Transportation in Hong Kong

Travelling around Hong Kong
Updated 2023-01-15 11:43

Bus, tram, subway, taxi, ferry... Are you still wondering how to explore Hong Kong? Indeed, you can choose from different means of transport if you have decided to settle here. Things get even better if you have a valid driver's license — simply rent a car and travel anywhere you want in comfort. Your choice of means of transport in Hong Kong will, naturally, depend on your travel distance and budget.

MTR in Hong Kong

Subway, which is managed by MTR, is the most rapid and efficient means of transport in Hong Kong. The city has 10 lines, which link the main districts, as well as two stations, which will allow you to travel to Mainland China.

MTR also provides a line from Yuen Long to Tuen Mun in the New Territories and an intercity link towards mainland China.

Finally, the Airport Express provided by MTR connects the airport to the city. Taking the MTR in Hong Kong is easy, convenient and quick. However, it can get crowded during rush hours.

Good to know:

Note that you cannot eat or drink on the subway in Hong Kong.

Useful links:


Hong Kong MTR subway plan

Buses in Hong Kong

Hong Kong also has a developed bus network, providing lines over almost the whole region. For instance, Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories are served by Kowloon Motor Bus, New World First Bus and Citybus.

Lantau Island, for its part, is served by New Lantao Bus and Long Win Bus. Note that Long Win Bus also provides lines from the North of the island to the airport.

In general, fares vary according to the distance traveled. Almost all city buses have air conditioning and the destinations (starting and final) are written in both English and Chinese.

Good to know:

  • Hong Kong is famous for its double-decker buses —make sure to catch a ride on one at least once during your visit.
  • Hong Kong has 'hop on, hop off' sightseeing buses that take you to the city's famous attractions. You will need to purchase a sightseeing bus pass (typically available for one or two days).

Useful links:

Kowloon Motor Bus

New Lantao Bus

Taxis in Hong Kong

Taxis can be found rather easily in Hong Kong. You can hail a cab once you see an empty one on the street, book one via phone, or one of the many car-hailing apps. Uber also operates in Hong Kong.

City taxis are equipped with a meter, which is started as soon as you board the vehicle. Rates are affordable for comfortable trips in clean and air-conditioned taxis. Note that travel fares have to be indicated aboard.

Most Hong Kong taxis can transport passengers to the Hong Kong International Airport and to Disneyland Resort. However, these can be distinguished through three colors. Red taxis, for instance, are allowed to circulate almost everywhere in Hong Kong, except along Tung Chung Road and in the South of Lantau Island. Green taxis, for their part, are allowed only in the New Territories, while blue taxis circulate on Lantau Island only.

Passengers having a lot of luggage or with reduced mobility can travel aboard special taxis. The Diamond Cab, for instance, can transport two people in a wheelchair along with two travel companions or five passengers in the absence of a wheelchair. SynCabs, for their part, can transport a person in a wheelchair along with two other passengers or simply four passengers in the absence of a wheelchair.

Useful links:

Hong Kong taxi guide

Transport Department taxi fares

Minibusses in Hong Kong

There are two types of minibusses in Hong Kong: red buses and green buses. Red buses operate according to varying schedules. In fact, schedules can be modified at any time, and passengers board in and get off anywhere besides common bus stops, except where indicated otherwise. You will pay the fare on getting off the bus. Green buses, for their part, operate according to fixed schedules and fare grids.

Good to know:

Note that taking a minibus can get tricky for those who don't know the city well and do not speak Cantonese.

Tramway in Hong Kong

The imperial tramway is one of the earliest transportation systems in the city and now operates in Hong Kong's most dynamic areas. The locals affectionately call the tramway 'ding ding', and it's generally a cheap means of transport, as ideal for tourists as for residents. The fare is fixed at HKD 2.30.

Useful link:

Hong Kong Tramways

Ferries in Hong Kong

To travel from Hong Kong to Kowloon and neighboring islands, you can opt for the simple or rapid ferry. Those starting from the Central Jetty in Hong Kong serve surrounding islands, namely Pench Chau, Cheung Chau, Lamma, Lantau and Discovery Bay. You can also take the ferry from Hong Kong to Mainland China and Macau.

Useful links:

The Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry

Discovery Bay Transportation Services

Star Ferry Hong Kong

Hong Kong Octopus Card

The Octopus card is very popular in Hong Kong. It is a magnetic prepaid card that can be used to pay for fares, whether in buses, tramway or subway. Fares are automatically deducted when introduced into automatic terminals.

Good to know:

These days, Octopus cards have evolved past their original purpose and can also be used to purchase goods in stores across the city. You can even use them to pay for healthcare in Hong Kong.

Useful link:

Octopus Card

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