Compare Transportation Options from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen.
You’ve booked your flight to Hong Kong. Check. Next item on the list, figuring out your travel into Shenzhen.
While it may seem like a simple next step, infrequent travelers to the region will find it challenging to get from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen. Many are only vaguely aware of the available transportation options, and even less are aware of what to expect during the journey. After reading this blog, however, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to effectively select the right transportation option. Plan the journey from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen and have one less thing to worry about on your trip to China!
There are five main modes of transportation from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen; public bus, coach, shared shuttle, taxi, and private car.Each varies on the 4 key areas of concern you should ask yourself regarding this journey:
- Time: How many hours do I have to spend to get from HK Airport to my Shenzhen destination?
- Convenience: How many transit switches and different modes of transport during this trip am I willing to make?
- Comfort: How comfortable am I sharing a full vehicle, and walking with all my luggage for varying distances throughout the journey?
- Cost: What is my budget for this journey? Am I willing to spend more for a reduced time, increased convenience, and comfort?
In regard to this criteria, let’s briefly compare and review each transport mode. Then, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of each ground transportation.
Getting from Hong Kong to Shenzhen requires crossing an international border into mainland China. There are immigration and customs checkpoints at both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen sides of the border; all travelers must pass through both.
Before entering mainland China, make sure to have your passport and visa requirements ready. Note that these two border crossings can often add significant time to the journey. You may also be eligible for a visa on arrival at the Shenzhen border crossing. The visa requirements to China are not the same as the Hong Kong visa requirements.
If time is a high priority for you, there are expedient private car services from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. These allow you to stay in a vehicle and quickly pass through both the Hong Kong and Shenzhen borders.
Quick Comparison & Review of Transportation Options
Option 1: Hong Kong Public Bus & MTR to Shenzhen
- Time: 3.5+ Hours
- Convenience: Very Low
- Comfort: Very Low
- Cost: $
- Travel Steps:
Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Bus & MTR
HK Airport Arrival Hall → Airport bus terminus → Bus Route A43 Travel → MTR Travel → HK Lo Wu Border Immigration → China Luohu Station Border Immigration → Shenzhen Taxi/Metro Queue → Taxi/Metro Travel → Shenzhen Final Destination.
In brief, the public bus & MTR (Hong Kong Metro) options are the most cost-effective. Nevertheless, be prepared for inconveniences, missteps, and discomfort. This route requires multiple transfers, carrying your luggage at each step, and demands a general understanding of Cantonese language. Recommended only for the very cash-strapped and adventurous traveler.
Option 2: Hong Kong to Shenzhen Coach Bus:
- Time: 2.5+ Hours
- Convenience: Low
- Comfort: Medium
- Cost: $
- Travel Steps:
Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Coach Bus
HK Airport Arrival Hall → Airport coach and shuttle ticket counters → Coach Wait / Queue / Board → Coach Travel to HK Border Immigration → HK Border Immigration → Coach Travel to Shenzhen Huanggang Border → Shenzhen Border Immigration → Coach Travel in Shenzhen → Shenzhen Final Destination.
In brief, the coach option is superior when compared to the public bus. The total travel cost is slightly higher, however, travel to the HK border is direct and you’ll enjoy the comfort of a private seat on a coach bus. Once at the border, you’ll need to exit the bus and board a new coach at both the HK and Shenzhen immigration points. Once in Shenzhen, you’ll have to find a taxi to take you from the border to your final destination.
Option 3: Hong Kong to Shenzhen Border Shuttle Minivans:
- Time: 2-3 Hours
- Convenience: Medium
- Comfort: Low
- Cost: $$
- Travel Steps:
Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Shuttle Minivan
HK Airport Arrival Hall → Airport coach and shuttle ticket counters → Shuttle Wait / Queue / Board → Shuttle Travel Through HK Border Immigration to Shenzhen Huanggang Border → Shenzhen Border Immigration → Taxi Queue → Taxi Travel in Shenzhen → Shenzhen Final Destination.
In brief, the shared Shuttle from Hong Kong to Shenzhen provides a similar experience to the coach. Both require purchasing tickets and boarding at Terminal 2 of the Airport. They are also direct routes to the border and finish upon arriving at the Shenzhen border. As with any other transport, you must pass through the China side Immigration on your own. The shuttle offers slightly less comfort because you’ll be sharing a van with 6 other passengers (and their luggage) for over an hour. On a positive note, it offers the advantage of allowing you to remain in the shuttle when crossing the HK immigration checkpoint.
Option 4: Hong Kong Airport Taxis:
- Time: 2-3 Hours
- Convenience: Low
- Comfort: Medium
- Cost: $$
- Travel Steps:
Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Taxi
HK Airport Arrival Hall → Airport Taxi Stand Wait / Queue / Board → Taxi Travel To HK Lok Ma Chau Border → Hong Kong Lok Ma Chau Immigration → China Futian Station Border Immigration → Taxi Queue → Taxi Travel in Shenzhen → Shenzhen Final Destination.
In brief, taxis are a more expensive, yet also more direct option to the border compared to shuttle and coach. Similar to both shuttle and coach, you will still cross the border on foot and conclude the journey in Shenzhen by catching a local taxi .
The only advantage of taking a taxi from the Airport to the Hong Kong border is the privacy and comfort. A taxi will offer a more relaxing, hassle-free ride. The taxi leaves immediately, unlike the shuttle and coach that run on fixed schedules (departing every 20 minutes).
Option 5: Hong Kong Airport Private Car & Limo:
- Time: 1-1.5 Hours
- Convenience: High
- Comfort: High
- Cost: Get a Quote
- Travel Steps Summary:
Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Private Car
HK Airport Arrival Hall Driver Greeting → Private Car Travel Through HK and Shenzhen Huanggang Border Immigration → Shenzhen Final Destination.
The “X” factor of the previous options (1-4) is “the number of people crossing the border at the same time as you.” Reach the border at the wrong time of day and the immigration process can take over an hour. A Private car service offers a full door-to-door experience. Meaning, you are met by the driver at the HK Airport Arrival Hall and taken directly to the border. Once there, you’ll pass through HK immigration from inside the car in a special vehicle lane. You’ll only have to exit the vehicle when crossing the Shenzhen immigration. This is because the Chinese government requires all travelers pass through the Shenzhen side immigration on foot. No need to worry, your driver will be waiting patiently for you on the other side to take you to the door of your hotel.
The private car service offers by far the highest level of convenience and comfort. No waiting, no queuing, and no changing modes of transport. It assures that you complete the journey in the quickest fashion and without any expended effort. Recommended for time-sensitive business travelers and leisure travelers looking for the most convenient way to travel.
Note: With the exception of the private car service (option 5), you’ll need to take a taxi upon arrival in Shenzhen. The local taxi drivers won’t speak any English. This shouldn’t be a problemas long as you have your destination address written clearly in Chinese. Avoid taxi hawkers shouting “taxi!” and encouraging you to take illegal transport. There are always licensed taxis at the border, you may have to wait for a short time but there will always be a queue for licensed local taxis.
A private transfer is the safest, quickest way to travel from Hong Kong to Shenzhen. China Car Service is a trusted transportation service helping Hong Kong business travelers for almost two decades. We provide door-to-door service at competitive prices.
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Hong Kong to Shenzhen Transportation Options in Detail
1. Hong Kong Public Buses & MTR
Summary: One of the less convenient ways to get from Hong Kong to Shenzhen is via the public bus. This is because, though Hong Kong is extensively served by bus routes from the airport, there are no direct routes from HKIA to Shenzhen. The bus is not advisable for business travelers unable to read traditional Chinese or without the time to change routes and modes of transport. Even for the cost-conscious, the cross-border coaches provide a more expeditious and direct route to Shenzhen, at a similar cost.
Recommendation: Only for patient and adventurous travelers would we recommend a bus transfer to Shenzhen. If that describes you, then upon entering the Airport Arrival Hall, exit straight ahead. Then, make your way out to the right, where the Airport bus terminal is located. Here is a list of Hong Kong Airport bus routes and schedules.
Travel Steps & Timeline: Exit Hong Kong Airport, find bus terminus, board bus and wait for departure (15-25 min) → Hop on A43 bus route to Fanling and get off at stop #3 at Sheung Shui Railway Station, fare: HKD $30.90 (1 h -1 h 20 min.) → Walk to the Sheung Shui MTR Station (5 min.) → Board MTR & exit the next stop at Lo Wu Station, fare: HK$ 20 (10-15 min.) → pass through Hong Kong immigration (15-25 min.) → Walk across border on foot (5 min.) → Pass through Shenzhen immigration (15-25 min.) → Wait in Taxi/Metro queue (10-20 min.) → Take Taxi/Metro to Shenzhen destination (10-30 min.)
2. Hong Kong to Shenzhen Cross-Border Coaches
Summary: There are a number of private cross-border coach options conveniently located in Terminal 2. Destinations are not limited to Shenzhen; the terminal connects to another 109 cities in the Pearl River Delta Region. From Terminal 1 follow the directions to Terminal 2 and “Transport to Mainland China”.
Once at the coach ticket purchase windows, finding a ticket won’t be a problem. You’ll likely be approached by a sales representative from any of the 4 coach companies at desks c10 – c13. The main bus routes are detailed below:
(Coach service hours: 0700 – 2400)
Huanggang border, located at the foot of Shenzhen’s CBD in Futian District, is usually the quickest route to China. This is especially useful if you’re traveling to hotels in the Futian or Luohu Districts. Travelers will need to disembark the coach at the Hong Kong side of the border (with their luggage), pass through immigration and clear customs. Then, board a second coach to the Mainland China side of the border. There, the process is repeated (China side).
Shenzhen Bay Port
(Coach service hours: 0700 – 2220)
For travelers heading to the Shekou, Nanshan, or Bao’an districts. Shenzhen Bay, located in the Shekou Dongjiaotou area, is the most convenient route to China for these travelers. Fortunately, there’s no need to disembark at the Hong Kong side in this case, as both customs checkpoints are in the same building.
(Coach service hours: 1045 – 1730)
The lesser-known Shataukok, or Shatoujiao in Mandarin, may be an option for those heading directly to the Yantiangang Free Trade Zone.
Once the coaches reach the Hong Kong border, passengers will need to disembark, (with their luggage), pass through the Hong Kong immigration, and re-board the coach. Then, they’ll travel to the Shenzhen border side, repeat the same steps as with the Hong Kong side, and finally make their way to the taxi stand and wait for a car.
Recommendation: If on a tight budget, taking a coach from Hong Kong to Shenzhen is an accessible option. With this option, the total cost of travel shouldn’t exceed more than 200 HKD (US$ 26). Be prepared for inevitable delays – wait & queue for coach departures, crossing the Hong Kong and Shenzhen borders, and waiting at the taxi stand… Make sure to travel light, as you’ll have to carry your luggage at each step of the way.
Travel Steps & Timeline: Enter into HK Airport Arrival Hall and walk to Terminal 2 Airport coach and shuttle ticket counters (5-10 min) → purchase ticket and wait to board coach (15-25 min) → Travel to the border by Coach (40-60 min.) → Disembark coach at Hong Kong side of the border and pass through Hong Kong immigration & customs (10-15 min.) → Board new coach and travel to China side of the border to pass through China immigration & customs (15-20 min.) → Make way to the taxi stand, queue and wait for a taxi (10-20 min.) → Take a taxi to your Shenzhen destination (15-20 min.)
3. Hong Kong to Shenzhen Shared Shuttle Minivans
Summary: Shared shuttle ticket booths can be found in the Airport’s Terminal 2, directly next to the Coach ticket booths. These offer smaller shared ride services from Hong Kong Airport to the Shenzhen border. Service hours operate between 07:00 – 24:00 and the total cost of the trip shouldn’t exceed HK$300 (US$ 38.50). This may vary, depending on the quantity of luggage and your final Shenzhen destination. Shuttles carry six passengers and depart once the full capacity is reached. Otherwise, shuttles depart every 15-20 minutes.
An advantage of taking the shuttle from HKIA to Shenzhen is that there is no need to disembark until you’ve arrived at the China immigration side. For Hong Kong immigration, you’re simply required to show your passport from inside the vehicle. Afterwards, you’ll be taken through and delivered to the mainland border. Once there, you’ll depart the vehicle and perform the China immigration on foot (with your luggage). Once through immigration, make your way to the taxi loading area (queue length depends on time of day) while skirting past the fake taxis. Make sure to have your destination address written in Chinese ready to show the driver.
Recommendation: The shared shuttle is another great option for budget travelers. Slightly more expeditious than coaches because you’re able to stay in the vehicle during the Hong Kong immigration process. The only possible disadvantage is the somewhat cramped conditions. If at full capacity and with lots of luggage, this can lead to an uncomfortable 45 min.+ journey to the border. In this respect, a seat on a coach offers more comfort. Also, pay attention to your arrival time in Hong Kong, the shuttle service is suspended at midnight.
Step by Step Timeline: Enter into HK Airport Arrival Hall and walk to Terminal 2 Airport coach and shuttle ticket counters (5-10 min) → purchase a ticket and board coach at Hong Kong Airport (15-25 min) → travel to Hong Kong border (30-45 min.) → disembark, pass through Hong Kong border immigration, re-board coach, and travel to Shenzhen border (10-20 min.) → pass through Shenzhen immigration (10-20 min.) → wait in taxi queue ( 5-20 min.) → taxi to Shenzhen destination (10-30 min.)
4. Hong Kong Airport Taxis To Shenzhen
Summary: Taxis can provide a quick option to get from Hong Kong Airport to the Shenzhen border. This is especially true late at night when both coach and shared shuttle services are suspended. The taxis are located to the left of the Mainland Coaches in Terminal 2. As with the other cross-border modes of transport, there are a number of borders to choose from:
- Service hours: 0630 – 2400
- Rates: HK$250+ to the border
- Service hours: 24 hours
- Rates: HK$300+ to the border
Lok Ma Chau (adjacent to Huanggang)
- Service hours: 0600 – 2220
- Rates: HK$300+ to the border
As with the other cross-border methods of transport, it’s important to consider when and where you’re traveling in Shenzhen. The Huanggang checkpoint is open 24 hours, despite the coach services suspending at midnight. It can be reached by taxi at any time of the day.
Similar to taking a coach, the taxi will drop you off at the Hong Kong side of the border. From there, you’ll pass through the Hong Kong immigration. Unlike a coach though, you must make your own way to the Shenzhen side of the border. At the Huanggang border this involves taking a bus, while at the Lok Ma Chau and Shenzhen Bay borders you can walk to the Shenzhen side.
If you’re traveling during the day, the most common border for taxis to take you is the Lok Ma Chau border. It’s also the most centrally situated border in Shenzhen, located in Futian District. Shenzhen Bay Port is more commonly used for Nanshan District destinations drop-off. Lok Ma Chau is convenient in that both sides of its border control are located in the same building. Therefore, once you pass through the Hong Kong border, you can simply walk across through a long hall to the Shenzhen side and go through the Shenzhen immigration. The taxi queue, while often just as long as the Huanggang border taxi queue, does offer the convenience of not having to go up and down stairs with your luggage.
Recommendation: If you’re traveling late or need a quicker option, then the taxi is a better choice. The total cost of the trip using a taxi to the border should be under HK$400 (US$ 51.50). Taxis offer greater comfort, as they’re more spacious than shared shuttles and coaches. Taxis fail to be the most convenient, however, due to having to exit to cross the border and then find a new taxi once in Shenzhen to reach your final destination.
Step By Step Timeline: Enter into HK Airport Arrival Hall and make way to Airport taxi pickup area (5-10 min.) → Queue, wait, and board taxi (5-10 min.) → Take a taxi to HK Lok Ma Chau border and disembark (35-50 min.) → Walk with luggage to Hong Kong Lok Ma Chau Immigration for HK side processing (10-25 min.) → Walk across China/HK border to the China Futian Station Border Immigration for China side processing (10-25 min.) → Exit the border station and make way on foot to taxi queue (5-10 min.) → Queue, wait, and board Shenzhen taxi (10 min.)→ Take a taxi to a final destination in Shenzhen (15-30 min.).
Note: There are two options for taxis from the airport, red and green. Green taxis are authorised only to travel within Hong Kong’s New Territories, which is the area adjoining Shenzhen. Green taxis are on average HK$20 (US$ 3) less than red taxis and usually have smaller queues. So, save yourself, both, some time and money by choosing the green taxi over the red taxi, every time.
5. Hong Kong Airport Private Limousines To Shenzhen
Summary: Private car and limousine services are by far the most expeditious and comfortable way to travel from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen, 24 hours a day. Many companies offer English speaking drivers and meet & greet services at the arrivals hall.
Upon entering the Arrival Hall, a professional driver greets and escorts you to the vehicle, carrying your luggage. The journey to Shenzhen is door-to-door, meaning the same car will take you from the Hong Kong Airport to your destination in Shenzhen.
Remark: At the HK border, travelers can pass through the immigration from within the car. However, at the Shenzhen border all travelers are required by China law to go through immigration on foot.
Private limousine vehicle options include business MPVs (6 passengers) and Mercedes S-Class executive sedans (3 passengers). Because the service is fixed to your arrival schedule, there’s no waiting period – as soon as you arrive at the Airport you depart for Shenzhen. Services are offered 24 hours a day; enabling you to go directly to your hotel in Shenzhen from Hong Kong Airport, regardless of your arrival time.
Recommendation: Private car services allow you to sit back and relax after a long flight. If you have a busy work schedule ahead, it’s definitely the perfect solution for you. For a more luxurious travel experience, book a private car for you next visit to Shenzhen, let us handle the rest.
Step by Step Timeline: Enter into HK Airport Arrival Hall where you are greeted by your driver (1 min.) → Driver escorts you to the private parking area where you board the private vehicle (4-5 min.) → Travel to the border, pass through the HK Immigration from inside the car, swiftly pass through the Shenzhen Immigration, and finally continue on to your final Shenzhen destination (60-80 min.)
Once you arrive in Shenzhen, read our business traveler’s Shenzhen city guide that will help you make the most of the opportunities waiting in Shenzhen.
Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen Summary
With the multitude of options available there’s no one “best way” to get to Shenzhen from Hong Kong Airport. However, depending on the priority of your requirements, there are a few clear winners:
- If your number #1 concern is cost and you have plenty of time you should take a Cross-Border Coach.
- If your number #1 concern is time and you haven’t made arrangements prior to your arrival, you should take a Hong Kong Taxi.
- If your number #1 concern is convenience, comfort, and style then you should consider hiring a private limousine.
China Car Service provides private limousine transfers. If you are interested in private car service for your Hong Kong to Shenzhen journey, please don’t hesitate to contact us: Bookings@ChinaCarService.com.
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If you would like to know how to get from Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen using other transportation options, please see related articles:
- Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Shuttle Minivans
- Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Public Bus & MTR
- Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Coach Bus
- Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Taxi
- From Hong Kong Airport to Shenzhen By Ferry