Gazing out across a jungle of soaring concrete apartments, glass skyscrapers and lush green hills; Welcome to Hong Kong. This is a city that encapsulates everything I love about South East Asia; Cityscapes that grow vertical into the sky, where tradition and old ways collide with the fast paced high-tech and a history which evinces global struggles.

Hong Kong translates from Chinese as “Fragrant Harbour”, therefore exploring this gracious city by water is a must. The cityscapes and waterfronts stand proud around the frenetic Victoria Harbour. Just watching this impressive waterway is enough to redefine the term “Rush Hour”, as everything from people, raw goods, container ships and cruise ships navigate this stretch of water.

Flying and Travel over Hong Kong harbour. Top things to do in Hong Kong.

Keep your eyes peeled from the comfort of your your window seat, as your plane makes it approach into the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. If the planes are landing on the southwesterly runways, then ensure youre sitting on the left hand side of the plane for the best views across the city!

Once you’re ready to make your way into the city (its a 35km Journey), the high speed rail link, Airport Express, provides the quickest and most accessible way to reach central Hong Kong. For the full list of things to do in Hong Kong use my interactive Hong Kong map at the bottom of this page.

1. Victoria Harbour

My first recommendation on the list of things to do in Hong Kong is to head for the Star Ferry, which operates a boat service across Victoria Harbour between Central and Kowloon.

Crossing Hong Kong Victoria Harbour by Star Ferry. Top things to do in Hong Kong.

The Star Ferry service costs only 2.50HKG (about 30 cents USD). Not only provides a useful link between Kowloon and Central, but serves tourists with panoramic views of the city skyline from Victoria Harbour.

As you sail across the harbour, these iconic looking Ferry’s with their two storey decks intersect with busy commercial shipping, tug boats and traditional junks. Day or night this is a fantastic mode of transport. The only downside is the long walk from the Central Ferry Pier to get downtown, or the nearest metro station which is called Central.

Tour of Victoria Harbour. Top things to do in Hong Kong.

2. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

After your ride on the Star Ferry to Kowloon, turn right off the pier towards the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade; which runs along Kowloon southern waters edge. The view from the promenade is certainly the most picturesque of Hong Kong’s skyline.

Hong Kon Star Ferry crossing VIctoria Harbour. Things to do in hong kong
Hong Kon Star Ferry crossing VIctoria Harbour. Things to do in hong kong

I recommend coming here around sunset to watch the growing yellow glow that occurs around sunset, as the golden sunlight reflects off the glass fronted skyscrapers. The Hong Kong skyline then transforms into a city of colourful neon lights and brightly flashing billboards as day turns to night. You’ll want to stick around for the Light Show called “Symphony of Light“.

Hong Kong Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Convention Centre and Causeway Bay. tsim sha tsui hong kong

3. The Peak Tram

When you come to Hong Kong, this is the place to come for the most picturesque view;

Hong Kong the Peak Tram. Places to visit in hong kong

The Peak is Hong Kong Island’s highest point. From the summit you get the best panoramic views across the Harbour, haze permitting though. It’s a great place to take in the bigger picture of Hong Kong and it’s diverse geography.

To get up the Peak you will need to take a ride on the Peak Tram. As it’s name suggests, arrive for the tram during peak hours and you can expect to join the back of a long line of tourists.

It’s a very popular tourist destination and on everyone’s list of things to do in Hong Kong. And so the Peak caters for this mass-market appeal. An over-glorified shopping mall, complete with escalators entwines itself amongst the summit, but does at least provide an accessible viewing area where everyone gets their perfect city view.

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4. Hong Kong Light Show

Hong Kong Light Show from tsim sha tsui Promenade. Top things to do in Hong Kong.

Symphony of Lights; is the nightly Hong Kong light show which uses the city skyline as a spectacularly choreographed sequence of flashing lights and lasers. The show begins at 8pm and viewed from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, where the light show is accompanied with a fairly uninspiring soundtrack (it sounds like it was all composed on an electronic keyboard).

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5. Graham Street Market

As you walk along Graham Street, a Fish market bustles under towering office buildings. This is the Hong Kong I love; where street food and exotic Asian produce intermixes with suit wearing office workers.

Graham Street Market Fish Market Hong Kong. Top things to do in Hong Kong.

6. Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong is home to a plethora of high-end luxury hotels and panoramic rooftop bars.

Aqua Bar 25th Floor View and restaurant. Hong Kong Kowloon. places to visit in hong kong

Aqua Bar, 25 floors up in Kowloon offers a glimpse into these lofty spaces with stunning skyline views as you sip from your cocktail glass.

Hong Kong neon street signs at night

The night time neon glow of Hong Kong is a sight to digest with colourful signage that layers vertically above your head. From Kowloon to Sheung Wan or Admiralty, examples of these boards can be discovered across the whole of Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong Happy Valley Horse Racing

Horse Racing is a national sport in Hong Kong. So a nocturnal visit to spectate at the Happy Valley racecourse is a top feature of the nighttime list of things to do in Hong Kong.

7. Tea at the Peninsula Hotel

What could be more quintessentially English than afternoon tea with an assortment of finger sandwiches, cakes and scones?

The Peninsula Hotel Afternoon English Tea. things to do in hong kong

Classical music resonates throughout the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel as afternoon tea is served. Arrive early to get yourself at the front of the queue or you could find yourself with a long wait for a sitting. Or another tactic is to arrive close to closing time when the queue is noticeably shorter or non-existent on a weekday!

Tea is served from 2pm -6pm with a Smart Casual dress code.

Map of Things to do in Hong Kong

loading map - please wait...

Star Ferry Pier (Central): 22.286868, 114.160994
Star Ferry Pier (Kowloon): 22.293810, 114.168227
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade: 22.293176, 114.171950
The Peak Tram Station: 22.277683, 114.159191
The Peak: 22.270948, 114.149923
Hong Kong Light Show Viewing: 22.293028, 114.170276
Graham Street Market: 22.282356, 114.153078
Aqua Bar: 22.296040, 114.169824
Happy Valley Racecourse: 22.274344, 114.180822
Peninsula Hotel (English Tea): 22.295102, 114.171854
Lan Kwai Fong (Bars & Restaurants): 22.280958, 114.155575
Bank of China Tower Viewing Gallery: 22.279249, 114.161566
Hong Kong Museum of History: 22.301857, 114.177347
Ozone Bar (108th Floor): 22.303381, 114.160231
Ibis Hong Kong: 22.287690, 114.147560
The Excelsior Hong Kong: 22.282200, 114.184100

 

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