Compare Transportation Options from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou To Find What Suits You Best.
You’ve booked your flight to Hong Kong. Check. Next item up, figuring out your travel from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou.
While it might seem like a simple next step, infrequent travelers to the region often find it a challenge to get from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou. Many are only vaguely aware of the available transportation options, and even less aware of what to expect during the journey itself. After reading this blog, however, you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to effectively select the right transportation for you, plan the journey to transfer from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou, and have one less thing to worry about on your trip to China!
There are five main modes of transportation from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou; train, private car, long-distance bus, airplane, and ferry. Each option varies dramatically on the 4 key areas of concern you should consider regarding this journey:
- Time: How many hours do I have to spend to get from HK Airport to my Guangzhou destination?
- Convenience: How many transit switches and different modes of transport will I have to make?
- Comfort: How comfortable am I sharing a full vehicle, and walking with all my luggage for varying distances at different points in the journey?
- Cost: What is my budget for this journey? Am I willing to spend more for a reduced time, increased convenience, and comfort?
According to these main criteria, let’s first briefly compare and review each transport mode, then we’ll take a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of each ground transportation.
*Note: Getting from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou requires crossing an international border into mainland China. There are immigration checkpoints and customs clearance at both the Hong Kong and Guangzhou side of the border, both through which all travelers must pass.
Prepare your passport and travel documents, keep in mind your country’s visa requirements to enter China Mainland. Note that these two border crossings can often add significant time to your journey. You may also be eligible to travel to China without a visa for a few days, or get a visa on arrival.
If time is a high priority for you, there are expeditious private cars from Hong Kong to Guangzhou that allow you to remain in the vehicle and quickly pass through the borders.
For quick reference, this table provides a quick summary of the transportation options, and how each ranks on the import travel criteria.
Traveling From Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou Final Destination
(+AE+MTR+Shuttle Bus and/or taxi)
|Time||5.5 – 5.75 hrs||3.5 – 4 hrs|
|4 – 5.5 hrs||4 – 4.5 hrs||3 – 4 hrs|
(Most Transit Switches)
|Highest||Low||Moderate To High||Moderate|
|Comfort||Low To Moderate||Highest||Lowest||High||Moderate|
|Preferably Yes||No||Definitely Yes||Preferably Yes||Preferably Yes|
Table of Content:
Hong Kong to Guangzhou Transportation Options in Detail:
- Time: 4.5-5.75 hours
- Convenience: Lowest
- Comfort: Low To Moderate
- Cost: Low
Travel Steps & Timeline: (see a detailed step by step route description further below).
Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou By Train
Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Walk to Airport Express Train / A21 Bus / Taxi area (10-20 min.)
Summary: There is no train that goes directly from the Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) to Guangzhou. The train departs from Hung Hom Railway Station and goes to Guangzhou East Train Station, with a duration of 2 hours.
The journey from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou by train involves making multiple transfers between the Airport Express MRT trains, shuttle buses, subways, and by foot. You’ll, of course, have to carry your luggage at every step of the journey, passing through the ticket check, baggage scans, security and immigration checkpoints on both ends where the queues can be unpredictably long. The journey from Hong Kong Airport to your hotel / final destination in Guangzhou can take up to 4.5 hours. Although it is a moderate-cost option (costs are given below), it can be an exhausting trip.
Recommendation: Due to the lower level of convenience, this route is not recommended for business travelers, visitors with heavy luggage, and families traveling with children. If you’re adventurous, light on luggage, enjoy trains, and have plenty of time to spend, then taking a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou is a very decent option. For those looking for a more quick and easy way to travel, a private car is the better choice.
Step-By-Step Route Description By Train:
► Step 1: Hong Kong Airport → Hung Hom Station
Hung Hom Station is Hong Kong’s only international train station. It serves as the terminus for trains going to Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. Hung Hom Station is located right in the heart of Kowloon, Hong Kong. There are 3 ways to get from Hong Kong Airport to Hung Hom Station: by Airport Express and a free Shuttle Bus (option 1), by A21 Bus Route (option 2), and by Taxi (option 3).
► Option 1:
- Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Take Airport Express Train (21 min.) → Arrive at Kowloon Station → Take free Shuttle Bus K1 (15-20min.) → Arrive at Hung Hom Station
The Airport Express train, operated by MTR, is usually the quickest way of travel from Hong Kong Airport to Kowloon. From the airport arrival hall walk about 50 meters towards the station platform, following the Airport Express signs. Trains are fast, comfortable and equipped with plenty of luggage storage space. Free Wi-Fi Internet access is available (provided by PCCW-HKT) on all trains and power charging sockets are available in cars 1 & 7 of each train.
From 05:50 to 00:00, every 10 minutes.
From 00:00 to 00:48, every 12 minutes.
From 00:48 to 05:50 – closed.
Duration From Hong Kong Airport to Kowloon Station: 21 minutes
► Airport Express Ticket Price (Airport – Kowloon Station):
- Single Journey/Same Day Return tickets: HK$105/Adult (US$14), HK$52.5/Child (US$7)
- Octopus Single Journey/Same Day Return Fares: HK$100/Adult (US$13), HK$50/Child (US$6.5)
- Round Trip Ticket (valid 30 days): HK$185/Adult (US$24) (no child concession)
From MTR Kowloon Station hop on K1 shuttle bus to get to MTR Hung Hom Station and get off at the third stop.
► K1 Bus Route Service hours: 06:15 – 23:00, every 15 minutes.
Passengers have to present any one of the following documents before boarding:
- A valid Airport Express ticket to / from Airport Station*
- Airline Ticket / Boarding Pass valid for the same day
- Airport Express Ticket Voucher
- High-Speed Rail ticket to/from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station valid for the same day
► Option 2:
- Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Take A21 Bus (75 mins) → Arrive at Hung Hom Station
From the Airport Terminal, go to the bus waiting area and get on the A21 bus. The journey distance between the airport and Hung Hom Station (Terminal Station) is about 40 km. The approximate journey time is 75 mins and varies depending on traffic conditions.
► A21 (A22) Bus Service Hours:
The buses run daily from 6:00 am to 12:10 am every 15-20 minutes.
The return route A22 runs through the same areas and roads. The buses run daily from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm every 15-20 minutes.
► A21 (A22) Bus Ticket Price: HK$33 (US$ 4.20)
There are several ways to pay for a ride:
– Purchase a single journey ticket at the Customer Service Centre (Airport Ground Transportation Centre).
– Pay by cash. You must pay the exact amount of HK$ for a ride because the bus driver will not have any change.
– Pay by Octopus Card. It can be purchased in the Arrival Hall. Octopus holders can enjoy a half-price fare on a return journey within the same day.
– Buy a Cityflyer pre-paid return ticket. It comprises a round trip between Hong Kong Airport and Kowloon using any one of the following Cityflyer routes (A21/A22). The ticket can be purchased at the Customer Service Centre (Airport Ground Transportation Centre) for HK$55 (US$ 7) and is valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
► Option 3:
- Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Take Taxi (40 min – 1 h) → Arrive at Hung Hom Station
► Taxi Fare: HK$ 270 (US$ 35)
A taxi takes about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.
► Step 2: Hung Hom Station → Guangzhou East Station
Once you reach Hung Hom Station, get an Intercity Through Train ticket from Hung Hom to Guangzhou East Station. If you’ve booked the ticket in advance, we advise you arrive at Hung Hom Station 45 minutes before the train departure time to print out your ticket, and have enough time to pass the immigration and security checkpoints with your luggage.
► Hong Kong to Guangzhou Train Service Hours:
Earliest Train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou: 07:25
Last Train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou: 20:00
Duration: 2 hours
Frequency: The train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou leaves almost every hour.
► Train Ticket Price:
VIP class seat: CNY 239 (US$ 36) for an adult, and CNY 119.5 (US$18) for a child of 5-9 years old.
Business Class seat: CNY 203 (US$30) for an adult, and CNY 101.5 (US$15) for a child of 5-9 years old.
1. A ticket for a child under 5 years is free of charge. The child should share the seat with the accompanying adult.
2. Children of 10 years old or above should purchase adult tickets.
► How To Buy Train Tickets:
► At Hung Hom Train Station:
At Hung Hom Railway Station, go to the Customer Service Center to purchase an Intercity Through Train ticket. All tickets are available 30 days prior to departure. Due to the high demand, we recommend you buy tickets a few days prior to the departure date.
You can also reserve a ticket via eInstant Bonus terminals located in some MTR stations in Hong Kong. However, you can only pay with an Octopus Card. Once you get a printed reservation or booking bill, you can exchange it for an Intercity Through Train ticket at the Customer Service Center at Hung Hom Station.
► How To Change Train Tickets:
If you wish to change your ticket to an earlier or later time, you can change it only once for free, note the destination and class cannot be changed. The changed tickets are non-refundable. You should change the ticket at least 30 minutes before the departure time.
► How To Refund Train Tickets:
Tickets can be refunded at the ticket purchase counters. The earlier you apply for a refund, the greater amount will be refunded. You can refund 50% of the ticket price if you issue the refund at least 2 hours prior to the departure time. Between 3 days to 14 days before the departure, ticket refund will be 70%. For refunds handled 15 days prior to the departure, 100% will be refunded.
► Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou: Immigration Checkpoints
There are two immigration checkpoints on the Hong Kong – Guangzhou route. At Hung Hom Railway Station, there is the Hong Kong immigration office and ticket checkpoints on the ground floor, where you need to clear customs. The process is quite efficient and takes an average 15-20 minutes.
Guangzhou East Railway Station, also known as Tianhe Station, has a China-side immigration checkpoint on the 4th floor. Once you arrive at the Guangzhou East Railway Station, you will need to pass through the immigration gate and security checkpoint with your luggage. The immigration clearance, depending on the queue, and can take about 20 to 35 minutes.
► Step 3: Guangzhou East Railway Station → Guangzhou Hotel / Final Destination:
Located close to the downtown area, Guangzhou East Railway Station is a large railway station that is linked to the Guangzhou Metro. Both Metro lines 1 and 3 serve the station. Follow the signs to go to Guangzhou East Metro Station or the public bus area, the walk takes about 20-30 minutes. Signs are available in English and Mandarin Chinese, however, it may be difficult to navigate the crowded station as most people do not speak English. A better alternative is to find the authorized taxi area, show the driver the written address in Chinese characters and get to your final destination or hotel in Guangzhou. Avoid using an illegal taxi at any costs and be aware of taxi scams in the Guangzhou area.
- Time: Quickest, 3.5 – 4 hr
- Convenience: Highest
- Comfort: Highest
- Cost: Get a quote
- Travel Steps & Timeline:
Travel Steps By Private Car
HK Airport Arrival Hall → Be greeted by waiting driver (1 min.) → Driver escorts you to the private parking area where you board the private vehicle (5 min.) → Travel in a private car to the border (30 – 40 min.) → Stay in car to pass through HK border (5 min.) and pass Guangzhou Immigration by foot (15 min.) → Continue on in the same car to your final Guangzhou destination (2hrs.).
Private car and limousine services, are by far the most expeditious and comfortable way to travel from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou, 24 hours a day. Our company offers English speaking drivers and meet & greet services at the arrivals hall upon request.
Upon entering the Arrival Hall, a professional driver greets you and escorts you to the vehicle, carrying your luggage. The journey to Guangzhou is door-to-door, meaning the same car will take you from the Hong Kong Airport directly to your Guangzhou hotel. You’ll stay in the same car throughout the entire journey, making this the most convenient mode of transport.
Remark: At the HK border travelers can pass through immigration from within the car, however, at the Guangzhou border all travelers are required by China law to go through immigration on foot.
Private limousine service vehicle options include both business MPVs that seat up to 6 passengers, as well as Mercedes S-Class executive sedans that seat up to 3 passengers. Because the service is fixed to your arrival schedule, there is no waiting period – as soon as you arrive at the HK Airport your driver is waiting for you to depart for Guangzhou. Services are offered 24 hours a day enabling you to go directly to your hotel in Guangzhou from Hong Kong Airport regardless of your arrival time.
Recommendation: Private car service is the only transportation option that requires you to do nothing more than relax from Hong Kong Airport to your Guangzhou final destination. If you’ve just had a long international flight and have a busy work schedule ahead, this is definitely the right solution for you.
A private cross-border transfer is the safest, quickest way to travel from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou. China Car Service is a trusted transportation service helping business travelers for almost two decades. We provide door-to-door service at competitive prices.
Make your journey stress-free and contact our 24/7 team at Bookings@ChinaCarService.com with questions, or get a quote below. Use this promo code: 10CARBLOG to get a $10 discount on your 1st service.
- Time: Slowest, 4 – 5.5 hrs (depending on the border crossing)
- Convenience: Low
- Comfort: Lowest
- Cost: Lowest
- Travel Steps & Timeline:
Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou By Coach Bus
Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Walk to Airport Bus Terminal → Queue / Purchase Tickets (15-20 min.)
From Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou downtown, coach services are available in the Arrivals Hall regularly from 7:10 to 22:30.
► Earliest Departure: 7:10 AM
► Last Departure: 22:30 PM
► Frequency: Every 30 mins to different Guangzhou destinations
► Ticket Price: HK$ 180 (US$23) – HK$ 320 (US$41), depending on time & service provider.
Note: Passengers are required to present valid travel documents to Mainland China before boarding the coaches.
Summary: Unlike trains, coach buses are available at the Hong Kong Airport Terminals within walking distance. Currently, there are many coaches of different bus companies shuttling between Hong Kong Airport and Guangzhou. Another advantage of taking coaches is that you can choose one of the 3 available destination points in Guangzhou.
Delays can arise when passing the HK – China border. Passengers must wait & queue for the initial coach departure in Hong Kong, pass the Hong Kong border and walk to the China border for immigration checks, and finally re-board a new coach on the China side. Once you arrive at one of the Guangzhou Bus Stations, head to the taxi stand area or take the metro in Guangzhou to get to your hotel. The journey time from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou Downtown by coach bus takes 3.5 – 4.5 hours.
Recommendation: Taking coaches is another option for passengers who have plenty of time but limited budget. The journey by Hong Kong – Guangzhou coach also has fewer interchanges and, thus, is more convenient than trains. The X factor here is again the number of people crossing the HK-China border, which can prolong your trip significantly, not to mention the pain of dealing with your luggage hopping from one bus to another. If a tight budget outweighs your need for quicker travel time, then don’t hesitate to take a coach from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou.
- Time: 4-4.5 hrs
- Convenience: Moderate To High
- Comfort: High
- Cost: Highest
- Travel Steps & Timeline:
Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou By Airplane
Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Check-in your baggage & pass through immigration (2 hours)
Flights From Hong Kong To Guangzhou
|Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon||Hong Kong to Guangzhou|
HKG – CAN
|Guangzhou to Hong Kong|
CAN – HKG
|Duration||1h – 1h 05 min||1h 05 min – 1h 15 min|
|Price One Way|
Price Round Trip
HK$2,505 (or US$ 320)
HK$2,976 (or US$ 380)
|Schedule||7:55 AM – 8:55 AM|
8:00 PM – 9:05 PM
|10:10 AM – 11:25 AM|
10:20 PM – 11:25 PM
Summary: The quickest option to travel between Hong Kong and Guangzhou is via a flight. For travelers looking for a high level of comfort and the quickest times. The daily flights to/from Hong Kong (HKG) and Guangzhou (CAN) are available daily at convenient times. You can arrive at Guangzhou in the morning before 9 AM and go back to Hong Kong at night after a long productive day in Guangzhou.
However, getting to / from Guangzhou Airport can add to your journey time. You can use taxis or metro lines to get to Guangzhou Downtown. If you use a taxi, prepare your Guangzhou destination address written in Chinese characters and show it to the driver. Beware of any taxi scams that are popular in the Guangzhou area.
Recommendation: Getting from Hong Kong to Guangzhou by plane is quite expensive, but it’s the fastest and safest transfer option for the HK-Guangzhou route. During the short 1-hour flight, you can rest and catch up on emails. We advise you to arrive at the airport 2 hours before the flight for customs clearance and luggage check-in. The disadvantages include flight delays and the additional time and effort required to get from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) to your hotel in Guangzhou. If you hire a private airport transfer to Hong Airport and/or a private pickup from the Guangzhou Airport, you can save a significant amount of time on your trip.
5. Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou By Ferry
- Time: 3-4 hrs
- Convenience: Moderate
- Comfort: Moderate
- Cost: Low
- Travel Steps & Timeline:
Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou By Ferry
Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Walk to Hong Kong Int’l Airport SkyPier Ferry Terminal & Purchase Tickets (20-30 min.)
► Departure Time from HKIA SkyPier: 10:30
► Arrival Time to Nansha Port: 11:40
► Duration: 70 minutes.
► Ticket Price: Hong Kong International Airport To Nansha
Summary: A Ferry option is available from the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Ferry Terminal that operates in New Nansha Harbor in Guangzhou. The SkyPier at Hong Kong International Airport provides speedy ferry services for transit passengers to the Nansha Port of Guangzhou. There are only 1-2 ferry services provided throughout the day.
Recommendation: The Ferry Terminal is conveniently located at the Hong Kong Airport and can ease your journey from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. The ferry voyage only takes 70 minutes. However, due to the limited ferry service hours, this option is not always convenient and flexible for most passengers. The other disadvantage here is that the Guangzhou Nansha Port is located far from Guangzhou city center. It might take another 1-1.5 hours to get from the Guangzhou Port to your final destination.
Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou Summary
With the various options available, there’s no single “best way” to get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong Airport. However, depending on the priority of your requirements there are some clear winners:
- If your number #1 concern is price and you aren’t concerned with time or the inconvenience of changing vehicles, you should take a Hong Kong – Guangzhou Through Train or a Cross-Border Coach.
- If your number #1 concern is a relative convenience and low price, you should travel by Ferry.
- If your number #1 concern is time, convenience and comfort, consider taking a flight from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
- If your number #1 concern is safety, time, comfort, and style then you should consider hiring a private cross-border car transfer.