Shenzhen is a modern city featuring modern well managed transport infrastructure and services. These transport services include the popular metro system (aka subway), intercity train services, public buses, taxis and an international airport.
Getting around Shenzhen
The Shenzhen Metro (aka subway) is modern, efficient and cheap. You can simply purchase tickets via touchscreen ticket machines (Chinese and English) at the station, fares range from 2 to 7RMB . Most of the stations open at 6.30am, and close at 11pm.
Shenzhen Metro Map 2016
You can also purchase a ‘Shenzhen Tong’ Card, which you preload with cash and simply swipe as you enter and exit the metro, it can also be used on buses. If your’e staying a while it’s a wise investment for convenience sake. It can be purchased at any customer service desk in the metro stations.
Public buses are everywhere, for choosing routes and which bus to take try the google maps direction service eg.: Somewhere in Luohu to Dafen Village, or download Baidu Maps which, even without being able to read Chinese, you can get bus routes from point to point. The public buses normally have a ticket officer on the bus, usually, it’s a matter of getting on the bus, get a seat, or a hand rail to hang on to, and the officer will come around to collect ticket fees. Simply tell them where you’d like to get off and they’ll tell you how much, usually between 2-5 yuan. Some officers may speak a little English, but it’s probably better to have your destination written down in Chinese. Of course, you can also use your’e Shenzhen Tong Card as mentioned earlier.
Taxis are everywhere, look for the round red light on the passenger side of the front windscreen, not the light on the roof, which will be lit red when they are empty and available. Simply hold your hand out, wave to flag them down. Few speak English, have your address written down or show them a map. The fare starts at 10RMB which includes 3km, and then it is 2.4 RMB for every km after, there is also a 3RMB fuel surcharge which isn’t shown on the meter.
Hot Tip: unless your comfortable with long waits for a taxi, or cramming on to very packed trains and buses, it’s best to plan and avoid needing to use public transport during peak times. I try to avoid the times between 8am and 9am, 5pm – 7pm.
Getting to/From Shenzhen
Getting to and from Shenzhen is easy and, with a little forward planning, usually stress free. There are numerous ways to reach the city including plane, train and bus.
Flying to Shenzhen
For plane travelers, you can fly directly into Shenzhen International Airport which is located in Bao’an. The airport is easy to navigate with bi-lingual signage (CN & EN). The airport is approx. 1hr 30 mins by bus/car from Futian, the central district of Shenzhen.
For airport transfers from Shenzhen Airport, there are taxis, buses and the newly opened metro (subway). Bus costs around 25RMB, a taxi around 100RMB and the metro 9RMB. The metro takes around 60-70 minutes. The metro line from the airport is Line 1, this line terminates at the Louhu from where you can also cross the border to Hong Kong or take a train to Guangzhou. You can also transfer from line 1 to to other metro lines depending on your destination.
Train to Shenzhen
For train travelers going to/from other mainland cities, the railway stations are Shenzhen Railway Station at Louhu, and Shenzhen West Railway Station located at Shekou. Most trains arrive and depart via the Louhu Station. Shenzhen North station is set to become fully operational in late 2011/2012 offering fast train services between Shenzhen – Guangzhou and Shenzhen – Wuhan.
Guangzhuo to Shenzhen
Many people wishing to visit Shenzhen also fly into the nearby Guangzhou Airport or come via Hong Kong Airport. If your coming to Shenzhen via Guangzhou Airport, there are four train stations but the Guangzhou East Railway Station (Tianhe Railway Station) has the most frequent services running to Shenzhen which all terminate at the Louhu station. More details on going from Guangzhou to Shenzhen
Hong Kong to Shenzhen
Coming from Hong Kong there are several ways to reach Shenzhen, you can come via train, ferry or bus. Via train to Lo Wo and then crossing the border at Luohu is probably the most popular route. There’s also the ferry service which departs from either Hong Kong Airport (called the SkyPier), or from Tsim Sha Tsui, both of these ferry services terminate at Shekou Ferry Terminal. More detailed information on travelling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen
Macau to Shenzhen
The easy way is via ferry which terminates at Shekou Ferry terminal, more info via the ferry links below.