If you fly into Shenzhen, chances are you’ll go through the Bao’an International Airport. This Shenzhen airport is luckily very connected to the city center. You can take a variety of transportation options through the city!
[Recommended Read: One Day in Shenzhen, China: Splendid China and Chinese Folk Villages]
Subway To and From the Shenzhen Airport
If you arrive to Shenzhen between normal hours, your best bet is probably to take the subway. There are tons of signs everywhere, so just follow them! It is very reliable and quick. The only thing is that you might find it unsuitable if you have a lot of luggage. For a typical trip, you should have no problem. Most subway trips cost just ¥5 or less! Unlike some of the airport subway lines (like in Beijing), there is no extra charge to go to the airport.
You should notice that there are two lines that go to the airport: line 11 and line 1. If you take the subway from the airport to the city, note that you can leave starting at about 6:30 am. In case you arrive late, you need to be there early enough to arrive at the your destination before 11:00 pm, when the subway closes. If you arrive after that, you probably need to take a taxi.
Don’t take Line 1 to Airport East!
The one unpleasant thing I learned about the two lines that go to the airport is that they are not made equal. Line 11 is the one that you should take – it goes directly to the airport (the stop is aptly named “Airport”). If you make a mistake, like I did, and take Line 1, you are in a for a surprise! Line 1 has a stop that is called “Airport East”. I thought it would take me directly to the east side of the airport, but it definitely did not. It takes you to a transit station, from which you will have to take another bus to the airport!
Go out exit A, and you should see a line of bus stops. The M416 bus is the one you want. It costs ¥2, but takes an extra 30 minutes to get from Airport East to the actual Shenzhen Airport – so pay attention! The biggest reason it takes so long is that you will have several more stops to go through – including Hourui, the Line 1 subway stop before Airport East – before arriving to the airport.
This should not be a huge problem if you are not in a hurry. If you are, and you accidentally go to Airport East, you can take a taxi. The best thing is to ask other people if they are willing to split the taxi with you, but it shouldn’t be very much (I anticipate less than ¥20, but I didn’t take a taxi) if you go by yourself.
[Recommended Read: China Southern Airlines: A Review]
Going To and From the Shenzhen Airport by Bus
The Shenzhen airport bus network is pretty extensive. You will be able to drive to Hong Kong or other cities around Guangdong Province if you want, or just simply to the Shenzhen city center. Check for more information with these links:
Going To and From the Shenzhen Airport by Taxi
I used a taxi when I arrived to Shenzhen because my arrival was at 11:30 pm, so it was almost 12 by the time I left the airport. The taxi stand is divided by district, so you need to know which district you’re going to! Addresses in Chinese cities always include the district, and ones in Shenzhen are Bao’an, Nanshan, Futian, Luohu, Yantian, and Longgang.
Make sure you have the Chinese version of the address that you’re going to! Most taxi drivers will not speak English. I went to the Bao’an district, about 13 km (8 miles) at midnight, and was charged ¥52 (approximately $7.85 USD). There was a ¥1 fuel surcharge, which is mandatory.
The nice thing about taxis is that, as long as you get an official one from the airport, they will use a meter. If you show them you have a map application on your phone and are paying attention to their route, you also should have no problems with getting overcharged.
I was also able to pay the fare via WeChat pay. Since I had no cash on me, this was really useful! The advantage of taxis over other forms of transportation – other than the fact that you can go directly where you want to go – is that drivers will take cell phone payment as well as cash. If you take a bus or subway, chances are you’ll have to fork out the cash.
[Recommended Read: Itinerary: A 12 Hour Stopover in Changsha, China]
Want to Pin this post for later?