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Shenzhen is an active and innovative city. When talking about Shenzhen, people always mention its fast-growing and advanced economy but many may not know that Shenzhen is also a treasure box for travelers.
From skyscrapers to ancient relics, from luxury shopping malls to artistic urban villages, and from lively theme parks to solemn churches, you will never get bored in Shenzhen.
Here, we have listed 20 places you should visit in Shenzhen, including tall buildings, places to go shopping and enjoy the local cuisine, characteristic urban villages, and more.
Shenzhen grew from a fishing village to an international metropolis in 40 years. Today, the city has about 30% of the skyscrapers in China. Ascend one and enjoy the great view!
With a height of 592.5 meters (1,944 feet), the Ping An IFC is the tallest tower in Shenzhen and the fourth tallest building in the world. The building features offices, a hotel, and a luxury shopping mall.
The observatory deck named Free Sky is located on the 116th floor, and you can admire a bird’s-eye view of Shenzhen and Hong Kong’s skyline from it.
The KK100 is the second tallest skyscraper in Shenzhen with a height of 441.8 meters (1,449 feet). The whole building is designed in a beautiful streamlined shape, which symbolizes a fountain, representing the development and prosperity of Shenzhen.
The KK100 might be the most luxurious skyscraper in Shenzhen as it accommodates top-class offices, an international level shopping center called the KK Mall, and one of the world’s highest 5-star hotels, The St. Regis Shenzhen.
When Shun Hing Square was built in 1996, it was the tallest building in Shenzhen, China, and even the whole of Asia. It also holds another record of being the thinnest skyscraper because the ratio of its width to its height is 1:9.
The top floor of Shun Hing Square is an observation deck and there are exhibits on Shenzhen’s development history.
Shenzhen offers great shopping opportunities. The city has excellent shopping choices, such as electrical appliances, digital products, fashionable clothing, jewelry, and seafood. You can also try the local cuisine!
Huaqiangbei (also called Huaqiang North) is the largest electronics market in China. It is a good place to buy electronic appliances, telecommunication products, and computer accessories.
The market also sells electronic parts. You can find everything you need to create a smartphone. If you are interested in electronics, don’t miss the chance to walk around Huaqiangbei.
If you like old artifacts, Shenzhen Antique City is a good place to stroll around. On the open-air stalls, there are piles of teapots, tableware, beads, and objects that look as though they were made hundreds of years ago.
Although you are not advised to buy any expensive items in the market because there are a lot of fakes, it is still interesting to just walk around and see the buyers using their lenses to check the goods.
East Gate (or Dongmen) Old Street is a popular pedestrian street for local people and tourists. There are over 20 shopping malls as well as countless stores and restaurants scattered in the surrounding streets and alleys.
It is also a good place for some sightseeing as there are ancient-style pavilions, houses, and antique objects, such as a large ancient bell and a bronze relief.
Check out more shopping places in Shenzhen.
Sea World is a high-end recreation center, which includes shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and parks. There is also a luxury ferry containing top-class stores and restaurants. Having a meal in one of the restaurants on the ferry can be a romantic experience.
See more characteristic restaurants in Shenzhen.
Shenzhen is not just a place filled with skyscrapers — over 1,000 urban villages are situated around the high buildings. Today, 60% of Shenzhen’s population lives in these urban villages and they are the starting point for many youngsters.
Over 1,200 workshops and over 8,000 painters are situated in Dafen Oil Painting Village, which has an area of just 0.4 square kilometer. 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. You can walk around, watch the painters working in their workshops, or try your hand at oil painting there.
Huanggang is a historical village and a great place to see how the residents have retained their traditional living environment. Walking around, you will find clean paths, a playground, a fountain, a stage, and more interesting places.
Huanggang also has the first village museum in China. The museum houses objects and photos that record the history of the village.
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.
It is now possible to see the sights around the world in one day. Shenzhen’s theme park called Window of the World allows you to see more than 130 reproductions of some of the famous sights in the world.
Along with these reproductions and models, there are rides and special nighttime entertainment options. There are also special events during festivals.
Different from Window of the World mentioned above, Splendid China showcases miniatures of famous Chinese attractions. Visitors can see the sights around China in one day.
Another part of the theme park is the China Folk Culture Village, which provides experiences and custom performances relating to China’s ethnic groups. There are also large stage performances.
Shenzhen Safari Park breeds over 300 animal species and has over 10,000 animals, which are uncaged. There are also circus performances and science events. If you are traveling with your kids, it is a good place to spend one day.
Shenzhen has placed an emphasis on environment protection since the city was first built and its green rating is currently at 50%. There are also ecological parks and wetland parks in the city.
This is one of the most important mangrove nature reserves in China, preserving over 170 acres of mangrove forest. The marina promenade provides wonderful natural environments for outings and sightseeing experiences.
OCT Wetland Park is an oasis for plants and birds in the metropolis. The wetland features a saltwater lake and mangrove forest, providing a habitat for 70% of the bird species living in Shenzhen.
Fairy Lake Botanical Garden features a research center and a place for sightseeing. It has over 8,000 plant species with a lot of rare or endangered species among them. Visitors can hike around the 21 gardens to admire the different types of plants in them.
There are not many churches in Shenzhen but they are different in style. Some of them are worth a visit even if you are not religious.
The design of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church is different from most Gothic churches. There are no ornate spires and walls or rose windows, just plain walls with a cubic appearance, which resembles a thatched cottage.
Every Sunday at 11am, the Holy Mass is held in English in the church.
This is the largest gathering place for Christians in Shenzhen. The church is designed in a boat shape, symbolizing Noah’s Ark in the Bible, God's redemption of all things in the world, and the idea of equality of all beings.
Shenzhen’s area has been extended hundreds of times over the decades but ancient sites remain that have recorded its history.
Dapeng Fortress (also known as Dapeng Ancient City) is located in a peninsula in the east of Shenzhen. It was a military fortress 600 years ago.
General Lai Ying Yang’s Mansion and the Canoe Museum are worth a visit.
Chung Ying Street is an alley that is 250 meters long and 4 meters wide. Before 1997, when Hong Kong was a British colony, the east side of the street belonged to China while the west side belonged to the UK.
Today, the boundary tablet is still there and a museum holds records of that era’s history. You can do some duty-free shopping there.
As there isn’t a metro line connected, you can take a taxi there or take a bus to Sha Tau Kok Free Trade Zone. Before entering the site, you will need to apply for a special document with your passport near the entrance.
Pak Tai Temple is an ancient Taoist temple in Shenzhen. In legends, Pak Tai is the god of water and rainfall, so local people worship him to pray for good weather for the crops.
Every year on the third day of the third lunar month (March 26, 2020 or April 14, 2021), large ceremonies are held to celebrate Pak Tai’s birthday.
Using our services, you can enjoy a bespoke tour in Shenzhen. An English-speaking guide and an experienced driver will take you around so you won’t need to worry about which metro line to take and how to get to the attractions.
Check out our popular Shenzhen tour for reference:
Or contact us to let your travel consultant customize your tour plan.