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Guangzhou has one of China’s most important airports, Baiyun International Airport. This airport links Guangzhou with more than 100 foreign cities, which makes the city an important transfer station during a journey to China. Travelers flying to Guangzhou may need to wait around half a day or one day before boarding their next flgiht.
This article can guide you on how to spend this half-day or one day in Guangzhou, ideal for taking advantage of the 72-hour-visa-free transit policy.
A journey between the airport and the Guangzhou urban area takes about one hour. So if you are flying into Guangzhou, set aside at least two hours for journeys between the airport and Guangzhou urban area, which means that you need more than six hours of free time (always approximately 10 hours or more) for a short visit to Guangzhou City.
Check out Baiyun Airport Transportation.
If you do not have enough time for a short visit to Guangzhou City, you can go to a book store, a café, or a spa at the airport for a rest.
You can deposit ant heavy luggage that you have at the airport. The airport has six luggage offices: one near Door 1 in the Domestic Baggage Hall, one near Door 8 in the International Departure Hall, two in Area B of the Domestic Arrival Hall, and two in the Domestic Arrival Hall.
If you have 12 hours in Guangzhou (that is, a six-hour activity time window), what is there to do? China Highlights suggests that you visit to Liwan District (荔湾区, Guangzhou business district) to experience real local life in Guangzhou.
There, you can buy unique articles, taste some great local food, and visit the Chen Family Ancestral Temple, an exquisite and gorgeous ancient private complex.
Baiyun Airport–Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family–Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street–Baiyun Airport
The journey takes about 1.5 hours. Take Subway Line 3 at Airport South Station (机场南站, in Basement 2 of the terminal building) to Guangzhou East Railway Station (广州东站, passing through 10 stations), transfer to Subway Line 1 at this station, get off at Chenjiaci (陈家祠, Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family), take Exit D and walk about 110 meters to the Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family.
Set aside 1 hour to visit the Chen Family Ancestral Temple.
The Chen Family Ancestral Temple is approximately 1.6 kilometers from Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. You can take a taxi to Dishifu Road (many famous restaurants are on this road), which takes about 13 yuan. Remember to ask the driver to turn on the meter. Then stroll from Dishifu Road in the west to Shangxiajiu Road (上下九路) in the east.
Spend as much time as you have visiting Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. Shopping, tasting local food, and appreciating the unique ancient Guangzhou-style buildings are recommended things to do there.
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is about 1.2 kilometers long, and goes from Shangxiajiu Road in the east to Dishifu Road (第十甫路) in the west. The street stretches crosswise between Baohua Road and Wenchang Road.
Along Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street are many street snacks to enjoy. Of course, many famous and affordable restaurants also operate there, including western and Chinese restaurants. China Highlights has listed several of them for for you to choose from.
Lianxiang Building is a great place for Cantonese dim sums. Moon cakes (月饼), mini chewy cakes (鸡仔饼), sweetheart cakes (老婆饼), and cream custard buns (流沙包) are the most popular items. You can also buy packaged dim sum as souvenirs.
Taotaoju Restaurant is one of the most famous tea restaurants in Guangzhou and has a history of more than 100 years. Among the various dim sums available, highly recommended are the shrimp dumplings (虾饺), crispy durian cakes (榴莲酥), chicken claws (凤爪), steamed creamy custard buns (奶黄包), stewed milk bean curd (双皮奶), and beef meatballs. China Highlights advises that you order in advance if possible.
Saizeriya Italian Restaurant
Saizeriya Italian Restaurant offers a variety of affordable food. Pizza, pasta, chicken steak, and baked snails are popular food items at this restaurant.
As you move on, you might want a place to rest. The Oasis Café may be a quiet place for a short break.
At fure hours before your boarding time, be sure to return to the airport.
From Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street to Baiyun Airport (approximately two hours): Take a taxi from Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street to Entrance A of Changshou Road Station (长寿路站, about 9 yuan for approximately a 1.1-km drive), take Subway Line 1 to Guangzhou East Railway Station (广州东站, passing through 11 stations), and then transfer to Subway Line 3 to Airport South Station (机场南站, in Basement 2 of the terminal building).
If you need to stay about 24 hours in Guangzhou, you can extend the half-day in Guangzhou by visiting Canton Tower, which provides a bird’s eye view of Guangzhou. You can also take a night cruise on the Pearl River.
Canton Tower is also known as the Guangzhou TV Tower, and is approximately 600 meters high. The tower provides a great bird’s eye view of the night scenery in Guangzhou. You can also enjoy a meal at a restaurant in the tower and take the world’s highest Ferris wheel for panoramic views of Guangzhou.
The Ferris wheel is available from 5 to 10pm, and the price is 130 yuan per person.
Entrance fee for Canton Tower: 50 yuan per person for 32 floors, 100 yuan per person for 66 floors, 150 yuan per person for 84 floors.
Canton Tower is near Exit A of Chigangta Subway Station (赤岗塔站) of Subway Line 3, which runs between Airport South Station at Baiyun Airport and Tiyuxi Station at Tiyu West Road (体育西路).
A night cruise on the Pearl River takes about two hours. Along the cruise, you can enjoy a general view of Guangzhou. Water and very simple snacks are available on the cruise ship. You can buy a ticket and board at Tianzi Pier (天字码头), which is about a five-minute walk from Haizhu Square Subway Station (海珠广场).
Lastly, China Highlights kindly reminds you to ensure enough time for the journey to Baiyun International Airport (approximately two hours) and for the boarding process.