Getting Around

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

METRO / SUBWAY One of the best and easiest ways to get around Guangzhou, as communication is in both Chinese and English. The Metro consists of 8 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). The Metro does not currently service all of Guangzhou; new lines are being built (e.g. Panyu Clifford Estates, etc).
PUBLIC BUS 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 subway/Metro card).
TAXI Guangzhou taxis charge 10 RMB for the first 2.5 kilometres, 2.6 RMB for each succeeding kilometer. 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.
UBER Uber and other similar private driver apps are rising in popularity around the world. Uber must be installed on your smartphone wherein after registering, you can order a ride. Your phone’s GPS can help you see how many Uber vehicles are nearby and then request a pick up from your present location without knowing your address. Your credit card is billed for the ride (foreign credit cards are fine). You can select different grades of car from “People’s Uber” to “uberXL” to the premium service, “UberBLACK.” 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.