Shamian Island


Basic Facts of the Shamian Island

Chinese Name: 沙面岛 Pronunciation: Shāmiàn Dǎo

Suggested Visiting Hours: 1-3 Hours

Area: About 0.3 square kilometers

Function: It used to be an important trading port

Best Visiting Time: Autumn (September to November)

Address: West side of Renmin Bridge, Liwan District, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China

Admission Ticket Fare: Free (Shamian Island is a residential island, so you don’t need tickets to go to the island, but other items on the island need to pay extra.)


Introduction of the Shamian Island

The Street View,Shamian Island
The Street View

With an area of only 0.3 square kilometers, Shamian Island is surrounded by water and green trees. It has an elegant environment with singing birds and fragrant flowers in all seasons. Before the founding of New China, Shamian Island was occupied by Britain, France and other countries for a long time. Therefore, most of the buildings here are of western style. Famous French Catholic Church, British Christian Church, former British HSBC, former British Consulate and former French Consulate, all stand on this island. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, with the support and help of the government, the unique architectural environment of Shamian Island has been preserved completely. On the basis of retaining the original architectural features, many buildings were put into commercial use after renovation, while the existing consulates of Poland, Germany, the United States, Czech Republic, North Korea and many foreign affairs agencies attracted a large number of civil servants to work here.

Shamian Island is a unique tourist attraction in Guangzhou, with many ancient buildings of European style. At the end of 1997, the State Council listed Shamian Island as a national cultural relic protection area; 53 buildings on the island were listed as key cultural relic protection units, among which 37 buildings are private houses and 16 buildings are public buildings managed directly by the government. Subsequently, the government implemented a comprehensive protection policy for more than 80 cultural relics and buildings on Shamian Island, making Shamian island a beautiful Grand View Garden of western architectures. The main tourist attractions are: buildings with European characteristics, White Swan Hotel, Victory Hotel, Memorial to the Shakee Massacre, Zhenjiang ancient cannon, Shamian Park, bars, churches, etc.


Must-visit Attractions at the Shamian Island

Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel

Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, Shamian Island
Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel

Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, also known as Shamian Catholic Church, is a small Catholic Church located on Shamian Island in Guangzhou, China. Built in 1889 with an area of 839.75 square meters, the church was located in the French concession of Guangzhou at that time. It was originally set up by the religious members of the French Consulate in Guangzhou. It was named after the construction of a “Lourdes Hill” with the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the south of the church garden. In November 1996, Shamian building cluster in Guangzhou was designated as a national key cultural relic protection unit by the State Council, and the church was one of the buildings.

The Consulate of the Soviet Union

The Consulate of the Soviet Union,  Shamian Island
The Consulate of the Soviet Union

The Consulate of the Soviet Union is located at No. 68 Shamian street. It is a three-story building with brick and reinforced concrete structure. It faces south and is of British Victorian style. The main building of the former Soviet Consulate had a small courtyard and surrounding walls. The front facade with the east and the west facades are equipped with a veranda on each floor, and the second floor of the rear facade is provided with an overhanging balcony and a concrete overpass leading to the auxiliary building. Except the eaves, balustrade and parapet, the facade of the whole building is decorated with high-quality red brick, so it is called “west Red Mansion of Shamian”.

The Former HSBC

In the former site of HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), you can see the Baroque tower and the double columns of Doric Order in Roman style; those are western classical architectural styles. The building is four stories high. A tower with a dome roof is built on the southwest roof. The hemispherical dome is added to a drum base to form the tower top, and a flag pole is also erected on the top.

Guangdong Foreign Affairs Museum, Shamian Island
Guangdong Foreign Affairs Museum

Guangdong Foreign Affairs Museum

There are many cultural relics in Guangdong Foreign Affairs Museum, which are precious and have high historical research value. Entering the museum, you can not only know about a lot of the military content, but also see many precious gifts. What’s special is that there’s a spiral staircase. On the side wall of the stairs, there are dozens of old photos of Shamian Island 100 years ago. In these photos, you can see the beautiful scenery at that time, as well as the people dressing up in clothes of Qing Dynasty.


Suggested Travel Route

Shamian Island covers a small area. There are many cultural attractions on the island. There are many small shops with local characteristics along the street. So you can choose the route according to your interests and hobbies. You can take photos while walking, record the scenery along the way, and stop at any time to taste the local exquisite snacks.


How to Get to Shamian Island

By Bus

You can take bus No.1, 9, 57, 123, 208, 209, 217, 219, 270, 297, 538, 552 and get off at Liuersan Road Station (Liu Er San Lu Station). You can go through the overpass to Shamian Island.

By Subway

You can take Subway Line 6 or Line 1 and get off at Huangsha Station (Exit F).

By Taxi

Chinese: 请带我去沙面岛。English: Please take me to Shamian Island.

If you start from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, it will cost about 120 yuan and take about 50 minutes to get to Shamian Island.

If you start from Guangzhou Railway Station, it will cost about 25 yuan and take about 15 minutes to get to Shamian Island.

If you start from Guangzhounan Railway Station, it will cost about 65 yuan and take about 30 minutes to reach Shamian Island.

If you start from the city center, it will cost about 45 yuan and take about 40 minutes to get to Shamian Island.

City Building,Shamian Island
City Building

Question & Answer
3 Questions
Asked by Aya Finland | 08/05/2021 18:03 Reply
Is it far from the city centre?
Is it far from the city centre?
1 Answer
Answered by China Tour Star China | 09/02/2021 10:14
Reply 0 0
Sha Mian Island is about 15 minutes drive from downtown Guangzhou and about 20 minutes from Guangzhou Railway Station. If you go from the airport to Sha Mian Island, it takes about 50 minutes by car.
Asked by Emma USA | 07/12/2021 18:25 Reply
visit china
what is the best restaurant on this island?
0 Answer
Asked by Emma USA | 07/12/2021 18:25 Reply
visit china
what is the best restaurant on this island?
0 Answer
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