For centuries, Guangzhou has attracted foreign visitors, from traders to tourists. The city is an economic and commercial powerhouse, thanks to trade, finance and tourism. Since becoming one of the world’s greatest trading ports in the 18th century thanks to its location on the Pearl River, Guangzhou has been at the centre of China’s political and economic history. Traders might not be hauling bales of opium off barges as they did in the past, but Guangzhou is still a massive centre for trade.

In the 1970s, China started its economic reforms of moving from an economically communist state to a capitalist free-for-all in Guangzhou, and the city became an economic role model for the rest of the country.

Modern-day Guangzhou is modern and spacious, with gleaming skyscrapers that reflect its status as China’s third-largest city. One of the most obvious signs of Guangzhou's brash attitude is the Canton Tower, the tallest TV tower in the world. Visitors who want to get the lay of the land should make a bee-line for the tower as soon as they arrive. Depending on the smog levels and weather, you should be able to enjoy wonderful views of the city, and thrill-seekers will love the world's highest Ferris wheel perched on top.

Despite all the modernity, the city has plenty of remnants of its past, too. Find some of them in The Western Han Museum of the Nanyue King Mausoleum. This museum contains the tomb of an ancient king under a glass pyramid as well as many of the relics that were buried along with him 2000 years ago. Another must-see is the Chen Family Temple, which was once an ancestral shrine but is now an arts and crafts folk museum.

There's plenty of more worldly activities to do, too - if you need a bit of retail therapy, it’s worth checking out Beijing Road Pedestrian Street for its massive range of toys, bags and clothes. Kids will love a day out at Chimelong Paradise, a family-friendly theme park. For peace and quiet and beautiful scenery, head for the hills, lakes and lawns of Yuexiu Park (Yuexiu Gongyuan).

A great way to get around town is by subway as the city has one of the best systems in the world. Taxis are good too – as long as you have the address written down in Chinese characters if you're not a Cantonese speaker.

Known for

Shopping, Skyscrapers and Festivals

Explore map

Where to stay in Guangzhou

Tianhe
Image for Tianhe

Tianhe

Skyscrapers, Festivals, Shopping

Relax in vast parks, appreciate artistic innovation and admire futuristic skyscrapers in this dynamic business district of Guangzhou.

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Top hotels in Guangzhou

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe
Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe
5 out of 5
No 215 Linhe Xi Heng Road Tianhe, Guangzhou, Guangdong
NZ$153/night
15 Sep. - 16 Sep.
4.2/5Very Good! (678 reviews)

Located in Tianhe, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of CITIC Plaza and Tianhe Stadium. Baiyun Mountain and Taikoo Hui are also within 2 mi (3 km). Linhexi ...

4.2/5Very Good! (678 reviews)

"Air conditioning was satisfactory. Otherwise excellent."…"

Reviewed on 29 Jun. 2019

Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe
Image for W Guangzhou
W Guangzhou
5 out of 5
26 Xian Cun Road, Pearl River New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong
NZ$271/night
25 Aug. - 26 Aug.
4.4/5Excellent! (169 reviews)

Located in Tianhe, this luxury hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Grandview Mall and 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Canton Tower. Guangzhou Library and Flower City Square are ...

4.4/5Excellent! (169 reviews)

"The lobby area is very noisy with loud music , I am a business traveller and use the lobby for meetings and it was very noisy"…"

Reviewed on 16 Jul. 2019

W Guangzhou
Image for Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich
Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich
5 out of 5
988 Guangzhou Da Dao Zhong, Guangzhou, Guangdong
NZ$174/night
25 Aug. - 26 Aug.
4.4/5Wonderful! (700 reviews)

Located in Tianhe, this luxury hotel is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Yuexiu Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King and Zhenhai Tower. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (700 reviews)

"The room design is modern and clean. There are a lot choices for the breakfast buffet"…"

Reviewed on 29 Jul. 2019

Sofitel Guangzhou Sunrich

Popular activities in Guangzhou

Yuexiu Park
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Yuexiu Park

Take a breather at Guangzhou's largest urban park and see the Chinese at play.

Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
Image for Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King

Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King

See the fascinating tomb of an ancient king at this modern and well-organised museum.

Guangdong Folk Art Museum
Image for Guangdong Folk Art Museum

Guangdong Folk Art Museum

Learn all about China's folklore as this historic temple-cum-museum.

Chimelong Paradise
Image for Chimelong Paradise

Chimelong Paradise

There's guaranteed fun for all the family at this excellent amusement park which has more than 70 thrilling rides.

Beijing Road Pedestrian Street
Image for Beijing Road Pedestrian Street

Beijing Road Pedestrian Street

Make sure you bargain hard at Guangzhou's main shopping destination.

Canton Tower
Image for Canton Tower

Canton Tower

Rise above the clouds and enjoy the views from the world's tallest communications tower.

Top activities in Guangzhou

Guangzhou Day Trip from Hong Kong with Giant Panda Encounter
Image for Guangzhou Day Trip from Hong Kong with Giant Panda Encounter

Guangzhou Day Trip from Hong Kong with Giant Panda Encounter

NZ$320

Explore Hong Kong's neighboring cities of Shenzhen, Shekou, and Guangzhou on this full-day tour. Encounter China's giant panda up close, discover the ancient Qin dynasty's terracotta warriors, and visit popular temples, memorials, and landmarks in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou Half Day Morning Bus Tour
Image for Guangzhou Half Day Morning Bus Tour

Guangzhou Half Day Morning Bus Tour

NZ$130

Explore the Pearl River city Guangzhou on this guided morning Tour. Discover the exquisite craftsmanship in Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family. Wander around the beautiful Shamian Island with European style buildings. See the restored canal of Lizhiwan Brook.

Guangzhou City Highlights Full Day Bus Tour
Image for Guangzhou City Highlights Full Day Bus Tour

Guangzhou City Highlights Full Day Bus Tour

NZ$182

Spend full day to explore the Pearl River city Guangzhou with a local insider, discover the exquisite craftsmanship in Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family, admire the city landmark of the Five-Ram Sculpture and historical relic of Zhenhai Tower, and visit the 1500 years old Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.

Guangzhou Afternoon City Tour with Local Guide
Image for Guangzhou Afternoon City Tour with Local Guide

Guangzhou Afternoon City Tour with Local Guide

NZ$130

Spend half day to explore the Pearl River city Guangzhou on this guided afternoon trip, admire the city landmark of the Five-Ram Sculpture and historical relic of Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, visit the 1500 years old Temple of the Six Banyan Trees.

Canton Tower, Chen Clan Academy and Night Pearl River Cruise
Image for Canton Tower, Chen Clan Academy and Night Pearl River Cruise

Canton Tower, Chen Clan Academy and Night Pearl River Cruise

NZ$199

Your guide meets you at your hotel in Guangzhou, and brings you to the Canton Tower. Once the tallest TV tower in the world, replacing the 34-year record held by the CN Tower in Canada, it was eventually surpassed by the Tokyo Sky Tree.

Pearl River Night Cruise with Buffet Dinner in Guangzhou
Image for Pearl River Night Cruise with Buffet Dinner in Guangzhou

Pearl River Night Cruise with Buffet Dinner in Guangzhou

NZ$144

Being one of the first batch of cities benefited from the Reform and Opening Up policy since 1978, Guangzhou is a prosperous Chinese metropolis full of vigor.

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