Top 10 Things to do in Hong Kong | Hong Kong Pass

With so much eating, shopping and exploring to do, it can be difficult pinpointing what to do when in Hong Kong. We've put together an unmissable list of top 10 things to do in Hong Kong - perfect for first-timers and regular visitors.

Even though Hong Kong might not be the biggest city around, it more than makes up for it with an endless number of tourist attractions and delights hiding around every corner. Whether you’re here for the long haul or just a short weekend trip, figuring out what to do in Hong Kong can sometimes be a nightmare: mostly because there’s just so much of it to see. We’ve curated a guide of the top 10 things to do in Hong Kong below, so if you’re running short on time make sure these are your priorities. Read on for more…

 

Take the Star Ferry

An icon of the city, this Victoria Harbour ferry used to be one of the most popular ways to get from Hong Kong Island to Tsim Sha Tsui. Since the arrival of the MTR however, this old colonial ferry has become more of a tourist attraction though many locals still take it when they have a leisurely bit of time on their hands. Easily recognisable by its grand emerald green and snowy white exterior, the ferries run regularly from both Tsim Sha Tsui and Central Pier. If you’re into photography, it’s also one of the best ways to snap an unbeatable photograph of the Hong Kong skyline and it won’t cost you much either.

 

Head up to Victoria Peak

Hong Kong is packed with skyscrapers which all come alive at night, which is why heading up to the heights to take it all in is one of the best things you can do on a visit here. Take a trip up to Victoria Peak, the highest vantage point on Hong Kong island, to bask in the city’s full glory and watch the lights come on at sunset. With a number of romantic restaurants facing out onto the skyline and even attractions like Madame Tussauds, the Peak is a gorgeous shout whether it’s day or night and its observation deck is a great shout. We’d recommend venturing up here either by hiking from Mid-Levels, taking a minibus or on a hop on hop off bus, then taking the Peak tram, a gorgeous colonial-era tram, back downtown.

Learn more with our guide to visiting The Peak.

 

Have some dim sum

Dim sum is practically a national sport in Hong Kong and the act of eating it genuinely has a name: locals refer to a sit down dim sum meal as ‘yum cha’. This beloved Cantonese cuisine is eaten mostly in the late morning though some places do serve it all day long and it’s well worth making time for, especially if you can get to a traditional dim sum restaurant. The dim sum restaurant inside City Hall is a popular favourite with locals and tourists alike as it continues to boast an authentic experience, with waiters and waitresses pushing round gigantic carts laden with bamboo steamers full of delicious dumplings and buns.

 

Go for a hike

Take our word for it: although Hong Kong may seem like a skyscraping metropolis, it’s actually home to a few beautiful hiking trails. In fact, you’ll find a number of locals pounding the trails around certain traditional festivals as it’s said that if you head to the heights for a picnic, you’re likely to have good fortune in the year to come. The Victoria Peak trail is easily the most accessible and super popular, primarily because it isn’t too demanding and the views are stunning. Those looking for more of a challenge should look into the Dragon’s Back trail.

Go to an outlying island

Not many visitors know that Hong Kong is actually made up of a series of islands that goes beyond just Hong Kong Island and the New Territories. Many of them are accessible from the main Central ferry port and for a side of Hong Kong not many get to see, it’s worth taking time out to visit one of them. Our most recommended spots would be Cheung Chau, a dreamy little island which frowns upon cars and is packed with some of the best seafood restaurants around.

Pay your respects at Big Buddha

One of our favourite top 10 things to do in Hong Kong - this gigantic Buddha towards Lantau Island is one of the most impressive landmarks in the city and sits atop a mountain, which you can see if you take the Ngong Ping cable car across. Although it’s a bit of a distance from the main city, it’s well worth the trek and visiting the breathtaking Po Lin Monastery which sits at its base: one of the most significant Buddhist temples in Hong Kong. Fittingly, Po Lin’s restaurant only serves vegetarian food so it’s one of the rare few places you can actually grab meat-free Chinese food.

 

Grab a drink from on high

Given that Hong Kong’s a pretty tall city, there’s a number of bars and restaurants that have secured some prime real estate at the top of its skyscrapers. Most guidebooks will recommend heading to O-Zone, located in the same building as sky100 but we would advise you to give it a miss as it tends to be quite overpriced and busy. Instead, venture to the Ritz Carlton (which is located right below it) for a sky-high afternoon tea, East Hotel’s sky bar Sugar or - if you’re on the main island - grab a drink at Cafe Gray in the Upper House. 

 

Party all night long at Lan Kwai Fong

There’s only a couple of buzzing bar districts on main Hong Kong Island and Lan Kwai Fong is the one you’ll have heard the most about - with good reason. Packed elbow to elbow with bars blasting out all kinds of music, the party lasts until the early hours of the morning here and it’s usually so busy that people spill out onto the streets with their glasses in hand. Grab a famous jello syringe shot at Stormies to start you off, dance to live-music at Insomnia, cocktail sip with the bigwigs at Azure or Dragon-I and round it all off with some late-night food at Tsui Wah down the road.

Discover more with our guide to Lan Kwai Fong and Soho.

Tan at the beach

Hong Kong truly has it all and there’s a number of beaches that are just an easy hour ride from Central. Stanley and Repulse Bay remain popular favourites with families as there’s also a number of boardwalk restaurants and markets nearby, while locals tend to favour further out and quieter beaches such as Shek O or Big Wave Bay.

 

Thrill seek at a theme park

On the weekends, you’re likely to see families from Mainland China crossing the border just for a dream weekend at Disneyland or Ocean Park. While many locals will staunchly throw their weight behind Ocean Park, which has more of an eco-education focus than Mickey Mouse’s favourite haunt, both parks have something different going for it and it’s worth going to both if you have time.

Plan ahead with our comprehensive guide to visiting Ocean Park.

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