By Jennifer Chen
Updated: January 20, 2017

Long viewedas the ugly stepsister to Shanghai and Beijing, Guangzhou is hitting its stride. The Zaha Hadid–designed, daringly asymmetrical GuangzhouOpera House (pictured above) opened recently and it’s garnered a lot of notice amongarchitecture circles for its glass-and-granite frame and spider web-likeinteriors. Other notable new buildings include the Guangdong Museum, theGuangzhou New Library, and the Canton Tower. Meanwhile, five luxury hotels areopening this year, including the Four Seasons and W Guangzhou.

JenniferChen is Travel+ Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.