Shenzhen has a few hidden treasures that are worth exploring during a weekend trip. I gathered together my top spots that I learned to love and visit over and over again. For those that believe Shenzhen is only worth a trip to buy fake goods and cheap tech I hope to convince you otherwise!
DaFeng Oil Painting Village
A hidden treat for everyone that loves art and oil painting. Once titled my Dailymail as the biggest art factory in the world, the suburb of Dafeng has a long standing history in creating authentic copies of famous drawings. It’s pure pleasure to walk through the dark and tight alleys seeing hundreds of artists from all ages producing perfect van Gough knock-offs. You can surely spend a whole afternoon wandering around. The streets take you from the carpenters who produce frames and canvas to hidden cafes and endless shops that have more on display than any museum I have been to in Paris. A truly magical place that you don’t want to miss while in Shenzhen. Getting there is pretty simple. Just take Subway Line 3 (blue) to Dafen and take exit A1. Keep walking past Walmart and then make a left and you made it.
Let me guess, you dropped your iPhone years ago and still having to keep up with that huge crack crossing the whole screen? Wait no longer! Welcome to the nerdiest and techiest place on the planet. This place gets you everything! LEDs are sold by kilograms and getting your iPhone screen replaced sets you back a cool 200RMB (30USD) and 30minutes of your time. Closest subway stop Huaqiang Road or Huaqiang North.
First, you won’t find authentic and cheap food at Dongmen. Dongmen is famous for its cheap stores and the crazy food that can be bought. However, if you don’t want to get trapped and looking for a more relaxed and local experience head over to ShuiWei Cun which is just across the border at Futian Checkpoint/Lok Ma Chau. You’ll find great food (including one of the best Hot Dogs in Shenzhen) as well as great Chinese and Hong Kong food. Also home to one of the best burger and craft beer places in Shenzhen. If you want to unlock your inner foodie make sure you make this part of your trip! Best time to visit is after sunset. Closest subway stop: Fumin, exit D.
Ever been to 798 in Beijing? For those that haven’t, 798 is one of the craziest art places this world has to offer. The area used to be a factory complex belonging to the military. Over the years the rejected area has become home to artists that love the wide open spaces that truly inspire. The city of Beijing has recently been investing and expanding the area greatly. Now, what’s the connection with Shenzhen you might ask? OCT Loft is a little copy of 798. Nice restaurants, coffee shops, maker spaces and galleries can be found in old factory buildings. Best to visit during the afternoon. Getting there might involve a bit of walking. Closest subway stop: Qiaocheng East, Exit A.
Do you like adventures? Go explore Xichong Beach. Roughly 60km outside of Shenzhen this beach has it all! It’s hidden, it got decent waves and it’s not crowded. Best thing to do besides water sports is to BBQ with friends. Everything you need can be purchased around so no need to bring your BBQ equipment all the way. Getting there requires some spare time. Take a bus from Futian or Luohu central bus station.
Did I miss any hidden spots? Let me know your favorites in the comments!