Home to seven million people, 260 islands and more towering skyscrapers than anywhere else on the planet, Hong Kong is a huge destination in every sense. There are so many things to see and do in Hong Kong. This great city in the China southeast is one of the most modern and densely populated cities in the world.
In 1997 the British returned the city to China, but on the condition that it could be independent for the next 50 years. So Hong Kong is part of China but has its own currency, its inhabitants use their passport and have always spoken Cantonese (not Mandarin). The city is divided into three parts: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and New Territories. It is a very complete city where you can find everything. In this post we present 20 things to see and do in Hong Kong.
What to see and do in Hong Kong
Climb to Victoria Peak, an essential activity to do in Hong Kong
Among the first things you need to add to your list of things to do in Hong Kong is the Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island. The fresh mountain air made Victoria Peak the most exclusive area of the city during the old colonial days. Today it is the panoramic point par excellence of the city because from its top you can enjoy a magnificent view of the fascinating skyline and the bay of Hong Kong.
The historic tram is the most scenic and most comfortable route to the top. But in a populated country like China, there can be very long lines. If you want to get on the funicular before sunset, the most sought after time, arm yourself with patience and go a couple of hours early. Or book online.
Watch the Symphony of Lights show
Every evening at 20pm in Victoria Harbor there is an unmissable event, Symphony of Lights, a dazzling light show that illuminates 00 buildings on both sides of the water to the rhythm of the music.
Having entered the Guinness World Records as the largest permanent light and sound show in the world, it's easy to see why watching the Symphony of Lights show is one of the most popular things to do in Hong Kong.
Marvel at the grandeur of the Tian Tan Buddha
If you want to discover the more traditional part of Hong Kong, dedicate a day to discover the wonders of the island of Lantau. In the village of Ngong Ping, the great Buddha of Tian Tan awaits you, with its 34 meters in height it is the second largest seated Buddha in the world.
It is one of the most important Buddhist centers in China. At its foot is the Buddhist monastery of Po Lin, founded by three monks in 1906, which symbolizes the peace between nature, man, people and religion. Seeing how the faithful burn incense and make their offerings is something very special to do in Hong Kong.
Tai O, a very interesting excursion to do in Hong Kong
This part of the island of Lantau is located about 40 kilometers from the towering skyscrapers of Victoria Harbor, but it seems to be on another planet. It is a fishing village where the inhabitants built their houses on stilts. You can visit the village on a boat tour, and if you're lucky, you might even spot a rare pink dolphin.
Take a historic tram in Hong Kong
On Hong Kong Island you will see some curious double-decker trams. They are a historic way of getting around the city, as they have been in operation since 1904. We recommend that you take a seat near the windows on the upper floor. For only 2.30 HKD (€ 0,30) you can take a fun ride and take in different views of Hong Kong.
Visit the street markets, which is an inevitable thing to do in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a city famous for its markets. There you can find everything: phone cases, clothes, shoes, souvenirs ...
The most famous markets in Hong Kong are the Ladies Market and Temple Street Market. Both are set up in the afternoon and are open late. If you want to buy something, take a look and haggle. The initial price is always more than double what they are really willing to accept in the end.
Rest in the Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Monastery
It is amazing to find corners that convey so much peace in the middle of a big city. The Nan Lian Garden displays a careful selection of rock plants and Chinese architecture. In the same enclosure is the Chi Lin Monastery, a set of beautiful wooden temples with different figures representing Buddhist deities.
Go from Kowloon to Hong Kong with the Star Ferry
National Geographic has listed this ferry tour as one of the 50 essentials to do in Hong Kong once in a lifetime. It's a 10 minute walk, enough time to appreciate the view from both sides of the city.
It has been in operation since 1888, and although there are now tunnels connecting Kowloon and Hong Kong by subway, the Star Ferry is still a popular and inexpensive form of transportation. You pay only HKD 2,50 (€ 0,30) for each trip.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Although Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is one of Hong Kong's must-see attractions, the name is misleading. For one, it is not a real monastery - no monk lives here. Secondly, it contains far more than just 10.000 Buddhas (nearly 13.000).
Located on a hill in the Sha Tin countryside, this is one of the most captivating religious sites you have ever seen. The 400-step stairway to the top is lined with countless gilded Buddha statues, each with their own unique pose. Yuet Kai, a man who devoted his life to Buddhism, took more than ten years to create the entire complex.
Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront
You can't leave Hong Kong without taking a stroll through Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. This walk not only offers great views of Hong Kong Island but also has several points of interest. One of these is the Kowloon Clock Tower, the only remnant of the old station on the Kowloon-Canton railway line, which was demolished in 1977.
You can also learn more about the city at the Hong Kong Cultural Center or learn more about the universe at the Hong Kong Space Museum.
Discover the Avenue of Stars
Avenue of Stars is Hong Kong's version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On the street floor are the stars and hand marks of actors such as Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, among others.
The boulevard is located on the Victoria Harbor waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui. In addition to the stars on the ground, there are also several statues of Asian icons of international cinema. Bruce Lee is always the most photographed, but more than 100 figures are paid tribute.
The Man Mo temple
Located on Sheung Wan's Hollywood Road, this incense-scented temple doesn't have the most spectacular facade, but its interior is very special. Dedicated to Man Cheong, the god of literature and Mo Tai, the god of war, the elegant Man Mo Temple is a very special place to see.
Climb the longest escalator in the world
The mid-levels escalator is the longest escalator in the world that serves to connect the port to the higher districts of the city. In reality, it is not a single escalator but several parts of stairs in sequence connected in some sections with more floors by simple treadmills.
The characteristic of this escalator is that from 6 to 10 it works downhill while from 10 to 24 it works uphill. The signs indicate the different exits in advance. There are several things to see along the way, such as the mosque, which is right next to the stairs at the top, and a myriad of small shops, bars and restaurants.
Having fun in Lan Kwai Fong
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without an evening at Lan Kwai Fong. This small area of streets in the central district contains everything you need for nightlife: nearly 100 bars, great restaurants, the hottest nightclubs in town… Other great places for a night out are SoHo, Wan Chai and Knutsford Terrace.
Golden Bauhinia Square
Across the harbor, this 6m tall gold sculpture is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Located outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on Wan Chai waterfront, this budding flower marks the location of the ceremonies for the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in July 1997.
Spend a magical day at Disneyland Hong Kong
There is no need to explain the magic that creates the Disney universe. An ideal family activity to do in Hong Kong is to visit this popular theme park. The attractions and the environment are very similar to those of Disneyland Paris. Don't miss much-loved attractions like Space Mountain and It is A Small World After All, as well as thrilling new ones like Iron Man Experience and Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover.Buy your ticket for Disneyland Hong Kong
Take a trip to Macau
If you have enough time, a recommended excursion is to spend a day in Macau. It is a special administrative region of China that was a Portuguese colony until 1999. In fact, the only thing left of Portugal are the Portuguese language signs and the beautiful buildings in the old city. It has a lot more than China, but seeing the particular blend is something very curious.
The name isn't exactly catchy, but it's a beautiful golden stretch of sand. It is named after a 19th century battle in which the British army repelled invading pirates. Repulse Bay is now one of the most exclusive areas in the city thanks to its gorgeous beach on the southern edge of Hong Kong Island.
Nicknamed the Golden Mile - it is the main thoroughfare in Kowloon, connecting the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront to Sham Shui Po in the north, through 3,6 kilometers of shopping malls, temples and restaurants. An extremely busy road both day and night.
Dedicated entirely to the marine world, this theme park offers shows, various attractions and the chance to discover a zoo and a wonderful aquarium. Between education, fun and awareness, this place is a pleasure for young and old.Buy your ticket to Ocean Park
Where to sleep in Hong Kong
In the former British colony you can find accommodation at all prices. There are hotels from under 20 euros per night to luxury hotels loaded with history with prohibitive prices. However, the city is huge and you have to choose the location of your accommodation well. Depending on whether you go to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon or the New Territories, the atmosphere will be very variable and so will the prices.Find and book accommodation in Hong Kong
You may also be interested in:
- Where to sleep in Capri: best areas and hotels where to stay on the island
- Edinburgh Castle: What to Know Before Visiting It
- Visit the Parliament of Budapest: timetables, prices, how to buy tickets and tours
- The tides of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy: when to go there?
- Montserrat Monastery from Barcelona: Info and Tips (2021)