Previously known for its messy knock-off arcades, shopping in Shenzhen is today more about exploring local hipster design at the weekend markets and international brands in air-conditioned malls.
Sometimes described as Shenzhen’s answer to Lan Kwai Fong, Coco Park in Futian is one of the city’s most popular shopping and entertainment areas. The mall’s four floors are jam-packed with glitzy fashion brands and in the middle of the building is a large open-sky area with restaurants, karaoke booths and VR games. Here you’ll find everything from Tesla’s local flagship store to China’s popular cheese-tea shop, HeyTea.
Dongmen Pedestrian Street
This area is not for everyone. It’s loud, filled with people, and smells of the most eccentric street foods. But it’s fun and cheerful. Here, you’ll find multi-level Chinese department stores as well as markets full of small shops selling knock-off handbags, sportswear and electronics. At the food stalls you can order deep-fried spiders and snake. Foot massages are on offer everywhere, generally at a very reasonable price.
Huaqiangbei Electronics Market
If you’re looking for electronics, look no further. Huaqiangbei is the world’s largest tech market, both for gadgets and devices but also for components to build your own equipment. It’s highly imaginative and inspiring, a place where hardware dreams come true.
Other well-known shopping malls include:
- Luohu Commercial City (LCC)
- KK Mall, Luohu district
- MixC, Luohu district
- Upperhills, Futian district
- Coastal City, Nanshan district
- Sea World, Nanshan district
- Yitian Holiday Plaza, Nanshan district
Over the past few years, Shenzhen has emerged as one of China’s most creative and exciting destinations for foodies.
Like Hong Kong, the city’s cuisine reflects its location in Guangdong province, with dim sum and other Cantonese delicacies readily available. But it just as much reflects the city’s population of expats and Chinese migrant workers, with gastronomy from all across China and the wider world. You’ll also find a variety of sky bars, cocktail lounges, and craft beer bars.
Although street food is slowly being phased out in China’s major cities, cheap hole-in-the-wall eateries and street-side skewers can still be tracked down in popular areas such as urban village Baishizhou, shopping area Dongmen, Haichang Jie in Shekou, and the back streets of tech market Huaqiangbei.
Many luxury hotels have opened in Shenzhen in the last decade, with the Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, St. Regis and Raffles joining older properties belonging to InterContinental, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, Grand Hyatt, Crowne Plaza and Marco Polo. Minimalist Japanese lifestyle brand Muji also picked design-forward Shenzhen for its first-ever hotel.