Where to stay
- 7 Days Inn, 88 Wenchang South Rd, Liwan District. This budget inn is located near tourist hotspots like Shangxiajiu Pedestrian District.
- Chimelong Hotel Guangzhou, Yingbin Rd, Panyu; +86 20 8478 6838; www.chimelonghotelguangzhou.com. A family-friendly, five-star hotel adjacent to theme parks like Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Water Park, Chimelong International Circus and Xiangjiang Safari Park.
- Guangzhou Hc Inn, Block 46, 34 Da Yuan, Shui Yin Rd; guangzhou-hc-inn.guangzhouhotelschina.com. A budget hotel with clean and simple guestrooms
- Hotel Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Renhe Town; +86 20 3606 8866; www.pullmanhotels.com. If you’re nipping into Guangzhou for a short business trip, check in at this hotel, which has a walkway that connects you to the airport’s departure terminal.
- Sheraton Guangzhou Hotel, 208 Tianhe Rd (junction of Tiyu Xi Rd and Tianhe Rd), Tianhe District; +86 20 6668 8888; www.starwoodhotels.com. The high-end business hotel is part of Tee Mall, the city’s leading shopping complex, and is mere steps away from the newly-renovated Guangzhou Sports Centre.
- The Westin Guangzhou, 6 Lin He Middle Rd, Tianhe District; +86 20 2886 6868. A five-star hotel with elegant rooms that boast floor-to-ceiling windows. Hotel amenities include an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a spa and five food and beverage options.
- YiCheng Poly ZhongHui Plaza Hotel, 155 Lin He West Rd, Poly ZhongHui International Apartment, Building B, Tianhe District; +86 20 3834 3166; yicheng-poly-zhonghui-plaza-hotel.guangzhouhotelschina.com/en. Serviced apartments ideal for small groups.
Where to eat
- Bingsheng Pinwei, 168 Tianhe East Rd, Tianhe District; +86 20 8751 8682, www.bingsheng.com. Try the restaurant’s signature char siu (barbecued pork) and bolo bao (pineapple buns).
- Choi Kee Chinese Fast Food, Teo Jin Rd; +86 20 8332 6920. A hole-in-the-wall eatery serving up delicious wonton noodle soup.
- Element Fresh, G/F 42 Qingfeng Rd, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District; www.elementfresh.com. Detox at this popular eatery, which serves up hearty but healthy salads, sandwiches and more.
- FG Fine Foods, 133 Huasui Rd, Tianhe District. Enjoy affordably-priced baked goods, tea, coffee and savory western fare at this cafe.
- Guangzhou Nanxin Milk and Dessert, 47 Dishifu Rd, Liwan District. A dessert shop specializing in traditional sweets made with double-skin milk (milk jelly) from water buffalos.
- Guangzhou Restaurant, 2 Wenchang North Rd. This long-standing resto has an easy-to-remember name. A Canton classic, some of its house specialties include abalone sprinkled with 24-carat gold flakes, and duck feet stuffed with shrimp.
- Hooley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, 8 Xing Sheng Rd, Zhujiang New Town; +86 20 3886 2675, www.hooleys-pub.com. A watering hole with traditional pub grub and an amazing live band.
- Jiumaojiu Noodle Restaurant, 115 Shuiyin Rd, Lianhe District; www.jiumaojiu.com. Hands down the best pulled noodles in Guangzhou! Try the pork belly noodles and pork ribs.
- Lao Yang’s Dumplings, Hua’nan Biguiyuan, Panyu District. This restaurant serves up American-style Chinese dishes. Get a steaming basket of xiao long bao, a plate of savory Mongolian Chicken, or crispy spring rolls.
- Mei Xin Garden, 75 Tianhe East Rd, Tianhe District, +86 20 8559 8088. One of the best places in the city to experience local cuisine at its finest, from steamed chiu chow dumplings to liu sha bao (custard buns).
- Nan Yuan Jiu Jia, 142 Tianjin Rd, Haizhu District. This picturesque garden-style restaurant specialises in yum cha – morning or afternoon tea and dim sum. It’s a favorite among locals. Be adventurous, as there are no English menus or pictures!
- Panxi Restaurant, 151 Longjin West Rd, Liwan District; +86 20 8172 1328. A traditional, garden-style Cantonese restaurant serving up dim sum and other dishes like chicken with garden herbs, and steamed whole white gourd soup.
- Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, Liwan District. Head here for street food like stinky tofu, pork intestines, roast mutton, skewered meats, and more.
- Tao Heung Restaurant, Qiaoguang Rd. A must-visit for dim sum and dumplings.
- Tian Bar, 5 Zhujiang West Rd, Pearl River New City, Tianhe District; +86 20 8883 3888. Sip sophisticated cocktails at this uber-popular bar. At 99 floors up, you’ll practically be dancing among the stars.
- Zoo Coffee, Huacheng Square, between Huacheng Ave, Zhujian West Rd and Zhujian East Rd, Tianhe District; +86 20 3726 0713. Dine in the company of stuffed toys at this animal-themed cafe.
What to do
- Beijing Road Pedestrian Street, Yuexiu District. A shopping haven where you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling everything from clothes and knick-knacks to finger food. Don’t forget to explore the little side streets adjacent to the main thoroughfare, too.
- Canton Tower, 222 Yuejiang West Rd, Haizhu District. Drink in unobstructed views of the city and the Pearl River from this spectacular, 600m-tall landmark. Make your way to the top and board one of the passenger cars which circumnavigate the roof, forming a sort of horizontal Ferris wheel.
- Chimelong Paradise, Yingbin Rd, Panyu District; +86 20 3993 2888; int.chimelong.com/GZ/paradise. China’s largest amusement park – essentially the Chinese version of Disneyland! – is home to more than 70 thrilling rides.
- Chimelong Safari Park, Dashi St, Panyu District; +86 20 8478 3333; int.chimelong.com/GZ/safari. Get up close and personal with exotic animals at the largest eco-zoo in China. For CNY250, you can rent a self-driven vehicle to explore the park.
- Huangpu Ancient Port, Shiji Village, Bazhou St, Xingang East Rd, Haizhu District. Once the only port for foreign trade in China. Wander around its narrow streets, where market sellers hawk their wares, chickens jostle in their bamboo cages, and the smell of incense from ancestral halls and temples fills the air.
- Li Wan Plaza, C332-C333, 3/F South Tower; +86 20 8138 8360; liwanplaza.com. You’ll find all sorts of beads, corals, crystals and precious stones at this major jewelry market, spread across almost 2000 stalls.
- Pearl River. Go on a romantic cruise through the heart of the city and watch the Canton Tower light up in an array of colors. Alternatively, stroll the “scenic corridor” along the river, a dike that’s about 23km long.
- Shamian Island, Liwan District. Admire the European-style architecture and beautiful garden topiaries on this sandbank island, which used to be an important port for Guangzhou’s foreign trade. Today, its streets are lined with cafés, bars, hotels, and souvenir shops.
- Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, Liwan District. The biggest and most popular shopping street in the city. Clothes are priced from just CNY40.
- The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, 87 Liurong Rd, Yuexiu District; +86 20 8339 2843. A 1,400-year-old Buddhist temple that’s home to a rich collection of cultural relics.
- Yuexiu Park, Exit B1, Yuexiu Park Station, Yuexiu District. A natural oasis with calm lakes and broad paths. Take a paddle boat out for a spin on the water, or simply people-watch — you might see a choral group singing, an elderly man practicing calligraphy or a couple of children playing a spirited game of badminton.