Home China Guide Guangzhou The Top 10 Things to Do in Guangzhou

The Top 10 Things to Do in Guangzhou

Guangzhou is one of China's top 10 most popular tourist areas according to TripAdvisor in 2016. The big export industry and rapid bullet trains to other regions in China draw hundreds of thousands of foreigners to the city each year. The business people and regular tourists enjoy the local tourist highlights such as Chimelong.

On your visit, you can find an interesting range of things to do, from some of the cheapest bargain shopping in China to some of China's best amusement and entertainment and skyscrapers and luxury malls. In some areas, the history has been well retained, notably on Shamian Island.

#1 Visit Chimelong Safari Park/Zoo/Circus/Amusement Park/Water Park/Golf Center/Resort

Chimelong Safari ParkA visitor is feeding a giraffe in Chimelong Safari Park.

It is quite unusual to have some of the world's leading entertainment and amusements ranging from a big safari park to a world-class circus all in one big place. For its quality and diversity, this resort and amusement park and zoo might be unique in Asia. Most tourists consider the safari park and zoo the best in Asia, and they rank the circus entertainment as among the best in the world and the best in Asia.

  • The Safari park/zoo features cart rides and walks past animals that are let to roam around. It covers about 130 hectares (320 acres), and is the biggest animal safari theme park in China. Some of the animals can be touched. There are more pandas than anywhere outside of Chengdu.
  • Circus/animal circus: Guangzhou's #3 attraction (TripAdvisor 2016) is this hour and half long comedic, musical, acrobatic, and performing animal show. The acrobatics are about the best in China, but the unusual performing animals puts the show in a class by itself.
  • Chimelong Paradise is an amusement park with some world-class rides. It covers 60 hectares, and is #4 on TripAdvisor in 2016.
  • Chimelong Waterpark is the largest in Asia according to White Water company. It has some world-class rides and has received awards. It's daily attendance is about the highest in Asia.
  • Crocodile Park is the biggest crocodile farms in the world with 100,000 of them.

Besides all these facilities, there is a golf practice center and a luxury hotel. Read more>>

#2 Ascend the Canton Tower

Canton Tower The Canton Tower stands out at night

Tourists like going to the top because it is the tallest structure in Guangzhou and the second tallest in China. At 600 meters including the antenna, it is 70 meters taller than the CTF Tower that is nearby. At night, it lights up the Pearl River and Zhujiang New Town area with its rainbow of lighting.

  • Observation ride at the top in which people sit in revolving glass balls to see the view.
  • Glass floor observatory at 450 meters.
  • The world's highest rotating restaurant at 424 meters serves an international buffet.

Other features include a 4D theater. Read more>>

#3 Sightsee on Shamian Island

An old European building on Shamian IslandAn old building on Shamian Island

This is Guangzhou's top 3 tourist attraction according to TripAdvisor. A foreign settlement was built on this island in the Pearl River in the 19th and early 20th centuries. You could enjoy strolling among old European buildings of different styles and big old trees. Some restaurants complement the area. Read more>>

#4 Visit the Chen Clan Academy

chen ancestral shrineInside the Chen clan museum

The Chen Ancestral Shrine (陈家祠, Chén Jiā Cí) is also called the Chen Clan Academy. It has 19 buildings with nine halls and six courtyards that are connected in a symmetrical pattern. It was established by members of the large Chen Clan who were spread all over Guangzhou and in many countries around the world in the late 1800s. There is a folk museum called the Guangdong Folk Art Museum in it now. Read more>>

#5 Visit Yuexiu Park

It is one of the biggest parks of Guangzhou City and has the statue of the Five Goats that is the city’s symbol. There are verdant trees, bamboo groves, and flower gardens. There are stepped paths up the hill. It is one of the top six highlights on TripAdvisor for 2016. See more about the park>>

#6 Get Out to Baiyun Mountain Park

Baiyun Mountain White Cloud Mountain cable car

The mountain range is full grandeur with majestic peaks and crisscrossed valleys. Travelers can appreciate the overall splendid landscape of Guangzhou and especially the beautiful jade-belt-like Pearl River at the top of the mountain. See more>>

#7 Take a Pearl River Cruise

Tourists like to see the city on a cruise. You can dine or just watch the scenery. It is China's third longest river. The Guangzhou section of the river is where Guangzhou's most scenic spots are located. See more>>

#8 Attend the Semi-Annual Canton Fair

Pazhou complexThe Canton Fair is held at Pazhou twice a year

The most famous visitor highlight is the twice yearly Canton Fair that is China's biggest trade fair and one of the biggest in the world. It is held in April/May and October/November each year and attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. 

See The Top 5 Trade Fairs in China.

#9 Visit the Zhujiang New Town and the New CTF Tower

The city's newest highlight is the world's 7th tallest tower, CTF Finance Center Tower, that is opening in 2016. The massive structure has restaurants and an observatory on top (the city's highest and the world's second highest), and a luxury mall at the bottom. It is next to another super tall building and mall called the IFC Tower in the new luxury shopping area of Tianhe District.

#10 See the Museum of the Nanyue King

museum of nanyue kingMuseum of the Nanyue King

Guangzhou has its own version of the Qin imperial mausoleum in Xian, but this was much, much smaller and was the mausoleum of a king of the Nanyue Kingdom. The king ruled about the year 130 BC. A small but well constructed museum was built to hold the beautiful artifacts discovered inside. Read more>>

Guangzhou Tours

Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak

Onward Tours to Hong Kong and Macau

Guangzhou's advantageous location makes Hong Kong and Macau conveniently accessible. It is a great idea to extend your trip to experience some cultures that are different from other cities in Mainland China.