Nature and futuristic buildings, breathtaking vistas and cutting-edge shopping malls. Hong Kong’s charm lies entirely in the profound contradictions that have made it one of the world’s leading metropolises to visit, the point where East and West meet, where the super-modern metropolis is intertwined with tradition.There is certainly no shortage of attractions and there are so many things to do in the city!
So let’s find out together what to see in Hong Kong, the best attractions and things to do!
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What to see in Hong Kong
1 – Victoria Peak
The ideal place to enjoy a picturesque view of Hong Kong is undoubtedly Victoria Peak! This is the highest peak in the city (554 meters) and can be reached via a funicular in 5 minutes. What you need to mainly calculate, however, is the time to board the cable car itself: the queues are often endless!
Once at the top, there are two “hubs” of interest on the promontory: the Peak Tower and the Lion Kiosk, favorite spots from which to derive fabulous cover views, both day and night. On Sky Terrace 428, for example, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Hong Kong!
Watch out for queues, arrive early: the queue to board the streetcar is usually very long, so opt for less crowded times or factor the wait into your itinerary planning. We recommend getting to the starting point at least 15 min before the first ride
- Getting there: the best way to get to Victoria Peak is undoubtedly the Peak Tram, available from 7 a.m. to midnight. The starting point is Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus, in the Central district –
- Hours: Peak Tower Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat-Sun and holidays 8 a.m.-11 p.m
- Ticket cost: free / Peak Tram a/r full 52.00 HKD (€5.50), reduced 23.00 HKD (€2.40)
2 – Temple Street Night Market
Located on the Kowloon Peninsula, the night market along Temple Street, known as Temple Street, is a glimpse of the old and authentic Hong Kong. Merchants of all kinds gather here, from electronics to clothing, from precious stones to typical food, and even numerous fortune-tellers can be found along the street, adding to the mystical and atmospheric atmosphere
The items for sale have prices for all budgets and, after shopping, we recommend stopping to eat at one of the many restaurants to try the tropical fruits, shellfish and all the other typical Cantonese dishes. Also along this street are several old clinics where you can get treatment using traditional Chinese medicine
Don’t be afraid to haggle: as you shop among the stalls you will notice many people haggling for prices! This is normal here, so don’t worry and haggle over the product you want to buy!
- How to get there: on Temple Street. By subway Jordan stop, three blocks from Temple Street; Yau Ma Tei stop, you have to turn left after exit C. Or you can get there by bus 7 –
- Hours: starts 2 p.m., does not go into full swing until 4 p.m., late into the night
- Ticket cost: free
3 – A Symphony of Lights
A Guinness show: this is the largest permanent light and sound show in the world and takes place on the Avenue of Star. It is called A Symphony of Lights and is a true “light concert” that lights up the entire city of Hong Kong by day
It begins at 8 p.m. each evening and lasts 14 min, during which 45 buildings along the Hong Kong skyline project lights toward Victoria Harbour in time to the music. It takes place in five phases, each with a different meaning: Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Collaboration and Celebration, all dedicated to the soul of the city. This spectacle cost a whopping five million, but you can enjoy it for free!
Reach Tsim Sha Tsui: The best spot to watch the show is in Tsim Sha Tsui, between the Avenue of Stars and the Cultural Centre but, if you wish, you can also hear it on radio frequencies
- How to get there: at Avenue of Stars. By subway, take exit J from Tsim Sha Tsui East Station (Kowloon Peninsula); then reach Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and follow the signs until you reach Avenue of Stars –
- Hours: daily at 8:00 pm
- Ticket cost: free
4 – Tian Tan Buddha and Lantau Island
The imposing Buddha effigy towers over Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, the widest and wildest in all of Hong Kong, if the least densely populated
The Amoghasiddhi Buddha Statue, made in 1993 and placed inside Po Lin Monastery, is actually a mausoleum a whopping 34 meters high and can “only” be reached after sustaining a staircase of 268 steps! It represents the symbol of the union between man and nature. Despite the titanic feat to be sustained, the Tian Tan Buddha is taken by storm every year by worshippers and the merely curious. After visiting the statue, you can spend the rest of the day among the island’s beaches and nature parks
Shop at Ngong Ping Village: at the foot of the Buddha is this quaint little village, full of craft stores where you can find the perfect souvenir!
- How to get there: reached the China Ferry Terminal, then travel to the mausoleum by subway to Tung Chung. The third stop is the cable car that departs from the latter stop, direction Great Buddha –
- Hours: statue daily 10am-5:30pm / Cable Car daily 10am-6pm
- Ticket cost: free / Cable Car a/r full from 235.00 HKD (€25.10), reduced 110.00 HKD (€11.80)
5 – Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
Among the many things to see and do in Hong Kong, you surely can’t fail to admire the skyline from above! And for that experience there is the Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, located in the ICC, the tallest building in the city! The deck is located at the 100th!
It is the highest observation deck, where you can enjoy a wonderful 360-degree view of Hong Kong! To go up you will have to take a high-speed elevator, which covers the distance from the ground floor to the 100th in just one minute! Be prepared to have your ears plugged, but you will surely forget about it as soon as you see the view from the large windows!
There is also a long line here for the elevator entrance, better
Enjoy the view from Cafe 100: Inside the ICC is also the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with a wonderful bar/restaurant that offers various packages, such as romantic dinners, afternoon tea or great snacks! Enjoy a great cake with coffee while admiring a unique view!
- How to get there: in the International Commerce Centre at1 Austin Rd W, West Kowloon. Can be reached by the West Rail Line subway to Austin Station –
- Hours: daily 11:30am-8:30pm
- Ticket cost: full 178.00 HKD (€18.90), reduced 115.00 HKD (€12.20)
6 – Ocean Park
Not just culture. Hong Kong is one of the entertainment capitals of the world, thanks to its large water amusement park, where you can ride a bumper car and at the same time ecstatically admire local wildlife species, from fish to the famous pandas
The park is divided into two macro areas, the Waterfront and the Summit, which in turn are divided into eight attraction zones: Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City, Whiskers Harbour, Marine World, Polar Adventure, Adventure Land, Thrill Mountain and Rainforest. Adrenaline junkies won’t miss the Thrill Mountain area, with at least five rides to knock their socks off, while animal enthusiasts will love the Rainforest zone, a rainforest where dozens of different species of animals are settled, guiding visitors to discover biodiversity
Because of its uniqueness, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is undoubtedly among the most attractive amusement parks in Asia and one of the most visited in the world: in fact, the latest rankings even place it 12th!
It takes a full day: we recommend that you spend a full day here, given its size! Before you leave, take a look at the park’s map to get an idea of the areas and where the various attractions are located, so you don’t risk getting lost inside!
- Getting there: in Aberdeen. Reachable by train that runs through Guangdong Province, Beijing and Shanghai. You can, also, take the ferry that serves the following stops: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Hong Kong International Airport off Lantau Island –
- Hours: daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m
- Ticket cost: full price from 498.00 HKD (€53.20), reduced price from 224.00 HKD (€24.00)
7 – Central District
The financial heart of Hong Kong is called Central District, in local language Chung Wan, and is located in the northwestern part of the island. It owes its name to the subway stop “Central,” and today it can be considered the city’s “Mecca” of luxury and power: skyscrapers, luxurious stores and several important buildings, such as those housing the various consulates, as well as the government, can be found here
But a piece of history can also be found here: in fact, it is in this very neighborhood that, by taking Queen‘s Road, one will be able to walk down the city’s first street
It can be reached by the Island Line subway (blue line), getting off, of course, at the Central stop –
Take a photo at Stone Slab Street: don’t miss this street in Hong Kong, one of the most characteristic and completely pedestrian-friendly streets!
8 – Lan Kwai Fong (LKF)
The full name is Lan Kwai Fong, but by all it is known as LKF: this is Hong Kong’s busiest neighborhood, the one completely dedicated to nightlife and entertainment. In this block, in fact, there are hundreds of bars, restaurants and pubs, as well as numerous nightclubs in which to party all night long.This characteristic is due to its history, which in the 1980s consecrated the district as a hangout for expatriates, who wish to have fun and relax in the evening
Curiously enough, it is located at the very end of the Central district, so much so that it can be considered a fraction of it, and so one finds oneself in an instant from a luxurious working environment to one of continuous entertainment!
Here, too, you can take the blue subway line to reach it, stop at Central and take exit D1 –
9 – The Escalator
Just a few hundred meters from the stop leading to Victoria Peak is the Central-Mid Levels Escalator, the longest escalator in the world. It runs about 800 meters and can be accessed from every street it crosses
Built in 1994 in order to allow a special tour through the city of Hong Kong, this escalator connects the Central District with the Western District and has now become by rights one of the city’s major attractions, a destination for millions of tourists who enjoy a very special 25-minute free tour through the entire city. An unusual way to take a tour without getting tired!
- How to get there: the escalator starts at Queen’s Road Central in the Central district (Pottinger Street reference streetcar stop) and ends at Conduit Road –
- Hours: daily 6:00-00:00 am
- Ticket cost: free
10 – Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront and Avenue of Stars
The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, also known as Central Harbourfront, is an incredible place in Hong Kong Bay: it feels like living at a different pace here than in the city’s central districts. Large, modern shopping malls flank the harbor where ferries come and go, and together they frame the imposing colonial clock tower, which is sure to project one into another time
It is also a perfect vantage point for viewing the financial districts of Hong Kong and Kowloon, as well as the best spot to stop and enjoy the A Symphony of Light show
The promenade is free and always accessible and can be reached by the Red Line subway, Tsim Sha Tsui stop –
Stop at the Avenue of Stars: somewhat like Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, this stretch of waterfront features handprints and plaques honoring Hong Kong movie stars, as well as a statue of Bruce Lee
11 – Hong Kong Museum of History
The Hong Kong Museum of History is a great place to learn about the entire history of the city, from prehistory to the present day. In fact, the Museum houses a permanent exhibition and several temporary exhibitions
The permanent exhibition is called“Hong Kong Story” and is divided into eight thematic areas, arranged on two floors: Nature, where fossils, rocks, fauna and flora are displayed; Hong Kong in Prehistory, where more than 6,000-year-old artifacts are housed; Dynasties, from the Han to the Quing, where the evolution of South China is recounted; and Folk Culture, where the customs, traditions and customs of different ethnic groups are shown; Opium War and the Cession of Hong Kong, which recounts the causes and consequences of the war; Birth and Early Years of the City, where the city’s early years are recounted; Japanese Occupation, which shows, in fact, the period of Japan’s occupation of the city; Modern Metropolis and the Return to China, which marks Hong Kong’s postwar rebirth.
Avoid weekends and plan your visit: we recommend that you get there at opening hours and, if possible, avoid weekends, when it is busiest! Devote the whole morning to it and, before your visit, take a look at the layout of the rooms!
- Directions: by subway, Tsim Sha Tsui station exit B2; or Jordan Station exit D; or finally, East Tsim Sha Tsui station exit P2 –
- Hours: daily 10am-6pm, weekends and holidays until 7pm, Tue closed
- Ticket cost: free
12 – Lamma Island
Hong Kong’s green lung and the third largest island in the city. Lamma Island, with its distinctive Chinese“Y” shape, makes ecology and easy living its workhorse. People move around on foot, and the only means of transportation contemplated is bicycles
It’s a whole other world, one worth exploring, especially for nature lovers, who will be able to find numerous hiking trails on this island to explore. But the island of Lamma is also a genuine and somewhat naïve island, so much so that it is also called“the island of creative people,” due to its bohemian atmosphere, accentuated by small craft stores and independent boutiques
The island is free and always accessible, and in order to reach it, one must take the ferry from Central’s Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan –
Enjoy a nature trek: one of the most popular hiking trails is the Ling Kok Shan, from which you can enjoy wonderful views of the surroundings! Since the weather in Hong Kong is often humid and muggy, take plenty of water with you and don’t tackle the trek if you are not trained!
13 – Hong Kong Disneyland
The amusement park Disneyland Hong Kong is the Asian version of the first and very well-known Disneyland Paris. In fact, it is not a copy, but rather the Chinese location and, therefore, is almost equal in every way to the French parent company. It was opened in 2005, representing the fifth opening worldwide
This Park, too, is divided into seven thematic areas although, in terms of area occupied and number of attractions, Disneyland Hong Kong is smaller than its European cousin; in any case, within it are Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland (the largest area of the Park), Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land. Its uniqueness, however, lies in the It’s a Small World section, which is an attraction that allows visitors to ideally cross the different continents by boat, while admiring puppets in traditional costumes singing and dancing
Book your ticket online to skip the line: definitely a must see if you are traveling with family! Give it a full day, given also the distance from the center, and check the opening hours. To skip the line, better
- How to get there: the dedicated metro line, the Disneyland Resort Line, departs from Sunny Bay Station, with its terminus right at Disneyland Resort Station. Otherwise, you can get to the Park with the bus lines R11, R22, R33 and R42 –
- Hours: generally daily 10am-8pm. See the
- Ticket cost: full price from 639.00 HKD (€67.90), reduced price from 475.00 HKD (about €50.50). For packages and offers, please consult the official website
14 – Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark
So far we have imagined Hong Kong as a large ultra-modern center, where large skyscrapers alternate with markets featuring innovative technology products. But the city is also home to an incredible, all-natural area dedicated to landscape and geology enthusiasts: this is the Hong Kong Unesco Global Geopark
This is a portion of land about an hour away from downtown that holds a number of truly unique attractions. They range from hexagonal columns of volcanic rock, to mangrove forests; from coral communities to temples that reveal ancient cultures. In addition, there are several fishing villages that can be reached by hiring boats or boarding ferries. For those who want to enjoy some relaxation, however, it is possible to rent a kayak from Sha Ha Beach and paddle to one of Sharp Island’s many beaches
Reach the most extreme point: Here you can also visit the most extreme point in Hong Kong! It is Tung Ping Chau and can be reached by ferry from Ma Liu Shui
- How to get there: to reach the Visitor Center, you can take bus line 92 or 96R, to the Pak Kong stop and then walk –
- Hours: daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tue closed
- Ticket cost: depending on activities. Consult the
15 – Macau
Hong Kong’s parallel universe has a name: Macau. Called the gambling capital, not only of Asia, but of the whole world, it is distinguished by its very special urban architecture, with a clear Portuguese influence (as a former colony of the European country), a gastronomy quite opposite to that of Hong Kong, and a very humid tropical climate, influenced by the monsoons
Macau is only an hour’s ferry ride from Hong Kong, and as there are extensive hours from early morning to late evening, it can undoubtedly be considered a day trip, during which it is possible to visit numerous attractions in the city. Among the most important are the Guia Lighthouse (€0.50), located next to a fortress, and the Senate Square (free), also in the Portuguese style. If, on the other hand, we want to enjoy a panoramic view of Macau, we must climb the 338-meter-high Macau Tower, with its 56 floors housing bars, restaurants and other activities
Macau Island is free and always accessible and can be reached by ferry from the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal port. Ferries leave every 15 minutes –