The Ultimate Hong Kong MTR Guide to Getting Around the City

With its gleaming skyscrapers, Michelin-starred restaurants, beautiful beaches and shopping malls, Hong Kong is truly a melting pot for international tourists. If you’re planning an unforgettable trip to the megacity – now that travel restrictions have finally eased – there’s only one way to do it: take the MTR across Hong Kong.

Thanks to Hong Kong’s extremely efficient transport system, you can spend a morning shopping around Causeway Bay before heading to Big Wave Bay for an afternoon of surf and sun.

The city’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) connects the urban areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, with 91 stations on 11 interconnecting lines. But if you’re not sure how to find your way around Hong Kong, this Hong Kong subway guide is for you.

Buy subway tickets in Hong Kong

The service is clean and quick, and the fare system is very easy to use.Say hello to the host first Octopus card. Then, please pick up Airport Octopus Card, charge it, and use it for the rest of your journey (including journeys from the airport).Then, when you need to top up, you can stop by one of them Octopus Service Provider– including 7-11, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

For a whirlwind city tour, do it yourself Travel Day Tickets for 64 Hong Kong dollars. This pass gives you unlimited travel for 24 hours and you can buy it at any station’s customer service desk.

After that one-way ticket, so you can only take a specific trip. Pick up your ticket from a machine at any station.

Note that it is slightly cheaper to use the Octopus card to ride the subway.

Find out about tickets and fares here.

Find your MTR line

Route planner app is the easiest way to find the best route. For most trips, there is more than one option. It’s also a good idea to use Google Maps Navigation to identify faster ways. You will never get lost in the city as most streets and shopping centers have signs pointing to the nearest metro station. While you may see the letters “MTR” on signs, sometimes signs simply have the shape of a sign, with two semicircles connected by a line.

This is the Hong Kong subway map.

Image source: www.mtr.com

change train

Except for transfers between Tsim Sha Tsui to Tsim Sha Tsui East Station and the Airport Express, there will be no additional charges for transferring trains. You may have to change trains several times, but signs and escalators within the stations will take you from one platform to another. However, you must know the name of the line, as the color coding on the map is not used for signage. So be sure to check the signs above the train tracks that show the names of the stations the train will pass through.

station exit

Leaving the station can be confusing as the subway station has many exits that connect directly to nearby buildings. Taking the wrong exit can mean walking for several minutes. Each exit has a letter or number, and signs indicate which exit to which destination. For example, Exit D at Grand Central Station has two openings called D1 and D2. So if you come out of D1 and you want to go to Theater Lane on D2, you have to go back.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hong Kong subway route and landscape

When you’re on vacation, it’s a win-win situation when your journey offers free views. Thankfully, several routes are not underground, so you can enjoy exciting views of the countryside.

Tung Chung Line / Airport Express: Visit the Big Buddha, you can consider this line. Also, use this service if you plan to travel to the airport on a budget.

Tunwan Line: This line provides Great view of Kwai Chung Container Terminal.

South Island Line: Ride to the finish line and enter Horizon Plaza for a glimpse of fantastic interior design and furniture stores. You will pass through the Victoria Peak and get a glimpse of the Ocean Park.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

MTR Station Facilities

customer service desk

If you need route suggestions or ticketing questions, you can go to the customer service desk for help. Desks are located in the lobby next to the main entrance and staff are always available to help.


Like the rest of Hong Kong, the subway stations are packed with shops. From food and beverages, beauty stores, and bakeries to accessories and gift shops, the Metro Station has everything you need for shopping.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


Free WiFi is available at the subway station. Some sites also have an “iCentre” console that allows you to browse the web.

Rush hour

Avoid peak hours, especially the busiest interchanges between 8am and 9am. Also, expect crowded trains any time after 4:30 as commuters head home.


MTR is not allowed to exceed the size of the airport carry-on luggage. Nonetheless, major tourist routes such as the Airport Express allow passengers to carry luggage to hotels in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui.

(Hero image source: Maxpixel)

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