Join InterNations

The world's largest expat community

A Comprehensive Guide about Living in Shenzhen

  • Connect with fellow expats in Shenzhen

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in Shenzhen

  • David Thyne

    At the first Shanghai Get-Together I met several American expats. I am very grateful that they shared their experience with me.

An amazing community is waiting for you!

Meet internacional people at local events

Socialize, enjoy hobbies, and make friends

Get info, and feel at home abroad!

Life in Shenzhen

China is widely expected to become the world’s largest economy in the near future, and it is the rise of cities such as Shenzhen in Guangdong Province that will help the Asian country to overhaul the US.

 Shenzhen was the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in China and it has been one of the most successful, becoming one of the world’s most built-up areas due to foreign investment creating a vibrant local economy. In 2014, around 11 million people lived in Shenzhen, which is the major financial center for southern China.

Transportation in Shenzhen

Shenzhen has fantastic transport links and is one of the best connected cities in the east. It has the world’s fourth busiest port, which is a major part of its economic success, while expats living in Shenzhen can fly to most domestic cities from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport. International destinations available from the airport include Tokyo, Pyongyang, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore among other major international cities.

The Shenzhen Metro system has become a very important part of the city’s transport infrastructure since it was opened in 2004. More lines are under construction to extend the network, as China tries to keep on top of its growing population and rising economy.

Taxis are also widely available in Shenzhen and the surrounding area. They come in three colors; yellow (restricted to inside the SEZ), green (restricted to outside the SEZ), and red (can travel anywhere).

For journeys further afield, high speed trains are available to Guangzhou, with Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, Jiujiang, Maoming, and Shantou among the other destinations that can be reached via a long train ride. A further high speed rail link is currently under construction at Futian Railway Station, which will become a hub for the Beijing-Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR route when completed.

The Shenzhen road network is good and even more transport links are currently being built to improve the infrastructure in the south of China. The planned Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge is due to link the city of Zhongshan on the Eastern side of the Pearl River Delta.

Hong Kong Island, Macau and Hong Kong International Airport can all be reached by fast ferries. A road border crossing at Huanggang and Lok Ma Chau in Hong Kong is open 24 hours a day and is often used by business travelers.

Culture and Leisure

Shenzhen is famous for its theme parks and these make the city a popular destination for people from all over China. Window of The World is one of the best of the Shenzhen theme parks, with each day finishing with a spectacular dancing performance and a fireworks extravaganza.

There is a lot of leisure space in Shenzhen, which is one of the greenest cities in China. The Shenzhen Garden and Flower Exposition Center and the Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens are two of the best places for expats living in Shenzhen to go for a relaxing stroll. Shenzhen is also famous for its lovely beaches, which are popular with both locals and tourists alike.

Even though Shenzhen is a new city, there are a lot of notable galleries and museums to check out, with the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal and Loft Area and the Guan Shan Yue Art Gallery two of the best.

The area Shenzhen was built on has a rich history, playing a role in the Southern Song Dynasty in the 13th century, the last stand of the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century, and in the 19th century Opium War. As such, historical sites such as the Tomb of the Young Song Emperor, Crane Lake Fortified Hakka Village, and Hakka Culture Museum and Xin’an (Nantou) Ancient City are worth visiting.

Shenzhen Ruby FC is the main local soccer club in the city, playing their home games at the 40,000-capacity Bao’an Stadium. The team won the Chinese Super League title in 2004. Shenzhen also has some of the best golf courses in the east, with the 216 holes at Mission Hills Golf Course hosting international tournaments.

Safety and Security 

Shenzhen is not a particularly dangerous place, but expats should be on their guard for petty thefts and pick-pocketing due to the fact that foreigners are often targeted by criminals. Many of these attacks take place on public transport, especially on the Metro, which can be crowded.

An area to avoid is around the Luohu border, and expats living in Shenzhen should take care to only use regulated taxis as there have been reports of unscrupulous drivers scamming or robbing their passengers at knife-point.

In general, however, violent crime, especially against foreigners, is rare and the city is safe by western standards.

Let's Party, meet people from all over the world, from all walk of life, enjoy Each Other. The beautiful rooftop, Hilton, Eden Garden, with great view of Shenzhen, Shekou, ocean front, great wines, gr
Let's get together! We are teaming up with the Hilton Futian Hotel again. Join us on 26 January at 19:00. Meet people from around the world and chat as you enjoy a great cocktail, beer or wine! As al
Sep 9, 2023, 1:00 PM
14 attendees
Let's explore Shenzhen together! Join us for a night in the most artistic ditricts of Shenzhen: OCT LOFT! Jukebox is a fun place with live music and a great selection of food and drinks. This cozy sp
InterNations & HotDuck are delighted to team up and bring you the Shenzhen Wine & Cheese night! 火达鸭 & Internations 很高兴能够携手合作,为您呈献2023首场“深圳葡萄酒&芝士夜”! Shenzhen Wine & Cheese is a great opportunity for t

See all upcoming events for expats in Shenzhen

Our Global Partners