Welcome to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China. Shenzhen has a population of 11 million people. Guangdong has over 107 million residents and there are over 1.3 billion people live in China. So, there are no shortage of ways to travel around.
Travelchinaguide.com has an excellent overview of the many ways to leave Shenzhen (airport, train, long-distance bus, or ferry) and get around Shenzhen (taxi, Metro, or city bus). Here is a link to that resource: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/guangdong/shenzhen/transportation/
Getting around Shenzhen
Metro: The metro system is reliable, easy to navigate and expansive. Trains start running at 6.30am and the final trains of the day set off at 11pm. Living and working near the metro is a huge bonus in Shenzhen because it can reduce travel time and simplify your life. Click to View the latest Shenzhen metro map.
City Bus: Buses can be extremely helpful in areas that are underserved by the metro system or after the metro system has closed for the day. However, buses are tricky to use because bus schedules are only written in Chinese. It is possible to use Baidu Maps (Baidu is China’s Google; maps.baidu.com) with a limited knowledge of Chinese. This guide (http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2014/12/how-to-use-baidu-maps/) can help you navigate Baidu Maps without a knowledge of Chinese.
You can use Baidu Maps to drop pins at your point of departure and arrival. Baidu will tell you whether it is better to use the Metro or Bus and then provide you with the number of the relevant bus line as well as an estimated travel time. Here’s a more indepth guide for taking the bus in Shenzhen: http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/shenzhen/article/guide-to-taking-shenzhen-buses.
Taxis: There are three different colours of taxis: blue, red, and green. Red taxis can go anywhere in Shenzhen. Green taxis cannot go into the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (Shenzhen’s central area). Most importantly, you can’t take a green taxi from the airport to the central area of Shenzhen. Blue taxis are partly electric and can go to the same places as red cabs.
Taxi drivers do not speak English. Have the address of your destination ready in Chinese to give to the taxi driver.
这里停 – zheli ting - stop here
右拐 – youguai - right turn
左拐 – zuoguai – left turn
我要发票 – woyao fapiao – I want the receipt. It’s very important to take the receipt. If you lose a valuable in the taxi and you have the receipt, then the taxi bureau will be able to track down the car and check for your valuables.
Getting out of Shenzhen
Planes, trains and long distance buses can all take you to different parts of Guangdong province and different parts of China.
Getting to Shenzhen International Airport:Metro Line 11 is now open. This Metro line travels directly to the Shenzhen International Airport.
How to cross the border to Hong Kong: There are many ways to get to Hong Kong.
Option#1: The border crossing at the Luohu train station. This crossing is easily reached by taking the metro to the Luohu stop on the Luobao line. Follow the signs out of the metro station. Once outside, there are large signs you can follow to the Hong Kong border crossing. This crossing is quite busy, but it’s efficient. This crossing closes late at night.
Option#2: The border crossing at the Futian Checkpoint Stop on the Longhua Line. Again, this is easily accessible. This is another pedestrian crossing, although it can get very busy compared to the Luohu crossing. This crossing also closes at night.
Option #3: The Huang Gang crossing is a vehicular crossing. You will need to arrive at the crossing in a bus, car, taxi, or the like. You can take a bus or van to central HK or HK airport. This one is a great way to get back into Shenzhen after a late flight into Hong Kong as you can buy tickets at the airport to go in a mini-bus straight to the border. It’s very convenient in that way, although it can be busy. This crossing is open 24-hours a day, so keep this in mind if you ever need to cross in the early hours of the morning.
Option #4: The Shenzhen Bay crossing in Nanshan District. It's a border similar to Huanggang where you will need to take bus or taxi to get there and to Hong Kong. This crossing closes at night.
Option #5: If you are going to Hong Kong airport you can take a ferry at Shekou Ferry Port straight to the airport. Click to check the timetable.
Buy train, plane, and bus tickets in advance if you want to travel during Chinese national holidays. They will sell out.
Collecting tickets at the train station can take a long time. It’s helpful to find a travel agency that can print tickets for you in advance.
Ctrip.com has an English webpage that can be used to book train tickets to other Chinese destinations in advance.