As big cities go, Hong Kong has one of the best public transportation systems in the world, making it quick and easy to get anywhere you need to go in the city.
Your time in Hong Kong will be much more enjoyable if you purchase an Octopus Card as soon as you arrive. You can rent one from a kiosk in any MTR station in the city with a small refundable deposit. This card, which you can easily add money to at kiosks all over Hong Kong, lets you take the metro, double-decker trams, city buses, taxis and even the Peak Tram with a simple swipe of your card. When you depart the city, you can return the card and get your deposit and remaining balance back from the airport MTR Station.
Now that you have your Octopus Card, here’s a rundown of the ways to get around Hong Kong:
While large, Hong Kong is a very walkable city, and you can usually explore an entire district on foot. Pick up a tourist map at the airport and get exploring.
Check out some walking and biking tours of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s subway system, the MTR, is quick, convenient, clean and very foreigner-friendly. All the signs and maps are in English and Chinese, and you can get pretty much anywhere in Kowloon or Hong Kong Island by riding. The MTR is also one of the cheapest ways to cross Victoria Harbour.
By Ding Ding Tram
Hong Kong’s double-decker trams will take you in a loop around Hong Kong Island for an authentic tour of one of Hong Kong’s oldest neighborhoods. Even if you don’t need it to get around, you should ride the trams at least once for the sheer novelty.
Aboard a ferry
If you need to cross from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island or back, consider riding aboard the Star Ferry, an iconic form of Hong Kong transportation offering magnificent views of the skyline on both sides of the city. Hong Kong’s many other ferry piers have services to most of the surrounding islands as well.
Unless you’re in the far south of Hong Kong Island or traveling around Lantau, you should probably avoid the buses, as signage is often confusing and not always in English.
In a taxi
Taxis aren’t cheap in Hong Kong, but they are fast and convenient. If you plan to cross Victoria Harbour in a taxi, you’ll have to hail one designated as a cross-harbor taxi and you’ll have to pay the tunnel fee in addition to the regular fare.
Need a ride to or from the airport? Book your Hong Kong ground transportation now for less hassle later.
- Lydia Schrandt