Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou

Plan your Guangzhou tour?  We have listed the top 10 attractions in Guangzhou, which may help you plan your short trip to Guangzhou.

Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about 120 kilometers northwest of Hong Kong,  Guangzhou is a key transportation hub and trading port.

Guangzhou is one of the twenty-four famous historical and cultural cities in China which has plenty of architecture showcasing the ancient magnificence of Chinese civilization. Visitors should allow time to explore the place a bit more in order to fully appreciate this city.

No. 01: The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall was originally  built by the 72 Chen clans for the accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations from Chen families in 1894 in Qing Dynasty. Later it was turned to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and later middle schools afterward.

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall
The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall

Now it is home to the Guangdong Folk Art.  The Chen clan ancestral hall is famous for the ornate decoration which is presented inside and outside the halls. A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving are seen on the walls,beams, columns, ridges and soon, a trove of Chinese folk arts.

A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving.

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30
How to get there: take subway Line 1 to Chenjiaci Station; or take Buses No. 85, 88, 104, 107, 109, 114, 128, 193, 204 ,233, 250, 260 or 268 and get off at Chenjiaci Station; or take Trolley Bus No. 104, 105, 107 or 109

No. 02:  Xiguan Dawu ( Xiguan Old and Big Houses)
Xiguan is a traditional geographical division of Guangzhou. It is situated in Liwan District, on the west of Guangzhou. Longjin Road (龙津路) is the center of old Guangzhou culture.

The big and old buildinsg were built in the past  100 years. people still live in their old hous. These houese are combination of eastern & western architecture  The houses all have the traditional Lingnan characteristics blended with western styles.

Xiguan Old and Big Houses
Xiguan Old and Big Houses
No. 03: Yuexiu Park
Yuexiu Park is a park of mountains. Covering an area of 860,000 square meters. Yuexiu Park is the biggest park in
Guangzhou. It belongs to the ending ranges of Baiyun Mountain, stretching for 3 kilometers from the east to the west with an altitude of over 70 meters.

There are a great many beautiful views and historical relics in the park. The Five-Ram Sculpture is one of the most famous structures in Yuexiu Park, others like the River View Pagoda of Ming Dynasty, the Tomb of King Nanyue of Eastern Han and the Cannons of Ch’ing Dynasty are also very famous.

If you want to travel around Guangzhou, Yuexiu Park is a good place for you to know about the city.Entrance Fee: free.

Opening Hours: 06:00-21:00
How to get there: You can get to the park by taking Bus No. 2, 5, 6, 10, 58, or 101, or taking Subway Line 2 to Yuexiu Gongyuan Station.

Yuexiu Park
Yuexiu Park

No. 04: Shamian Island

Shamian Island is not a true island, the name Shamian means sandbank, and it is now connected to the rest of the city by a series of bridges.
From the mid 18th to the mid 19th century, Shamian was the only place where foreign merchants were allowed to live in.

Guangzhou. Shamian Island is a reminder of Guangzhou’s colonial history and covers an area of 24,000 square meters at the side of the Pearl River. Along the river, the park area is a great place for people watching and tea drinking.

Entrance Fee: free
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: There are many buses to get to the Shamian Island, including Buses No. 1, 9, 25, 38, 57, 64, 75, 81, 105, 123, 181, 208, 209, 217, 236, 270, 281, 538, 556, etc.

Shamian Island
Shamian Island
No. 05: Guangxiao Temple
Guangxiao Temple is situated at the north end of Guangxiao Road in
Guangzhou. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Zen Buddhists.

The temple has been destroyed several times by fire, and the current buildings date only from the mid 19th century. Many famous monks from home and abroad have come to preach here since the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420).

In the temple, there are the Mahavira Hall, Sleeping Buddha statue, bodhi trees and East and West Iron Pagodas. The site is a must visit on sightseeing tours in Guangzhou.Entrance Fee: CNY 10

Opening Hours: 06:00-17:00
How to get there: You can get to the park by taking Bus No.4, 88, 186, 250, or 823, or taking Subway Line 1 to Xilou Station.

Guangxiao Temple
Guangxiao Temple
No. 06: Guangdong Provincial Museum
Guangdong provincial museum is a province-level comprehensive museum in China which is located on the old site of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou.

Guangdong provincial museum was built in 1957 and opened in 1959 with the total area of 29,000 square meters. Guangdong provincial museum is composed of three parts: Exhibition Hall, Old Site of First Session Meeting of Kuomintang and Lu Xun Museum.Entrance Fee: free

Opening Hours: 09:00-17:00 (closed on Monday)
How to get there: take Buses No. 11, 12, 50, 54, 59, 65, 80, 125, 183, 215, 243, 248 or 541 and get off at Sheng Bo Wu Guan Station; or take Subway Line 1 and get off at Nong Jiang Suo Station.

No. 07: Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
Located on Liurong Road of Guangzhou, the Temple of Six Banyan Trees is one of the four celebrated Buddhist temples in Guangzhou, with the other three being Guangxiao Temple, Hualin Temple and Haizhuang Temple.

The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees is built in 537 in the Liang Dynasty. After entering by the mountain gate, the Tianwang Hall is the first hall you will see. The Laughing Buddha is there with smile all over his face to welcome visitors. Behind it is the Weituo Hall.

Entrance Fee: CNY 5
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:20
How to get there: take Subway Line 1 and get off at Gongyuanqian Station; or take Buses No. 56 or 58 and get off at Liutongsi Station; or take Buses No. 5, 7, 29, 85, 86, 88, 102, 104, 107, 124, 180, 203, 217, 243, 244, 253, 273, 519 or 552 and get off at Zhong Shan Liu Lu Station

Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees

HNo. 08: Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
ausoleum of the Nanyue King is officially known as the Western Han Museum of the Nanyue King Mausoleum (西汉南越王博物馆). If you are interested in history or archiology,  Mausoleum of the Nanyue King is a nice place to go on your short Guangzhou tour.

The museum is built on the burial site of Zhao Mo, the second king of Nanyue Kindom that existed for 93 years (203 BC – 111 BC) with 5 successive kings. Nanyue Kingdom was a dependent state of Western Han Dynasty in China (202BC- 9AD).

Guangzhou Mausoleum of Nanyue king
Guangzhou Mausoleum of Nanyue king

The first king of Nanyue was Zhao Tuo who was sent here as one of local officials to quell the unrest at the end of Qin Dynasty (221BC-207BC) preceding Western Han Dynasty.

Add: No. 867, Jiefang North Road, Guangzhou Zip Code: 510040
Opening hours:9:00 – 17:30
It is open all year round except Feb 28 and August 31  – the two days are closed for restoration.
Entrance fee:  free of Charge

No. 09: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a large octagonal building with a span of 71 meters without pillars, accommodating a big stage and holds 3,240 people. It is one of Guangzhou City’s most well known landmarks.

The hall was designed by Lu Yanzhi and was constructed with funds raised by local and overseas Chinese people in memory of Sun Yat-sen. Construction work started in 1929 and completed in 1931.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

The exterior of the hall contains some gardens, and decorative historical walls. It has many wide open spaces where the people of Guangzhou often go to spend some time relaxing.

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours:08:00-18:00
How to get there: take Subway Line 2 to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

No. 10: Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
Night cruising on the Pearl River is a must for many first time visitors coming to Guangzhou. Like the River Thames in London, the River Seine in Paris and Huang Pu River in Shanghai, Guangzhou has its own mezmerizing Pearl River passing through the city proper from west to east.

The Pearl River is the convergence of its three  tributaries – Xi Jiang (“West River”), the Bei Jiang (“North River”), and the Dong Jiang (“East River”). These rivers share a common delta, the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River is China’s third longest river, 2,400 km long, after the Yangtze River and the Yellow River.

Guangzhou Star Cruises Company has about 10 evening cruises on the Pearl River.  The night cruise normally lasts 90 minutes operating between 18:40 and 22:00.  Boats leave from Tianzi Pier (天子码头), Just east of Haizhu Bridge. To get to Tianzi Pier , you may take subway line 2 and get off at the station of Haizhou Square (海珠广场), then walk along the river to the east direction.  Soon you will see Tianzi Pier by the river.

At the ticketing office, you will find about 10 cruise boats with different prices. Personally, I would like to choose Information (信息时报).  Take the Information for example, the first floor costs RMB 80 (fruit and coffee), the second floor RMB140( including buffet dinner ) and the top open air floor RMB128 (fruits,  coffee, snacks ). 

Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises

 Tip : Hassle-free Guangzhou Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guangzhou:

Guangzhou Half Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Guangzhou Highlight Day Tour    from US$80  p/p

Further Readings

Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou
How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day
Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
How to Visit Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou
How to Visit Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
How to Visit Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou

Any questions,  just drop a line.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou

  1. Hi,
    We are (My husband and I) going to be in Guangzhou,(canton show) and we are looking for a tour in different place to visit. we have been in China 20 times, we visit most attraction. So we are looking for nice, unique and special privet trip if you can offer us. We arrive on April 12 and would like to start our tour from the 14th of April up to the 18th. on the 19th we are going back to the USA
    Thank you,
    Ahuva Bar Zion

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