Hong Kong, undoubtedly one of my favorite places on earth. Hong Kong is a vibrant place, a place that will make you feel alive, but will still give you the possibility of peace and quietness whenever you want to. Feel small between the tall buildings, feel mighty on top of them. Lay at the beach or enjoy a drink on a rooftop bar, Hong Kong has so much to offer. A weekend in Hong Kong is a good begin, but if you want to have the real experience, I would recommend staying at least a week! You will have all the time in the world to discover the city, explore nature and eat your heart out. Don’t know what to do? Here are my favorite 10 things to do in Hong Kong!
10 things to do in Hong Kong
1. See the Hong Kong Skyline from Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak is simply a must see. While it will either cost you some money, or time, to get to the top, the view is worth it. Don’t wait until the last moment, you never know when the weather will change on you in Hong Kong! As soon as that sunny day is out there, go, and be amazed! Don’t expect to be the only one up there, it is one of the most touristic spots in Hong Kong!
How to get there:
- Walk. While I would not recommend to do this in the middle of a hot and humid summer, you can actually walk to Victoria Peak. It requires some level of endurance though, the hills can be quite steep.
- Take the tram ride to the top. While this is probably the most traditional route to take, it is also the busiest. We stood in line for 1,5h to actually take the tram ride to the top!
- Take a bus. If I had the option again, I would take the bus. This is most likely the most convenient and easiest way to get to the top. Bus 15 will take you all the way to the top for only 9.80$HK.
2. See the Big Buddha
While the city of Hong Kong is amazing, a little tranquility sometimes is welcome. On the island of Lantau you can find the Tian Tan Buddha, or the Big Buddha. This buddha is actually the largest sitting buddha in the world! It is located in the middle of some stunning nature, and climbing the 268 steps to the top of the buddha will not only give you a good view of the buddha, but also the surroundings. Exploring the Big Buddha and the surroundings will take up most of your day, so be sure to maximize your time on Lantau Island!
How to get there:
- From Hong Kong island the easiest way to get there is to take the Orange Line all the way to Tung Chung. The metro will take you roughly 35 minutes from Soho.
- From Tung Chung station there are several options you can take either the Ngong Ping Cable Car, or walk to the bus station (exit B) and take line 23 to the Big Buddha. While the Ngong Ping Cable Car offers better views and is a lot faster, it is also a bit more expensive. So if you’re on a budget the bus might be a better option. The ride on monday to friday’s is 17$HK, on weekends and public holidays it is 27$HK. Find more information about the bus here.
3. Hike the Dragon’s Back in Hong Kong
Don’t spend all your time in the city, explore Hong Kong’s beautiful nature! One of my favorite hikes must have been the Dragon’s Back. Hike up to the top of the mountain for a stunning view over the Shek O peninsula and descend all the way down to end your journey on Big Wave Bay. On a warm and sunny day you can even end your hike with a refreshing swim!
How to get there:
- Take the MRT to Shau Kei Wan. Take Exit A to the bus terminus where you can either take a minibus or bus 9 to Shek O. Exit the bus at stop 12, To Tei Wan on Shek O road for the starting point of the hike.
- From Big Wave Bay, you can take private minibuses (you will need cash) or bus 9 back to the MRT station.
4. Enjoy a drink at one of the many rooftop bars in Hong Kong
When you are in a city of skyscrapers there must be some good rooftop bars around. And trust me, there are. From having a drink on a friend’s rooftop, to one of the highest rooftop bars in the world. Each view will be unique just simply beautiful. Do know that many require a dress code. Which means for guys no shorts, a shirt and closed shoes. For girls a dress code is often not stated, but it is advised to dress up a bit, you will have a better chance of actually being allowed into the bar. My personal favorites must be Cé La Vi in Central Hong Kong, which offers happy hours every day from 3.30pm to 7pm. Wooloomooloo in Wan Chai, which has beautiful views over the harbor and is an amazing place for a sunset. And Last, Ozone Bar in Kowloon, one of the highest bars in the world. Due to being one of the highest bars in the world, it is also one of the busiest and making a reservation in advance might be advised. It personally wasn’t my favorite. Due to being so high up it is surrounded by windows, which in my opinion restricted the view of the harbor and the skyline!
5. Admire Hong Kong’s skyline at night
Hong Kong’s skyline is probably one of the reasons you actually came here right? While the buildings are impressive during the day, they are even more beautiful at night. Head to Kowloon and see the light of the buildings reflect in the water! If you time it, and be there around 8pm, you will even be able to see the Symphony of Lights. The Symphony of Lights is Hong Kong’s daily lightshow, lasting 13 minutes and involves more than 40 buildings on both sides of the harbor. Oh and the best thing, it is completely free!
How to get there:
- Watch the light show from Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. You can easily reach this by taking the MRT to Tsim Sha Tsui. Take exit L6 and following the signs to get to the promenade.
- Or, take the star ferry, my preferred option, read more about this below!
6. Ride the Star Ferry
The star ferry boats have been transporting passengers between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon since 1888. While taking the MRT is fast, and more convenient often, the views are well a whole lot better. Besides that, taking a cruise over one of the world’s most famous harbours, can be expensive so why not have the same feeling by taking a 3$HK ferry across? It is cheap, has amazing views, and is a true Hong Kong experience to have! You can easily take the star ferry from either the Central Star Ferry Pier (MRT Hong Kong Central Station, Exit A) or from Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier (MRT Wan Chai, Exit A1, follow the signs over the skybridge).
7. Visit Hong Kong’s most instagram worthy spots
Well I guess by now you had already figured out that Hong Kong is a very photogenic city. Which means, this city is also perfect for taking instagram worthy photos. The city is basically filled with it! We had already mentioned the peak and the skyline before, here are some more famous instagram spots in Hong Kong:
- Choi Hung Estate, the famous rainbow buildings with the colorful basketball courts.
- Yik Cheong Building. A formation of three building symmetric but colorful building, surrounding you as shown below! Who knew concrete jungles could be so pretty?
- Nan Lian Garden. A traditional garden in the middle of the concrete jungle.
- Lokwah South Estates. Another architectural master piece in the concrete jungle.
- Mong Kok. A neighborhood filled with insta beauty, read more about it below!
But of course, any place is just simply beautiful, and there is always more to discover!
8. Explore Mong Kok
On the other side of the harbor, in the most often unexplored Kowloon, you can find the Mong Kok area. Mong Kok is the area what I expected Hong Kong to be like, busy, filled with shops and billboards and local markets. Walk over Nathan Road at night to admire the street filled with the famous neon signs. During the day you can go and explore the bird market and the fish market where you will find hundreds of fish packed in little plastic bags ready for purchase.
How to get there:
- There are multiple MRT stations you can use to get to the heart of Mong Kok. The closest one to Nathan Road is the MRT Jordan Station.
- You can also take the star ferry across to Tsim Sha Tsui and walk from there into Mong Kok!
9. Take the Ding Ding in Hong Kong
The Ding Ding is Hong Kong’s cheapest form of public transportation. With tram lines stretching all the way from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan. The iconic double decker trams have been operating since 1904 and are not only the cheapest but also the greenest form of transportation in the city. For only 2.30$HK you can transport yourself from the West to the East or vice versa. There are in total 6 different lines operating with roughly 160 trams. Get a seat upstairs and enjoy the street views of Hong Kong Island.
10. Go on a day trip to Macau
Nothing left to see and do anymore in Hong Kong? Opt to take the ferry for a day trip to Macau! Macau’s main sights are the big casino’s and hotels but also offers some historical sights to explore. Important: don’t forget to bring your passport, you are actually leaving and entering a different region with a different currency.
How to get there:
- From Hong Kong Island you can take the ferry which is located close to the Shueng Wan MRT station. The Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal is near the IFC Towers in the Shun Tak Center and a one way ticket in economy class to Macau can range from 132 to 172 $HK.
- From Kowloon there is a ferry leaving from Tsim Sha Tsui. The ferry terminal is located roughly a kilometer from the star ferry terminal. Also from here will a one way ticket in economy cost range between 132 and 172$HK.
Where to stay in Hong Kong
While a frequently visited city, Hong Kong is not home to many good hostels. One of your cheapest and best options will be Yesinn @Causeway Bay. I stayed here for a total of two weeks and could not recommend the place more. It is easily accessible by public transport (also from the airport), surrounded by shops and restaurants and the showers are amazing. However, this place is only recommended if you are okay with staying in dorms. If you are planning on visiting the city with kids you might want to look into staying at a child friendly hotel instead or look at some of the hotels on Booking.com!
Exploring Hong Kong
And there you have it, 10 things to do in Hong Kong. Or well, 9 things to do in Hong Kong and 1 in Macau! Hong Kong is an city where you won’t be bored, and I could recommended to anyone who is loves city trips. Hong Kong is not your budget destination though. If you are a budget traveler, these tips might help you:
Public transportation: Hong Kong has one card for all public transportation which is called the octopus card. You can use it on trams, metros, ferries and buses and will make your stay a whole lot easier (and cheaper). Public transportation is easily accessible and very affordable. Buy one at the airport or at one of the service desks at the MRT stops!
How about you, have you been to Hong Kong before? If yes, what is your favorite thing to do in Hong Kong? Tell me in the comments down below. Oh, and don’t forget to pin it, sharing is caring!