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 you might imagine it to be a simple next step, infrequent travelers to the region will 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. And each varies dramatically on the 4 key areas of concern below you should ask yourself regarding this journey;
- Time: How many hours do I have to spend to get from HK Airport to your Guangzhou destination?
- Convenience: How many transit switches and different modes of transport during this trip am I willing to deal with?
- Comfort: How comfortable am I sharing a full vehicle, and walking with all my luggage for some distances at various points in the journey?
- Cost: What is my budget for this journey? Am I willing to spend more for a reduced time, and increased convenience and comfort?
According to these main criteria, let’s first briefly compare and review each transport mode, then after 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 side of the border and the Guangzhou side of the border, both through which all travelers must pass.
In addition to having your passport ready and in bearing in mind your country’s visa requirements to enter China Mainland, please note that these two border crossings can often add significant additional time to the journey. The visa requirements to China significantly vary from Hong Kong visa requirements.
If time is a high priority for you, there are expedient private cars from Hong Kong to Guangzhou that allow you to stay in a vehicle and quickly pass through the borders.
For quick reference firstly, 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|
|Safety||High||Highest||Low To Moderate||Low To High||Low to Moderate|
|Preferably Yes||No||Definitely Yes||Preferably Yes||Preferably Yes|
Hong Kong to Guangzhou Transportation Options in Detail
- Time: 4.5-5.75 hours
- Convenience: Lowest
- Comfort: Low To Moderate
- Cost: Low
- Safety: High
Travel Steps & Timeline: (see a detailed step by step route description further below).
- Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Walk to Airport Express Train / A21 Bus / Taxi area (10-20 min.) → Travel to Hung Hom Station (40-75 min.) → Buy Through Train Tickets to Guangzhou (15-25min.) → Wait for the next departure (25min – 2hours) → Pass the Immigration (15-20 min.) → Travel by Through Train to Guangzhou (2hours) → Arrive at Guangzhou East Train Station → Pass the Immigration (20-35 min.) → Queue For Taxi (10-15 min.) → Reach Final Destination in Guangzhou (20-35 min.)
Summary: There is no train that goes directly from Hong Kong Int’l 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 trains involves a lot of steps and the travelers are forced to make multiple transfers between Aiport Express MRT trains, shuttle buses, subways, and by foot, adding stress and time to their commute. You have to carry your luggage at every step of the journey, including passing through the ticket check, baggage scan, 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 turn into an exhausting trip.
Recommendation: For business travelers without the patience for changing routes, getting to the train station by various public transport modes can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. Due to the lowest level of convenience, it is not recommended for business travelers, visitors with heavy luggage, and families with kids. If you’re adventurous, light on luggage, enjoy trains, and have extra time to spend, then taking a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou is a decent option at a relatively moderate cost. For those who want quick and easy way to travel, and willing to pay a bit more, a private car is a better choice.
Step-By-Step Route Description:
► 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 to Guangzhou, trains to Beijing and trains to 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
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) is available 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 (US$7), Child
- 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 or 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 area and get on 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 according to the traffic conditions.
► A21 (A22) Bus Service Hours:
The buses run daily from 6:00 am to 12:10 am with a frequency 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 with a frequency every 15-20 minutes.
► A21 (A22) Bus Ticket Price: HK$33 (US$ 4.20)
There are several ways to pay for a ride:
– Buy a single journey ticket. It can be purchased 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 give you a 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) on the price of 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 booked the ticket in advance, we advise you to arrive at Hung Hom Station 45 minutes before train departure time to print out your ticket, pass the immigration and security checkpoints with your luggage.
► Hong Kong to Guangzhou Train Service Hours:
The Earliest Train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou: 07:25
The Last Train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou: 20:00
Duration: 2 hours
Frequency: The train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou go almost every hour.
► Train Ticket Price:
VIP class seat: CNY 239 for an adult, and CNY 119.5 for a child of 5-9 years old.
Business Class seat: CNY 203 for an adult, and CNY 101.5 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 to buy tickets 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 a booking bill, you can exchange it to an Intercity Through Train ticket at the Customer Service Center at Hung Hom Station.
► How To Change Train Tickets:
If you want to change your ticket to earlier or later time, you can change it only once for free, 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 counters where they are purchased. The earlier you apply for a refund, the bigger 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 Hong Kong – Guangzhou route. At Hung Hom Railway Station, there is Hong Kong immigration office and ticket checkpoints on the ground floor, where you need to clear customs. The process is quite efficient and takes 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 Guangzhou East Railway Station, you will need to pass through the immigration gate and security checkpoint with your luggage. The immigration clearance can be quick or slow, 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 Guangzhou Metro. Both Metro line 1 and 3 serve the station. Follow the signs to go to the Guangzhou East Metro Station or the public bus area. The walk takes about 20-30 minutes. The signs are available in English and Mandarin Chinese, however, it may be difficult to navigate at the crowded station where 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 Guangzhou area.
- Time: Quickest, 3.5 – 4 hr
- Convenience: Highest
- Comfort: Highest
- Safety: Highest
- Cost: Get a quote
Travel Steps & Timeline: Enter into HK Airport Arrival Hall where you are greeted by waiting driver (2 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.).
Summary: Private car and limousine, whilst at a higher cost, is by far the most expedient 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 Hong Kong Airport to your Guangzhou hotel, while you stay in the car throughout the entire journey, making this the most convenient and expedient mode of transport from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou.
Remark: At the HK border travelers can pass through immigration from within car, while at the Guangzhou border travelers are required by China law to go through immigration by foot, not from within the car.
Private limousine service vehicle options usually 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 HK Airport you 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 quite expensive, but it is the only transportation option that requires you to do nothing except relax from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou final destination. If you’ve just had a long international flight and have a busy work schedule ahead it is probably the right solution for you. If you require a more luxurious, convenient and safest travel experience, it is the only Guangzhou transportation 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 $10 discount on your 1st service.
- Time: Slowest, 4 – 5.5 hrs (depending on the border crossing)
- Convenience: Low
- Comfort: Lowest
- Safety: Low To Moderate
- Cost: Lowest
Travel Steps & Timeline: Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Walk to Airport Bus Terminal → Queue / Purchase Tickets (15-20 min.) → Travel by Bus to Shenzhen Bay or Huanggang Immigration Control Point (40 mins – 1 hour) → Get off the bus with your luggage & Go through HK & China immigration and customs check (30 min – 1 h) → Get on a different Bus on China side (10 min.) → Travel by Bus to Guangzhou Bus Station (2h – 2h 30 min.) (different buses go to 3 different stations) → Queue For Taxi (10-15 min.) → Take a Taxi to Guangzhou Final Destination (20-30 min.).
From Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou downtown, coach services are available in the Arrivals Hall regularly from 7:10 to 22:30.
► Earliest Departure: 7:10 AM
► Last Departure: 22:30 PM
► Frequency: Every 30 mins to different Guangzhou destinations
► Ticket Price: HK$ 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 the 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 at two immigration checkpoints. The passengers will also have to wait & queue for initial coach departure in Hong Kong, pass the Hong Kong border and walk to the China border to further immigration check, re-board the different coach on China side. Once you arrive at one of Guangzhou Bus Stations, go to the taxi stand area or take 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 enough time but limited budget. The journey by Hong Kong – Guangzhou coach also 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 hoping from one bus to another. If on a tight budget that outweighs your need for quick travel time, then taking a coach from Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou is a decent option.
- Time: 4-4.5 hrs
- Convenience: Moderate To High
- Comfort: High
- Safety: Low (Using Taxi in Guangzhou) to High (Using Private Car in Guangzhou)
- Cost: Highest
Travel Steps & Timeline: Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Check-in your baggage & pass through immigration (2 hours) → Travel by Airplane (1h – 1h 15 min.) → Arrive at Guangzhou Baiyun Int’l Airport → Collect the baggage (20 – 40 mins) → Queue For Taxi (10-15 min.) → Take a Taxi to Guangzhou Final Destination (30 min – 1 hour.).
|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: One of the options to travel between Hong Kong and Guangzhou is taking a flight. It can be a viable option for travelers looking for a high level of comfort and efficiency. The daily flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Guangzhou (CAN) and back are available at a convenient time for business travelers. 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 up to your journey time. You can use taxis or metro lines to get to Guangzhou Downtown. If you use a taxi, prepare Guangzhou destination address written in Chinese characters and show to the driver. Be aware of any taxi scams that are popular in Guangzhou area.
Recommendation: Getting from Hong Kong to Guangzhou by plane is quite expensive, but it is one of the fastest and safest transfers for HK-Guangzhou route. During a short 1-hour flight, you can have a 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 Int’l Airport (CAN) to your hotel in Guangzhou. If you hire a private airport transfer to Hong Airport and/or a private pickup from Guangzhou Airport, you can save a significant amount of time enjoying your seamless and effortless trip. With a private transfer, you should not encounter any language communication problems in Guangzhou.
5. Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou By Ferry
- Time: 3-4 hrs
- Convenience: Moderate
- Comfort: Moderate
- Safety: Low To Moderate
- Cost: Low
Travel Steps & Timeline: Hong Kong Airport Arrival Hall → Walk to Hong Kong Int’l Airport SkyPier Ferry Terminal & Purchase Tickets (20-30 min.) → Wait for the next departure (30 min – 1h.) → Travel by Ferry to Guangzhou Nansha Port (1h 10min.) → Queue For Taxi (10-15 min.) → Take a Taxi to Guangzhou Final Destination (1 h 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: Ferry is available from Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Ferry Terminal that operates in New Nansha Harbor in Guangzhou. The SkyPier at Hong Kong Int’l Airport provides speedy ferry service for transit passengers to Nansha Port of Guangzhou. There are only 1-2 ferry services provided throughout the day.
Recommendation: Ferry Terminal is conveniently located at Hong Kong Airport and it 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 convenient and flexible for most of the passengers. The other disadvantage here is that Guangzhou Nansha Port is located far from Guangzhou city center. It will take another 1-1.5 hours to get from Guangzhou Port to your final destination.
Hong Kong Airport to Guangzhou Summary
With the multitude of options available there’s no one “best way” to get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong Airport. However, depending on the priority of your requirements there are clear winners:
- If your number #1 concern is a price and you aren’t concerned about time or the inconvenience of changing vehicles and crossing borders 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 (at the cost of time), you should travel by Ferry.
- If your number #1 concern is relative convenience, and comfort, consider taking a flight from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
- If your number #1 concern is safety, expediency, comfort, and style then you should consider hiring a private cross-border transfer by car.