search &
explore
Shenzhen

SHENZHEN
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

The city that connects Hong Kong with the Mainland China is known for its vibrant culture and dynamic tourist entertainment avenues. The land which opened its door for the Western brands and shops is also the first Chinese city to host its own Stock Exchange. Which was previously considered as just a market city is now a commercial and tourist hub of China with facilities and sites which are comparable to that of Hong Kong. The deep rooted history and the gorgeous scenic appeal of the place are sure to win you over. With its multiple fabulous themed parks, Shenzhen is definitely a place for the tourists.

Attractions in Shenzhen

From family-oriented themed parks to enchanting historic sites there are many attractions in Shenzhen for you to enjoy.

Nanhai E-Cool

A short stroll from the XingHua Road connecting the famous Sea World of Shenzhen will lead you to this charming set-up which was previously a Sanyo factory. The place is lined by various small cafes offering a nice view and variety of cakes and snacks. Apart from cafes there are wine bars, restaurants, and nice design shops nestled under the shady trees and this place is a perfect destination for you to spend you afternoons. There is a thriving Chinese locality with a cosmopolitan appeal and this destination for suitable for a nice and long evening walks, shopping for clothes at a bargain, and enjoy the scrumptious seafood and Beijing ducks served in the local eateries.

Dameisha Beaches

The small coastal town of Dameisha offers a magnificent range of beaches where you will find spectcular view of the sea. The beach remains quite busy with people gathering from all corners of China during the summers and also during the festive seasons. There are many Chinese shacks linning the beach. However, if you walk along the beach heading towards the east then you will find many modern hotels and restaurants serving both Chinese and European delicacies. The beach is free for the tourists and it has facilities for diving and there are jetskis for hire.

OCT East Park

The OCT East Park is a treasure trove for nature lovers. The lush green hilly area has a lot of hotels and resorts where you can spend the night. The park is a fabulous luxury resort destination in the heart of the Luhou district of the city of Shenzhen. There is a old Buddhist Temple out there along with ravishing facilities like a hot spring spa a fascinating water park and many other themed attractions. The beautiful tea garden surrounding the place is definitely a highlight of this destination as you can also find a huge country park with a lush green landscapes for the families to come and enjoy.

Meridian View Center

Enjoy the pupil-dialating and breath taking view of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border from the spectcular Meridian View Center. This view center is about 384 meters high from the ground and located on the 69th floor of the building. The facilities are quite nice out there as the authorities there will provide you with telescopes from which you can enjoy the enchanting view of the border. It is indeed a complete view of the entire region where Hong Kong meets Mainland China as you can see the sprawling skyscrapers of Hong Kong along with the view of the sea. You can also find the glimpses of green forestland entangled between the two urban cities.

Nanshan Mountains

The Chinese highlands are as charming as their themed parks and water rides and they also offer you a sense of tranquility that no other place has to offer. The quaint countryside leads way to the marvelous open-air highland landscape for hiking and camping. The hills will allow you to get a nice view of the ocean whilst the gentle breeze will transport you to a dreamland. The remoteness of the place will certain win you over and even if you are not up for camping out in the open you can still find a decent enough hotel nearby.

When To Reach

The ideal time to reach Shenzhen is November and December, during the late autumn and the winter season. The summers are usually long and hot with lots of humidity making it very difficult for travel. The summers also experience a lot of rainfall and typhoons as the sub-tropical weather proves to be quite sticky. That is why the best time to visit Shenzhen is either autumn or winter. It is during these two seasons that the humidity remains the lowest, the rainfall is scarce, and the temperature remains in the 20 degree Celsius range making it comfortable for the travelers to explore the territories.

Seasonality

High Season: Autumn is the peak season for traveling to Shenzhen because the weather remains nice and there are plenty of festivals going on for the tourists to enjoy.


Shoulder Season: Winter is most definitely the shoulder season for traveling to Shenzhen. The weather remains perfect and it is ideal for the people who wants to avoid the huge crowd of foreigners that come during the autumn.


Low Season:Summer is the worst season for traveling to Shenzhen because the weather remains extremely humid and it rains heavily. You might also face a nasty typhoon, during that time, jeopardizing your travel plan.

How To Reach

There are many connecting flights which will take you to Shenzhen via Thailand. Moreover, if you are already in Hong Kong you can take direct flights from there as well. The likes of China Eastern, Air China, China Southern, THAI, all have connecting flights helping you to reach Shenzhen. The flights are frequent and if you plan wisely with your travel organizer then you can get them at a cheaper rate. The flight directly to Shenzhen takes around 7 to 8 hours time. However, if you are traveling to Shenzhen via Hong Kong then it would not cost you as much and the time would also be less.

Why should you go?

Shenzhen is one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities of China and it offers its tourists plenty of entertainment and avenues of enjoying a perfect holiday. Being in the proximity of Hong Kong allows Shenzhen to enjoy a huge market and based on its flourishing economy the local government has set up many themed park and shopping malls for the tourists to explore. The ultimate city which will allow you to enjoy the traditional Chinese customs and also at the same time experience the modern amenities that a resort town has to offer to its guests. It is the perfect blend of the East and the West which will give you a very memorable holiday.
10 Reasons to visit Shenzhen-
  • A holiday at Shenzhen is affordable and it much closer to home for the Indian tourists.
  • Being so close to Hong Kong, Shenzhen offers itself as a very glamarous shopping destination.
  • Shenzhen also offers a nice view of the harbor and the Hong Kong border and spending an afternoon at the observatory is an absolute delight.
  • Shenzhen has a very cosmopolitan appeal and you can still find the European influence at many places of the city.
  • Shenzhen is also very well-connected with its past and many traditional Chinese rituals are celebrated with much passion and vigor.
  • Shenzhen is known for its various theme parks and starting from the Sea World to the Window of the World, each and every park is worth visiting.
  • Shenzhen also has a rich natural resource of high mountains, dense forests, and the marine life making it ideal spot for exploring for the nature enthusiasts.
  • Shenzhen is known for its different cuisines and starting from Cantonese to Sichuanese, Continental to Indian, you will find different kinds of food in here.
  • Shenzhen is a city of various festivals and during the Autumn months the entire city come together and celebrates the occassions along with the tourists.
  • The markets of Shenzhen are quite vibrant and starting from cheap gadgets to live seafood there are many things that you can explore.

Getting Around

Shenzhen is an extremely well-connected city with extensive networks of train, underground metros, buses, and taxis. Starting from the Chinese national railway to the huge metro connection, the tram lines giving a charming ride of the city to the buses taking you to the nearby towns, you are never short of options as far as the city is concerned.

Train

The Chinese national railway network is pretty strong and it allows people to come from different parts of the country to Shenzhen. You can also board the trains to go the various countrysides of Shenzhen at an affordable cost.

Metro

The underground metro network is also very smooth and it connects to all the districts of Shenzhen. It is also very frequent and affordable for the tourists.

Tram

The trams are not as fast as the metro but they too offer you a nice and charming ride. If you have time in your hand, a ride on a tram can prove to be very pleasant in a city like Shenzhen.

Bus

The buses not only will take you from one part of the city to the other but will also provide you option to explore the various countryside surrounding Shenzhen. The buses are cheap and affordable and they are also quite frequent.

Taxi

Taxis are also available for hire if you plan to visit any obscure destination where no bus or tram will take you. Of course taxis are expensive and make sure that you do not tip the taxi driver because it is not a norm in Shenzhen.

Weather

Shenzhen experiences a sub-tropical climate and that is why it is warm and humid throughout the year. The city is located at the mouth of an estuary and that is why it faces heavy monsoons and typhoons at times, during the summer season. The summers are long and hot and not at all ideal for traveling. However, the situation improves during the autumn (late autumn) and during the winter. The temperature ranges between 12 to 20 degree Celsius and the humidity is not at all there. The weather remains like this till late January. Shenzhen experiences very little spring but then also the humidity comes back.

What to pack in your suitcase?

  • Pack all your fashionable tops and tees before you fly-off to a trip in Shenzhen. The weather is normally on the warmer side so Hawaiian shirts can also be packed. Carry shorts and light trousers along with them.
  • The sun shines brightly throughout the year at Shenzhen and that is why carrying a hat and sunglasses is important. You can also take sunscreen lotions along with you, in case your skin is sensitive.
  • If you are traveling in November or December then also throw-in a light jacket and a thin sweater in your suitcase, as the temperature dips during the evening.
  • Carry both heavy boots and light-wear flip-flops for the night and day, respectively.
  • Even though the humidity is less during the autumn and the winter, it is still there to some extent to make you sweat. So, make sure that you carry sufficient changes.
In the Spotlight

The multi-cultural city of Shenzhen is full of immigrants and expats. It can easily be regarded as China's most vibrant city ever. That is why the culinary seen of this place is also quite varied. Starting from the traditional Chinese and Cantonese foods there is also a strong European influence on the overall restaurant culture of the place. The cafes and the pubs near the shores have a typical Western appeal like you might find in somewhere like Hong Kong. From hot steaming dim sums to Italian pastas, you will find all sorts of food available in the different restaurants of Shenzhen.

Ba Shu Feng : This is Shenzhen's most popular Sichuanese restaurant which was previously set in a multi-storey venue having a rustic appeal.
Now being moved to the basement of a shopping mall the place still attracts a fair amount of crowd purely due to its name and the fabulous food they offer. The place echos a busy vibe as you can always see waiters rushing from the kitchen to the serving area and the food is simply mouthwatering. The spicy Sichuanese appeal is vivid in the crispy duck, chicken chili, and crunchy cauliflower recipes. They also serve authentic Sichuanese herbal tea making it ideal for you to have a complete Chinese culinary experience.
1881 : Located at the Grand Hyatt Hotel this place is one of the best places to dine in entire Shenzhen. This is the place where you will find some authentic Northern Chinese delicacies despite being in the south of this huge nation.
The place has a chic vibe to it and you can expect to encounter a young local crowd who have a taste for fine dinning. The kitchen specializes in traditional Chinese foods and it emphasizes a lot on the cooking method. Here you will find delectable wood fired Beijing duck which is served in slices. You can also definitely order the kang bao style shrimp which is also a very popular item on the list.
The Kitchen : The simplicity in its name often reflects to its humble origin as the restaurant itself is dedicated to the Western expats and immigrants who are staying in Shenzhen.
One of the few places having an original English name this place is a must-visit for the tourists to try out the different western comfort foods like pizzas and burgers and you can also get Tex Mex in here. The vibe is quite busy out here as both the foreigners as well as the locals gather here each evening. The place is hidden behind two popular pubs in Shenzhen's Coco park district and it can get a bit noisy. However, if you wait for your turn you are sure to be rewarded with scrumptious delights.
HaidiLao : A part of China's most popular restaurant chain this place located in the Luoho Districts has the reputation of comforting the hungry souls on chilly winter evenings.
The hot and spicy foods served in this place is ideal for beating the cold as the waiters here will evoke a very busy vibe making you feel good under any circumstances. The place is well-known for its service quality whilst the food itself served fresh and warm. The different kinds of noodles and hot pots will lure you bto try even more as the complementary snacks and tea will be served to you after you are done with your dinner.
Bollywood Cafe : If a long trip at the Oriental land is making you miss home then this cafe will surely help you remember of all the finger-licking foods which you normally have back at home.
From North Indian delights like parathas to our famous Chicken Tandoori, this place is like a mini-India in the heart of the city of Shenzhen. Quite reasonably priced, this place evokes quite a homely appeal and as an Indian you are sure to feel some connection. The tacy decor will provoke a giggle in you as the items like Dal Tadka and Chicken Tikka Masala with Garlic Naan will allow you to savor the authentic Indian flavors.

Shenzhen's culinary scene is greatly influenced by Cantonese and Hakka branches of Chinese cuisine whilst the Sichuanese impact is also quite prominent in here. Now apart from the authentic Chinese influences Shenzhen is also known for its vivid Western influences in the food arena. The basic local delicacies include the likes of dim sum and congee whilst the pizzas and the the steaks are also not rare. Sichuanese stir-fried items are now quite common in the restaurants of Shenzhen as hot pots are also quite in demand.

Dim Sum: This Cantonese delicacy comprising of a thin-layer dough with stuffings of different kinds is also very popular in Shenzhen, like any other place in China.

Cantonese Congee:The people of Shenzhen normally eat congee for their breakfast. This rice based soup, though tastes quite bland, is indeed a hearty meal especially when it is made with vegetables and meat.

Hot Pots: This Sichuanese delight has won several hearts of the locals of Shenzhen as it often gathers friends and families together. It is basically a large bowl of boiling savory delights which is shared by many people surrounding it.

Stir-fried Items: The spicy stir-fried items like duck, chicken, pork, and also cauliflowers are very popular throughout Shenzhen and it is a common finger-food served in the restaurants.

Steaks: The Western influences has eventually made steaks very popular in Shenzhen and now steaks from Japan, Australia, and Taiwan are served in different restaurants of the city.

Shenzhen was previously known as a market town, down south, in China and it is not a surprise that this city has a collection of very vibrant markets and shopping centers. The affluent economic condition of the locals coupled with the huge influx of foreign tourists have boosted the market economy of Shenzhen over the past few decades. The items are varied and most importantly you can hit a bargain with the sellers before closing the deal. Starting from clothing to jewelry, seafood to electronic gadgets there are plenty of things you can choose from.

Luohu Commercial City : This seven-story shopping center at the heart of the Luohu district of Shenzhen is a very popular shopping destination for the locals and the tourists alike.
You can also meet several people from Hong Kong coming here to shop mostly due to the proximity of the place to Hong Kong. The setting is simply awesome as the items being sold there are also quite tempting. As is so common with the Chinese markets this place also sells affordable but accurate replicas of branded clothes and watches. However, you need to be careful before you finalize a deal because the vendors normally price the thing quite high.
Dongmen Shopping Street : There is a local saying "No visit to Dongmen Shopping Street, no visit to Shenzhen". Located at the heart of the city this place is certainly the true bloodline of all the other smaller marketplaces spread across Shenzhen.
A short walk from the Laojie Station this place is always associated with full of life as the busy locals and foreigners keep on bargaining with the shoppers. The place sells various items like clothes, shoes, watches, gadgets, bubble tea, and other souvenirs. There are also charming sitting arrangements between the Luohu Station and the Lychee Parks where you can grab a snack and enjoy the view.
Huaqiangbeilu Electronic Goods: This market is considered to be the largest electronics and gadgets market in entire Asia and considering its entire size and the huge number of vendors you are bound to strike a bargain here.
With 72 floors the SEG computer market building is the biggest shop in the entire area and it has both retail outlets and wholesale vendors. The first eight floors of this huge building is occupied with wholesale software and hardware sellers and you can get access to all the updated gadgets and software from here. From iPhones to sophisticated microchips, you will get various kinds of products in here at an affordable cost.
Yiwu small commodity city Market : This small commodities market might not make the list of the top markets of Shenzhen for many tourist websites but we deliberately had included this gem of a market because it will offer you a chance to witness the real Shenzhen.
The skinny alleys leading to this clumsy wholesale market will lure you to a different world of Chinese bulk sale. The huge building is full of different kinds of commodity wholesalers selling toys, souvenirs, books, and many kinds of things which are quintessentially Chinese. You can hear the buzz made by the vendors and the buyers from a long distance and even if you are not ready to buy anything this place will give you some nice photographic opportunity.
Seafood Street : This awesome seafood market is certainly a must-visit destination for tourists going to Shenzhen and we can guarantee that you have seen nothing like this anywhere else in the world.
The alleys are lined by shops and restaurants selling seafood and you will find the waiters (and sometimes the chef too) standing outside the eateries and asking the travelers to come and dine in their shops. But what makes it even more unique is that you can literally choose your dinner. The seafood items are still alive and are kept on display in some huge tanks outside. So, you can choose and weigh them before you enter the shop. No other place will allow you to choose your own seafood even before entering the restaurant.

Technically Shenzhen is in China so Yuan is the main currency which is acceptable by all the shops and the taxi drivers. However, since the borders are open to the people of Hong Kong they also accept Hong Kong Dollars at many places. Now if you are coming to Shenzhen via Hong Kong, then you can use your HKD$ at the local shopping centers, restaurants, and also in taxi. But they will pay you the change in Yuan. That is why it critical that you get all your currency exchanged to Yuan for convenience. Many shopkeepers will lure and tempt you to get the HKD$ exchanged at their shops because of the higher exchange rate. But make sure that you use the registered FOREX centers to get the changes.

Special Tips

  • Converting all your currencies to Yuan is generally a good idea especially when you are going to Shenzhen via any other destination like Hong Kong of Macau.
  • Shenzhen is a very cash oriented economy and more the cash you have the better it is for you to spend.
  • Though there are many ATMs at various corners of Shenzhen they will charge you with enormous transaction rates.
  • That is why it is important that you get your currencies exchanged at the onset of the journey making it easier for you to do the transaction.
  • Though many markets and eateries will accept HKD$ they will return the change in Yuan. Also they do not consider the exchange ratio whilst accepting the payment. So, to avoid loss try and pay them in Yuan.

As far as Shenzhen is concerned you need to apply for visa at the Consulate General of India,Guangzhou if you are a diplomatic, service and public affairs passport holders. For the ordinary passport holder you need to apply for visa at the Indian Visa Application Centre. The Government has made it mandatory that all the applicants should apply for the Visa online. Upon filling the form online you will receive a Web Reference Confirmation Number. You need to save that document in PDF format and deliver it to the Embassy. For more details please go to the website of the Indian Embassy Beijing.

Special Tips

In case of Guangdong Province (Shenzhen, Canton / Guangzhou, Zhuhai) you can get help from your tour operator to to get a group visa valid for a maximum of 144 Hours. However, this visa can be obtained on the condition that at least two people are traveling together on the same itinerary under the same tour operator. That single tour operator also must do all the arrangements for the tours and the hotels. In such cases you can get a quick visa which will allow you to spend some wonderful time in the city of Shenzhen.

China is considerably a safe country when compared to many foreign destinations but Shenzhen is the most unsafe city in entire China. Infamous for its petty crimes like pick-pocketing and scams, Shenzhen has gathered a bad reputation amongst few tourists. The crowded areas are notorious for pick-pocketing especially the shopping areas and public transportation. That is why you should always make sure that your belongings are closely attached to your body. Shenzhen is also known for its few scams. Some of the shoppers might try to fraud you by selling inferior quality of product at a higher price. So, it is important that you take your tour adviser's guidance before making any purchases.

  • Police 110
  • First-aid Ambulance 120
  • Fire 119
  • Traffic Accidents 122
  • SOS in Water 12395

Entertainment & Event

The vibrant culture, the colorful festivals, and the exotic dolphin population in the marine bays make Shenzhen an ideal place to visit.

  • Flora and Fauna

    The forest reserves and the national parks of Shenzhen has done a lot to boost the amount of flora and fauna in the region. There are big carnivores like the Chinese tigers, bears, wolves, Siberian tigers, and even some white Bengal tigers in the region. Apart from that there some unique Giant Panda reserves which allows the tourists to get a glimpse of this magnificent beast. Shenzhen also have some fabulous Chinese swan lakes with large black and white swans visible to the tourists. Different kind of deer and grass eating animals are also found in the highlands of Shenzhen.

    Due to its proximity to the sea the place also has a rich marine life. The likes of sea lions, spotted dolphins, white fin dolphins, and lemon sharks are visible in the ocean. Shenzhen is also home to 1042 types of different exotic plants. It is more than any other city of China. The Fairy Lake Botanic Garden is home to many varieties of fauna enriching the biodiversity of the region. Apart from the Chinese species the place has also accomodated some foreign variety of plants.

  • Festivals

    The mix of Cantonese and Sichuanese Chinese cultures has made way to different sorts of festivals in Shenzhen. So, apart from the shopping destinations and the themed parks the tourists also can enjoy the various celebrations The Chongyang Festival is certainly the major festival of the region which is celebrated during the Autumn. It is often associated with good food and drinks and willing tourists are often encouraged to participate. Then there is of course the Longgang Dragon Dance Festival which is celebrated with exotic dancing with vibrant costumes and also there are some fried Hakka food delights which you can enjoy.

    This Dragon Dance festival in Shenzhen actually attracts a lot of tourists as the Hakka population of the city come together to celebrate the event with the foreigners. The stalls are set and the exotic dancing will definitely capture your imagination. Pengcheng Golden Autumn Festival is a popular cultural program in Shenzhen which is promoted by the Shenzhen Cultural Bureau and it is also a celebration of the advent of the autumn season. Dameisha International Sand Sculpture Festival held in the beaches of Dameisha is also a well-known festival of Shenzhen.

  • Culture

    The market-oriented economy and the huge influx of the foreigners have shaped the overall culture of Shenzhen. Due to its vibrant markets and small industries Shenzhen was declared as Special Economic Zone back in the year 1980. Internal migration from the various parts of China, apart from the foreign immigration, has also impacted the overall cultural development of the city of Shenzhen. The open economy of Hong Kong has also contributed a lot to the overall development of Shenzhen.

    Due to its history of accepting foreigners the people of Shenzhen are more open to tourists. They are most cosmopolitan among all the Chinese ethnic groups and it is reflected well in the cultural and the food scene of the place. The nearby fishing community holds its authentic charm whilst they readily welcome visitors to their nearby hotels and resorts. The overall vibe is very welcoming as the humble natured Han Chinese people will offer you a nice and warm experience.