Window of the World
Unique. A theme park containing many small-scale replicas of famous landmarks from around the world. To me, worth every bit of the 180 RMB ticket price. Has its own metro stop (shi jie zhi chuang)
Fairy Lake Botanical Garden
Best known for the Petrified Forest and the temples within this large garden. 20 RMB entry fee. You could easily spend half a day or more here, picnicking and walking the trails. At the huang bei ling metro stop, you can exit and find a bus that heads straight to the gardens from the nearest bus stop.
This is a free beach. Famously, it's the beach with gigantic, colorful angel statues. Many complain that during beach season it's crowded and dirty, but we have visited in October and March and did not find either to be the case. No nearby metro stop. Several public buses run near the beach.
Free museum. Housed in ShenZhen's Civic Center, this museum contains three stories of beautifully-designed exhibits about the history and culture of ShenZhen. Civic Center Metro Stop
There are so many beautiful parks throughout the city. We have often been to Long Tan Gong Yuan and Long Cheng Gong Yuan because they are very close to where we live--they are great places to spend part of a morning or afternoon wandering paved trails or playing Chinese chess with aunties uncles (expect to get creamed unless you're really good at the game).
Dong Men Shopping Streets
Obviously. To me, this is by far the most fun shopping areas in the city. I've gone back again and again. Nearly everything is for sale. Lao Jie metro stop.
Very modern mall, with shops selling luxury clothing items. A large number of restaurants. Gou Wu Gong Yuan metro stop.
Multi-floor bookstore. There is a selection of English books--some modern novels as well as a lot of the classics. The classics are very inexpensive, while recently published novels are pricy. Da Ju Yuan metro stop.
Da Fen Oil Painting Village
An interesting area of several streets--shops are filled with paintings and other types of wall art. You can watch artists at work, painting canvases based on photographs of famous paintings. It seems like most paintings here are imitations of well-known works of art. It's an interesting area to wander. Da Fen metro stop.
ShenZhen has a significant number of immigrants from SiChuan province. Traditional SiChuan dishes are pretty popular around here, and their spicy vegetable dishes are some of my favorites!
Halal Noodle Shops
These are our favorite inexpensive local restaurants. They are everywhere once you get into neighborhoods where locals live, and you can get inexpensive plates loaded with delicious, freshly-made noodles, beef, and veggies--often, they also serve beef or lamb rou jia mo, meaty sandwiches. These aren't always marked with a very obvious "Halal" logo, but you'll often notice a picture of a mosque or Arabic script on or around the restaurant, those tend to signal what type of restaurant it is.
McCawley's Irish Pub
Located right outside of Coco Park at the Gou Wu Gong Yuan metro stop. Much more expensive than a dinner at a noodle shop, but if you're craving BBQ pulled pork sandwiches or dishes that bear a resemblance to Mexican food, it's one of few options.
Indian restaurant. There is more than one location, so you can check out their website for more info, but the location we went to is within walking distance of the Guo Mao metro stop. Authentic Indian dishes. Again, expensive, but utterly delicious.