Travel Information




By air

Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport [3] has domestic and international flights. Metro line 1 connects the airport to downtown Shenzhen in 50 minutes, (¥5.7). If you arrive on a domestic flight into the domestic flight terminal, follow the signs for buses and take bus M416 (¥2) This bus will bring you to Hourui station on Line 1. The bus takes around 10mins and departs frequently from outside the terminal building.

In addition to domestic flights, the airport also serves limited international flights from the following destinations:

  • Air Asia [4] flies direct from Bangkok, Thailand as well as Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
  • Silkair [5] and Tiger Airways [6] fly direct from Singapore.

There is also a helicopter service from Terminal Marítimo in Macau to Shenzhen Airport [7], though it is very expensive.

Taxis to central Futian are approximately ¥100 and to Luohu approximately ¥150 including tolls.

Airport Shuttle Bus You should mark down the Schedule Table, so as not to miss the bus.

  1. From Luohu check point to Hualian Mansion, in addition to taxi, one can take No. 215 and get off at the station of “Xinhua Hotel” or take No.25 and No. 12 and get off at the station of “Technology Gallery”.
  2. One who holds the ticket of FM, MF, 3C and HU gets off at waiting hall of terminal A. And the passengers who hold the tickets of ZH, CA, MU, SC and international flights get off at waiting hall of terminal B.

Transportation from Hong Kong International Airport to Shenzhen

Public transport A cheap and quite comfortable way to Shenzhen is to take the Airport Express train from Hong Kong Interantional Airport to Tsing Yi, then the Tung Chung underground line to Lai King, then the Tsuen Wan Line to Prince Edward, then the Kwun Tong Line to Kowloon Tong and then the East Rail suburban rail line to Lo Wu. This costs in total $60 (ie: the Airport Express fare with no additional cost because free transfers are permitted with your Airport Express Octopus usage) and takes 78 minutes to Lo Wu. Another option is to take the bus from the airport to Sheung Shui (Bus A43) and transfer to the East Rail line. Taking the bus is cheaper (HK$30.90), nearly never full so you are almost guaranteed a seat and a view of the outside for the whole journey. The bus terminus is to the right of the Airport Express station coming from Arrivals of HKIA. From Lo Wu, you pass through a long corridor and a large international border gate (make sure to have your visa ready for this) after which you’ll find youself on the mainland, where the Shenzhen underground (Metro) will take you from Luohu station to the rest of Shenzhen and the airport.

Ferry There is also ferry service from Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen, check at the information desk for their schedule. A further alternative is to take “Skypier”. This service takes you direct from HKIA to the mainland (Shekou area in Shenzhen, Shenzhen Airport Fuyong Terminal or Zhuhai) without going through Hong Kong immigrations or customs or in fact the city itself. There is a booth before you get to immigration and you purchase your ticket and ask them to get your luggage transferred and then you go by skytrain to the ferry and then straight to China. When arriving in China you may find a long queue waiting for a taxi. It is often much faster to take the metro to get close to your destination in Shenzhen, and then take a taxi from there. Using the ferry to get from HKIA to Shenzhen is cheaper, easier, and faster than going into Hong Kong Central or Kowloon. If you exit China this way you get HKD120 departure tax given to you when you arrive at HKIA.

Private Limousine Van Service There are a number of companies that operate luxury vans from HKIA to destinations in Shenzhen and Shenzhen Airport. They typically involve crossing via the Shenzhen Bay Bridge Customs Point. Passengers are often not even required to leave the vehicle at the border post, with the driver handling all the passports and details. Costs can be from HK$200 upwards. It is a unique experience, being driven on the left side of the road in Hong Kong and then the right side once on the mainland. All in all it takes about 2 hours. When using the van service from Shenzhen to HKIA, book it at your hotel, the price is usually CNY200.

By land

Shenzhen has border train and bus connections to Hong Kong. There are trains to Guangzhou and buses to most nearby cities.

Hong Kong border crossings

There are six land border crossings: Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang, Lok Ma Chau/Futian Kou’an, Lo Wu/Luohu, Sha Tau Kok/Shatoujiao, Man Kam To/Wenjindu and Shenzhen Wan which is at the end of a long and elegant bridge across Shenzhen Bay.

Lo Wu/Luohu is one of two ports for train connections and the most popular crossing point, operating daily 6:30AM-midnight. Be aware that the last several trains do not go to Lo Wu, they terminate at Sheung Shui. Lo Wu is the last stop of the MTR East Rail Line. East Rail, which connects to downtown Kowloon at Hung Hom Station. Because Lo Wu is in Hong Kong’s Border Restricted Area, MTR Eastrail is the only way to reach it. Lo Wu Station is only open for travel to Shenzhen or beyond, and a valid travel document is required to travel there.

For people travelling to Futian including the Free Trade Zone and other destinations in Central and Western Shenzhen, the most convenient rail route is the train from Hung Hom to Lok Ma Chau station, this is not the Lok Mau Chau/Huanggang border crossing, but the Lok Ma Chau/Futian Kou’an crossing. It connects directly to the Shenzhen Metro line 4 Futian Kou An Station. The train follows the same route as the Lowu one but turns off at the last station. This service only goes til 9:30PM.

The MTR East Rail Line commuter train which connects Hung Hom to Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau with several intermediate stops mainly serves Hong Kong locals. It interchanges with the urban section of the MTR at Kowloon Tong Station and East Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal. For those traveling to or from Hong Kong Island, it is recommended to transfer to Cross Harbor Bus in Hung Hom Station or the Tsuen Wan Line at East Tsim Sha Tsui.

The journey from East Tsim Sha Tsui to Lo Wu takes 42 minutes and costs HK$33-36.50, first class is charged double. (However generally you can save about HK$7 if you get off and exit the gates at Sheung Shui and get back on again from Sheung Shui to Lo Wu. – as of checking in November 2015, this fare difference no longer substantially exists and this “trick” has been removed. Savings from doing this is ~HK$3, hardly worth it.)

Trains depart every few minutes but some short trips are operated in rush hour, so check the destination screen before boarding. The train can be crowded during rush hours (8-9 A.M. and 5-7 P.M.) as it serves millions of commuters. The line is also very heavily used by traders moving goods from Hong Kong to Shenzhen for resale.

For more details, check the MTR web site [8].

The road border crossings (such as Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang) are accessible by cross-boundary coaches from Hong Kong.

By train

Shenzhen is served by 3 domestic intercity railway stations with another under construction.

  • Shenzhen Station (Shenzhen Zhan 深圳站), Luohu (Luobao Line #1 (green), Luohu Metro Station). Immediately north of the HK border. It’s a fairly small, but clean and well-organized station serving mostly Guangdong regional trains and just a handful of long-distance sleeper trains to other major cities. A high-speed shuttle service runs every 10-15 minutes to Guangzhou East Station (with alternate services continuing to Guangzhou main station – both GZ East and GZ have much more long-distance connections) – it takes approx 1 hour and costs 80RMB one way. Tickets for this service are available from a separate ticket office or from self-service machines and there is a separate platform entrance. For those only visiting the city for a day and then heading somewhere else, on the ground floor of this station there is a luggage storage facility located all the way at the end of the station (opposite to the direction you just arrived from Hong Kong).  edit
  • Shenzhen North Station (Shenzhen Bei Zhan 深圳北站), MinZhi (Longhua #4 (red) & Huanzhong #5 (purple) Line, Shenzhen North Metro Station). New and modern station in the northern Bao’an district, with ultra high speed services to Guangzhou South and beyond to Wuhan. Future high speed link to Fujian province has started trial operations. This station is not to be confused with an older freight station of the same name in Luohu district as still marked on some maps.  edit
  • Shenzhen West Station (Shenzhen Xi Zhan), Shekou (Shekou Line #2 (orange) Chiwan Metro Station). A few & limited services to other parts of Guangdong and some other Chinese provinces  edit
  • Futian Station (Futian Zhan), Shekou (Longhua #4 (red) & Luobao #1 (green) Line Futian Metro Station). Fully underground high speed station. Due to open in 2014 it will be an extension of the services currently stopping at Shenzhen North Station but in the more convenient central city location. Will also serve as a high speed train link to Kowloon in HK from 2015  edit

By bus

There are several long-distance bus stations – the most convenient is Luohu Bus Station – adjacent to the rail station and the border crossing. It has regular services to Dongguan, Guangzhou (Tianhe, Liuhua and Guangyuan stations), Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Shantou and many other cities in Guangdong. Unlike most bus stations there is no ticket office – instead bus station employees will ask you where you are going and will direct you to the bus and you buy your ticket from the conductor on board. NOTE if you are going to Guangzhou it’s important to check which bus station you will arrive at (qu na ge zhan? – lit. Go to which station?) – if you arrive at Tianhe or Liuhua bus stations then both have direct subway connections, but many go to Guangyuan bus station which is in Baiyun district and requires a long connection by bus to the city centre.

Be sure to watch out for scams at the Shenzhen bus station. For example, if you are traveling between Hong Kong Airport and Shenzhen Airport, you may need to transfer between vehicles when crossing the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. Your bus or limo company may supply you a sticker to attach to your shirt. When you cross over to the Shenzhen side of the border, a scam artist may spot your sticker, claim to work for the bus or limo company you are using, and demand that you pay an additional fee to complete the journey. To prevent this from happening, go to the actual counter or stall that represents the bus or limo company you are using. The bus or limo companies are aware of this problem but have no incentive to correct it, nor do the local authorities care, so you need to be extra careful when crossing the border.

By sea

There are ferries from Hong Kong (Tsim Sha Tsui, Central (also know as HongKong/Macau Ferry Port) and HK airport), Macau, and Zhuhai. Most services land at the ferry terminal at Shekou. The Shenzhen Prince Bay Cruise Homeport is a new terminal complex, opened in November 2016, that caters for ferries across the Pearl River Delta and is China’s first purpose built cruise ship terminal. It is located 1.5km South-West of the previous Shekou Ferry Terminal. There are free shuttle buses from the old terminal where the Shenzhen Port Metro Station is also located. The new terminal is large and spacious, overcoming the cramped and lack of facilities at the old site.

There is further information available online: Hong Kong Ferry Info [9], Ferry service to Macau is frequent, but ferry service to HK is rather limited. Ferry services to Hong Kong International Airport are frequent, but you will need an air ticket to be able to use them, as it bypasses HK immigration at the HKIA Skypier. There are regular ferries to Zhuhai too.

The cruise terminal is set to become the homeport for several cruiseships targeting the Chinese market. Initially Virgo Cruises and Silver Shadow Cruises will operate from the port.

Shenzhen Ferry Info [10]. As with buses, be extremely careful about scams, don’t accept a “taxi” ride from the men who walk up to you, just walk straight out to the taxi line or the metro stop behind it. The ferry police only have authority over the ferry and the parking lot and cannot do anything about scams that happen just outside the parking lot.

There is also a ferry port at Shenzhen Airport Fuyong which features a bonded service to HK Airport avoiding HK customs and immigration plus check-in facilities for some flights leaving from HKIA. There are also limited services connecting the airport to Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.

Get around

By metro

Shenzhen Metro

The Shenzhen Metro (深圳地铁) [11] is the most convenient and easy to understand method of transport around the Shenzhen city area. Fares are ¥2-9. Trains come every 3 minutes or so and the metro runs until 11PM. Note that there is a relatively high standard of public courtesy on the Shenzhen Metro. Some customs are unusual to foreigners. For example people will often give their seats up to young children. The system is being rapidly expanded and the numbering system for the lines, was replaced by names, then reverted to numbers again. The Shenzhen Metro currently has 8 lines, 199 stations, and 286km (178 miles) of total trackage in operation

Line Terminals
Opened Latest
Stations Former Name
Line 1 Luohu Airport East 2004 2011 41.04 30 Luobao Line
Line 2 Chiwan Xinxiu 2010 2011 35.78 29 Shekou Line
Line 3 Yitian Shuanglong 2010 2011 41.66 30 Longgang Line
Line 4 Futian Checkpoint Qinghu 2004 2011 19.96 15 Longhua Line
Line 5 Qianhaiwan Huangbeiling 2011 40.00 27 Huanzhong Line
Line 7 Xili Lake Tai’an 2016 30.3 28
Line 9 Hongshuwan South Wenjin 2016 25.33 22
Line 11 Futian Bitou 2016 51.94 18 Airport Line
Total 286.2 199

Buy your ticket at the ticket machines on the concourse. The machine will dispense a round green plastic token. Touch it on the reader on entering the station and deposit it in the slot on the turnstile on leaving. The machines often reject old or worn notes. The most convenient way to travel is to buy a Shenzhen Tong (深圳通) card at the ticket window. This is a stored value ticket. Touch it on the turnstile reader on entering and leaving the station. It can also be used for purchases in convenience stores.

Note that unlike most subways, the exit-guide signs in the station may only be written in Chinese except for a handful of major attractions. There are also a limited number of maps of the local area (often in Chinese) in the station so finding the right exit can be a problem. But this has since been changed in most places in reponse to hosting the 2011 Universiade Games.

By taxi

Taxi meters start at ¥10.00 for the first 2 kilometers, then ¥0.60 for each 250 meters. Late night costs slightly higher. There is a ¥2.00 fuel surcharge added to all fares. Taxis are unusually (for China) well regulated and managed in Shenzhen. It is very rare to have a driver give you problems or take you the long way to your destination. However, be sure that the cab has a license prominently displayed in the plastic stand provided for this purpose on the right hand dashboard of every cab. If there is no license, get the next cab. Unlike in neighbouring Hong Kong, it is rare to find any drivers who speak English, so be sure to have the names and addresses of your destinations written in Chinese to show your taxi driver.

Driving is notably incompetent and terrifying. If you think your life is in danger, do not be afraid to get out and get the next cab. Sadly there is little assurance that the next driver will be any better. If you have a major problem, threaten to complain. (use the word “tousu” (toe-soo) meaning “complaint”). We don’t know what happens when you complain but it is expected to be BAD (usually a 200RMB penalty per complaint – 5 complaints and their license will be revoked!). On the receipt you should get when the driver prints out the ticket is a phone number and his taxi license. Use this if you want to file any type of complaint.

Unless you are extremely familiar with local conditions (in which case you will not be reading this) or an expert Chinese negotiator, avoid like the plague illegal unlicensed taxis of the type which proliferate in places such as border crossings. You are just calling down trouble in infinite variety on your head. If you ask for a driver from a hotel it is likely they will get a private driver. Negotiate the price before you leave.

There are still a few gold colored cabs which can only operate inside the SEZ. Green colored cabs can only operate outside the SEZ. They cannot enter the SEZ. Red cabs can operate anywhere. Tipping is not expected at all. Round up to the next Yuan

There is a fleet of 800 electric taxi in service. These taxi are blue (normal taxi are red). There is no fuel surcharge for blue taxi.

By bus

There are three kinds of city buses: orange short route buses, green longer route buses, and express buses. The orange buses usually cost ¥1 and have no conductor. The green buses cost ¥2+. Some have no conductor and a flat fee, on the fare machine. Some have a conductor who will calculate your fare for you. The express buses are express like the E19 from Xili to Shenzhenwan Border. The E19 is ¥9 and generally the express buses cost more. Buses are comfortable and almost always air-conditioned. Bus stops are signed in Romanised Chinese. The next bus stop is always announced although it may not be particularly comprehensible. Buses usually stop at all stops so counting stops is a viable alternative for finding out where you are. All announcements are made in Mandarin and English. You can pay with your Shenzhen Tong card (see Metro Section).

Mini-buses have been phased out within the Special Economic Zone but are still operating outside of it. Most bus lines operate every couple of minutes.

Free shuttles run from the basement of Luohu’s immigration building to and from various attractions such as spas in the area.

By bike

Cycling is not as popular as in Beijing for example but Shenzhen is nearly as cycle-friendly as neighbouring Guangzhou, and much more cycle-friendly than most of neighboring Hong Kong, Macau, and Humen. Downtown is relatively flat and traffic is not as heavy as in other cities (thanks to a good road infrastructure, although bicycle lanes can be sporadic which means bicycles have to run in the vehicle lanes or sidewalks).

There is a new bike path that runs along a new park the length of the Shenzhen Bay, opened up for the Universiade in July 2011. From there you can go up along the Shahe (Sand River canal) most of the way to the GZ Greenway without crossing any vehicular traffic. Unfortunately the GZ greenway is not well marked, so it can be difficult to find your way from Shenzhen to neighboring cities such as Guangzhou. Another small canal also runs north from the southwest of Shenzhen Bay Port, connecting to the bayfront park bike path.

The Bike rental card is a bit of a hassle to get. You need to go to the fourth floor of the hotel by Shekou Wal-mart on XingGong Road. Go to the fourth floor, where the bike rental office is located. Bring your passport, a copy of your passport and 215RMB (115RMB deposit, and 100RMB credit). Ask for option 3. You will need to fill out a form with basic information such as your passport number, date of birth, address, telephone number etc. You will get a receipt to keep if you want to cancel the bike service. After you have filled out the form and paid the deposit the receptionist will give you a demonstration of how to use your new card. How To Get a Bike Rental Card

Note that electric-bicycles and motorcycles are banned within the SEZ area.

Because of Hong Kong’s obsolete Frontier Zone policy, you cannot bike between Hong Kong and Shenzhen at the Hong Gang port because the road is closed except to public busses and taxis. You can, however take your 20″ folding bike across to take the green public light bus #75 between there and Hong Kong’s Yuen Long for HKD$7. Hong Kong’s MTR is unusually expensive at border terminals, but bikes are allowed on the trains. 20″ folding Bikes are also allowed on Shenzhen Metro trains.

Communication tips

  • Get a card from your hotel with the name and address in Chinese characters (if you are lost and no one understands your Mandarin or Cantonese)
  • Get your hotel staff to write down the destination names for you on paper. You may also learn some phrases from the Chinese phrasebook. Keep in mind that although English is more widely understood than in most other places in China, outside of establishments which specifically cater to Westerners, few people know English.
  • As a migrant city Mandarin has become the lingua franca of daily communication and is more widely spoken than the Cantonese common elsewhere in the region. Taxi drivers are much more likely to speak Mandarin than Cantonese.
  • Shenzhen is a linguistic melting pot. In addition to various accents in Mandarin or Cantonese, the other Guangdong languages — Teochew, and Hakka — are fairly common, and you may hear languages from other parts of China.