So you’re flying into Hong Kong International Airport and want to know how to make the most of it— you’re in the right place. From local and international cuisine options to the wide range of services available, there’s a lot to take in at Hong Kong’s one and only airport.
Hong Kong International Airport: the basicsAirport code: HKG
Chek Lap Kok Island, New Territories, Hong Kong
35 km from Central, Hong Kong Island (appoximately 25 mins via MTR)
Hong Kong International Airport is Hong Kong’s one and only airport. It opened in 1998, following the destruction of the old Kai Tak Airport (more on that later), and has since grown into one of the busiest airports in the world for both cargo and passengers. It is open 24 hours a day.
For the fauna enthusiasts out there: this area was actually home to Romer’s tree frog, a tiny finger-sized frog found only in Hong Kong, since relocated to Lantau.
Tips for arriving
Arrival procedures for Hong Kong International Airport are pretty standard. There are separate channels for visitors/foreigners and Hong Kong Identification Card holders (HKID). If you hold an HKID, you might consider getting the Contactless e-Channel app to streamline immigration clearance.
Additionally, the airport provides a Frequent Visitor e-Channel. The enrolment office for this is located at the Arrivals Hall, where your application must be directly submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Results are delivered instantly.
Notably, there are special reciprocal arrangements for certain nationalities, including South Korea, Germany, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand. For specific information pertaining to this, make sure to check out this page.
A great option if you find yourself making multiple trips to the territory in a short span of time!
As of September 2023, only Terminal 1 is operational. This eliminates any confusion about where your flight will be departing from: it’s Terminal 1 no matter the airline.
Like other airports, you’ll find a whole host of facilities:
- Toilets (including accessible toilets)
- Drinking fountains (including hot water)
- Nursing rooms
- Restaurants and cafés (including vegetarian and halal options)
- Prayer rooms, quiet rooms, and kids’ play areas
- Smoking areas
- Free Wi-Fi and charging outlets
- ATMs and currency exchange counters
- Baggage storage and delivery
- Phone/Pocket Wi-Fi rental and SIM card vendors
- Postal services
Highlight: In-town check in
If you’re taking the Airport Express and flying Cathay Pacific, you can take advantage of the in-town check-in option. What does it entail? Check in and get your boarding pass as early as 24 hours in advance and up to 90 minutes before your scheduled flight departure time.
As of September 2023, this service is only offered at Hong Kong Station between 6 AM and 3 PM. This may change as Hong Kong receives more visitors, so check the MTR page for the most up-to-date information.
Terminal 2 has been closed for renovation and expansion since 2019. This means that all flights now fly in and out of Terminal 1.All flights. Primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Greater Bay Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, and HK Express.
- For an expansive range of shopping and dining options, you’ll need to clear security. However, for last minute edible souvenirs, Kee Wah Bakery comes through with its top-notch Chinese pastries, including walnut cookies, mooncakes (a special Mid-Autumn Festival treat), and egg rolls.
- If you were too busy enjoying rides and meeting mascots to remember to pick up souvenirs at Hong Kong Disneyland, you’re in luck. The Magic of Hong Kong Disneyland stocks Hong Kong-exclusive Disneyland goods for you and yours.
- If you’re in need of travel items and lack the desire to interact with human beings, head to Travelwell. This is Hong Kong airport’s one and only autonomous store.
- Didn’t have time to cop any Hong Kong-themed souvenirs? Once again, the airport comes through. Goods of Desire, also known as G.O.D., is famed for its kitschy and colourful lifestyle products. Think dim sum-patterned socks and Chinese opera eye masks. Oh, and there’s also tea by local purveyor Mingcha, renowned for its ultra fragrant jasmine tea curled into spheres.
As mentioned, Terminal 2 has been closed since 2019. It used to serve the following airlines:HK Express, Shenzhen Airlines, Air Astana, AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Jetstar Pacific, Malindo Air, Myanmar National Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Philippines AirAsia, Scoot, Thai AirAsia, Thai Airways, VietJet Air.
All these airlines have since relocated to Terminal 1.
A major expansion is in the works, with Terminal 2 slated to reopen in 2025.
Getting to/from the airport
Getting to the airport
There are numerous ways to get to the airport depending on your location. Arguably the most straightforward is taking the Airport Express. Trains depart every 10 minutes or so from Hong Kong, Kowloon, Tsing Yi, and AsiaWorld Expo MTR stations. While the Airport Express is comfy and uncomplicated, it can get expensive, so make sure to use Klook to get yourself discounted tickets.
Alternatively, you might opt for a bus. Buses with the prefix “A” are operated by the airport, while there are various other routes operated by bus companies. There are also overnight express options. These are all detailed here.
Finally, if you don’t want to deal with public transport at all, there are always taxis. This may not be the most Cheapo-friendly option, however, with fares from popular areas such as Central and Causeway Bay costing up to HK$350.00.
Getting from the airport to destinations in Hong Kong
Consult our master guide, or view our mini guides offering directions to specific neighbourhoods:
Things to do
Aside from shopping and dining, there are a few other activities to partake in at the airport.
- Stroll and get some fresh air in the SkyGarden, an open-air terrace area
- Keep little ones entertained at Wonder Eggshell, a play space with climbing nets, slides, and digital games
- Take it easy (or not) at one of the airport’s numerous lounges
If you’ve seen old Hong Kong photos featuring planes flying dangerously close to rickety high-rises, then you already know about the city’s aviation history.
From 1925 to 1998, the only airport in Hong Kong was the infamous Kai Tak Airport, located near the erstwhile Kowloon Walled City. The descent to this airport was incredibly precarious, with pilots forced to swoop very close to densely populated areas. Pilots were instructed to look out for Checkerboard Hill, a slope with red and white checks painted on it, then take a sharp turn to land on the runway.
Today, there is Kai Tak MTR station, and a multi-purpose sports park where the airport once stood is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024. Also, Checkerboard Hill makes for a short yet quirky hike.
Where exactly is the airport?
Hong Kong International Airport is located on Chek Lap Kok Island, north of Lantau Island.
Is this the only airport in Hong Kong?
What’s the best way to get to Hong Kong International Airport?
For the most relaxed ride made Cheapo-friendly by Klook, the Airport Express is best.
For larger groups, we recommend booking a hassle-free private transfer through Klook.