Win Your Wishlist ❤️ 🤑 Enter to winWin Your Wishlist ❤️ 🤑 Win $7,000 towards Viator experiences. Enter to win
Recent Searches
Things to do in Guangzhou

Things to do in  Guangzhou

Welcome to Guangzhou

As China’s third-largest city, Guangzhou is not for the faint-hearted. A sprawling metropolis framed by stainless steel skyscrapers and split by the Pearl River, Guangzhou offers history and modernity in equal measure. The city’s size means a sightseeing tour is the best way to travel between landmarks quickly and easily. Full-day tours typically cover Chen Clan Academy, the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees (Liurong Temple), and the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, and include a traditional Cantonese lunch. Yuexiu Park—home to the emblematic Five Ram Statue and Ming-era Zhenhai Tower—offers plenty to explore, as does Shamian Island, with its the colonial mansions and neo-Gothic churches. Embrace Guangzhou’s evening energy on a Pearl River night cruise or by pre-booking a ticket to the Chimelong International Circus—and don't forget to eat your fill of Cantonese cuisine, such as dim sum and roast duck, on a food tour. Day trips to Hong Kong by super-speed bullet train are a popular choice with travelers short on time, while traveling to Chengdu by air makes the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding doable in a day. Plus, don’t miss Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, a rainbow of imperial architecture; Chimelong Paradise, China’s largest amusement park; and Canton Tower, the country’s tallest structure.

Top 15 attractions in Guangzhou

Canton Tower

Guangzhou’s loftiest and most impressive skyscraper, the vertiginous Canton Tower is one of the tallest buildings on Earth and Guangzhou’s most notable structure. Unveiled in time for the 2010 Asian Games, the freestanding structure is known for its slim shape, its outdoor observation decks, and the rainbow lights it sports after dark.More

Pearl River (Zhujiang)

The Pearl River stretches for 1,376 miles (2,214 km from Xi Jiang to the South China Sea. It’s the third-longest river in China and the second-largest by volume. The most famous portion of the Pearl River flows through the heart of Guangzhou, and the waterfront is home to many of the city’s top attractions.More

Temple of the Six Banyan Trees (Liurong Si)

Among Guangzhou’s most significant religious landmarks, the Buddhist Temple of the Six Banyan Trees dates back to AD 537 and is still active today, with a community of monks. Visitors marvel at the vibrantly painted exterior of the temple’s Flower Pagoda, which soars some 187 feet (57 meters) high.More

Chen Clan Academy (Chen Jia Ci)

One of Guangzhou’s most significant historical attractions, the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall (also known as the Chen Clan Academy) dates to the late 19th century. The large campus comprises 19 buildings, and was initially built as an academic temple complex. Today, the striking landmark is home to the Guangdong Folk Art Museum.More

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall (Sun Zhongshan Ji Nian Tang)

Perched on the southern slope of Guangzhou’s Yuexiu Hill, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall (Sun Zhongshan Ji Nian Tang) is a monument built in 1931 in honor of the Chinese revolutionary. A bronze statue of Sun Yat-sen was erected in front of the hall in 1956, and the octagonal structure houses a collection of photos and letters from his life.More

White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Shan)

White Cloud Mountain (Baiyun Shan, Baiyun Mountain, or Mt. Baiyun), located just north of Guangzhou City, gets its name from the wreath of wispy clouds that circle the mountaintop after a heavy rain. A visit to the mountain and the surrounding 17-square-mile (44-square-kilometer) park area is a popular way to stretch your legs, take in some fresh air, and escape the busy city.More

Shamian Island

Beyond Guangzhou’s soaring skyscrapers, discover another, older side of the city when you visit Shamian Island. A sandbank island in the heart of the city that once served as a busy port, Shamian Island was divided between British and French concessions in the 19th century. Today, it’s known for its heritage architecture and ample charm.More

Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King

The Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King houses the contents of the royal tombs of the Nanyue ruler Zhao Mo. The skeletons of Zhao Mo, along with 15 of his courtiers, who were buried alive to serve him in death, and several thousand objects from the empire are on display.More

Chimelong Safari Park

China's Chimelong Safari Park—among the largest wild animal parks in the world—is home to some 20,000 animals and is presently the only zoo in the country to be awarded the 5A class tourist attraction level, the highest level attainable. More than 500 species are represented, including giant pandas, black rhinos, and Chinese white tigers.More
Chimelong Water Park

Chimelong Water Park

Part of the massive Chimelong Tourist Resort in Guangzhou, Chimelong Water Park is one of the most popular water parks in the world, welcoming more than 2 million visitors a year. Spanning 450 acres (182 hectares), the largest water park in Asia offers plenty of slides, pools, and rides for families and thrill-seekers alike.More

Chimelong Paradise

Boasting an impressive 70 rides and attractions, Chimelong Paradise is China’s largest amusement park and holds numerous world records, with many of its rides imported from abroad and made with the latest amusement park technologies. Daily live performances and a 4D theater round out the entertainment offerings.More

Huaisheng Mosque

Originally built during the Tang Dynasty, Huaisheng Mosque is believed to be the oldest surviving mosque in China. According to an ancient manuscript, it was built by a Muslim missionary, Abu Wangus, who was thought to be an uncle of the prophet Mohammed. The structure's 108-foot (32.9-meter) freestanding minaret is a local landmark.More

Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Si)

The Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Si), the city’s oldest Buddhist temple, was originally constructed in the fourth century and rebuilt numerous times due to fire damage.The main hall of the temple features a 33-foot (10-meter) statue of the Buddha and another large statue of Guanyin, the goddess of compassion.More
Guangdong Museum of Art (GDMoA)

Guangdong Museum of Art (GDMoA)

Located on Ersha Island in Guangzhou, the Guangdong Museum of Art (GDMoA) is a major cultural institution. In addition to a permanent collection that showcases modern and contemporary fine art, primarily in the form of paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, the museum also hosts over 60 special exhibitions and shows a year.More

Yuexiu Park (Yuexiu Gongyuan)

Walking paths wind past lakes, playgrounds, landscaped gardens, and recreational areas within 247-acre (100-hectare) Yuexiu Park (Yuexiu Gongyuan) at the heart of Guangzhou. The park’s most recognizable landmark, the Five Ram Statue, depicts the five immortals who legend says came on the back of rams to deliver grain and prosperity to the starving people.More
Win Your Wishlist!Want to win $7,000 towards your dream getaway? We thought you might. Just make a Viator Wishlist to enter.

Trip ideas

Top Historical Sights in Guangzhou

Top Historical Sights in Guangzhou

How to Spend 3 Days in Guangzhou

How to Spend 3 Days in Guangzhou

Top activities in Guangzhou

Guided Cycle Tour of Guangzhou

Guided Cycle Tour of Guangzhou

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Guangzhou

When to visit

Subtropical Guangzhou is known for its sultry weather and toasty summers; depending on your heat tolerance, you may wish to visit in the cooler fall months. That said, the sizable city always has events worth traveling for, from Lunar New Year (complete with vibrant flower markets) and spring's Dragon Boat Festival to the Lotus Flower Festival in summer.

A local’s pocket guide to Guangzhou

Shelly Yang

Born in the North of China, Shelly moved to Guangzhou with her family when she was little and lived there for over a decade. Now living 8,000 miles from home, Shelly dreams about the food in Guangzhou every day.

The first thing you should do in Guangzhou is...

explore Zhujiang New Town, which represents the new spirit of Guangzhou. Also, make sure to spend some time in Shamian Island for a look at the city’s history.

A perfect Saturday in Guangzhou...

starts with dim sum (or, “yum cha”) at Bei Yuan Restaurant, continues with a hike to the summit of Baiyun Mountain, and ends with a nighttime river cruise on the Pearl River.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the food. Guangzhou is the birthplace of Cantonese food, where you can try the authentic taste of white cut chicken and dim sum. No one leaves the city hungry.

To discover the "real" Guangzhou...

try out the oldest and smallest restaurants on Xihua Lu and Huifu Dong Lu, where you can find the most traditional food and snacks. Look out for rice noodle rolls, wonton soup, and more.

For the best view of the city...

visit the top of Canton Tower at night, and try some Longjing tea in the tea lounge after enjoying the view over the city.

One thing people get wrong...

is only spending time in the city center and missing the rich history Guangzhou has to offer.

People Also Ask

What is Guangzhou known for?

Once known as Canton City, Guangzhou is China’s third largest city, a busy trading port, and the capital of Guangdong (Canton) province. It’s best known for Cantonese cuisine, Cantonese opera, the Pearl River, and modern architecture, including the 1,970-foot (600-meter) Canton Tower and Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House.

How many days should I spend in Guangzhou?

Most travelers find 2–3 days is enough to explore Guangzhou. That lets you feast on Cantonese food, take in modern architecture and historic Shamian Island, enjoy a Pearl River cruise, and follow in the footsteps of former residents such as martial artist Bruce Lee and revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen.

What's in Guangzhou?

There’s more to Guangzhou than dim sum and discount shopping. Besides modern architecture, like the Canton Tower, Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou Opera House, and Guangzhou Circle, heritage sites include Shamian Island, Yuexiu Park, the Chen Clan Academy, the Former Residence of Sun Yat Sen, and the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King.

How can I spend a day in Guangzhou?

Start the day by discovering Guangzhou’s historic European architecture on a stroll around scenic Shamian Island, then enjoy a dim sum feast. Spend the afternoon exploring heritage sites, such as Yuexiu Park or the 2,100-year-old Nanyue royal tomb. When night falls, soak up the skyline from a Pearl River cruise.

Do they speak English in Guangzhou?

Not really. Much less English is spoken in Guangzhou than in Hong Kong: you can’t expect taxi drivers, shop workers, or staff in budget eateries to speak English. However, young people will have studied English at school and should have some basics, while subway signs are in both English and Chinese.

Is Guangzhou safe?

Yes. It is unusual for travelers to experience serious crime in Guangzhou. However, pickpocketing is not uncommon, while you should avoid anyone who offers to help you at an ATM. China operates a zero tolerance policy for drugs, which can include random drug testing of foreigners.


Guangzhou information

Number of Attractions


Number of Tours


Number of Reviews



Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in Guangzhou?
What are the top activities in Guangzhou?
What are the top things to do near Guangzhou?
Check out things to do near Guangzhou:
What do I need to know before visiting Guangzhou?