Situated in the Guangdong province of southern China, Shenzhen is hemmed by the Pearl River delta to its east and Hong Kong to its south. It’s hard to imagine that this thriving centre of trade and recreation was a sleepy fishing village just three decades ago.
Today, with its cosmopolitan vibe, pleasant weather, and welcoming character, Shenzhen basks in the glory of abundance and much of it is reflected in its numerous shopping options. As giant malls compete with busy market streets and stalls, anything and everything is available in this retail paradise, from high-end international designer products to local treasures just waiting to be found. All you need to do to discover them is to check out our top recommendations for the best shopping destinations in the city.
Who says Shenzhen is all work and no play? The Nanhai E-cool Art District is a cultural sanctuary in a city that’s often seen as a serious business hub. This once dilapidated industrial area has been refurbished as a home to craftsmen and indie design stores, so expect to be able to pick up some truly unique souvenirs from one-off ceramics to Chinese-inspired objet d’arts.
Directions: Take the Line 2 Metro to Sea World Station and exit from exit A.
Address: 6 Xinghua Road, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Dongmen Pedestrian Street
(Image credit: Shenzhen Shopper)
This is the largest street market in Shenzhen and it certainly overflows with stores selling almost everything imaginable. The selection is truly mind-boggling, from clothes to jewellery, books and kitschy souvenirs at affordable prices. If you get hungry, there’s no lack of eating places, from fast food joints to Chinese restaurants and street food stalls. Be prepared to jostle with crowds -- after all, it’s part of the experience of shopping at street markets.
Directions: Take the Metro Line 1 or 3 to Laojie Station. Walk out of exit A.
Address: Jie fang Road, Louhu District, Shenzhen
Luohu Commercial City
(Image credit: Arun Raj/Unsplash)
Travellers who love the thrill of bargaining can head to Luohu Commercial City, where haggling with a smile might just snag you some prized buys at discounted prices. This is also the place where business travellers come to get their shirts and suits made as there’s a number of tailors here offering customised services at wallet-friendly prices. Our tip: Come with a picture of the outfit that you’d like and be very specific. The turnaround time for a fitting is said to be roughly two days so factor that in if making a custom suit is on your agenda.
Directions: Take the Metro Line 1 to Luohu Station. Walk out of exit A.
Address: 25 Shenzhen Huoche Zhan GuangchangRoad, Luohu District, Shenzhen
(Image credit: Agoda)
This expansive retail and entertainment centre spreads out across 1.25 square kilometres and stands out for being adjacent to a man-made beach. Both locals and travellers love taking a stroll around this area as its beautiful landscape features lush green environs, lovely tree-lined walkways and winding canals connected by arching bridges. If you’re feeling peckish, hit up the cafes and restaurants ranging from teppanyaki to an Italian trattoria. Those travelling with little ones can head to the large Dream Aquarium and the Myrules World play centre to keep the kids amused. We’d otherwise recommend making your way here in the evenings as that’s when the area truly comes alive with light shows and plenty of bars to grab a drink or two.
Directions: Take the Metro Line 9 to Line 9 Shenzhen Bay Park and exit from exit E Station.
Address: 8 Baishi Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Shenzhen Raffles City
(Image credit: Shenzhen Raffles City)
Located in the city’s financial district, Shenzhen Raffles City is the first Raffles City mall in South China. It opened in 2016 and comprises five extensive floors that house over 130 international fashion and lifestyle brands. Shoppers who need a much-deserved break can enjoy a bite at any of the mall’s extensive range of over 50 restaurants. With multiple cuisines on offer, the world is at your table.
Directions: Take Metro Line 2 and alight at Dengliang Station and exit at Exit D.
Address: 2163 Nanhai Street, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
(Image credit: Upperhills)
Upperhills Mall is part of a development complex that’s almost a mini city in itself. This high-end space is a one-stop shop for all your entertainment, dining and recreational needs — it’s even home to the Mandarin Oriental and Muji Hotel. Shopping-wise, there are over 300 stores here and the selection tends to be more international than localised. Expect brands like Adidas and Nike if you need to make a quick sportswear dash, a Lego-certified store if you’re hunting for a gift for a collector (look out for China’s exclusive sets) as well as global retail names like Bershka and Sony.
Directions: Take the Metro Line 4 to Lianhua North Station. Upperhills Futian is about 19 mintues walk from Lianhua North Station.
Address: 5001 Huanggang Road Futian District, Shenzhen