Hong Kong Airport to City: Why I use the A21 & A11 Bus and not Airport Express

The most popular way to get from Hong Kong Airport to the city, as in Kowloon or Central, is via the Airport Express Train on the MTR network but I going to explain why I prefer the A21 Cityflyer bus, especially when heading to Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Tsa Shui and also Hong Kong Island.

Why would I take the bus and not the fast express train? Because the bus is super comfortable, cheaper, more convenient, more scenic, and timewise very similar.

The Cityflyer uses modern double-decker buses that have amazingly comfortable seats, a view along the way, a/c, luggage racks, free Wi-Fi, and a large screen displaying upcoming stops. Best of all, everything happens at ground level. While I love the HK MTR, I’m not a fan of all the stairs and escalators to actually get to the trains.

First, let’s start with a cost comparison

Airport Express to Kowloon 

  • Single Journey (based on Scenario A below): HKD $65 (with Octopus Card and HKD $70 without)
  • Return Journey ticket: HKD $130 (with Octopus Card and HKD $140 without)

A21 Cityflyer Bus to Kowloon

  • Single Journey: HKD $33
  • Return Journey ticket: HKD $55

The savings on a return journey are massive, saving HKD $75. That’s a really decent meal at any good Dim Sum restaurant or almost three breakfast combos at a Cha Chaan Teng.

Now let’s consider convenience

Airport Express to Kowloon (inc. Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, or Tsim Sha Tsui)

  • Scenario A, take the Airport Express from HK Airport to Tsing Yi station and transfer to Tung Chung line and head to Lai King station and transfer to Tsuen Wan Line to Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Jordan, or Tsim Sha Tsui stations depending on which is closest to your hotel. Cost is HKD $65 one way. Time: 50 mins+
  • Alternatively, take the Airport Express to Hong Kong Station, walk 10 mins to Central station and then take the Tsuen Wan line to Tsim Sha Tsui or other stations in Kowloon. Note, the fare is full price Airport Express ticket at HKD $110 (with Octopus and HKD $115 without) plus the fare from Central to your destination which will be HKD $10+. Time: 40 mins
  • Alternatively, take the Airport Express to Kowloon Station, and take one of the free transfer buses to various destinations. Note: the fare, in this case, is HKD $100 with Octopus and 105 without. Time: around 40 mins in total.

A21 Cityflyer Bus to Kowloon  (inc. Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, or Tsim Sha Tsui)

  • Take the A21 bus from the Ground Transport Centre at Hong Kong Airport without any transfers and there are actually 15 stops you can choose from in Kowloon. Cost is HKD $33 one way and $55 return. Time: 50 mins without traffic.

Not only is the bus direct, but it is also likely to have a stop nearer to your hotel. Even when there is traffic it is usually only when the bus gets to Kowloon and may only add another ten minutes.

How about Airport to Sheung Wan, Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay?

The A11 Cityflyer bus services Airport to Sheung Wan, Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and North Point, and in most cases, I would still prefer to take the A11 bus unless I am going to Central.

For destinations other than central you will need to transfer to the MTR or one of the free shuttle buses. The Airport Express free shuttle buses depart every 15-20 minutes from Hong Kong station, and go through the same traffic the A11 bus will be going through. Timewise, there is not much difference. The upside with the A11 bus is that there is no need to transfer and it’s cheaper.

How to buy Cityflyer bus tickets?

You can buy single journey tickets and the discounted return ticket at the Airport Ground Transportation Center (6:00am – 11:50pm daily) which is adjacent to the bus stop. Alternatively, you can pay for single journey on the bus via Octopus or by Hong Kong Dollar noting that no change is given on the bus so take the exact amount.

Cityflyer bus routes to/from Hong Kong Airport

There are several Cityflyer bus routes operating day and night. Click the bus name for a route and bus stop map on the Cityflyer website.

Route No. To/From Airport or HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Service Area
A10 Ap Lei Chau Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Kowloon Station, Shek Tong Tsui, Kennedy Town/ West Point, Mount Davis (Victoria Road), Mount Davis (Mount Davis Road), Pok Fu Lam Road (Pok Fu Lam Village to Mount Davis Road), Chi Fu, Wah Fu/ Wah Kwai, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, Lei Tung, Ap Lei Chau Estate, South Horizons
A11 North Point Ferry Piers Airport Passenger Terminal, HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Kowloon Station, Sheung Wan, Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace & Tin Hau), Fortress Hill, North Point
A12 Siu Sai Wan (Island Resort) Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Kowloon Station, Shek Tong Tsui, Wan Chai North, North Point, Quarry Bay, Cityplaza/ Kornhill, Sai Wan Ho, Shau Kei Wan, Chai Wan, Siu Sai Wan
A17 Sham Wan Kowloon Station, Admiralty, Queen’s Road East, Happy Valley, Wong Nai Chung Gap, Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Sham Wan
A20 Hung Hom Station Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Mei Fo, Cheung Sha Wan, Sham Shui Po, Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Tai Kok Tsui, Ho Man Tin, Hung Hom Station
A21 Hung Hom Station Airport Passenger Terminal, HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Hoi Lai Estate / AquaMarine, Sham Shui Po (Nam Cheong / Fu Cheong), Tai Kok Tsui, Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui / Hung Hom Station
A22 Lam Tin Station Airport Passenger Terminal, HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Jordan, Hung Hom, To Kwa Wan, Ma Tau Wai, Kowloon City, San Po Kong, Rhythm Garden / Choi Hung, Ngau Chi Wan / Ping Shek, Kai Yip, Ngau Tau Kok / Kolwoon Bay, Kwun Tong Town Centre, Tsui Ping (South), Lam Tin (Sceneway Garden / Kai Tin)
A23 Tsz Wan Shan(N) Jordan, Hung Hom, Whampoa, To Kwa Wan, Ma Tau Wai, Kai Tak, San Po Kong, Tsz Wan Shan
A26 Yau Tong Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Wong Tai Sin, Ngau Chi Wan / Choi Wan / Shun Lee, On Tai / Oi Tat, Po Tat, Sau Mau Ping, Hing Tin / Tak Tin / Kwong Tin, Ko Chiu Road, Yau Tong
A29 Tseung Kwan O (Po Lam) Airport Passenger Terminal, HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Tai Wo Ping / Chak On, Lok Fu / Wang Tau Hom, Wong Tai Sin, Diamond Hill, Ngau Chi Wan / Choi Hung / Ping Shek, Ngau Tau Kok / Kowloon Bay, Kwun Tong Town Centre, Tsui Ping (South), Hang Hau, King Lam, Po Lam / Metro City
A29P Tseung Kwan O Station Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Wong Tai Sin, Diamond Hill, Choi Wan, Shun Lee, Sau Mau Ping, Po Tat, Hong Sing Garden, Tsui Lam, Sheung Tak, Tiu Keng Leng, Tseung Kwan O
NA10* Ap Lei Chau Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Kowloon Station, Shek Tong Tsui, Kennedy Town/ West Point, Mount Davis (Victoria Road), Mount Davis (Mount Davis Road), Pok Fu Lam Road (Pok Fu Lam Village to Mount Davis Road), Chi Fu, Wah Fu/ Wah Kwai, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, Lei Tung, Ap Lei Chau Estate, South Horizons
NA11 North Point Ferry Piers HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Kowloon Station, Sheung Wan, Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace & Tin Hau), Fortress Hill, North Point
NA12 Siu Sai Wan (Island Resort) HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port (To the Port/ Airport bound only), Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Kowloon Station, Shek Tong Tsui, Wan Chai North, North Point, Quarry Bay, Cityplaza/ Kornhill, Sai Wan Ho, Shau Kei Wan, Chai Wan, Siu Sai Wan
NA20 Whampoa Garden HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Mei Fo, Cheung Sha Wan, Sham Shui Po, Prince Edward, Mong Kok, Yau Ma Tei, Jordan, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hung Hom, Whampoa Garden
NA21 Tai Kok Tsui HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port (To Urban single bound only), Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Mong Kok, Tai Kok Tsui
NA29 Tseung Kwan O (Po Lam) HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge HK Port, Airport Passenger Terminal, Lantau Link Toll Plaza, Tai Wo Ping / Chak On, Lok Fu / Wang Tau Hom, Wong Tai Sin, Diamond Hill, Ngau Chi Wan / Choi Hung / Ping Shek, Ngau Tau Kok / Kowloon Bay, Kwun Tong Town Centre, Tsui Ping (South), Hang Hau, King Lam, Po Lam / Metro City

 

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