Hong Kong

Best time to go and how to get there

Hong Kong: When to Go

To see the best (and worst) times to visit, please read our reviews of our recommended places to stay

03:31 | GMT + 8 Hours


Getting There

Note: flight, boat, train and bus timetables change constantly, and airlines come and go, so please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning. Check with relevant companies, or a flight search engine like Skyscanner, first.


From the UK:
China Southern, Qantas, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic all fly directly from London Heathrow. Emirates and Qatar Airways fly from London Gatwick; and British Airways flies from Newcastle, Manchester and Aberdeen, with a change of flight at London Heathrow.

From the USA:
Cathay Pacific flies from New York, LA and San Francisco; Singapore Airlines flies from San Francisco.

From Australia and New Zealand:
Cathay Pacific flies from Auckland, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne. Qantas operates the same routes from Australia.

From the Airport:
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is one of Asia's busiest hubs. It's approximately 35km from the city.

The fastest way in to the city is by MTR's high-speed Airport Express train which takes around 30 minutes to Hong Kong Island and runs from 6am to after midnight. Airport Express passengers can take a free shuttle bus from Kowloon and Hong Kong stations to major hotels. Both these stations provide free in-town check-in services for major airlines.

Alternatively you can take a taxi from the pick-up area in front of the Arrivals Hall. Take a red taxi unless travelling only to Lantau (blue) or the New Territories (green).

Or there are Airbus “A” buses that serve key locations on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories (including Lantau Island) with fewer stops than an ordinary city bus.

Getting Around

If you plan to take more than a couple of journeys by public transport, buy an Octopus card which can be used for buses, trains, trams, ferries and the Airport Express. You'll need to put down a deposit, but you can claim back any unused credit (less an admin charge).

For more info, see discoverhongkong.com

BY MTR (Mass Transit Railway)

This excellent rail network currently consists of 10 lines covering most of Hong Kong, including the airport. It's clean, cheap and air-conditioned. You can buy an Airport Express pass which also covers 3 days of travel; or a 1-day pass for adult or child.
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Taxis are reasonably priced, readily available and colour coded: red for central Hong Kong, green for the New Teritories, blue on Lantau. However many drivers speak little or no English. There are surcharges for late night journeys, luggage in the boot and any tolls. Tipping is not expected, though most people round up.


The famous Star Ferry plies between Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon. From adjacent Central piers, you can catch ferries (standard or "fast") to the islands of Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau, including Discovery Bay.
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There are atmospheric double-decker trams shuttling between Kennedy Town and Chai Wan (slow but fun and very cheap - though you will need exact change, or an Octopus card) as well as the spectacular Peak Tram which whisks you up in 8 minutes from Garden Road to the popular Victoria Peak with its stunning views over the city. Again you'll need exact change or an Octopus card.


Buses are cheap and frequent but, given the other options, not used that much by tourists. Bear in mind that some hotels offer free shuttle buses to/from the major stations (Kowloon, Central KCR).

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