Cost of living in Guangzhou

Guangzhou (also known as Canton) is the city of the largest and 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 15.3 million inhabitants. The city is continuously developing, which is why it is becoming an attractive spot on the map of China, more and more visited by tourists. Are you planning to live in Guangzhou for a longer time? Below, we present the cost of living in Guangzhou.

Cost of living in Guangzhou

Renting a flat in Guangzhou

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

You can find many housing offers. Before you start looking for a flat, it is worth exploring 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 estate in the city is 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, you can be charged from 2,500 to 7,000 yuan per month (approx. 360–1,010 USD). For an apartment with a similar standard outside the city center, you will have to spend from 1,500 to 3,500 yuan per month (approx. 216–505 USD). In Guangzhou, for renting a three-bedroom apartment in the city center, you will pay the same for renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center of Shanghai. Usually, this costs from 6,000 to 11,000 yuan (approx. 865–1.587 USD).

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

Before moving, you have to remember that you 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 a deposit only for the amount of a one-month rent.

You 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 5,000 yuan a month (approx. 721 USD). The flat is 97,6m2, it has three bedrooms, two living rooms, and two bathrooms. It is located on the tenth floor, in a friendly neighborhood.

The rent of the second presented flat is 6,300 yuan (approx. 909 USD). It is the biggest of all, 130,6m2, and has three bedrooms, two living rooms, and two bathrooms. The flat is in excellent condition, and it is located on the 32nd floor.

The last flat (98m2) costs 3,500 yuan per month (approx. 505 USD). It is a very modern, neat apartment located in the Tianhe district. There are three bedrooms, two living rooms, and two bathrooms.

The flats’ prices depend on the location in which they are located and on the flat’s area. It is worth noting that renting an apartment in the wealthy Guangzhou 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, you will pay about 300–710 yuan (approx. 43–102 USD) for electricity, trash, water, and heating. For wireless Internet, you must add another 80–200 yuan (approx. 11–28 USD).

Buying a flat

People who want to stay in Guangzhou for longer 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 other places. The price per m2 of a flat in the center of Guangzhou is usually an expense from 80,000 to 100,000 yuan (approx. 11,540–14,430 USD). The price per m2 of a flat located outside the center of Guangzhou will amount from 30,000 to 45,000 yuan (approx. 4,330–6,500 USD).

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

Buy a flat in Guangzhou

The flat’s total price is in red, and beside it, you can see the cost per m2. Prices depend on the area but also are related to the location and district. The first flat is the most expensive, but it is also the biggest. The third flat is not much bigger than the second flat, but its price is lower. However, it is worth noting that the building is in close proximity to a metro station.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: transportation

Tickets in Guangzhou

Guangzhou is a big city where millions of people live. If you plan to live in Guangzhou, you should also know about public transport ticket 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, you have to pay 1 yuan. The cost of each additional 8 km on the route over 24 km long is 1 yuan.

Ticket machine

If you 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 the metro, and buses, as well as on other public transport methods, is from 100 to 200 yuan (approx. 14–28 USD). 

Using a taxi in Guangzhou

Starting a taxi course in Guangzhou, 12 yuan will be charged top-down (approx. 7.60 USD). For every next kilometer, you will pay 2.60 yuan (approx. 0.38 USD). For example, for a 10 km route, you will have to pay 38 yuan (approx. 5.50 USD). When you book a taxi in advance, and the driver has to wait, you will have to pay 32–50 yuan (approx. 4.60–7.20 USD) per hour of waiting.

Cost of living in Guangzhou: renting a bike

Maybe instead of traveling by taxi or metro, it is better to rent a bicycle to get around Guangzhou.

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 3 yuan (approx. 0.40 USD). Renting a bike for over 12 hours, but not more than 24 hours, you will not pay even 30 yuan (approx. 4.30 USD), which turns out 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 7.70 to 9.50 yuan (approx. 1.10–1.40 USD). However, before you decide to drive around Guangzhou by car, you must first get a Chinese driving license. A European or American driving license will not be valid.

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 on the restaurant menu, you 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 10 to 40 yuan (approx. 1.40–5.70 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, you will pay from 115 to 450 yuan (17–65 USD). In McDonald’s, for McMeal, you will pay about 35 yuan (approx. 5 USD).

If you get thirsty, for a domestic beer (0.5-liter draught) you will pay about 4.50–15 yuan (approx. 0.65–2.20 USD). People who do not like Chinese beer, for imported beer in a 0.33 l bottle will pay from 10 to 35 yuan (approx. 1.40–5 USD). Coca-cola or Pepsi bought in the city usually costs 2.50 to 5 yuan (approx. 0.40–0.70 USD). However, for water in a bottle of 0.33 liters, you will pay from 2 to 3 yuan (approx. 0.30–0.40 USD). Coffee in China is not one of the cheapest beverages; however, due to the opening of more places like Starbucks, is becoming popular. For an espresso bought in the town, you will pay from 11 to 31 (approx. 1.60–4.50 USD). A cappuccino costs about 12–35 yuan (approx. 1.60–5 USD).

Products in Guangzhou shops

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

  • Milk 1 l: 10–20 yuan (approx. 1.40–2.90 USD)
  • Water (1.5 l bottle): 2–6 yuan (approx. 0.30–0.90 USD)
  • A bottle of wine (mid-range): 35–200 yuan (approx. 5–29 USD)
  • Domestic beer (0,5 l bottle): 4–12 yuan (approx. 0.60–1.70 USD)
  • Chicken Breasts 1 kg: 12–45 yuan (approx. 1.70–6.50 USD)
  • Oranges 1 kg: 6–32 yuan (approx. 0.90–4.60 USD)
  • Potatoes 1 kg: 2–7.20 yuan (approx. 0.30–1 USD)
  • Rice (white) 1 kg: 5–12 yuan (approx. 0.70–1.70 USD)
  • Beef Round 1 kg: 50–110 yuan (approx. 7.20–15.90 USD)
  • White cheese 1 kg: 50–120 yuan (approx. 7.20–17.30 USD)
  • Tomato 1 kg: 4–14 yuan (approx. 0.60–2 USD)
Cost of living in Guangzhou: beverages

Cost of living in Guangzhou: free time activities

How to spend your 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 120 to 1,000 yuan (approx. 17.30–144 USD). Film lovers will have to pay between 40 and 90 yuan for a cinema ticket (approx. 5.80–13 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. In the example of one of the karaoke bars, located in Guangzhou, from Monday to Thursday, from 7 AM to 11 AM, you will pay 30 yuan (approx. 4.30 USD) for a small room or 40 yuan (approx. 5.70 USD) for a big room. In comparison, for an hour between 11 AM and 8 PM for a small room, you will pay 45 yuan (approx. 6.50 USD) and 55 yuan (approx. 8 USD) for a big room. If you rent a karaoke room from 8 PM to 1 AM, you must pay much more. The cost of a small room is 150 yuan (approx. 21.60 USD) per hour and 170 yuan (approx. 24.50 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, you will pay 40 yuan (approx. 5.80 USD) for a small room and 50 yuan (approx. 7.20 USD) for a big room. Between 11 AM and 8 PM, for an hour in a small room, you will spend 60 yuan (approx. 8.70 USD), and in a big room, you will pay 70 yuan (approx. 10 USD). The evening hours are more expensive. A small room, from 8 PM to 1 AM, will cost 175 yuan per hour (approx. 35 USD), while a big room costs 195 yuan (approx. 28 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 finding the best school for their children. Monthly fees for private kindergarten or preschool usually cost from 3,000 to 6,000 yuan (approx. 430–865 USD). Parents have to pay 150,000 to 200,000 yuan (approx. 21,640–28,860 USD) for a whole year of education for an older child in an international school. School fees depend on the institution’s location and public opinion.

Job in Guangzhou and salary

The average salary in Guangzhou is 8,506.36 yuan per month (approx. 1,227 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 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.

Cost of living in Guangzhou jobs in English

Cost of living in Guangzhou

According to the information presented by the Numbeo website, you can see that the monthly costs of living for a family of four people living in Guangzhou are 13,785.72 yuan (approx. 1,990 USD). At the same time, one person’s cost of living is 3,776.70 yuan (approx. 540 USD). The cost of living is lower than the cost of living in Shanghai or Beijing.

For 16,951.38 yuan (approx. 2,440 USD) in Guangzhou, you can lead a life of the same standard as in Shanghai for 26,000 yuan (approx. 3,750 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.