What to do in Guangzhou in two days? Here’s an attraction-packed itinerary. This route can not only visit famous attractions in Guangzhou but also, shopping in the traditional commercial areas and modern malls, along with enjoying the famous authentic Cantonese cuisine.
Day 1 is about sightseeing beginning with the fusion of east meets west, the ancient commercial streets, culture, history, and an icon of GZ, the majestic Pearl River.
Shamian Island 沙面岛
Metro Line 1 Huangsha Station. In the morning, take a stroll to Shamian Island, which is the most European style in Guangzhou. This was once a concession for England and France. You can enjoy the picturesque buildings like the Bund in Shanghai, and Shamian is also a hot spot for photography.
Time: 3 hours recommended
Opening hours: open all day
Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street 上下九商业步行街
For lunch head to Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, enjoy the most traditional and authentic Cantonese cuisine. The so-called “food in Guangzhou, taste in the West Pass”, Shangxiajiu is definitely the concentration of traditional Cantonese style, many old and small restaurants have their own signature food, foreign tourists cannot afford to miss. The shopping are opportunities are many, and it’s a great street to soak up local culture.
Time: 3 hours
Opening hours: open all day – shops are generally open from 10 am to 11 pm.
Chen Clan Academy 陈家祠-广东民间工艺博物馆
After lunch set off to Chen Clan Academy. Not only is it a famous Qing dynasty building, one can admire the beautifully decorated and magnificent Lingnan architecture; a museum of folk arts and crafts in Lingnan. There are exhibitions all year round, and there are old folk artists and artists who have special skills.
Time: 0.5-2 hours recommended
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Ticket Price: ¥20
Beijing Road Pedestrian Street 北京路千年古道
Head to Beijing Road for shopping and dinner. Beijing Road Pedestrian Street is one of the most prosperous commercial centers in Guangzhou. Apart from shopping, dining, and historical sites such as glass covered reveal of the ancient road that lies beneath today’s commercial road. Beijing Road has become a landmark attraction for Guangzhou tourism.
Time: 2-3 hours recommended
Opening hours: all day – Shops from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Pearl River Night Tour 珠江夜游
After dinner, the last stop was to experience the night view of Guangzhou – the charm of the Pearl River Night Tour. The Pearl River is the mother river of Guangzhou. Head to Haizhu Square and Tianzi Wharf where you can take the 8.20 pm boat “Bright Mother of Pearl” or the later “Information Times” boat for a two-hour journey.
Time: 2 hours recommended
Opening hours: 6pm – 11pm
Ticket price: 48-58 RMB
Today’s main itinerary is to take a look at the historical and cultural essence of the city: the symbol of Guangzhou being the Five Ram Statue, the tomb of the Nanyue King embodying the long history of Guangzhou, the Memorial Hall of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the exhibition of historical monuments of Guangdong. The provincial museum is a must visit. In the evening, visit Guangzhou Tower, the iconic landmark building in Guangzhou. The classic 2-day tour of Guangzhou winds up overlooking the amazing night views of the city.
Yuexiu Park 越秀公园
Metro Line 2 Yuexiu Park Station. In the morning, visit Guangzhou’s largest public park, Yuexiu Park. The most representative spot here is the symbol of Guangzhou, the Five Rams statue followed by Zhenhai Tower and Zhongshan Monument. Relics of various historical periods such as the ancient city walls of the Ming Dynasty, the Quartet Fortress, etc.; you can also go hiking in the mountains, play in the children’s playground, and all are perfect for family fun.
Time: 2-5 hours recommended
Opening hours: 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Ticket Price: 20 RMB
Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King 西汉南越王博物馆
The Nanyue King Tomb Museum is located on the west side of Yuexiu Park. It is the tomb of the second generation of Wang Zhaoxi in the South Vietnamese country during the Western Han Dynasty. It is the largest Han Dynasty painted stone chamber tomb found. The treasures in the collection are the earliest silk and jade clothes in China.
Time: 1-2 hours recommended
Opening hours: 9:00 am – 5.30 pm
Ticket Price: 12 RMB
Zhongshan Memorial Hall (Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall) 中山纪念堂
After visiting the King of Nanyue’s Tomb, proceed to the next destination, Zhongshan Memorial Hall. Zhongshan Memorial Hall is one of the landmark buildings in Guangzhou. It is a monumental building funded and built by the Guangzhou people and overseas Chinese to commemorate Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the country. Not only can you admire the majestic octagonal palace-style architecture, but also the Sun Yat-Sen History Exhibition Hall can be found inside the Memorial Hall to learn about his life story.
Time: 30 min – 1 hr
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Ticket price: ¥ 8
Tianhe Road Commercial Area 天河路商圈
At noon, you can go shopping around Tianhe City Square shopping and foraging. The restaurants of the Tianhe shopping district mainly revolve around the large shopping malls of Tee Mall, Parc Central, and Grandview Mall. Here, there are restaurants of different tastes. There are Cantonese restaurants that meet the tastes of the old and the broad, as well as Western-style, Japanese-style, and other high-end restaurants.
Opening hours: open all day – shops open from 10 am to 10 pm.
Guangdong Provincial Museum 广东博物馆
Continue to the Guangdong Provincial Museum to learn about the long history and culture of Lingnan. The new museum of the Guangdong Provincial Museum is located on the central axis of the new city of Guangzhou – the center of the Pearl River New City Center area. The exterior of the building uses the concept of a “treasure box” and is uniquely designed. The museum is open for free, and mainly displays Guangdong history, culture, natural resources, cultural relics, and materials.
Time: 2 hours
Opening hours: (Tuesday-Sunday) 9:00-17:00 (closed after 16:00) Closed on Mondays (except statutory holidays and special conditions).
Ticket price: Free
Huacheng Square (Flower City Square) 花城广场
After visiting the provincial capital, you can walk to Huacheng Square. It is one of the most romantic places in Guangzhou with beautiful sunset vistas, colorful lights at night, views amongst the towering skyscrapers, and views of the Canton Tower. Locals flock here at night to socialize and relax. There are plenty of places for shopping and eating.
Time: 3 hours recommended
Opening hours: open all day – shops from 10 am to 10 pm
Canton Tower 广州塔
At the last stop, it’s a visit to Guangzhou’s landmark building, the Canton Tower. Overlooking the city with amazing nighttime views. Canton Tower also boasts the world’s highest horizontal Ferris wheel (aka Bubble Tram), the 100ft Sky Drop, Engineering Marvel Hall Tour (inside the tech that makes the tower work), Star Observation Deck & Cloud Observation Deck, Spider Walk (glass spiral staircase), 4D and 3D cinema, and Outdoor Plaza with cafes and restaurants with amazing views.
Time: 2-4 hours recommended
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 10:30 pm
Where to stay in Guangzhou? See my hand-picked lists of hotels.