Hong Kong is a diverse city that is full of history, culture and fun. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what to see first, or what to prioritise when – more often than not – your time is limited. Here are the top ten points of interest in Central, Hong Kong, which every person must visit during their time in this metropolis.
Home to one of the most iconic views in all of Hong Kong, this is a must for everyone; be they tourist or local. Not only does Victoria Peak cater to those on holiday looking for those IG-worthy pictures, but it provides a decent hike for those living in the city who want to get out and enjoy the (sometimes not so fresh) air. The view is breathtaking to say the least, especially on a clear day when you can see right across the harbour.
Victoria Peak, The Peak, Hong Kong
Man Mo Temple
Being one of the more picturesque temples around town, Man Mo Temple comprises tributes to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). It is one of the largest Man Mo temples in Hong Kong, and was built in 1847 as part of a complex that was created for the worship of other gods. It’s a beautifully constructed building, with an interior that is elegant, vibrant and elaborate in terms of decor and color. The incense coils hanging from the ceiling make for a beautiful display as you walk inside.
124 – 126 Hollywood Road, Central +852 2540 0350
IFC (International Finance Centre)
Maybe you recognise this as ‘the tower’ that Batman crashed into in The Dark Knight, but the IFC houses the leading financial and property development companies in Asia. Sitting at the Central Waterfront, it is also one of Hong Kong’s leading business and leisure sites as the 4.5 million square foot complex offers a range of high-end shopping, hotels, restaurants and other forms of entertainment within its beautiful glass walls. It is THE place to go for a world-class shopping spree (providing you have the funds).
8 Finance Street, Central +852 2295 3308
Bank of China Tower
This 70-storey building has become one of the most recognisable within the city skyline for it’s prism-like shape and unusual light show. Designed by renowned Chinese architect, I. M. Pei, it cuts majestically into the sky and dominates the city’s architectural scene. It is said that the building was designed to represent the aspirations of the Chinese people, and that inspiration was taken from the growth and patterns of the bamboo plant.
1 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong is abundant with interesting statues that hold historical relevance, and Statue Square now holds just one of them. Today, the only statue in the square is of Sir Thomas Jackson – an early HSBC banker. In earlier years, the square held many more statues – mainly of British royalty – however these were unfortunately destroyed during the Second World War. Despite the lack of statues, it’s a lovely pedestrian square to relax in during lunch or after-work hours.
Des Voeux Rd Central, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Covering an area of 13.8 acres, the gardens are filled with more than 1,000 species of plants and a large number of different animals – 300 birds, 70 mammals and 20 reptiles. This is the place to go to appreciate nature at its finest. You’ll find some wonderful creatures, such as: the American Flamingo, the Hawaiian Goose and the Red-crowned Crane amongst the animals, and a variety of plants from main groups such as Conifer, Palm, Magnolia, Camellia and more. It’s a vibrant area, with additional educational perks, that give you a better understanding and appreciation for the living things we have to protect the planet for.
Opening hours: 6am – 7pm
Albany Road, Central +852 2530 0154
Built in 1846, this is one of the oldest Western buildings in Central which used to house Major General George Charles D’Aguilar. Now, it houses the Museum of Tea Ware – featuring both thematic and permanent exhibitions – where you can learn all about tea through the ages and the history of Chinese tea drinking. There are also a number of beautiful Chinese ceramics, such as bowls glazed with traditional blue dragons, for you to gaze upon and wish were a part of your dinnerware.
10 Cotton Tree Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Museum is closed for renovations as of the publication of this article.
Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Located in the heart of the Central Harbour Waterfront, the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is the place to go to peruse an extensive collection of historical objects that span the history of trade and maritime in Hong Kong. There are around 1,000 items on display across the three levels of the museum; including a wonderful exhibition on Hong Kong’s development as a port from 1841 and the creation of Victoria Harbour.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9:30am – 5:30pm; Sat – Sun 10am – 7pm
Central Pier No. 8, Central, Hong Kong +852 3713 2500
Former French Mission Building
Being one of the most impressive architectural buildings within Central, the Former French Mission Building is worth a visit if you’re keen on learning more about Hong Kong’s colonial past. Built in 1917, it was used by the government shortly before the Second World War. It’s had a long list of tenantx including the Victoria District Court, Supreme Court and the Court of Final Appeal; this is definitely one for the visiting history buffs out there.
1 Battery Path, Central, Hong Kong
© Craddocktm / Wiki Commons
Edward Youde Aviary
The Edward Youde Aviary has been open to the public since 1992, and was named afther the late Governor of Hong Kong from 1982 to 1986. It is teeming with trees, shrubs and, of course, birds, as well as featuring some elegant waterfalls and shallow pools. The entire aviary is supported by four giant arches, with suspended stainless steel mesh in order to make it resemble a natural environment as much as possible. The birds housed here are native to the Malesian rain forests and the aviary holds around 600 beautiful birds of 75 different species.
Opening hours: 9am – 5pm daily
7 Kennedy Rd, Central, Hong Kong, + 852 2521 5041