Guangzhou is a cosmopolitan city known for being a “food paradise”. It has both a relaxing tea culture and a lively and prosperous business culture. To understand Guangzhou culturally, one should start with Guangzhou Tower, Five Goats Sculpture, and Baiyun Mountain and Pearl River. Guangzhou is an ancient cultural city with a history of more than 2,000 years. Historical and cultural site can be found throughout the city: the Tombs of the Kings of Nanyue, Chen Jia Shrine, Zhenhai Tower and other places of interest showcase the history of Guangzhou. Shamian Island and Sacred Heart Cathedral bared witness to the colonial period. At Dongshan Villa and Sai Kwan Mansion you see the style of the Republic of China. The site of the Whampoa Military Academy and the Seventy-two Martyrs Cemetery in Huanghuagang are sites related to the modern revolution. Guangzhou is a well-known as a culinary capital, with everything from an array of traditional snacks at affordable sidewalk snack booths, to luxurious, sophisticated restaurants and various exotic dishes. Among them, Shangxiajiu is the home of Guangshou’s traditional cuisine. Beijing Road is a food paradise packed with flavorful snacks. Tianhe shopping district is home to both pure Cantonese and exotic cuisine. If you’re interested in culture, you’ll find plenty to do in Guangzhou. In recent years, new cultural landmarks such as the Guangzhou Grand Theatre, the new Guangzhou Library, and the New Museum of Guangdong Province have been completed. Old factories such as the Red Brick Factory and the Zhujiang River have been transformed into creative parks. Independent bookstores such as Fangsuo, United Bookstore, and 1200 Bookshop, have sprung up. Literature and art are blossoming in Guangzhou.
Located on the subtropical coast, Guangzhou has a subtropical monsoon climate with no strong heat in summer, and no frost or snow in winter. Guangzhou enjoys abundant rainfall throughout the year, with the rainy season running from April to June. In August-September the weather is hot with many typhoons. October to December is the best for traveling. At this time, Guangzhou has the most activities, the Canton Fair, Lighting Festival, Food Festival, etc. are all during these months, and there are sales in the major shopping malls and markets.
There are a lot of cheap hotels in Guangzhou near the train station, suitable for tourists with a limited budget. Sai Kwan is regarded as the most Lingnan-style area in Guangzhou. Sai Kwan Mansion and Shangxiajiu’s veranda streets are worth exploring. At the same time, it is also a good place for traditional snacks and time-honored brands. It is a great place to explore old Guangzhou. The accommodations here are mostly chain hotels and youth hostels, and the prices are slightly more expensive than other areas. The Shamian, not far from the Shangxiajiu is of another style. Shamian was previously the concession area, thus there are many European-style buildings. Accommodations here are mostly luxury hotels, especially along the Pearl River where Guangzhou's first five-star hotel—White Swan Hotel—is located. Baiyun Airport is the only passenger airport in Guangzhou, and is a one-hour drive from the city center. It has an airport expressway and subway connecting it to the downtown area. Accommodations nearby are mostly business hotels for people catching a flight or arriving at midnight. Due to the location, the price is not very high. Chimelong Resort and Guangzhou South Railway Station are located in Panyu District in southern Guangzhou. Due to the increasing popularity in recent years, prices of Guangzhou hotels in this area are also rising. Recently there are quite a lot newly-opened family apartments, but during summer/winter vacations and holidays they are still in high demand. It is better to book popular hotels in advance. Zhujiang New Town is the core business district of Guangzhou. The high-rise buildings here are the equivalent of Beijing's CBD and Shanghai's Lujiazui. Both Flower City Square and Zhujiang Park are located in this area. You can enjoy shopping, and taking a leisurely stroll on Linjiang Avenue in the evening, while enjoy the beautiful night view of Guangzhou Tower. There are many subway lines through the area. This area is full of high-end Guangzhou hotels here, suitable for tourists on a higher budget.