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How to plan a trip to Guangzhou?

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Q: Why Visit Guangzhou? 

Guangzhou (广州) , located in the southeast of Guangdong Province, China, is one of those port cities that China had opened to the world long time ago. Nowadays, Guangzhou is a very large and quite international friendly city. Apart from its rapidly growing economy each year, Guangzhou is also a beautiful city with lovely sub-tropical climate and various interesting travel sites offering to world. Every year, Guangzhou receipts hundreds of thousands of tourists and business visitors for its beauty and the famous China Export Commodities Fair, also named Canton Fair.

Q: What to Expect in Guangzhou?

  • Guangzhou TV Tower, also known as Canton Tower, is a must see site in Guangzhou. With a total height of 618 meters, Canton Tower offers visitors a great bird view of the city at its observation floors on 107 and 108 F.

  • Pearl River possesses a unique beauty of her own, a Pearl River cruise in Guangzhou is what you truly come here for. 2,129 meters in length made it ranks the third largest river in China.

  • Shamian Island was a combination of concessions of France and United Kingdom during Qing Dynasty government in the 19th century. After the Independent of People's republic of China, the island is now become a historical area with England and French style architectures attracting tourist who are interesting in that colonial European period and also with quiet pedestrian avenues equipped with western catered café and restaurant.

  • Chimelong Tourist Resort, must-go destination for those family tour visitors with children, icon of Guangzhou City and popular holiday destination.

pearl river cruise

Q: What to Prepare for Guangzhou Trip?

Visa policy in Guangzhou.

Though all visitors have to obtain a visa to visit China, Guangzhou is among those 144-hour-visa-free cities in China. The vis-free policy offers simplified entry and exit procedures for visitors. Visitors can stay for not longer than 144 hours (6 days) without visa as long as you have a valid fly ticket heading to a third country.

Learn more about China’s 144-hour Visa-free Transit ,China 72 Hour Visa Free PolicyChina visa application knowledge  and China Entry and Exit Tips.

Do I need to buy some Chinese currency before arrive Guangzhou?

Guangzhou is a quite convenient city for foreign visitors compared to other inland Chinese cities. We don’t think it is necessary to change currency before you arrive here, because you can get money changed at Guangzhou Baiyun airport which is very international standard airport. But if you are worried about the transaction fees and feeling unprepared without some Chinese cash with you, try to change some 5000 yuan in your country will be enough to keep you survive for 2 to 3 days in Guangzhou before you find a reasonable rate.

GUANGZHOU shamian island

How difficult will it be to travel Guangzhou independently?

The city is very foreign friendly for sure. The efficient metro system here will get you to most of the travel site you want and the station names are with English beneath them on the train. The local taxi drivers here in Guangzhou can mange some basic English conversations knowing travel sites, foreigner popular hotels and restaurants & bars. You can download the Guangzhou metro app on your smart phone which also has an English version. You just need to set the app’s language to English version. You can type in the nearest metro station and the station you need to go, the app will map out the most reasonable route for you and suggest you to take which line, you can even purchase metro ticket via the app if your app is bonded with alipay! All you need is an updated Guangzhou map and an efficient smart phone!

However, you should be aware of that Guangzhou is definitely not a low budget city in China. If you are travelling in a short time schedule and prefer to take taxi rides than join the metro queues, be prepared that Guangzhou taxi drivers sometimes won't run metre during rush hours and will over charge foreigner a bit.

How much will it cost roughly for a trip to Guangzhou?

The living cost in Guangzhou is simiar costly to that of Beijing or Shanghai if not higher and so as to the travel cost in here. 

  • Metro cost: the cost for metro depends on how many stations you go through, generally it starts from 2 yuan, for example, if you take line 2 from Guangzhou south railway station to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall where is kind of downtown area, it will only take you 5 yuan; 
  • Taxi ride: starts from 12th May,2018, the flag-fall price of Guangzhou taxis was raised to 12 yuan; a taxi ride from Tee mall to the Church will take around 30 yuan and from the church to bar street will take another 30. This is the average metre-ran charges not counting the drivers offering overcharged prices during rush hours;
  • Accommodation: hostels and basic room range from 100-200 yuan; economic chain hotels range from 250-500 depend their locations and facilities; top end hotels in business center can up to 700-1500 per night;
  • Meals  & Drinks: meals on those tourist pedestrians catered to westerners can easily reach 100 per person per meal; coffee is about 35 yuan per cup; drinks in night clubs or on bar street are around 68 yuan for a glass of Tequila Sunrise. For budgeted travellers you can survive on basic food about 100 yuan a day;
  • Travel sites entrance fees : shamian park and the church are free visit places/ Chen family temple only takes 10 yuan/ Chimelong Safari Park starts from 245 yuan p.p/Chimelong Water Park starts  from 80 yuan p.p/ Chimelong international circus starts from 480 yuan p.p/ Chimelong Tourist Resort starts from 199 yuan p.p.

Q: How to get to Guangzhou?

guangzhou sun yat sen's memorial hall
Guangzhou is an important stopover city for many international flights and is also a large city as a busy destination for many flights from many nations. There are plenty flights between USA or UK to Guangzhou. A flights ticket from New York to Guangzhou will be around 450-700 $ depending the timing and many of them will have a stopover in Moscow, Beijing or Shanghai though. It takes about 30 hours. But, good news is that there is one direct flight offered by one of the Chinese major airlines: China Southern Airlines. It will take only 16 hours from NYK to Guangzhou. Flight from England to Guangzhou is about the same situation of that in USA. A flight ticket from London Heathrow to Guangzhou Baiyun airport will take about 500-700 $ but only take 12 hours if you book a direct flight with China Southern Airlines. Because most flights are non-direct flights stopover at Cairo , Paris , Bangkok , Beijing or shanghai.

  • When you are booking a discounted flight ticket, please make sure to check that you have enough luggage allowance attached to your ticket. Sometimes, cheap tickets don’t come with any allowance at all. And if that is your case, you can always purchase some luggage allowance on their official website in advance, avoiding being charged three times more at check-in counter at airport.
  • How to Get to Guangzhou from Macau
  • Learn more about how to get to Guangzhou at Guangzhou Transportation

Q: When to go to Guangzhou?

The best time to visit Guangzhou is Spring and Autumn. During those seasons, it is less likely bothered by typhoon weathers and nor too warm or cold. However, there are some periods better to be avoided:

  • Canton Fair time: holds twice a year, from Mid-April to Early May and Mid-October to Early November. During which, accommodation fees will soar up and Guangzhou will be busy receiving business travellers.
  • Spring Festival (Guangzhou will become a city with blossomed flowers if you don’t mind the spring festival crowds)
  • National holiday and May holiday.
  • Check with Chimelong ocean park first if that is your main purpose of visiting, as there are certain months the water entertainment activities are closed down every year.
  • Learn more detail about the Best time to visit Guangzhou please click here.

Q: How Long to Stay in Guangzhou?

Generally speaking, 3 days is good enough to most of Guangzhou.

  • Day 1 shamian island+Temple of Chen Family in the morning, the church and the Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall in the afternoon; Beijing pedestrian with pearl river cruise at night;
  • Day 2 Guangzhou Tower + Temple of the Six Banyan Trees;
  • Day 3 Chimelong resorts for one day or two depending on your time schedule.
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Q: Where to Stay in Guangzhou? 

Where to stay in guangzhou
You can check Guangzhou downtown layout and its tour sites locations in these Tourist map produced by Top China Travel both above and below. Normally, the areas we recommend travellers to stay in Guangzhou are:

  • Tianhe commercial Area is located in downtown Guangzhou. This is a newly developed area crowded with many skyscrapers, high-end shopping malls and western restaurants. This area is the highest concentration of shopping malls in China.
  • Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street area, convenient for shopping, eating, sightseeing and relaxing. Close to Hualin Temple, Temple of Chen Family, Liwan Museum and Shaming Island;
  • Beijing Road area has been the downtown of Guangzhou for a long time. Convenient hotel options and food choices plus walking distance to Pearl River. Near to Six Banyan Tree Temple and Nanyue Palace Museum.
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport area, most convenient for transit visitors stopover within 24 hours with efficient metro lines taking to town have a half day visit and back to rest;
  • Canton Fair is held in Guangzhou Pazhou International Exhibition Center (the main Hall of the Canton Fair). Best choices for canton fair attenders.
  • Learn more about where to stay in Guangzhou please click here.

Q: Getting around in Guangzhou 

At present, Guangzhou has 12 metro lines and one APM. It is quite convenient to travel by metro and it is very cheap! Apart from the crowded carriges at certain lines at rush hours, traveling via metro in Guangzhou can be very efficient compared to traffic on road. Tourist can visit Guangzhou metro official web site for updated info for its metro system and service.

  • line 1: reaching Chen Family Temple and connecting to Guangzhou east railway station;
  • Line 2: connects Guangzhou Railway Station,Guangzhou South Railway Station (major national bullet train hub) and Guangzhou Station (bullet train for Shenzhen),Haizhu square, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall and yuexiu park; you can also change onto line 6 at haizhu square to reach Beijing Road;
  • Line 3: passing Baiyun International Airport South Station and connecting with Line 1 at the Guangzhou East Station and the APM at the Canton Tower;
  • Line 5: reaching Guangzhou Zoo and connecting Guangzhou railway station.

How to Get to Guangzhou city centre from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport?

  • By Airport Shuttle Bus: The Airport Shuttle Buses here in Guangzhou have 5 different routes heading to different districts to Guangzhou downtown, before you purchase ticket, please ask airport staff assistance for the right one;
  • By metro: metro line 3 will take you from airport south gate to down (Guangzhou Tower station area)in about 35 minutes and the journey cost 8 yuan per person per ticket;
  • By Taxi: A taxi ride from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport to downtown will take around 50 minutes and the cost is around 80 RMB (if not counting tips);
  • By transfer service: You can also contact us at sales@topchinatravel.com to book an Airport Transfer Service to your hotel or vice versa;
  • Learn more about How to get to city centre from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport by click here.


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