Guilin is situated in the northeast of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on the west bank of the Li River. Its name means "forest of Sweet Osmanthus", owing to the large number of fragrant Sweet Osmanthus trees located in the city. The city has long been renowned for its unique scenery.

Scenic spots around Guilin include: Reed Flute Cave, Seven Star Park, Seven-Star Cave and Ludi (Reed-Flute) Cave, Camel Mountain and Elephant Trunk Hill, Piled Festoon Hill, Crescent Hill, Fubo Hill, Nanxi Hill, Erlang Gorge, Huangbu (Yellow Cloth) Beach, Moon Hill, Longsheng Rice Terrace, Daxu Ancient Town, Duxiu(Solitary Beauty)Peak, and Liusanjie landscape Garden.

The Jingjiang Princes City is a royal complex dating from the Ming Dynasty that lies near the center of modern Guilin.