From high-end business meetings to endless shopping sprees and Disneyland – welcome to Hong Kong, the place tailor-made for family holidays. For a small group of islands, Hong Kong offers an unimaginable number of tourist attractions. Famous for its glittering skyline and deep natural harbors, Hong Kong is a dream destination for travelers from all parts of the world. With so much to do in a limited number of days, you can easily miss out on some of the best experiences that the island has to offer. To make sure that you savor the best of Hong Kong, here is a list of the things to do in Hong Kong during your visit.
Places to visit
1. Victoria Peak
By far the biggest attraction in Hong Kong, the Peak is also one of the most significant landmarks in Hong Kong. The highest point on the entire island, the peak is the perfect place to view the picturesque skyline of Hong Kong. The breathtaking view as seen from Victoria Peak has no parallels. Apart from a host of dining and shopping options, Victoria Peak also offers a well set up viewing platform for visitors. You can reach the Peak using the Peak Tram, which in itself is an experience of a lifetime! The return ticket for the peak tram and the viewing platform costs HKD 83 (about USD 10.7). Ticket for senior citizens and children costs HKD 40 (close to USD 5.16).
2. Temple Street Night Market
While you can find swanky shopping malls and skyscrapers in almost all parts of the world, what makes Hong Kong a treat for the visitors is places like the Temple Street Night Market. As the offices start wrapping up their day, the traders at the Temple Street Night Market start setting up their goods. If you are watching a movie that shows a hustling Chinese market in the backdrop, rest assured that they are shooting it right here in this market. From some of the most advanced electronic gadgets to a number of artifacts, this market has a lot of stuff that can amaze you! Shopping here is a festival that you can’t afford to miss.
3. Visit Mainland China for a day trip
Paying a visit to mainland China for a day trip from Hong Kong is an essential part of any tourist’s itinerary. A number of agencies offer guided day tours to mainland China from Hong Kong. The best method to reach mainland China is taking the catamaran. One of the must-see things and places in China include the amazing pandas in Guangzhou.
P.S. Be ready to carry huge shopping bags because you won’t be able to resist buying the amazing stuff on offer!
4. Cha Chan Teng
Don’t be mistaken by its simplicity. This dining place is one of the most iconic landmarks on the island. The amazing dishes on offer have helped Cha Chan Teng earn a cult status among locals and visitors alike. Reasonable prices and quick service don’t make you realize the rush at this place.
Visit this place for the Hong Kong cuisine on offer at very pocket friendly rates.
5. Causeway Bay
Shopping assumes different proportions altogether when it is done at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. The never ending barrage of shopping malls, high end retail stores and boutiques make Causeway Bay the flag bearer of Hong Kong’s incredible retail economy. From the most upscale shopping destination on the island to markets where all your bargaining skills will be tested, Causeway Bay has something on offer for everyone.
If you came to Hong Kong thinking of it as the centre of today’s world trade and retail, this shopping area will make your belief much stronger.
6. Hong Kong Wetland Park
One of the best maintained ecotourism parks in the world, Hong Kong’s Wetland Park is the perfect place to relish Hong Kong’s indigenous fauna and flora. Offering a closer look at some of the most majestic birds, amphibians, fish, reptiles and dragonflies, the Wetland Park is a delight for any nature lover. The park houses a number of exhibition galleries, exciting 3D shows, indoor playing area and many other amazing experiences. The admission ticket is priced at HKD 30 (or USD 3.9).
P.S. Don’t miss out on the biggest attraction of them all – The crocodile named Pui Pui and its home!
7. Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
One of the first botanical and zoological centers in the entire world, the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens house over 1,000 species of plants, more than 600 birds and several other mammals and reptiles. With free admission, this is a perfect place to spend a quiet day with your family. It is situated close to the Peak Tram, so you can plan your visit accordingly!
8. Victoria Park
Looking to take a break from the fast paced urban lifestyle that Hong Kong offers? Head straight to the calm and serene Victoria Park! The locals love this park for the peace it offers amidst a hectic on the go lifestyle. Located in the Causeway Bay, the Victoria Park also houses multiple tennis and basketball courts, which are usually occupied by local kids. The park also plays host to a number of events throughout the year including the Lunar New Year Fair, which is on the days preceding ‘Chinese New Year’, various political gatherings and many art and culture exhibitions.
Must have food in Hong Kong
9. Dim sum
Dim sum literally translates to ‘touch your heart’. Dim sum forms an integral part of Hong Kong’s lifestyle and culture. You would hardly find a restaurant in Hong Kong that doesn’t have any kind of dim sum on offer. Having said that, not all restaurants live up to the bill as far as the taste is concerned. For some of the best dim sum in Hong Kong, try visiting Dim Dim Sum, Duddell’s, Dynasty Restaurant, or Fook Lam Moon. You can expect good quality dim sum in the price range of HKD 50 to HKD 80 ( about USD 6.45 to USD 10.3).
10. Afternoon tea
Afternoon tea with a light snack is fast gaining popularity among people of all age groups across the globe. Hong Kong is no different. A number of restaurants in Hong Kong offer multiple kinds of afternoon teas. Some of the these restaurants include The Lobby at Peninsula Hotel, Clipper Lounge, Sevva, and Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon. Some of these can be heavy on the pocketbook, so you might want to check their pricing before making a reservation!
11. Michelin star cuisines in Hong Kong
Seafood served at the restaurants in Hong Kong is some of the best in the entire world. With a number of international companies coming to Hong Kong, the island’s restaurants have adapted themselves based on international tastes. Impressed with the quality of cuisines on offer, the Michelin guide started awarding its prestigious stars to the local restaurants in 2009. Some of the best known restaurants in Hong Kong that have managed to win Michelin stars include Bo Innovation, Sushi Shikon, Lung King Heen and T’ang Court. A visit to any of these would leave your taste buds asking for more.
12. Breakfast at a Dai Pai Dong
If you don’t mind taking a break from fancy and upscale restaurants to try something on the streets, Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dong are just where you should be. One of the most significant parts of Hong Kong’s food circuit, Dai Pai Dong is kind of an open air food stall serving cheap food. According to some estimates, now less than 30 Dai Pai Dongs remain in Hong Kong. You can have some of the most authentic and delicious Cantonese foods at these places. Some of the best Dai Pai Dongs in Hong Kong include Sing Heung Yuen on Mee Lun Street, Sing Kee on Stanley Street, Oi Man Sang on Lai Chi Kok Road and Leaf Dessert on Elgin Street.
Fun things to do in Hong Kong
13. Charter a Junk boat
The glittery skyscrapers often hide the fact that Hong Kong is actually made up of over 250 small islands. While most visitors confine their visit to the high end shopping places in Hong Kong, only a few actually explore the coastline of Hong Kong where the real adventure lies. If you plan to do so, the best way to kick start your journey would be to hire a ‘junk’ boat. A number of companies offer such boats to tourists, making it easy to charter one. Get your beers ready and your shades on!
14. The Hong Kong trail
If you are in mood to sweat a bit, the island also offers a number of hiking tours that can get your adrenaline pumping. The virgin beaches, the volcanic landscapes, and the remote, undiscovered temples make for an exhilarating experience. A number of hiking tours, differing in the length and difficulty level are on offer. Choose the one that gets your heart pumping!
15. The Happy Valley Racecourse
One of the best maintained horse racing tracks in the entire world, the Happy Valley Racecourse offers an experience like no other. Though it started as entertainment for the elites, horse racing has quickly managed to become a common man’s passion in Hong Kong. The racing season begins in September and runs till July. Competitions such as the Hong Kong Derby and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup attract some of the best known jockeys from across the globe. The admission fee is HKD 10 (or USD 1.3). Also, they don’t allow anyone under the age of 18, so make sure you have alternate arrangements for your kids!
16. Ride the Star Ferry
Your trip to Hong Kong can’t be complete without a ride on the iconic Star Ferry. These boats have been transporting visitors from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon since 1888! Though the two places are now extremely well connected via rail and road routes, people still like to ride the ever majestic Star Ferry. The ticket prices vary based on season. You can check out the current rates on their official website.
17. IFC mall
One of the most sought after shopping destinations in Hong Kong, the IFC is a treat to the eye. Apart from retail outlets of some of the most well known global brands, the IFC mall also offers a number of dining options, including some Michelin star restaurants. The mall is situated right over a transport hub that is connected to the Airport Express HK Station, meaning that it could be an ideal stop over if you are on your way to or from the airport.
18. Visit a beach
One of the primary reasons of planning a trip to an island is that you get to visit the heavenly beaches! But sadly enough, the shopping and adventure options offered in Hong Kong often make visitors oblivious to the presence of some amazing beaches! When you think you are done gazing at the skyscrapers and eating out at Michelin star restaurants, head out to the beaches! Of the 50-odd beaches that Hong Kong offers, some of the best ones include Tai Long Wan, Lamma Power Station Beach, Cheung Sha Beaches at Lantau, the Turtle Beach, and Hung Shing Yeh at Lamma Island.
19. Have a spa session
A visit to Hong Kong is essentially a luxurious experience. And what better way to enhance it than by getting a rejuvenating spa treatment! Just when all your shopping sprees, sightseeing and hiking tours start to take a toll on your body, head towards a spa and get back to your best. Some of the most known global spas are located in Hong Kong. From the most luxurious to pocket friendly spa sessions, Hong Kong’s spas are affordable for everyone. The treatments range from a full body or a foot massage to a luxurious full-day pamper. Be ready to spend anything between HKD 200 and HKD 2,000 (USD 26 to USD 260) for the spa experience of your choice.
20. Ocean Park
If you are on a visit to Hong Kong with your kids (and even if you are not!), this is the place where you ought to be! This marine life themed park offers some of the best thrill rides and entertainment experiences in the world. It won the prestigious biannual Applause Award in 2012 – an award given to some of the best amusement parks in the world. Some of the most sought after attractions in the park include the Thrill Mountain, Old Hong Kong, Aqua City, Polar Adventure, Shark Mystique and the Rainforest. The admission ticket costs HKD 385 (around USD 49.65).
21. Hong Kong Disneyland
There is a reason why kids love coming to Hong Kong. It is because of Disneyland! Though a little smaller in size than the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA, the Hong Kong Disneyland is no less fun for kids. With a number of rides, theaters, museums, food carts and animal attractions on offer, this place is perfect to spend an entire day with your family and friends. The entry ticket also includes a meal plan, which adds value to the overall package. A general admission ticket costs HKD 539 (about USD 69.49).
Places to experience History & Art in Hong Kong
22. Man Mo Temple
In Hong Kong, Man and Mo are regarded as the gods of literature and war, respectively. The picturesque Man Mo Temple was built to pay tribute to these two gods. These gods are especially held in high esteem by those who have aspirations to work in Chinese civil services. Built in the year 1847 with the help of wealthy Chinese merchants, it stands as Hong Kong’s largest temple dedicated to Man Mo.
23. Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Being an Island, Hong Kong is bound to have a rich maritime history. But to Hong Kong’s credit, they have preserved it better than most island nations. The Hong Kong Maritime Museum is the place to delve into Hong Kong’s maritime heritage, historic stories, and much more. Many hidden aspects of Hong Kong’s evolution can be unfolded at this very museum. It also houses a number of interactive displays and galleries to keep visitors entertained. The admission ticket costs HKD 30 (about USD 3.9).
24. Tian Tan Buddha statue
Only a handful of people knew about the Po Lin Monastery till 1993. But in 1993, it emerged on the world map after a 34 meters (111.5 m) tall Buddha statue was erected here. Facing northwards, this statue was erected to look over the people of Mainland China. This remarkable structure took about 12 years to complete. To have a closer look at the bronze statue, you need to climb up 268 steps. If that seems like a workout, here’s an incentive for you – there is a pure vegetarian restaurant nearby offering some delicious foods!
25. Hong Kong Museum of History
A dream destination for history buffs, the Hong Kong Museum of History exhibits a number of significant archeological and historical artifacts pertaining to South China and Hong Kong. The museum also arranges a variety of weekend lectures and film shows that keep visitors coming in. The admission fee is HKD 10 (about USD 1.3).
P.S – It also has an in-house café!
26. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
Made Tussauds allows you to come close to your favorite celebrities! With some of the most amazing life-like wax statues on display, Madame Tussauds offers an experience like no other. Some of the most recognizable celebrities imitated here include Barack Obama, Jackie Chan, Lady Gaga and a host of other superheroes!
Pro Tip - A visit here can be easily combined with your visit to Victoria Peak.
27. Hong Kong Space Museum
Amidst the tall and beautiful skyscrapers stands an unusual looking egg-shaped building. This is the Hong Kong Space Museum! Housing popular attractions such as the Hall of Astronomy, Stanley Ho Space Theatre and the Hall of Space Science, the Hong Kong Space Museum offers a good break from the city’s fast-paced lifestyle. The exhibits are renewed frequently, giving enough reasons for a re-visit.
28. 1881 Heritage
Very few places in Hong Kong still hold on to their colonial past. The 1881 heritage is certainly one of them. Since its inception in 1881 till the year 1996, this place served as the headquarters of the HK Marine Police. Since then, this has become a tourist destination with the buildings housing a heritage restaurant, a shopping mall, exhibition hall and much more. There is hardly a better place in Hong Kong that combines history with future. Visit 1881 Heritage to be awed by the history it holds in each of its nook and corner.
Hong Kong – the place where rush and fun never stops
Asia’s world city, as Hong Kong is famously called, has a true cosmopolitan feel to it in every sense. From the best known global brands and beautiful beaches to the historic temples and well preserved nature, Hong Kong has managed to forge into the future without letting go of its historical roots. Used to a regular tourist inflow, the locals in Hong Kong are extremely warm and friendly, adding to the overall experience.
Pack your bags, get work off, and head to Hong Kong to pamper yourself and your family. A trip to Hong Kong where you do all the above mentioned things would be extremely exhausting yet rejuvenating! Let the adventure begin.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.