Guangzhou Travel Guide

Discover Guangzhou Self Guided Book is written by Janvi Tours, formerly Guangzhou Private Tour Guide Janvi or Guangzhou Tour Guide Janvi

Written by J. C.
Published August 2018

Follow Us

Follow Private Tour Guide in Guangzhou - Janvi Tours on Facebook

Follow Private Tour Guide in Guangzhou - Janvi Tours on Twitter

Follow Private Tour Guide in Guangzhou - Janvi Tours on YouTube

Search Online

Recommended By

Private Tour Guide in Guangzhou - Janvi Tours Recommended by enRoute
Private Tour Guide in Guangzhou - Janvi Tours Recommended by

Visitors Online

We have 22 guests online
Home Travel Guide 72-hour Visa-free Transit A Complete Guide to a Guangzhou Layover

A Complete Guide to a Guangzhou Layover

Guangzhou Layover Guide

When traveling from Australian and New Zealand to Europe and The Americas, you’ll usually either transit through the Middle East or Asia. Planning a flight with a layover at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN)? If you have over 8 hours to venture outside the airport, Guangzhou is very worthy of a visit. Here is a complete guide for a stopover or layover in Guangzhou, from where to store your luggage to visa exemption and what you can do during your Guangzhou Layover.

Things to Know Before Leaving the Airport During a Guangzhou Layover Time

First calculate how much time you will have. We would suggest that you need at least 8 hours to get in and out of the city and to get back in time for your flight. A minimum of Guangzhou layover duration for the transit passenger to obtain the transit visa is 8 hours. It is our responsibilities and obligations to let you know you're very likely to be turned down at customs if your layover period under the minimum 8 hours before your next flight.

Visa Requirements for Entry into Guangzhou

Nationals of about 53 countries and territories are permitted to visit Guangzhou visa-free for a period ranging from 8 hours to 144 hours, provided they have valid travel documents. Learn more about Guangzhou Airport 144-hour Transit Visa Policy

Steps to Leave the Guangzhou Airport

Here are the steps for go through immigration and the airport exit: On arrival into Guangzhou, look for the 72/144-hour Transit Visa lanes at passport control. Passengers should cooperate as instructed and hand their travel certificates, boarding pass, and Foreigner Entry Registration Card to the customs inspection.

Guangzhou Layover Guide - Baiyun Airport Baggage Storage

Baggage Storage at Guangzhou Airport

If your Guangzhou layover without overnight, you surely are not going to drag the carry-on and small backpack around while visiting. Guangzhou Airport has luggage storage service in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. They will store your bags securely for around $2 an hour. You simply go to the counter and they weigh it in and in return give you a slip of paper.

Terminal 1 - Airport South

Arrival Hall Gate A5 of A area (6:00-22:00);
Departure Hall Gate 1 (9:00-17:00);

Departure Hall Gate 8 (6:00-23:30);

Departure Hall Gate 16 (24 hours);


Terminal 2 - Airport North

Behind 3F Check-in Area (6:00-23:30);

Behind 3F Check-in Area P/N (24 hours);

Opposite Gate 53 of the Arrival Hall (6:00-23:30);

Currency Exchange

The most efficient way to exchange your national currency for Yuan is beforehand or to use ATM. Baiyun Airport both terminals provide money exchange facilities and ATMs, you're advised to use your Credit Card or Deposit Card withdraw cash from the ATM in having Master or Visa marking. It's probably a good idea to stay away from currency exchange stores at the airport because they charge high commission fees on each deal.

Hotel Options for your Guangzhou Layover

All flights of China Southern Airlines take off and land at Terminal 2. China Southern Airlines provides free transit hotels for layover passengers, the hotel procedure desk is located at Gate 50 of Terminal 2. They will have a list of hotels for you to choose. We recommend the following five hotels near the subway station (from top to bottom priority).

● Vienna Hotel Guangzhou Airport Branch 1 (Metro Line 3 Renhe Station, Exit C1);
● Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun Airport (Metro Line 3 Airport South Station);
● Crystal Orange Hotel ( Metro Line 9 Liantang station Exit C);
● New Century Hotel (Metro Line 9 Huacheng Lu station Exit C);
● Grandpeak Hotel (Metro Line 9 Qingbu station Exit A);

They offer passengers free transportation between the terminal and the transit hotel. Passengers are also able to make their free transit hotel bookings on the official website through China Southern Airlines ahead of time. Visit the website of China Southern Airlines (Home>Online Services>Transit Accommodation) to book a hotel by yourself. Availability will be reserved until three hours after the arrival of your flight. Learn more information on the free transit hotel HERE.

How to Get from the Guangzhou Airport to the Downtown Area

By Guangzhou Metro - Metro line 3 links airport to the city center, the easiest and fastest way is to use the metro, which is right in the Level 1 of Terminal 2. It departs about every 10 minutes and gets you right into the heart of the city in around 60 minutes for CNY¥7. China Southern Airlines offers a free package for layover passengers, including a 24-hour metro card, ask them when you assigned the free transit hotel at the counter of Gate 50. Learn more information on HERE.

By Taxi - It is flexible and pantoscopic to take a taxi but it may not be a good option during the rush hours (8–9 am and 5–7 pm). Taxi fares are calculated by taximeters. It costs about CNY¥150 plus the toll fees about CNY¥15 to get from the Baiyun Airport to Beijing Road. Be aware of taxi scams, learn more from HERE.

Terminal 1 Taxi Pick-up Stand:

Arrival Area A: outside Gate A8;
Arrival Area B: outside Gates B4 and B8;

Terminal 2 Taxi Pick-up Stand:

Domestic arrival hall: outside Gates 50 and 53;
International arrival hall: outside the gate;

By Guangzhou Airport Express Bus - Baiyun International Airport provides Airport Express Bus Routes. Passengers can take Airport Express Bus to and from most parts of Guangzhou, as well as some cities in the province. It is an inexpensive way to travel but the interval of bus departure time longer than the metro.

Ticket Counter

Terminal 1: Gate A10, Gate B5, and B10;
Terminal 2: West Passenger Station of Transportation Center

Pick-up Point

Terminal 1: Gate A12 and Gate B11-B12;
Terminal 2: West Passenger Station of Transportation Center

Things to Do During your Guangzhou Layover

If your layover is less than 8 hours, you are not able to obtain a free transit visa and leave the airport. Guangzhou Airport has free Wi-Fi, lounge, shower, restaurants, and duty-free shops, you will be fully relaxed during your Guangzhou Layover inside the airport. The followings are some of the best things to do if you have an 8-hour, 12-hour, 16-hour, or an overnight layover in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou Layover Guide - Free Tour Package

8-hour Guangzhou Layover

If you have 8 hours during your stopover in Guangzhou and would like to make your own visit around, you are advised to take advantage of the free tour package provides by China Southern Airlines, includes a metro day pass, city sightseeing bus coupon, and entrance tickets to Chen Clan's Ancestral Temple (also know as Guangdong Folk Arts Museum) and the Museum of the Nanyue King Mausoleum.

Option #1: Take the metro and get off at Line 2 Yuexiu Park Station, visit the Museum of the Nanyue King Mausoleum, there're a few restaurants on the other side of the road from the museum. One of the restaurants served Chinese Halal noodles, a Chinese Northwest-style restaurant. After the meal, takes metro to Line 1 get off at Chen Clan Academy, visit the Chen Clan Ancestral Temple. It's time to get back to the airport after the temple.

Guangzhou Layover Guide - Sightseeing Bus

Option #2: Take the metro and get off at Line 6 Beijing LU metro station Exit B, turn right at the traffic light and walk north about 250 meters, there's a Sightseeing Bus Stop called Beijing Road Pedestrian Street South where next to the Lido Hotel, show the bus coupon to the driver or bus conductor to get the 24-hour sightseeing bus ticket. You can enjoy unlimited drop-on & drop-off within 24 hours, It runs every half hour and serves between 09:00 and 17:00. Free audio guides are offered in eight languages onboard. Travelers could choose a certain language for better knowing a brief introduction of the city. The route runs like below: Beijing Road Pedestrian Street South – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street North – Guangxiao Temple – Shangxiajiu Pedestrian StreetAncestral Temple of the Chen FamilyLitchi BayShamian Island - Sacred Heart Cathedral – Haizhu Square – Beijing Road Pedestrian Street South. Travelers are advised to visit four of them, as travelers don't have much time left in the city during the 8-hour layover in Guangzhou.

12-hour Guangzhou Layover

If you have 12 hours during your stopover in Guangzhou, in addition to the above, the following are what you can add on if you have a 12-hour layover in Guangzhou, and you can visit one or two of them:


  • If you would like to experience the quiet and green area, visit Yuexiu Park. It's only located opposite to the Mausoleum.
  • If you would like to taste the Guangzhou cuisine, try Dim Sum at a neighborhood restaurant.
  • If you're interested in colonial architecture, wander around Shamian Island.
  • If you're interested in shopping, visit Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street. Or visit our website to learn more about the major Guangzhou shopping areas.

16-hour Guangzhou Layover

If you have 16 hours during your stopover in Guangzhou, you will be arrived in the early morning at about 5 am or 6 am. According to your layover timing, you probably will be a bit tired without enough sleep or even jet-lagged when you arrive in Guangzhou, you should consider getting some rest in the free hotel provided by the China Southern Airline, then start your Guangzhou layover tour later. Base on our experience, you will feel more enjoyable in this way.

20-hour Guangzhou Layover

If you have 20 hours during your stopover in Guangzhou, you might have an overnight layover, arrive at 16:00 and fly out at around noon. After checking in the transit hotel, refer to the following suggestions: Visit Shamian island before getting dark, stroll on the banks of the Pearl River, then go to a local Cantonese restaurant try the Authentic Cantonese cuisine as dinner, visit the Litchi Bay see what activities locals usually do in the evening. In the end, you can either enjoy the skyline of the city from Baiyun Mountain or take metro line 3 and get off at Zhujiang New Town Station, enjoy the night views and modern architecture from the Flower City Square.

Customize a Hassle-Free Guangzhou Layover Tour

We aware of how important your time is while on transit, you might be a bit tired or even jet-lagged depending on where you flew in from, you may have a few pieces of baggage as well. In order to make the tour more efficient, we usually provide a private car and driver goes along with the downtown layover tour; In the case of having a countryside tour, the tour guide may also play the role of driver. Tour also can be conducted via public transport and walking, you are welcome to decide which option is preferable according to your budget. Please advise your inbound flight and outbound flight information, number of participants when you consult with us on your layover tour. The price of your layover tour depends on timing, the demand for airport pick-up or drop off, the areas that you wish to cover as well as your group size. Only a small deposit is needed, the remaining amount will be paid in person on the day of your private layover tour.