Best Ways to Get from Hong Kong International Airport to City

Hong Kong Travel Guides / October 22, 2016
Best Ways to Get from Hong Kong International Airport to City Image credit: pat138241

The Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), which is also called the Chek Lap Kok Airport, is the world’s 8th busiest international passenger airport.

Given that the distance between the airport and central Hong Kong is more than 40 km, you’ll have to figure out which mode of transportation suits you best to effortlessly get to central Hong Kong.

Find the answer in this transport guide.

See also: Best Ways to Get Around in Hong Kong

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED IN HONG KONG

Tourist Day Ticket
If you know you’ll be travelling a lot around Hong Kong on the day of your arrival (or some other days), consider buying Tourist Day Tickets, which gives you unlimited free access to main MTR (Mass Transit Railway) and certain Light Rail lines.

You can purchase a Tourist Day Ticket at the price of HK$65 ($8.5) and enjoy free rides for 24 hours.

The Tourist Day Ticket is valid for 1 month since the day you bought it. This kind of ticket is available only to non-residents of Hong Kong who will be staying there for less than 2 weeks.

Octopus Card
For those staying in Hong Kong for more than a couple of days, the Octopus Card will help a lot. It is a rechargeable card that can be used on pretty much all modes of public transportation in Hong Kong. And interestingly, it is accepted at convenience stores, fast food stalls and supermarkets.

You can purchase the Octopus Card for HK$150 ($20), including HK$100 of credit and HK$50 of refundable deposit. Children and seniors can buy the card for HK$70 ($9).

You’re spending about 4% – 8% less on fares with the Octopus Cards (compared to regular fares on the MTR). The cards can be purchased and reloaded at any MTR station.

Hong Kong eTransport App
We also recommend you to get the Hong Kong eTransport mobile app, which helps you to find the cheapest and fastest public transport routes to get to your destination.

1. Airport Express train + Free Airport Express Shuttle Bus

Airport Express train + Free Airport Express Shuttle Bus Image credit: ssray2381

The most popular way to get from the airport to central Hong Kong is via Airport Express train.

This kind of train is used by over 40,000 passengers every day, and accounts for about one-third of all trips to and from the airport.

You can easily find the Airport Express station platform about 50 meters walking distance from the Arrivals Hall.

To get from the airport to the Hong Kong station in central city, the train makes 3 stops along the way: Asia World-Expo, Tsing Yi, and Kowloon.

After alighting at Kowloon or Hong Kong station, you can catch the free Airport Express Shuttle Bus. It will take you to your hotel, or a drop-off point near to your hotel, if the hotel is in this list. Sometimes you’ll have to wait up to 20 minutes for the arrival of the next bus.

Or you could go on foot if your hotel is close to the train stations. But that’s never an option unless you want to start exploring Hong Kong before checking in at the hotel.

Travel time: 22 minutes to Kowloon station / 24 minutes to Hong Kong station + up to 40 minutes (shuttle bus) to get to hotel

Cost: To Kowloon station HK$90 ($11.6); to Hong Kong station HK$100 ($13)

Service hours: 05:50 – 01:15 daily (Airport Express train), 06:12 to 23:12 daily (shuttle bus)

Service schedule: Every 10 minutes (Airport Express train); every 12-20 minutes (shuttle bus)

Notes
– Free rides for children under 3
– Children aged 3 – 11 get 50% discount on ticket fare.
– You don’t have to purchase Airport Express tickets at the airport. Instead, pay at the Customer Service Centre on the destination station’s arrival platform.
– Before boarding on shuttle bus, you must show a valid Airport Express ticket dating from the same day.

2. Hotel Coach Shuttle Services

Hotel Coach Shuttle Services Image credit: discuss

Hotel Coach Shuttle combines convenience and affordability and allows you to arrive straight to your hotel. Please be noted that not all hotels are served by these buses, check the note below.

Each bus has panoramic windows and leather seats, and you can take a nap because there are also foot rests.

Vigor Airport Shuttle Service and Airport Hotelink are two Hong Kong’s major companies that offer coach shuttle services from the airport.

The coach shuttles depart from their stations at Terminal 2, but you have to purchase tickets at the Commercial Services Counter in Arrival Hall B, Terminal 1.

Travel time: 50 to 60 minutes

Cost: HK$140 ($18.04) by Vigor; HK$150 ($19.33) by Hotelink

Service hours: 07:00 – 22:30 daily

Service schedule: Every 30 minutes

Notes
– Check if your hotel is served by either Vigor or Hotelink
– Free rides for children under two

3. Hong Kong Airport Public Buses

Hong Kong Airport Public Buses Image credit: libertos

It’s a public bus express service that drops passengers off at many stops at designated locations. So it’s a great way to get to hotel for those who want to explore Hong Kong from a bus window.

In fact, it’s the cheapest way to reach central Hong Kong from the airport. It’s also a good option if your hotel is located near a public bus stop.

However, it may take you up to 60 minutes to reach the destination.

You can purchase bus tickets at Citybus and Long Win Customer Service Center at the airport bus terminus. There is a display board detailing all routes at the bus terminus, so you won’t get lost.

Travel time: 55 to 60 minutes

Cost: Range from HK$27 ($3.5) to HK$42 ($5.4) depending on the route

Service hours: 06:00 – 00:00 daily for most routes

Service schedule: Every 15 to 20 minutes

Notes
– Airport public buses have lots of room for luggage.
– Airport public buses have audible announcements about each bus stop, in English and Chinese.
– Luggage storage is equipped with CCTV, which can be monitored from the bus.
– Some public buses have free Wi-FI onboard.

4. Hong Kong Airport Taxis

Hong Kong Airport Taxis Image credit: doraemon123

Using taxi services is a great option if you don’t want to learn about alternative ways of getting from the airport to central Hong Kong, and don’t mind spending a few bucks more (compared to Airport Express and bus services).

In fact, such a journey in taxi will be at least 7 times more expensive than taking a public bus. So it all comes down to your individual preferences and budget.

Riding taxi is the fastest way to get from the airport to central Hong Kong or any other destination in good traffic conditions.

You can pick up a taxi at the Taxi Station, which is on the left-hand ramp outside the Arrivals Hall at the airport. There, you’ll find three rows of taxis, each designated for their operating areas.

Red taxis are urban taxis, drive all around Hong Kong, including the airport, but don’t serve Tung Chung Road and some parts of south Lantau.

Green taxis, also known as N.T. taxis, operate in New Territories and drive on some roads in Lantau.

Blue taxis are Lantau taxis, providing services all around Lantau and the airport.

Airport taxis have fixed prices depending on which area of your destination. You can easily find the rate list at the taxi rank.

While tipping is not a must in Hong Kong, it’s recommended to pay the taxi fare with tips (usually HK$10 is enough) before you start the trip.

If you’re traveling with a group of more than 3 people, taxi is not your best option, as a taxi can seat maximum 3 passengers.

There is also a high chance of having to line up for a taxi at the airport during rush hours.

Travel time: 30 to 40 minutes

Cost: HK$295 ($38) from airport to Central Hong Kong

Service hours: 24 hours

Note: You’ll be charged HK$5 ($0.6) for each piece of luggage (except light personal handbags).

5. Hong Kong Airport Limousine Services

Hong Kong Airport Limousine Services Image credit: Trans-Island

Limousine service is definitely the most comfortable and luxurious way of leaving the airport. It’s the most expensive option as a result.

Limousine services from airport that are provided by Vigor Holdings and Trans-Island Limousine Services Limited will take you to your hotel in a Mercedes-Benz sedan or a six-seater luxury minivan.

And you’ll have an English speaking chauffeur who will make your journey as comfortable as possible.

Travel time: 35 to 45 minutes

Cost: HK$1,040 ($135) with Trans-Island; HK$680 ($88) with Vigor

Service hours: 24 hours

Notes
– Mercedes-Benz sedan can seat maximum 3 passengers + 3-regular sized pieces of luggage, while a minivan can seat up to 6 passengers + 3-large sized or 4-5-regular sized pieces of luggage.
– Tips and luggage handling charges are inclusive in the cost.
– HK$200 ($25) extra charge is required between 23:00 – 05:59