HONG KONG AIRPORT to TSIM SHA TSUI by Bus & by Train (Airport Express)


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How do you get from Hong Kong Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui by bus, by MTR, and by Airport Express train? In this article, we’ll show you all your possible options!

Tsim Sha Tsui, often abbreviated as TST, is one of the most popular areas to stay in Hong Kong, especially among budget travelers; thanks to its endless options of small but relatively affordable hotels and inns. It’s also very, very accessible.

If you look at the map of Hong Kong, you’ll find Nathan Road cutting across the district and serving as its main artery. It is punctuated with several bus stops and MTR stations. In fact, a big section of this thoroughfare runs parallel to the MTR Tsuen Wan Line. This is especially useful for tourists because most of Hong Kong’s key attractions are accessible from this train line.

Tsim Sha Tsui Map

Tsim Sha Tsui has another popular side: the area surrounding Chatham Road, which is also lined with several lodging, dining, and shopping establishments.

So, how do you get to Tsim Sha Tsui from the airport? You have two main options: by bus and by train.


WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui by BUS

The bus is the cheapest, easiest, and most convenient way to reach Tsim Sha Tsui from the airport. You can take either:

  • Bus A21
    Operating hours: 05:30 am-12:00 am
    Fare: HK$ 34.60 (PHP 250, USD 4.43)
  • Bus N21
    Operating hours: 12:20 am–04:40 am
    Fare: HK$ 23.80 (PHP 172, USD 3.00)

Both bus routes offer a direct way to Tsim Sha Tsui, without a need for switching or transferring to another vehicle, at least if your hotel is located near Nathan Road or Chatham Road.

Here’s how to travel to Tsim Sha Tsui by bus:

1. Get an Octopus Card.

Consider getting an Octopus Card, which can make your journey much easier and cheaper. 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.

The fare is also cheaper when you use an Octopus Card than when paying at the station. And if you’re taking public transportation multiple times, these discounts rack up and you’ll end up saving a lot!

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.

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.

BUY AN OCTOPUS CARD HERE!

RESERVE A DATA SIM CARD HERE!

2. Find the A21 or N21 Bus Stop.

At the airport’s Arrival Hall, after claiming your luggage at the carousel and picking up your Octopus Card and SIM card at the right counter, head to your right or follow the 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 Terminas
Hong Kong Airport Bus Terminas

Now, check the signs and look for the A21 or N21 bus stop. There’s usually a queue because it’s a very popular area. Wait for the A21 bus.

Hong Kong Airport A21 Bus
Hong Kong Airport A21 Bus

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

3. 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.

If you decide to not get an Octopus card, you can pay by cash but make sure you have the exact amount because they don’t give change.

The fare is HKD 34.60 (PHP 250, USD 4.43) for the A21 bus or HK$ 23.80 (PHP 172, USD 3.00) for the N21 bus.

Upon boarding, you’ll immediately see this baggage section where you could leave your suitcase. There’s also a few seats here, but if none is available, just climb to the top deck. Don’t worry, there are cameras here pointed at the baggage area, so you could still keep an eye on your bag.

Hong Kong Airport Bus Luggage

Travel time is 60 to 90 minutes, depending on where you are alighting and the traffic situation at the time.

4. Alight at the stop closest to your hotel.

Check which of these stops is closest to your hotel.

A21 BUS STOPS

  • Prudential Centre; Nathan Road
  • Kimberley Road; Nathan Road
  • Cameron Road; Nathan Road
  • Middle Road; Nathan Road
  • East Tsim Sha Tsui Station; Salisbury Road
  • Mody Road; Chatham Road South
  • Granville Road; Chatham Road South
  • Hong Kong Science Museum; Chatham Road

N21 BUS STOPS

  • Prudential Center; Nathan Road
  • Kimberley Road; Nathan Road
  • Cameron Road; Nathan Road
  • Middle Road; Nathan Road
  • Tsim Sha Tsui (Star Ferry)

If you’ll be staying at an inn or guesthouse at Chungking Mansions or Mirador Mansion, your stop is Middle Road; Nathan Road.

A21 Bus Stop Middle Road Nathan Road Tsim Sha Tsui Station
A21 Bus Stop: Middle Road corner Nathan Road (near Tsim Sha Tsui Station)

That’s it! You may simply walk to your hotel or inn if it’s located close to Chatham Road or Nathan Road.


Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui by AIRPORT EXPRESS & MTR

If the bus is the easiest option, the Airport Express is the fastest. There are two possible routes. But both involve a transfer or two.

The Airport Express has only three stops from the airport:

  • Tsing Yi Station
  • Kowloon Station, just outside Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Hong Kong Station, the last stop, located in the Central district.

You can purchase tickets on site, but it’s much cheaper to book online.

Hong Kong Airport Express Fare

As you can see, you’ll end up saving a lot if you book a round trip ticket instead of two one-way tickets. You’ll also save more — as much as HK$20 — if you purchase from Klook!

And you know what, the gift just keeps on giving. If you want to score even discounts, use our exclusive promo code THEPOORTRAVELER as you check out.

GET DISCOUNTED AIRPORT EXPRESS TICKETS HERE!

But hold on, what station should you choose when booking? Well, that depends on your final destination.

Before you book, check if your hotel is closer to the Airport Express Kowloon Station OR to MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station.

Airport Express Stops in Tsim Sha Tsui

  • If your hotel is closer to Kowloon Station, select Kowloon Station. You can simply walk to your hotel from the station.
  • If your hotel is closer to MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, then choose Hong Kong Station or Tsing Yi Station depending on your preferred route.
    – The Tsing Yi route is cheaper but it takes a bit longer and involves two transfers.
    – The Hong Kong route is a bit faster, with only one transfer, but more expensive.

If your hotel is close to the Tsim Sha Tsui Station, I recommend the Hong Kong route. It’s just much easier for me. The Tsing Yi route may be cheaper, but I dislike making two transfers especially when I have heavy luggage in tow especially at rush hours. One of the transfers is at Lai King Station, which is in the middle of the very crowded Tsuen Wan Line, so it can be quite overwhelming if it’s your first day.

Passing through Hong Kong Station entails just one transfer, but it involves a 7-10-minute walk to Central Station. The good news is, it’s generally flat and indoors. And Central Station is the very first stop of the Tsuen Wan Line, which means the ride will be comfortable.

Whatever you choose, you’ll need to look for the Airport Express Station, directly in front of the Arrival Hall.

Hong Kong Airport Express Station Tickets

Hong Kong Airport Express QR Code Ticket Scan

If you booked online, just scan your QR code at the electronic gates as you enter. Then follow the directions below.

Via Hong Kong Station

  1. Board the Airport Express.
  2. Alight at Hong Kong Station.
  3. Transfer to Central Station. (Walk for 7-10 minutes. Just follow the signs.)
  4. Take the MTR Tsuen Line to Tsim Sha Tsui Station or Jordan Station, whichever is closer to your hotel.
  5. Get off at your stop.

Note that while you can use your QR code to board the Airport Express, you’ll need to use an Octopus card or buy a separate ticket when transferring to the MTR Tsuen Wan Line.

Again, the Central Station is the first station on the Tsuen Wan Line, so it’s very likely that you’ll get a seat on the train.

That’s it!

There used to be a FREE shuttle service carrying passengers from Kowloon Station or Hong Kong Station to various spots around the city, but this has been discontinued. Regardless, the Airport Express is indeed the fastest way to get to the city center.

From the airport, it only takes 32 minutes to Hong Kong Station. But you’ll need to add the transfer time and the travel time from Central Station to your hotel. It should still take you almost an hour in total.

Via Kowloon Station

Kowloon Station isn’t in Tsim Sha Tsui, but there is a part of TST that is close to it. If your hotel in this area near Kowloon Station, lucky you! It’ll be a quick journey for you.

  1. Board the Airport Express.
  2. Alight at Kowloon Station.
  3. Walk to your hotel.

Easy, right?

Via Tsing Yi Station

This is the cheapest train option. (The bus is still the cheapest overall, though!)

  1. Board the Airport Express.
  2. Alight at Tsing Yi Station.
  3. Switch to Tung Chung Line (orange line).
  4. Alight at Lai King Station.
  5. Switch to Tsuen Wan Line (red line).
  6. Alight at Tsim Sha Tsui or Jordan Station.

The downside is, this route entails two transfers, which some people might not prefer, especially those with heavy luggage in tow, and I’m assuming you do because you’re coming from the airport.

It’s just difficult getting on and off the train multiple times while carrying a bag, even more so when it is crowded on board. Lai King Station is often crowded at peak hours because it is in the middle of the line.


Tsim Sha Tsui to Airport by BUS

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

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.

Then alight at the Airport Stop.


Tsim Sha Tsui to Airport by MTR + AIRPORT EXPRESS

Via Hong Kong Station

If you took the Airport Express via Hong Kong Station, just take the MTR Tsuen Wan Line back to Central Station, and transfer to Hong Kong Station, and catch the Airport Express back to the airport.

  1. Take the MTR Tsuen Wan Line to Central Station.
  2. Transfer to Hong Kong Station.
  3. Board the Airport Express.
  4. Alight at Hong Kong Airport.

Via Kowloon Station

This only applies if your hotel or point of origin is close to Kowloon Station.

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

Via Tsing Yi Station

If you took the Tsing Yi route, take the same MTR Tsuen Wan Line and trace your steps back.

  1. Take the MTR Tsuen Wan Line to Lai King Station.
  2. Transfer to Tung Chung Line.
  3. Alight at Tsing Yi Station.
  4. Board the Airport Express.
  5. Alight at Hong Kong Airport.

Inside Airport Express Hong Kong

Hong Kong Airport Express


Which is the best route?

If your hotel is close to Nathan Road or Chatham Road, I think, hands down, the A21 Bus is the best option. It takes a bit longer, but it is the most convenient and least stressful.

But when going back to the airport, we recommend the MTR and Airport Express.

We don’t recommend taking the A21 Bus when airport-bound. You see, from airport to Kowloon, the bus is always largely empty. But when going back to the airport, Tsim Sha Tsui is in the middle of the route, which means there are fewer seats available onboard.

Not to mention that the bus is subject to traffic conditions so it can take much, much longer, which can be pretty stressful when you have a flight to catch.

On a recent trip, my blogging partner Vins and I even had a mini-contest on who would get to the airport first. Vins took the A21 Bus, while I took the train. And I won by a huge margin. I was already waiting for 40 minutes by the time Vins’s bus reached the airport.


Have you tried any of these routes? How was the experience? Or do you have questions or topic suggestions for our future articles? Post a comment below!


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