There are two airports that service Shenzhen, with the Hong International Airport more popular with international travelers (read: cheaper flights, fewer delays).
Shenzhen also has its own airport located in Bao'an District, with a growing number of domestic and international flights.
This guide will help you get to and from the airports that service Shenzhen.
If you’ve made the mistake of booking an international flight through the Bao’an Shenzhen International Airport, this handy-dandy guide will get you there and back in one piece. No promises once you take off, though – after a likely few hours of delays.
For those with an irrational fear of Shenzhen's subway system, the city's network of airport shuttles are the way to go. Be wary though, English signage is limited and English speakers few and far between outside the city center.
All shuttle buses leave at regular intervals and can bring you both to and from the airport.
Location: from Bao'an International Airport's shuttle area to citywide locations
Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour
To Longgang City Terminal (龙岗城市客运站): 7am–2am
From Longgang City Terminal: 5am–9pm
Duration: 50 minutes
To Shenzhen North Railway Station (深圳北站): 7am–2am
From Shenzhen North Railway Station: 8am–8pm
Duration: 50 minutes
To Shenzhen Railway Station (深圳火车站, near Hong Kong border): 7.45am–10pm
From Shenzhen Railway Station: 6.30am–10pm
Duration: 1 hour
To Guangming Railway Station (光明火车站): 6.30am-10pm
From Guangming Railway Station: 6.20am-9pm
Duration: 1.5 hours
To Dameisha (大梅沙): 6.15am–10pm
From Dameisha: 6am–9pm
Other main stops: Bao'an Bus Station (宝安汽车站), Futian Hospital (福田医院), Luohu Gymnasium(罗湖体育馆)
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes
To Huanggang Port (皇岗口岸, a Hong Kong border crossing): 8am–10pm
From Huanggang Port: 6.30am-9pm
Other main stops: Convention and Exhibition Center (会展中心)
Duration: 45 minutes
Shenzhen's subway system is clean, efficient and services the main parts of the city. Line 11, also known as the Airport Line, passes through two parts of the airport and has a final stop in the heart of Shenzhen's Central Business District.
Location: from the airport to Futian Station
Duration: 45 minutes to central Shenzhen
Traveling up to 120km per hour, Line 11 is said to be the fastest on any Chinese metro. Opened in June 2016, Line 11 runs 50 percent faster than the other lines in Shenzhen, with longer distances between stops.
Line 11's last train from Futian to Airport North leaves at 11.30pm, while the train from Airport North leaves around 12am. The trip between Airport North and Futian Station, the line's eastern terminus, takes about 40 minutes. Note: most of Shenzhen's metro lines see a last train at 11pm, meaning it may not be possibe to transfer if you take Line 11 late at night.
Business class carriages are available, with extra space for luggage, though a business-class ride can cost up to RMB30. Controversy surrounding the business class carriages when they launched, plus the pricetag, means very few people choose to use them. More space for you!
Standard class rides are three times cheaper than business class, but you will need to face the expected crowding.
Some stations on Line 11 display flight information, with automated kiosks in main stations allowing you to check into your flight.
There are three main types of taxis in Shenzhen. Both red and blue (electric) taxis operate throughout the city, mainly sticking to central areas and costing more than green taxis, which operate on the periphery of Shenzhen. Blue taxis are slightly less expensive less than red, since a RMB1-2 fuel surcharge doesn't apply.
All three types service the airport. However, a word of warning: while green taxis are the cheapest, they are also notorious for scamming customers through rigged meters or fake bills.
Green taxis may also refuse to take customers traveling towards central Shenzhen, as the drivers are not supposed to operate in certain districts.
When riding to or from the airport, we recommend you take a red or blue taxi. Even then, remain attentive to what the driver is doing and check any large bills for counterfeits when exiting the taxi. You can also ask for an invoice (fā piào发票) early in the ride, as it has a printout of the taxi's information – useful if you forget a phone in the car, or feel the need to report the driver.
Location: follow signage to taxi area
Duration: 45 minutes or longer depending on traffic
Price: to/from Futian RMB80, to/from Shekou RMB70, to/from Luohu RMB120
Until recently, Uber worked with international credit cards. Following a takeover by Chinese competitor Didi, you are now requried to have a Chinese bank account to use both services.
Didi or Uber generally has better quality service than taxis, though app-hailed cars cannot meet you at the airport pickup area and coordinating a meeting location may be difficult with a language barrier.
A popular choice for people who plan on flying internationally from Shenzhen. Fewer delays, cheaper flights and better English-language services make it worth the trip into Hong Kong.
Location: cross to MTR stations from Shenzhen's Futian Checkpoint or Luohu Checkpoint
Duration: about 90 minutes to or from airport
Price: about RMB77 (HKD90)
A cheaper choice to get to and from the Hong Kong International Airport is to take the MTR. You can actually remain on public transport traveling between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, subject to operating times.
Traveling across the Futian District border in Shenzhen, the trip to Hong Kong International Airport takes an estimated 90 minutes and costs about HKD90. Note: you will need to change money into Hong Kong dollars to purchase a metro card. The first train on the Hong Kong side leaves at 6.39am and the last train at 10.55pm.
The Hong Kong government provides this trip planner, which includes directions for those using the Shenzhen Metro. Please note that the trip planner has not been updated with new Shenzhen metro lines since July 2017.
Besides the Futian Checkpoint crossing, there's another Shenzhen Metro-Hong Kong MTR connection in Luohu District. Both checkpoints require you to pass through border control.
Expect crowding during rush hours, which may make the 90-minute journey to the airport much longer.
Location: Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 2, hotels across Shenzhen, Huanggang Checkpoint
Duration: 30 minutes to/from Hong Kong-Shenzhen Border
Price: around RMB85 (HKD100)
Conveniently located inside Hong Kong International Airport, cross-border coach services generally provide rides during daylight hours. After arriving in the airport, English signage leads to an area with coaches, mostly vans that seat fewer than ten and leave for Shenzhen once full.
After stating your destination in Shenzhen, companies will vie for your business, with some pushing a sticker on your shoulder to mark you as a customer before you've decided to pay. Feel free to politely remove the sticker if you haven't decided yet, and double-check with staff to make sure you're heading in the right direction.
If none of the companies bring you close to your destination – or to keep the process simple – you can get dropped off at the central Huanggang Checkpoint and from there ride Shenzhen public transport or take a taxi to your destination.
To Hong Kong International Airport
Private services are available to drive you directly from your location in Shenzhen to the Hong Kong International Airport, but expect to pay a premium. Hotels will also be able to organize vans to take you; in some cases, you don't even need to be a hotel guest.
A different, cheaper option is to simply take a taxi or Shenzhen's metro Line 7 to the Huanggang Checkpoint and get a cross-border van to the airport (about RMB150). You'll still need to cross a checkpoint – at one point on foot, leaving the van behind briefly. We recommend you keep your valuables (laptop, passport) with you at all times rather than leave them on the bus.
If you taxi to Huanggang Checkpoint, you will be dropped off directly where the private vans to Hong Kong International Airport wait. Simply saying 'airport' will get your luggage loaded into a van, which will leave once enough customers have arrived.
Location: Hong Kong International Airport, Sheng Shui (Hong Kong MTR)
Duration: 30 minutes depending on traffic
Price: RMB290 (HKD340) to/from Hong Kong-Shenzhen border
If you choose to take a taxi to or from the Hong Kong International Airport directly to your destination, expect to pay a premium. You will need to switch taxis at the border, as Hong Kong taxis cannot enter Shenzhen and vice versa. A one-way taxi ride from Hong Kong International Airport to the Shenzhen border crossing is about HKD340.
Location: Hong Kong International Airport, Shenzhen Prince Bay Cruise Homeport
Duration: 30 minutes
Price: RMB260 from Shenzhen, HKD363 from Hong Kong International Airport
Going to Hong Kong International Airport, there are actually ferries leaving from two places in Shenzhen, with the Shekou Shenzhen Prince Bay Cruise Homeport by far the most popular for getting there.
From the Hong Kong International Airport, ferries service two locations in Shenzhen, including the Fuyong port nearby Bao'an International Airport and the abovementioned one in Shekou.
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