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Guangzhou Metro Information for Tourists

Written by Candice SongUpdated Mar. 27, 2024
Night view of GuangzhouNight view of Guangzhou

Tourists can use the Guangzhou Metro system to tour and enjoy all the excellent highlights and shopping places in this city. What's more, the cost for the transportation is quite low compared to the rest of the world. The MTR is a foreign tourist's friend so you can enjoy your time in Guangzhou.

Here, we have provided you with the latest Guangzhou Metro map as well as useful information about the ticket fares, ticket types, major metro lines, and some tips. Bookmark this page!

Ticket Fares

The ticket fares depend on the distance you travel.

Normal lines:

  • 0–4 kilometers: 2 yuan
  • 4–12 kilometers: plus 1 yuan for every 4 kilometers
  • 12–24 kilometers: plus 1 yuan for every 6 kilometers
  • >24 kilometers: plus 1 yuan for every 8 kilometers

APM line:

  • 2 yuan


There are many types of metro ticket and many ways to take the metro - you can choose the most suitable one depending on where you are going or how long you are staying in Guangzhou.

Single Journey Ticket

Single Journey TicketSingle Journey Ticket

Single-trip tickets are most used by tourists. You can buy your ticket from a ticketing office or an automatic vending machine (the machines only accept 5/10 yuan notes, 0.5/1 yuan coins, and Chinese payment apps).

Then simply show your ticket at the gate to enter and return it to exit. Be aware that the ticket is only valid on the day you purchase it and the ticket could be easily lost as it's only coin-sized.

Unless you are planning to spend more than just a few days traveling around, simply using single-trip tickets is recommended to avoid the hassle of getting a metro card or setting up a payment account.

Day Pass

A Day Pass and 3-Day Pass are sold in any Guangzhou Metro station. A Day Pass costs 20 yuan and allows you unlimited use of Guangzhou Metro within 24 hours from the first time you use it to pass through the gate (a 3-Day Pass costs 50 yuan and can be used for 72 hours).

This is a better type of ticket if you are going to use the metro lines a lot within a couple of days.

UnionPay Credit Card / UnionPay Mobile QuickPass

If you have a UnionPay credit card with the "QuickPass" logo and have used it at least once with a POS or ATM, you can use this card to take the metro. This is available for all Guangzhou Metro lines except the APM line.

You can also bind this card to your Apple Pay account and use your iPhone (iOS 11 or higher) or Apple Watch (watchOS 4 or higher) to take the metro.

QR Code for Taking the Guangzhou Metro

Use mobilephone to board the metroUse mobilephone to board the metro

Passengers can use the QR code program in WeChat to take the metro. Follow these steps to try this modern and popular way:

  • Step 1: Download WeChat from your favorite app store and set up your account.
  • Step 2: Use Swapsy to exchange and transfer USD/GBP/CAD from your PayPal/Zelle account into RMB to WeChat.
  • Step 3: When you are in one of the metro stations, scan the QR code to get the program.
  • Step 4: Use the program to generate a QR code, scan the code at the gate to get on the metro train and use it again to get off. The fare will be calculated automatically.

Metro Smart Cards

The metro cards Yang Cheng Tong and Guang Fo Tong can be used on metro trains and buses. They are only useful if you are staying longer and are planning to use the metro trains and buses a lot. After the 16th ride in a month, the ticket prices for rides drop by 40%.

Major Guangzhou Metro Lines

Baiyun International AirportBaiyun International Airport

At present (2019), there are 14 metro lines in Guangzhou. Here, we have listed the lines that are useful for travelers:

  • Line 1: This line goes to the popular attraction of Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, which is reached at Chen Clan Academy Station.
  • Line 2: It connects Guangzhou Railway Station and Guangzhou South Railway Station. High-speed trains from Guangzhou South Railway Station take you to Shenzhen and Hong Kong in the shortest time.
  • Line 3: The northernmost terminal of Line 3 (North Extension) is Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, and it connects with Line 1 at Guangzhou East Railway Station and the APM line at the Canton Tower. The Canton Tower is Guangzhou's most popular attraction according to TripAdvisor.
  • Line 5: It connects Guangzhou Railway Station and Guangzhou's CBD of Zhujiang New Town.
  • Line 8: This is the only metro line connecting to the site of Canton Fair at Pazhou Station. The line connects Line 2 in Baogang Dadao Station and Line 3 in Kecun Station.
  • Guangzhou APM: This is a short special track that runs parallel to Line 3 and goes through downtown Guangzhou. This line is useful when you are going to visit the Canton Tower and then go shopping in the downtown area.
  • Guangfo Line: This line transports you between Guangzhou and the nearby city of Foshan.

Metro Lines for Popular Tourist Sites

Chimelong Safari ParkChimelong Safari Park

You can use the metro system to tour Guangzhou. It is faster to travel via the metro than to take a taxi to many popular spots. It is difficult to get lost, although traveling might be bewildering if you catch the wrong train.

As a tourist, you'll probably want to see the main highlights and go shopping during your trip, so here are some quick travel trips to reach various popular places.

Chimelong Circus, Resort, Amusement Park, and Safari Park

Chimelong is very popular because of the circus with animal acts, the safari park, and the amusement park, which are all good.

Take Line 3 and go to Hanxichanglong Station. From there, you can take a free shuttle bus or simply walk there.

Shangxiajiu and Beijing Streets for Shopping

hong kong island skylineShangxiajiu on Line 1 and nearby Beijing Street are popular shopping streets

These are the two favorite shopping streets, which are about 4 kilometers away from each other. Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is for retail bargains and Beijing Street also has old buildings for sightseeing purposes.

Beijing Street is reached by taking Line 1 to Gongyuanqian Station and Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street is reached via Changshou Station.

Shamian Island

Shamian Island can be reached from Huangsha Station on lines 1 and 6. Like the Shanghai International Settlement, Guangzhou had an international settlement where governments and wealthy people built stylish buildings on Shamian Island.

Tips for Using the Guangzhou Metro

Guangzhou Metro could be crowded in rush hoursGuangzhou Metro could be crowded in rush hours

Check the map and signs carefully: Although the signs and announcements are in English, it is still a problem for overseas travelers to get on the right train and get off at the right station. The best idea is to check the map and signs carefully and talk to the English-speaking staff if you are not sure.

Be prepared during rush hours: Over 8 million people use Guangzhou Metro every day. During the rush hours of 08:00–09:00 and 17:00–18:00, there is only standing room left.

Notice the time of the last train: The last train on some metro lines departs at about 22:30, so you are advised to finish your visit before this time or use taxis late at night.

Touring Guangzhou with Us

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If Guangzhou Metro doesn't sound like the way you would like to tour Guangzhou, visit the city with us in a comfortable private car and with an English-speaking guide. You can save time by not having to manage the route and deal with ticketing issues, and can stay away from the crowds.

To create your own Guangzhou experience with our help, simply customize your tour.

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