Shenzhen travel guide

Shenzhen Tourism | Shenzhen Guide

You're Going to Love Shenzhen

Shenzhen was a farming and fishing community of 300,000 on the Hong Kong border before it became China's first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 1979. Today, it's a vast metropolis of 14 million, a UNESCO City of Design, and one of China's most popular tourist destinations.

Besides being a prime shopping spot, Shenzhen is an inspired choice for culture fans. A thriving art district and an impressive range of museums, galleries, theaters, and attractions have earned Shenzhen its place on UNESCO's Creative Cities list.

Discover Shenzhen's beautiful green spaces, its famous theme parks, and some of the best beaches in China. There are lots of great reasons to make this vibrant city your next destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Shenzhen

1. The Theme Parks

See some of the world's most renowned sites (albeit smaller duplicates of them) at Shenzhen's amusement parks. Head to Window of the World, a huge park with scaled-down versions of some of the world's most famous monuments and a nightly parade and fireworks show, or to Splendid China Folk Village with its replicas of famous Chinese sites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

2. It's a Great Place for Kids

Despite its size, Shenzhen is a family-friendly city. Enjoy a beach-based getaway with outings to Dameisha Coastal Park or visit Shiyan Lake Hot Spring Resort for the day. The little ones will enjoy classic playgrounds like Shenzhen Children's Park (Tongle Road), while older kids can try rides that rival those at nearby Disneyland Hong Kong at the Happy Valley Shenzhen theme park.

3. Greenery All Around

Shenzhen boasts more parks and gardens than almost any other Chinese city. Lianhua Mountain Park is ideal for families, and you can join an aerobics or yoga group or climb to the top to see the huge statue of Deng Xiaoping. Spot an impressive number of bird species at China's smallest national park, Mangrove National Park, or visit the Hongfa Temple in Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens, one of the country's most beautiful parks.

4. The Art

Shenzhen is one of the country's creative hotspots and art lovers will enjoy the city's 'anything goes' attitude. Explore industrial, fashion, and domestic design at the OCT Art and Design Gallery, or have your favorite work reproduced at Dafen Oil Painting Village.

5. Tee Off

Shenzhen is one of the world's top golfing destinations. It's home to some of China's oldest courses like Shenzhen Golf Course and to the world's biggest, Mission Hills Golf Course. Other notable courses include the Gary Player-designed Shahe (Sand River) Golf Club.

Where to Eat in Shenzhen

You'll come across every style of Chinese and international cookery in Shenzhen. Dine on Cantonese dishes and dim sum at Jin Yue Xuan (Shen Nan Avenue 6013), or try the upscale version at Shang Palace, Shangri-La Hotel Shenzhen near Luohu Port. BaShu Feng (AiGuo Road) is great for tasty home-style Sichuan dishes, or book a table at Trattoria D'Angelo at Sea World (subway Line 2 to Sea World Station) for tasty Italian when you feel like a change. A basic dinner is ¥239, while dinner for two in a top restaurant is from ¥453.

When to visit Shenzhen

Shenzhen in June
Estimated hotel price
£44
1 night at 3-star hotel
Shenzhen in June
Estimated hotel price
£44
1 night at 3-star hotel

Shenzhen is a year-round destination with a pleasant climate. It can be hot and humid during typhoon season from June to October so many overseas visitors choose the period from October until January when days are warm and sunny. Winter is short in Shenzhen and typically runs from mid-January to mid-February. Take warmer clothing if you're planning a trip to coincide with the city's Chinese New Year festivities.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Shenzhen

Plane

Those flying to Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport (SZX) can take the subway (Line 1) to the city center for ¥5-7. The airport is around 19 miles northwest of downtown and taxis are also available. Expect to pay ¥100 to Futian or ¥150 to Luohu, including toll fees.

Train

Train is the most popular way to reach Shenzhen from Hong Kong. Regular train services are also available from cities like Guangzhou and Dongguan. High-speed trains from Kowloon, Hong Kong terminate at Futian Railway Station while trains from Guangzhou and further afield arrive at Shenzhen North Railway Station. Futian Railway Station is close to the center of the city and you can take the subway (Lines 1, 2, 3, 4) from the first underground floor. If you're arriving at Shenzhen North Station, take local bus services from the first or second floor of its east square.

Car

You can drive from Hong Kong to the heart of Shenzhen via the Shenzhen Bay Bridge in under two hours. Be aware that you'll need to drive on the left in Hong Kong and then on the right in mainland China. Drivers also need to have a Chinese license or book a local driver.

Bus

The city has several long distance bus stations. Luohu Bus Station, which is next to the border crossing and the railway station is the most convenient for travelers, and there are regular services from cities in the Guangdong area such as Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shantou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, and Foshan.

Airports near Shenzhen

Airlines serving Shenzhen

United Airlines
Good (69,510 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (47,692 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,808 reviews)
Delta
Good (30,757 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,366 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,621 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,549 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,053 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (15,780 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (5,454 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (6,765 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (3,958 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (2,081 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (2,428 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (1,543 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (4,705 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Excellent (4,647 reviews)
Oman Air
Good (669 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (4,907 reviews)
SAUDIA
Good (2,633 reviews)
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Where to stay in Shenzhen

The city is known for luxury high-rise hotels like the Shangri-La Hotel, the Sheraton Shenzhen Futian Hotel, the Kempinski Hotel Shenzhen, the Ritz-Carlton Shenzhen, and the Four Seasons Hotel Shenzhen. Decent mid-range options include Hotel Novotel Shenzhen Watergate, Century Plaza Hotel and Spa, and Best Western Shenzhen Felicity Hotel.

Popular neighbourhoods in Shenzhen

Futian District - this is the city's CBD (Central Business District). Its impressive skyline is part of its appeal and notable high-rise buildings include the China Merchants Bank Tower and the Ping An International Finance Centre, China's second-tallest building and the world's fourth-tallest at 1969 feet.

Luohu District - Luohu lies to the east of Futian District, and the Shenzhen River is its southern border with Hong Kong's North District. The area is known for the Luohu Commercial City shopping complex, nightlife, and entertainment.

Yantian District - a neighborhood that's popular with visitors, Yantian's famous attractions include Sea World and Dameisha Beach.

Most popular hotel in Shenzhen by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Shenzhen

Most booked hotels in Shenzhen

Baolilai International Hotel
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
£100+
Fraser Place Shekou
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
£87+
Shangri-La Shenzhen
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
£67+
The Coli Hotel Shenzhen
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£66+
Kingkey Palace Hotel Shenzhen
Good (7.8, Good reviews)
£71+
Shenzhen Baohengda International Hotel
Poor (0, Poor reviews)
£74+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Shenzhen

Public Transportation

The Shenzhen Metro (subway) system is convenient and easy to use. Trains run at three-minute intervals to over 199 stations until 11 pm and fares are from ¥2-9. Local buses cover every part of the city and fares are from ¥1-7, depending on your destination.

Taxi

Green taxis can only operate within the SEZ, while red taxis can take you anywhere. Fares start at ¥10 for the first 1.24 miles and then ¥0.60 for each 0.155 miles. There is a ¥2 fuel surcharge on each trip and fares increase slightly at night. Tipping isn't expected but it's common to round up the bill to the nearest Yuan.

Car

You must be a Chinese license holder to drive in Shenzhen. Many people book local drivers in order to enjoy the convenience of their own vehicle. You can rent a compact car from ¥266 per day from leading brands like Hertz and Avis.

Car hire agencies in Shenzhen

Find car hire in Shenzhen

The Cost of Living in Shenzhen

Shopping Streets

Chinese and overseas visitors flock to massive malls like Luohu Commercial City for everything from custom clothing to designer copies in over 700 shops spread over five floors. The best bargains on clothing and home accessories can be found at Dong Men Pedestrian Street, and tea lovers should visit the Tea World Terminal Market. The city is also famous for electronics, and hundreds of sellers vie for your attention at the SEG Electronics Market in Huaqiang N Rd.

Groceries and Other

Popular international supermarkets include Walmart, Ole, and Carrefour. You'll find a dozen large eggs for ¥23 and a quart of whole milk for ¥15.

Cheap meal
£0.28
A pair of jeans
£61.87
Single public transport ticket
£0.24
Cappuccino
£0.29