delicate wood and stone carvings. For those who practice Catholicism, the Sacred Heart Cathedral is a must, and its Gothic style and stone structure are very impressive.
Also, as a city that develops on account of the commodity trade, Guangzhou has many worth visiting wholesale markets. When strolling along the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street or the Beijing Road, you may buy good quality clothes, shoes, leather products, or toys at a very favorable price.
Winter: December to January
The Winter days of Guangzhou are cool and a little bit humid.
Average temperature: 10-20℃ (50-68℉)
Clothes: jacket, hoodie, windbreaker, cardigan, sweatpants
Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
Early December is also the best time to go to Guangzhou and sample its ancient and modern history. The palace relics of over 2,000 years ago are displayed at the Museum of the Western Han Dynasty Mausoleum of the Nanyue King.
More interested in Guangzhou’s modern history as a British and French concession? Then pay a visit to Shamian Island, where the church, bank, and cafeteria of European style are very attractive. Besides, how could one miss Guangzhou’s symbolic landmark, Canton Tower? tourists may enjoy indoor activities such as Ferris wheel, or take souvenir photos on the outside.
Generally, in January, the Chinese New Year Flower Fair already takes place in each district of Guangzhou, tourists may go there to appreciate various flowers and seas.
Shopping Malls in Guangzhou
1) Taikoo Hui Shopping Mall
Located in Tianhe CBD, Taikoo Hui Shopping Mall is home to over 180 brands, including internationally well-known brands, lifestyle boutiques, and exquisite cuisines. The mall is one of the most luxurious shopping places for high-end items.
Address: No.383, Tianhe Rd., Tianhe District, Guangzhou
2) Tee Mall
Tee Mall is known as one of the earliest modern shopping malls in China since 1996. This is a mid-range mall with recognizable brands, supermarkets, cinemas, and popular restaurants. It’s a huge mall where you can spend a whole day entertaining yourself.
Address: No.208, Tianhe Rd., Tianhe District, Guangzhou
3) Grandview Mall
Located in the thriving heart of the Tianhe CBD of Guangzhou, Grandview Mall is a large-scale complex of a shopping mall, hotel, theatre, and aquarium. It’s a good place for the whole family’s entertainment.
Address: No.228, Tianhe Rd., Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Cantonese Cuisine (delicious food)
Guangzhou is considered the paradise for gourmands in south China. Its dish represents well Cantonese Cuisine, which is one of the most famous eight Chinese cuisines. A large number of time-honored restaurants and quality new restaurants serve various authentic local dishes, snacks, and drinks.
The most popular restaurants gather around the old city area, including the Dongshan District, Yuexiu District, and Liwan District. Panfu Road, West Jiangnan Road, and East Huifu Road are recommended food streets for tourists to feel the local eating customs such as Yam Cha (Drinking Tea), having various kinds of soup, or delicious Sampan Porridge.
Guangzhou, the city, lays claim to a variety of delicacies and the most famous are Cantonese cuisines. Residents customary consume traditional Guangzhou dim sum while taking early tea. Street food is quite popular. Following is a brief Guangzhou food guide to tell you what to eat in Guangzhou:
1) Top Cantonese Cuisines
Guangzhou delicacies are the main Cantonese Cuisine (Yue Cai), which also includes Chaozhou and Dongjiang dishes popular nationwide.
Relative to the country’s other cuisines, they employ less spicy dressings in order to bring out the true food flavor, only employing ingredients originating from the sky, the earth, and the water with only a sprinkle of seasonings.
2) White Cut Chicken (Bai Qie Ji)
White Cut (plain sliced) Chicken is a well-known Guangzhou food. Visitors can enjoy the original taste of chicken from the carefully timed boiling. Visitors can expect the best priced Bai Qie Ji at these restaurants: Gaozhou Taiziji Restaurant, Huiai Restaurant, Youlian Restaurant, etc.
3) Sweet and Sour Pork (Gu Lu Rou)
Sweet and Sour Pork is Guangzhou’s specialty of Qing Dynasty (1644- 1911) vintage. Pork is first boned, starch with seasonings, then knead into a ball ready for frying to a crisp. The finishing touch is to wrap it with sweet and sour condiments.
4) Wonton Noodle (Yuntun Mian)
Wonton Noodle is popular Guangzhou food. The main ingredients consist of cooked wonton, bamboo shoots, fish broth, dried shrimp, scallops, and chicken. Go to Shang Xia Jiu Pedestrian Street, Xihua Road, and Renmin Road, you come across many Wonton Noodles eateries. It is good for breakfast.
Also, Guangzhou, near the sea, is rich in seafood, offering many delicious dishes. Reputable seafood dishes cover Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Salmon Sashimi, Steamed Scallops with Minced Garlic, Curry Crabs, Cheese Lobster, etc.
Customers either go directly to the restaurant empty-handed or bring fresh seafood with them from the market. Huangsha Seafood Trading Market is the largest aquaculture integrated market, source of seafood products for the connoisseur.
6) Yum Cha (Dim Sum)
In Guangzhou, you must try Yum Cha, which is a Cantonese Tea Brunch Tradition.
Yum cha, literally drinking tea, is very popular in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and other Cantonese-speaking areas. It used to last from 5:00 or 6:00 to 11:00. But nowadays, many teahouses serve it all day long and one can go for yum cha any time.
Cantonese people often order a pot of tea and several dim sum dishes while sharing the time with families or friends. It has been part of their daily life and a way of leisure.
Top 6 Attractions in Guangzhou
Guangzhou, the City of Flowers, with its perfect weather and precipitation, is home to abundant plants and flowers all year round. It is one of the most developed cities in the country also famous for its profound culture, refreshing Cantonese Cuisine, and rich products for shopping.
Then when you go there for the first time, where are the best places to visit in Guangzhou? In this article, we will introduce the top 6 attractions in Guangzhou.
1) Canton Tower
Located on the south bank of the Pearl River, Canton Tower is the best landmark of Guangzhou with an incredible height of 600 meters, making it the third tallest tower for TV in the world.
As a new landmark of the city with a unique shape of a slim waist, Canton Tower is a hot place to go in Guangzhou. Standing on the observation decks with the ceilings being decorated like clouds and starry sky, you may have a bird’s eye view of the downtown with the Pearl River flowing through.
Taking pictures of Pearl River, seeing the stunning sunset on high, and enjoying the night lights of the city are the top activities to do at Canton Tower.
2) Shamian Island
Shamian Island is the most exotic Guangzhou place to see, famous for the more than 150 historical buildings in Gothic, Baroque, Neoclassical and more styles. It was a vital trading district in ancient China, but become a foreign concession in the 1840s, thus these old European buildings were built one after another.
Catholic Church Our Lady of Lourdes, former HSBC Bank, and Customs House are among the best of them. After strolling around, you may have a break or afternoon tea at a café, to enjoy some leisure time.
3) Baiyun Mountain
Guangzhou Baiyun Mountain is an ideal place to relax and enjoy nature.
In Baiyun mountain, there are so many sightseeing places, such as the Sculpture Park, and the Yuntai Garden, which is full of blooms and trees and has won Guangzhou the nickname “City of Flowers”.
Here you will also meet the biggest natural bird cages in China, Bird Spring Valley Park.
The cable car takes you directly to the top and saves you much comfort. Well, you can also hike. If you’re looking for a real adventure, the Extreme Sports area is for your choice.
4) Guangdong Museum
To know about the history, culture, and arts of Guangdong province, Guangdong Museum is the best place to visit in Guangzhou China. The newly built venue of Guangdong Museum interestingly resembles a giant ancient-style box with carved patterns.
Inside, you will see more than 172,700 collections, including ceramics, bronzes, paintings and calligraphy, gilded wood carvings, Duan ink-stones, precious stones, paleontological fossils, herb specimens, etc.
These collections would show you Guangzhou as well as the regional history in all aspects.
5) Yuexiu Park
A well-known symbol of Guangzhou is Five-Ram Sculpture and it stands right in Yuexiu Park. It is the largest park and one of the most beautiful places in Guangzhou. You will be surprised to find a hill downtown, with lush plants and three artificial lakes.
Apart from Guangzhou’s landmark Five-Ram Sculpture, you would also see a remaining section of the ancient city wall and the red Zhenhai Tower. You may tour the park either by foot or boat.
6) Chimelong Safari Park
Ranking #1 on Tripadvisor’s list of things to do in Guangzhou, Chimelong safari park is definitely a wonderful park to go to.
Get close to a wide variety of different animals, and watch nature at its finest. Animal shows are abundant throughout the day. Take the tram around to see the animals, or rent a car and make your own personal safari tour!
With plenty of space for a large variety of animals, this park is a must-see for those traveling with kids.
1) Guangzhou Location Map
Guangzhou is located in the central south of Guangdong, on the north edge of the Pearl River Delta. As China’s south gateway, it adjoins Hong Kong and Macau.
2) Guangzhou Attraction Map
On the city map, you can see Zhujiang (Pearl River) flows through the city and it divides the city into several districts. The major tourist attractions are shown in red on this map, such as Temple of Six Banyan Tree, Sun Yatsen Memorial Hall, and To Former Site of Whampoa Military Academy.
3) Guangzhou Metro Map
Other Tips for Your Guangzhou Trip
1) SIM Card can be easily purchased.
It’s easy and convenient to purchase a SIM card at the airport or downtown area from the mobile operator service sites. Different SIM card packages are available to choose from.
If it’s just a short stay, you can rely on free WIFI instead of buying a SIM card. Free WIFI covers lots of places, like the airport, railway stations, hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants.
2) Offers Money Exchange Service
Guangdong Branch of the Bank of China is located in the Guangdong International Financial Building, No.197, Dongfeng Xi Road. You can have your money exchanged here, or at a sub-branch.
Sub-branches of Bank of China
Yanjiang Sub-branch: No.91, Changdi Road
Haizhu Sub-branch: No.162, Xingang West Road
Liuhua Road Sub-branch: No. 195, Zhanqian Road, close to Guangzhou Railway Station
3) Medical Service
Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital
Address: No.106, Zhongshan 2nd Road, Yuexiu District
Guangzhou First People’s Hospital
Address: No.1, Panfu Road, Yuexiu District
The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University
Address: No.58, Zhongshan 2nd Road, Yuexiu District
Address: No. 1838, North Guangzhou Avenue, Baiyun District
The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University
Address: No.151, Yanjiang Road
4) Useful Numbers
Medical Urgency: 120
Police Urgency: 110
Fire Urgency: 119
Traffic Accident: 122
Red Cross Urgency: 999
Tourism Complaint: 12345 or 12301
If you come to Guangzhou, Yansourcing also can be your guide and welcome.