How to get around Shenzhen: info, costs and advice

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Shenzhen is located in southern China, and with more than 12 million inhabitants it is the third economy in the country and fourth most populous city. In 2014 it was even elected as the most populous city in the Chinese state. Faced with these data it is quite impossible to imagine an orderly transport system, but the efficiency of the Orientals is always proverbial. In fact, in the city the public transport service manages to meet the needs of citizens continuously growing, and also of the flourishing international tourism.

If you are planning a trip to Shenzhen, arm yourself with patience and, with the right tips, you will be able to move around the city easily despite the crowds. Here's one guide on how to get around Shenzhen: info, costs and advice!


  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Shenzhen
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

The metro is the easiest way to use and understand. The buses have some indications written exclusively in Chinese, and English speaking staff is in short supply. We also recommend that you have your destination address written in Chinese with you when contacting taxi drivers.

Due to its size and population density it is not recommended to go around this metropolis on foot. Don't be lured by so-called motorcycle taxis, they may look quaint but are unlicensed and banned in FuTian, ​​and they are a very uncomfortable and dangerous way to travel. Rather, opt for a one-day guided tour with a private driver who will take you to each stop on the itinerary.

To facilitate your use of the vehicles, buy one Shenzhen Tong Card, is a prepaid card that can be used both on the metro and on the buses, saving you money. You can find it at all staffed desks in metro stations.

  • Recommended solutions and means: metro, taxi, private drivers
  • Solutions and means not recommended: on foot, by car, bus, taxi-motorcycle
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: Tong Card (from 50,00 yuan / € 6,28)

How to get from the airport to the center of Shenzhen

L'Shenzhen-Bao'an Airport is among the most important airports in China. It is well connected to the city center, which is the FuTian district, with subway and bus lines.

The most convenient way to get to the city center from the airport is by metro, takes about 30 minutes, the line that makes the connection is known as the "airport line". It passes through two parts of the airport and ends in the heart of Shenzhen's Central Business District. Alternatively, there are numerous buses that run from the airport to the city center, but be careful because the indications in English are scarce, as well as the staff who speak the language, so it could be quite difficult to get information. Also for the taxi, we recommend that you have the destination address written in Chinese characters with you. It may therefore be more convenient and easier to book a private transfer online before your departure!

Shenzhen-Bao'an Airport

  • Distance from the center: 32 km / travel time: about 50 min;
  • By metro: line 11 / ticket cost: 7,00 yuan (€ 0,80)
  • By taxi: average cost 160,00 yuan (€ 20,10) / travel time: 45 min
  • By bus: average cost 20,00 yuan (€ 2,50) / lines 2, 5, 6, 9 or bus 330b and bus 330c
  • Private transfer: Shenzhen: Private Transfer to Bao'an Airport (SZX)

How to get around on foot

We can say that Shenzhen it is certainly not a city designed for walking. In 2014, it was the busiest city in China, and today more than 12 million people live there across the six districts. Surely the huge crowds of people, especially during peak times, risk making the visit rather chaotic and unbearable.

For a first approach to the city and to be able to settle in, what we recommend is to take part in a one day private tour, with a private driver, who in addition to showing you the most characteristic aspects of Shenzhen will also provide you with all the useful tips on how to get around.

For others itineraries on foot or by public transport, download our Smart Guide for visiting Shenzhen for free.

Con i mezzi pubblici

In a metropolis like Shenzhen, moving efficiently is very important. Fortunately, the Chinese city has one very extensive public transport network with various options, the infrastructures dedicated to urban mobility are almost all recently built or renovated and are constantly expanding.

Plus China it hosts the top three largest electric taxi parks in the world, one of these is located right in Shenzhen, has about 800 cars, distinguishable from normal taxis by the color (these are blue and white).

Se you have little time available or want to settle down, you can opt for a private guided tour lasting one day, where a driver will take you near the main attractions, thus making the various movements even more peaceful.


The subway can be considered the cheapest and most comfortable means to move around the city. Trains run every 3/5 minutes, and they are there well five lines serving the most popular tourist destinations.

Both the stations and the trains are clean and safe, it is an easy vehicle to use and understand since stops are also announced in English.

Il cost of tickets changes depending on the distance traveled. Very useful rechargeable Tong Card, which will allow you not to buy the ticket every time.

  • Downloadable map: metro-shenzhen
  • by 6: 30 23 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 2,00 (€ 0,25) to 11,00 yuan (€ 1,38)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 50,00 yuan Tong Card (€ 6,28)


Shenzhen city bus lines are approx 500 and include nearly 10.000 buses, this means that, for the same stop, it is possible to choose between 3 and 5 buses. Many drivers use a little initiative and if they don't see anyone at the stop, or if there is already another bus with the same number, they skip the stage altogether.

This means it may be less immediate than the subway, the stops are announced in English and all stations show the name in English, however times are in Chinese only. Also remember that in China a bus stop is called a station, while a station is called a terminal.

  • by 6: 30 23 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from 2,00 (€ 0,25) to 11,00 yuan (€ 1,38)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 50,00 yuan Tong Card (€ 6,28)


Taxi is a fairly honest means, rarely in Shenzhen you run into problems, but you must always and in any case check that the license is displayed and the taximeter active. It's a rather cheap means, for distances of over half an hour, 50,00 yuan (€ 6,28) is not exceeded.

The cars are red and silver,the drivers generally do not speak English so make sure you have the destination written in Chinese.

  • 24 hours on 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 10,00 yuan (€ 1,26) for the first 2 km

By car

Getting around by car in Shenzhen is obviously not easy, it is always a different country where driving is very different from ours, not to mention the signs, obviously in Chinese. In addition, some parts of the city can be extremely congested during peak hours.

The way of driving of the inhabitants is quite reckless and the really heavy traffic: all the cars that circulate in the traffic of the metropolis seem to almost dodge each other as they overtake and pass from one lane to another with alarming regularity. You will realize this even just by getting into a taxi!

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