The land of museums, cheap hostels and heritage hotels, high-end shopping centres and the recently renovated Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui is a destination you simply can’t avoid when visiting Hong Kong.

Here are the best ways to travel from Hong Kong International Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui without breaking the bank.

Getting around: Octopus

First things first: an Octopus card is essential to navigating Hong Kong with ease.

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You can get an Octopus at any 7-11, Circle-K or VanGO convenience store in the Airport, as well as from the Airport Express service counter.

There are two different kinds. The first is a ‘Sold Tourist Octopus’, a special card for visitors which costs HK$39.00, requires no deposit, and comes with no initial stored value, meaning you need to top it up right away. These are meant to be kept as souvenirs and do not need to be returned.

The second is the ‘On-Loan Octopus’, which costs HK$150.00, comprising a HK$50.00 refundable deposit and HK$100.00 initial stored value. The card must be returned at the end of your trip, and you will get both the deposit and any remaining value back.

Once you get your card, we recommend adding around HK$500.00 to start. When the time comes to top-up, you can add money at all MTR service counters and Octopus Add-Value machines at MTR stations; convenience stores and supermarkets; and even places like McDonalds and Starbucks.

Fastest: Airport Express + shuttle bus

Airport Station -> Kowloon Station -> free shuttle bus
~45 mins

The most direct route is to take the Airport Express (teal line) to Kowloon Station (22 minutes, HK$105.00 regular price one way). Although it says that Kowloon Station is situated in the Tsim Sha Tsui area on the MTR website, it’s technically located closer to Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in the West Kowloon area.

The Airport Express provides free shuttle bus service from Kowloon Station to major hotels around Kowloon including Tsim Sha Tsui. Check the closest hotel stop from your destination on the MTR website or through the app.

Cheapo Tip: Book your Airport Express tickets through Klook for a significant discount. The travel platform offers discounts like HK$80.00 for a single journey ticket to Kowloon Station and HK$135.00 for a return ticket between Kowloon Station and Airport Station. Just download the QR code after purchase and swipe at the gate to enter and leave the station.

Tip to save your back: If you don’t relish carrying your bags all that way, Luggagent can transfer your luggage from the airport to your accommodation, and vice versa.

Alternative route: Airport Express + MTR

Airport Station > Hong Kong Station > Tsim Sha Tsui Station
~45 mins

The Airport Express shuttle bus service covers many the popular areas around Tsim Sha Tsui. But, if it’s not going to the location you desire, you can take the Airport Express (teal line) all the way to Hong Kong Station (24 minutes), then catch the MTR.

Exit Hong Kong Station and walk towards Central Station (10 minutes). Hong Kong Station and Central Station are located within one bigger station well connected by air-conditioned tunnels and escalators. You’ll follow the sign to Tsuen Wan Line (red line) and take the train to Tsim Sha Tsui Station (towards Tsuen Wan). Tsim Sha Tsui Station is only two stops from Central Station.

A discounted single-journey ticket to Hong Kong Station on Klook is HK$86.00 and a return ticket between Hong Kong Station and Airport Station is HK$148.00. The ticket from Central Station to Tsim Sha Tsui Station is HK$11.00, but it’s only HK$10.00 if you purchase an Octopus travel card.

Easiest: Airport Bus

Hong Kong airport to tsim sha tsui by bus
A21 bus on Nathan Road | Photo by

Airport > Tsim Sha Tsui
70-90 mins

There are a number of bus routes that ferry passengers from the airport to the city. The more frequent A21 bus will take you along Nathan Road in Kowloon. The route stops at major roads like Kimberley Road, Cameron Road, Salisbury Road, Mody Road and Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. On the other hand, A20 runs a similar route but will detour via Cheung Sha Wan area near Sham Shui Po.

Use the NWST Bus website or app to see all the stops and check the timetable.

Cheapest: Airport Bus + MTR

Airport > Tung Chung > Tsim Sha Tsui
~80 mins

You can take one of the S buses that runs between the airport and Tung Chung Station—the nearest MTR station to the airport (excluding the stations on the Airport Express Line).

S1 is the most frequent airport bus (HK$3.50). The bus drops you off at Tung Chung Station. Then, you can take the Tung Chung Line (orange line) towards Hong Kong. Switch to Tsuen Wan Line (red line) towards Central at Lai King Station. The line will take you to Tsim Sha Tsui Station.

The fare of the journey is HK$20.00 but is slightly cheaper (HK$17.40) if you use an Octopus Card.

Cheapo Tip: All MTR stations have signboards to help you find the right exit. Alternatively, use the CityMapper app to determine the most convenient exit.

Trying to get from the airport to somewhere else in Hong Kong? Check one of our guides below.