The largest city of Southern China’s Guangdong province, Guangzhou is a port city on the Pearl River. China’s third largest city, with more than 14 million people, the city has history dating back to 214 AD, set against a modern evolution of technology. The city is also known as Canton, and is the birthplace of Cantonese food, which the rest of world knows a “Chinese food.”
Although the city is huge, public transportation is comprehensive throughout Guangzhou, and the city is divided into ten districts, three of which (Tianhe, Liwan and Yuexiu) fall in the city center. Deciding where to stay in Guangzhou is an important first step in planning your vacation in the Guangdong province. Check out the Guangzhou districts below, and choose the best Guangzhou hotel for you.
We will cover off all types of Guangzhou accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Guangzhou hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Guangzhou, the best Guangzhou hotels, best places in Guangzhou to visit, the best places to stay in Guangzhou, hotels near Guangzhou attractions, Guangzhou neighborhood guide and many more.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
Tianhe Commercial Area – Where to stay in Guangzhou for tourists
Tianhe is the commercial business district of Guangzhou, with some of the highest skyscrapers and several shopping malls. If you are traveling to or from Hong Kong, this is the best area to stay in downtown Guangzhou, as it’s the transportation hub for trains to Hong Kong, less than one hour away by high speed train.
Some of the Guangzhou attractions in Tianhe include the Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Library, the Opera House and Shipai Village, the largest urban village in the city. Three major shopping malls include Grandview Mall, Tee Mall and Zhongtian Shopping Mall.
Best places to stay in Tianhe
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Tianhe:
Guangzhou Catalpa Garden Youth Hostel
Liwan – Where to stay in Guangzhou with family
On the north side of the river is the old part of Guangzhou city center. One of the best destinations of Liwan is the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, which is lined with shops and restaurants. From local brands to global brands like Nike, you can literally shop til you drop on Shangxiajiu street.
Other attractions in Liwan include Shamian Island with its colonial architecture, ancient Xiguan houses, and Liwan Lake Park, a wonderful escape from the urban environment. The Liwan Plaza jewelry market has over 2,000 stores. If you want to know where to stay in Guangzhou city for the best shopping, Liwan is it!
Best places to stay in Liwan
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Liwan:
Lazy Gaga Hostel
Budget Hotels in Liwan:
Yingshang Hotel Guangzhou Zhongshanba Subway Station
Shangyuan Hotel Guangzhou
V8 Hotel Guangzhou Xilang
Baiyun District Area – Where to stay in Guangzhou on a budget
In the northern suburbs of Guangzhou is the Baiyun district. The namesake mountain, Baiyun Mountain can be found here, making it a great place to stay for those wishing to explore the outdoors. There’s a cablecar to the top if you prefer not to walk, but either way, make sure to come here for outstanding views of downtown Guangzhou.
Baiyun also happens to be where the Baiyun international airport is located, so there are many hotels in this area, catering to business travelers or those with an overnight layover. If you choose to stay in the Baiyun district, allow extra commuting time to downtown Guangzhou as it’s about 40 minutes via the Metro.
Best places to stay in Baiyun
Family Friendly Hotels in Baiyun:
Royal Tulip Carat Guangzhou
Pazhou Exhibition Area / Haizhu – Best place to stay in Guangzhou for canton fair
Guangzhou is the home of the Canton Fair; the oldest and largest trade fair in China. If you want to know where to stay in Guangzhou for Canton Fair, the Haizhu District is the best choice. Held twice a year at the Pazhou Complex, the Canton Fair draws international buyers from around the world.
The Pazhou complex is located in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district, an industrial area south of the Pearl River. The district is home to the Canton Tower, one of Guangzhou’s newest landmarks. The colorful tower looms 610 meters over the river, and visitors can ascend to one of the highest outdoor observation decks in the world. With the Exhibition complex nearby, there are many Guangzhou hotels to choose from and a few cheap hotels near Canton Fair Guangzhou.
Best places to stay near Canton Fair
Beijing Road Commercial Area / Yuexiu –Where to stay in Guangzhou for shopping!
The oldest part of Guangzhou, dating back to 214 AD. Many of Guangzhou’s attractions can be found in this area. Yuexiu Park is Guangzhou’s largest park, with nearly 1 million square meters. In addition to several mountains and lakes within the park, there’s a 30,000 seat stadium. The district also houses the Guangzhou Museum, Mausoleum of Nanyue King, several temples including the Temple of Five Rams.
The Beijing Lu shopping district is the main shopping street of Guangzhou, and has something for every kind of shopper. The pedestrian-only street is a great place for people-watching, shopping and dining. Amidst all of the commercialism, the district also has a lot of history, making this a great place to stay in Guangzhou, especially for first-time visitors who want to make the most of their visit.
Best places to stay in Yuexiu
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Yuexiu:
Lazy Gaga Hostel
If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.