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 2017
Map includes the latest new lines and station names in Chinese & English

PDF Version [SZ Metro]

The Metro touch screen ticket machine – some machines take notes but using coins is sometimes easier – they accept the 1RMB coin, the officer at the service booth will change notes for coins if needed.

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 you’re 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 handrail 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 you’re Shenzhen Tong Card as mentioned earlier.

A typical Shenzhen Public Bus

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.

Taxi (note the red light on the dash)

Hot Tip: unless you’re 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 metro (subway). Bus costs around 25RMB, a taxi around 100RMB and the metro comes in cheapest with price varying depending on destination.

Line 11 of the Shenzhen Metro (aka subway) opened in mid-2016 which connects the airport through to Futian. The first train leaves at 6.30am and the last train leaves the airport at 11.25PM. It takes around 30 minutes to get from the airport to Futian with 7 stations along the way. See the full timetable and stations here.

Hourui and Airport East Metro stations (both on line 1) can be reached by a short bus ride.The metro takes around 60-70 minutes to connect to Futian with numerous stations along the way. This line terminates at Louhu from where you can cross the border to Hong Kong or take a train from Shenzhen Railway Station. See the full timetable and stations here.

There are also intercity buses, connecting to Hong Kong via Shenzhen Bay port, and also mainland cities including  Guangzhou, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai and Zhongshan.

There is also a ferry service at the nearby Fuyong Pier which can connect you to Sky Pier (Hong Kong Airport ) and New Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal. Shuttle buses run between the airport and the Fuyong ferry terminal. More here

Train to Shenzhen

For train travelers going to/from other mainland cities, the three main stations are Shenzhen Railway Station (at Louhu), Futian Station (at Futian CBD) and North Station (at Bao’an) all offering High-Speed Rail connections to Guangzhuo (and beyond), and Xiamen (and beyond). East Railway Station (at Buji) and Pingshan Station at Pingshan New District) also offer High-Speed Rail connections, more details here.

Guangzhuo to Shenzhen

Many people wishing to visit Shenzhen also fly into the nearby Guangzhou Airport or come via Hong Kong Airport. If you’re 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 Shekou Prince Bay Port, Cruise Center & Ferry Terminal. More detailed information on traveling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. Our sister site also loads of info on Hong Kong Metro and Transport.

Macau to Shenzhen

The easy way is via ferry which terminates at Shekou Prince Bay Port, Cruise Center & Ferry Terminal, more info via the ferry links below. Also see here for more on Macau Transport inc. Taxi, Bus & Ferry.

Xunlong Ferry

update Nov 2016: Shekou Prince Bay Port, Cruise Center & Ferry Terminal has opened and taken over from Shekou Ferry Terminal. Ferry schedules remain the same and shuttle buses connect the new port and the Metro station. 

Useful Resources: