25 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Ask anyone who’s been to Hong Kong and they’ll likely tell you that there’s no city quite as fast paced as this one. Sure, New York, London, and Tokyo are absolutely bustling with activity, but a New York minute is comparable to a Hong Kong second. Hong Kong welcomes its visitors with an iconic skyline, legendary cuisine, and colorful traditions. All five of your senses will be titillated as each neighborhood and every island is a sensory feast all on its own. Explore geological, historical, or pop culture gems or leave the city limits to enjoy the sprawling nature and otherworldly dynasty villages. Photo: weerasak/Fotolia

1.Avenue of Stars

Avenue of Stars

Truly, there’s no better way to explore a city for the first time than on foot. At Hong Kong, one of the best walks to take is none other than the Avenue of Stars. Located the iconic Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, the Avenue of Stars pays tribute to actors, directors, and other men and women who helped make Hong Kong the “Hollywood of the East.” Apart from spotting the stars of people like Miranda Yang, Maggie Cheung, and more, strollers can also take their time exploring movie-related exhibits at the Garden of Stars. At the garden, visitors can find murals depicting famous scenes from classic movies, handprint plaques, and sculptures of stars like Bruce Lee and Anita Mui, among other exhibitions.

Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-27-34-88-90 Photo: caminoel/Fotolia

2.Central-Mid-Levels Escalators

Central-Mid-Levels Escalators

We never thought we’d see the day that escalators would become a must-experience attraction in any city, but Hong Kong has certainly proven itself to be a city of firsts and there’s no way you should miss a walk along this chain of escalators. The Central-Mid-Level Escalators provide locals and tourists alike with an easy, free, and leisurely way to get around the city and explore Central Hong Kong. You can hop on and off the escalator to have a look at the markets, shops and restaurants along any of the numerous entrances and exists. Just remember that the nearly mile-long escalator system only runs in one direction. It goes downhill for the morning rush hour then switches to uphill from 10:30am until midnight. Did we mention that it’s the world’s longest escalator system?

Jubilee Street, Central Hong Kong, Phone: +852-23-23-24-24 Photo: sompong_tom/Fotolia

3.Cheng Po Pirate Cave

Cheng Po Pirate Cave

There’s no doubt that Hong Kong is undoubtedly well known for being a food and shopping mecca with a sprinkling of fantastic historical and cultural gems along the way. But did you know that it’s also home to the hideout of a legendary pirate? Cheng Po Tsai was merely the son of a local fisherman before he was kidnapped by Chen I and Ching Shih, a notorious pirate couple. From then, he was plunged into a life of crime and was said to have commanded a terrifying fleet of 600 ships along with a 20,000-strong pirate army. His hideout is said to be located on Cheng Chau island, just 6 miles from the Hong Kong coast, and is known today as the Cheng Po Pirate Cave. Today, visitors can climb down into the small cave of his hideout and walk the paths that Cheng Po would have walked. You never know, you may even find a bit of his hidden treasure.

Cheung Po Tsai Road, Cheung Chau, Outlying Islands, Hong Kong Photo: Lazartivan/Fotolia

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4.Chi Lin Nunnery

Chi Lin Nunnery

Impressive and absolutely breathtaking are just a couple of ways to describe the Chi Lin Nunnery. Located inside a monastery complex in Diamond Hill, the Chi Lin Nunnery is one of the top attractions of Hong Kong thanks to its stunning architecture, which is reminiscent of the style prevalent during the Tang Dynasty. The Chi Lin Nunnery perfectly represents the harmonious nature of people and their environment through the way the structure was built. For example, there were, amazingly, no nails used in the building’s reconstruction during 1998. Each of the wood pieces lock together like a jigsaw puzzle. Apart from wandering the halls of the monastery, visitors can also explore the Lotus Pond Garden, the courtyards, and the nunnery’s three gates.

5 Chi Ling Drive, Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-83-54-18-88 Photo: offsuperphoto/Fotolia

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5.Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum

Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum

Opened in 2006, the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum is a four-story museum with a total floor area of 2,560 square meters. It is dedicated to its namesake, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who was a revolutionary known around the world for his tenacity in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and establishing the Republic of China. The museum has two permanent exhibits, which allow guests to pour over precious historical artifacts related to revolutionary activities that ended the Qing Dynasty. The museum is also supported by fantastic audiovisual programs, including ones about the life and career of Dr. Sun and Hong Kong’s pivotal role in China’s reform movements.

7 Castle Road, Mid-Levels, Central, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-23-67-63-73 Photo: wizdata/Fotolia

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6.Hong Kong Cultural Center

Hong Kong Cultural Center

If you’re eager to soak up Hong Kong’s culture, there’s no doubt that one of the best places to go is the Hong Kong Cultural Center. Apart from regularly hosting fantastic performances, the Hong Kong Cultural Center also offers rotating and guest exhibits through a gallery and a foyer exhibition area. Tours of the center are also available to guests, which will take them in and around the facilities like the concert hall, grand theater, and studio theater as well as rehearsal rooms and the piazza. Learn about the history of the center itself while walking through its marvelous halls. Don’t forget to drop by the performing arts shop to pick up something to remember your trip by.

10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-27-34-20-09 Photo: Jess Yu/Fotolia

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7.Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland

Ask anyone in Hong Kong about the most magical place within its borders and we guarantee you’ll hear Hong Kong Disneyland pop up in a majority of their answers – and with good reason. No matter what country you’re in, Disneyland is one of the best places to be. Allow the park to bring out the kid in you and let your own children experience the best of what the theme park has to offer. Hop on the Jungle River Cruise for a mysterious boat ride of discovery or head to Tarzan’s Treehouse to see how our favorite jungle dweller lives. Stroll through Fantasy Gardens or soar through the skies with Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Looking for a thrill? Head to Hyperspace Mountain, RC Racer, or the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop. No matter your cup of tea, you’re bound to have an amazing time at Disneyland.

Lantau Island, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-35-50-33-88 Photo: hungcw/Fotolia

8.Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center

Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center

Located in what used to be the Whitfield Barracks, the Hong Kong Heritage Center is the perfect place to visit to soak up some of the country’s history. The center was originally constructed in 1910 and were used by the British Army up until the land’s release in 1967. Today, the land, which is located in the middle of what is now Kowloon Park, is a top recreational and leisure spot in Tsim Sha Tsui. Visitors can stop by a permanent exhibition gallery in the center as well as a thematic exhibition gallery. There is also a reference library that is open to the public. For those who want to know more about the Heritage Discovery Center, a guided tour called the “Former Whitfield Barracks After Adaptive Re-use” can be booked at the center itself.

Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-22-08-44-00 Photo: schankz/Fotolia

9.Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Want to see the best that Hong Kong has to offer in terms of art? Get lost in the beauty of antique Chinese treasures, gorgeous calligraphy, historical paintings, and 16,000 other art objects at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Hong Kong Museum of Art was established in 1962 at the City Hall and was later moved to its permanent home next to the cultural center in 1991. Visitors can peruse permanent collections like the Xubaizhai Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, the K. S. Lo Collection of Tea Ware and Seals, the Hong Kong Art Collection, and Chinese Fine Art Collection, among others.

No. 10 Salisbury Road, Yau Tsim Mong District, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-27-21-01-16 Photo: efired/Fotolia

10.Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense

Housed in the 100-year-old Lei Yue Mun Fort, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense is a great educational stop to add to your Hong Kong itinerary. Historically speaking, the fort played a huge and pivotal role in the 1941 Battle of Hong Kong and is known to be the most formidable redoubt in the territory. Today, it stands as a beacon and tribute to Hong Kong’s 600-year coastal defense history with a large collection of artifacts and relics for young and old guests to enjoy. Feast your eyes upon the objects housed in the permanent and special exhibition of the museum or explore the historical trail that weaves around the museum grounds.

175 Tung Hei Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-25-69-15-00 Photo: Kwangmoo/Fotolia

11.Hong Kong Museum of History

Hong Kong Museum of History

Who would have thought that it would be possible to pack 400 million years of history into just 7,000 meters of exhibit space? Well, as it turns out, the Hong Kong Museum of History did, and this is exactly why the Hong Kong Museum of History is a top destination for history buffs. Home to thousands upon thousands of historical artifacts, the museum has put maximum effort into collecting, studying, processing, and exhibiting countless pieces that have ties to Hong Kong and South China’s archaeological, natural, and ethnographical history. Special, outreach, and virtual exhibitions are regularly updated, but the permanent exhibits are certainly a sight to behold, with galleries such as “Prehistoric Hong Kong,” “The Dynasties: From the Han to Qing,” and “The Japanese Occupation”.

100 Chatham Road S, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-27-24-90-42

Next read: Hong Kong Heritage Museum Photo: deborahatl/Fotolia

12.Hong Kong Science Museum

Hong Kong Science Museum

Believing that children have unlimited potential to learn, observe, imagine, listen, explore, and invent, the Hong Kong Science Museum strives to provide the next generation with a fun and interactive play space to gain more knowledge. The museum does this through curated quality exhibitions in conjunction with entertaining science programs, all housed in a spectacular environment. With more than 500 exhibits spread out over 6,500 meters of exhibit space, the museum has tons of activities to keep both the young and the young at heart entertained. Make sure to stop by their most popular exhibit, and the largest device of its kind in the world, the Energy Machine.

No 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong , Phone: +852-27-32-32-32 Photo: Hong Kong Science Museum

13.Hong Kong Space Museum

Hong Kong Space Museum

Even from afar, the Hong Kong Space Museum captives and catches the attention of passersby. Housed in a unique egg-shaped dome, the Hong Kong Space Museum was opened in 1980 and is as much an architectural treat as it is an educational one. The museum is home is the first local planetarium in Hong Kong and was also the first to utilize an OMNIMAX film projector. Visitors can look forward to exploring two thematic exhibition halls dedicated to astronomy and space science. Some items to check out include the Shenzhou Re-entry Capsule replica and a rocket launch simulation.

10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-27-21-02-26 Photo: Hong Kong Space Museum

14.Hong Kong Wetland Park

Hong Kong Wetland Park

A conservation site, an educational opportunity, and a tourism hotspot all in one, the Hong Kong Wetland Park is a must-visit destination in the Tin Shui Wai area. As a world-class facility, there’s no arguing that the park is likely the best spot to see and enjoy some of the flora and fauna unique to Hong Kong. The best way to explore the park is to set off on various walking routes like the mangrove boardwalk, the stream walk, and the butterfly garden. In addition to enjoying the nature and animals, the park is also home to several themed exhibition galleries, trick art exhibits, a 3D cinema, and the Swamp Adventure indoor play area for young children.

Wetland Park Road, Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-31-52-26-66 Photo: Jess Yu/Fotolia

15.Jumbo Kingdom

Jumbo Kingdom

A renowned tourist attraction and one of the largest floating restaurants in the world, Jumbo Kingdom has been drawing foodies from near and far since it was first built in 1976. This colossal barge/restaurant features over four floors of eateries and other attractions while being able to seat over 2,300 visitors in one go. Some could even consider Jumbo Kingdom a city of its own, with narrow pathways forming an intricate and sometimes confusing means of exploring the floating giant. Unsurprisingly, Jumbo Kingdom is best known for its seafood dishes. Practically all of the dishes are absolutely succulent and delicious, while the produce used for the delectable Chinese treats are spectacularly fresh. Make sure to dine at night to enjoy the neon lights and decorations of Jumbo Kingdom at their best.

Shum Wan Pier Drive, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-25-53-91-11 Photo: Jumbo Kingdom

16.Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon Walled City

How many people do you think you could conceivably fit into a single city? Unbelievably, the city of Kowloon was able to pack a crazy population of 3,300,000 people per square mile at its peak, making it the most world’s most densely populated city in history. Often described as a lawless maze, visitors to the Kowloon Walled City can get a small taste of what it was like to navigate the alleyways and secret staircases within the city. Although most of the city was lost when it was slated for demolition in 1987, the southern gate and the Yamen building still remain intact.

Kowloon City, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-27-16-99-62 Photo: snaptitude/Fotolia

17.Lamma Island

Lamma Island

Once a traditional Chinese fishing village, Lamma Island is now a laidback and multicultural community that marries Western and Chinese island life. The culture has proven absolutely irresistible for Hong Kong locals and even more so for tourists who need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether you visit Lamma Island for a daytrip or want to stay long term, there’s bound to be a lot to do and enjoy. Make sure to relax by the shore of Hung Shing Yeh Beach, explore the secluded Kamikaze Cave, and soak up the traditions of local fishermen at the Lamma Fisherfolk’s Village. Other spots to see include the Yung Shue Wan Main Street Market and the Tin Hau Temple. Photo: Wilding/Fotolia

18.Ngong Ping 360

Ngong Ping 360

Soar high above the busy city grounds of Hong Kong at the Ngong Ping 360, a popular gondola lift route in the busy city. Originally named the Tung Chung Cable Car, the Ngong Ping 360 starts at Tung Chung Station in Hong Kong. From there, visitors can ride their choice of a standard gondola or crystal gondola to the peak of Lantau Island. While the standard cable cars are more affordable, nothing beats the awe-inspiring sights that the fully glass crystal cabin provides. At Lantau, make sure to explore the Buddhist Walk, which circles a huge statue of the Buddha, the Lantau Culture and Heritage Insight Tour, and the Lantau Sunset Tour.

11 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau Island, Hong Kong Photo: milkovasa/Fotolia

19.Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime at Ocean Park Hong Kong. Filled with adrenaline-pumping rides and a series of unique, fun-filled experiences, there’s no telling how many heartwarming experiences you’ll make with family and friends at this theme park. For adventurous visitors looking for a thrill, the Arctic Blast roller coaster, Crazy Galleon, Eagle, Hair Raiser, and Abyss are just some attractions that are bound to elicit a scream or two. Those who want to visit animal attractions can stop by the South Pole Spectacular, visit the Panda Village, or head to the North Pole Encounter. There’s even the Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre for those who want to soak up some knowledge while they’re there. There are so many attractions to be enjoyed here, but you’ll just have to visit to find out.

180 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong, China Photo: Friday/Fotolia

20.Peak Tram

Peak Tram

Hong Kong and Victoria’s Peak are practically synonymous with each other, so it only makes sense that the Peak Tram will be on the top of most every visitor’s to-do list when they reach the Pearl of the Orient. Hopping on the Peak Tram is the quickest and most breathtaking way to enjoy Victoria’s Peak. It’s also the most convenient way as the terminal is easily accessed by foot from the Central MTR station. When the scenic tram ride reaches the peak, guests are welcome to enjoy the amazing panoramic vistas of Hong Kong’s skyline. Other must-see spots at the peak include the highest viewing platform in the city, the Sky Terrace, several nature walks, and the Peak Tram Historical Gallery.

1 Lugard Road, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-25-22-09-22 Photo: leungchopan/Fotolia

21.Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Nestled on the Po Fook Hill of the Pai Tau Village, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is arguably the most famous Buddhist temple in Hong Kong and amongst the top attractions of the city. The monastery was founded in 1949 by Reverend Yuet Kai and completed in 1957. Now managed by laymen, the monastery is the perfect place to see examples of traditional Buddhist architecture. Spanning over 8 hectares of land, the best way to start your exploration of the monastery grounds is by taking a leisurely walk along a steep concrete path lined with 500 gold Arhan statues. At the end of the path is the lower level terrace, which leads to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall and other attractions. Make sure to stop by the Kwun Yam Pavilion, Samantabhadra Pavilion and Manjusri Pavilion while you’re there in addition to the 18-Arhat Gallery, the Naga-puspa Hall, and the nine-story pagoda.

Lots 358-359, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-26-91-10-67 Photo: Fotos 593/Fotolia

22.Tian Tan Buddha

Tian Tan Buddha

There is something inexplicably relaxing about visiting the Tian Tan Buddha. Although it is far from the largest Buddha in the world, it does hold the title of the largest seated bronze Buddha in the world. That on its own explains the thousands of people who come to Lantau Island regularly to see it. Sitting on top of a steel lotus flower, the Tian Tan Buddha is 112 feet tall and is surrounded by gorgeous forested peaks. Just because it’s a beacon of Lantau Island doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get to. To see the Tian Tan Buddha up close, you will need to climb every single one of the 268 steps that lead to the Buddha’s feet.

Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong Photo: giemgiem/Fotolia

23.Wong Tai Sin Temple

Wong Tai Sin Temple

A busy temple and top destination for people from all walks of Hong Kong society, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is gorgeous explosion of colors, lattice works, incense, pillars, and flowers. While some people come to the temple to simply pray and others visit to have their divine future read, most people come to have their wishes fulfilled. In fact, what makes the Wong Tai Sin Temple so popular is the high percentage of people who report that their prayers and wishes have been answered after visiting this temple in particular. Those at the temple to sightsee can look forward to exploring colorful pavilions like the hexagonal Unicorn Hall, zigzagging bridges, carp ponds, waterfalls, and even the God Wish Gardens.

Chuk Un, Hong Kong, Phone: +852-23-27-81-41 Photo: Noppasinw/Fotolia

25 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong