What to Do in Hong Kong – Attractions You Cannot Miss

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There are some great things to do in Hong Kong, from simply walking through the busy streets, admiring the colonial architecture and Chinese temples, to immersing yourself in the night markets and the incredible nightlife.

 Hong Kong is the melting pot of Asia, where cultures, people, history and cuisine collide at an exponential rate that can leave you both bewildered and enthralled.

This city has its own unique heritage, with a mix of Chinese and European influences that makes the city feel distinctly different from anywhere else in the world.

There is endless food to sample, culture to absorb and mountains and beaches to explore. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Hong Kong (Travel Guide)

21 Spectacular Things to do in Hong Kong

1. Big Bus City Tour

Amazing view on Hong Kong city skyline from the Victoria peak, China

Hot tip; buy a Big Bus Tours ticket when you arrive in the city and it will take you to everything we have on this list and more while being able to sightsee along the way.

The iconic double-decker buses offer a classic hop on hop off system across 3 routes that explore every nook and cranny of this amazing city. The best part, you’ll see it all and have transport as you go, unlike when you use the metro. 

We highly recommend the Deluxe 2 Day Pass, as it offers loads of perks including a free Star Ferry trip, free Peak Tram Sky Pass or sky100 Observation Deck entry, free Sampan ride, a 1 hour Harbor tour, and a Night Tour.

That is a lot of perks and a fantastic way to see this city. Plus you get a 10% discount when you book online!

2. Visit Victoria Peak

Tram up to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong - The best views of Hong Kong

Journeying to the summit of Victoria Peak is one of the most famous things to do in Hong Kong.

The Peak, as it’s known by Hong Kongers, rises over 500 meters above the otherwise flat city, towering above skyscrapers and residential areas to give you unparalleled views over the city.

There are a few ways to reach the top, and the hardy traveler can tackle the long hiking trails that weave their way around the mountain. Be careful though, because the humidity can be stifling at the best of times.

If you don’t fancy the walk, the Peak Tram hauls passengers up the steepest section of the mountain, offering great views on the way up.

Once at the top, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and even entire shopping centers, while you can also enjoy the fantastic green areas and easier circular walks that take you around the summit of Victoria Peak.

Our top recommended tours of Victoria Peak:

3. Take the Star Ferry

Hong Kong cityscape

Hong Kong is a collection of many different islands branching off the mainland from Kowloon and the New Territories.

Traditionally, the only way to get around was by ferry, although these days, you have the excellent tram, road and metro system too.

Visitors will still want to catch the historic Star Ferry, however, to cruise across Victoria Harbor from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.

The Star Ferry company dates back to the late 19th century, and they continue to run passenger services that are both cheap and come with a brilliant view over the city at the same time.

Our top recommended Ferry trips:

4. Go Shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui

The Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Tsim Sha Tsui in the heart of Kowloon, the newer side of Hong Kong, and it’s a fantastic area to either base yourself when visiting the city for great value accommodation or to visit for the shopping, diversity, and atmosphere.

Tsim Sha Tsui forms the southern end of Kowloon, overlooking the harbor towards Hong Kong Island.

You’ll find restaurants from all over the world here, including anything from Dim Sum to Turkish Kebabs, while you’ll also find high-end shopping malls around the waterfront and beautiful views across the strait.

Our top recommended market/shopping tours:

5. Explore Tai O Fishing Village 

Tai O fishing Village

If you are interested in seeing how the locals lived before the arrival of the British, then one of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to visit Tai O Fishing Village.

This small, traditional fishing village is found at the western end of Lantau Island and offers you a rare glimpse into pre-colonial life, as many of the houses are still built on stilts above the waterline.

Our top recommended Tai O fishing village tours:

6. Visit Colonial Hong Kong

Old campus of Hong Kong University, in sunny day

One of the most intriguing things to do in Hong Kong is to explore the remnants of the colonial era of the city. Before the British leased Hong Kong from the Chinese in 1842, the area was sparsely populated by fishing villages.

The British though had big plans for the area and began developing the main island rapidly.

On Hong Kong Island, you can still find much of the colonial influence, including the grand HSBC bank, the old government buildings, and several churches, while you instantly notice that many of the streets and districts still employ very British names to this day.

Our top recommended colonial tours:

7. Ride the Hong Kong Tramways

things to do in Hong Kong - tramways

Hong Kong Island has an extensive tram system that covers much of the traditional center of the city and the northern shore of the island.

The tramways date back to the colonial area, and although they have of course been modernized, the traditional look and style of the double-decker trams have been very much retained.

As public transport, fares are cheap, and you can enjoy experiencing a wonderful piece of local history as you get around the city.

Our top recommended tramways tours: Tram & Treats – Culinary Hong Kong

8. Experience the Hong Kong Nightlife

Hong Kong Observation Wheel

As well as packed night markets, Hong Kong is also particularly renowned for its never-ending nightlife, and if you love to socialize and party while enjoying more than a few drinks, you’ll be right at home in the city.

While there are bars on every corner, ranging from cheap pubs to more upscale cocktail joints, one of the cities most infamous nightlife locations is found at Lan Kwai Fong on Hong Kong Island.

Every evening, the bars spill out onto the streets as local, students, ex-pats and travelers all join in the revelry, emptying 7-11s of beers and eventually moving onto the clubs.

Our top recommended nightlife tours:

9. Eat All The Food

dumpings in China

Hong Kong is a foodie paradise and the opportunities for gorging are practically endless.

You can find almost any style and type of cuisine across the city, but you’ll certainly want to sample the best local food from the street vendors and small eateries in the bustling Chinese districts.

The city is home to some of the best Dim Sum in the world, while you can also enjoy the peculiar delights of British style Afternoon Tea at some of the fancier, old colonial establishments too.

Our top recommended food tours: 

10. Avenue of the Stars

Avenue of the Stars Hong Kong - Bruce Lee Monument

This was one of our favorite spots in Hong Kong and we made a point of going here every evening. Made up of a lengthy promenade, the Avenue of the Stars pays homage to famous Asian people.

There are stars on the sidewalk, similar to Hollywood Boulevard, numerous statues, and an all-around good vibe. The area is highly stylized with several restaurants and the best view available of the Hong Kong skyline.

Save over 50% on admission to top attractions with the Hong Kong Pass

11. Temple Street Nightmarket

Temple Street Nightmarket Hong Kong

One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to visit the vibrant, noisy and busy Temple Street Nightmarket.

As the sun begins to set, vendors begin to set up their stalls along Temple Street in Kowloon, and until the early hours of the morning, you’ll find the area packed out with tourists and locals alike.

Alongside tacky souvenirs and knock-off DVDs, you can also find some of the best street food in Hong Kong, and you can gorge all night long on local delicacies, at ridiculously low prices.

Our top recommended street market tours:

12. Catch a Festival

While it is not always possible to align your trip with a festival if there happens to be one going on when you are in town definitely take advantage and go.

We had such an amazing time when we dropped in on the September lantern festival during our visit.

There were live performances, singers, cultural displays, vendors and a huge lantern dragon. The Hong Kong festival schedule can be found on the tourism board site

13. Hong Kong Park

things to do in Hong Kong - park

Amongst the towering skyscrapers, you’ll find the wonderful and green Hong Kong Park, which is a great place to get out of the concrete jungle, without ever leaving the city.

Found on Hong Kong Island, the park is home to trees, walking paths, fountains, ponds and even a large aviary that’s home to large numbers of birds.

14. The Hong Kong Racecourse

Hong Kong Horse Racing Course

One of the most enduring legacies of British rule in Hong Kong is the popularity of horse racing in the city.

There are two venues in Hong Kong, and it’s popular because it’s the only place in the city where you can legally gamble.

Wednesday evenings play host to the busiest events, with huge crowds, busy bars and plenty of live-action racing to watch.

Save over 50% on admission to top attractions with the Hong Kong Pass

15. Tian Tan Buddha

things to do in Hong Kong - Lantau Buddha

On Lantau Island, the impressive sight of the Tien Tan Buddha can be found.

A visit here is one of the best things to do in Hong Kong. Also known more simply as the Big Buddha, this towering bronze structure is one of the largest to be seen anywhere in the world.

Since its construction in 1993, it’s become an iconic landmark with thousands of visitors each day making the pilgrimage up the steep set of 268 steps that lead to the enormous Buddha.

Our top recommended to the Tian Tan Buddha:

16. 10,000 Buddhas

10,000 Buddhas Monastery Sha Tin Hong Kong

If one giant bronze Buddha isn’t quite enough for you, then how do 10,000 Buddhas sound? The 10,000 Buddhas Monastery is located in Sha Tin and is in fact to home well over 13,000 Buddha statues and counting.

You can also find wonderful pagodas and temples and beautiful examples of Chinese inspired architecture, and if you arrive at the right time, you may get to see a few traditional ceremonies taking place here too, amongst the many thousands of Buddhas. 

17. Dragon’s Back Trail 

Hong Kong hiking trails

Despite its enduring image as a sprawling metropolis – which it is – Hong Kong also has a much more hidden, outdoorsy side to it, that can be a great alternative to the busy streets of the city.

In the surrounding islands, there is much green space remaining, including huge parks, forests, and even some beautiful tropical beaches.

The Dragon’s Back Trail is one of the best hikes on Hong Kong Island, taking you across the spectacular Shek O Country Park.

It’s a three-hour return hike, and you can even start at the nearest metro station, before being instantly transported into the lush green hills.

Book your Dragon’s Back hiking adventure today! 

18. Visit Chungking Mansions

Chungking Mansions Hong Kong

While at first glance this place may appear seedy, push your thoughts aside and walk through the doors. What you can find here is an amazing opportunity to eat your way around the world in one building.

People from all over the world have moved into this building, setting up food stalls, trinket stalls and everything in between. The building also houses a wide offering of hostels to backpackers or travelers on a budget. 

Save over 50% on admission to top attractions with the Hong Kong Pass

19. Hong Kong Harbor Light Show

Hong Kong Harbor at night

At 8 PM every night it is possible to witness the fabulous symphony of lights across the harbor, with the skyline as a backdrop.

This show has happened every night since 2004 and is recognized as one of the top light shows in the world. 

We recommend getting there early and getting a spot where you can sit and take it all in.

The best area for viewing is from the promenade, opposite the skyline, a place you could easily spend your whole evening walking leading up to the light show. 

Our top recommended harbor light show tours:

20. Hong Kong Museum of History

Traditional wooden sailboat / tourist junk sailing in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

For those travelers looking for a keener understanding of the melting pot that is Hong Kong, then a visit to the excellent Museum of History will equip you with the facts you might need to begin to better understand this diverse and unusual part of the world.

Located in Kowloon, the Hong Kong Museum of History will take you on an ever-intriguing journey far back to the time of the first humans who settled in the area, and well on into the 21st century when the city was handed back over to China.

Save over 50% on admission to top attractions with the Hong Kong Pass

21. Take a Day Trip to Macau

Senado Square in Macau at night

One of the absolute top things to do in Hong Kong is to take a day trip to Macau. Ferry service runs multiple times daily from the ferry terminal and will take you directly to the gambling capital of Asia.

Not up for making some bets? No worries! Macau is a cultural extravaganza. 

We spent 4 days uncovering all the best in Macau, so if you’re considering a day trip I recommend you check out our extensive guide: The Perfect Blend of Things to Do in Macau; this will ensure you put together the perfect itinerary for your visit. 

Our top recommended Macau day tours:

More on China:

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About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.

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