HONG KONG AIRPORT to CENTRAL by Bus & by Airport Express • Which is Better?


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The Hong Kong International Airport is located on an island, far and detached from the city center. So how do you get from the airport to Central easily? In this article, we’ll share wit you how to do that by train and by bus!

Hong Kong is composed of this peninsula and over 200 outlying islands. One of them — Chek Lap Kok Island — harbors the Hong Kong International Airport. It’s pretty detached from the city proper, which is on Hong Kong Island, 30-60 minutes away, depending on your mode of transportation and the traffic situation at the time.

Hong Kong’s Central district can refer to the area surrounding the Central Station or more broadly, the Central and Western District, which covers nearby Sheung Wan and Admiralty. But because of proximity and accessibility from here, the term is sometimes loosely used to include neighboring Wan Chai and even Causeway Bay.

Hong Kong Central Map

All these areas are very modern and highly developed. But in between skyscrapers, you’ll find a diverse selection of lodging, dining, and shopping establishments, making it one of the most – if not THE most – ideal places to stay in all of Hong Kong.

By the way, if you don’t have a Hong Kong hotel yet, consider booking one with Klook! It’s so easy and convenient to use Klook because the prices displayed already include taxes. And if you want to score big discounts, just click the link in the description or pinned comment, and use our promo code THEPOORTRAVELER! That will give you 5% OFF, capped at PHP 350 pesos.

Anyway, the good news is, Central is directly connected to the airport both by bus and by train. Let’s take a look at the train first!


WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

AIRPORT TO CENTRAL BY AIRPORT EXPRESS TRAIN

Hong Kong Airport Express

The Airport Express is the fastest and easiest way to reach Hong Kong Central. From the airport, all you need is to board this train to Hong Kong Station, and voila! You’ll be in Central in only 32 minutes!

1. Buy an Airport Express ticket.

The first thing you should do is buy an Airport Express ticket in advance. Although it is possible to buy at the station, tickets are much cheaper if you book online, especially on Klook. Take a look at this.

  • PRICE AT THE STATION
    One way: $115
    Round trip: $205
  • KLOOK PRICE
    One way: $99
    Round trip: $185

The first thing you’ll notice is, it’s cheaper to book round trip than two (2) one-way tickets. Also, you’ll also save as much as $20 if you purchase from Klook!

And as always, it can still get lower because you can also use our exclusive promo code THEPOORTRAVELER as you check out.

2. Board the Airport Express train.

When you arrive in Hong Kong, find the Airport Express Station.

Airport Express Train Hong Kong

It should be easy because it’s located right beside the Arrival Hall. Once you emerge from the Baggage Area, you’ll see it right away.

If you booked online, you can scan the QR code as you enter the gates.

Hong Kong Airport Express QR Code Ticket Scan

There’s plenty of luggage storage space on every car. Find your seat and relax. The Airport Express has only three stops other than the Airport. And if you’re Central-bound, your stop is Hong Kong Station.

The travel time is 32 minutes.

Alight at Hong Kong Station, which is already within Central area.

If your hotel is close to Hong Kong Station or Central Station, you can get out of the station and travel on foot. But if it’s closer to another station, read on!

3. Transfer to the MTR Island Line.

If your hotel is closer to Sheung Wan, Admiralty, Wan Chai, or Causeway Bay Station, you’ll have to walk for 7 to 10 minutes to Central Station, and transfer to the MTR Island Line.

It’s kind of a long walk but don’t worry, it’s all indoors and on flat ground. You’re basically passing through a mall. Just follow the signs and you should be fine.

If your hotel is closest to Sheung Wan Station, board the train bound for Kennedy Town.

If your hotel is closest to Admiralty, Wan Chai, or Causeway Bay Station, ride the train going to Chai Wan.

4. Alight at the station closest to your hotel.

If it’s not too far away, you can just walk to your hotel.

Otherwise, hail a cab or catch a bus in the area.

But while the Airport Express is the fastest way, if you’re on a budget, there is a more affordable option.


AIRPORT TO CENTRAL BY BUS

The bus is the cheapest way to get to Central. And it’s also quite convenient. But for a hassle-free journey, there are things you need to do first before your trip.

1. Get an Octopus Card.

First, you might want to consider getting an Octopus Card, which can make your journey much easier. An Octopus card is a pre-paid reloadable card that you can use for MTR and bus rides and even purchases at select stores. It will allow you to skip buying tickets each time you’re taking the MTR or scramble for coins when taking the bus. All you need to do is tap the card above the reader and you’re through.

Octopus Card
Image via Klook

You can get an Octopus Card from Klook. It costs HKD 97 (PHP 695, USD 12.41), but it already comes with HK$ 50 load that you can use right away. You can pick it up at the airport’s Arrival Hall. In our case, we claimed our Octopus Card at this counter.

You can also book a Data SIM on Klook and pick it up at the airport. A data SIM will make navigating much easier so you’re sure you’re getting off at the right stop.

RESERVE AN OCTOPUS CARD HERE!

GET A DATA SIM CARD HERE!

2. Proceed to the Airport Bus Terminus.

Once you arrive in Hong Kong, after claiming your luggage at the carousel, you’ll emerge into the Arrival Hall. Pick up your Octopus Card and SIM card at the designated counter.

Then, follow the BUS signs to the Bus Terminus, which is right in front of the airport building. It’s located outside, and it looks like this:

Hong Kong Airport Bus Terminus
Hong Kong Airport Bus Terminas

3. Look for the A11 or N11 Bus Stop.

Now, check the signage and look for the A11 bus stop. There’s usually a queue because it’s a very popular area. Wait for Bus A11 or N11. Bus A11 operates within regular hours, while N11 within the wee hours (late night or early morning).

These are the operating hours:

  • BUS A11: 05:35 AM-12:30 AM
  • BUS N11: 01:50 AM–04:50 AM

Hong Kong Airport A11 Bus

Note also that airport buses are double-deckers. They also display the route or bus number in front, so make sure you’re boarding the right bus.

4. Pay as you board.

When it’s time to board, prepare your Octopus Card and tap it or hover it above the card reader, installed just by the entrance door of the bus.

You can also pay by cash but bear in mind that they don’t give change, so make sure you have the exact amount. Here are the fares, regardless of which area in Central you’ll get off at.

  • BUS A11: HK$ 41.90
  • BUS N11: HK$ 32.10

Upon boarding, you’ll immediately see this baggage section where you could leave your suitcase.

Hong Kong Airport Bus Luggage

There’s also a few seats here, but if none is available, just climb to the top deck. Fret not, there are cameras here pointed at the baggage area, so you could still keep an eye on your bag.

5. Alight at your stop.

Travel time is 50 to 70 minutes, depending on where you are alighting and the traffic conditions at the time.

On our last trip, we booked a room at iClub Sheung Wan with Klook. It’s located in the Sheung Wan district, close to Central. We totally loved our stay here because the room was squeaky clean and it’s surrounded by budget-friendly but delicious restaurants. It’s also close to the MTR Sheung Wan Station and the bus stop.

We got off at Macau Ferry corner Connaught Road Bus Stop, crossed the main road, and continued our short walk to our hotel.


CENTRAL TO AIRPORT BY TRAIN/BUS

It’s easy to return to the airport Central. Whether you took the bus or the train, all you have to do is trace your steps back.

If you wish to take the Airport Express, just make your way to Hong Kong Station and catch the Airport Express back to the airport.

  1. Make your way to Hong Kong Station.
  2. Board the Airport Express.
  3. Alight at Hong Kong Airport.

If by bus, just remember to wait for and board the bus on the other side of the road, NOT on the same side where you got off.


WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE?

It’s really a close call. The Airport Express is super fast, but the bus is so much cheaper.

For me, it depends on whether your hotel or final destination is closer to a train station or a bus stop. If your hotel is within spitting distance from Hong Kong Station or any station along the MTR Island Line, then choose the train. If a bus stop is closer, then it makes more sense to take the bus.

But on the way back to the airport and you’re pressed for time, just take the Airport Express.

The bus’s travel time is dependent on the traffic conditions. And you’re also not guaranteed a seat. The bus will be coming from the far end of the island. By the time it reaches the Central or Sheung Wan area, it has already made several stops along the way.

If you feel like you’re running late for your flight, take the Airport Express!


iClub Sheung Wan Hotel
iClub Sheung Wan Hotel

Top Premium Hotels in Central & Admiralty

Below are the top Central properties on Hotels.com, regardless of the price.

Top Budget Hotels in Central & Sheung Wan

Here are some of the top-reviewed Central and Sheung Wan hotels and hostels on Agoda that are relatively affordable.

That’s all for now. Remember, plan smart, travel safe, and make every trip WORTH IT!

Updates Log

First up: 2024 • 02 • 02



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