10 Awesome Things to do in Hong Kong

We recently spent 4 days exploring Hong Kong and found the bustling metropolis to be the perfect blend of East meets West. From wandering through historic temples during the day to relaxing at rooftop bars by night, there really is something for everyone here.

Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, check out our favourite things to do in Hong Kong.

01 VICTORIA PEAK

If you’ve only got time to do one thing whilst you’re in Hong Kong, make sure you head to Victoria Peak for an unmissable view across the city’s iconic skyline.

Rising more than 1,800 feet above sea level, the mesmerising views of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Victoria Harbour will take your breath away.

There are several ways to reach the top and the most popular choice by tourists is to ride the Peak Tram (90 HKD return ticket) which is also the world’s steepest funicular railway.

Once you get to the Peak, many pay extra to visit the Sky Terrace, an observation deck offering panoramic views across the city. However, we’d recommend following the path down to Lugard Road lookout, where you’ll be rewarded with the same views for free and you won’t be fighting for a photo.

Get there for sunset so you can see the incredible transition from day to night.

Travel Tip: Expect to be queuing for over an hour if you want to ride the Peak Tram. A cheaper and quicker alternative is to catch a taxi to the top or take a bus from Central Pier.

02 TIAN TAN BUDDHA & PO LIN MONASTERY

Head to Lantau Island and climb the 268 steps for a closer look at Tian Tan Buddha, a site not to be missed – quite literally.

Visiting Tian Tan Buddha at Lantau Island was one of our favourite things to do in Hong Kong

Completed in 1993, the 34-metre bronze statue symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith.

From the base of the Giant Buddha, you’ll be able to see Po Lin Monastery which is also worth checking out whilst you’re visiting Lantau Island.

Po Lin Monastery at Lantau Island

The monastery was founded in 1906 and houses three bronze statues of the Buddha; representing his past, present and future lives.

From Ngong Ping Village catch the 21 bus and head to Tai O, the oldest fishing village in Hong Kong.

Tai O, the oldest fishing village in Hong Kong

How to get there: Take the subway to Tung Chung station where you can purchase tickets for the Ngong Ping 360 cable car which will take you up to the Giant Buddha. Alternatively, catch the New Lantau Bus no.23 which takes around 50 minutes.

03 ROOFTOP BARS

What better way to soak up this incredible city than with a cocktail in hand at one of Hong Kong’s plush rooftop bars?

Drinking cocktails at SEVVA rooftop bar was one of our favourite things to do in Hong Kong

Scattered all over the city, there’s a number of open-air bars offering 360 degree views on both sides of Victoria Harbour. Boasting one of the most famous skylines in the world, it’s no surprise that swanky bars and lounges have become increasingly popular in Hong Kong in recent years.

After a busy day of sightseeing, watching the world go by from a rooftop bar quickly become one of our favourite things to do in Hong Kong.

If this sounds right up your street, check out our pick of the best rooftop bars in Hong Kong.

Lan Kwai Fong

Fancy a few more cocktails but with a cheaper price tag? Head to Lan Kwai Fong, an area that can only be described as the party epicenter of Hong Kong.

A popular spot for cheap drinks, sheesha, bars and clubs; you’ll find locals and tourists dancing the night away here every night of the week.

04 WALKING FOOD TOUR

You’ll probably know by now that we’re massive foodies. So for us, visiting a new country comes with the added excitement of getting our hands on all of it’s delicious delicacies.

Wonton noodles with beef brisket

We joined Hello Hong Kong’s city food tour and spent four hours indulging in local dishes from some of the most famous restaurants in Sheung Wan, Central and Wan Chai.

Being part of the tour group enabled us to skip several lengthy queues at some of the most popular restaurants in town and believe us when we say; you won’t be leaving hungry.

Our guide answered all of our foodie questions and took us to try some traditional hidden treats that we’d never have found by ourselves.

We learnt about the history of the local restaurants we ate in; how the dishes were made and what ingredients were used.

If you haven’t got much time, a city food tour is a great way to sample Hong Kong’s go-to dishes in just a few hours so add it to your list of things to do in Hong Kong.

05 SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS

Every evening at 20:00pm, more than forty sky scrapers illuminate the night sky for the famous Symphony of Lights Show, the largest permanent sound and light show in the world and undoubtedly one of the best places to see the skyline come to life at night.

Symphony of Lights show in Hong Kong

Grab a spot along the promenade on the Kowloon Side for the perfect view of dancing laser beams and colourful lights as they bounce off the waterfront across Victoria Harbour.

Now we’d be lying if we said the laser show will blow your mind, but hey, it’s absolutely free to watch and you’ll be gifted with some spectacular views.

Travel Tip: Arrive ahead of the crowds and take a stroll down Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, home to Avenue of the Stars; Hong Kong’s version of LA’s Walk of Fame.

06 MAN MO TEMPLE

Built in 1847, Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest traditional-styled temples in Hong Kong dedicated to the gods of Literature and War.

Incense coils hanging from the ceiling at Man Mo Temple

The small temple is easily recognised from the huge incense coils that hang from it’s ceiling. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the incense scent and smoky haze as you wander round the statues and painted alters.

Travel Tip: This is a popular stop off for group tours so arrive early to avoid the crowds.

How to get there: Catch the MTR to Central Station and take Exit D1 or D2, heading towards Queen’s Road Central and ride the longest escalator in the world to Hollywood Road.

07 RIDE A TRAM

Riding the tram from Central to Causeway Bay is a fun and cheap way to see the city.

A traditional tram heading through Hong Kong

Dating all the way back to 1904, there’s something fascinating about watching the streets of this lively metropolis unfold from the top deck of a rickety tram.

It may not be the quickest way to travel through Hong Kong, but it’s definitely the most charming.

For only 2 HKD per journey (regardless of the distance), it’s the cheapest sightseeing tour you’ll find and one of our favourite things to do in Hong Kong.

Travel Tip: Enter the tram from the back and pay at the front when you leave, no change is given.

08 NIGHT MARKETS

There’s no denying that Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. If you’ve only got time to visit one market during your stay then head to Temple Street night market where you can get your hands on pretty much anything from fridge magnets to fake handbags.

A stroll down Temple Street Market at night, Hong Kong

Temple Street Market is open throughout the day but comes to life when the sun goes down.

Located in Yau Ma Tei, this manic market is the perfect place to put your haggling skills to the test and if successful, you can knock the original price down by over half!

Once you’re shopped out, chow down with the locals at one of the street-side restaurants selling delicious local food at great prices.

Travel Tip: If you do buy anything, put it straight into your bag rather than keeping it in the plastic bag that the stall holder gives you. Rumour has it that the plastic bags are colour coded to give other sellers in the market an indication of how well you haggled.

How to get there: Catch the MTR to Jordan Station, take exit A and turn right onto Jordan Road, and then take another right onto Temple Street.

09 STAR FERRY

Hop on the Star Ferry for the perfect view of one of the most photographed harbours in the world.

The view from the Star Ferry in Hong Kong

Dating back to 1888, the Star Ferry is an easy, cheap and charming way to travel from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island, with a single journey costing less than 3HKD.

Not only is the journey is cheaper than the train but you also get to see Hong Kong’s iconic skyline from the water.

Travel Tip: Star Ferry also offers thirty minute tours around the harbour if you want to spend a little longer soaking up the incredible skyline.

10 EAT DIM SUM

We were spoilt for choice by the abundance of delicious food on offer during our recent visit to Hong Kong; but if you’ve only got time to indulge in one dish during your trip, it’s got to be the legendary Dim Sum.

Dim Sum served in a traditional restaurant in Hong Kong

These bite-sized snacks are served straight to your table in steam baskets and the perfect dish to share or eat alone.

At less than 20 HKD per portion, they’re excellent value for money and in our opinion, trying these divine dumplings should be high on your list of things to do in Hong Kong.

Our favourite type of Dim Sum was the famous Char Siu Bao, a soft fluffy bun that oozed with sweet braised pork and was mouth-wateringly good.

If you’re a fellow foodie, check out our pick of the best places to brunch in Hong Kong. 

Have we missed anything? Leave a comment below and let us know your favourite things to do in Hong Kong

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41 Comments

  1. 19th July 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Looks like you had a great time in Hong Kong! Love the photos and the post.

    • rosieb
      1st September 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Thanks! We loved it and can’t wait to get visit again!

  2. 20th May 2017 / 10:41 pm

    Hong Kong is such a wonderful destination, I have been there in past but sure would like to go again. Your post gives some wonderful ideas to explore Hong Kong once again

  3. 14th May 2017 / 11:36 pm

    Hong Kong is one of the most wonderful cities in the world. This is a detailed and very informative guide, Rosie and Dave!

  4. 11th May 2017 / 4:48 pm

    Wow, Great location with beautiful sightseeing, better night life with pubs around. Specially food is looking yummy. What else you want? Looking to visit sooner!

  5. 11th May 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Interesting and useful tips, I planning for a short trip to hong kong next month.

  6. 10th May 2017 / 1:32 am

    The Las Vegas of the East…..nothing can beat the view from Victoria Peak. It is really stunning. Planning to visit this city some day.

  7. 8th May 2017 / 5:19 pm

    I’m not sure how we missed the Tian Tan Buddha during our visit but I’ll definitely be checking that out the next time I visit. Otherwise, this is a great list and we experienced a lot of the things on here. We didn’t see the symphony of lights when we went though, so not sure if it’s new, but it looks really cool.

  8. 8th May 2017 / 5:02 am

    What a great list! Now I’m ready to go to Hong Kong. We would definitely be up for all of the beautiful views of the skyline, and anything involving food is top on our list!

  9. Chiara
    7th May 2017 / 4:11 pm

    I have never vsited Hong Kong, but I’ll definitely need to go and I’ll put on my list all of these 10 things when I do it! Thanks for your extra travel tips, they always prove very useful while planning.

  10. 7th May 2017 / 10:42 am

    I have yet to visit Hong Kong, but I’ll definitely need to make sure i hit all 10 of these things when I do make the trip! Thanks for adding the extra “travel tips” as they’re so helpful during planning.

  11. 3rd May 2017 / 11:14 am

    Great list you have here! I am most excited about the walking food tour. and the night markets. 🙂 Those food shots made me really hungry!

  12. 3rd May 2017 / 8:42 am

    Nice quick guide especially for first time visitors. Lots of interesting places to see and explore. Always love to try the local food and it looks delicious. Hope to visit one day and will pin this for future visit.

  13. 3rd May 2017 / 4:57 am

    I know nothing about Hongkong so it was really an interesting read. We are thinking about adding it to our world trip and I saved your article on pinterest for later. Thanks for putting it together.

  14. 3rd May 2017 / 12:53 am

    I can imagine how wonderful a sunset view would be from the Victoria peak. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for a comprehensive list and some very helpful tips.

  15. 3rd May 2017 / 12:36 am

    I haven’t been to Hong Kong yet but I have heard so much of its skyline. the light show sounds awesome and I would love to visit that. Also the tip about taking a taxi other than a tram is a good one. Will keep this in mind.

  16. 2nd May 2017 / 5:00 pm

    My last post was on Hong Kong! the place is so inviting. My reasons are almost the same as yours . The harbour, the symphony of lights, the pineapple buns , the tram and the star ferry! 🙂 For me, the shopping too! 🙂 The place is an urban photographer’s delight.

  17. 2nd May 2017 / 4:42 pm

    I would love to visit Hong Kong one day and I’m sad that I didn’t get to go while I was in Korea. I visited Taipei not long before I left and loved all the night markets- I wonder how Hong Kong’s compare! That’s interesting about the plastic bags- I’ll definitely bring my own when I go!

  18. 2nd May 2017 / 8:49 am

    There is so much more going on in Hong Kong than I would have thought! It looks like a great city. For sure I could sit on a rooftop patio and watch the city at night. And I’ve never been one to turn down a laser show. Even if it doesn’t blow my mind, it’s still pretty cool that the buildings light up!

  19. 2nd May 2017 / 4:02 am

    The view from Victoria Peak looks amazing! As does the food experiences. Definitely on my list for my next visit to Hong Kong!

  20. 2nd May 2017 / 1:15 am

    Okay, now my desire to visit HK has been reunited! Those views are incredible! And that Buddha is HUGE- I thought the ones in Thailand were big, but this one takes the cake!

    • 21st May 2017 / 12:36 pm

      Going to put this arilcte to good use now.

  21. 2nd May 2017 / 12:40 am

    You post makes me miss dimsum so bad. The real, authentic dimsum!!! Victoria Peak is just the most pictured when in HK, right? But these days, I keep on reading about the bars and rooftops. they must be truly amazing at night for these to receive so many raves. I am intrigued with the fishing village. It’s such a big contrast to HK’s very contemporary look.

  22. 1st May 2017 / 4:45 pm

    This such a timely post as I’m visiting Hong Kong in August! I’ll be going with a friend from the States and I’m so excited to eat all their food haha That means I’ll definitely go on the food tour and oh my gawd, let’s not even talk about my undying love for dim sum!!! I’m so excited to go here and eat my way through the city. Thanks for this handy post I’ll reference when I visit!

  23. 1st May 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Awesome post. I’ve always heard so much about the food in Hong Kong. That monastery looks stunning too though! Wow! Hike up those steps, work up an appetite and then dine dine dine. Love this.

  24. 30th April 2017 / 9:44 pm

    We have always wanted to go to HK. Somehow things never worked out. It is such a lovely place. Great that you been able to create a list, will help us when we travel.

  25. 30th April 2017 / 10:26 am

    Ive done all the things you recommend while visiting Hong Kong twice in the past few years, except going to Rooftop Bars. From your previous posts – I can see the allure of the delicious food, cocktails and spectacular views. Thanks, now I have a new reason to go back!

  26. 29th April 2017 / 5:31 pm

    My USA based aunt always makes a pit stop in Hong Kong before she visits us in India. After seeing her pictures and your blog I know why. It looks like a modern urban place with so much to do/see/eat.

  27. 29th April 2017 / 2:08 pm

    Great list! I haven’t been to Hong Kong but your pictures make me go there so badly. I would definitely try their dimsums! Thanks for this list, I’ll make sure to do all of them when I visit Hong Kong. ^^

  28. 29th April 2017 / 9:04 am

    HK is such an amazing city, and I have been known to book last minute flights there from Seoul to satisfy a dim sum craving that cannot be denied. I haven’t done even half of the great ideas you’ve posted here, but totally agree with you about the Symphony of Lights show. It might be the longest running permanent display, but maybe it’s time to update it a bit? Haha. 😉

  29. 28th April 2017 / 10:26 am

    I love Hong Kong and would go back there in a heartbeat! Unfortunately when I went in August, it was pretty rainy so we weren’t able to go to Victoria Peak and see the view. But we did go to Ozone bar and the fog let up enough for us to see the view so that was nice! So interesting about the bags at the markets… I had no idea!

  30. 28th April 2017 / 7:28 am

    Hong Kong is one of the biggest cities in Asia that’s been on our radar to visit! I would love to do the food walking tour and hang out on the rooftop bars to get the ultimate views of the city! I can’t believe we haven’t been yet, we need to come back to Asia!

  31. 28th April 2017 / 1:41 am

    What a magnificent skyline Hong Kong has! A very useful guide but I must also commend your choice of perspectives and angles in these photographs. They just make the city all the more alluring.

  32. 27th April 2017 / 6:14 pm

    This post makes me miss my time in Hong Kong! The food scene is vibrant and lovely. All of these are must-try’s indeed, especially the night market. They are one of my favorites when visiting Asia, not just Hong Kong!

  33. 27th April 2017 / 11:42 am

    Excellent guide! The walking food tour definitely sounds like something I’d be keen to do. I love the view from Victoria Peak – that’s quite incredible! Both day and night, looks absolutely stunning. So much to do in Hong Kong, sadly I have only ever been to the airport for a layover and haven’t had a chance to step out into the big city. Love the idea of the night markets!

  34. 27th April 2017 / 10:59 am

    I have been to the Victoria Peak Tram last year. It was noon and it was so hot. I wished we could have visited it at night too. We took a lot of pictures. It was a delight being there. The next time that I would visit Hongkong, I will join a food tour. I did not feel that I was able to enjoy eating local foods last time. In fact, I ate Korean food. Haha! We could not find a local restaurant that we liked. I am hoping that my next visit would be better.

  35. 27th April 2017 / 10:18 am

    That is a good tip about the Temple Street market, I had no idea about the colour co-ordination of the bags but I do believe it’s something they would do! I read your article on rooftop bars and with the skyline of Hong Kong you can’t go wrong! When I was there I took a tram from central to Causeway Bay and it was surprisingly easy!

  36. 26th April 2017 / 11:43 pm

    I love HK so much!! It’s such a vibrant city with things going on all the time. Victoria Peak is a must – and I spent a day at the Tian Tan Buddha because it’s so beautiful! Love your pics!!

  37. 26th April 2017 / 5:25 pm

    The view from Victoria Peak is totally amazing! And I totally agree with what you told about culinary experiences. When I go to a new place, food is definitely at the top of my list! Dim sums ahhh! Cannot not love momos haha! Roaming around night markets and riding a tram also look like must-dos in Hong Kong! Thanks for the list. This will be helpful for us in future.

  38. 26th April 2017 / 3:05 pm

    I have heard a lot about the rooftop bars of HongKong. Your post is further more a proof!
    The skyline with the sea is just breathtaking! The tram sounds cool, but is it possible to trek too?
    It would just be so difficult to stop me once I start shopping at the night markets I guess!

  39. 26th April 2017 / 12:48 pm

    I still can’t believe I haven’t made it to HK yet! I’been in Asia far to long to have missed out. My first stop would be the Tian Tan Buddha and I’m pleased to see you high light it. The next would be the food! Where did you guys stay while in HK? I always here the city is so small but it seems like there’s so much to do and see!

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