Hong Kong

The city's arts and culture scene is quite lively, with innovative music, dance, and theater among the regular offerings. Small independent productions as well as large-scale concerts take to the stage across the territory every weekend.

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  • 1. Above Second

    Western | Art Galleries–Arts

    Known for its dynamic collections of graffiti-style art and illustrations, this contemporary urban art gallery in Sai Ying Pun is the only one of its kind in Hong Kong. Since opening in 2010, the gallery's rotating exhibits have included a mix of up-and-coming regional and international artists such as Daisuke Tajima, The London Police, and Pure Evil. You can take home original works or commission something new.

    9 1st St., Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 2. Art Basel

    Wan Chai | Art Galleries–Arts

    One of three Art Basel festivals around the world, the Hong Kong edition typically occurs at the end of March. The massive event brings together Asia's top galleries, plus lots of international big-names. It's an exciting opportunity for art lovers to witness large-scale installations, head-scratching paintings, interactive digital art, modern Chinese works, and insightful talks and panels—all in one place.

    Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Rd., Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 3. Hong Kong Film Archive

    Eastern | Film

    Don't underestimate the popularity of old black-and-white films in a modern auditorium—buy your tickets in advance, as these cliassic regularly sell out. The theater screens rarities from the impressive archive of reels dating back decades. Conscientiously curated film programs are often accompanied by exhibitions in a separate gallery downstairs, as well as lively panel discussions featuring film critics and directors.

    50 Lei King Rd., Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 4. Aqua Luna

    Tsim Sha Tsui

    As one of the city's last traditionally crafted vessels, or junks, the plush Aqua Luna's dramatic appearance and red sails make her easy to spot. Step off dry land from the piers in Kowloon or Central, order a gin and tonic, and take in the shimmering harbor sights for 45 minutes. The HK$195 price tag includes one drink, and a snack menu is available. The ferry runs every hour from 5:30 pm daily. The more expensive 7:30 cruise lets you watch the city's nightly Symphony of Lights show from the harbor.

    Public Pier No. 1, Kowloon, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 5. Broadway Cinematheque

    Yau Ma Tei | Film

    The train-station design of this art house has won awards. Inside the foyer, a departure board displays the showings: primarily foreign and independent films, with a few Hollywood productions to round out the roster. You can read the latest reel-world magazines from around the globe at Kubrick, the café-bookshop next door.

    Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St., Kowloon, Hong Kong
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  • 6. Fringe Club

    Central | Dance

    The pioneer of Hong Kong's alternative-arts scene has been staging excellent independent theater, music, and art productions since opening in 1983. The distinctive brown-and-white-stripe colonial structure was built as a cold-storage warehouse in 1892, and the painstaking renovation has earned awards. Light pours through huge windows into the street-level Anita Chan Lai-ling Gallery, with its small, well-curated exhibitions. It has its own bar, the Fringe Dairy, which claims to be the only jazz and cabaret space in Hong Kong. Productions are sometimes in Cantonese, so check the program carefully.

    2 Lower Albert Rd., Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    -2521–7251-general inquiries
  • 7. Grand Cinema


    This cinema in the upscale Elements Mall in West Kowloon boasts massive screens, a kicking sound system, and vibrating seats, making it the ideal place to watch a big-budget blockbuster. Facilities include a café, restaurant, and a gallery space hosting film-related exhibitions.

    2nd fl., Elements Mall, 1 Austin Rd. W, Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • 8. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

    Wan Chai | Theater

    Many of Hong Kong's most talented performers studied at this academy's schools of drama, music, dance, television, and film. It has five theaters and a gallery, so there's always something going on. Productions are staged in the Lyric Theatre, the smaller Drama Theatre, and the tiny Studio Theatre. The two concert halls host choice classical or traditional Chinese music performances. When the weather's pleasant, take in a show at the garden amphitheater.

    1 Gloucester Rd., Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 9. Hong Kong Arts Centre

    Wan Chai | Art Galleries–Arts

    A hodgepodge of activities takes place in this deceptively bleak concrete tower, financed with horse-racing profits donated by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The split-level Pao galleries house year-round exhibitions of art and crafts. Thematic cycles of art-house flicks run in the basement agnès b. CINEMA. Community theater groups are behind much of the fare at the Shouson Theatre and smaller McAulay Studio, though international drama and dance troupes sometimes appear. The new Comix Home Base showcases local comedians. From Wan Chai MTR, cross the footbridge to Immigration Tower, then dogleg left through the open plaza until you hit Harbour Road. The center is on the left.

    2 Harbour Rd., Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Arts/Entertainment Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 10. Hong Kong Arts Festival


    Held each year in February and March, the Hong Kong Arts Festival's past visitors have included Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pina Bausch, and José Carreras. The focus is on performing arts.

    Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 11. Hong Kong City Hall

    Central | Concerts

    The performances at City Hall, ranging from the New York Philharmonic to the Bee Gees, and the Royal Danish Ballet to the People's Liberation Army Comrade Dance Troupe, are varied but consistently excellent. Two buildings make up the chunky '60s-era complex, divided by a World War II memorial garden and shrine. The 1,500-seat concert hall and a smaller theater are in the low-rise block, as is the massive Maxim's City Palace, a clattering restaurant with good dim sum. The high-rise building has an exhibition space and a smaller recital hall. Performances are usually held Friday and Saturday evenings.

    5 Edinburgh Pl., Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 12. Hong Kong Cultural Centre

    Tsim Sha Tsui | Concerts

    The Hong Kong Cultural Centre's 2,000-seat concert hall, an oval-shaped space fitted with an adjustable acoustic canopy and curtains, houses an 8,000-pipe Austrian organ, one of the world's largest. The Grand Theatre often hosts visiting Broadway musicals, opera, and ballet, while cozier plays take place in the Studio Theatre. Exhibitions are occasionally mounted in the atrium.

    10 Salisbury Rd., Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • 13. Hong Kong International Film Festival


    The annual Hong Kong International Film Festival brings together some of the finest film-industry talent from all over the globe. The festival usually occurs in mid-March, offering two weeks worth of movie screenings, exhibitions, and seminars, some hosted by world-renowned actors and filmmakers. As a supplement to the main festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society also holds a Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival in the middle of August.

    Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 14. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra


    Look out for performances by the world-class Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, which plays everything from classical to avant-garde, as well as contemporary music by Chinese composers. Past soloists have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Rudolf Firkusny, and Maureen Forrester.

  • 15. Kwai Tsing Theatre


    It might be in the sticks, but the Kwai Tsing Theatre is a major player in the cultural scene. Sunlight pours into the atrium through a curving glass facade that looks onto a plaza where performances are often held. Inside, the 900-seat theater provides a much-needed middle ground between the massive spaces and tiny studio theaters at other venues. And if the likes of Philip Glass and the Royal Shakespeare Company can schlep out here, 25 minutes by MTR from Central, so can you.

    12 Hing Ning Rd., Kwai Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong

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