A lot of people pass through Hong Kong airport going to or coming from Shenzhen. There are a number of ways of doing this, which we outline below. Passengers going from Shenzhen directly to Hong Kong airport can also save some money, as they are eligible for a rebate on their HK departure tax.
Shenzhen has good transportation but it is a large city, so it is helpful to find out first which part of the city is your destination. That may influence your choice of transportation methods. Also if you arrive late at night you will likely have to use the Huangguang border crossing which operates around the clock while others close at nighttime.
Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments section below to help keep this information up to date.
By Ferry to Shenzhen via Hong Kong Airport Skypier
At Hong Kong airport there is an area called Skypier, which facilitates transfer to and from ferries without passing through Hong Kong immigration or customs formalities. That means you can arrive and transfer to Shenzhen without clearing immigration and customs, or check in at Shenzhen and connect in HK without clearing immigration or customs in HK.
Ferries operate to and from Skypier from Shenzhen Fuyong and Shenzhen Shekou piers.
Some airlines allow you to check baggage through all the way without needing to recheck it at Hong Kong airport (the airport website gives some basic details here although it may be best to check specific details for your airline and intended port).
By Ferry from Shenzhen to Hong Kong Airport: With a Cash Bonus!
This is as above, but with an extra bonus. You can clear immigration and customs at the ferry terminal in Shenzhen. However, if you require a visa to transit or enter Hong Kong, you may be denied boarding to your ferry without it. You can check in for your flight and check your baggage at the ferry terminal – whether you need to reclaim it once at HK airport and then recheck it, or it is tagged through to your onward destination, depends on which airline you fly, as above.
As they do not enter Hong Kong borders, each passenger is eligible for their departure tax (usually prepaid in the flight ticket cost) to be refunded. This is typically $120 per person. Usually this involves getting a voucher after checking in at the Skypier, which can then be exchanged for a refund).
The MTR line goes all the way to several border checkpoints from where you can walk into Shenzhen. We explained the details here. The airport has no MTR stop (the Airport Express is operated by the MTR corporation but is separate to its subway network) so you would need to take the Airport Express to Tsing Yi and change there, or take a taxi or bus to Tung Chung and join the MTR network at Tung Chung MTR station which is beside the bus terminus and taxi stance.
There is now a direct train connection between west Kowloon and Shenzhen. We have outlined how to purchase tickets here. You can interchange to this train station by taking the Airport Express to Kowloon station. With a lack of tickets for immediate travel and the need to get to west Kowloon train station, this may not be faster than taking the MTR option.
Airport buses run from outside terminal one of the airport but none goes all the way to the Shenzhen border. The closest is the A43, which goes to Sheung Shui MTR station from where it is a short MTR ride to the Lo Wu border crossing.
In terminal two, which is beside terminal one and so is easily walkable, there is a range of coach operators downstairs who provide services to China. Multiple operators have services which connect terminal two to the border crossings at Shenzhen Bay, Lok Ma Chau (also known as Huanggang) and Shataukok. The same operators typically also offer services into Shenzhen itself. Some details are on the airport website. You can buy tickets on the spot from the ticket counters, which have a slight feeling of hustle to them with different companies’ reps trying to get you to use their service.
If you take a cross-border bus, be aware that you may end up changing coaches at the border – basically these companies have regular frequency buses on either side of the border, so when you get off to go through two sets of passport control and customs at the border, if you are slow your bus may not wait for you on the other side and you will need to take the next bus that company runs. That is why it is helpful to make sure that you wear the sticker the bus company gives you as it helps the company representatives at the border shepherd you to the right bus once you exit the border formalities. If that happens, as the companies may have multiple buses, make sure you get on a bus which is going to where you want, for example by showing the destination printed on your ticket in Chinese.
By Taxi or Car
You can take a taxi or shared ride to one of the border checkpoints where they will drop you off and you can pick up Shenzhen transportation on the other side such as a taxi, bus or the subway. A car service may have plates for China as well as Hong Kong and so may be able to take you through the border to your final destination in Shenzhen. A number of car services are available in terminal two, or through some of the travel agent booths past arrivals in terminal one. Hotels can also organize this service. Prices may vary considerably so if budget is more pressing than time you may want to ask around to establish what seems like a good fit for your needs.