1-Day Shenzhen Itinerary
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- Shenzhen in 1 day
- 2-Day Shenzhen Itinerary
- 3-Day Shenzhen Itinerary
- 4-Day Shenzhen Itinerary
- 5-Day Shenzhen Itinerary
Table of contents
1-day itinerary, shi jie zhi chuang, zhong guo min su wen hua cun.
The Oct Harbour, Shenzhen - Marriott Executive Apartments
Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center
Lianhuashan park, top searches in shenzhen, popular road trips from shenzhen, what's the weather like in shenzhen .
It depends on when you visit! We've compiled data from NASA on what the weather is like in Shenzhen for each month of the year: see the links below for more information.
- Weather in Shenzhen in January
- Weather in Shenzhen in February
- Weather in Shenzhen in March
- Weather in Shenzhen in April
- Weather in Shenzhen in May
- Weather in Shenzhen in June
- Weather in Shenzhen in July
- Weather in Shenzhen in August
- Weather in Shenzhen in September
- Weather in Shenzhen in October
- Weather in Shenzhen in November
- Weather in Shenzhen in December
All road trips from Shenzhen
- Shenzhen to Bangkok drive
- Shenzhen to Hanoi drive
- Shenzhen to Guangzhou drive
- Shenzhen to Beijing drive
- Shenzhen to Shanghai drive
- Shenzhen to Siem Reap drive
- Shenzhen to Ho Chi Minh City drive
- Shenzhen to Hoi An drive
- Shenzhen to Xi'an drive
- Shenzhen to Pattaya drive
- Shenzhen to Xiamen drive
- Shenzhen to Phnom Penh drive
- Shenzhen to Chiang Mai drive
- Shenzhen to Luang Prabang drive
- Shenzhen to Halong Bay drive
- Shenzhen to Hue drive
- Shenzhen to Hangzhou drive
- Shenzhen to Yangshuo County drive
- Shenzhen to Zhuhai drive
- Shenzhen to Nha Trang drive
- Shenzhen to Chengdu drive
- Shenzhen to Yangon (Rangoon) drive
- Shenzhen to Guilin drive
- Shenzhen to Suzhou drive
- Shenzhen to Sanya drive
- Shenzhen to Hua Hin drive
- Shenzhen to Chiang Rai drive
- Shenzhen to Ninh Binh drive
- Shenzhen to Nanjing drive
- Shenzhen to Vientiane drive
All related maps of Shenzhen
- Map of Shenzhen
- Map of Bangkok
- Map of Hanoi
- Map of Guangzhou
- Map of Beijing
- Map of Shanghai
- Map of Siem Reap
- Map of Ho Chi Minh City
- Map of Hoi An
- Map of Xi'an
- Map of Pattaya
- Map of Xiamen
- Map of Phnom Penh
- Map of Chiang Mai
- Map of Luang Prabang
- Map of Halong Bay
- Map of Hangzhou
- Map of Yangshuo County
- Map of Zhuhai
- Map of Nha Trang
- Map of Chengdu
- Map of Yangon (Rangoon)
- Map of Guilin
- Map of Suzhou
- Map of Sanya
- Map of Hua Hin
- Map of Chiang Rai
- Map of Ninh Binh
- Map of Nanjing
- Map of Vientiane
Shenzhen throughout the year
- Shenzhen in January
- Shenzhen in February
- Shenzhen in March
- Shenzhen in April
- Shenzhen in May
- Shenzhen in June
- Shenzhen in July
- Shenzhen in August
- Shenzhen in September
- Shenzhen in October
- Shenzhen in November
- Shenzhen in December
Looking for other day-by-day itineraries in Shenzhen ?
Check out our other curated itineraries that are also filled with jam-packed days:
Day itineraries for nearby cities
- 1-Day Bangkok Itinerary
- 1-Day Beijing Itinerary
- 1-Day Hanoi Itinerary
- 1-Day Siem Reap Itinerary
- 1-Day Hoi An Itinerary
- 1-Day Guangzhou Itinerary
- 1-Day Phnom Penh Itinerary
- 1-Day Yangon (Rangoon) Itinerary
- 1-Day Chengdu Itinerary
- 1-Day Xi'an Itinerary
- 1-Day Nanjing Itinerary
- 1-Day Pattaya Itinerary
- 1-Day Nha Trang Itinerary
- 1-Day Xiamen Itinerary
- 1-Day Halong Bay Itinerary
- 1-Day Luang Prabang Itinerary
- 1-Day Vientiane Itinerary
- 1-Day Yangshuo County Itinerary
- 1-Day Sanya Itinerary
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One day in Shenzhen as a day trip from Hong Kong
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post might be affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Shenzhen is a vibrant and modern Chinese city situated at the border with Hong Kong. This city is ideal for a day trip from Hong Kong. Visit the artistic OCT Loft, the techy Huaqiang North, and the vibrant Dongmen Pedestrian Street.
Of course, you won’t be able to explore the whole city in a single day, but it is perfectly possible to see the highlights in one day.
How to get to Shenzhen from Hong Kong
You can easily travel to Shenzhen by train, metro or ferry. Which one is best for you depends on whether you arranged a visa in advance or need to apply for a one day Shenzhen visa on the spot. Traveling to Shenzhen by air is also a possibility but I’m gonna leave it out as it is not very practical (too time consuming).
The high-speed train connection between Hong Kong and Shenzhen is the fastest option. It takes you from West Kowloon Train Station to Shenzhen Futian Station in 15 minutes or to Shenzhen North in 20 minutes. The only drawback is that you need to bring your Chinese visa with you: you can’t arrange a day visa on the spot.
But if you are in possession of a visa, then I recommend taking the train! There are over 80 departures a day between 6 AM and 11 PM. A one-way ticket costs around 10 EUR/USD.
If you need to arrange a visa on arrival, you can take the metro to Lo Wu metro station. At this station, you can get your visa and continue your trip using the Shenzhen Metro. Lok Ma Chau is also an option, but a less practical one because the visa office is not in the same building as the Hong Kong and Shenzhen metro. Depending on where you’re staying in Hong Kong, the metro ride to the border takes between an hour and an hour and a half and will cost you 5-10 EUR/USD.
You can also take the ferry from Hong Kong Macau Port to Shenzhen’s Shekou port and buy a visa on arrival. The ferry ride takes about one hour but is twice as expensive as the metro and the train: around 20 EUR/USD.
Getting a Visa on Arrival
Before considering a visit to Shenzhen, you need to look up the visa requirements for your country, as China’s border is closed to some nationalities. The visa office also looks at countries you traveled to recently. For example, if there is a stamp from Iran in your passport, you’ll likely be turned away at the border (this happened to other travelers right in front of me).
I can only elaborate on the proceedings at Lo Wu station, as that is the route I took in March 2019.
From the metro station, you follow the crowd to immigration. Except this is where you need to head to another level before joining the immigration queue. As you need to pay for the visa in Chinese yuan, you need to get your hands on Chinese money first. Fortunately, there is a money exchange office right there so you can exchange your HKD for Chinese yuan. Tip: get some more so you get some spending money at the same time. If you exchange too much, you can easily exchange your excess money again after returning to Hong Kong.
You need to fill in all kinds of forms, have your picture taken at a picture booth, and then draw a number to wait for your turn. The whole process (including waiting times) took me around an hour.
Transport in Shenzhen
From immigration, there are clear directions to the Shenzhen Metro. Before you arrive at the tracks you can buy a metro ticket from a vending machine or an employee at a manned desk. I recommend buying a day ticket at the desk, it’s easy and cheap!
The metro stations are listed in both Chinese and English, completely tourist proof. I thought Google Maps wouldn’t work in Shenzhen and spent time preparing a Chinese public transport app. But Google Maps still worked, probably because Shenzhen is so close to the border. This made navigating public transport very easy.
If you’re afraid Google might not work for you, you could use a VPN like NordVPN . This is the one I use at home and when traveling.
When renting pocket wifi for Hong Kong, you can pick one that works in Hong Kong, Macao, and Shenzhen. Ideal if you want to visit these three cities on one trip!
Things to do in Shenzhen
1) oct loft shenzhen.
Take the metro (green line) to Overseas Chinese Town station. From here it is only a five minutes’ walk to the OCT Loft.
Location (of a restaurant at the OCT Loft) : GXPM+GG Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
If you have more time in Shenzhen, you can also visit Splendid China, a theme park about the Chinese cultural heritage.
The art and cozy cafes
This whole place is an expression of art. From the boutiques, cozy cafes, and the restaurants to the buildings they’re housed in. You’re greeted by red metal figures seated on or in front of the buildings. Steampunk style. They’re really interesting to look at because of the expressions on the faces and the objects they are presented with.
Hopefully, there is an interesting exhibition when you visit. In March 2019, there was an exhibition called System: Sui Jianguo . The sculptures in the exhibition, both small pieces (test objects) and larger pieces all showed the influence of hands and fingerprints. An artistic view on creation and recognition, space and time, through form, alternative methods, and media types.
For lunch, I can recommend My Noodle . Even though the employees don’t speak English, there is an English menu available. Their noodle soup is very good and there are many side dishes to try.
2) COCO Park
Take the metro (green line) to the Shopping Park stop.
Location : G3M3+7Q Futian, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
YO!tea or HEYTEA are two tea shops that sell fresh fruit tea and tea topped with creamy cheese. You’ll find HEYTEA in many of the bigger malls. YO!tea is a bit harder to find, but there is one at COCO Park, a nice modern mall with a good seating area and an outdoor play area for kids.
3) Huaqiang North (Huaqiangbei)
Take the metro (green line) to Huaqiang Road station and enter the Huaqianbei Commercial Street from the south.
Location : G3RP+9M Futian, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
Huaqianbei Commercial street
This street is advertised (by tourists) as ‘the’ tech street in Shenzhen. Here you’ll find a mix of modern shops (Samsung, Apple, and the like) selling high tech products and shabby malls selling all the things you’ll never need (plus some fun tech goodies). If you like fixing the products you already own: here you can also find all the small parts that you would otherwise buy via eBay or AliExpress .
The boulevard itself is broad with some greenery and relaxing to walk on with plenty to see.
4) Dongmen Pedestrian Shopping area
Take the metro (light blue line) from Huaxin station to Laojie station
Location : Pedestrian St, Dongmen, Shenzhen, Luohu District, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
Dongmen Pedestrian Shopping Street is probably the most touristy area in Shenzhen. It’s at a walking distance from Luohu and Lo Wu station; the metro that can take you back to Hong Kong.
This area is especially interesting when it gets dark: it is colorful, alive, and there are lots of people hanging out and having fun. At the food stalls, you can try all sorts of food and drinks, but it is also perfectly fine to have a less adventurous meal at a restaurant in one of the malls.
These are the highlights you can’t miss on your day trip to Shenzhen! One day I’ll visit Shenzhen again to explore the other neighborhoods because I really liked this city.
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Shenzhen Day Trip
Shenzhen is just across the border in mainland China. The main reason for going to Shenzen is to shop!
Goods in Shenzhen are cheaper than Hong Kong because that is where most of them come from. Getting to Shenzen is not hard using the MTR/KCR transport system in Hong Kong. A 5 day visa can issued at the border for most nationalities. Warning: USA passport holders cannot get a visa at the border.
Lo Wu Crossing
Firstly you need to buy a ticket to Lo Wu. Lo Wu is on the East Rail Line so if you are joining it from the MTR you will only be able to buy a single. It is about 30 minutes travel from the island.
At Lo Wu you will cross the border. Once you have exited Hong Kong you will need to get your visa. The visa's are issued upstairs, it is a biggish area but keep following the crowds and you will see an escalator going up. Once upstairs you need to fill in the visa application and take a ticket from the ticket machine and wait for your number. If you are doing this at the weekend or over a holiday this can mean a long wait!
Lok Ma Chau Crossing
To alleviate immigration the border crossing traffic at Lo Wu, a second border checkpoint is available for crossing at Lok Ma Chau on the Lok Ma Chau Spur MTR line. Like passengers travelling to Lo Wu, the Lok Ma Chu station and area is restricted to passengers with a permit or a passport and visa to mainland China.
The visa must be paid for in Rimimbi(Chinese currency) for those eligible for visa upon arrivals at the borders For others, visas should be arranged in Hong Kong prior to attempting to cross the border into mainland China.
Visa fee (Update valid on 31st of May 2014)
5 day tourist visa fee is 168 RMB. Exceptions are following countries that have different fee: Armenia 420 RMB, Ethiopia 487 RMB, Angola 681 RMB, Congo 747 RMB, Gabon 512 RMB, Cameroon 480 RMB, Cote Divoire 737 RMB, Moldova 455 RMB, Ukraine 409 RMB, U.K. 304 RMB, Panama 579 RMB, Brazil 369 RMB, Bolivia 414 RMB, Ecuador 414 RMB, U.S.A. 956 RMB, Venezuela 585 RMB, Chile 429 RMB, Romania 512 RMB, Russia 393 RMB, Mexico 371 RMB, Poland 475 RMB, Bulgaria 504 RMB, Montenegro 160 RMB. Tourists from remaining countries pay 168 RMB.
The fee can be paid in RMB or you can pay by credit card - this has been confirmed in Lo-Wu crossing.
Visa Process (at the border)
Once your number comes up the process is very fast and you will have your visa in about 5-10 minutes. Go down stairs and go through Chinese immigration. Again there could be a queue here depending if you go on a weekend or holiday.
You have to fill simple form (takes less than one minute), indicate what type of visa you are applying for and it's issued within few minutes. Very simple process, some officers speaks English without major problem and on top of it they were really friendly in my case. Please do not forget to fill entry/exit form when crossing border afterwards. You can get this form as well in same visa office.
Immediate (Cheap) Shopping
Exit the building and in front of you, slightly to the right you will see a big department store, you can't really miss it! Takes about a 2 minute walk to get there.
There are 5 floors of shopping! The place is huge and full of small booths selling masses of bags, watches, phones and every sort of electronics, jewelery etc you can imagine. The preferred currency is the RMB but you can use HK dollars here as well. Bargain hard and don't worry about walking away as the shops repeat themselves on every level. You will get more choice here than in Hong Kong. Lots of people from Hong Kong come here to get clothes made and if you get hungry there are restaurants.
Getting back is quicker. Exit China and fill out the Hong Kong visa forms and enter Hong Kong. Buy a train ticket from one of the machines and just wait for a train. There is a train about every 15 minutes.
Have fun shopping!
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1 Day in Shenzhen: Top Places To Enjoy in Shenzhen
Michael Michelini Last Updated: July 30, 2021 Blog , Lifestyle , Travel 0 Comments
Things To Do in Shenzhen
Shenzhen is bustling metropolis and is also best known as the city right next door to Hong Kong. The city is a tourist haven, offering a diverse range of activities to satisfy whatever kind of adventure you might prefer such as shopping, theme parks, and even beaches.
If you want to ditch the usual tour package and want to explore Shenzhen at your own pace, there are tons of places to go and things to do. Here are some destinations that you should not miss during your Shenzhen visit.
Visit Shenzhen Window of the World
The Shenzhen Window of the World theme park is a must-visit for the first-time visitor to the city. The 480,000-square-meter park is basically a miniature global village showcasing some of the most recognizable landmarks from all over the world.
With a little touch of your imagination, the Window of the World theme park is probably the quickest and cheapest way to tour the entire world. You can visit Paris’ Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, Champs Elysees and even the Tower of London if you prefer European destination. If you want a more Asian ambiance, the spending temple complex Cambodia Angkor Wat beckons, as well as Japan’s Mount Fuji, India’s Taj Mahal, and the world-class Sydney Opera House.
If you prefer to visit an American destination, you can admire the magnificence of Manhattan’s skyline as well as visit Mount Rushmore. Of course, these are all just replicas of the actual landmarks but, with over 140 landmarks to visit, you’ll end your day satisfied and with the vague feeling of having toured the entire world in a day.
Shop At Luohu Commercial City
Okay, not everyone is exactly into theme parks. If that’s the case, perhaps shopping will do the trick. Incidentally, if you travel to Shenzhen by train, you’ll find yourself dropped into the Luohu Commercial City, one of the most well-known shopping locations in the city.
You’ll find everything you could want in the shopping complex. Tailors can magically reproduce that pricey outfit you are wearing at a fraction of its cost. You’ll also find accessories, DVDs and every electronic gadget you can dream of, some even sporting brands you’ve only encountered for the first time in your entire life.
Just a friendly reminder though. There is a reason why all the stuff is affordable to your eyes. The shopping complex has a reputation for selling replica goods so keep that in mind if you enter into those unavoidable price negotiations. Yes, haggling is not only allowed; it is necessary. If the shop assistants manage to detect that you’re a foreigner, they’ll likely give you an over-inflated price at first. When this happens, the only way to get a deal is to haggle. And be sure to remember to check on the quality first before purchasing.
Take A Stroll At The Lianhua Mountain
Is shopping to chaotic for you? Shenzhen also offers a lot of activities to soothe your mind. One of these is to take a walk in a park to calm your frayed nerves. Fortunately, you don’t have to go very far to experience a change of scenery. Right in the middle of Shenzhen is the Lianhua Mountain Park.
Don’t worry, the peak of the Lianhua Mountain is not very high, and you won’t need any climbing gear to get there. In fact, it only takes around 15 minutes of leisurely walk to reach the top. Aside from getting the excise you sorely need, reaching the peak will give you a splendid panoramic view of the city below. And of course, there is a statue of former Chinese leader and city founder Deng Xiaoping, a perfect photo opportunity to prove to your friends that you’ve been to the top.
Arts and Culture
If you are into art, you won’t regret your decision in visiting Shenzhen City. In fact, the city has established itself as the center of the art and design scene in China, which explains why international art powerhouses are busy gaining a foothold in the city.
For instance, London’s V&A Museum has entered the scene with its display located at 1187 Wangai Road, Shekou, Nanshan, Shenzhen, which houses a gallery that is part of Design Society. Called the Values of Design exhibition, it will run until August 2019 and will explore the inescapable link between design and culture.
If you want to immerse yourself in Shenzhen’s art scene further, you can head off to OCT-LOFT complex * ; a 37-acre area dubbed as the focal point of the city art and design movement.
The sprawling area houses numerous shops were you can browse and buy locally produced art pieces. This is also where artists love to hang out with its trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants. A perfect place to unwind during weekends.
For painting enthusiasts, a must-visit location is the Dafen Oil Painting Village at 247 Busha Road, Buji Town. You can watch artists work their magic in producing original artwork. However, if you want a replica of a particularly famous painting such as Van Goghs and Monets, they’ll only be too happy to oblige. In fact, the place has produced 60 percent of the world’s replica oil paintings during its peak in the 2000s.
Relax at the Beach
If you’re the beach kind of guy, Shenzhen will definitely surprise you. Despite being an urban area, you can still find stretches of coastline home to peaceful beaches and parks, places perfect for that well-deserved relaxation time.
For instance, the Xiaomeisha Beach is located 28 kilometers from Shenzhen’s city center. Located on the eastern side of the city, Xiaomeishe Beach has a crescent-shaped shoreline framed by mountains on three sides. It’s easy to enjoy the sun and waves at the beach and will make you forget that you’re actually just a stone’s throw away from the city. With its tropical ambiance, no wonder locals call the place the ‘Oriental Hawaii.’
Just four kilometers from Xiaomeisha is another well-known destination – the Dameisha Beach. Aside from swimming, you can also enjoy a host of fun water activities such as parasailing and jet skis. There are also horse riding facilities for those brave enough to mount them.
Border Crossings By Bus And Car
There are a lot of ways to travel between HongKong and Shenzhen. You can go by train, by ferry or by bus and car . Actually, a lot of people prefer to travel by bus or car as it is also very convenient. Here are some helpful contact numbers of operators who offer border crossing services covering different crossing points.
Huanggang Border Crossing – They operate 24 hours while you can choose between a bus or a car from your transportation. They drop you at the Futian District. Call +86 755 83395171 for bookings.
Border crossing Check Points (Luohu Check Point) – With this operator, you’ll end up at the Luohu District, They open from 6:30 AM and closes at 24:00 PM. You’ll choose between bus, car or MTR as your mode of transport. Contact them at +86 755 82339585.
Wenjindu Border Crossing – Contact them at +86 755 25115272 if you want to book a trip that will drop you in the Luohu District. The operator opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 22:00 PM. Available mode of transport is cars and buses.
Shatoujiao Border Crossing – If you want to be dropped at the Yantian District, contact +86 755 25550690 between 7:00 AM and 22:00 PM. You can choose either go to Shenzhen by car or by bus.
Shenzhen Bay Border Crossing – This operator drops you off at the Nanshan District by car or bus. You can get in touch with them at +86 755 86289222 during their office hours which starts at 6:30 AM and ends at 24:00 PM
For a full list of Hong Kong borders, check out our border guide .
Shenzhen’s subway network , which has been operational since 2004, is also an economical and relatively fast way to cross the border. Foreigners won’t encounter language barriers as the announcements inside the train as well as on the stations are broadcast in three languages – Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.
Shenzhen’s network is comprised of six lines offering you plenty of options. There is a route that starts at Fu Tian passing through Long Hua and eventually ending in Qing Du. Another line starts at Luo Hu until it ends at Airport East. Visit here to view the Shenzhen lines map.
Enjoy Hassle-free Travel with the Shenzhentong Travel Card
One of the most dreaded aspects of commuting, whether by train or bus, is the inevitable queuing just to buy your tickets. Thankfully, the smart traveler can bypass the long lines by purchasing the Shenzhentong Travel Card.
Also, you can even get a discount on every train or bus trip if you use the card for payment. Purchasing the card is easy; you can just get one from the ticket booth or, at 7-11 stores. You will be asked to deposit of 100rmb, but you will be reimbursed when you eventually surrender the card.
Just remember to keep the receipt of your Shenzhentong Travel Card purchase. This will come in handy in case you lose or misplace the card. Just present your receipt to the ticket booth to cancel the lost card. You will be given back the balance of the card minus the 100rmb deposit (because you lost the card).
* Source: theculturetrip.com/asia/china/articles/a-brief-history-of-shenzhens-oct-loft-complex/ is currently offline
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Shenzhen Day Trip
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Experience the incredible contrasts of Shenzhen on this day trip from Hong Kong and discover how a tiny town became one of China's most important commercial ports.
We currently don’t have any scheduled dates for this activity.
Shenzhen Day Trip Itinerary
Having been picked up from your hotel on the morning of your tour, you'll leave Hong Kong behind, heading north and entering mainland China.
Arriving in Shenzhen, you'll have an excellent introduction to the city visiting the Shenzhen History Museum . Here, you'll discover the extent of the city's recent and rapid transformation: in the 1980s, Shenzhen was a humble market town, and over the following two decades it became one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, making it one of China's most important commercial ports . Nowadays, the city is home to an impressive financial district and is the location of any number of factories which produce cutting edge technology.
Embrace China's incredible history next with a visit to an exhibition of the Terracotta Warriors , admiring the legendary funerary sculptures transported from Xi'an. You'll then enjoy a well-deserved break, stopping in a local restaurant for a typical Chinese lunch .
After eating, you'll have free time to do some shopping in the Lo Wu shopping centre , where you'll find an impressive range of products from fashion to electronics, toys, jewellery and more!
At the end of an excellent day in Shenzhen, you'll take the express train back to Hong Kong, where you'll arrive around 7 pm.
- This tour includes a group visa for China, however in order to process the visa, you must send us a copy of the passports of every person on your reservation. You must bring your valid passport on the day of the activity.
- The Shenzhen History Museum is closed on Mondays. If you do your tour on a Monday, you'll visit an impressive lotus garden instead.
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24 Hours In Shenzhen: Where To Stay, Eat & Explore
Just over the border, this go-to shopping destination has tons to offer and makes for a perfect day trip.
Whether you’re living in or visiting Hong Kong, Shenzhen is too close to miss. A day trip might mean getting a much-needed massage or finding a good bargain in Lo Wu , but our neighbouring city offers much more than that. Shenzhen is perfect for a weekend getaway (just an hour and a half by train) and like many places, some insider tips always help to make the most of a day trip. Join us to find out where to stay, eat and explore in Shenzhen. We’ve even included a handy 24-hour guide at the end of the post , so jump to that if you haven’t got a full weekend.
Jump to: Before you go Where to stay Where to eat What to do Key Phrases 24-Hour Guide
Read more: 24 Hours As A Solo Female Traveller In Delhi
Before you go
When to visit The best time to visit Shenzhen is from October to December since the weather is pleasant (almost cool enough for a proper jacket) . If you’re heading over in the summer, there’s an annual lychee festival from 28 June to 8 August, with cultural events revolving around lychees. Visitors have the option to go to Lychee Park to taste fresh lychees and immerse themselves in Chinese culture.
How to get there Hong Kong is a central spot for so much of Asia, and Shenzhen is a prime example. Take the East Rail Line to Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau stations, depending on where you want to go in Shenzhen. Lo Wu is the most popular crossing point as it has the huge Luo Ho shopping centre, and offers quick connections to downtown Shenzhen. The Lok Ma Chau crossing is better for some Shenzhen hotels. Both are connected to the Shenzhen Metro.
Things to note China can be a bit tricky for non-Mandarin speakers, but Shenzhen is a friendly, bustling city where people are willing to help. Have your hotel write out your destination in Chinese to show taxi drivers, and keep a card with the hotel’s address written in Chinese in your purse or bag and you’ll be all set. Also, most nationalities require a Chinese visa to visit, so be sure to apply at least a month in advance!
Where to stay
Grand Mercure Shenzhen Oriental Ginza Expect immaculate rooms, a pool, a sauna and a fitness centre that can be used to your liking, as well as spa services to mark the cherry on top of the experience. The hotel is also located within 3 miles of the Splendid China Folk Village and Window of the World.
Grand Mercure Shenzhen Oriental Ginza , Zhuzilin, Shennan Boulevard, Futian District, 518040 Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8350 0888, [email protected] , www.grandmercure.com
Grand Skylight Hotel A four-star gem amidst the bustling city, the Grand Skylight Hotel is the ideal option for those who are looking to spend their visit in luxury. The rooms are elegantly decorated with plush comfortable beds . The hotel offers sweeping views of the city, hence the name “skylight”. There are several Chinese and Western restaurants and bars to choose from, as well as a fantastic duty-free shopping centre.
Grand Skylight Hotel Shenzhen, 3024, Shennan Zhong Road, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8368 9999, [email protected] , www.gszsz.grandskylight.com
Idea Jar Hotel Featuring another fun experience, the Idea Jar Hotel offers its guests not only a place to stay but also a full-blown library with an array of books to choose from . The hotel is cosy and offers a sun terrace for further relaxation. Nearby attractions include a hiking trail and the electronics market.
Idea Jar Hotel, 4F, Lei Zhen Plaza, 40 Fu Ming Road, Futian District, 518001 Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, www.booking.com/hotel/cn/jin-nang-qing-nian-yu-hua-qiang-bei-dian
Maker Hotel Caught between modern and artistic, this hotel is easy on the eyes and offers a fun experience for the guest. From the exterior of the hotel to the hallways and finally the rooms, you will find splashes of colour and intricate designs. Besides the lively atmosphere, the hotel is the ideal location for those who are interested in striking a balance between shopping for electronics and nightlife.
Maker Hotel, 3034 Huaqiang South Road, Huaqiangbei Area, Futian District, 518000 Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, www.booking.com/hotel/cn/qu-chuang-jiu-dian
Shenzhen Xi You Hostel This hostel is ideal for those who are on a tight budget (or anyone after a more adventurous sleeping option) . Each room consists of a square capsule with just enough space to feel comfortable and relax . Shenzhen Xi You Hostel is located near the metro, and within walking distance to several fun attractions such as Happy Valley Theme Park, Shekou Sea World and more.
Shenzhen Xi You Hostel, Block B Xin Xin Building, 113 Zhen Xing Road, Hua Qiang North, Futian District, 518000 Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, www.booking.com/hotel/cn/shen-zhen-qi-you-qing-nian-lu-guan
Where to eat
Feast Signature Restaurant What sets Feast Signature apart from the other restaurants in Shenzhen is the interactive experience that is encouraged. This spot is an all-day dining restaurant with an enticing buffet and à la carte options offering mouthwatering food. It also has a beautiful sea view of the aquamarine water and spectacular sunset.
Feast Signature, Sheraton Dameisha Resort, 9 Yankui Road, Yantian District, Shenzhen 518083, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8888 6688, www.marriott.com
HaidiLao Hot Pot If it’s your first time in Shenzhen, but more importantly your first time in China, you must take a stab at China’s infamous hotpot or as the Chinese call it haidilao. Since hotpot is a communal dinner, the idea is that you sit around a table with family or friends with a boiling pot of broth in the middle . The broth can be spicy, non-spicy, or tomato, take your pick! As for the ingredients that go into the pot, well, that’s also up to you. Restaurants usually offer a variety of ingredients including raw vegetables and meats, as well as delicious dipping sauces. YouYi Cheng specifically offers its customers an entertaining experience with friendly customer service.
HaidiLao Hot Pot, 5-6/F, Youyicheng, No.63 Youyi Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8225 0991
Magpie OCT-LOFT is an artistic area offering a variety of art galleries, shops and tasty restaurants. Magpie happens to be among those tasty restaurants and is known for its creative dishes and twists on traditional dishes. The restaurant is a modern restaurant for those who are looking for a late night that involves appetisers and delicious cocktails . Among the intriguing dishes on offer are chicken and waffles and scotch egg.
Magpie, A5-125 North Section, OCT, Wenchang Street, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8652 8782
Social Restaurant With spectacular views of both Shenzhen and Hong Kong from the 95th floor, you won’t want to pass up a meal at this restaurant. With dim sum, sashimi, steak and a buffet with a variety of additional options , you’ll quickly discover that the food does not disappoint. Keep in mind that this option can be a bit on the expensive side so if you are on a budget it may not be the right fit for you.
Social Restaurant, 95/F, Kingkey 100 Building, No. 5016 Shennan Road East, Luohu District, Shenzhen 518001, Guangdong, China, +86 755 2223 9358, www.tripadvisor.com.hk
Willy’s Crab Shack Craving Western cuisine? The atmosphere has a laid back vibe with fantastic buy one, get one free happy hour deals. Favourites include coconut shrimp, a buffalo chicken sandwich, jalapeño poppers and much more. With great food, cheap drinks, and an expat atmosphere, even tourists feel like they’re right at home!
Willy’s Crab Shack, No.18 Shi Yun Road, Shekou Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518052, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8827 8002
Dafen Oil Painting Village This particular site is a 1.5 hour trip away from Shenzhen. Almost the entire village of Dafen is dedicated to art which creates a lively experience for the visitor. At one point, the village produced 60% of the world’s oil paintings, although this number has changed in recent years. At Dafen Village you will find both original works and replicas of famous oil paintings.
Dafen Oil Painting Village, Buji Town, Longgang District, Shenzhen 518123, Guangdong, China
La Casa La Casa itself is pretty small, but it features a vast outdoor seating area, perfect for relaxing on long warm evenings. With regular quiz nights and a famous open mic night every Sunday evening , Dave Seymore, the owner has brought together many of Shenzhen’s aspiring poets and musicians. A well-priced selection of wines, coupled with delicious homemade pizzas and pasta has made La Casa a popular, creative hangout for expats.
La Casa, Section A, Baoli Culture Plaza, Crossing of Haide 2nd Road and Wenxin 6th Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, +86 755 8628 7885
Lianhuashan Park Located at the northern end of Shenzhen’s downtown area is Lianhuashan, one of the city’s most popular parks. It features both tropical and subtropical plants and trees, a relaxing lake, and a small mountain. Lianhua mountain takes approximately 20 minutes to hike and, at the top, you will find former Chinese politician Deng Xiaoping’s statue overlooking the city. In the southeast of the park is Kite Plaza, a favourite spot for local families and children to fly their kites. Kites can be purchased at the park shop for a small price.
Lianhuashan Park, Hongli Road, Futian District, Shenzhen 518028, Guangdong, China
Window of the World With more than 130 reproductions of famous attractions from around the world, this is an amusement park that you won’t want to miss. For those who haven’t had the chance to see the world, Shenzhen Window of the World features replicas of the Vatican, Eiffel Tower, Angkor Wat, Egyptian pyramids and much more.
Window of the World, 9037 Shennan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518053, Guangdong, China
- g你好 Nǐ hǎo – Hello
- 早上好 Zǎoshang hǎo – Good morning!
- 下午好 Xiàwǔ hǎo – Good afternoon!
- 谢谢 Xièxiè – Thank you.
- 你叫什么名字 Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì – What’s your name?
- 我的名字是 … Wǒ de míngzì shì – My name is…
- 我要这个 Wǒ yào zhège – I want this.
- 我要那个 Wǒ yào nàgè – I want that.
- 这个多少钱 Zhège duōshǎo qián – How much is this?
- 我 听不懂 Wǒ tīng bù dǒng – I do not understand.
- 浴室在哪里 Yùshì zài nǎlǐ? – Where’s the bathroom?
- 我可以看一下菜单吗? Wǒ kěyǐ kàn yī xià càidān ma? – May I have the menu?
- 你有这个吗? Nǐ yǒu zhège ma? – Do you have this?
- 我不能吃 … Wǒ bùnéng chī… – I can’t eat…
- 我对此过敏… Wǒ duì cǐ guòmǐn – I’m allergic to…
- 这很美味 Zhè hěn měiwèi – It’s delicious!
- 别客气 Bié kèqì – You’re welcome.
- 我来付吧 Wǒ lái fù ba – I want to pay.
- 我可以使用我的信用卡吗？Wǒ kěyǐ shǐyòng wǒ de xìnyòngkǎ ma? – Can I use my credit card?
11am: slf international spa club (water cube).
Spas in Shenzhen are built on an industrial scale and usually charge a fraction of what you pay in Hong Kong. Some even offer complimentary gym facilities, fruit and drinks – SLF International Spa Club is one of them. Located right next to the Lok Ma Chau train station (perfect if you take the train from Hong Kong) , SLF International Spa Club is the best place to start the day with a relaxing massage. The lobby resembles the interior of a five-star hotel, and you are welcomed with a clear price list of its services as you enter. The massages are reasonably priced, for example a Thai massage is 178RMB (approximately $205) and a Chinese style massage is 158RMB (approximately $182) and it also offers other spa options. The massage itself is decent and the massage rooms are clean and quiet. To top it off? Unlimited, complimentary fruit dishes, ice-cream and drinks are served in the common area and you can enjoy the free WiFi while unwinding on the comfy couches; stay for as long as you wish.
Sassy Tip: Take a dip in the hydromassage pool located between the changing room and massage rooms –disposable swimwear is provided and it’s free!
SLF International Spa Club, 1-6/F Gangcheng Huating (Huanggang Border Crossing), Yunong Village, Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
1pm: OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park
If we could only recommend one place in Shenzhen to a friend, it would be OCT-LOFT . Originally an old industrial area with abandoned factory buildings, the OCT-LOFT complex is now an artistic space that houses contemporary art galleries, bohemian coffee shops, fashion boutiques, tasty restaurants and so much more. With low-level architecture and garden beds among street sculptures, it offers an alternative slice of Shenzhen life. It’s hard to not fall in love with OCT-LOFT: it’s a lovely, spacious area to explore alone, with friends, or with family, whether you’re up for admiring some contemporary art or just fancy relaxing around the area with a beer or a cuppa. Once you enter OCT-LOFT, you’re welcomed by Instagram-worthy graffiti and art walls on the refurbished warehouses. You could easily spend hours at OCT-LOFT taking pictures (that would lead people into thinking you’re somewhere in Europe) , buying souvenirs at little craft shops and soaking in the art and design world.
Take metro line 1, get off at Qiaocheng East Station (OCT East Subway Station) , take Exit A, turn right on Enping Street and walk for around five minutes.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some of the must-visit spots in OCT-LOFT:
- Idutang A major player in OCT-LOFT, Idutang is not just another hipster bar. Visit in the evening for live performances by independent musicians from both China and abroad, occasional movie screenings, or simply kick back with a brew (on tap) in the relaxing terrace in between art appreciation sessions.
- T-Street Creative Bazaar Held in the first and third weekend of every month, more than 60 local gadget designers, collectors and handicraft enthusiasts set up stalls at the open-air, T-Street Creative Bazaar at OCT-LOFT. From personalised jewellery and accessories to vintage clothes and art books, you will find all things creative here.
- LSD Party Don’t let the name fool you – LSD party is, in fact, a restaurant that doubles up as an art space. The plush internal decorations coupled with the stylish Mediterranean cuisine and traditional Italian food and wine make it a great location for a date or a relaxing meal with friends and family. LSD Party has previously exhibited work from some of the world’s top household design brands, including Bretz, Vitra, Walter Knoll, and Fendi. Sassy Tip: For serious foodies out there, you can have the chefs cook up your own special dish as long as you call in advance and let them know what you fancy eating.
- My Coffee Visit My Coffee to unwind from the hustle and bustle of Shenzhen. One special feature about the café is that you can choose which coffee mug you drink from. My Coffee features a whole myriad of interesting and beautifully designed cups that you can opt for. While you’re sipping away on your cappuccino or latte you can also indulge in the café’s collections of art and photography books for a bit of a bohemian experience. On the snack front, the pineapple cakes are worth a try and pair perfectly with a cup of coffee.
OCT-LOFT Creative Culture Park, 2 Jinxiu Beilu, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, www.octloft.cn
4pm: HEYTEA at Galaxy Coco Park
HEYTEA is Gong Cha, but better. While the Galaxy Coco Park might be similar to malls in Hong Kong (but bigger) , you only need one reason to make a stop here and it is HEYTEA. You won’t miss it because there’s always a long queue outside the shop and you will see people holding the HEYTEA cup everywhere. The popular cheese-topped style tea (nai gai cha) is what attracts the crowd. You have the options of low-fat for the cheese, low-sugar for the tea, or the original (the real deal) . Better share this tea if you plan on eating dinner – the thick, creamy and rich cheese layer (totally guilty but glorious) can go a long way.
If you’re looking to order like a local, order the Jinfeng Tea King (Cheese Green Tea) . HEYTEA has quite a few tea selections to choose from and Jinfeng Tea King is the most popular choice. Jinfeng Tea King comes with a layer of cheese about an inch thick and holds a mixture of cream cheese lightly seasoned with salt and beautifully poured over Jinfeng Tea (an oolong tea from Alishan, Taiwan) .
Galaxy Coco Park, 268 Fuhua 3rd Road, Fu Tian C B D, Futian District, Shenzhen 518208, Guangdong, China
6pm: COCO Park
COCO Park in Shenzhen is like Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong. Located in Central Shenzhen, it’s stuck right between Nanshan and Luohu Districts and is rapidly becoming a nightlife destination for both locals and expats alike. Looking for a fun night out? Here are some of our favourites:
McCawley’s Irish Pub For those looking for a quiet pint in a traditional pub, McCawley’s ticks all the boxes. From its wood-panelled walls to the sweeping staircase leading to the second floor, this pub oozes old-world charm and has many of features you would expect from a quality city pub in Dublin. The traditional pub menu caters to expats who miss the comforts of western food, including roast chicken, Irish stew and imported steaks. Although McCawley’s is slightly more expensive than other bars in COCO Park, it remains ever popular for its good service, weekly live music and sports coverage.
McCawley’s Irish Pub, Shop 151-152, COCO Park, 268 Fuhua 3rd Rd, Futian District, Shenzhen 518208, Guangdong, China, +86 755 2531 3599, www.mccawleys.com
11pm: Club Viva
If you’re looking to party on into the wee hours, then Club Viva is the place to be. Open until 5am, this nightclub is popular among locals and expats, especially for weekend parties (expect pounding dance music all night long) . Unlike clubs in Hong Kong, Club Viva features a massive terrace, serves shisha and offers tapas-style snacks to keep you going through the night.
Club Viva, 1/F, Shopping Center, Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Club Viva, 3/F, Sea World Square, Shekou District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Editor’s Note: This post was originally written by Pearl Yan on 18, July 2017 and updated by Stacy Dahl on 26, June 2019.
Featured image courtesy of Denys Nevozhai via Unsplash , image 1 courtesy of Tiger Yifan Huang via That’s Shenzhen ‘s Instagram , image 2 courtesy of Grand Mercure Shenzhen Oriental Ginza , image 3 courtesy of Maker Hotel , image 4 courtesy of Feast Signature Restaurant , image 5 courtesy of Social Restaurant , image 6 courtesy of Mx. Granger via Wikimedia Commons , image 7 courtesy of Millertime via Trip Advisor , image 8 courtesy of Joseph Chan via Unsplash , image 9 courtesy of Aaron Greenwood via Unsplash , image 12 courtesy of HEYTEA via Instagram , image 13 courtesy of Daniel A via Trip Advisor
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