Hong Kong is one of the most vital and exciting cities in Asia. Not only is it a fascinating mix of cultures, but it’s also one of the most important economic and tourist hubs in the world.
However, it can also be a little intimidating. Hong Kong has a reputation for being expensive, that isn’t completely deserved. Hong Kong has something for everyone. Whether you’re on a big budget or a tight one, you’ll find restaurants, affordable hotels and hostels, and attractions that will fascinate you and suit your wallet.
This city has some of the best restaurants in the world as well as affordable local places with delicious dishes. It has designer shops and local shops with shelves piled high with exotic foods, crafts and other goods. There is no end to the things you can see, do and eat at every price point.
To help you find options that suit your preferences and wallet at every price point, we’ve created this list of the best places to visit in Hong Kong.
Table of Contents
The Best Places to Stay in Hong Kong
The Best Backpacker Hostel: Ah Shan Hostel
Hong Kong may be more expensive than a lot of other cities in Asia, but it is still possible for you to get a bargain during your trip when it comes to accommodation. The Ah Shan Hostel is in the heart of Kowloon, and within walking distance of Hong Kong’s famous Flower, Jade, Temple Street, and Ladies Markets. It has single rooms and dorms, and there’s also a shared refrigerator and microwave in case you want to store or heat leftovers.View on HostelWorld
Also, check out our reviews of the top hostels in Hong Kong.
Best Airbnb in Hong Kong: Cozy Studio near Mongkok
Conveniently based in northern Kowloon, this spacious apartment is as cool as the bustling streets outside. With exposed brick walls and quirky egg-shaped chairs, it’s every hipster’s dream – minus the avocado. It also boasts high-speed WiFi, 24-hour security and easy access to the subway.View on Airbnb
An Awesome Budget Hotel: Apartment Kapok
Finding a comfortable budget hotel will let you enjoy your stay and keep some extra money in your pocket for activities at the same time. Apartment Kapok is in busy, interesting Wan Chai. It’s close to the metro and five minutes on the train from shopping mecca Causeway Bay. It has a fitness center and a variety of different sized rooms, as well as a lovely terrace area with city views.View on Booking.com
A Hotel for a Luxurious Experience: Cordis, Hong Kong
If you have some extra cash and want to enjoy Hong Kong in style, you can’t go past the Cordis, Hong Kong. This stately hotel is in central Kowloon and close to most things you’ll want to see and do. The hotel contains several dining options, including a trendy European restaurant, a Cantonese restaurant, and two popular bars. The rooms are spacious and richly appointed, and the hotel also boasts a wellness center with two fitness studios, a heated pool, and a spa.View on Booking.com
NEED A PLACE QUICK? HERE’S THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD IN HONG KONG:
- Kowloon Park – those keen to escape city life can take a wark in sprawling Kowloon Park which is home to greenery, plants and bird life.
- Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier – for over 100 years, the ships at this docking station have been taking travellers across the water from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.
- K11 – don’t miss this art gallery and shopping centre which displays exhibitions all throughout the year. Pick up some goods as you explore the installations.
These are the BEST Places to Visit in Hong Kong!
#1 – Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
One of the most amazing places in Hong Kong!
• A bird’s eye view of the city.
• Learn more about Hong Kong’s history with a state-of-the-art multimedia exhibition.
• See the city up close through high-end telescopes.
• An excellent place for photographers and tourists of all kinds.
Why it’s awesome: There’s nothing like getting the full view when you arrive in a new city, and you can do that from the Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck. The high-speed elevator will take you to the 100th floor in 60 seconds, where you’ll get a 360 view of every part of the city. For the price of admission, you can also spend some time looking at the displays and learn more about Hong Kong and its culture. This will not only deepen your understanding, but it will also help you develop a deeper appreciation of the city and its people.
What to do there: You should spend time looking at the view and taking pictures, but you can do more than just gaze at the scenery. The 360 view means that you can enjoy Hong Kong’s iconic skyline from the best vantage point possible, and you can use a high-end telescope to take a closer look at the city. There’s also an interactive multimedia exhibition which will give you a fascinating glimpse into Hong Kong’s history and culture.
#2 – Madam Tussaud’s, Hong Kong
Quite the quirky place in Hong Kong
• Great for people who like quirky attractions.
• Ideal for photographers.
• A good place to go with your family.
Why it’s awesome: There’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with famous people, even if they’re in wax form. In Hong Kong’s Madame Tussaud’s, you’ll see all the favorites – from sporting legends and political figures to A-list celebrities and historical icons. This museum is world-renowned and interactive, so you get a slightly unusual but always entertaining afternoon of fun!
What to do there: Find your favorite celebrities and historical figures and have your picture taken with them. Wander the halls to see how many people you recognize and how many you don’t. Make sure you visit the gift shop on the way out so you can pick up a souvenir, such as personalized wax hands and mini lookalike figurines. They’ll make great gifts for friends and family back home and a funny reminder of your trip.
#3 – Wong Tai Sin Temple
• A living example of modern religious beliefs in Hong Kong.
• Amazing architecture and decorations.
• You can get your fortune told!
Why it’s awesome: Exploring a travel destination’s past is all well and good, but sometimes you want to understand the present as well; Wong Tai Sin temple will allow you to do this and it is a must-do on any Hong Kong itinerary. It’s a Buddhist temple that was first built in 1920 and then replaced in 1968, so you’re quite literally looking at architecture and religious beliefs from the sixties. This makes it an excellent way to examine recent history and understand more about how present-day Hong Kong came to be.
What to do there: Spending time in Wong Tai Sin Temple is all about observing everyday life. If you aren’t Buddhist, you probably won’t understand a lot of the architecture or the activities in the temple, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a part of them.
This temple is dedicated to the Taoist god of horse racing and healing from sickness. The complex consists of several large buildings, all with unique decorations and purposes. While you’re there, you’ll probably see fortune tellers and locals burning incense in the halls. If you’re really lucky and you’re there in the fall, you’ll get to glimpse the festival held in the Gods’ honor.
#4 – Hong Kong Heritage Museum
• Learn about Chinese art and culture.
• Kids will love the ‘Children’s Discovery Gallery,’ so make sure to bring the whole family.
• A good way to get some peace after the busy streets.
• For art lovers and anyone interested in history.
Why it’s awesome: Chinese history is long and varied, and very different from that of Western countries. It’s also not widely studied outside of Asian countries, and a visit to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum is a way to remedy that. It’s a way to better understand a country that has become a powerhouse on the world stage, and one that’s also turning into a popular travel destination. Along the way, you’ll see some fantastic pieces of art.
What to do there: The museum has a rotating schedule of exhibits, so make sure you see what’s on offer while you’re in Hong Kong. There are six permanent galleries which are dedicated to Chinese art and Cantonese opera. Another permanent exhibition is a children’s area, where they can enjoy the displays and learn in fun and interactive ways. The museum is interesting at any time, but it’s especially fascinating during one of Hong Kong’s frequent rain showers, when you can learn about the city and stay dry at the same time.
#5 – Hong Kong Science Museum
Awesome place to visit in Hong Kong with kids!
• Interactive, high tech displays.
• A good mix of entertainment and education.
• Perfect for anyone who’s interested in science.
• Great for families.
Why it’s awesome: The Hong Kong Science Museum is spread across four floors, and there’s a surprise at every turn. It strikes a good balance between entertainment and education that will have children and adults of all ages enthralled and eager to see more. It boasts lots of interactive displays that probably won’t be what you’re expecting, making you wish you could go back to science class!
What to do there: There are four floors of displays in this museum, so make sure you explore every one of them to find something you’re interested in. The Dinosaur Model Making Workshop is particularly popular with people of all ages, as is the video gallery. If you really enjoy the museum, make sure you have a look at the gift shop on the way out for souvenirs to remind you of your visit.
#6 – Victoria Peak
One of the most incredible free places to go to in Hong Kong!
• A great place to take photographs of Hong Kong’s famous skyline.
• Escape the city and spend some time in nature.
• Easily accessible via a range of transport options.
• One of the most amazing views in Hong Kong at night!
Why it’s awesome: Sometimes you tend to focus on the street level details when you first arrive in a new city. This is understandable, after all, there’s always a lot to see and do, but it also means that you forget about the bigger picture. And you definitely forget that there’s something beyond the concrete jungle. But when you visit Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, you see the bigger picture in living, glorious color. You get to ogle at the concrete and glass of the city set against the lush green forest and the dark blue ocean. And the contrast is truly magical!
What to do there: The view at Victoria Peak is amazing at any time. In the daytime, you’ll see the whole of the city set out like an enormous child’s toy. At night, you’ll get a perfect view of the lights of the city set against the darkness of the ocean. While you’re there, make sure you explore the enormous park at the peak, with its many lookouts. And if you get tired of all that nature, you can spend some time at the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria, which have an observation deck, as well as restaurants and shops.
#7 – Hong Kong Disneyland
The happiest place to visit in Hong Kong!
• Definitely one of the best places for families to visit in Hong Kong.
• Includes a range of characters and lands from Disney movies.
• Great for photographers.
• For the young and the young at heart.
Why it’s awesome: No matter how old you are, everyone should see Disneyland at least once in their lives. This is the place where dreams are made; a world that was created from one man’s imagination and his desire to tell stories. There are some downsides to visiting Disneyland, of course – mostly the crowds and the commercialism of this particular park. But it’s something else to see all your favorite Disney characters and places brought to life right in front of your eyes.
What to do there: Hong Kong’s Disneyland includes seven separate lands: Mystic Point, Main Street, U.S.A., Grizzly Gulch, Toy Story Land, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Future: Frozen Land. As you wander around these lands – some of them very familiar – you’ll see performances, musicals, Disney characters, and rides, all of which will call to the child inside of you and remind you of old favorites. There are also ample chances to get photos and lots of unhealthy food to eat, so forget about your diet and your adult life for a day and just enjoy it!
Quick Note – Staying Safe in Hong Kong
Like most of Asia, Hong Kong is a very safe place to travel for solo women, groups, or with your family if you use your common sense. This means keeping an eye on your belongings at all times, being careful when you drink, and avoiding isolated areas at night.
However, no city or country is completely free of problems. In Hong Kong, tourists are occasionally the victims of bag snatching and pickpockets in crowded areas, so always make sure you know where your belongings are.
Taxis are another common area where tourists run into trouble. To avoid problems, use licensed taxis and insist that they use the meter. If they refuse, get out and find another taxi or take public transports. Also, insist that the driver gets your luggage out of the trunk before you get out of the taxi and before paying. This will stop unscrupulous drivers leaving with your luggage and the fare.
This might make the city sound a little frightening, but if you exercise some common sense and stay alert, you shouldn’t have any problems while you’re in Hong Kong.
Don’t forgeDon’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
#8 – Ocean Park
A fascinating educational place to visit in Hong Kong!
• Includes rides as well as historical sites.
• A great place for anyone who loves the ocean or likes to see animals.
• Has an enormous aquarium with over 400 species of fish.
• Also includes pandas!
Why it’s awesome: Ocean Park in Hong Kong has something for everyone. The kids will love the rides, the animals and the aquarium, and may also learn something about Hong Kong along the way. But this park isn’t just for kids; it’s for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of old Hong Kong or who wants to see a panda – China’s iconic animal!
What to do there: Ocean Park’s aquarium is the perfect place to spend an hour or so out of the heat. It boasts an extensive collection of exotic fish, a touch pool, and is a fascinating place to spend some time for adults and children alike. If you’re looking for something more exciting, Ocean Park also has rollercoasters and the Giant Panda Adventure, where you’ll get to see this iconic animal, as well as red pandas and the endangered Chinese Giant Salamander.
#9 – Lan Kawai Fong
A must see for foodies!
• Trendy, open-air restaurants.
• A dizzying mix of cuisines.
• One of the most popular night time eating areas.
• A great place to sit, eat something delicious, and people watch!
Why it’s awesome: The heart of Hong Kong is its food. No other city in the world can match it for both local dishes and their mastery of a range of cuisines from around the world. It’s rare to get a bad meal in Hong Kong, and nearly impossible in Lan Kawai Fong.
This area includes main streets and small alleys, all of them packed to the brim with restaurants quite literally stacked on top of each other. In these streets, you will find anything you have a craving for, and it will probably be the best version that you’ve ever eaten.
What to do there: Make sure that you bring your appetite and spend some time wandering the streets before you choose a place to eat. The ground level is only the start, so check the directories located at the main entrances to the buildings to see what the higher levels have to offer. There’s nothing better than taking a seat in one of the outdoor patios and watching the crowds as you enjoy your meal, so make sure that’s a part of your experience.
#10 – Tian Tan Buddha
A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Hong Kong
• Amazing views.
• Perfect for nature lovers.
• A remnant of Hong Kong’s past.
• You’ll be shocked at just how huge this statue is!
Why it’s awesome: You may have seen the ‘Big Buddha’ in pictures, but nothing prepares you for how big this statue is in reality. It’s one of the largest Buddha statues in the world and took 12 years to complete. Surrounded by acres of green, there is an astonishing view over the forest and ocean. This is the perfect place to get that iconic picture of your trip to Hong Kong with the most glorious backdrop possible.
What to do there: The ‘Big Buddha’ is located on Lantau Island above the Po Lin monastery, which you’ll have to walk through on your way to the statue. The monastery was founded in 1906 and contains several incredible architectural features, such as the Hall of Bodhisattva Skanda and the Main Shrine Hall of Buddha. Before you head up to take pictures of the seated Buddha, make sure you explore this piece of Hong Kong’s past in detail.
#11 – Hong Kong Park
A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Hong Kong
• A slice of peace in the heart of the city.
• Includes an aviary with more than 80 bird species.
• Great for nature lovers and anyone who needs a break from the city.
Why it’s awesome: Hong Kong is an incredibly busy city; sometimes, you just need a place to sit and be peaceful. It’s even better if you can do that amongst nature. Hong Kong Park is enormous and boasts water features and small forests with mature trees. It’s the perfect place to relax when you’ve had a long day and need some rejuvenation.
What to do there: You literally don’t have to do anything in this park. You can just find a nice, shady spot, sit down, and relax – maybe even take a nap. If you’re feeling a little more active, go and see the birds in the aviary, spend time in the greenhouse, or visit the Hong Kong Visual Art Center. But don’t feel bad if all you do is sit and watch the water. Everyone needs some time to sit and relax sometimes.
#12 – Tsim Tsa Tsui
• The best shopping area in Hong Kong.
• Includes both high-end retailers and local vendors.
• The Tsim Tsa Tsui Cultural Center, which is located at the end of the main street, contains several different tourist attractions.
• There’s something for every taste and interest here.
Why it’s awesome: This is the heart of the city and it’s probably the place you’ll see the most of while you’re in Hong Kong. Nathan Road is the main street running through this area and is lined with shops of almost every type, selling everything you could imagine. It’s crowded and busy with people, cars, buses and transport of every kind. Shops blast out conflicting styles of music and lights flash every color possible. It’s quite literally a place that overloads your senses, and that’s what makes it so exciting!
What to do there: First, you need to shop until you drop on Nathan Road and check out the high-end designer shops on Canton Road. Once you’ve had your fill there, go down to the Cultural Center and check out the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art. This complex is right on the waterfront, so if you’re there in the evening, consider sticking around to watch the evening light show across the harbor. You’ll have the best vantage point in the city!
#13 – Man Mo Temple
Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Hong Kong
• One of the most important temples in Hong Kong.
• It will give you an insight into modern religion in Hong Kong.
• Still an integral part of the daily lives of many locals.
• Beautiful, ornate decorations.
Why it’s awesome: The Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest in Hong Kong and yet it’s still vitally important in everyday life. This temple is dedicated to The God of Literature and the God of War; people come here to burn offerings and voice their most private wishes. The temple itself is ornate and lushly decorated, with the heavy scent of incense and the smoky air adding to the mystique.
What to do there: While you’re in the temple, observe the reverence with which the locals choose their offerings and make their wish. Enjoy the architecture and the mysterious and worshipful hush of the rooms. Study the exuberant offerings and alters set all around. And walk away with a deeper understanding of the importance of sites like this in modern life in Hong Kong.
#14 – Pottinger Street
• One of the oldest streets in Hong Kong.
• An iconic part of Central District.
• Now a shopping area where you can buy costumes, ornaments, and souvenirs.
Why it’s awesome: There are some places in the world where you can feel the history, and this is one of them. Dating back to the 1850s, this street was named after Henry Pottinger, the first governor of Hong Kong, and much of it remains unchanged since that time. The stone street is steep and difficult to traverse, yet there’s a liveliness to the area that belies the long history.
What to do there: Pottinger Street is in the Central District of Hong Kong, so there’s a lot to do in the surrounding areas in Hong Kong. While you’re in the street, have a look at the souvenirs and quirky trinkets. Try on some of the costumes the vendors are selling and generally just enjoy the colorful, lively atmosphere.
#15 – Nan Lian Garden
• Peaceful, lush natural surroundings.
• A historic area that reflects one of the golden ages of Chinese culture.
• Managed by the historic Chi Lin Nunnery, which can be viewed at the same time.
Why it’s awesome: The Nan Lian Garden is a designed in the style of a Tang dynasty garden and reflects the wealth of the time, as well as its unique culture. The garden features pagodas, water features, and pavilions, all of them set in a serene and visually pleasing setting.
What to do there: Get a glimpse into China’s history as you wander around these historic gardens, designed in a style that goes back to the 8th century AD. This was one of the golden ages in Chinese civilization in terms of culture and economic power, and this is reflected in the lushness and order of these gardens. While you’re there, make sure you check out the Chi Lin Nunnery and its trendy and popular vegetarian restaurant as well!
#16 – Lamma Island
A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Hong Kong
• As far from the city as you can get.
• Great hiking and beaches.
• Small villages where you can see the local way of life.
• No roads or vehicles allowed, so you’ll feel as if you’ve quite literally gone back in time.
Why it’s awesome: Lamma Island can give you a taste of how Hong Kong was a long time ago when it was made up of small villages. It’s like stepping back in time to when there were no cars and life was simple and quiet. Easily accessible from Hong Kong, this is an excellent destination for anyone who wants to really get away from the noise and busyness. But don’t take this side trip if you don’t enjoy hiking, because there isn’t any other way to get around the island.
What to do there: Lamma Island is all about the outdoor activities, so if you enjoy these kinds of pastimes, then this is the ideal place for you. You can hike the tiny island, swim in the ocean, or laze on the beach. If you spend a day here, it will be a day of pure relaxation where you enjoy nature at every turn. You won’t starve while you’re there either; there are seaside villages on the island with restaurants, so you’ll be able to enjoy a good seafood meal before returning to Hong Kong’s fast-paced lifestyle.
#17 – The Beach at Repulse Bay
A nice non-touristy place to visit in Hong Kong
• Sun, sand, and relaxation!
• A relaxed atmosphere coupled with high class restaurants and food.
• Great for kids.
• Good for swimming.
Why it’s awesome: You probably don’t think of the beach in connection with Hong Kong, but you should. After all, it’s an island, so naturally, it’s surrounded by water and beaches. The beach at Repulse Bay is a soft sand beach with great views.
It’s also surprisingly non-touristy. You’ll probably only see locals during your time on this beach, because all the tourists are enjoying the more obvious city attractions. This makes it the perfect place to get some sun without the crowds that usually gather at the seaside.
What to do there: The water is relatively warm in Repulse Bay year round, and the temperature in Hong Kong never drops low enough to make a stroll along the beach uncomfortable. So, going for a swim and walking on the beach are both popular choices in this area. In fact, this is a beach to relax at, so don’t expect lots of vigorous water sports. Instead, just enjoy the water and the sun. When you get tired of that, there are some great shops and restaurants lining the beach. When you’re ready for a meal, choose a place to sit and eat while the sun goes down.
#18 – Big Wave Bay
• Gentle water.
• A laid-back surfer’s atmosphere.
• Less developed than most of the other beaches.
• Outdoor restaurants and street stalls serving meat and fresh seafood.
Why it’s awesome: If you like your beach time to be laidback and completely relaxed, then Big Wave Bay is the ultimate beach for that. Easily accessible from Hong Kong, this beach feels like it’s a world away from the city, which is why it’s such a favorite spot for locals and expats. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to feel like you’re completely out of the big city without leaving the area entirely.
What to do there: Big Wave Bay has a rocky headland where surfers can practice their craft, and soft sand where sunbathers work on their tans. This is one of the few places in Hong Kong where you can spend all day on the beach and have a good meal without having to change your clothes or put on shoes. The restaurants and food stalls are all outdoors and completely casual. So, after you’ve spent your day on the beach, take advantage of the chance to keep on relaxing during a great feed.
#19 – Temple Street Night Markets
Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Hong Kong
• Great shopping for everything from jewelry and gadgets to clothing and souvenirs.
• Food stalls selling delicious, freshly cooked snacks.
• Lots of chances to snag a bargain!
Why it’s awesome: There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a market in Asia. The sights, sounds, and smells have to be experienced to be fully appreciated, and this market is one of the best in the city where you can do that. You can find anything you want here, plus a few things that you didn’t know you wanted. The food stalls ensure that you’ll eat well at the same time.
What to do there: This is an obvious one; the Temple Street Night Markets are made for shopping. Look for souvenirs to take home, jewelry to give as gifts, and strangely beautiful ornaments to remind you of your trip once you’re back home. This market opens around 6 pm, but it takes a while to get going, so arrive later and bring your appetite with you. When you’re sick of shopping, you can go from food stall to food stall and try absolutely everything that catches your eye.
#20 – Garden of Stars
• Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood stars.
• See prints left behind by China’s most celebrated performers, such as Bruce Lee.
• A great reminder that Hollywood isn’t the center of the world!
Why it’s awesome: Most people outside of Asia tend to think of Hollywood when they think about movie stars. But Asian countries have their own movie stars, some of them incredibly popular and well-respected. The movie scene is hugely profitable in Asia, and it’s also an important part of the culture in Hong Kong. If you want to understand a little more about the city you’re visiting, you need to understand which public figures the locals admire.
What to do there: This is a place to open your mind. Some of the names you may recognize – such as Bruce Lee – but many of them you won’t. This is a place where you’ll start to understand just how different the culture around you is. If you’re curious and start researching some of the names, you just might find yourself with a whole new genre of film to explore!
#21 – Tai O Fishing Village
One of Hong Kong’s coolest historical sites!
• A chance to see a more traditional way of life.
• Slower paced and relaxing.
• Great, fresh seafood dishes.
• You may even catch a glimpse of the endangered pink dolphins in the area around the village!
Why it’s awesome: Hong Kong is an exciting city, but it’s also noisy, polluted and busy. If you get tired of all the rush and crowds, then a trip to the Tai O fishing village is the perfect antidote. Here, you’ll get a glimpse of a slower pace of life, have a chance to breathe, and enjoy a glimpse of Hong Kong’s past. You’ll probably get some fresh seafood to eat while you’re at it too.
What to do there: There are no amusement parks, rides, or flashing neon signs in Tai O fishing village. This is a small village where the locals are welcoming to tourists but have their own lives. While you’re there, take a boat ride around the village with one of the locals, visit the local market, and enjoy the freshest seafood you’ve ever had. It’s a great way to support the locals in their chosen way of life and a chance to enjoy some peace and quiet before you plunge into the streets of Hong Kong again.
#22 – Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Hong Kong
• A peaceful escape from the city.
• Set on a hilltop in the countryside.
• Fascinating statues lining the path up to the monastery.
• Good for anyone who’s interested in learning more about Hong Kong’s history.
Why it’s awesome: The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery isn’t a monastery. It’s listed as a historic site, and the unusual statues along the approach make it memorable even before you arrive at the temple complex. The architecture in the complex is impressive and nearly as good as the view, which can be seen from key points and includes long, sprawling acres of lush green forest.
What to do there: The walk up to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a long one. You must make your way up a long, curving staircase with around 400 steps – all in near-tropical heat. And yet, this monumental task doesn’t seem so bad in this case. That’s because there are golden Buddha statues all the way up, each of them with a unique expression and other quirks, making the journey one of exploration and discovery. Once you get there, explore the impressive structure and Buddha statues and make sure you take lots of timeouts to enjoy the impressive view from every angle.
#23 – Hong Kong Museum of History
One of the most underrated places to see in Hong Kong
• An interactive and educational experience.
• Good for people who are interested in going deep into the historical origins of an area.
• An incredible, long term view of the city.
Why it’s awesome: Most historical museums share pieces of the past with guests, but this one goes a step further and goes back nearly 400 million years! It tells the story of Hong Kong through a variety of forms, including audio-visual, dioramas, graphics and archaeological findings; it truly does delve deep into this city’s fascinating past.
What to do there: Make sure that you spend some time in the museum. It can be tempting to rush around so that you can get back to the shopping and eating, but try to take your time. Delving into the past is the best way to get a thorough understanding of a place, and this display deserves that time and attention.
#24 – Happy Valley Racecourse
• Themed nights, so you get to dress in costume.
• The place to be seen in Hong Kong on a Wednesday night.
• The only form of gambling allowed in the city.
Why it’s awesome: Most gambling is illegal in Hong Kong, except for betting on the horses; there are only two places where the locals can do that, so the racecourses tend to be packed. This makes the Wednesday night races the place to be for anyone in the know – you even get to wear costumes. Each Wednesday night is themed, so choose your night, your theme and dress accordingly.
What to do there: Obviously, you can bet at the racecourse, but if that isn’t your scene, then there’s plenty else to do. This is one of the busiest social centers in the city on race nights; everyone comes to have a drink, socialize and show off their costumes. The racecourse also has a popular beer garden, which is the perfect place to spend some time on a warm night.
#25 – The Dragon’s Back
A must visit place to visit in Hong Kong on the weekend!
• For nature lovers.
• A great hike for anyone who wants to get away from the city and burn off some calories.
• Interesting villages and other landmarks along the way.
Why it’s awesome: This popular hike takes you through some of the most picturesque natural areas of Hong Kong. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Lamma Island across a stretch of blue sea. The hike is just strenuous enough to give you a great workout without completely exhausting you.
What to do there: The path starts at To Tai Wan and takes you along the crest of the mountain and past several beaches, including Big Wave Bay and Shek O beach. You can stop off along the way for a swim and then continue or conclude your hike at either beach. The walk is one of the easiest in Hong Kong; there are a lot of sightseeing platforms along the way where you can take in the views and snap some pictures.
#26 – Yuek Po Street Garden
A nice quiet place to see in Hong Kong
• Get an insight into traditional Chinese culture.
• For lovers of a slower way of living.
• A good way to leave the tourist trail and get a glimpse of real life in Hong Kong.
• Find some eclectic souvenirs.
Why it’s awesome: This traditional Chinese garden is home to a market that’s essential to the everyday life of Hong Kong’s locals. Here, you’ll find song birds – one of the most popular pets in the city – in bamboo cages, as well as small insects. This market sells mostly bird-care paraphernalia and is popular amongst older locals, who dote on their birds in return for being able to listen to their sweet songs.
What to do there: Slow down when you’re in this area. This is a place where an older culture is on display, and you don’t want to miss it. Although you can buy some unique souvenirs at this market, the best part of the experience is listening to the songs around you and drinking in the sight of locals doting on their tiny, noisy pets.
#27 – Yau Ma Tei Theatre
• See Cantonese opera on the stage!
• Fabulous costumes, makeup, and sets.
• An illustration of a new facet of Chinese culture.
• English subtitles.
Why it’s awesome: When you think of Chinese opera, you probably think of Beijing, but there’s just as strong a tradition of opera in Hong Kong, and this is where to see it. The Yau Ma Tei Theatre is the only surviving pre-war theater in Hong Kong; it’s been recently revamped to bring this ancient art into the modern world! If you’re interested in this ancient tradition, this theater is the place to go.
What to do there: Enjoy the sights and sounds of the theater with its brightly colored, voluminous costumes, white, red and black face paint, and hugely ornate headdresses. Cantonese opera is unique and includes lots of gongs, falsetto voices, and information about Cantonese culture you won’t find anywhere else. It’s obviously in Cantonese, but they have subtitles in English so you can understand what’s going on.
Don’t miss the historic fruit market alongside the theater; it’s been there for over a hundred years and offers some of the freshest fruit in the city – a great place to grab a snack before or after the performance!
#28 – Jumbo Restaurant
A great place to visit in Hong Kong at night
• An iconic Hong Kong Landmark
• Truly a spectacle that isn’t to be missed.
• Amazing seafood dinners.
Why it’s awesome: The Jumbo Restaurant floats at the Aberdeen Promenade and took over four years to build, with a budget into the millions. It serves some of the best, freshest seafood dishes and brings in tourists and locals alike, which lets you know that the food must be delicious. It has even played host to celebrities like Chow Yun Fat and Tom Cruise, as well as Queen Elizabeth.
What to do there: When you eat at the Jumbo restaurant, it’s an experience to be savored, so plan to spend some time on this floating light show. The seafood dishes are particularly good, but if you don’t like seafood, they have a variety of dim sum and Cantonese dishes as well. The ambiance is a big part of the experience, so make sure you make a production of the meal and get every drop of enjoyment possible out of it!
#29 – Kam Shan Country Park
• See wildlife close to the city.
• The park contains many wartime ruins that show the extent of the damage done during this period of history.
• Great for people who love animals!
Why it’s awesome: If you want to see animals, then the Kam Shan Country Park is the place to do it. This is one of the oldest parks in Hong Kong and is known as Monkey Hill, for obvious reasons. It’s home to around 2000 monkeys, who live in the trees, visit the beach, and hang out by the road. Just make sure that you don’t take any food in with you, as they get over excited if they think they’re going to get fed.
What to do there: The park itself is a lovely slice of nature; you can easily hike through it while enjoying the sight of the monkey families going about their day. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to take photos as well, just make sure that you don’t get too close – monkeys can be unpredictable! There are also several well-preserved wartime ruins left throughout the area if you’re interested in that facet of Hong Kong’s history.
#30 – The Mong Kok Ladies Market
• A great shopping experience at local prices.
• Bright and colorful surroundings.
• Interesting goods at bargain prices, and good deals for those who are good at bargaining and know what they want.
Why it’s awesome: Markets are great, but the tourist markets can be expensive. The vendors tend to put up their prices for the tourists, and if you don’t know what you should be paying for something, you can end up spending too much. But the Mong Kok Ladies Market is for the locals; it’s where the locals go to get everything from kitchen utensils to ornaments. If you’re careful and remember to bargain, you can get a great deal.
What to do there: Like many other places in Hong Kong, this market is for shopping! Make sure you know what you want, be ready to bargain and be prepared to walk away if you don’t get the price you want. It might seem a little strange to Westerners, but bargaining is part of life in lots of areas of Asia; no one will take it badly unless you’re rude. So find yourself a unique knickknack and get to work!
#31 – Kowloon Walled City Park
Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Hong Kong
• A traditional Chinese park with a dark history.
• Good for historians and anyone else interested in the not-so-distant past.
• A beautiful, relaxing natural place in the center of the city.
Why it’s awesome: The Kowloon Walled City Park is now a beautiful, serene Chinese style park that allows tourists and locals to enjoy a piece of nature in the middle of the city. But until 1993, it was one of the most densely packed and lawless places in the modern world.
The Kowloon Walled City was once a Chinese fort. But after it fell into British hands there was a serious power vacuum that allowed criminals to take control of the entire area. In the years after, this 6.4-acre area housed more than 50,000 people and was ruled by triads. For a long time, it was Hong Kong’s haven for prostitution, gambling, and drug trafficking.
What to do there: In 1993 the government finished evicting all the residents of the Walled city and demolished the illegally erected buildings, replacing them with a traditional Chinese park. Traces of the old city were preserved however, such as the yamen, or imperial government administration building. But mostly, this is a place to relax and explore the beauty of nature in a place that was once ruled by the very darkest parts of humanity.
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Final Thoughts on the Coolest Places to Visit in Hong Kong
We’ve talked about a wide range of different types of attractions in Hong Kong that suit every budget and taste. By visiting these places, you’ll experience some of Hong Kong’s history, its amazing food culture, popular sightseeing spots, and some more unusual sights, all at the same time! By working your way through this list, you’ll be sure to have a great time while you’re in Hong Kong, all without breaking the bank!
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Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking Hong Kong Travel Guide
- Best Airbnbs in Hong Kong
- Backpacking China Travel Guide
- The Ultimate China Packing List
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.