Sharing with you our 2 day itinerary in Guangzhou! As mentioned previously, Guangzhou is a fabulous gateway to Southern China, but it’s also a really great place to stay a couple of days and explore the city and try out the local cuisine. If you can, have at least two full days spare.
We flew to Guangzhou with China Southern Airlines who fly direct to the city from major Australian cities.
We planned out two monster days in Guangzhou and booked a private car charter on Klook so that we could travel without the hassle of having to plan out how to get from A to B. So worth it and as the drivers are locals, they also ended up giving us suggestions on additional places to check out as well!
By the way, we also got China SIM cards on Klook as well – you can check out the various options here – our SIM was really easy to install, all we had to do was pop it in and turn on the data roaming setting!
Morning: Canton Tower
We started our day with a morning stroll around the riverbank. Here, there are luscious tropical gardens lining the footpaths and a beautiful view of Canton Tower from afar. If you’re keen, Canton Tower also offers a number of observation deck-style activities (observation deck, bubble tram and sky drop – a free fall kind of experience) within the upper floors of the tower which you can check out too.
After Canton Tower, our driver took us to Yuntai Garden. This park is a while away and so definitely ask to stop by somewhere to grab some breakfast to-go. Our driver recommended us a corner shop which was like a deli selling dumplings and buns takeway with lots of locals milling about buying their breakfast. It was delicious and so worth it!
Yuntai Garden is a beautiful garden filled with flowers and installations. We spent around 1.5 – 2 hours exploring the gardens and passed by the pretty Roman Columns, the Rose Garden, as well as a gorgeous greenhouse filled with orchids and cacti. Within the garden, there are also small food stalls in case you get thirsty or want an ice-cream or snack.
Entry is 10yuan for adults (about $2AUD) – bargain!
Brunch: So Acai
After Yuntai Garden, it’s time for some brunch! I really wanted to check out this beautifully decorated cafe called So Acai so off we went. Note, this cafe ended up being extremely difficult to find. However, luckily we had our private driver with us otherwise we would have given up!
I’ve since received the Chinese address for So Acai – it’s 广州市天河区天河东路华康街60号102. If you want to take a cab, then it would be best to get off at 华康街与天河东路交界口 (show your driver!) and then walk 3 mins. The cafe itself is actually in a residential apartment complex. You’ll have to walk through the apartment complex following the road and then you will see it on your right hand side – it’s on the ground floor of one of the apartment buildings.
Persisting with looking for this cafe is so worth it because this place is just so cute! Check it out! We ordered an acai bowl and juice each and had a wonderful time here.
Sacred Heart Cathedral
It’s time to check out Sacred Heart Cathedral! This beautiful cathedral stands out in a city of temples and is well worth a visit for its beautiful architecture. Hot tip: order a drink at the nearby Cafe Mottel which is on the left hand side corner opposite Sacred Heart Cathedral then head upstairs for a more private view and delicious drinks as well.
Lunch @ a local restaurant
After all that exploring, we decided to head back to our accomodation for some rest! We stayed in Lazy Gaga which is situated in the centre of the old town here in Guangzhou. It’s a really quirky and international hostel with private rooms, and the best part about it is its location. Right next door to it there is a popular local takeaway place and if you walk around the corner you’ll find a string of Cantonese eateries as well as a 24 hour dumpling restaurant selling 15 dumplings for 10 yuan ($2AUD). So many options when it comes to eating in Guangzhou. Take your pick!
Bouganvillea sky bridge
Guangzhou is known as the Flower City and it really lives up to its name with beautiful flowers lining the footpaths and sky bridges all around the city. We walked past this beautiful one on our way to Beijing Lu. Do stop and admire the view!
Dinner @ Beijing Lu
It’s time to grab dinner! We headed off to the bustling Beijing Lu to check out the street food. Here, you can find an array of Cantonese and Chinese street foods all for really affordable prices. We ate our way down the street here trying out soup noodles, xiao long bao, cold noodles, iced teas, skewers and more. There’s also a stunning temple here as well.
I hope you enjoyed this Guangzhou full day itinerary. Check out my next post for Part 2/Day 2!
Photos: Jessica Cheung & myself