The bustling metropolis of Hong Kong is the ideal combination of East and West, and we recently spent four days there discovering it to be a fascinating mix of old and contemporary. There’s something for everyone here, from strolling through historic temples during the day to unwinding at rooftop bars by night.
Whether you’re in Hong Kong for a day or a week, here are our favorite activities to do while you’re there.
If you have only a short time in Hong Kong, make it Victoria Peak’s unobstructed panorama of the city’s iconic skyline.
The Hong Kong skyline, with its stunning views of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and Victoria Harbour, will take your breath away. It rises more than 1,800 feet above sea level.
There are many methods to reach the top, and the most popular among tourists is to ride the Peak Tram (90 HKD return ticket), which is also the world’s steepest funicular railway.
After you’ve climbed the Mountain, many tourists pay an extra fee to visit the Sky Terrace, a lookout deck with panoramic city views. However, instead of going to the Lugard Road Lookout, where you will be rewarded with the same views for free and won’t have to compete for photographs, we recommend visiting down below on Lugard Road Lookout.
Arrive early for the spectacular transformation from day to night.
Expect to spend more than an hour waiting in line to ride the Peak Tram. A taxi or a bus from Central Pier are both alternatives that are cheaper and quicker.
TIAN TAN BUDDHA & PO LIN MONASTERY
For a better view of the gigantic bronze Buddha, head to Lantau Island and climb the 268 steps for a closer look at Tian Tan Buddha, which is not to be missed – literally.
The 34-metre bronze statue, depicting the peaceful relationship between man and nature, people and faith, was completed in 1993. You may see Po Lin Monastery from the base of the Giant Buddha.
From the village of Ngong Ping, catch the 21 bus and travel to Tai O, Hong Kong’s oldest fishing community.
Take the subway to Tung Chung station, where you may buy tickets for the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, which will carry you up to the Giant Buddha. Alternatively, catch the New Lantau Bus no.23, which takes approximately 50 minutes.
How about a drink from one of Hong Kong’s opulent rooftop bars to soak up this amazing metropolis?
All around Victoria Harbour, there are a variety of open-air bars with panoramic views on both sides. Swanky pubs and lounges have been increasingly popular in Hong Kong in recent years, thanks to its one of the world’s most recognized skylines.
After a full day of sightseeing, taking in the scenery from a rooftop bar is one of our favorite activities in Hong Kong.
Want to try a few more drinks but without breaking the bank? Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s party epicenter, is where you’ll discover locals and travelers dancing the night away every night of the week. Sheesha bars and clubs are popular here; locals and tourists dance the night away every evening of the week.
WALKING FOOD TOUR
We’re huge foodies, so going to a new country is extra exciting for us because we get to try all of its tasty dishes.
We joined Hello Hong Kong’s city food tour and spent four hours eating traditional foods from some of the most well-known eateries in Sheung Wan, Central, and Wan Chai. We promise you won’t be hungry after this trip! Being a part of the group allowed us to skip several long queues at several popular restaurants and we swear that you won’t be disappointed.
We had all of our foodie inquiries answered and were taken on a culinary tour to try some old-fashioned secret delicacies that we would never have found on our own. nWe learned about the history of the restaurants we ate in, as well as how the meals were prepared and what ingredients were used.
If you don’t have much time, a city food tour is a fantastic way to try Hong Kong’s favorite dishes in just a few hours. It should be on your list of things to do in Hong Kong.
SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS
Every evening at 20:00, more than forty skyscrapers light up the night sky for the world’s largest permanent sound and light show, which is also one of the most spectacular nighttime views of Shanghai.
Grab a seat on the Kowloon Peninsula’s promenade for a stunning perspective of dancing laser beams and rainbow colors bouncing off the water.
We’d be lying if we said the laser show would surprise you, but it’s free to watch and you’ll get some great views as a bonus. nTravel Tip: Arrive early and take a walk along Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, which is also home to Avenue of the Stars in Hong Kong, Asia’s version of LA’s Walk of Fame.
MAN MO TEMPLE
Man Mo Temple, which was constructed in 1847 and is dedicated to the gods of Literature and War, is one of the city’s oldest traditional-styled temples.
The tiny temple is recognized by the enormous incense coils that dangle from its ceiling. Prepare to be overwhelmed by the incense scent and smoke fog as you walk around the sculptures and painted altars. This is a popular stopping off point for group excursions, so arrive early to avoid the crowds.
To get there, take the MTR to Central Station and exit through D1 or D2. Ride the world’s longest escalator to Hollywood Road.
RIDE A TRAM
A fantastic and inexpensive means of seeing the city is to take the tram from Central to Causeway Bay.
There’s something interesting about watching the streets of this active city unfold from the top deck of a rickety tram, which dates back to 1904. It may not be the quickest method to get around Hong Kong, but it’s definitely the most charming.
For just HK$2 per trip (regardless of distance), it’s one of the cheapest sightseeing tours in Hong Kong, and it’s also one of our favorite activities to do in the city. nTravel Tip: When you get off, pay at the front rather than the back; no change is given.
Hong Kong is without a doubt the shopper’s heaven. If you only have time to visit one market while visiting Hong Kong, make it Temple Street night market, where you can acquire everything from fridge magnets to fake handbags.
The Temple Street Market is open throughout the day, but it really comes alive at night. This maniac market is ideal for putting your bargaining abilities to the test, and if you’re successful, you may knock the original price down by more than half! It’s located in Yau Ma Tei.
After you’ve exhausted your search, take advantage of the local cuisine at one of the street-side eateries that offer mouthwatering regional dishes at reasonable pricing.
Take the MTR to Jordan Station, then exit A and go right onto Jordan Road, and then another right onto Temple Street.
For a fantastic view of one of the world’s most famous ports, hop on the Star Ferry.
The Star Ferry, which dates back to 1888, is a simple, cheap, and enjoyable means of traveling between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island for less than 3HKD. nYou not only save money on the train but also get to see Hong Kong’s breathtaking cityscape from the water.
Star Ferry also provides 30-minute boat trips around the bay, allowing you to appreciate the stunning skyline for a little longer.
EAT DIM SUM
We were spoiled for choice during our recent trip to Hong Kong, but if you only have time to enjoy one cuisine during your stay, it has to be the famous Dim Sum.
Chewy dough-wrapped shrimp and pork dumplings with a zesty dipping sauce that’s great on its own or as an appetizer. They’re served straight to your table in steam baskets, and they’re the ideal dish to share or eat alone. At less than 20 HKD per portion, they’re fantastic value for money, and we think trying these delectable dumplings should be at the top of your Hong Kong itinerary.
Have we neglected anything? Leave a remark below and tell us what your favorite activities in Hong Kong are.