Many of our Mainland China readers and friends have been coming down to Hong Kong, and as the Shenzhen airport grows in size and scale, it makes more sense for them to first fly into Shenzhen and then cross over into Hong Kong.
Why? Because it’s cheaper due to it being a “domestic” flight (within Mainland China). And, probably more interesting is there are more choices as there are more domestic airline carriers offering flights.
So if you’re based in China and looking to come down to Hong Kong for a business trip, you may also want to punch in the airport code SZX into your flight comparison website of choice.
Arriving at Shenzhen Airport
The new Shenzhen airport is world class, full international airport. Every mode of transportation is available to you, taxi, bus, subway, etc.
Most of you will take the subway (metro) and it shouldn’t be a problem.
Reminder – Shenzhen Subway System Is Different From Hong Kong MTR
While they connect at the Hong Kong and Shenzhen border, they are 2 completely different systems. That means if you buy a subway card in SHenzhen side, it will not work on the Hong Kong side, and vice versa. So when purchasing your card in Shenzhen – if you don’t plan to stay there and just direct to Hong Kong – maybe just buy a pass to Futian Checkpoint.
Advanced Tip – There Is a Dual Currency Metro Card
This is for the frequent traveler, but there is a single metro card that supports both the Shenzhen Tong (Shenzhen Subway) and the Hong Kong MTR (Hong Kong Subway). The way it works is you have 2 currencies loaded up, you load up Chinese Yuan (RMB) as well as Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) and use them independently. It will not convert one currency to the other, so you need to keep 2 balances.
This is is a sweet way to simplify the frequent border hoppers like me – but if you are just making a single trip most likely you can skip it.
Take Subway to Futian Checkpoint
So whether you buy a prepaid card for future use, or a one way, time to get on the metro. There will be a couple transfers.
I need to time this, and would love to hear comments below, but I recommend transferring to Line 1, and then to Line 4 at the Convention and Exhibition Center. There are a few other options as well for where to transfer, but this seems the most direct.
Cross Futian Border into Hong Kong
Then, the Futian Checkpoint station is right at border, you can walk across, and walk into Hong Kong – where you’ll also enter into Hong Kong customs.
Once you pass out of China customs and through Hong Kong customs, you will be able to buy an Octopus card.
Heading Back to Shenzhen Airport – By Metro (Subway)
As of writing this, it is the end of 2016 and the new airport has recently opened. That means new subway stops and old airport stops that cause a lot of confusion.
I talked to a podcast listener yesterday, and he took the subway line number 11 to get to the “airport” stop for Terminal 3 back to Beijing.
So, for those scanning – here’s the keywords:
Luckily, the old airport and new airport are nearby. I have had issues in other cities like Bangkok and Shanghai where I’ve gone to the airport on the other side of town! So even if you go to one of the other airport metro stations (there is 3, one called Airport, one called Airport East, and another called Airport North) – you will do fine.
Coming back by Hong Kong MTR – Take Lok Ma Chau Track
When you’re coming up from Hong Kong and entering to Shenzhen, China border, you have 2 choices:
Lok Ma Chau is the closer station to the Shenzhen airport. When looking at the Shenzhen subway map, the name of Lok Mau Chao station becomes Futian Checkpoint (not sure why Hong Kong’s station is a different name from Shenzhen’s station – they are the same spot!) so please take note of that.
Good Luck on Your Cross Border Adventures
So, hope today’s guide helped you out. It is a bit tricky switching borders, and metro systems. Try to write this down on paper too – because your internet may not work on roaming when crossing into Hong Kong or the other way around.
While I often got stressed with these systems, there are a ton of transportation options! The new Shenzhen subway system is world class – and you can get to almost any major destination in the city now.
How has your experience been traveling from Shenzhen airport to Hong Kong and back? I’d love it if you can share your tips and experience in the comment section below.