Formerly known as Canton, Guangzhou is the largest city in southern China and the capital of the Guangdong Province. Home to nearly 13 million people, this wealthy city, which sits on the banks of the Pearl River, is both lively and bright with its residents carefully balancing all things modern and industrial with the more traditional and historical. Whether exploring the rustic villages that surround the city or shopping for trinkets and souvenirs on the city’s main drag, Guangzhou travel always leaves visitors with a fresh perspective on China and its people. Use Travel and Leisure’s Guangzhou travel guide to plan your trip to this thriving city and see daily life in China in entirely new light.
Things Not to Miss in Guangzhou
• Climb to the top of Tiantang Peak, the highest point in Guangzhou
• Visit the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a Buddhist temple built in the 6th century
• Sample Zhujiang (Pearl River) beer, a local brew that’s popular in South China
• Catch a performance at the Guangzhou Opera House or go hear the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra play
• Join locals in celebrating the Chinese New Year around January and February
• Visit the lovely Shamian Island and explore the many examples of European architecture left over from French and British colonialism
• Tour the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, which houses the 2,000-year-old tomb of Han dynasty ruler King Zhao Mo
• Experience Guangzhou’s natural beauty at the South China Botanical Garden
• Relax in the famed hot springs in the Conghua district
When to Go to Guangzhou
The climate in Guangzhou is humid subtropical, meaning there is a distinct wet and dry season. Between the months of April and September, the city gets the brunt of the East Asian monsoon, seeing about 55 inches of rain on average over those five months. As a result, tourists should visit Guangzhou between October and March when daytime temperatures are in the mid-60s to low-80s depending on the month, and the nights are cool but not chilly.