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How to Plan a Guangzhou Layover Tour

Guangzhou has one of China's most important airports, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. This airport links Guangzhou with more than 100 foreign cities, which makes the city an important transfer hub during a journey to China or the rest of Asia.

Travelers may have a half-day or one-day layover in Guangzhou. This article can guide you on how to spend this short stay, which is ideal for taking advantage of the 144-hour visa-free transit policy.

Time Needed

A journey between the airport and the Guangzhou urban area takes about 1 hour by metro. So, if you are flying into Guangzhou, set aside at least 2 hours for journeys between the airport and the Guangzhou urban area.

If you have more than 6 hours of free time, it is possible to pay a short visit to the city of Guangzhou.

If you do not have enough time, just stay in the airport and shop in the duty-free stores or rest in one of the airport's cafés.

Leaving Your Luggage at the Airport

If you cannot find the luggage office, enquire the airport staff for helpIf you cannot find the luggage office, enquire the airport staff for help

You can deposit any heavy luggage that you have at the airport. The airport has six luggage offices in T1 and another three in T2.

The storage fee depends on your luggage size and weight as well as how long you store it for. The price ranges from 5 yuan (small luggage stored for up to 2 hours) to 55 yuan (very large luggage stored from 8 to 24 hours).

Things to Do During a Guangzhou Layover

We have listed the top attractions for your stopover in Guangzhou, which can be reached easily via Guangzhou Metro, all have local characteristics, and don't need too much time for visiting.

1. Ascend the Canton Tower

Canton TowerCanton Tower

The Canton Tower is also known as the Guangzhou TV Tower and is approximately 600 meters in height. The tower provides a great bird's-eye view of downtown Guangzhou. You can also take a ride on the world's highest Ferris wheel for panoramic views of Guangzhou.

Entrance fee: 150 yuan per adult

Time needed: 1–2 hours

2. Visit Chen Clan Academy and Ancestral Hall

Chen Clan Academy and Ancestral HallChen Clan Academy and Ancestral Hall

Chen Clan Academy and Ancestral Hall is a large-scale and well-preserved ancient building complex in Guangzhou. Besides its magnificent architectural layout, the carving and painting works are worth seeing. There is also a folk handicraft museum.

Entrance fee: 10 yuan

Time needed: 1 hour

3. Shopping in Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian StreetShangxiajiu Pedestrian Street

Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is about 1.2 kilometers in length with distinctive shophouses called Qilou. You can bargain for some interesting objects there or try to discover the folk culture around the streets. If you find a man carrying a rooster-like model, just buy some pickled olives from him for a snack.

Time needed: 1–2 hours

4. Sightseeing in Shamian Island

Shamian Island is a showcase of Guangzhou's colonial history. The island is only 0.3 square-kilometer in size but preserves over 150 British- and French-style buildings from the 1890s. Walk around and admire the ancient buildings, which used to be consulates, banks, and post offices.

Time needed: 2 hours

5. Stroll Around Qingping Market

Qingping Market is a professional marketing place for traditional Chinese medicine ingredients There, you can find everything Chinese people use as medicine: herbs, minerals, shells, or even live snakes and scorpions!

Time needed: 1 hour

6. Sample the Local Food

Guangzhou snackGuangzhou snack

Along the streets of Guangzhou are many street snacks to enjoy. Local snacks, such as mini chewy cakes, sweetheart cakes, and cream custard buns, are the most popular items. You can also buy packaged snacks as souvenirs.

Time needed: 30 minutes

7. Take a Night Cruise on the Pearl River

If you are staying overnight in Guangzhou, taking a night cruise on the Pearl River is a good activity. During the cruise, you can enjoy a general view of Guangzhou.

Time needed: 2 hours

Half-Day Guangzhou Tour Plan

Guangzhou sceneryGuangzhou scenery

Here is a tour plan for 6–8 hours in Guangzhou to visit two of the most popular attractions.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport – the Canton Tower

Take Metro Line 3 (North Extension) to Tiyu Xilu Station, transfer to Line 3, and get off at Canton Tower Station. The journey takes about 1 hour.

Notice: Metro Line 3 and Line 3 (North Extension) are 2 different lines.

Ascend the tower and enjoy the view from an observation desk or try the Ferris wheel.

The Canton Tower – Chen Clan Academy

Chen Clan AcademyChen Clan Academy

Take Metro Line 3 to Tiyu Xilu Station, then transfer to Line 1 to Chen Clan Academy Station. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

Visit the ancient buildings and admire the carved artifacts at Chen Clan Academy and Ancestral Hall.

Chen Clan Academy – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

Take Metro Line 1 to Tiyu Xilu Station, and transfer to Line 3 (North Extension) to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. The journey takes about 1 hour.


Guangzhou Metro Line 3 and Line 3 (North Extension) are two different lines, although they share similar names and the same color. Check the map and signs carefully to avoid getting on the wrong train or getting off at the wrong station.

If you need to stay in Guangzhou for about 24 hours, you can extend the half-day tour in Guangzhou by visiting Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street and Shamian Island, or take a night cruise on the Pearl River.

Please ensure you allow enough time for the journey to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (approximately 2 hours) and for the boarding process.

Enjoy Your Layover Tour in Guangzhou with Us

Visit Guangzhou with usVisit Guangzhou with us

If traveling on your own and using the crowded metro lines are not for you, why not enjoy your journey with us?

We can help you to arrange your short visit in Guangzhou and you can enjoy a hassle-free journey with an English-speaking guide. He/she will collect you at the airport with a comfortable private car and drive you back to the airport on time after your tour has finished.

To start your Guangzhou tour, tell us your requirements.

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