Set on the land reclamation island site of Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong International Airport is the gateway to this fascinating former British colony and the glories of mainland China. Hong Kong is ‘China Lite’, giving an introduction to the fast-growing country, with its appetite for technology demonstrated by the fast Airport Express rail line to the city centre. Other transport options include luxury buses, taxis, free shuttle buses to major hotels, ferries, limos and special needs transport. Rental cars are easily booked in advance through one of the airport’s service providers, with self-drive a convenient way to tour the island.
Who to Book With
Three car hire companies, Avis, Hertz and Honk, have desks in the terminals’ arrivals halls on levels five, backed up by several local companies including International Hire Car and Da Chong Hong. Many visitors opt to hire a driver as well, as the chaotic Hong Kong traffic, confusing city layout and lack of parking spaces can make for a stressful experience.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents must be presented at vehicle collection:
- Your valid home country driver’s licence
- The credit card used for your reservation
- Your passport confirming your ID
- Confirmation of booking
- An international driving permit is recommended
For more info read our FAQ's.
Hong Kong drives on the left, and the city’s road systems are confusingly laid out, clogged with traffic and best ignored by all but confident drivers. However, the island’s rural districts and the mainland New Territories have good roads and far less congestion outside the major conurbations. Road signs and traffic lights are the same as those in the UK, Parking in the city is a major problem due to lack of space, and is expensive, as is petrol from the over 200 filling stations here, most of which take card payments. All driving-related documents must be carried, seatbelts must be worn by all occupants and mobile phone usage while driving is forbidden unless a hands-fee kit is in use, Warning triangles are recommended but not compulsory.
See our guide to Hong Kong for more information on driving here.
A plethora of ground transportation options are to be had at the airport, with the Airport Express the fastest way to access the city centre. Shuttle buses, municipal buses, ferries to mainland and Hong Kong archipelago ports, limos, taxis, hotel shuttles and shared minibuses are all provided. Bus travel is the least expensive, with the convenience of taxi travel taken at a relatively high price.
The Airport Express runs every 12 minutes from 05:50 to 01:40 from the Airport Station and the AsiaWorld-Expo site to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island’s rail stations, linking with shuttle buses to many hotels. Journeys take around 25 minutes and cost around £8, including the ongoing shuttle bus journey.
Taxis at the airport are found at ranks in the Taxi Station outside the Arrivals area, and are colour-coded as to operating companies and their specific areas. Red taxis run to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, green cabs run to the New Territories and blue taxis run to Lantau Island. All taxis are metered, and an official fare chart at the Taxi Station gives approximate fares. The trip to the city centre takes around half an hour, dependent on traffic conditions.
Hong Kong Airport to Hong Kong city centre is about £25
Hong Kong Airport to Kowloon is about £20
Hong Kong Airport to Disneyland is about £10
Hong Kong Airport to Repulse Bay is about £25
The airport’s bus station is located at the Ground Transportation Centre, with four public bus companies operating a 24-hour service to various points on the mainland and Hong Kong Island, including Disneyland Hong Kong. Cityflyer operates a luxury airport coach service to the city, with several routes including A10-12, A22 and 22 and A29. Dependent on destination and operator, average journey times are between 30 and 40 minutes and average fares are around £3. Airport-Hotelink is a coach service that serves major Hong Kong hotels from Terminal 2’s Coach Station.
The airport’s Terminal 1 is one of the world’s largest after Beijing’s and Dubai’s passenger terminals, and its Terminal 2 is at present a check-in and processing hub for a minority of carriers. The new North Satellite Concourse and the Midfield Concourse, due to open in 2015, will increase handling capacity well over the present annual passenger throughput of 53 million. Over 90 carriers serve the airport, with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair the major players, and flights are offered to well over a hundred destinations across the five continents.
Parking for 3,000 cars is provided at airport car parks 1, 2 and 4, with free 30-minute parking at nos 1 and 4. All car parks are automated and accept payment by cash or card. Hourly charges range from around £1.50 to £1.85, with car parks 2 and 4 offering longer-stay parking, with daily charges £12.00 and £15, respectively. Long-term parking charges begin at £25 for three days, rising subsequently by £7.50 per day.
Passengers can access Wi-Fi internet services free of charge at the terminals, on the Airport Express and on several of the bus services.
Information desk are located in both working terminals.
Service Centre: +852 2181 8888
Both terminals are disabled-friendly, beginning with dedicated car park spaces adjacent to lifts and low-kerb drop-off points. Rehabus and Easy-Access Bus Service transport passengers with reduced mobility, and in-terminal facilities include ramps, lifts, escalators and the wheelchair-friendly automated people-mover. Low-level phones, drinking fountains, adapted toilets, 24-hour assistance phones and dedicated seating areas are all offered.
Restaurants and Bars
Terminal 1 has a fine selection of eateries including Western, Asian, Hong-Kong-style, fast food and dessert venues. Bars, bakeries and a food court are also provided, giving a choice of numerous styles and cuisines including dim sum and noodle dishes. Signature dishes such as shark fin soup can be had at the Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant. In Terminal 2 you’ll find four Asian-style restaurants, including Sorabol with its Korean specialities, and the Itamae Sushi restaurant.
China Airlines Lounge
Qantas Business Lounge
Silver Kris Lounge
The Travellers’ Lounge
Hong Kong Airlines VIP Lounge
CNAC VIP Lounge
Air France/KLM Lounge
Royal Orchid Lounge
United Club Lounge
Qantas First Lounge
Money and ATMs
Currency exchange and banking services are offered in Terminal 1 by eight banks including HSBC and Bank of China and two Travelex booths, and ATMs are found in all areas of both terminals. In Terminal 2 are branches of HSBC and Bank of China as well as a Travelex desk and ATMs.
The airport’s terminals and the SkyPier complex are rated together as one of the best airport shopping areas in the world, with a great choice of stores both landside and airside. Everything is here, from exclusive designer fashions and accessories through jewellery, gifts, technology, evening wear and lingerie to handicrafts, artworks, luggage, travel accessories and more. Dunhill, Chanel, Burberry, Armani, Gucci and Jimmy Choo are favourites, as are the airside duty-free stores.