Whilst it’s known as a city with a buzzing nightlife scene, Hong Kong also has plenty to offer those looking to escape, rejuvenate and relax. Read our top picks of things to do in Hong Kong.
Whether you’re keen for a break from the more hectic side of Hong Kong living, bored of weekends spent barhopping or hunting for something different to do with your friends, Hong Kong has many unique experiences on offer that are good for the soul – and offer a bit of a reset. Browse our list of the best.
For the energetic
It might be known as an urban jungle, but almost 75% of Hong Kong’s territory is green, giving those bursting with energy endless options for hikes, trails and activities that take in stunning views and more than their fair share of mountains to test your mettle. Here are our top picks to get you up and going.
Despite being one of the busiest metropolises, Hong Kong is surrounded by mountains and country parks which offer some truly fantastic hikes.
Insider Tip: Always check the weather for visibility and make sure you bring plenty of water with you – hiking in Hong Kong can get quite sweaty and deceptively hot.
Tai Mo Shan
Gaining its notoriety from being the tallest peak in Hong Kong at 957m, Tai Mo Shan translates to literally ‘foggy mountain.’ Come here on a clear day, though, and expect incredible and panoramic views stretching as far as the eye can see.
How to get there: Tsuen Wan MTR then Bus 51 to Country Park Station
One of the most iconic hikes in Hong Kong, Dragon’s Back takes you along picturesque mountain ridges and offers an incredible view of the sea below. Grab a locally brewed Big Wave Bay beer and chill on the beach at the end.
How to get there: Shau Kei Wan MTR then Bus 9 to To Tei Wan
Looking for untouched landscapes, lively wildlife, panoramic views, iconic waterfalls or geologically unique red beaches? Plover Cove has it all in one.
How to get there: Tai Po Market MTR then Bus 20R to Wu Kau Tang
#2 Biking along Tolo Harbour
If moving on foot isn’t your thing, then biking along the coast at Tolo Harbour is a great day out for exploring, running at anywhere from an hour to two hours each way, depending on how far you want to venture. Rent bikes on the promenade just outside Sha Tin MTR station for around HKD 50 for the entire day and get going.
How to get there: Sha Tin MTR then walk towards the channel
Insider Tip: Watch out for the local ParknShop (about 15 minutes away from the start) to stock up on snacks and drinks for the day, and make sure you bring a packed lunch as there isn’t much along the way!
#3 Visit a trampoline park
Bursting with energy? Head to HK’s favourite trampoline park Ryze for an indoor playground for kids and adults that has everything from Tarzan swings into pits of foam blocks, an entire floor of trampolines, plus slides and challenges with prizes to keep you busy – and exhausted! Prices start at HKD 150 for a 1-hour adult ticket.
How to get there: 3/F, Kodak House 1, 321 Java Road, Quarry Bay
Insider Tip: Remember to bring a pair of socks or you’ll have to buy some when you arrive.
#4 Play some Wargames
For a competitive edge, take your friends to a wargame match. The next stage up from paintballing, it’s a fun and engaging activity for people of any skill level. DGW Wargame is by far the best place to get your fix with a price of HKD 180 for four hours, and a further HKD 80 if you need to rent equipment.
How to get there: G/F Po Lung Center, 11 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay
Insider Tip: If you go with a big group, they offer discounted rates.
#5 Trap yourself in an escape room
In what is probably one of the best ways to test a friendship, head to LOST in Causeway Bay for a truly unique games experience. Enter their maze of locked rooms, relying on teamwork to solve puzzles, clues and riddles to secure your exit in a battle of wits and patience!
How to get there: 1/F, 1-3 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay
Insider Tip: You won’t be going anywhere without some solid teamwork.
For the snap-happy crowd
Whether you’re wandering the packed alleyways of Causeway Bay, marvelling at the metropolis on the harbour or seeking out a taste of time gone by, tucked away amidst the chaos, Hong Kong has so much to offer any photographer in town.
#6 Mong Kok, Fa Yuen Street
Sometimes one of the best ways to explore Hong Kong is by bringing your camera and just wandering around. This overpass looking down onto Mong Kok Road gives unique top-down views over some picturesque streets of classic Hong Kong.
How to get there: Exit B3 from Mong Kok MTR and the overpass is just on your left
Insider Tip: Don’t go on Sundays as this overpass gets mobbed with people having weekend picnics.
#7 Tsim Sha Tsui
The TST seafront is one of the classic photography spots in Hong Kong, giving panoramic views of the island’s skyline. There’s also the nearby Star ferry and Clock Tower, as well as the recently reopened Avenue of Stars here.
How to get there: Either Tsim Sha Tsui MTR or taking the Star Ferry from Central are ideal ways to get here
Insider Tip: If you come here, make sure to go a bit deeper into TST as well. There’s so much to explore here such as Chungking Mansions where you can get some delicious Indian food, as well as the area’s multiple street stalls.
#8 Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak is a lovely place to get away from busy city life. While the Peak Galleria area itself is always mobbed with tourists, just a 10-minute stroll away down the pedestrian trail on Lugard Road, you’ll find stunning city views right out to Lantau and plenty of peace and quiet.
How to get there: Take the green minibus 1 from below IFC or the Peak Tram
Insider Tip: The Peak Tram is a novel way of getting up, but unless it’s your first time and are willing to wait ages in the queue, we suggest taking a much cheaper bus.
#9 Kadoorie Farm
Escape the city’s matrix of skyscrapers for a breath of fresh air at Kadoorie Farm. Out in the New Territories and spanning over 148 hectares, Kadoorie Farm was originally built to provide agricultural aid to Hong Kong’s farmers. The farm is now better known, though, for its themed gardens and botanical diversity, so check it out for its abundant wildlife and nature to photograph.
Address: Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Lam Kam Rd, Tai Po, New Territories
How to get there: The easiest way to get there via public transport is via MTR to Tai Po Market then Bus 64K to the Kadoorie Farm stop
Insider Tip: After your visit, be sure to visit the gift shop where you can buy locally-farmed produce grown at the farm – and support their upkeep.
For the shoppers
The two activities any self-respecting visitor or resident of Hong Kong indulges in on any given weekend have to be eating and shopping. Here are some great places to indulge in the latter.
#10 Sham Shui Po, Apliu Street
Everyone knows about the big shopping malls and centres in Hong Kong, but only the locals know about places such as the Apliu Street flea market. Look around the secondhand stalls to find old Chinese antiques, household accessories and fabric shops.
Address: Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po
How to get there: MTR straight to Sham Shui Po and take Exit C2
Insider Tip: If you end up finding an interesting souvenir or collectable here, be sure to bargain as prices start high.
#11 Flower Market
The flower market is the place to go for blooms of every description and a wonderful window into bustling city life. From herbs for your garden to cacti, Bonsai trees to bougainvillea, the stalls here have it all.
Address: Flower Market Road, Prince Edward
How to get there: MTR to Prince Edward, take Exit B2 then walk a couple of minutes down Prince Edward Road West
Insider Tip: Just at the end of the flower market is the Yuen Po Bird Garden, a sensory experience in every way! And a true taste of time gone by.
What used to be the old Police Married Quarters was renovated back in 2009 to become a creative hub for the design community. There’s a bounty of small artisan shops here offering everything from homewares to fashion, trinkets to art. Our top tips would be Chailie Ho’s fashion boutique, Waka Artisans ceramics, and Sake Central.
Address: 35 Aberdeen St, Central
Insider Tip: Hungry after all that retail therapy? Head to Sohofama for a delicious and healthy refuel.
You might also like Your Go-To Guide To PMQ, Hong Kong’s Most Creative Address
For the lazy
Sometimes you just need to recharge and in a city where action is the order of the day, it can sometimes feel that lazy afternoons are hard to come by. Here are our best spots to get away from it all.
#13 HK beaches
When the weather’s right and the water is clean, Hong Kong beaches can transport you away to a lazy afternoon on holiday in an instant. Here are some of our favourites.
Tai Long Wan
Easily one of the most picturesque and natural beaches in Hong Kong, this long stretch of clean sand wouldn’t look out of place on a beautiful Thai island.
How to get there: For the energetic, the hike in from the pagoda at the start of the trail – where you can take a taxi to – takes around 30 minutes. Or, take a speedboat from HKD 150 from Sai Kung town.
Insider Tip: Just beyond Tai Long Wan are some cosy rock pools which you can float around and relax in.
As the name would suggest, the water here is among the clearest in Hong Kong. Come here if you want a truly lovely-looking beach.
How to get there: Take Bus 103M from Tseung Kwan O MTR station
Insider Tip: Consider even having a barbecue here with some good mates and a fresh sea breeze.
Kwun Yam Wan
Kwun Yam Wan Beach is a great place to go if you want to get far away from Hong Kong itself. Situated on Cheung Chau, there’s a lovely local community there that gives the beach and area an entirely different feel. While you’re on Cheung Chau, be sure to get some fresh mochis for the beach!
How to get there: Take the ferry from Pier No. 5 in Central
Insider Tip: Can’t be bothered to take the ferry back? Why not make a weekend out of it and camp over at Cheung Chau at one of the rentable yurts on the south side of the island.
#14 Easy ‘hikes’
Feel like getting some nice views without doing the hard work of hiking to get them? Then head out on an easy trail to take in the sights without the sweat.
Practically a flat walk on a road, Braemar Hill gives one of the best views down Hong Kong Island.
How to get there: Take Bus 24M from Admiralty
Insider Tip: Once you get up to the viewing point, stay for the sunset before taking the bus back down.
Starting at Deep Water Bay, follow the pedestrian route around to Repulse Bay for an easy walk that’s also great for bikes and scooters. Short and flat, it offers lovely peaceful views of Middle Island and the sea beyond.
How to get there: Bus 973 will take you straight there and give scenic views along the way. It starts at TST, but you can catch it anywhere along the way.
Insider Tip: Check out the Pulse for endless delicious lunch options. Our favourites would be Limewood for some excellent tacos or Amalfitana for truly delicious pizzas.
#15 Cheung Chau
Only a 30-minute ferry ride away from Central, Cheung Chau offers a plethora of things to do. Explore the island, eat lunch next to the sea in one of the island’s iconic seafood restaurants or just sit on one of its many beaches, watching the waves rolling in.
How to get there: There are ferries to and from a number of places, but the most common mode of transport is the one from Central Ferry Pier No. 5
Insider Tip: There are a few shops that sell homemade mochi here – a glutinous rice cake with various fillings. We recommend the fresh mango variety!
For the Gamers
For those for whom there’s nothing more indulgent than a few hours spent pursuing their passion for all things games, there are a couple of spots dedicated to providing just this.
In its cavern of blacked out windows and an overload of neon lights, i-ONE provides you with a computer installed with just about every video game from the past 20 years. Prices start from below HKD 30 an hour for a private booth with much cheaper options for a regular seat.
Address: 9/F Ying Kong Mansion, 2-6 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay
Insider Tip: If you don’t speak Cantonese, bring along a friend who can help you work your way through the computer.
#17 Jumpin Gym
Despite what it sounds like, there’s no fitness involved here. Jumpin Gym is actually a chain of indoor playgrounds hosting endless arcade machines and games giving you options aplenty to indulge your inner child. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is just for kids!
Address: Shop 215 & 216B, 311 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay
Insider Tip: If you know this is your kind of thing and are going to get a lot of tokens here, do so in one batch as they offer bulk discounts.
For the culture aficionados
If you’re the type of person to be found indulging in a bit of local history or just want to enjoy something more intellectual for the day, check these places out.
#18 Tai Kwun
Formerly the city’s Central Police Station, Tai Kwun is now a centre for heritage and arts that offers a number of exhibitions in its wonderful historical buildings as well as various standout food and drink options to help you along your way.
Address: 10 Hollywood Rd, Central
Insider Tip: While you’re here, stop off for a coffee in the courtyard at Café Claudel to watch the world go by.
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#19 Blue House
Blue House is a perfect example of an old tenement building from the early 20th Century. The house, along with its neighbours Yellow House and Orange House, are a living cultural exhibit with tenants still living upstairs.
Address: 72A Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai
Insider Tip: There is a small museum on the inside which explains the building’s history.
#20 HK Museums
Weather’s awful? Museums are a great place to spend a rainy day indoors, and Hong Kong has a plethora to choose from, big or small.
Looking for some culture? Head straight to the History Museum where you can binge on all your historical cravings. Right now, they have an exhibit about the history of the People’s Republic of China.
How to get there: Take Exit D1 of the Hung Hom MTR and walk over the overpass
For a fun day out with the family, consider going to the Science Museum. There’s something for all ages there and don’t forget the ever-so-famous marble run that happens only four times a day: 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm
How to get there: Take either Exit D1 of the Hung Hom MTR like the History Museum, or take Exit B2 of Tsim Sha Tsui MTR
Feeling artsy? The Art Museum right next to the Avenue of Stars guarantees a quiet, pensive experience and has a whole range of art pieces on display from classic Chinese art to more contemporary pieces.
How to get there: Go to Tsim Sha Tsui East MTR and take Exit J
Insider Tip: Need a hearty midday lunch break? Consider going to the nearby Sangeethas for some delicious Indian food and massive dosas.
For the Foodies
If there’s one thing Hong Kong has covered, it’s endless amazing gastronomic experiences, whatever you may be looking for. Here are 3 local foodie experiences that are simply not to be missed.
#21 Local places to check out
Insider Tip: As a general rule of thumb with local HK food, always go to the places with the biggest queues: the popular food is well worth the wait.
A local favourite, Maxim’s Palace serves up a whole variety of delectable local Hong Kong food from your classic Siu Mai to egg tarts. Grab your food from any number of waiters/waitresses pushing a cart around one of the last remaining dim sum halls.
Address: 2/F, City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central
Tung Po Dai Pai Dong
There aren’t many Dai Pai Dongs left in Hong Kong, so what’s left you know will be good. Famous for its traditional Cantonese dishes, Tung Po kitchen is where to go for some scrumptious deep or pan-fried fish dishes.
Address: 2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point
Street Stalls in Mong Kok
Although the joint isn’t local, strictly speaking, given it hails from Taiwan, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken is a favourite in Mong Kok.
Address: For Hot Star: G/F, Tat Lee Building, 2Y Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mong Kok
All other photos belong to Arran Saunders