Dynamic Shenzhen is an apt symbol of China’s impressive if sometimes uneven rush to embrace wealth. From humble village to bold metropolis in under 30 years, the city’s journey has been brash, dramatic and magnificent. With its natural blend of Chinese frontier spirit and frenetic entrepreneurialism, it has also become home to some of the most diverse and succulent cuisine you’ll find anywhere in China. And for the cash-strapped, the short hop across the border from Hong Kong at the Luohu crossing provides a gateway to China that is easily accessible and offers saving of at least 30% on international air taxes.


Population 14 million
Electricity 220 Volt
Emergency numbers Ambulance: 120 Fire: 119 Police: 110
Telephone Area code:0755


1. Overseas Chinese Town

Overseas Chinese Town at Shenzhen bay lies a 35-40 minute ride from Lo Wu metro station on Line 1 to Shijiezhichuang metro. The Happy Line monorail can whisk you to the main theme parks and other tourist facilities.

Address: OCT Tourist Park, Shenzhen Bay

2. Window of the World

Shenzhen Window of the World is a microcosm of the world’s most famous landmarks. In one afternoon the tour takes you to more than a 100 models including the Eiffel Tower, the pyramids, Cambodia’s Angkor Kwat and the Taj Mahal. It’s even got a 4,000 square meter indoor Alpine ski run. Festivals through the year are regular, including a beer festival in the summer and a dance festival in December.

Address: Overseas Chinese Town

3. Splendid China

This theme park with a scale map of China with all of the country’s most famous landmarks is set on a 30 hectare site. Xian’s terracotta army, Sichuan’s Leshan Buddha and of course the Great Wall are all here. It just might give you a few more ideas beyond the classic staples of a China mainland tour. The park includes two areas, the Miniature Park and the China Folk Culture Village.

Address: Overseas Chinese Town

4. Folk Culture Village

Any notion of one homogeneous nation is quickly dispelled at Folk Culture Village. Some 50 plus ethnic groups including the Naxi from Yunnan and the Uighur from Mongolia are recreated by more than 500 performers depicting their lives, costumes, customs, songs and languages.

Address: Overseas Chinese City, Shennan Avenue, Nanshan District

5. Happy Valley

A Disney-style water wonderland with thrilling rides and other water-related activities. There are nine different areas in total, each boasting its own theme, these are the Spanish Square, Mt. Adventure, Shangri-La Woods, Cartoon City, Gold Mine Town,, Sunshine Beach, Playa Maya Water Park, Typhoon Bay and Happy Times.

Address: Nanshan District


Shenzhen is a food lover’s paradise. From mouth-numbingly hot Sichuan hot pots to the northeast’s blend of dumplings and roast duck and from the eastern board’s seafood delicacies to Hunan’s own take on the potential for spice, it has the lot. Whether you are on the busy Fenghuang or Huanggang roads or strolling down the vibrant Nan ’ao shui tou and Huaqiangbei street markets, you’ll be led by your nose, eyes and maybe even your ears to what you fancy.

1. Phoenix House

Excellent Cantonese food not far from Huaqiang Bei shopping district. The dim sum is so good, people queue all day to get a taste.

Address: 4002 Huaqiang Bei Road

2. Little Sheep Hotpot

Spicy lamb broth all the way from Xinjiang in China’s northwest hinterland. Best visited as part of a group, the lamb melts in your mouth.

Address: Shennan Zhong Road

3. Muslim Hotel Restaurant

Centrally located Halal restaurant with excellent lamb and beef dishes. The restaurant has room for more than 300 guests and has an impressive and classical yet inviting atmosphere.


1. Luohu Commercial City

Mayhem rules here. Straight through Hong Kong customs, its five floors consist of almost every item of clothing, jewellery and pottery that you could possibly wish for. Most items are unashamedly fake of course, but that is part of the fun if you get a bargain.

2. Dongmen Market

Clothes with tailor-made suits a speciality at highly competitive prices. Shop early or late to avoid the crowds.

3. Lao Jie Shopping Street

Lao jie shopping street in Bao’an is the site of the humble fishing village that forerun Shenzhen in 1979. Now it’s a maze of backstreets and alleys selling everything. It’s also home to the first ever McDonalds to open on the mainland. History indeed!

4. Dafen Oil Painting Village

Not on the metro but well worth the trip if only to ogle the thousands of artworks on offer. It has gained an international reputation for the quality and scope of the work churning out some 5 million items a year.

Address: Dafen Village, Buji Town, Shenzhen


As with all hotels in China, substantial discounts are available from the rate card so be sure to ask. Out-of-season and weekday bookings in particular can see discounts up to 70% off. Prices given are rate card and only a guide.

1. Fortune Hotel

Well located for the shopping in Huagiang district and the Shenzhen exhibition centre, the four star hotel offers comfortable rooms and very good service.

Address: 3021, Huaqiang Rd, Futian district

2. Guangdong Hotel

Comfortable value-for-money three star hotel with clean rooms and very good facilities in the dongmen district in downtown Shenzhen. Shopping, restaurants and nightlife is all in the vicinity.

Address: 3033, Shennan Dong Road

3. Sunshine Hotel

It is an expensive but excellent centrally located hotel, with superb service and great views, if you can negotiate your way onto the 8th floor or above.

Address: 1, Jiabin Road

4. Shenzhen Bay Hotel

Four star, 308-room hotel that comes with swimming pool, tennis courts and a whole host of restaurants. It’s particularly good for families as it is adjacent to the sea and slap bang in the middle of all the OTC.

Address: Shennan Avenue, Nanshan District

5. Seaview Hote

A cheaper option, this three star 500-room hotel has, as might be expected from the name, sea-views across the bay to Hong Kong in the distance.

Address: 3-5 Guangqiao Street, Huaqiao Cheng, Nanshan District


1. Airport

Shenzhen Airport is located about 35 km from downtown Shenzen, from where it is possible to take a taxi or bus 330 to your destination. The bus fare is RMB 20 and takes approximately 35 minutes to arrive in the urban center.

Click here for details

2. Public Transport

Shenzhen’s metro fares vary from RMB2-5 depending on length of journey. Virtually all the major tourist destinations like Window on the World are covered by the metro.

3. Taxis

Taxis come in three denominations: red, green and yellow. Red taxis can go anywhere. Green taxis are only allowed outside the SEZ and yellow taxis only within the SEZ. Fares start at RMB 12.50. Make sure the driver starts the meter.