1. Star Ferry
For a scenic trip across Hong Kong’s iconic harbor, take the historic Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. The Star Ferry has been around since 1888, and holds a special place in the hearts of locals.
2. The Peak
The Peak is Hong Kong’s most popular attraction for a reason. Located 396 meters above sea level, the Peak Tower offers a breathtaking panorama from Victoria Peak — the highest vintage point in the entire city. To get there, you can take the historic Peak Tram, which was the first funicular railway in Asia when it opened in 1888.
The Peak Tram, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 0922
3. Tian Tian Buddha
This majestic bronze statue of Buddha stands at 112 ft and weights 250 metric tons. A scenic ride on the Ngong Ping Cable Car takes you to straight to Ngong Ping Village and the bottom of the 268 stairs that lead to the Buddha.
4. Street Markets
Hong Kong’s raucous street markets are crammed to the gills with independent stalls hawking colorful wares and trinkets of all kinds. The Ladies Market and the Temple Street Night Market are the biggest and most atmospheric, but you shouldn’t miss the unusual sights, sounds and fragrances at the Bird Market, Flower Market and Goldfish Market.
5. Wan Chai Heritage Trail
This two-hour walking trail takes you through Wan Chai, one of Hong Kong’s oldest districts. You’ll see a number of culturally significant sites, including Blue House, the Starstreet Precinct, and Wan Chai Market. It’s a great way to get a taste of Hong Kong’s history and cultural heritage.
6. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
This famous temple was founded in the 1950s and contains almost 13,000 Buddha statues. It’s accessible by climbing 431 steps lined with life-sized statues of Buddhist arhats (or saints), each with a unique facial expression, posture and clothing. Several spectacular halls, pavilions, a nine-storey pagoda and an ivory statue of the goddess Kwun Yum await at the summit.
Lots 358-359, IN D D 185, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, +852 2691 1067
7. Lan Kwai Fong
A popular haunt of expats, tourists and yuppies, Lan Kwai Fong is a famous dining and nightlife district. This L-shaped lane in the heart of Central is packed with some of the city’s trendiest restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
8. Mid-Levels Escalator
A ride on the Mid-Levels Escalator is one of the world’s most unique urban experiences. This series of roofed moving walkways and bridges spans 2,600 ft of steep hillside, rising over 440 ft from bottom to top. Start your journey from Queen’s Road, Central and be sure to stop off at SoHo, a stylish district known for its many restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.
9. Golden Bauhinia Square
This gilded statue of a bauhinia, Hong Kong’s floral emblem, was erected to commemorate the 1997 handover of Hong Kong back to China after 150 years of British rule. It’s located right on the Wan Chai waterfront, next to the iconic Exhibition and Convention Centre. A daily flag-raising ceremony is performed starting at 7:50 am.
10. Tai O Fishing Village
Quiet and picturesque Tai O is one of the last remaining examples of the “floating” stilt house villages that were once prevalent among Tanka fishing communities. Tai O is also famous for its seafood, including the dried shrimp paste that can be found at the seafood market.
Located in a 1950s building that was once a dormitory for police officers, PMQ (which stands for “Police Married Quarters”) is a now hub for Hong Kong’s creative and design industries. Featuring a mixture of local independent designers and well-known brands, the boutiques offer a range of lifestyle goods, jewelry, pottery, clothes, baked goods, furniture and more.
S614, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2870 2335
12. Nan Lian Garden
This public park is designed in the style of a Tang dynasty landscaped garden. Featuring lush gardens, pagodas, pavilions and lotus ponds, Nan Lian Garden is an oasis of beauty and calm amid bustling Hong Kong. The garden is managed by the adjacent Chi Lin Nunnery, which houses a popular vegetarian restaurant.
13. Hong Kong Park
This beautiful park contains a 15,000 sq ft conservatory, an aviary full of tropical birds, a museum of teaware and a traditional teahouse where you can enjoy a meal of dim sum. In the distance, the steel and glass skyscrapers of Central form an interesting juxtaposition against the park’s greenery.
14. Flagstaff Museum of Tea Ware
At the northern end of Hong Kong Park is Flagstaff House, a Greek Revival building from the 1840s. Formerly the residence of the commander of the British forces, the building now houses a museum dedicated to teaware, featuring graceful antiques from the Tang (618–907) through the Qing (1644–1911) dynasties.
10 Cotton Tree Dr, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2869 0690
15. Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s largest theme park and an absolute must if you have children with you. Highlights include the numerous amusement rides, the Grand Aquarium, the giant panda exhibit and the cable car that connects the park’s two main regions.
Ocean Park, Hong Kong, +852 3923 2323
16. Pottinger Street
This steep, unevenly-paved pedestrian lane is an iconic part of Central District. Named after Henry Pottinger, the first Governor of Hong Kong, it dates back to the 1850s, making it one of the oldest streets in the neighborhood. Today, the street is lined with colorful stalls selling cheap costume merchandise, party supplies, trinkets and souvenirs.
17. Hong Kong Wetland Park
This 60-hectare ecological park in northwest New Territories contains freshwater streams, nature trails, bird-viewing platforms, and a butterfly garden, among other delightful and educational attractions. Bird enthusiasts will probably want to visit in the winter, when hundreds of species of rare migratory birds descend on the local wetlands.
18. Hong Kong Museum of History
This museum’s primary exhibition is “Hong Kong Story,” a historical, archaeological and ethnographic overview of Hong Kong told through dioramas, graphics and audio-visual materials. The journey begins with the territory’s past, starting from 400 million years ago, and ends with Hong Kong’s reunification with China in 1997.
Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong, +852 2724 9042
19. Wong Tai Sin Temple
Buddhist and Taoist worshippers come here year-round to light incense, kneel at the altar of Wong Tai Sin, and and have their fortunes told through a local practice called kau cim. The temple’s spectacular traditional architecture features ornate roofs, red pillars, intricate latticework and guardian lion statues.
20. Hong Kong Heritage Museum
This excellently curated museum is dedicated to the cultural heritage of Hong Kong. There are six permanent galleries with themes such as Chinese art and Cantonese opera, as well as a “Children’s Discovery Gallery” with interactive exhibits designed for kids. Martial arts movie buffs will love the Bruce Lee special exhibit, which runs until the summer of 2018.
1 Man Lam Rd, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, +852 2180 8188