Cost of living in Guangzhou

Guangzhou (also known as Canton) is the city of the largest and the oldest trade fair in the world. A city of business that is eagerly visited by numerous entrepreneurs from around the world. The capital of Guangdong Province has over 7,6 million inhabitants. The city is continuously developed, which is why it is becoming an attractive spot on the map of China, more and more visited by tourists. Are you planning to go to Guangzhou for a longer time? Below, we present the cost of living in Guangzhou.

Cost of living in Guangzhou

Cost of living in Guangzhou: renting a flat

The essential expenditure that should be considered when planning a move to Guangzhou is the one related to renting an apartment. As in Beijing or Shanghai, Guangzhou’s prices depend mainly on the distance from the center and the district where the flat is located. The more prestigious the district is, the higher the prices are.

In comparison with the cities discussed earlier, prices in Guangzhou are much lower.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: flats

We can find many housing offers. Before we start looking for a flat, it is worth to explore Guangzhou’s districts. One of the most expensive districts to rent a flat in Guangzhou is Haizhu. Haizhou is a district located by the river bank, where the highest and most expensive real estates in the city are located. The wealthy districts also include Yuexiu, in which the apartments are also not the cheapest. Also, it is worth mentioning Tianhe, often referred to as the “Milky Way.” One of the expensive areas is also Zhujiang Xincheng. The bigger part of the area is occupied by an exclusive residential complex and park, created following the example of Central Park in New York. 

Prices of rent in Guangzhou

The prices of renting apartments in Guangzhou are certainly lower than those in Beijing or Shanghai. For a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, we pay from 2 000 to 6 000 yuan per month (approx. 290 – 870 USD). For an apartment with a similar standard outside the city center, we will have to spend from 1 200 to 3 000 yuan per month (approx. 174 – 435 UDS). In Guangzhou, for renting a three-bedroom apartment in the city center, we will pay the same for renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Shanghai. Usually, this costs from 5 000 to 12 000 yuan (approx. 725 – 1 741 USD).

It will be beneficial to use the help of an agent, who will suggest the apartment that best suits us. However, we must remember that the agent will collect a commission. In Guangzhou, however, it is not that much as in Beijing.

Before moving, we have to remember that we will have to pay the owner a deposit, which is usually the value of a two-month or three-month rent. In some cases, the owner decides to collect deposit only for the amount of a one-month rent.

We can look for various housing offers on many Chinese websites. For sure, everyone will find something for themselves. Below we present examples of rental prices for apartments found on one of the Chinese websites.

Rent in Guangzhou

The prices of apartments in the attached picture are similar. The cost of renting the first flat is 3 000 yuan a month (approx. 435 USD). The flat covers 70m2, on which there are two bedrooms, two living rooms, and one bathroom. It is located on the sixth floor, in a friendly neighborhood.

The rent of the second presented flat is 2 800 yuan (approx. 406 USD). It is not a big apartment. It covers an area of 40m2 and has one bedroom, one living room, and one bathroom. The flat is in excellent condition, and it is located on the fifth floor; however, the price is a result of the location. The discussed accommodation is in one of the wealthiest districts, Yuexiu.

The last flat costs 3 200 yuan per month (approx. 464 USD). It is a very modern, neat apartment, located in the Tianhe district. It has 52m2, where there are two bedrooms, one living room, and one bathroom.

The flats’ prices depend on location in which they are located and on the flat’s area. It is worth noting that renting an apartment in the wealthy Guangzhou’s district is still lower than in Beijing or Shanghai.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: chargers for a flat

When you are renting an apartment, you cannot forget about the additional fees. Taking an 85m2 flat as an example, we will pay about 200 – 744 yuan (approx. 29 – 107 USD) for electricity, rubbish, water, and heating. If we decide to buy wireless Internet, we must add another 50 – 200 yuan (approx. 7,20 – 29 USD).

Buying a flat

People who tie their futures with Guangzhou oftentimes think about buying their own flat instead of renting it. Similarly, to the rental prices, buying a flat in the discussed city will also be much lower than in Shanghai or Beijing.

Although prices are certainly lower than in the previously discussed cities, they are still high compared to Polish prices for flats. The price per m2 of a flat in the center of Guangzhou is usually an expense from 30 000 to 70 000 yuan (approx. 4 353 – 10 158 USD). The price per m2 of a flat located outside the center of Guangzhou will amount from 11 000 to 30 000 yuan (approx. 1 596 – 4 353 USD). These prices can be compared to prices per m2 while buying a flat in Poland.

On Chinese websites, we can find numerous housing offers and compare the prices.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: flat purchase

The flat’s total price is marked in red, while below, the cost per m2 can be seen. As we can see, the first flat is the cheapest, but its area is also the smallest. Prices depend on the area but also are related to the location and district. The third flat is not much smaller than the second flat, but its price is more than three times lower. However, it is worth noting that the building in which the third apartment is located was built in 2006, while the second apartment is located in a new one, built in 2018.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: tickets

Guangzhou is a big city where millions of people live. When you are going to live there, you should also know about public transport tickets’ prices. The city has extensive metro lines that reach many places. The subway ticket for the first 4 km costs 2 yuan (approx. 0,30 USD). However, the longer the route is, the more you pay. The route, from 4 km to 12 km, costs 1 yuan (approx. 0,15 USD) for each additional 4 km. If the route is between 12 km and 24 km, then for each additional 6 km, we pay 1 yuan. The cost of each additional 8 km on the route over 24 km long is 1 yuan.

Ticket machine

If we are going to stay in Guangzhou for a bit longer, it is worth getting long-term tickets. The cost of a monthly ticket, operating both on metro, buses, as well as on other public transport methods, is from 120 to 260 yuan (approx. 17 – 37 USD). 

Using a taxi in Guangzhou

Starting a taxi course in Guangzhou, 12 yuan will be charged top-down (approx. 1,70 USD). For every next kilometer, we will pay 2,60 yuan (approx. 0,38 USD). For example, if you drive a 10 km route, you will have to pay 38 yuan (approx. 5,51 USD). When we order a taxi earlier, wanting the driver to wait for us, we will have to pay 36 – 60 yuan (approx. 5,22 – 8,71 USD) per one hour of waiting.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: renting a bike

Maybe instead of traveling by taxi or metro, it is better to decide to rent a bicycle for a city driving?

Bike rent in Guangzhou

The cost of renting bikes is not high, and bike stations can be found in many places in Guangzhou. All you need to do is install the right application, and you can use city bikes without any problems. The first hour of renting bicycles, just like in Beijing, is free. Each next hour costs 1 yuan (approx. 0,15 USD). Be renting a bike for over 12 hours but not more than 24 hours, we will not pay even 30 yuan (approx. 4,35 USD), which turns to be very beneficial and profitable.

How expensive is fuel in Guangzhou?

At the end of a transport issue, it is worth mentioning the price of fuel in Guangzhou. It is similar to the situation in Shanghai and Beijing. The price per liter of gasoline is usually from 6,30 to 8 yuan (approx. 0,91 – 1,16 USD). However, before we decide to drive around Guangzhou by car, we must first get a Chinese driving license. A European or American driving license will not be valid.

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Cost of living in Guangzhou: eating out

Many people describe Cantonese cuisine as a very specific one. Some, however, think that this is one of the best Chinese cuisines. Cantonese dishes are very varied, and in the restaurant menu, we can find surprising things. But what are the costs of eating out in Guangzhou?

Street food in Guangzhou

A meal in a cheap restaurant usually costs from 15 to 25 yuan (approx. 2,20 – 3,60 USD), which is less expensive than eating out in Beijing and Shanghai. When choosing a middle-class restaurant and ordering a three-course meal for two people, we pay from 75 to 160 yuan (11 – 23 USD). Food in Guangzhou seems to be cheaper than food in Poland. In McDonald’s, for McMeal, we will pay about 25 – 32 yuan (approx. 3,60 – 4,60 USD). 

People who want to drink something in the city center rather than eat, for a domestic beer (0.5-liter draught), will pay about 5 – 10 yuan (approx. 0,73 – 1,45 USD). People who do not like Chinese beer, for imported beer in 0,33 l bottle, will pay from 10 to 20 yuan (approx. 1,45 – 2,90 USD). Coca-cola or Pepsi bought in the city usually cost 2,10 to 5 yuan (approx. 0,30 – 0,73 USD). However, for water in a bottle of 0,33 liter, we will pay from 1,50 to 3 yuan (approx. 0,22 – 0,44 USD). Coffee in China is not one of the cheapest drinks; however, due to the opening of more places like Starbuck’s, it is becoming popular. For an espresso bought in the town, we will pay from 14 to 27 (approx. 2 – 3,90 USD). A cappuccino costs about 20 – 39 yuan (approx. 2,90 – 5,66 USD).

Products in Guangzhou shops

Some people prefer to eat in the town, and some prefer buying products in the store and prepare the meal themselves. We present examples of products with given prices.

  • Milk 1 l – 8 – 15 yuan (approx. 1,20 – 2,20 USD)
  • Water (1,5 l bottle) – 2,50 – 5 yuan (approx. 0,36 – 0,73 USD)
  • A bottle of wine (mid-range) – 50 – 70 yuan (approx. 7,26 – 10 USD)
  • Domestic beer (0,5 l bottle) – 5 – 7 yuan (approx. 0,73 – 1 USD)
  • Chicken Breasts 1 kg – 14 – 40 yuan (approx. 2 – 5,80 USD)
  • Oranges 1 kg – 8 – 15 yuan (approx. 1,20 – 2,20 USD)
  • Potatoes 1 kg – 6 – 12 yuan (approx. 0,86 – 1,74 USD)
  • Rice (white) 1 kg – 5 – 10 yuan (approx. 0,73 – 1,45 USD)
  • Beef Round 1 kg – 60 – 90 yuan (approx. 8,71 – 13 USD)
  • White cheese 1 kg – 31 – 79 yuan (approx. 4,50 – 11,47 USD)
  • Tomato 1 kg – 6 – 12 yuan (approx. 0,86 – 1,74 USD)
Cost of living in Guangzhou: beverages

The prices of meat and vegetables are higher than in Beijing but still lower than in Shanghai. However, when it comes to products such as milk or cheese, prices in Beijing are lower.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: free time activities

How to spend one’s free time in Guangzhou? Guangzhou is an interesting city, definitely worth a visit. As there are many possibilities, everybody will find something there for themselves. People who like to spend time in the gym for a monthly fitness card will pay from 200 to 400 yuan (approx. 29 – 58 USD). Film lovers will have to pay between 40 and 70 yuan for a one-time cinema ticket (approx. 5,80 – 10 USD). 

In Guangzhou, as in other Chinese cities, it is popular to go to a karaoke pub with your friends. The price depends on the time and day of the week. On the example of one of the karaoke bars, located in Guangzhou, from Monday to Thursday, from 7 AM to 11 AM, we pay 29 yuan (approx. 4,20 USD) for a small room or 39 yuan (approx. 5,60 USD) for a big room. In comparison, for an hour between 11 AM and 8 PM for a small room, we will pay 45 yuan (approx. 6,50 USD) and 55 yuan (approx. 7,98 USD) for a big room. When we rent a karaoke room from 8 PM to 1 AM, we must pay much more. The cost of a small room is 145 yuan (approx. 21 USD) per hour and 165 yuan (approx. 24 USD) per hour for a big room.

At the weekend, the costs are higher than in the week. For example, on Saturday for an hour in a karaoke room from 7 AM to 11 AM, we will pay 39 yuan (approx. 5,60 USD) for a small room and 49 yuan (approx. 7 USD) for a big room. Between 11 AM and 8 PM for an hour in a small room, we will spend 59 yuan (approx. 8,50 USD), and in a big room, we will pay 69 yuan (approx. 9,90 USD). The evenings hours are more expensive. A small room, from 8 PM to 1 AM, will cost 175 yuan per hour (approx. 25,40 USD), while a big room costs 195 yuan (approx. 28,30 USD).

Cost of education

Apart from having fun, education possibilities are also an important factor when choosing a place to live. Chinese parents devote a lot of time and effort to find the best school for their child. Monthly fees for private kindergarten or preschool usually cost from 2 000 to 12 000 yuan (approx. 290 – 1 741 USD). Parents have to pay 80 000 to 210 000 yuan (approx. 11 609– 30 474 USD) for a whole year of education of an older child. School fees depend on the institution’s location and public opinion.

Job in Guangzhou and salary

The average salary in Guangzhou ranges from 5 000 to 10 000 yuan per month (approx. 725 – 1 451 USD).

Those interested people will find many job offers on the Internet. They appear on both Chinese and English websites. Below we present examples of job offers with the proposed salary, found on the Chinese websites.

Jobs in Guangzhou

For those people who don’t speak Chinese, we recommend using English websites. There you can also find very varied job offers. Below we present the website and examples of job offers along with monthly salaries.

Jobs in Guangzhou with English

Cost of living in Guangzhou

According to the information presented by the Numbeo website, we can see that the monthly costs of living for a family of four people living in Guangzhou amount to 13 729 yuan (approx. 1 992 USD). At the same time, maintaining one person costs 3 761 yuan (approx. 545 USD). The cost of living is lower than the cost of living in Shanghai or Beijing, and what is more, they are also lower than the cost of living in Warsaw.

For 15 720 yuan (approx. 2 264 USD) in Guangzhou, we can lead a life of the same standard as in Shanghai for 23 000 yuan (approx. 3 313 USD). However, for 15 360 yuan (approx. 2 212 USD) in Guangzhou, we can lead a comfortable life with the same standard as in Warsaw for 9 400 PLN (approx. 2 520 USD).

Before traveling to China, it is worth reading the information above. It is good to check the cost of living in a dished-up place, and if it is possible, prepare for it. Guangzhou is a trendy city, happily visited by numerous entrepreneurs due to one of the world’s largest fairs, such as the Canton Fair. A city in comparison with the previously discussed Shanghai and Beijing turns out to be much cheaper. Housing prices are affordable, and eating out is also not expensive. Perhaps, Guangzhou will turn out to be the right place to live?

Prices in USD and PLN based on the exchange rates in August 2020. Source: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Guangzhou

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