We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we tell you that “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. How do I get from one terminal to the next? What are the best airport restaurants? Is there anything to do if I have a long layover?
If you’re anything like us, then these are probably the types of questions you have that perhaps you don’t get push notifications for. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to the world’s top airports. Today we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Hong Kong (HKG).
Hong Kong International Airport, also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport, is consistently rated as one of the top airports in the world. It’s also one of the newest, opening just a couple decades ago in 1998. Yet today HKG is one of the world’s busiest passenger airports, handling more than 70 million passengers annually. It’s the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, and Hong Kong Airlines, and a focus city for many others, including Singapore Airlines and China Airlines. While HKG has two terminals, Terminal 2 is mainly used for check in, while Terminal 1 is for departures and arrivals, and is one of the largest terminals in the world.
Hong Kong International Airport is located due west 20 miles from Central, Hong Kong’s central business district. The quickest way between the airport and Central is via the Airport Express train, which departs every 10 minutes, and arrives in 24 minutes. Otherwise, the airport is serviced by public buses and taxis, as well as hotel buses from many of the major hotels.
Hong Kong International Airport has a plethora of dining options. Travelers will find recognizable franchises, such as Starbucks, Popeyes, Subway, and McDonald’s, but should expect mainly Asian-inspired restaurants. The long list of Asian restaurants includes Taiwan Beef Noodle, Super Super Congee & Noodles, Sorabol Korean Cuisine, Itamae Sushi, Ajisen Ramen, and Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao. The highest concentration of HKG’s restaurants can be found in or around the food court on the departures level. For the foodie traveler, there’s Street Food MIC, also located in the food court, which comes from 3-star Michelin chef Alvin Leung. Other notable restaurants include Ritz for pasta and tapas, Beef & Liberty for burgers, and Caviar House & Prunier.
If you’re looking for a standard airport bar, look no further than O’Learys Bar & Restaurant, which is a classic pub where travelers can enjoy a Bloody Mary or pint of beer while waiting for their flight. Among HKG’s classier bars is Caviar House & Prunier (mentioned above), where patrons can grab a glass of wine, or Beef & Liberty, which has a full bar. Or, for drinks of the more non-alcoholic variety, there’s Starbucks, Old Town White Coffee, Pacific Coffee, and Joe & The Juice.
As one of the most renowned international airports, Hong Kong International Airport is home to a wide selection of shops, including recognizable brands like Christian Dior, Coach, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Gucci, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, and Kate Spade. HKG also has a number of shops designed for the foodie, such as Kee Wah Bakery, Godiva, and Mr. Simm’s Olde Sweet Shoppe. Unique to HKG is an IMAX theatre, which is actually the largest IMAX screen in Hong Kong, and accommodates more than 300 guests. HKG also has rotating art exhibits, which you can discover more about and find locations of on the airport’s website. Finally, there are two hotels neighboring the airport, Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel and Regal Airport Hotel, which is actually connected to Terminal 1.
Since HKG is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, it has numerous Cathay Pacific lounges located throughout the departure and arrival levels. Other lounges include Club Autus and Club Bauhinia for Hong Kong Airlines, the Emirates Lounge, SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge, the Centurion Lounge, United Club, and The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge. Travelers can also pay to access any number of the Plaza Premium lounges.
Use TripIt’s interactive airport maps to discover shop, restaurant, and bar locations. You’ll also have everything you need to navigate your way with estimated walk times and step-by-step directions.