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Hong Kong Transportation: City Transport, Trains, Planes

Hong Kong International AirportHong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong’s transportation is fast and efficient, including subway trains (the MTR), buses, ferries, trams, and taxis. Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) provides an excellent international service, and high-speed trains link HK with many Mainland China cities. Find out how to get the most out of HK’s excellent transport options here.

Public Transport to Get Around Hong Kong

Hong Kong is small and crowded. Therefore, public transport is a very practical way to get around. HK’s public transport is cheap, fast, and very efficient. Buying an Octopus card in any subway station, railway station, or airport will offer you the most convenient experience when traveling on Hong Kong’s public transport.

Subway (The Metro)

hong kong subway mapOur Hong Kong subway map shows Hong Kong's 13 subway lines with station names in both English and Chinese. Click on it to enlarge.

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

The subway 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 BusHong Kong public bus

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.


Hong Kong tramsHong Kong trams are good for sightseeing.

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

These trams only operate on Hong Kong Island. For tourists wanting a leisurely way to sightsee while seeing the sites along the north shore of the island, it is a useful option.

The top deck are a good places to take pictures. There is no air conditioning, but can open the windows. For those arriving at the Star Ferry Terminal, Central Station or Hong Kong Station, there are tram stations on the north side of the IFC Mall.


Hong Kong taxiHong Kong taxi

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.

Private Transfer

tour with China HighlightsYou can tour and shop and do business in comfort and style in Hong Kong with China Highlights.

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.

China Highlights provides private drivers for airport/station/port pickup and excursions. You can arrange for our driver to wait for you at the airport, train station or your hotel.

Transportation Between the Airport and Central / Tsim Sha Tsui

  • Subway: It takes only 24 minutes from the airport to Central District by the Airport Express metro line.
  • Public Buses: Hong Kong International Airport is well served by public bus routes. You can take them to and from most parts of Hong Kong.
  • A21 shuttle buses: The buses take you between Hong Kong International Airport, Hung Hom, and Tsim Sha Tsui.
  • Hotel Shuttle Buses: Some big hotels offer shuttle service to and from the airport.

Learn more information about how to get to Hong Kong airport.

Hong Kong to China’s Cities

By Airplane

Hong Kong International Airport connects over 40 Chinese cities via direct flights.

Direct Flights to/from China Cities

To Number of Direct Flights Per Day (Approx.) Journey Time (Approx.)
Hong Kong–Beijing 20 3 hours 25 minutes
Hong Kong–Shanghai >34 2 hours 30 minutes
Hong Kong–Xi’an 2 2 hours 35 minutes
Hong Kong–Chengdu >5 2 hours 40 minutes
Hong Kong–Chongqing 4 2 hours 20 minutes
Hong Kong–Guilin 1 1 hour 25 minutes
Hong Kong–Guangzhou 2 1 hour

Click here for China flight search and ticket booking

Hong Kong International Airport to Macau: by Bus Over the Bridge

Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau BridgeHong Kong - Zhuhai - Macau Bridge

Bus transport via the new mega bridge to Macau allows quicker and convenient transport than the airport ferry services. From the airport, you can take a bus for 2 minutes to the bridge, and then board a bus to Macau for a 15-minute trip. The total price is about 100 HKD to 130 HKD (13 USD to 17 USD). The trip over the bridge takes about 14 minutes but clearing customs might take 50 minutes depending on the time and day.

However, this is faster than the ferry. From the Hong Kong International Airport, the ferries take about 70 minutes to cross (about 270 HKD). However, there are only a few ferries a day, and the last one leaves about 10 pm.

By Railway

The historic Guangzhou-Shenzhen–Hong Kong High-Speed Railway bullet train connects Kowloon and Tsim Sha Tsui with Shenzhen and Guangzhou and at least 44 other Chinese cities and towns including Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, Guilin, and Chengdu. It opened on September 22, 2018.

It cuts travel time to 9 hours to Beijing West Station (157 USD second class, 251 USD first class). It whisks through Shenzhen North in about 19 minutes, Guangzhou South in 52 minutes, Changsha South in 3 hours and 17 minutes, and Wuhan in 4 hours and 38 minutes.

From West Kowloon, it is the fastest and most convenient way to travel to go to Futian Station and Shenzhen North. Futian Station is only 14 minutes away.

The West Kowloon Station Terminus

Hong Kong West Kowloon Station LobbyWest Kowloon Station's lobby

The newly built West Kowloon Station for the high-speed train to China is one of the world's largest underground train stations. A section of it has China customs checks and immigration.

The Austin MTR Station is about a four minute walk away, and the Kowloon MTR Station (to Lantau, Central, and the airport (Airport Express)) is about a 12 minute walk away.

See Beijing – Hong Kong Trains for more information for available destinations, times, prices and for purchasing tickets for these high-speed trains. Also...

Short-distance high-speed train services connect Hong Kong West Kowloon to cities on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link including Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

By Ferry

Macau – Hong Kong FerryMacau – Hong Kong Ferry

SkyPier at Hong Kong International Airport enables passengers to and from the Pearl River Delta (PRD) to journey to HKIA by high-speed cross-boundary ferries.

Travelers arriving to SkyPier 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.

SkyPier serves the following routes to the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and Macao:

Routes Journey Time (Approx.)
HKIA To Shenzhen Shekou 30 minutes
HKIA To Shenzhen Airport 45 minutes
HKIA To Dongguan Humen 70 minutes
HKIA To Zhongshan 70 minutes
HKIA To Zhuhai 70 minutes
HKIA To Guangzhou 100 minutes
HKIA To Macau Taipa 65 minutes
HKIA To Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal 65 minutes

Note: SkyPier ferry service is for transfer passengers only. It is not applicable to passengers originating in Hong Kong.

Star FerryThe Star Ferry

Hong Kong's ferries are almost always faster and cheaper than the buses, and also provide fantastic photo opportunities. The Star Ferry crosses the harbor between Central and Kowloon, taking just 7 minutes.

The HKF Company operates a number of ferries and hovercrafts between Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories.

Ferries to the Outlying Islands of Lantau, Lamma, Cheung Chau, and Peng Chau islands depart from the front of Exchange Square in Central.

Daily frequent and fast ferries operate between Hong Kong and Zhuhai (Mainland China). Learn more about ferries between Hong Kong and nearby Cities.


Passenger can also take 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.

Hong Kong to Shenzhen

By Subway Train


Ride on the East Rail Line to Lo Wu (Luohu) Port or Lok Ma Chau (Futian) Port. Pass through the port and arrive in Shenzhen, then take the subway train in Shenzhen to the places you want to visit. There will be a train every 5 minutes.

Depending on where you are in Hong Kong, the whole journey may take from 70 minutes (from Tsim Sha Tsui) to 90 minutes (from Hong Kong Island). Queuing to pass through the port may take 20 minutes (non-rush hours) to 40 minutes (rush hours or at the weekend).

Be aware that Lo Wu Port closes at midnight and Lok Ma Chau Port closes at 10:30pm. We suggest you allow at least 2 hours for a journey late at night, in order not to miss these times.

By Bus

In Tsim Sha Tsui, you can take the shuttle bus at Austin Road Cross Boundary Coach Terminus to Huanggang Port and pass through the port to Shenzhen. Both the buses and port operate for 24 hours a day.

Although it is harder to manage the ticketing and boarding on your own, this is your plan B late at night and during the rush hours.

Hong Kong to Shanghai

By High-Speed Train

The Bund, ShanghaiThe Bund, Shanghai

The high-speed train G100 can take you from Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. The train departs at 11:10 and arrives at 19:27.

As there is only one train each day, it is necessary to book your ticket as soon as possible, especially when traveling during weekends and Chinese public holidays.

By Airplane

There are about four flights from Hong Kong International Airport to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and over 30 flights to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The journey takes 2½ to 3 hours.

Flying to Shanghai is a good choice if your time is limited.

Hong Kong to Guangzhou

Guangzhou TowerGuangzhou Tower

The fastest way to get from Hong Kong to Guangzhou is to take a high-speed train from Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station to Guangzhou South Railway Station. There are 34 trains in service every day and the journey takes about 1 hour.

Alternatively, take a direct train from Hung Hom Railway Station to Guangzhou East Railway Station. There are 12 trains in service every day with the first one departing at 07:25 and the last at 20:01. The journey takes 2 hours.

You are recommended to book your ticket at least 2 days before departure or as soon as possible (during weekends and holidays).

Hong Kong to Zhuhai

The fastest and most economical way to get from Hong Kong to Zhuhai is to go on the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge (HZMB). Passengers can take a shuttle bus from the Port of Hong Kong and travel through the HZMB to Zhuhai.

The Port of Hong Kong is located on an artificial island northeast of Hong Kong International Airport. First, you arrive at Hong Kong International Airport by subway train or taxi, then take bus B4 at the airport to the Port of Hong Kong. Pass through the port to take a shuttle bus.

The shuttle buses operate 24 hours a day and a bus departs every 5–10 minutes during peak hours or 15–30 minutes during non-peak hours. The journey to Zhuhai only takes 40 minutes, with a ticket fare of 65 HKD during the daytime and 70 HKD late at night.

Hong Kong to Beijing

By Airplane

There are about 20 direct flights every day from Hong Kong to Beijing. This is the fastest way to travel as it only takes 3½ to 4 hours.

By High-Speed Train

Although you need to travel during a working day, traveling by high-speed train is still convenient, especially when you are on a budget. The high-speed train G80 departs from Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station at 08:05 and arrives at Beijing West Railway Station at 17:01. We recommend that you book your train ticket as soon as possible.

Hong Kong to Guilin

Hong Kong and Guilin are now connected by a high-speed rail line. There is one high-speed train departing at 12:06 from Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station and arriving at 15:25 in Guilin West Railway Station.

Hong Kong to Xi'an

There are direct flights from Hong Kong International Airport to Xi’an Xianyang International Airport departing at 11:30 and 12:45. Alternatively, you can take consecutive high-speed trains or an overnight train to Xi’an. See more on How to Plan a Hong Kong to Xi’an Tour.

Overseas Cities to Hong Kong

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.

Learn more information about HKIA.

Regular flights connecting more than 100 overseas cities and 40 Chinese cities make HKIA the airport of choice for many international travelers as a transfer hub. Check the table below to see the number of flights per day and approximate travel times for some of these cities.

Direct Flights to/from Overseas Cities

To/From Flights Per Day (Approx.) Journey Time (Approx.)
New York 6 16 hours
LA 4 14 hours
Chicago 2 14½ hours
London 8 12–13 hours
Melbourne 5 10 hours
Sydney 6 8 hours
Toronto 2 17–18 hours
Vancouver 4 13 hours
Tokyo 25 4 hours
Busan 3 3 hours 25 minutes
Seoul >20 3½ hours
Kuala Lumpur 12 3–4 hours
Auckland 5 11 hours

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