Where to stay in Hong Kong

There are a huge number of hotels in Hong Kong and with so many to choose from, it can be really hard to decide where you should stay. This is especially true if it’s your first time visiting this incredibly busy and densely populated place. One look at a map littered with hotels to choose from and ‘must see’ landmarks will have your head spinning. After spending a few weeks in this incredible place and staying in a few different areas, I got a good feel for it and wanted to share with you my insight on the best places to stay in Hong Kong.

Getting Oriented

Hong Kong consists of a few main areas; Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and over 200 offshore islands, the largest being Lantau Island. For the purpose of being a tourist who wants to spend time exploring the main tourist attractions of Hong Kong, you should consider staying either on Hong Kong Island or the Kowloon Peninsula.

To help you get your head around things, here’s a map of Hong Kong with the headings of the main areas you should consider staying.

Kowloon Peninsula: Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok.

Hong Kong Island: Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, Central Hong Kong and Sai Ying Pun.

Map of Hong Kong districts and best areas to stay

Causeway Bay and Wan Chai 

Of all the places we stayed, Causeway Bay was my favourite and the place I would most recommend people stay. It is a built up area of Hong Kong which also covers parts of Wan Chai, hence grouping them together in this guide. Causeway Bay borders the Eastern District of the Kowloon Peninsula and has a more traditional feel to it compared to other areas of Hong Kong. The area is one of Hong Kong’s major shopping districts with many local boutiques and known name-brand stores from all over the world. We loved staying here because it was easy to get around, there were plenty of places to eat and shop and it had a really relaxed vibe away from the main tourist attractions of Hong Kong. We spent two days exploring Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui and found it easy to catch the MRT, Tram and Star Ferry to get around. After two days in these areas, we didn’t feel a need to go back there.

Find things to do in Causeway Bay here.

Causeway Bay and Wan Chai

Causeway Bay and Wan Chai

Central Hong Kong 

Also known as Central District, or just Central, it is situated on the north shore of Hong Kong island across from Tsim Sha Tsui and is the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula. Given it is the central business district (CBD) of Hong Kong there are loads of very big, official looking building with names you’ll recognise, like Bank of America. The area is home to a myriad of winding streets set back from the big buildings of the CBD, places like Gage Street, Aberdeen Street and Graham Street. These places are where you’ll find small wet markets and locals selling all kinds of things from electronics and plates to plants and food. It’s also home to some pretty old eateries selling traditional Hong Kong food. We visited Central quite a bit while we were in Hong Kong, choosing to visit for great bars, restaurants and cafes.

Find things to do in Central Hong Kong here.

Gage Street in Central Hong Kong

Gage Street in Central Hong Kong

Sai Ying Pun 

With great views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, Sai Ying Pun is a great place to find yourself a slightly more affordable luxury hotel with harbour views (compared to Tsim Sha Tsui). Sai Ying Pun is located in the Western District, in the northwestern area of Hong Kong Island and is one of the oldest areas of Hong Kong. Over the last few years, this area has become a hipsters paradise and is home to a large number of restaurants, cafes and shops mixed in with old-school Hong Kong shopfronts and wet market stalls. I found the area a bit boring and lacking some of the energy and local charm found in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. We found ourselves getting bored staying here and craved more shops and places to eat and things to look at. It was, however, very easy to get to and from the airport by bus.

Find things to do in Sai Ying Pun here. 

Sai Ying Pun

Sai Ying Pun

Tsim Sha Tsui 

Tsim Sha Tsui is a cape on the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula, facing towards Victoria Harbour, opposite Central Hong Kong. It’s a major tourist hub with loads of shops and restaurants catering to tourists and many of Hong Kong’s museums. With the highest concentration of hotels in Hong Kong, including big-name chains like Shangri-La, Sheraton and Intercontinental, it has a more high-end feel to it. Tsim Sha Tsui is also home to famed shopping streets Nathan Road and Canton Road and a must-do tourist attraction, The Avenue of Stars. I found Tsim Sha Tsui a bit boring and lacking that Hong Kong soul I wanted to experience while I was there. We found this area nice to visit for a few hours but quickly ran out of things to do and couldn’t wait to get back to Causeway Bay, after spending part of day here we had done it all.

Find things to do in Tsim Sha Tsui here.

Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui

Mong Kok 

Located in the western part of the Kowloon Peninsula, Mong Kok is probably the place you might recognise from movies as an area run by gangs. It has that typical Hong Kong movie set look to it, straight out of your imagination. It has a high population density and loads of bars, nightclubs, massage parlours and shops. It has a very low-key traditional feel to it with quite a few street markets and famous tourist areas including sneaker street, Yuen Po street bird garden, ladies market, flower market and goldfish market. It has a cheap feel with heaps of small shop fronts, wet and dry markets and boutique stores. Mong Kok is the kind of place you go to find cheap handbags and snuggles to haggle over with market vendors. It was great spending a day wandering around all the different markets, but after we had seen it all we were happy to get back to slightly classier Causeway Bay.

Find things to do in Mong Kok here. 

Mong Kok

Mong Kok

Getting around 

To help you get oriented and work out how to get around, here’s a copy of Hong Kong’s MRT System Map. For the latest version, you should consult Hong Kong’s MRT website as this map may be out of date.

Hong Kong MRT System Map

Hong Kong MRT System Map

Watch: My first time in Hong Kong video

12 Comments on Where to stay in Hong Kong

  1. Jessica Jones // March 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm // Reply

    That was really engaging and informative. Thanks! 😀

    Like

  2. BHASKAR BARUA // January 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm // Reply

    Nice & very helpful writeup

    Like

  3. Lauren Castagnero // July 19, 2016 at 4:47 am // Reply

    Hi Phoebe, where did you stay in Causeway Bay? Thanks:)

    Like

  4. Really helpful tips regarding places to stay in. I was kind of set on TST but may now set my sights in Central instead.

    Like

  5. Wonderful writeup with sunning images. I have stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel Hong Kong for 2 times. This post gives some background information about Hong Kong as well as explain how to find a place to stay. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  6. Very helpful to start my planning! Thank you.

    Like

  7. Most helpful post I’ve read so far in deciding where to stay! Thank you. 🙂

    Like

  8. Not a big deal, but their famous train is known as the MTR, not the MRT. 🙂 It stands for Mass Transit Railway.

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  9. Hi any recommendations for hotels! Gez there are so many and so many different areas. First time visitor to Hk so will be great if you have any ideas 😊

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  10. Very well written Phoebe..!! Absolutely covers all the details anyone wants before planning a perfect holiday.

    Like

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