In the Southeast of China, Shenzhen city is a bustling modern metropolis that links mainland China to Hong Kong. It is known as the Silicon Valley of China, and for good reason. Shenzhen is a commercial city and is primarily famous for its mesmerizing shopping sites and vast technology markets, which attract shopaholics and techies from all around the world.
Being the third most populous city in China, Shenzhen is a global center for business, research, technology, finance, and tourism. Every year, millions of job seekers flock to Shenzhen in search of work and leisure alike.
It is pretty reasonable to refer to Shenzhen as a city for everyone and anyone, as it is home to many foreigners and some of the most prominent technology companies in the world.
Shenzhen mainly gained its popularity from its location, which is right beside famous Hong Kong. You can get to Hong Kong, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, or Macau in only an hour or two train ride from Shenzhen.
Shenzhen is a culturally diverse city that must be visited to explore its richness and culture. Moreover, this city offers all the wild adventures and enjoyable experiences that you could ever wish for. If you are craving a fun and entertaining trip, add Shenzhen to your bucket list.
I lived in Shenzhen for a whopping four years and loved every second of exploring this megacity.
This is my ultimate guide on what to do when visiting Shenzhen, China.
Dafen Village, located in the far northeast of Shenzhen (about a 40-minute metro ride from the center of Shenzhen) is home to many of the most beautiful Chinese paintings and artists.
Located in Buji in Longgang, Shenzhen, Dafen Village is a suburb that has been designated as an art village since 1989 to produce magnificent artworks and replicas of high-class masterpieces.
Dafen Village consists of more than 60 famous companies and 1200 galleries. The artworks created in this art village are mostly oil paint based. Dafen is also known to be the first oil painting village in China.
This is a must-visit place if you love art, or simply love wandering the endless streets, watching artists perfect their craft in the open air of the alleys.
You can find absolutely everything here, ranging from Chinese cultural calligraphists to embroideries, paintings, shopping malls, local food, and art museums. I highly recommend carving out 4–5 hours of your afternoon on a sunny day to visit the beautiful, paintings, and museums of Dafen.
Dafen Art Village is an international-level tourist site that attracts artists and art lovers from all over the world.
Located in Nanshan District, which is in the west of Shenzhen, is a fantastic theme park known as “Window of the World.” This park offers model replicas of stunning historical places from different countries.
Window of the World gleamed its name due to the fact that you can explore famous places and structures of other countries in the form of their replicas.
This has made Window of the World unique in its own form, as I have never before seen a theme park with a small-scale Eiffel Tower of Paris, Angkor Wat of Cambodia, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mahamuni Pagoda of Mandalay, Ancient Athens, and the Tower of London, and so many more amazing landmarks from across the globe.
Be sure to visit Window of the World, located at Window of the World metro stop, exit A, when you visit Shenzhen. I would recommend ensuring you have the whole afternoon free to explore this park. The entry cost is around 200-250 RMB.
Shekou is yet another amazing location in Shenzhen to visit. Known for its environment, culture, and history, Shekou is one of the more modern parts of Shenzhen and the place you are most likely to find foreign friends from all over the world.
In the past, Shekou was established as a development zone; therefore, it used to be an economic hub for business and development. In Shekou, you can find luxury accommodations for both foreigners and locals alike, delicious local food, shopping, KTV (I recommend Chung K KTV), and so much more.
Shekou is the perfect place to hang out, have a relaxing day, and meet foreign friends.
Futian District is said to be the heart of Shenzhen, China, due to its location in the center of the city. Futian is also known as the central business district (CBD).
The CBD is the center of finance and business in Shenzhen. Futian reflects a progressive and positive outlook of Shenzhen that makes it an attraction site for businessmen, workers, and foreigners alike.
Futian is home to outstanding skyscrapers (the Ping’an Tower is one of the tallest in the world) and renowned shopping malls (be sure to check out Coco Park Shopping Center if you are in the CBD). Coco Park is a great place for a shopping experience in Futian.
Coco Park is a shopping mall that offers you more than 200 stores to shop from. Additionally, the park also provides a variety of cafés to spend some quality time with family.
This shopping mall provides a wide range of restaurants with delicious foods and Asian cuisines to devour. There are large open-air spaces in the center of the mall that is nice to stroll through and enjoy seeing the locals and kids go about their day.
If you are looking for a fun night out, be sure to visit Coco Park in Shenzhen. Right across the mall is an indoor structure with bars surrounding the exterior.
You will have your choice between jazz clubs, bars, and nightclubs in Coco Park. Be aware of fake alcohol, as sometimes the drinks can be made with fake alcohol, which can have less than ideal-effects on your body.
I highly recommend spending at least one day exploring the center of Futian and the CBD.
Lianhuashan Park is one of the most relaxing and mesmerizing locations in Shenzhen if you want to spend some time in nature during your time in this megacity.
It is the biggest park, located to the north of the Futian CBD, and is an urban park that can be an ideal escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city… ironically, it is located in the heart of the city!
If visiting, I highly recommend walking the stone steps up to the top of the small peak… where you will be able to see the entire CBD and this view.
It is absolutely stunning, so be sure to check the park and climb to the top when visiting. You can take the metro to Lianhuashan Park metro station, exit F.
As you know by now, the technological advancements of Shenzhen have driven immense growth to the city. Huaqiangbei is yet another marvel located in Shenzhen.
Huaqiangbei (hwaa-chong-bay) is one of the largest and most well-known gadget and technology markets in the world. You can find here a wide range of electronics at reasonable prices, all from Chinese brands… but be careful, not all brands are authentic, and you will certainly find some fake Apple and Samsung products here.
Huaqiangbei is designed as a street market similar to a giant shopping mall and is usually packed full of techies at all times. The products at Huaqiangbei are wholesale products; therefore, you have to make your own way in finding the best product at the right price, without getting ripped off!
I used to love spending an afternoon sitting in the technology market hub of the world, exploring new tech finds, and see what deals I could find. You will also find lots of delicious food in the area, so be sure to visit on an empty stomach.
Along with Window of the World, Nanshan District also houses the Happy Valley theme park, which is one of the four Happy Valley theme parks in China. Happy Valley theme park features several roller coasters, a massive waterpark, rides, and live performances.
But my personal favourites are the inverted roller coaster and rapid river ride. This site is perfect for enlightening your inner child once again with thrilling rides and roller coasters. You can visit this park with friends and family to make this experience even more memorable.
To visit, take the metro to Window of the World metro stop, Exit A, and from there you will need to walk about 10 minutes to reach Happy Valley. Enjoy!
Shenzhen is full of adventurous and fun parks, and OCT East is no exception. OCT East is a theme park and cultural center that features tall statues and structures that represent Chinese history and culture. This is a popular destination among class field trips.
If you are wanting to get some Chinese culture while on your visit to Shenzhen, I would highly recommend visiting. Head to the OCT East metro station, and you will see the red structures at the entrance of OCT East.
Shenzhen is all about parks; nature lovers love to visit Shenzhen for this reason. OCT LOFT Creative Culture Park is one of the most magnificent areas in Shenzhen, due to its unique areas of different exhibits, art popups, and trendy bars.
This park is also popular for concerts and shows, which are performed by various famous artists. OCT LOFT is home to a range of cafés, restaurants, and galleries that attract the attention of people visiting it. OCT-LOFT is an ideal place to relax, along with a cup of your favorite coffee or beer.
Located between Luohu and Yantian in Shenzhen, Wutong Mountain is the tallest mountain in Shenzhen, and one of the most impressive natural landmarks.
But climbing Wutong Mountain is, unfortunately, a strenuous task; therefore, before you plan to hike this mountain, think twice, as it can be really exhausting, especially if you are not well prepared.
Many mountain climbers and hikers visit Shenzhen just to climb Wutong Mountain, making it a renowned tourist attraction. The views get better as you proceed to climb the mountain, which adds up to the enjoyment of the hike.
If you want more hikes, take the metro into Hong Kong, where there are endless mountains and hikes you will be able to easily find.
Shenzhen bay park is a terrific oasis in the middle of a bustling city. It is a massive coastline park occupying an area of 267 acres, on the coast of Shenzhen, overlooking Hong Kong across the water.
This park provides several picnic spots featuring the remarkable water scenery and views of Hong Kong. Along with that, the environment of this park is quite clean and well-maintained. This evergreen ecological park offers fun activities like roller skating, biking, and open-air plazas.
Many people from all around the world visit each year. If you want to immerse yourself in flowers, trees, birds, and beautiful scenery on your visit to Shenzhen, don’t forget to visit this stunning and peaceful park for an afternoon.
It can take 4-6 hours to walk the entire park, as it stretches from Nanshan district and finishes in Shekou. I would recommend biking if you have a bank account or WeChat account in China, as you can easily rent a bike for a few dollars and ride the entirety of the park in 1-2 hours.
Shenzhen, being a major center of business, technology, research, and finance, is a very important city in China, but its exceptional landmarks also make it a great attraction for tourists.
From its cuisine to its culture, Shenzhen is full of excitement and adventure. If you are looking to have the most unforgettable and unusual trip in Shenzhen, China, pay a visit to any of the remarkable destinations on this list. Underrated, yet one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is well worth a visit.
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How do I get to Shenzhen from Hong Kong?
You can arrive in Shenzhen via various forms of transportation. If you are arriving from Hong Kong, you can take the metro to Lok Ma Chau station, and from there cross the border and go through immigration into the Shenzhen metro line.
What is the best activity in Shenzhen?
This varies depending on your interests, however, I recommend visiting the Futian CBD area, Coco Park, and visiting the top of the Ping’an Tower. Be sure to also check out OCT for the nightlife.
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