Where to Stay in Guangzhou – Canton Fair Accommodation Guide

The 111th Canton Fair is opening soon. Still have no idea about where to stay in Guangzhou? Want to know which area to find the best or cheap accommodation? Well, here is a brief guide comparing hotels in different parts of Guangzhou for Canton Fair, so you can make an informed decision based on your situation.

Background Briefing

Canton Fair, now named as China Import and Export Fair (CIEF), is one of the largest scale and highest level exhibit in China. Known as the barometer of China’s foreign trade, the biannual event draws about 200,000 oversea visitors and 300,000 mainland exhibitors to Guangzhou every time. The huge demand for hotel rooms drives the room rates to double or triple during the Fair. Therefore, it’s necessary to plan on which area to stay in advance.

Generally speaking, people will choose hotels close to where they are going to visit. But since Canton Fair is crowded with visitors who need accommodation, you have to expand the ranges of choices.

The common accommodation areas that can be considered include: Pazhou, Tianhe District, Yuexiu District, Liwan District, Haizhu District, Panyu District, Baiyun District and even Foshan, which is a city on the southeast of Guangzhou.

Guangzhou layout

Map of Guangzhou Districts

(The red square stands for the Canton Fair venue)

Pazhou

The Canton Fair has been held in the Pazhou complex since 2008. Thus living near the Pazhou complex will save you a lot of time on commuting between your hotels and the Fair. But since Pazhou is in the suburb of Guangzhou, you will have to take a long drive to the downtown.

Who should stay: Hotels near the Pazhou complex are mostly of high-end and cost over 2000 RMB per night during the Fair. So if money is of no concern, you want to have least hassle, enjoy luxury hotels and are not interested in exploring the other part of the city, then staying in hotels next to the Pazhou complex would be your ideal choice. The Guangzhou Shangri-la Hotel and Westin Pazhou are of such kind.

Zhu Jiang New Town (Tianhe District)

Tianhe District is to the north of Pazhou complex. So if you live in the southern part of Tianhe District, such as the Zhu Jiang New Town, where the new land mark of Guangzhou – the Guangzhou Tower – locates, then it only takes about 15 minutes drive to the venue, provided that there is no traffic jam. During the peak hour, you should expect to spend about 30 to 60 minutes to get through.

Tianhe District is a newly developed area in Guangzhou with lots of skyscrapers, high-end shopping malls and western restaurants. Lots of western Guangzhou expats work and live in this area.

The night view of Zhu Jiang New Town

However, the land in Tianhe is most expensive in Guangzhou, thus room rates in this district are generally most expensive, too. For example, the Guanzhou Rritz-Carlton hotel will cost you about 2000 RMB per night during the Fair.

Who should stay: If you would like to enjoy living in a modern and developed neighborhood with rich nightlife and nice restaurants, while still close to the Fair, then Tianhe is a good location.

Yuexiu District and Liwan District

Yuexiu District and Liwan District are the commercial districts and downtown of Guangzhou for a long history. The famous Beijing Road and Shang Xia Jiu Pedestrian Street are in these two districts, respectively.

The old Canton Fair was held in Yuexiu Districts and there are some old and famous 5-star hotels around it, such as the Marriott China Hotel, the Garden Hotel and Dong Fang Hotel. Also there are lots of small hotels in these areas. Since these areas have a long history of catering foreign visitors, many Canton Fair guests still likes to stay in these districts. Although room rates in these areas are generally cheaper than those in Pazhou or Tianhe, still they cost about 500 – 1000 RMB per night during the fair. It takes about 30 – 60 minutes drive to Pazhou as there is usually traffic jams in the downtown.

Who should stay: If you would like to experience the traditional Guangzhou culture and do some shopping in the pedestrian street after the fair, or visit some wholesale markets around the Guangzhou Railway Station, then Yuexiu or Liwan District can be your good choice.

Haizhu District

Haizhu District is the traditional residential area in Guangzhou. There are not too much famous spots in this area for travelers. But since Pazhou is also in Haizhu District, it’s convenient to get to Pazhou by metro (as long as you stay along the metro line) or by taxi. The room rates in the rest part of the Haizhu District (excluding Pazhou) are generally lower than all the above areas, about 400 RMB per night.

Who should stay: if you are looking for a mid-range hotel with convenient transportation and surroundings (restaurants, supermarkets, etc.), you can find a lot of such hotels in Haizhu District.

Panyu District

Panyu District is to the south of Haizhu District and is considered the suburb of Guangzhou. Most of the hotels here are not catered to foreigners and their facilities are generally of bad condition or low quality.

Panyu District is close to Pazhou, the room rates are generally cheap unless you stay at the Chimelong Hotel.

Who should stay: If you have low budget and don’t care much about the amenities and surroundings, then you can find lots of budget hotels in Panyu District.

Baiyun District

Baiyun District is in the north part of the city, where the Baiyun International Airport locates. Generally speaking, the hotels in Baiyun District are cheapest within the Guangzhou city, with an average room rate of 200 RMB per night. You can find lots of hotels next to the Airport. They are good for those who are between flights or arrive in Guangzhou late at night. Although it’s geographically far from Pazhou or the downtown, it takes about 30 minutes to the Fair by taxi, if taking the highway.

Who should stay: If you don’t want to spend too much on accommodation, and don’t mind living far from the downtown, or you would like to stay near the Airport, then you can consider staying at Baiyun District, such as Guangzhou Oasis Apartments, which only costs you 100 RMB per night.

Foshan

Foshan is on the south east of Guangzhou. The Chancheng District, the urban area of Foshan, is about 45 min drive to Pazhou if taking the highway. But the 5-star hotels are much cheaper than Guangzhou, which makes Foshan popular among some of the Fair visitors. The room rates in Foshan will increase by about 30% during the Canton Fair.

Who should stay: If you want to spend less to stay at hotels with good facilities, but location is not of your priority as long as it takes within one-hour drive to the Fair, then you can consider staying in the 5-star hotels in Foshan, such as the Swissotel Foshan.