Fast, frenetic and exuberant, Hong Kong is a sensory delight, a bustling whirlwind of culture, commerce and barely contained chaos. Home to a heady blend of ancient and modern, and with a cityscape that makes the likes of New York and Chicago look like shrinking violets, the attractions in Hong Kong are endless.
Language: Chinese, English, Cantonese Currency: Hong Kong dollar Electricity: 220V Visas: Click here to see if you need a visa to enter Hong Kong. Dialling Code: +852 Time Zone: (GMT+08:00)
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Take in The Views From Victoria Peak
Known locally simply as 'The Peak', this 552m vantage point is one of the big Hong Kong attractions, and provides the definitive view of the city's glittering skyline. It’s easily accessed by the Peak Tram, a 120-year-old funicular railway that ferries visitors up from Hong Kong's Central District, but the views will be infinitely more rewarding if you make the trek up the Old Peak Road on foot. Time your arrival for sunset, and prepare to have your breath taken away.
Located in central Kowloon, this bustling night market is a Hong Kong travel must-see. A haggler's paradise, all manner of wares and trinkets are on offer here, from cookware and electronics to fake designer clothing and barely identifiable foodstuffs. Tired of all that bargaining? Time to experience Hong Kong street food at one of the many open-air stalls.
Hike The Dragon's Back Trail
Located a short hop from central Hong Kong, the Dragon's Back is a world away from the bustle of the city. Part of the meandering 50km Hong Kong Trail linking Victoria Peak with Big Wave Bay, it's a moderately difficult hike with some steeper sections, but those who make the effort will be rewarded by unforgettable vistas as well as the chance to spot some of the local flora and fauna.
Take a Ride On The Ngong Ping 360
Located on Lantau Island, this 3.5 mile-long cable car links the island's north side with the hills of Ngong Ping, offering panoramic views along the way. It also offers a great opportunity to check out two other essential Hong Kong attractions conveniently located in the area: the Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha, a giant bronze statue of the Enlightened One that tops out at 34m in height.
Ride The Star Ferry
No Hong Kong travel experience is complete without a boat ride on Victoria Harbour, and the iconic cross-harbour Star Ferry is the best way to go. Various routes exist but the line from Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon to Central in Hong Kong Island is arguably the most dramatic. During the 8-minute ride you'll motor past junks, ships and all the frenetic activity of the harbour, against the breathtaking backdrop of jungle-covered hills and glittering skyscrapers.
Things to do in Hong Kong
With so much on offer, you may well be wondering what to do in Hong Kong. Here’s your starting five.
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
This spectacular Taoist festival is held annually on the island of Cheung Chau, from the 5th to 9th days of the fourth lunar month (usually early May). Expect colourful parades, drum beating and dragon dancing as well as the famed bun-snatching finale, where people race up a large tower covered with buns.
Hong Kong Arts Festival
Established in 1973, this month-long annual arts and music festival is held in February & March, with a program of opera, theatre, dance and world music as well as classical concerts from some of the world's finest ensembles.
For more information on Hong Kong Arts Festival, click here.
Hong Kong International Film Festival
HKIFF takes place at a variety of interesting locations around Hong Kong, including the Science Museum and the City Hall. Held annually in late March & early April, it features a 2-week program of hundreds of film screenings from Chinese and international directors, from newbies right up to the industry heavyweights.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Also known as Tueng Ng, the Dragon Boat festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month (normally June) and is celebrated all over China. Various races are held around the period, from the local to the international and highly competitive, with teams of up to 80 people paddling the traditional boats with much accompanying fanfare.
For more information on Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, click here.
Hong Kong Food Expo
This giant gastronomical gathering is one to set your mouth watering. Expect a dazzling array of shiny kitchenware and delectable produce from over a thousand exhibitors from around the world, as well as tips from industry insiders and cooking demonstrations from the pros.
Top 5 Festivals in Hong Kong
From the traditional to the modern, there are a large number of festivals taking place in Hong Kong throughout the year. Here's our pick of the bunch.
Hong Kong Space Museum
Located on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, this distinctive egg-shaped building is a local landmark. A museum of astronomy and aerospace, it's home to two exhibition halls with various interactive exhibits as well as a popular planetarium.
For more information on the Hong Kong Space Museum, click here.
Hong Kong Museum Of Art
Hong Kong's main art museum is spread over several floors. Amongst its treasures you'll find everything from Chinese ceramics to calligraphy and contemporary art.
For more information on the the Hong Kong Museum of Art, click here.
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Opened in 2000, this museum of art and history is the largest in Hong Kong. It consists of 6 themed halls, with exhibits ranging from Chinese Antiquities to a collection of Bruce Lee memorabilia.
For more information on the the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, click here.
Hong Kong Museum Of History
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui next to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, this museum of archaeology, ethnography, and natural history covers 6000 years of Hong Kong's history, with highlights including a reconstruction of an entire 19th century street.
For more information on the Hong Kong Museum of History, click here.
Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
Located in the northernmost tip of Hong Kong Park, Flagstaff House was once the residence of the commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong. It's now a museum famed for its extensive collection of antique Chinese tea ware, replete with a cafe where you can relax over a refreshing brew.
For more information on the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, click here.
Top 5 Museums & Galleries in Hong Kong
Hong Kong's excellent spread of galleries and museums should be more than enough to keep culture lovers happy. Check out our top 5 pick.
These bite-sized dumplings are among the most famous Cantonese foods. Often served straight from the trolley wheeled tantalisingly around the restaurant, they can be steamed, baked or fried, with common fillings including meat, seafood and vegetables.
Best eaten at Lin Heung Tea House, 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Flavoured with a blend of aromatic spices and roasted to perfection, this succulent barbequed pork is sweet, sticky and savoury all at once. It's often served with a side of rice, and trying it is a Hong Kong travel essential.
Best eaten at Lung Kee Restaurant, 12 Queen Victoria St, Hong Kong
Known as daa bin lou in Cantonese, this self-assembly dish is a Hong Kong food classic. It consists of a large pot of boiling broth, along with all manner of fresh ingredients - including seafood, meat, vegetables and tofu - that you dip in and cook yourself.
Best eaten at San Xi Lou, 7/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Rd, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong's best-loved noodle dish is a steaming bowl of delicious clear broth with and wonton dumplings, typically containing shrimp and minced pork. Garnished with spring onions and leafy vegetables, it's comfort food at its best.
Best eaten at Tsim Chai Kee Noodle, 98 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong
Mango Pomelo Sago
This chilled dessert soup is a puree of mango with coconut milk, cream and sugar, with delectable chunks of fresh mango, pomelo, and tapioca-like sago pearls.
Best eaten at Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert, 102 Soy St, Hong Kong
Food in Hong Kong
As befitting one of the world's great port cities, Hong Kong is a melting pot of cultures: and nowhere is this reflected more strongly than in the kitchen, where Western, Cantonese and other Eastern influences combine in one unique culinary palette. Eating out is big here, and there are tens of thousands of Hong Kong restaurants to choose from. Get ready for a gastronomic rollercoaster ride!
What To Pack
Toiletries - Finding your preferred brand can be tricky here.
A camera - For all those classic Hong Kong selfies.
An umbrella - Use it to fend off those rain showers, or to shield yourself from the summer sun like the locals!
Extra luggage space - Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise, and there's no sales tax, so make sure you have room for all your new acquisitions.
An adapter plug - Hong Kong uses UK-style 3-pronged sockets. You'll also need a transformer to run US-voltage appliances.