Hong Kong Transportation

Hong Kong transportation is fast and efficient, be it by air, sea, or land. Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has excellent service internationally, the subway system is one of the best in the world, and ferries combine sightseeing with transport.

By Air

Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong is a main gateway to China and much of East Asia. Therefore the international air service is excellent and competition keeps the fares relatively low compared to neighboring countries.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is a great asset to Hong Kong as one of the most important hubs for international passenger and cargo traffic in the region. It has won many prestigious awards due to excellent service. 90% of passengers wait less than 15 minutes at check-in areas, and the last bags arrives in the reclaim hall within 40 minutes.

Regular flights to about 40 destinations in mainland China mean HKIA is the airport of choice for many international travelers as a transfer hub. Examples of major companies based at the airport include the two Hong Kong carriers Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair (Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited).

The passenger terminal offers a wide range of facilities including rest lounges, both free and paid Internet lounges, and a children's play area as well as a proliferation of TV screens for news and entertainment. In addition there is high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access almost everywhere.

The SkyPlaza is part of the larger development called Sky City which will also includes the Asia World-Expo Exhibition Center, a second hotel project, a 9-hole golf course, as well as a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal.

How to Get to the Airport

The Shuttle Bus Running between Hong Kong Airport and the Downtown

Transport to and from the airport is very convenient.

Airport shuttle buses are very convenient, and take only 24 minutes from the airport to Central District. They operate from 05:50 to 01:15, and run every 12 minutes. Airport shuttle buses link the airport with the business district in Central District and most areas in Hong Kong.

The last bus leaves the airport at 12:48 pm.

Hotel shuttle buses are also available between the airport and some big hotels in Hong Kong. The service counters are C07 and C08 in the Tourist Bus Station, Passenger Terminal Building  ( telephone number: 00852 2261 2188).

The SkyPier service enables passengers to and from the Pearl River Delta to journey to HKIA by high-speed cross-boundary ferries. Travelers arriving to Sky Pier then proceed to the passenger terminal by special buses directly for their flights without having to go through immigration and customs formalities. This has cut travel times from some PRD ports by half.

In addition to cross-boundary ferry service, some 200 coach trips are made every day by five bus companies linking HKIA with 40 towns and cities in the PRD. Calling at smaller towns to optimize each route, the coaches pass through border immigration and customs checks.

By Sea

Hong Kong Ferries


Hong Kong's ferries are almost always faster and cheaper than the buses, and also provide fantastic photo opportunities. Fares are reasonable, except on weekends when the prices nearly double.

The Star Ferry crosses the harbor between Central and Kowloon, taking just 7 minutes. Ferries operate every 5-10 minutes. Adults over 65 years of age ride free and children under 12 are discounted.

The HKF Company operates a number of ferries and hovercrafts between Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories. Hovercrafts are twice as fast as conventional boats, and more modern and comfortable. The drawback is that they are not particularly smooth and when the weather is rough, hovercrafts bounce considerably.

Ferries to the Outlying Islands of Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau, and Peng Chau islands depart from the front of Exchange Square in Central. The piers are all clearly signposted. On weekends, there are a few ferries to Lantau and Cheng Chau from the Star Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.

Daily frequent and fast ferries operate between Hong Kong and Zhuhai (China). A trip will take about 70 minutes.

Departure Port

Destination Port

Departure Times

Jiuzhou Port, Zhuhai

China Ferry Terminal, Hong Kong

08:00, 10:00, 11:45, 14:00 16:00, 17:00

Jiuzhou Port, Zhuhai

HK-Macau Ferry Terminal, Hong Kong

09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 18:00, 19:30, 20:30, 21:30

China Ferry Terminal, Hong Kong

Jiuzhou Port, Zhuhai

07:30, 08:30, 09:30, 11:30 13:30, 15:30, 17:45

HK-Macau Ferry Terminal, Hong Kong

Jiuzhou Port, Zhuhai

08:40, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30 16:30, 19:30, 21:30


Passenger can also take a jetfoil, a five-star Premier Jetfoil between Macau, Hong Kong, Hong Kong International Airport, Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, Shenzhen Shekou Port, and Guangzhou Nansha Port.

The newest jetfoil has a VIP Cabin with a self-controlled air conditioning and free WiFi. Passengers of VIP Cabin can use the online meal reservation service, on www.turbojetbooking.com 24 hours prior to sailing. Check out more information about jetfoil transport between Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, and Guangzhou.

Transportation Within the City

Hong Kong is small and crowded, therefore public transport is the only practical way to get around. Consequently, public transport is cheap, fast, and generally efficient.

The Buses of Hong Kong


The extensive bus system offers a bewildering number of routes that take you just about anywhere in Hong Kong. Most visitors use the buses to explore the south side of Hong Kong Island and the New Territories. Northern Hong Kong and Kowloon are best explored by the MTR.

In Central, the most important bus station is on the ground floor under the Exchange Square. From here, you can catch buses to Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Stanley and other southern destinations.

In Kowloon, the Star Ferry Bus Station is the most useful, with buses to the MTR stations and eastern and western Kowloon.


The Hong Kong subway (MTR) is clean, fast, safe and easy. It is one of the world's most modern subway systems. Though it costs a bit more than other forms of public transport, it is the quickest way to get to most destinations.

Trains run every 2-4 minutes from 6am to 1am daily on nine lines and the Airport Express. Fares range from HK$5 to HK$15. If you plan on doing a lot of traveling, the Octopus Card offers excellent value on MTR, LRT, KMB, City bus and HKF ferries. Octopus Cards can be purchased from ticket offices or customer service centers in MRT and LRT stations, and certain ferry piers of the HKF.

For short trips, the MTR is not the best value. For example, if you want to cross the harbor from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central, the MTR is about five times the price of the Star Ferry without the views and is only slightly faster. However, if your destination is further away, the MTR is considerably faster than a ferry or a bus and about the same price.

Hong Kong Trams

Hong Kong Island Trams are an integral part of the transport network and charm of Hong Kong Island.


The Taxies of Hong Kong

Hong Kong taxis are not too expensive compared to other major modern cities. Taxis are usually easy to flag down, except at bus stops and restricted areas where the curb is painted yellow, and during rush hours.

Taxi fares start at around HK$15. If you go through any harbor tunnels, you must pay the toll twice as the driver's return toll has to be paid as well.

Many taxis have a card that lists the top 50 destinations in English, Cantonese and Japanese. This is useful as most drivers don't speak English. It's a good idea to have your destination written down in Chinese. If you leave something behind in the taxi or feel a taxi driver has ripped you off, get the taxi number and call the police hotline on 2527-7177.

Vehicle Hiring

There is no need to drive yourself around Hong Kong, unless you are planning an excursion to the New Territories. Even then, you may do better with public transport unless you are going to a very remote location.

Car rental companies require either an International Driver's Permit or one from your home country and a credit card deposit of HK$5,000. Drivers must be at least 25 years of age. Daily rates range from HK$700 for a small car to HK$3,000 for an up-market vehicle. Reputable car rental companies are: Ace in Happy Valley (Tel: 2560-8689) and Avis in Causeway Bay (Tel: 2890-6988)

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Questions and Answers About Hong Kong Transportation

Kelly 2013-06-28
Show Answer
Does anyone know what is the age for kids before they need to pay a for the MTR services? We are traveling with two 5 year olds.

Hi Kelly, children under 3yrs old are free, between 3-11 yrs are charged half the price of an adult.

Whitney Liao replied on 2013-07-01
cris 2013-04-20
Show Answer
Going to Macau coming from my hotel in Yau Ma Tei, where do I take the Macau Ferry? What should I look for when I reach Macau, that will give me free access to bus shuttles taking me to the different hotels there? Again, thanks so much.
Dear cris, You could take a ferry at HK Macau Ferry Terminal to Macau. Please click this link to check the details: http://www.szgky.com/en/gaferry.asp Some hotels in Macau will provide shuttle from the port to the hotel. I suggest you ask your hotel if they provide this service. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-04-22
cris 2013-04-20
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Hello! I will be staying at the Cityview Hotel in Yau Ma Tei. What''s the best way to get to ICC? From ICC, can I walk towards the Star Ferry? From Star Ferry, what''s the best way to get to IFC in Central? Thanks so much.
Dear cris, The places are not near each other. from the cityview hotel to ICC: 4.5 km from ICC to Star Ferry: 4 km from Star Ferry to IFC: 4 km I suggust you'd better get to each place by taxi. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-04-22
farid 2013-02-19
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hi, I am an Iranian passport holder and currently I am living in Shenzhen. To go to HK , we need visa. But I wanna know if I want to go to HK airport directly from Sheku port, do I still need to get a HK visa? I am planing to take a trip to Turkey, and it is cheaper if I take a flight from HK to Antalya. what about my return? if I arrive at HK airport, can I directly take the ferry to come to Shenzhen without having to go through costumes in HK. I have the Shenzhen residence permit. thank you
Dear Farid, Based on your itinerary, you don't need a HK visa, if you have a China visa already. As you would like to go to HK, and then go to Turkey, at last go back to Shenzhen, please make sure your visa is double or multiple entry visa, or you could not go back to mainland China. When you arrive in HK airport, you need to go through custumes, then you could go to the port for taking a ferry to Shenzhen. Some of my clients coming from Turkey travelled China through HK, so you could search the price on line. I suggest you check the price on this website and many people use this agency for booking tickets. Please click: http://www.flychina.com/ Lussie Lu replied on 2013-02-19
Rai 2012-12-13
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Hi, I am going to China from HK Airport, what would i ride or take as means of transpo to reach China, how much would it cost me, and where can i stay i Guangdong?Thank you
Dear Rai, You could take a bus from Hong Kong airport to Shenzhen where is next to Hong Kong, it takes about 1 hour. Please check the details on this website. Please click: http://www.hongkongairport.com/CBT/Itinerary?actionType=list&locale=eng&locType=t&locCode=szc&arr_dep=D&locations=-SZC&operation=&deptDate=&schehr1=00&schemin1=00&schehr2=23&schemin2=59 About Shenzhen hotels, we listed many options on our website for reference. Please click: http://www.chinahighlights.com/hotel/search-hotel.asp Lussie Lu replied on 2012-12-13
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I updated this article on January 9, 2014
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