Guangzhou is a city in Southern China, with a population of 14 million people. Guangzhou also has a vibrant expat population, in December 2019 around 80 000 foreigners lived in the city. Due to pandemic, in April 2020 around 30 000 expats remained in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou is a huge metropolis that has a lot to offer, modern city center with skycrapers and local neighborhoods where traditional lifestyle continues.

I’m sure you can google lot of generic information about the city, but on this site at Guangzhou Expat, we strive to show you what life actually is like in this fascinating city.

New to Guangzhou? Moving to Guangzhou?

If you are still planning your move to Guangzhou, the first thing you’ll consider is the area where you want to live. Now Guangzhou has 11 districts for you to choose from, though I have to say some districts are more popular among expats than others.

Here are short introductions to few of the districts that are among the common choises for expats to live in.

Those who live outside of these areas, most likely live there due to school or work. That being said, the commute in rush hour can be brutal, so choosing to live close to your work or kid’s school is often a smart choice.


Tianhe district is the new center of Guangzhou. This is where you find the tallest skyscrapers, moden buildings, higher level of English, more expats and more Western style restaurants. Of course the rents are higher too, especially if you live in nicer apartments close to central metro stations.

More about Tianhe click here!

I moved to Tianhe to be closer to work. I like it because it’s near the city center. Only 3 stops from Parc Central and 4 stops from Zhujiang New Town. Close to all the hot spots.

Expat living in Tianhe


Haizhu district is accross the river from Tianhe, to the South. Cross the bridge and you get significantly cheaper apartments and more local neighborhoods. You will find Western restaurants at the Party Pier, a short distance from the only international hospital in the city, the United Family Hospital. Haizhu offers cheaper accommodation with fast connections to the city center.

Haizhu is a mixture of old and new areas, not super dense living in comparing to other old aread, it has plenty of walking pavements.

Mom living in Haizhu


The old city center of Guangzhou is located in the Yuexiu district, here you get to enjoy more traditional architecture. A popular spot for expats to live here is the Ersha Island that is a world of it’s own. Many expats families, including diplomats, live in the Gold Arch gated community (well most communities in Guangzhou are gated anyway). On Ersha Island you get comfortable family life living, but it comes with a steep price tag.

Taojin area in Yuexiu is also popular among expats in Guangzhou, especially those who arrived to Guangzhou early and like to be close to many restaurants from all over the world. Before Zhujiang New Town was finished, this was a popular place to go out for a meal.

We chose Yuexiu because it offered the most convenience between our work places. Came to love it shortly after moving here. Great restaurants, English speaking people around, very convenient public transportation and housing prices are so much cheaper that in Zhujiang New Town (Tianhe).

German living in Yuexiu


Most expats who live in Baiyun area live there because their kids go to schools there. Golden lake community is one of the popular choises are there, but don’t expect there to be many services outside of your community. The commute to the city can be long too, especially during rush hour.

Way cheaper cost of living, restaurants. Not as crowded as in the city center.

Expats living in Baiyun


Again most expats living in Huangpu are there because it’s close to many international schools. They are either teachers or their kids go to these schools. Huangpu is an up and coming district, but distances can be long.

Huangpu is business development district with good opportunities and nice buildings at an affordable price. It also has many green areas and you can reach downtoan within an accaptable time.

German living in Huangpu


Yet again many expats live in Panyu because they teach at schools there or their kids go to schools there. But there are expats too who like the more quiet neighborhoods, being away from the bustling city and getting bigger apartments for your money.

Clifford in Panyu is a popular place to live, it’s like a town inside a city. Expats who live and work there, rarely leave it!

Why I live in Panyu? Cause it’s cheaper for a bigger space!

Mom living in Panyu

Moved to Panyu because of my work.

Dad living in Panyu