Guangzhou is known as a "shopping paradise" in China. Inexpensive electronics, clothing, computers, and thousands of other products are on sale in the huge markets and thousands of shops.
In Guangzhou, you will find everything you are interested in, from bustling wholesale markets to luxury malls and from handicraft souvenirs to famous brands of clothing. Here are our suggestions for the best shopping places in Guangzhou.
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Tourists or visitors can try shopping in the wholesale markets and find good bargains on single items or small quantities if a salesperson will entertain you. Often they won't.
Clothes Wholesale Markets
Guangzhou's clothes wholesale business is very vibrant, and there are many clothing wholesales markets in Guangzhou.
- Baima Market is the most popular single market and gets the highest turnover for high end clothing and fashion. It's opposite Guangzhou Railway Station at 16 Zhannan Road (站南路16号白马服装批发市场).
- Zhanxi is another shopping area with many wholesale markets near Guangzhou Station and the Provincial Bus Station at 1–4 Zhanxi Road (站西路1–4号东侧).
- Liu Hua is near Guangzhou Station and adjacent to the Provincial Bus Station. It is actually a giant market cluster with 13 clothing wholesale centers including Baima, Bubugao, Tianma clothing market, Xindadi, and Fuli at 194 Huanshi Xi Road (环市西路194号).
- Xindadi is situated opposite Baima and mainly sells woolen sweaters and cardigans as part of the Liu Hua market area.
- Hongmian Bubugao is located behind Baima and is famous for women's clothing (also part of Liu Hua).
Several other huge wholesale markets are in other places:
- Tianma is 1,000 shops in a ten-story building and is famous for domestic brands especially, but it also has leisure wear, international brands, business suits, and furs (168 Huanshixi Road, Yuexiu District).
- Shahe Wholesale Market is possibly the cheapest wholesale clothes market area in Guangzhou. It is perhaps bigger than the one around Guangzhou Train Station. It is just to the east of Guangzhou East Train Station on Shahe Street, Tianhe District. Take Line 6 to Shahe Station (沙河).
- Wanjia Clothes Wholesale Market is a part of the Shahe market area. Take Line 6 to Shaheding Station (沙河顶) on the western side of the Shahe market area.
Contact us for a customized wholesales markets in Guangzhou
The best places for electronics in Guangzhou are the following:
- Cheap electronics and components can be found in numerous shops and stores along Jiefang Zhong Lu, Zhongshan Liu Lu, and nearby Huifu Xi Lu.
Haiyin Square (海印广场) is a big market for electronics at 21 Dashatou Road, Yuexiu District (越秀区大沙头路21号). It is near Haiyin Computer City (海印电脑城) at 56-58 Donghu Road. The Haiyin market area can be reached via Line 6's Donghu Station (东湖).
Retail Shopping Streets
Most tourists shopping for personal needs will prefer shopping streets designed for tourist enjoyment.
Beijing Road (北京西路) is the most popular shopping street among foreigners, listed #1 on TripAdvisor for places to shop in Guangzhou. It is brightly lit with many restaurants and is designed for tourists. It is very easy to get to by taking the metro to Gongyuanqian Station (公园前).
Shangxiajiu: Hundreds of shops including many department stores are along this 1,218-meter street. The whole area has 10 adjacent shopping streets. The main goods are clothing, cloth, and tourist items. It is known for its Cantonese restaurants and street snacks and is rated #4 on TripAdvisor. Take Line 1, get off at Changshou Road (长寿路), take Exit A, and walk about 500 meters along Baohua Road (宝华路).
Our Half Day Guangzhou Tour suggestion includes Shangxiajiu.
Luxury Malls / Tall Towers
The best sightseeing in Guangzhou is at the Zhujiang New Town area, which also features ritzy shopping. The Guangdong Museum, very high buildings with observatories, and ritzy malls make the area a tourist highlight. Ease of transportation makes visiting convenient.
CTF Finance Centre Tower/Mall: Guangzhou's newest highlight is the world's 7th tallest tower. 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.
Mall of the World: One of the malls to visit is underground under the large plaza next to the IFC Tower. Its many restaurants are places to stop and relax.
Bargains? However, don't expect many price advantages when shopping for luxury products or high fashion. High tariffs make Hong Kong better for that than the Mainland. See What Mainland Expats Want to Buy in Hong Kong to see what the relative advantages of shopping in Hong Kong might be. Hong Kong is close enough for a half-day shopping trip.
Places to Shop in Guangzhou Airport
At present, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has duty-free shops in both T1 and T2. Duty-free goods include famous brand cosmetics, handbags, red wine, and more.
Besides the duty-free shops, there are various shops selling goods that are characteristic of Guangzhou, such as local porcelain, embroidery, inkstones, and other folk handicrafts.
Some shops offer Guangzhou cultural experiences for travelers' layover periods. If you have 1 hour to spare in the airport, you can experience a folk handicraft, such as inscription rubbing, or you can buy a customized Chinese seal.
Best Things to Buy in Guangzhou
Guangzhou is one of China's manufacturing centers where you can find various goods of an attractive quality and price. Here are some of the items you can buy in Guangzhou.
Cantonese embroidery is well-known for its bright colors, vivid patterns, and creative ideas.
For some reason, Chinese have always loved jade items, from burial clothing for emperors to pendants that many Chinese now wear. Jade ornaments include jade bracelets, jade rings, and jade earrings. Decorations people might want to decorate their houses or offices with include jade paperweights, figurines, and vases.
Jade Street (玉器街) has hundreds of small shops selling jade items. Foreigners may have problems finding the street on Changshou Lu (长寿路) and Wenchang Lu (文昌路) near Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. You could take Metro Line 1 and get off at Changshou Lu or show the Chinese to a taxi driver.
The selection, range of types, and quality of Chinese tea is the best in the world. So, in Guangzhou, you can pick up a stash of good quality tea, at comparably low prices, to enjoy at home.
Nanfang Tea Market (南方茶叶总汇) might be one of the most complete markets in China for famous teas, tea sets, and tea artware. The market covers an area of about 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet) with about 300 shops at 8–10 Qishi Road, Fangcun District (广州市芳村区洞企石路8–10号).
China makes more shoes than any other country. About 1/3 of the world's shoes are made in Guangdong!
Global International Shoes Trade Center (国际鞋城步云天地) is a world of shoes with lots and lots of shops. All kinds of locally made shoes can be found. Prices are very cheap. Generally speaking, people can pay about 150 to 200 RMB (about 20 or 30 USD) for a pair of shoes that might sell for two or three times more in the US.
- Address: 26 Zhanxi Road (广州市站西路26号步云天地)
Contact us for a customized Guangzhou shopping tour.
The Canton Fair
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. About 200,000 people attend each event of the semiannual Canton Fair.
Public visitors: A certain day or several days are typically open to the public, but attenders in general have to show that they actually have a business.
The Canton Fair is listed #2 of Best Shopping Places in the city on TripAdvisor (2020). For more information, see The Top 5 Trade Fairs in China. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Canton Fair will be held online during the April 15–24 session.
Enjoy Your Guangzhou Shopping Trip More with Us
To explore Guangzhou and shop, it would be helpful to have a professional tour guide and driver. Tell us if you want to go shopping on your tour.
Here are two places to start for our bespoke services: