Home Guilin Tips & Articles How to Spend 3 Days in Guilin: Itinerary Tips

How to Spend 3 Days in Guilin(Top Itinerary Tips)

The bird's view of the Li RiverThe bird's view of the Li River

Planning to spend three days in Guilin, but aren’t sure what to do? Here's a popular and workable plan to see the highlights of Guilin’s countryside and city in only three days, with supporting recommendations.

Things to Know Beforehand

Guilin sightseeing can be divided into three areas: Guilin city, Yangshuo, and the Longji Terraced Fields. If you have only three days, you are recommended to spend your time in Yangshuo and Guilin city.

If you would like to extend to Longji, one more day is recommended. See our four-day Guilin tour for inspiration.

Day 1: Guilin Arrival; Relax in the City

guilin city view'Two Rivers and Four Lakes' in the downtown area of Guilin

Guilin is a small city where you can slow down your travel pace and enjoy some leisurely time, especially when compared to sightseeing in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an.

On your arrival day, you could have a rest at your hotel and then set off for a relaxing walk by the ‘Two Rivers and Four Lakes’ in the downtown area. You could choose to take a day/night cruise of these waterways. The night scenery is beautiful, and it makes a great way to unwind.

The nearby Zhengyang Pedestrian Street is a good place for buying souvenirs and having a dinner. Here are some recommended restaurants:

  • Chongshan Rice Noodles Restaurant (崇善米粉): one of the most famous local restaurants for rice noodles
  • Haochibao Restaurant (好吃堡) or Zhoucheng (粥城): featuring local dishes Guilin and a nice environment
  • Yu Ren Matou (愚人码头): offering Chinese and Western food and a beautiful Li River view

There are many hotels around the area of ‘Two Rivers and Four Lakes’. Many of them are within 10-minutes’ walk, such as Sheraton Guilin, Lijiang Waterfall Hotel, and Guilin Park Hotel.

Day 2: Li River Cruise and Yangshuo Countryside Tour

Li River Cruise Li River Cruise

Enjoy the highlights of many a Guilin tour: a Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, and a half-day countryside tour of Yangshuo.

Morning: Li River Cruise

In the morning, head to Zhujiang Wharf (30 km or 20 miles southeast of downtown Guilin) to board the cruise. There is no public bus from downtown Guilin to the wharf and a taxi costs about 120 RMB for the 50 minutes' drive there. A private tour with a private driver and car would make your journey smooth and efficient.

Along the 84-km (52-mile) stretch of the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo, you can relax as you glide through the picturesque natural river scenery of lush limestone peaks. All you need to do is to get ready for photograph opportunities.

Insider tip: Currently, either 3-star or 4-star riverboats are available for the Li River cruise. The 4-star boats are the best. They offer more spacious seats and serve a buffet lunch. We only arrange 4-star boats for our customers. See more information on The Li River.

Please remember to book your cruise tickets in advance, especially during high season. On our private tours, we will take care of it.

Afternoon: Explore the Yangshuo Countryside

0Tandem is suitable for couples.

You will arrive at Yangshuo at around 2pm, having had a buffet lunch on the cruise boat, and you can make the most of the rest of the day to explore the countryside of Yangshuo. The most popular ways to explore are by bike or electric scooter.

If you’d prefer not to bike, we can arrange a countryside tour by private vehicle for you. We could include a short hike (about 1–2 hours) along the riverside and through the local villages.

A Yangshuo countryside tour will give you the chance to get close to Guilin’s nature and learn about local life.

Night Activities

West Street in YangshuoWest Street in Yangshuo

In the evening, you can find a local restaurant in West Street to taste the most famous local dish — beer fish (a local fish fried in local beer) and then unwind in a bar or café.

You can also enjoy a night show called Impression Liu Sanjie, a performance on the Li River telling a traditional Zhuang minority story.

You can choose to stay in Yangshuo or return to Guilin. A private car can make the return journey conveniently and smoothly in around 1½ hours.

Day 3: Guilin City Tour and Departure

You are recommended to book a flight in the late afternoon or early evening so that you can have enough time to do some sightseeing in Guilin city.

Elephant trunk hill in guilinElephant Trunk Hill in Guilin

You can see the amazing karst hills and caves such as:

  • Elephant Trunk Hill — the most iconic limestone hill in Guilin city, shaped like a elephant drinking from the Li River
  • Reed Flute Cave — an outstanding karst cave containing a large number of stalactites and ‘mites that will extend your imagination with their imaginative names and interesting stories
  • Fubo Hill — gives you a great bird's eye view of the city.

If you prefer ancient sites, you can visit an ancient waterway Ling Canal (an hour’s drive from Guilin) or Daxu Ancient Town (20 minutes’s drive from Guilin) instead. You can read more on our Ancient Guilin Tour.

Explore Guilin with a Local Specialist!

Enjoy a relaxing Guilin with us.Enjoy a relaxing Guilin with us.

Based in Guilin since 1998, we at China Highlights are your specialists for tailor-made Guilin and China tours.

Our Guilin tours are designed based on two decades of experience and feedback with the best attractions, restaurants, and hotels, and are fully customizable to your requirements.

We can tailor-make an exclusive tour of Guilin and anywhere else in China you would like to go.

Here are our most popular Guilin tour ideas for your reference:

Essence of Guilin Tour 3-day This 3 days Guilin and Yangshuo tour will allow you to relax in a world of tranquil natural beauty. View more
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