Getting Around

There are three main ways to get around Guangzhou – the Metro, Taxi or Public Bus.


One of the best and easiest ways to get around Guangzhou, as communication is in both Chinese and English. The Metro consists of 14 interconnected lines + the APM (automatic people mover – train cars with no drivers), operating from 06:00 to 23:00, and is a clean, fast and reliable service. Ticket fares range from 2 RMB to 12 RMB (depending on where you are going). Line 3 is going to the airport and the ticket fare is higher. If you are using the Metro often, it is best to buy a rechargeable travel card, available from any station and recharged at 7-Eleven convenience stores (also located in the subway stations).

To see the map click here.


This is the cheapest way to get around Guangzhou but probably not the easiest until you are familiar with the city. There are two kinds of buses- the new one with air conditioning (2 RMB) or the regular bus (1 RMB). Exact fare is required; alternatively you can use your rechargeable travel card (same as Metro card).


Guangzhou taxis charge 12 RMB for the first 2.5 kilometres, 2.6 RMB for each succeeding kilometer, between 11pm and 5am, cab meters will charge an additional 30 percent per kilometer after the first three kilometers. Additionally, once the meter hits 15 kilometers (up until 25 kilometers) you will pay an additional 20 percent – no matter the time of day. From 25 kilometers and up, you will pay an additional 50 percent.

You can hail a taxi just about anywhere. Most taxi drivers do not speak English so make sure you take the address of where you want to go in Chinese (better if in large print also). In addition, ensure you have your home address in Chinese for your return journey. It is recommended to ask for a receipt at the end of your journey – you will need it to contact the taxi company to either make a complaint or if you have left something behind. Be weary of taking taxis late at night because there are many accounts where drivers “get lost” or take you by the “scenic route,” which is more costly and sometimes troublesome.

DiDi (like Uber)

DiDi is a private driver app, you must install it on your smartphone wherein after registering, you can order a ride. Your phone’s GPS can help you see how many Didi vehicles are nearby and then request a pick up from your present location without knowing your address. Your WeChat wallet or Alipay, connected to a local card, is billed for the ride. You can select different grades of service. The driver will call you back after you confirm your pick up request so you will need to confirm your location in Chinese. Be prepared or ask a local for help.


You will often see on the streets a lot of shared bikes from different companies. To use them you need to download the app of one of the companies like Mobike, and after giving them you personal information and a deposit (of around 300 RMB), you can start using the shared bikes by unlocking them according with the app’s instructions. One ride of 30 min. will cost you around 1 RMB. The payment is usually connected to the WeChat wallet.