Visually stunning Hong Kong is a hotbed of power shopping combined with fascinating Chinese traditions. The metropolis’ popularity with tourists from across Asia, its status as a major stopover point on the way to anywhere in the world and its financial importance make Hong Kong one of the most interesting cities in existence. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon is an unusual mix of modern skyscrapers, colonial-era buildings and traditional Chinese temples. The 260 islands off Hong Kong offer relaxation from the frenetic city hustle and bustle. Outside of Hong Kong you can explore the surrounding mountains and secluded beaches, or enjoy the fantastic city views from Victoria Peak. Whether you want to try your hand at horse racing, take your kids to Disneyland, or enjoy nature in one of the beautiful country parks, the cosmopolitan city has something for everyone.
Arriving by plane
According to top-medical-schools, Cathay Pacific (CX) flies from Frankfurt/M. and Zurich non-stop to Hong Kong. In addition, non-stop flights to Hong Kong are operated by Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M. and Munich as well as Swiss (LX) from Zurich. Lufthansa (LH) flies from Geneva and Basel via Munich. From Vienna, Austrian Airlines (OS) offers flight connections to Hong Kong in cooperation with Lufthansa (LH) via Munich or Frankfurt/M. and with Cathay Pacific (CX) via Zurich or Frankfurt/M. at; Finnair (AY) flies daily from Vienna via Helsinki.
Frankfurt – Hong Kong: 11 hours; Vienna – Hong Kong: 13 hrs 10 mins (with stopover); Zurich – Hong Kong: 11 hrs 35 mins
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) charges a departure fee of HK$120 (approx. €13.50) for passengers aged 12 and over, which is included in the ticket price.
Arrival by car
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge connects mainland China with Hong Kong and its airport, as well as with Macao and Zhuhai. Traffic drives on the right on the bridge and in mainland China, while traffic drives on the left in Hong Kong. Two different driving licenses are required for the crossing by car; therefore, travelers usually cross the bridge by bus.
Arrival by train
A bullet train connects Kowloon in Hong Kong with the cities of Guangzhou (journey time: 48 minutes) and Shenzhen in mainland China. Bullet trains run from Hong Kong to a variety of long-distance and regional destinations.
Arrival by ship
Many cruise ships call at Hong Kong’s port. Ferries regularly connect Hong Kong to Macau and mainland China; catamarans, hydrofoils and turbojet ferries are used.
Hapag Lloyd Cruises also have Hong Kong on their program for their luxury cruise departing from Hamburg. MSC, Seabourn, Cunard, P&O Cruises and Transocean, among others, also depart from European ports with Hong Kong stopover cruises.
Kkday operates daily services between Hong Kong and Macau with its TurboJet ferries (journey time: 1 hour). Starferry ferries connect Hong Kong Island with Kowloon several times a day.
Travelers from the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria and Switzerland who want to travel to China from Hong Kong require a visa. Further information in the chapter Passport/Visa (see China).
Traveling by car/bus
The road network is well developed; However, due to the narrow urban development, it is difficult to drive yourself in Hong Kong by car. Parking spaces are hard to find. Hong Kong Island is connected to the mainland by three tunnels: Eastern Harbor Crossing, Cross Harbor Tunnel and Western Harbor Crossing. Toll: Motorways are not subject to tolls. However, fees apply for various bridges and tunnels. Gas stations are available everywhere.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
There are various car rental companies in Hong Kong at the airport and in the city. Rental cars can also be rented with a chauffeur. The minimum age for drivers is between 23 and 25 years, depending on the provider.
Taxis are ubiquitous, of different colors depending on the area in which they operate. Red cabs operate on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, blue cabs on Lantau and green cabs in the New Territories. Shared taxis only operate on certain routes. The taxi prices are uniform. There is a surcharge for driving through tunnels. Not all taxi drivers speak English, so travelers should have the destination address in Chinese characters with them.
The bus network in Hong Kong is served by Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) and is very well developed. Even remote places can be easily reached by bus. Green minibuses operate on fixed routes and are designed for up to 19 people. Fares are paid either in cash upon boarding or electronically using a pre-purchased Octopus card (contact tourist offices for more information).
Traffic regulations: – Left-hand traffic applies. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. If the limit is exceeded, there is a risk of high fines or imprisonment of up to 3 years. – Telephoning is only permitted with a hands-free device. – Children up to the age of 15 may only be transported in suitable child seats. – Lights are mandatory all day when riding a motorcycle. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h (or observe the signs!); – extra-urban: 80 km/h; – Expressways and motorways: 110 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club is the Hong Kong Automobile Association (HKAA) in Kowloon, Tel. +852 3583 3638. The Emergency hotline is available 24 hours a day on Tel. +852 9080 9843.
Possession of an international driver’s license is not mandatory, but is recommended.
Traveling in the city
In Hong Kong, travelers have a choice of subway, suburban train, tram, bus, ferry and taxi. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) operates several underground and suburban railway lines and the Airport Express in Hong Kong.
Locally on the way by train
Mass Transit Railway (MTR) operate all of Hong Kong’s rail services on various routes. The trains run daily between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m. every 4 or 2 minutes (peak times). The fare can be paid with the so-called Octopus card, a single ticket or a tourist pass (day ticket). The north coast of Hong Kong Island also has tram lines operated by Hong Kong Tramways.
Traveling by ship
Star Ferry ferries connect Central and Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island with Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon Peninsula several times a day between 6.30am and 11.30pm. New World First Ferry Services offer multiple daily ferry services between Central and Hung Hom. Regular ferry services also operate between Central and the Outer Islands. Harbor tours and trips to the Aberdeen and Yau Ma Tei typhoon defenses are also available.