One of our more popular posts is an affordable way between the airport and the city. Central and TST are the two most popular destinations so I’ll focus on those. Of course taxi and Airport Express are popular, but they’re also not very budget friendly. Here’s the most inexpensive way, a bus and MTR combination.
Directions from airport to city. Reverse them if traveling from city to airport.
Step 1: Airport Bus S1 or S56
S bus routes are shuttle routes to/from the airport. the S1 and S56 route runs between HKIA Terminal 1 and Tung Chung station where you can catch the MTR train into the city. Most likely you will take the S1, it comes much more frequently (every couple of minutes) vs the S56.
Timeable: 5:30 am – midnight.
To find the stop, as you’re walking out of customs/baggage claim walk towards your right. At the right corner of the building you can walk out to the overpass towards Car Park 1. Take the lift down to the ground level. It’s right outside of the lifts on your left.
If coming from city, you’ll get off at Tung Chung station, towards exit B. Look for the S1 bus stop and passengers with luggage, it should be the first one you encounter.
Once you arrive in Tung Chung, head towards the MTR train station. It’s end of the line so you’ll always find a seat heading into the city.
Step 2: MTR Train
The Tung Chung line runs parallel with the Airport Express, with only a few extra stations in between. Travel time is approximately 30 mins between Tung Chung and Hong Kong Station.
In fact, there’s plenty more MTR stations than Airport Express stations, so if you aren’t planning on going to/from Hong Kong Station or Kowloon Station, it might be more convenient and cheaper using the method outlined in this post rather than taking the Airport Express.
Fare in either direction: (using Octopus card)
- Hong Kong Station – Tung Chung: $22.4
- Kowloon Station – Tung Chung: $16.9
Fare calculator for all stations available.
Total fare: Bus & MTR
Total fare for bus and MTR is $25.9 HKD to Hong Kong Station and $20.4 to Kowloon.
This is certainly cheaper than the Airport Express which is $100-110. It’s also cheaper than most of the airport buses. The only buses which are cheaper than this method are the E buses which go to Asia World Expo and stop by the airport.
If you don’t have a ton of luggage the bus & MTR method is certainly cheap and easy to follow. Just note the MTR can get crowded especially during rush hour and if you need to transfer with luggage, it can be annoying. In those cases, it might be easier to simply take an airport bus so you don’t need to move your luggage around.