Guangzhou. What to see
Address: No.222 Yuexiang West Road, Haizhu District
How to go there: by Metro, Canton Tower Station (Line 3).
This is the second tallest building in China (after Shanghai Tower), and the fourth tallest free-standing structure in the world.
Built from steel and cement, it has three observation decks and a number of incredible attractions:
- the Bubble Tram: a panoramic Ferris wheel rising up to a height of 455 meters
- the Sky Drop: a 30-metre freefall drop, from a height of 485 meters
- the Spider Walk: an external staircase between the 32nd and the 64th floors: its 1,028 steps, some of which are transparent, make it one of the longest in the world.
An unforgettable experience, particularly at night time.
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees & Flower Pagoda (Liurong Temple)
Address: No.87 Liurong Road, Yuexiu District
How to go there: by Metro, Gongyuanqian Station (Line 1 and 2), Exit B.
First constructed in 537, this is one of the four main Buddhist temples in Guangzhou. Perhaps the only truly silent place in this frenetic city, it has been rebuilt a number of times, and has also been given different names through the ages: the most recent of these is “Temple of the Six Banyan Trees”.
The pagoda containing the Buddhist vestiges is truly charming; the curved roofs resemble flower petals, hence the name “Flower Pagoda”.
Address: No.55 Guangta Road
How to go there: by Metro, Ximenkou Station (Line 1), Exit B.
Huaisheng Mosque is one of the oldest and most famous mosques in China and was established in the 7th century, when Canton was a reference point for trading relationships with the Arab populations. The mosque has been restored, and partially reconstructed, a number of times over the centuries. There is a wonderful view over the city from the top of the minaret.
Guangzhou Opera House
Address: No.1 Zhujiang West Road, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District
How to go there: by Metro, Zhujiang New Town Station (Line 3 and 5)
Set into the exceptionally modern context of the New City (Zhuijiang), a futuristic urban environment with a concentration of high-end modern architecture. The Opera House designed by the renowned Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid is definitely something not to be missed.
The building spreads out over two different sections: the first structure holds the 1,800 seat Great Theatre, while the second building accommodates the 400-seat multifunctional auditorium. The structure of the building resembles a river stone, and enhances the relationship between the city and the riverfront.
Guangzhou. Where to go
How to go there: by Metro, take Line 1 or 2, get off at Gongyuan Qian station, head out exit C and walk straight for 2 short blocks.
This pedestrian zone is the main shopping street; most shops stay open from 09:00-22:00.
Two underground archaeological sites meet in the middle of the street, proving that this important road was already in existence almost one thousand years ago.
How to go there by Metro: take Line 1, get off at Huangsha Metro Station, exit D and walk on the pedestrian bridge.
Small island just minutes from the centre of Guangzhou, connected to the city by bridge. It was an English and French enclave from the middle of the 19th century, and still maintains the appearance of a European town, with perfectly conserved buildings in a colonial architectural style. It evokes an atmosphere of peace and serenity, perfect for relaxation!
Zhujiang New Town
How to go there by Metro: take Line 3 or 5, get off at Zhujiang New Town Metro Station.
At the centre of this new and futuristic district stands a large town square, measuring approximately 1.5 km from north to south, and incorporating underground shopping centres and tunnels. Bordered by skyscrapers on both sides, with the Guangzhou Opera House at the south end, while Canton Tower rises up on the other side of the river.
How to go there by Metro: take Line 5, get off at Yuancun Metro Station, Exit B and walk about 10 minutes.
This district of abandoned industrial factories, traditionally built from red bricks, has been completely redeveloped and is now a cultural zone; a veritable artists district. Here it is pleasant to stroll around and have lunch in one of the small restaurants lining the streets, browse through the quirky shops and visit the art galleries.