Home China Guide Shenzhen Travel Guide — Suddenly a Top Tourist City

Shenzhen Travel Guide — Suddenly a Top Tourist City

Shenzhen location map

Shenzhen is adjacent to Hong Kong on the Mainland China border. It has flourished in this favorable location and become the Mainland's 'coolest city'. Just 30 years ago, Shenzhen was a small seaside town. Now it's one of China's biggest and most important cities.

Suddenly, the opening of the new bullet train to Hong Kong in 2018 has made Shenzhen a much more popular place for tourists. Now tourists can reach Shenzhen from downtown Kowloon in about 19 minutes.

The city has been named one of China's most livable cities and one of the world's 25 top high tech development cities. Lonely Planet's list of top 10 cities to visit in 2019 ranks Shenzhen as second in the world! Tourists are recognizing Shenzhen as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

Things to Do in Shenzhen

1. Experience a Metropolis Atmosphere

kk100 The KK100 in Luo Hu is the second tallest skyscraper in Shenzhen.

When ascending a skyscraper, it might be hard to imagine that the view below used to be small villages. In this young, active, and creative city, you will never get bored of the stunning architecture, interesting theme parks, and restaurants offering gourmet food from all over the world.

Shenzhen is also a sleepless city. At night, the view of the downtown area is possibly more beautiful than it is in the daytime. There are also countless bars and clubs for you to enjoy at night.

Also read: China's 15 Tallest Skyscrapers — about half of the world's tallest skyscrapers

2. Visit Shenzhen's Interesting Theme Parks

Window of the WorldWindow of the World

Although the theme parks in Shenzhen are not world class like the ones in Hong Kong, they are fun options to spend a day or half a day in, or when you are traveling with your kids. They are clustered just north of Shenzhen Bay around the Window of the World.

  • Window of the World covers about 4,000 square meters and has miniature replicas of famous places.
  • Folk Culture Village has dancers and musicians and artists representing China's various ethnic people groups.

3. Enjoy Shopping in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a good shopping opportunity next to Hong Kong. The better buys include electrical appliances, digital products, clothing produced in China, and jewelry.

Shopping in Shenzhen is not just about buying items but is a good way to get to know the city from another perspective. For example, you can find everything you need to create a smartphone in Huaqiangbei, and there is a lot more for you to discover.

Check out more information about Shenzhen Shopping.

4. Taste Shenzhen Food

Enjoy local food in ShenzhenEnjoy local food in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is nowhere near being a gastronomical capital like Hong Kong, but you'll find cuisines from all over China due to the migration of large numbers of people from across the country.

There are also many Asian restaurants and Western-style restaurants. They are notably less expensive than those in Hong Kong.

See more about Shenzhen restaurants and food.

5. Discover Shenzhen’s “Urban Villages”

Dafen Oil Painting VillageDafen Oil Painting Village

When you step away from the downtown area, you will discover the urban villages of Shenzhen. Different from the slums in some countries and cities, the urban villages in Shenzhen are not about being dirty and disorderly but are lively places for people who go to Shenzhen to realize their dreams.

Dafen Oil Painting Village might be the most famous one. At its peak, over 60% of oil paintings sold on the market originated from Dafen. Although most of the paintings there are copies, it is a great place to get closer to the local painters and hear their stories.

6. Discover Shenzhen Outdoors

Shenzhen's city parks are places to exercise and to see the local people and scenery. See more on these on Free Things to Do in Shenzhen.

Shenzhen has mountains, hills, and beaches. They are also good places for exercise and a scenic break from the big city. For example, Wutong Mountain is the second tallest mountain in the Pearl River Delta after Hong Kong's Tai Mo Shan.

Shenzhen Visas

People from most countries don’t need to apply for a full China visa to visit Shenzhen. Instead, applying for a Visa on Arrival is both swift and convenient.

No matter whether you arrive in Shenzhen by air or travel from Hong Kong to Shenzhen by land or water, you can apply for a VOA at the port with your valid passport.

Check out the detailed information about a Shenzhen visa to see if you are eligible to apply for a VOA and how to get one.


Like Hong Kong, Shenzhen's weather is fairly mild with plenty of rain and sunshine. The air quality is considered among the best of China's big cities. However, smog is an increasing problem due to more cars per capita than almost all other cities and Guangdong's factories. See more on Shenzhen Weather.

Typhoons are rare. Shenzhen is affected by a typhoon once in two years on average. For more information, see Hong Kong Typhoon Season.

Getting to Shenzhen

Most people go to Shenzhen through the Hong Kong border. Now, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Railway links Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong and offers a quicker alternative. From West Kowloon, it quickly and conveniently whisks people in about 16 minutes to Futian and about 19 minutes to Shenzhen North. But there are other ways... See more on Shenzhen Transport.

Guangzhou is now 72-hour-visa-free for transit via Baiyun Airport. This visa free travel permits you to travel around all of Guangdong Province including Shenzhen!

Touring Shenzhen Your Way

shenzhen Window of the World

We can help you explore Shenzhen and discover more about the area, and much more: