Whether you’re a tourist looking for the best attractions and places to visit in Hong Kong, or you live here and want a refresher on HK attractions, we’ve got all sorts of must-visit places in this giant list! There are so many things to see in Hong Kong – from iconic tourist spots to fantastic nature areas, including places that are definitely worth a re-visit if you haven’t been for a while. Plus, plenty of the top sights in Hong Kong are free (from light shows to hikes, to views from the Peak!).
* Keep in mind that some activities in HK may be affected by current restrictions.
Hong Kong Tourist Attractions
One of the best Hong Kong attractions (and it won’t break the bank!) is the iconic Star Ferry. It plies the short route between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui constantly, all day, every day. A ride on this famous tourist attraction will cost you less than $4 for the upper deck and give you spectacular harbour views of the city to boot. Then it’s just a matter of disembarking to shop, explore and eat your way around the two different sides of the water.
Running over 800 metres and rising 135 metres through the city to link the Central and Western districts, the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator is the world’s longest escalator system. There are 14 entrances and exits, linking Queen’s Road Central with Conduit Road. To ride the complete length of the escalator system one-way takes about 20 to 25 minutes. A good starting point is 100 Queen’s Road in Central.
Dim sum restaurants
No visit to Hong Kong is complete with trying one of the city’s 2,000 types of dim sum. A traditional dim sum meal includes steamed buns such as char siu bao, and dumplings including siu mai and har gow; you’ll also find vegetables, roasted meats, congee and soups. Where to go in Hong Kong for dim sum? We suggest trying an older-style place such as Maxim’s City Hall, which serves dishes to your table from trolley carts. Also famous is HK’s cheapest Michelin-starred dim sum at Tim Ho Wan. For a more modern take on the Cantonese cuisine, try Duddell’s or The Chinese Library.
Spending a lazy day on a catered junk with friends is a popular weekend activity during the warmer months in Hong Kong. It’s not only loads of fun, but an interesting way to see the territory’s coastline; you also get to visit some off-the-beaten-track restaurants. There are a number of companies offering all-day junk trips.
Hong Kong tailors
Getting a suit or shirt made-to-measure is a quintessential Hong Kong thing to do; many a businessperson will make a beeline to a tailor while here. The tailoring industry has its origins in the 1920s and Hong Kong tailors soon built a reputation for precision and speed. They’re now revered around the globe – at one time the local industry was said to rival London’s famed Savile Row. The custom clothing trade is still going strong. You can get bespoke suits, shirts, overcoats and accessories made-to-measure in the finest materials.
If there’s one Hong Kong must-do attraction, it’s a ride on the historic Peak Tram (which opened in 1888) from Central to The Peak. This is one of the quintessential HK experiences, not just for the tram trip itself, but because you arrive at the place to take in the iconic view of the city’s mesmerising skyline. There’s a mall where you can pick up some souvenirs, along with restaurants. The Mount Austin Playground is also fun for kids.
Cat Street Antique Market
If you’re wondering where to go in Hong Kong for antiques, trinkets and souvenirs, Cat Street is a great start. The street market here has a fun collection of antique shops and kitsch curios, just off Hollywood Road; the atmospheric Man Mo Temple is short walk away. Although the official name of the thoroughfare is Upper Lascar Row, it’s commonly called Cat Street. Take a trip back into the past as you walk along this street; who knows, you might even find a treasure along the way!
Lan Kwai Fong
Sure, it’s something of a Hong Kong cliché, and a few of the outlets are overly touristy, but at least one night out in Lan Kwai Fong is an expat rite-of-passage. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy, but you’ll find the party often spills out into the streets as Hong Kong’s laws allow you to consume alcohol in public spaces. The pandemic has affected things, of course, so check on openings, closures and hours first.
Speaking of bars, Ozone, located on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), is a must-visit for anyone who loves a view! It’s said to be the highest bar in the world. Amazing panorama aside, the interior of the bar is also something to look at; it’s decked out with a marble counter and mesmerising geometric designs throughout the space. Unsurprisingly, the team serves up quality drinks here too, from innovative cocktails to classics like Martinis and Cosmopolitans.
Chung King Mansions
The infamous Chung King Mansions in TST is an eclectic mix of stores selling cheap electronics, spices and more. It’s also a rabbit warren of private kitchens specialising in ethnic cuisine. This makes it a must on any foodie’s list of things to do in Hong Kong. The building has existed for more than 50 years and originally had high-end shops and nightclubs in the basement. By the 1970s, it had become associated with the city’s less desirable underbelly. The 1995 Wong Kar-wai film Chungking Express immortalised it in popular culture. Chung King Mansions is believed to be home to about 4000 people.
Best Hong Kong Sightseeing Spots – 10 Must Visit Places
Tian Tan Buddha
Aside from the fact that you can get to it via a fun cable car ride, the “Big Buddha”, or Tian Tan Buddha, is a prominent Hong Kong tourist attraction today. Constructed in 1993 from 202 separate bronze pieces, the statue is 34 metres high and weighs 250 tons. Next door is the Po Lin Monastery, well worth a visit for its religious significance. Founded in 1906 by three monks visiting from Jiangsu Province on the Chinese mainland, it was originally known as “The Big Hut”.
What’s a list of places to visit and things to do without Disneyland in it? Another top Hong Kong tourist attraction, the park is scheduled for more expansion over the next few years; visitors can expect new experiences and attractions to open that are unique to Hong Kong, including Marvel-themed and Frozen-themed areas. In the meantime, don’t miss Mystic Manor, a slight twist on the traditional Haunted House, and the Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagined version of the classic Space Mountain.
Wong Tai Sin Temple
This is a popular temple – one of Hong Kong’s biggest and busiest. Wong Tai Sin Temple swears to ‘make every wish come true upon request’. Many people head here to get their fortunes told, and to pray for good fortune through offerings. It’s home to three religions – Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism – and is the only temple in the country permitted to conduct Taoist wedding ceremonies and issue marriage certificates. If you’re only visiting one temple in Hong Kong, this is a good choice; it’s a huge complex, with several halls, shrines and even a garden. The temple is easy to access from Wong Tai Sin MTR Station.
You can’t visit Hong Kong without stopping by the city’s original theme park, also one of its most visited tourist attractions. It combines an amusement park, marine park, oceanarium and animal theme park and promises a full day of fun for all. Kids will love the animal areas; they’ll be able to see the famous giant pandas, Le Le and Ying Ying, plus an array of other unique creatures. For the adrenaline junkies, Thrill Mountain is a must. There are attractions for everyone here, no matter what you fancy. The South Island MTR line takes you straight to the Park.
Lamma Island has transformed from a traditional Chinese fishing village into a laid-back multicultural community. Today, a blend of Western and Chinese island culture creates an irresistible, one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Go here to enjoy an escape from the busy city, and also the island’s fantastic beaches, hills and local temples. Start with the Lamma Island Family Walk; this gentle hike is one of Hong Kong’s favourites and brings you past coastline, forests and temples. Lamma has two main villages, both accessible by ferry from Central Ferry Pier. Yung Shue Wan has a bigger range of bars, restaurants and shops, and ferry services are also more frequent. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
Chi Lin Nunnery
You’d hardly believe that a place like this exists amidst the countless built-up buildings of Hong Kong. Originally made as a retreat for Buddhist nuns, the complex is wonderfully serene, with beautiful architecture. During reconstruction work in 1998, not a single nail was used. The complex was completely designed using interlocking pieces of wood; this was apparently to demonstrate the harmony of humans with nature. The site is an easy walk from Diamond Hill MTR. Definitely worth a visit!
Tai O Fishing Village
This is one of Hong Kong’s last few fishing villages and a rare example of the old Chinese stilt-house community. There’s a rich, traditional culture here; it’s a stark contrast from the fast-paced city area of Hong Kong. Don’t forget to try the specialties and street foods, most of which are seafood-focused. Reach Tai O by getting the MTR to Tung Chung then taking bus 11; you can also catch a ferry to Mui Wo and then take bus 1.
An ambitious project to revitalise the Central Police Station – the biggest restoration project ever undertaken in Hong Kong, in fact – has led to an exciting new attraction reflecting the city’s art scene. Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts is a 27,900-square-metre site where visitors can enjoy not just examples of colonial architecture in all their glory, but also a wide range of innovative heritage, cultural and lifestyle offerings. Find the shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques of Tai Kwan at 10 Hollywood Road. There are five gates through which you can access the site.
Noah’s Ark Hong Kong
This unique theme park contains the only full-sized replica of Noah’s Ark in the world; it’s located on Park Island, next to the Tsing Ma Bridge. This is a must-visit attraction if you want an educational day with the kids. From exhibits on the solar system to interactive games and also an exciting Adventureland, the Ark is a fun yet fascinating place to bring the kids. You can reach Park Island by bus, ferry, MTR or car.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
A visit to this monastery is quite the spectacle, with over 10,000 gold-painted Buddhas lining a steep path up. There are over 400 steps in all, so it’s great workout in addition to being a memorable cultural site! Once you’ve managed to conquer the climb, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view. Gaze down at Sha Tin and the New Territories, then do some sightseeing of the interesting temple grounds. The entrance to this Hong Kong attraction is a 10-minute walk from Sha Tin station.
Where to Go in Hong Kong for the Best Free Experiences
Exploring a park
Take an escalator from Pacific Place mall up to an unexpected oasis. Hong Kong Park contains fountains, an aviary and a children’s playground. Or escape Causeway Bay’s crowds at Victoria Park, where going early will get you a glimpse of local Tai Chi groups. Playground spaces and a rock park keep kids entertained. Meanwhile, Hong Kong Zoological & Botanical Garden offers the chance to watch monkeys up close for free.
Hanging out at the beach!
Hong Kong has too many beaches to count, but all provide just what you need for an enjoyable day out without burning through the cash. Repulse Bay is a must-visit for its accessible and expansive arc of sand. Big Wave Bay is another popular one, attracting surfers to its decent break. And camping bays at Pui O allows you to wake to the sound of rolling waves.
Read more: Top Hong Kong beaches
Seeing the light show
The city’s iconic skyline takes on a new glow as buildings each side of the harbour beam lights across the water. The Symphony of Lights spectacle takes place every night at 8pm. Head down to the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront for the best view and marvel at Hong Kong Island’s skyline at night.
Taking in a temple
For a free thing to do that’s instantly transporting, nothing beats a visit to a temple; and Hong Kong has plenty! We’ve already mentioned Wong Tai Sin, but another great temple to see is Man Mo on Hollywood Road. This atmospheric building is one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples, and is dedicated to the god of literature.
Roaming a rooftop
IFC Mall’s landscaped rooftop provides one of the city’s few free public seating spots, making it perfect if you bring a coffee and book or plan a city picnic with the kids. The sight of ferries chugging across the harbour never gets old.
Going to a museum
Looking for free things to do in the middle of the week? You’re in luck, as some of Hong Kong’s best museums are open for free every Wednesday: the Museum of Art, Museum of History, Heritage Museum, Science Museum, Space Museum, Museum of Coastal Defence and the Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum. The Flagstaff Museum of Tea Ware, Hong Kong Railway Museum, Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, and a handful of folk museums are free of charge every day, as are the exhibitions at the Hong Kong Film Archive and the Hong Kong Arts Centre.
Read more: 11 of the best museums in Hong Kong
Eyeing some artworks
Galleries along Hollywood Road are an ideal first stop for browsing artworks, but you can also head to the JCCAC artist colony in Shek Kip Mei, where about 140 artists have studios. It’s open from 10am to 10pm daily and is perfect for those who are looking for a Hong Kong attraction that is free and has a cultural flavour.
Moseying around a market
The vibrant street markets have a lively, bustling energy and provide great people watching, as customers haggle with stallholders. Of course, the cost of this outing will rise if you start buying things! There are also speciality markets such as the fish, bird and flower markets.
Hiking in nature
About three quarters of Hong Kong’s land space is Country Park, so getting into green space is surprisingly easy. Central’s Morning Trail is a great first introduction. The paved stroll takes you up to The Galleria at the top of the Peak, with gorgeous city views to boot.
Read more: Family-friendly hikes in Hong Kong
Why not tie your hike in with a visit to a waterfall? Hong Kong has its fair share, including the famous Bride’s Pool in Plover Cove Country Park, which has a fascinating backstory (follow the link below to discover it!). Some waterfalls here are easily accessible; others require a decent trek to get to. If it’s warm enough, there are some superb swimming opportunities to.
Read more: 5 of our favourite Hong Kong waterfalls
Read on for more Things to Do in Hong Kong and to see what events are coming up!