Planning a trip to Hong Kong but not sure what to do while you’re there? Well, the good news is there are many, many things to do, see, eat and buy in Hong Kong. This amazing city is a melting pot of food, culture and fun just waiting to be discovered by visitors. To help you have a great time on your first, or next, visit to this amazing city, here’s my guide to 47 of the best things to do in Hong Kong.
But first, watch our Hong Kong for first-timers video!
1. Yuen Po Street Bird Market
Located in Mong Kok, the Yuen Po Street Bird Market is a haven for older men who keep birds as a pastime. You’ll find small stalls selling wooden bird cages, from the simple to the ornate, and everything a cute little bird could need. Find out more about the Yuen Po Street Bird Market here.
2. Flower Market
One of my favourite places in Hong Kong, the Flower Market is home to shop after shop full of beautiful, bright green plants, orchids and large bunches of flowers. If I lived in Hong Kong, this is where I would spend all of my money, given gardening and plants are my favourite! Find out more about Flower Market Road here.
3. Eat desserts at Chung Kee Dessert
There were some nights I was so full from all the good HK food, all I wanted was something light to eat. Funnily enough, this is exactly what’s on offer at Chung Kee Dessert. They sell HK style desserts so you won’t find any dense, chocolatey things here. Instead, look for things like Mango Sago with Pomelo and shaved ice puddings. Find out more about Chung Kee Dessert here.
4. Explore Mong Kok on foot
Mong Kok is a hive of activity and the streets here come alive with shops, wet markets, restaurants and more. If you’re looking for a place to get great photos of Hong Kong life, bright neon signs and locals on the move, Mong Kok is your destination. Feel confident exploring this area solo on foot, exploring ally-ways and winding streets. Find out more about Mong Kok here.
5. Eggette at Oddies Foodies
Do not go to Hong Kong without eating at least ONE eggette from Oddies Foodies in Central District. They’ve taken the traditional HK eggette and turned it into something sinfully good. Be sure to try the Night Wolf, Italian low-fat soft gelato twisted with 66% dark chocolate served with buttery crumbs, caramelised banana ice cream, passion fruit pannacotta, brownie and chocolate chip eggettes and crunchy flakes. That combination shouldn’t taste good, but it does. Find out more about Oddies Foodies here.
6. Traditional HK breakfast at Lan Fong Yuen
For a traditional breakfast, head to Lan Fong Yuen in HK Central. Here you’ll be treated to traditional HK treats like Milk Tea, Silk-stocking coffee and crispy buns. They also serve HK style French toast and other interesting breakfast items that are worth trying, just to say you did. Find out more about Lan Fong Yuen here.
7. Raid a local bakery
Don’t even think about going to Hong Kong if you aren’t planning to stuff yourself with baked goods. In terms of musts, your first point of call has to be a pineapple bun. It’s a deliciously fluffy, light bun with a crispy shell and a beautiful sweet taste. For something more traditional, try a sweetheart cake, a light and flaky pastry stuffed with a filling of sweet lotus seed, almond or red bean paste. If those aren’t enough, try a coconut tart or whipped cream bun. Find out about visiting famous bakeries, Hang Heung Cake Shop in Mong Kok and Hoover Cake Shop in Kowloon.
8. Visit Victoria Peak
Of course, everyone will tell you to visit the Peak. It’s a bit obvious, really. I found it slightly underwhelming, to be honest, but we had bad weather when we were up there. I preferred the views from rooftop bars, maybe because I like to drink. Nonetheless, you should probably take the trip up there and hope for a clear day to get good photos. Find out about getting up to Victoria Peak here.
9. Graham Street Wet Market
Take a trip to Graham Street and explore the Wet Market here on foot. You’ll find stall holders selling knick-knacks and gifts, fresh flowers and plants and fresh produce for the locals. Another great spot for some cool HK photographs as it’s one of the oldest markets in Victoria City. Find out more about the Graham Street Wet Market here.
10. Explore Tsim Sha Tsui
Get yourself over to Tsim Sha Tsui and take a stroll. You’ll find the TST Clock Tower, loads of shops to look at and there are some great views of the HK city-scape/skyline from the promenade if you’re looking for good photography spots. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes to choose from, so it’s worth spending an hour wandering the area and letting it all soak in. Find out more about Tsim Sha Tsui here.
11. Hop a tram and go anywhere
The Hong Kong Tramways are one of the oldest forms of public transport in the city, which you can tell from the very cool clanging and rattling coming from them. Having been in action for some 110 years, they’re a must-do experience in HK. The tramway runs on Hong Kong Island between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town, with a branch circulating through Happy Valley. It’s hard to get lost, so just jump on board and see where you end up. Find out more about Hong Kong’s Tramways here.
12. Big Buddha and Po Lin (Precious Lotus) Monastery
Also on Lantau Island, there’s a good chance you’ve seen photos of the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. You get there via the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car then climb an insane amount of stars to get up to the statue and Monastery, but it’s worth it. The views are great and it’s a pretty special place. Find out more about the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery here.
13. Avenue of Stars
Based in Tsim Sha Tsui along the promenade, the Avenue of Stars pays tribute to famous movie stars, actors and actresses who gave Hong Kong the name of Hollywood of the East. Even if you don’t know any of the names, you’ll surely appreciate the views. Find out more about the Avenue of Stars here.
14. Catch the Star Ferry
Jump aboard the Star Ferry from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s very cheap and a cool way to see Hong Kong from the water if you’re on a budget or have time to burn and want to see it from a different angle. Find out more about the Star Ferry here.
15. Shopping and food in Kowloon
Kowloon is a food-lover haven, known as the gourmet neighbourhood of international foods. Once you’re fuelled up, hit the streets for some serious shopping. Find out more about Kowloon here.
16. Breakfast at Mui Kee Congee
Start your day off with a traditional breakfast from Mui Kee Congee in Mong Kok. Head to the fourth floor (top) of the Fa Yuen Street Market building. You’ll find a food-court there. If you don’t speak Cantonese, that’s okay, the owners have a menu with English words. You’re after the salty fish congee with fried dough sticks/youtiao and a side of rice noodle rolls. So, so delicious! Find out more about Mui Kee Congee here.
17. Ladies Market
One of the most well-known markets in Hong Kong, the Ladies Market is just for the gals, with over 100 stalls! They sell knock-off handbags, sunglasses, clothes and absolutely everything else! Be sure to bargain hard. Full price is for chumps. Some people say it’s not all it’s hyped up to be, but go in with low expectations and you’ll be just fine. Find out more about the Ladies Market here.
Yep, there’s a Disneyland in Hong Kong! Ideal if you’re travelling with kids. It’s based on Lantau Island so you’ll have to get yourself over there and may like to stay overnight. Find out more about Hong Kong Disneyland here.
19. Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery
Beautiful gardens and gorgeous photo spots in Hong Kong don’t come much better than Nan Lian Garden. This Tang Dynasty-style garden features hills, waterfalls, structures, trees and rocks that make for beautiful photographs. Right next door you’ll find the Chi Lin Nunnery, a large Buddhist temple founded in 1934. Both are worth the visit and a very cool, unique cultural experience in Hong Kong! Find out more about Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery here.
20. Burgers at Shake em Buns
If you love burgers, get yourself over to Shake em Buns in Central HK. This very cool eatery supplies delicious burgers from meat right through to veggie, in a suave setting. The perfect place to refuel before hitting the streets. Find out more about Shake em Buns here.
21. Goldfish Market
Another famous market in Hong Kong is the Goldfish Market. Here you’ll find a busy street with loads of aquarium-style stores selling fish. Instagram-worthy photos you’ll like to take are of the loads of bags of goldfish hanging from walls. A tad cruel, if you think about it. But, if you wanna see it, I don’t judge you. Find out more about the Goldfish Market here.
22. Feast on Egg Tarts
One of Hong Kong’s most delicious and well-known sweet treats is the Egg Tart. You shouldn’t find it hard to find them, most bakeries will sell them and they’re a great little snack to keep you going until dinner. Find Hong Kong’s best Egg Tarts here.
23. Dinner at New Bangkok Thai restaurant
If you need a break from all that great Hong Kong food, try New Bangkok Thai Restaurant in Wan Chai. The food is great, it’s well priced and the service is good too. Find New Bangkok Thai Restaurant here.
24. Coffee at Matchbox Cafe
Another great spot for traditional HK food and drinks, Matchbox Cafe has a very cool vintage/retro vibe going on and is a great place to stop in for a refuel before getting back out on the HK streets. Find Matchbox Cafe here.
25. Party in Lan Kwai Fong
Want to know where to party in Hong Kong? Lan Kwai Fong is your spot. This area comes alive at night with loads of bars and clubs to drink, dance and party away the evening. It’s only a small square of streets, but it absolutely goes off. Find out more about Lan Kwai Fong here.
26. Lunch at Din Tai Fung
For the very best, most affordable dumplings in Hong Kong, head to Din Tai Fung. This place is famous for their amazing food and it’s one of the most affordable Michelin-Star restaurants you’ll visit. Just get there early to try and get a table, groups of 2 get seated quicker. Find out more about Din Tai Fung here.
27. Sugar Rooftop Bar
Looking for great views of Hong Kong? Get yourself up to Sugar Rooftop Bar. It’s free to get up there and the views of Hong Kong are fantastic, especially if you get there before sunset and watch the city come alive with bright, twinkling lights. Find Sugar Rooftop Bar here.
28. Coffee at 18 Grams
If you love barista-made coffee and need a break from the traditional Hong Kong-style rocket fuel, 18 Grams is your spot. They serve fantastic coffee here that will have you feeling like your old self again in no time. Find 18 Grams here.
29. Buy plates, bowls and other ceramics
One of the great things about Hong Kong is the shopping. If you love ceramics, then you’re about to have a field day. There are loads of shops selling plates, vases, bowls and everything else you can imagine.
30. Man Mo Temple
This beautiful space is a tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). Both Gods were worshipped by students, hoping to succeed in their studies. Built in 1874, it is the largest remaining Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong and well-worth the visit. Free to enter, you’ll find it a very hot place to be on those humid HK days. Prepare for lots of incense in your face. Find the Man Mo Temple here.
31. Tai O Fishing Village
To get away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong and see a different side, escape to the Tai O Fishing Village. This traditional fishing town, with houses built rather precariously on stilts in the water, is located on the western side of Lantau Island. You’ll find it a great spot for photographs and a way to get to know the ‘other’ side of Hong Kong and its people. Find out more about Tai O Fishing Village here.
32. Small Potato Ice Creamery
If you LOVE ice cream and quirky Japanese style things, then you must visit Small Potato Ice Creamery. This place is really cool and they serve up some very pretty, very unique ice creams that are fun to try and very tasty. They regularly pop up on best dessert/ice cream/ frozen treats lists for Hong Kong. Be sure to try the Purple Yam ice cream. Find Small Potatoes Ice Creamery here.
33. Drinks at Ozone Bar
Want to visit the highest bar in the world? Then you need to visit Ozone Bar at the Ritz Carlton in West Kowloon. The views from the 118th floor are sensational, ideal for photographers, and the cocktails are pretty wonderful too. Find Ozone Bar here.
34. Cat Street Markets
No, they do not sell cats en masse. Get a grip, you guys! Instead, they sell antiques and it makes for a great photography spot. There are loads of small shops selling all manner of antiques, knick-knacks and assorted junk. It’s pretty cool. Find Cat Street here.
35. Night-time drinks at The Pawn
The Pawn is a very, very cool dining spot in Wan Chai, though it’s also the ideal place for evening drinks. The food here is sensational, the cocktails and wine list are amazing and the interior is all too cool. Definitely a must-visit spot for lunch, dinner and drinks! Find The Pawn here.
36. Jade Markets
Not surprisingly this Kowloon spot, on Battery Street, is dedicated to all things Jade. Why is it so special? It’s a combination of the words beauty and pure and holds dear meaning to the Chinese as it’s associated with good health, long life and good luck. You’ll find a whole lot of Jade jewellery for sale and it’s a really cool place to grab a gift for someone you love back home. Find Jade Street here.
37. Photography hot spots at night markets
Love photography? You’ll find the markets that spring up at night to be a real haven. Most of these wet markets take place rather informally in back streets, where locals can buy fresh produce long into the night, including meat, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. No guide for this one, just walk around, find one you like and start snapping.
38. Temple Street Markets
If you do want to find a specific night market, try Temple Street. This Hawker Bazaar runs from 2pm to midnight and you can buy everything from gifts, clothes, art, handbags and luggage through to some pretty delicious food. You can also catch Chinese Opera. Find the Temple Street Markets here.
39. Get a massage
It isn’t hard to find somewhere to get a massage in Hong Kong. After a really big day of walking and exploring you’ll find your legs are absolutely exhausted! Find yourself a nice massage parlour and settle in for some much-needed pampering.
40. Dragon’s Back and Shek O Peak
Love hiking? The Dragon’s Back is your chance to escape the city and experience Hong Kong’s gorgeous natural scenery. The name Dragon’s Back refers to the shape of the path, rolling along ridges and resembling the shape of a dragon. At 284 metres high, the sightseeing platform on Shek O Peak is an amazing spot for panoramic views and amazing photographs of Hong Kong. Find out more about Dragon’s Back and Shek O Peak here.
41. The Wilson Trail: The Twins and Violet Hill.
Love a challenge? Another great hiking track is the Wilson Trail, with section 1 of the trail taking you over The Twins and Violet Hill. One thing to keep in mind, you will have to walk up 1,000 steps at one point so this isn’t for the faint at heart. But you will be rewarded with some astounding views of Stanley, Chung Hom Kok, Repulse Bay and Tai Tam Reservoir. Find out more about the Wilson Trail, The Twins and Violet Hill here.
42. Go to the races
Yea, that’s right, the races are in Hong Kong! It is one heck of an exciting, electric atmosphere too. It costs $10HK to get into Happy Valley, once you’re in there it’s a crazy mishmash of booze, gambling, music and low-key people drinking all night. Note: you don’t get all dolled up for the races here like you do at home. Sounds ideal, right? Find out more about Happy Valley and the Races in Hong Kong here.
43. Froyo in a fish cone
Yea, you read that right. If you visit a little place called Tai Parfait in Causeway Bay, you’ll find some super cool Japanese style desserts on offer. They sell some pretty delicious frozen yoghurt, served inside a ridiculously cute soft ‘ice cream cone’ in the shape of a fish. The FroYo and other toppings, of course, are pumped into the fish and you eat the whole lot! So good! Find Tai Parfait here.
44. Cheung Chau Island
If you find yourself in Hong Kong in May, be sure to visit the Cheung Chau Island Bun Festival. It started off as a way for fishermen to ask for safety from pirates, but now it’s just a really fun tradition. Each year some 60,000 buns are made and strung up everywhere! The island comes alive with buns, visitors and festivities, including the must-see Bun Scrambling Contest. Find out more about the Cheung Chau Island Bun Festival here.
45. Millionaires Beach
Want to visit the beach while you’re in Hong Kong? Climb aboard a junk ship and head out to Millionaires Beach. Find out more about how to get to Millionaires Beach here.
46. Day trip to Macau
If you’ve got time, take a day trip to Macau. The gambling and hotel scene here is absolutely epic! It’s pretty easy to get there on the ferry and you get to say you went to two places then, not just one! Find out how to place a day trip from Hong Kong to Macau here.
47. Cafe Corridor
I’ve got this place on here last because I forgot about it, even though it’s awesome! Cafe Corridor is a very inconspicuous little spot in Wan Chai and they serve really good coffee, perfect for anyone who loves a good soy latte (me). They also do great cakes and food! Find Cafe Corridor here.
Other helpful resources:
- Read my guide on must-try food in Hong Kong
- Read my guide on where to stay in Hong Kong
- Find out these 10 things you must know before visiting Hong Kong
Need some more inspiration? Watch this…
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.