How to Spend 24 Hours in Guangzhou

Guangzhou | © xiquinhosilva / Flickr
Guangzhou | © xiquinhosilva / Flickr
Photo of Julianna Tetreault
Contributer11 November 2017

Guangzhou is a sprawling city located in South China. Being the capital city of the Guangdong Province, as well as the most populous city in China, experiencing all that Guangzhou has to offer could take a considerable amount of time. What if you do not have a lot of time to spend there? In this article, we have broken down how to spend 24 hours in the city. Time-strapped travelers, do not fret and continue reading for the perfect one-day itinerary.


To start your trip off on a good note, it is imperative that you curve your hunger with a delicious breakfast from one of the city’s best breakfast places. Head on over to Enzo & Max for crepes so authentic that you may forget you’re not in France.

After filling up, make your way to Shamian Island, which is a quaint sandbar in Guangzhou that was once a trading port and is now home to residential and commercial buildings. The island’s architecture is stunning; the buildings are unlike most Chinese structures in that many of them are Gothic and Baroque in style. Bronze statues and well-manicured walking paths lead you through Shamian Island, making it a wonderfully picturesque place and a lovely way to spend a few hours.

Charming statues on Shamian Island | © llee_wu / Flickr


Once you have sufficiently walked Guangzhou’s elegant sandbar and worked up an appetite, make your way back to the city for lunch. Guangzhou has an impressive food scene, which can be overwhelming for a foodie looking to try all that the city has to offer in such a short time, but trying authentic Chinese food is a must. For a relatively inexpensive, high-quality meal, go to The Kitchen Table, located inside of the W Hotel. This restaurant is one of the highest rated in the city, as well as one of the best for authentic Chinese food.

With a full stomach and half of a day left to explore the city, head over to the Guangzhou Museum, which is an excellent balance between nature and history. The walk up to the museum is an uphill trek, which overlooks the city, and bits of the city’s history is showcased on the way. For example, a surviving piece of a Ming dynasty wall and symbolic statues rest on the hill. The museum itself is a historic landmark—it is a converted watchtower from the 1300s. Spending a couple of hours there should be a non-issue, but if time still remains before dinner, use it to stroll around the surrounding park.

Langoustine cuit pochees a la minute at Frigo-Est | © Yumi Kimura / Flickr


At this point, with only a few hours left of your trip, making the most out of your night is imperative. For your last meal of the day, unwind with a dinner and drinks at La Medina. This restaurant is known for their mouthwatering Mediterranean food, signature cocktails, and cozy atmosphere; relaxing there is almost too easy.

To finish up your 24 hours, board a cruise on Guangzhou’s Pearl River. The boat ride will last up to approximately 90 minutes and will take you on a nighttime tour of the city, giving you a view of Guangzhou you haven’t seen yet! Snacks and drinks will be given out while you cruise down the illuminated river and look at the city for the last few hours you have in it; this will certainly end your trip on both a fulfilling and relaxing note.

The Guangzhou River-The Pearl River- | © Jorge Dalmau / Flickr

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