Three days in Guangzhou gives you enough time to explore the city’s highlights—both old and new—experience the culture, sample local cuisine, and take a day trip out of town. Here are some ideas on how to spend 72 hours in Guangzhou.
Day 1: City Sightseeing
Spend the day seeing the top attractions in Guangzhou. Join a guided tour to maximize your time, or opt for a private tour to fully customize your itinerary. Must-see city highlights include the Chen Clan Academy, Zhenhai Tower in Yuexiu Park, the Nanyue King Mausoleum, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Memorial Hall. If you have an interest in religion, don't miss the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Si), and the Temple of the Five Immortals (Wuxian Guan). Shamian Island or Lychee Creek are pleasant for strolling around and taking in the historic structures. Contrast those sights with the modern skyscrapers of Guangzhou, such as Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou Library, and Canton Tower, which also offers panoramic city views. End the night by sampling the city’s vibrant nightlife. Head to Binjiang Lu, Huanshi Road, or Bai-e-Tan, all hot spots for drinking, dancing, and partying the night away.
Day 2: Food, Fun, and Museums
Spend your morning sampling local dishes, such as dim sum and dumplings. Opt for a guided food tour to find hidden gems. Or try a cooking class to learn how to make dishes such as Cantonese noodles. Families with children may want to head to a theme park, safari, or aquarium, such as Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Safari Park, or Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.
Spend the afternoon exploring one of the many museums in town. History fans will want to explore Guangzhou Museum and Guangdong Museum, while art fans should check out Guangzhou Museum of Art or Guangdong Museum of Art. Architecture fans have plenty to explore, particularly in the modern skyscrapers in the Zhujiang New Town area of Guangzhou. Spend the rest of your time shopping and dining at Beijing Pedestrian Street or Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, before ending the night with a river cruise along the Pearl River.
Day 3: Get Out of Town
Guangzhou is well situated for day trips. The most popular day trip is to Hong Kong, a quick high-speed train ride away. Upon arrival in Kowloon, stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and the Avenue of Stars, or hit some of the street markets in Mong Kok, such as the Ladies Market or Fa Yuen Street Market. Take the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Island, and then take the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak for the views. Spend the rest of your time in trendy Soho or Sheung Wan, shopping in Causeway Bay, or enjoying the beaches on the south side of the island.
Alternatively, spend the day gambling and exploring the Portuguese heritage of Macau, visiting the watchtowers of Kaiping (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), or learning about ceramics in Bruce Lee’s hometown of Foshan.