Hong Kong

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Hong Kong - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Chi Lin Nunnery

    Not a single nail was used to build this nunnery, which dates from 1934. Instead, traditional Tang Dynasty architectural techniques involving wooden dowels and bracket work hold everything together. Most of the 15 cedar halls house altars to bodhisattvas (those who have reached enlightenment)—bronze plaques explain each one. The Main Hall is the most imposing—and inspiring—part of the monastery. Overlooking the smaller second courtyard, it honors the first Buddha, known as Sakyamuni. The soaring ceilings are held up by cedar columns that support the roof. The principles of feng shui governed all construction: buildings face south toward the sea, to bring abundance; they're backed by the mountain, a provider of strength and good energy. The temple's clean lines are a vast departure from most of Hong Kong's colorful religious buildings

    5 Chi Lin Dr., Kowloon, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Nunnery daily 9–4, lotus pond garden daily 7–7
  • 2. Dialogue in the Dark Exhibition

    Mei Foo | Tour–Sight

    A truly unique way to experience Hong Kong, the Dialogue in the Dark Ehibition is a simulated tour of the city from the perspective of the visually impaired. The walk covers five iconic scenes of the city, including a ride on the Star Ferry and a trip to the market. The whole tour is conducted in pitch-black darkness, allowing visitors to experience their surroundings through their other senses.

    The Household Centre, 8 King Lai Path, 2nd fl., Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 3. Dragon's Back


    One of the most popular trails crosses the "rooftop" of Hong Kong Island. Take the Peak Tram from Central up to Victoria Peak, and tackle as much or as little of the range as you feel like—there are numerous exits downhill to public-transport networks. The surprisingly wild countryside feels a world away from the urban bustle below, and the panoramas—of Victoria Harbour on one side, and Southside and outlying islands on the other—are spectacular. You can follow the trail all the way to the delightful seaside village of Shek O, where you can relax over a casual dinner before returning to the city by bus or taxi. The most popular route, and shorter, is from Shek O Country Park, which has three hiking trails. To get here, take the MTR from Central to Shau Kei Wan, then Bus 9, and alight after the first roundabout.

    , Hong Kong
  • 4. Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware


    All that's good about British colonial architecture is exemplified in this museum's simple white facade, wooden monsoon shutters, and colonnaded verandas. Hundreds of delicate tea sets from the Tang (618–907) through the Qing (1644–1911) dynasties fill rooms that once housed the commander of the British forces. Skip the lengthy, confusing tea-ceremony descriptions and concentrate on the porcelain pieces themselves. Be on the lookout for the unadorned brownish-purple clay of the Yixing pots, whose beauty hinges on perfect form.

    10 Cotton Tree Dr., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Tues., Wed.–Mon. 10–6
  • 5. Happy Valley Racecourse

    Causeway Bay

    The biggest attraction east of Causeway Bay for locals and visitors alike is this local legend, where millions of Hong Kong dollars make their way each year. The exhilarating blur of galloping hooves under jockeys dressed in bright silk jerseys is a must-see. The races make great Wednesday nights out on the town. Aside from the excitement of the races, there are restaurants, bars, and even a racing museum to keep you amused. The public entrance to the track is a 20-minute walk from Causeway Bay MTR Exit A (Times Square), or simply hop on the Happy Valley tram, which terminates right in front. Every Wednesday night during race season (September through June), the first of about eight races kicks off at 7:15.

    Sports Rd. at Wong Nai Chung Rd., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: HK$10, Wed. 6–11:30 pm during racing season
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  • 6. Hong Kong Heritage Museum

    This fabulous museum is Hong Kong's largest, yet it still seems a well-kept secret: chances are you'll have most of its 11 massive galleries to yourself. They ring an inner courtyard, which pours light into the lofty entrance hall. Although many of the halls focus on ancient Chinese art and heritage, the museum recently energized its offerings with an exhibition that covers Hong Kong's pop culture. The T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art, exquisite antique Chinese glass, ceramics, and bronzes, fill hushed second-floor rooms. The curators have gone for quality over quantity. Look for the 3½-foot-tall terra-cotta Horse and Rider, a beautiful example of the figures enclosed in tombs in the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220). The Cantonese Opera Heritage Hall is all singing, all dancing, and utterly hands-on. The symbolic costumes, tradition-bound stories, and stylized acting of Cantonese opera can be impenetrable: the museum provides simple explanations and stacks of artifacts, including century-old sequined costumes that put Vegas to shame. Don't miss the virtual makeup display, where you get your on-screen face painted like an opera character.

    1 Man Lam Rd., New Territories, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Permanent exhibitions, free; special exhibitions, HK$10, Closed Tues., Mon. and Wed.–Fri. 10–6; weekends and holidays 10–7
  • 7. Hong Kong Museum of Art

    Tsim Sha Tsui

    An extensive collection of Chinese art is packed inside this landmark art museum, which emerged from a years-long face-lift with new exhibitions and experiences. The collections include a heady mix of Qing ceramics, ancient calligraphic scrolls, bronze, jade, lacquerware, textiles, and contemporary canvases. It's all well organized into thematic galleries. The museum sits on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in Kowloon, a few minutes from the Star Ferry and Tsim Sha Tsui MTR stop.

    10 Salisbury Rd., Kowloon, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: HK$10, Fri. and Mon.–Wed. 10–6, weekends 10–7
  • 8. Hong Kong Park


    One of the prettiest parks in the city proper is a sprawling mix of rock gardens and leafy pathways. It's common to stumble on locals practicing tai chi or reading in a secluded spot. This welcome respite from the surrounding skyscrapers occupies the site of a garrison called the Victoria Barracks, and some buildings from 1842 and 1910 are still standing. The park is home to the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware and the Edward Youde Aviary.

    19 Cotton Tree Dr., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed mornings the 1st and 3rd Mon. of each month, Daily 6 am–11 pm
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  • 9. MacLehose Trail


    Named after a former Hong Kong governor, the 97-km (60-mile) MacLehose Trail is the grueling course for the annual MacLehose Trailwalker charity event. Top teams finish the hike in an astonishing 15 hours. Mere mortals should allow three to four days or simply tackle one section on a day hike.This isolated trail starts at Tsak Yue Wu, beyond Sai Kung, and circles High Island Reservoir before breaking north. A portion takes you through the Sai Kung Country Park and up a mountain called Ma On Shan. Turn south for a high-ridge view, then walk through Ma On Shan Country Park. From here, walk west along the ridges of the mountains known as the Eight Dragons, which gave Kowloon its name.After crossing Tai Po Road, the path follows a ridge to the summit of Tai Mo Shan (Big Hat Mountain), which, at 3,140 feet, is Hong Kong's tallest mountain. Continuing west, the trail drops to Tai Lam Reservoir and Tuen Mun, where you can catch public transport back to the city. To reach Tsak Yue Wu, take the MTR to Diamond Hill, then Bus 92 to Sai Kung Town. From Sai Kung Town, take Bus 94 to the country park.An easier way to access Tai Mo Shan is via an old military road. En route you'll see the old British barracks, now occupied by the People's Liberation Army. Take the MTR to Tsuen Wan and exit the station at Shiu Wo Street, then catch Minibus 82.

    , Hong Kong
  • 10. Man Mo Temple


    No one knows exactly when Hong Kong Island's oldest temple was built—but the consensus is sometime between 1847 and 1862. The temple is dedicated to the Taoist gods of literature and of war: Man, who wears green, and Mo, dressed in red. The temple bell, cast in Canton in 1847, and the drum next to it are sounded to attract the gods' attention when a prayer is being offered.

    124 Hollywood Rd., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Daily 8–6
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  • 11. Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

    There's a practical approach to prayer at one of Hong Kong's most exuberant places of worship. Here the territory's three major religions—Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism—are all celebrated under the same roof. You'd think that ornamental religious buildings would look strange with highly visible vending machines and LCD displays in front of them, but Wong Tai Sin pulls it off in cacophonous style. The temple was established in the early 20th century, on a different site on Hong Kong Island, when two Taoist masters arrived from Guangzhou with the portrait of Wong Tai Sin—a famous monk who was born around AD 328—that still graces the main altar. In the '20s the shrine was moved here and expanded over the years.Start at the incense-wreathed main courtyard, where the noise of many people shaking out chim (sticks with fortunes written on them) forms a constant rhythm. After wandering the halls, take time out in the Good Wish Garden—a peaceful riot of rockery—at the back of the complex. At the base of the complex is a small arcade where soothsayers and palm readers are happy to interpret Wong Tai Sin's predictions for a small fee. At the base of the ramp to the Confucian Hall, look up behind the temple for a view of Lion Rock, a mountain in the shape of a sleeping lion. If you feel like acquiring a household altar of your own, head for Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei, the Kowloon district north of Tsim Sha Tsui, where religious shops abound.

    Wong Tai Sin Rd., Kowloon, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Donations expected. Good Wish Garden HK$2, Daily 7–5:30
  • 12. Stanley


    This peninsula town lies south of Deep Water and Repulse bays. There's great shopping in the popular Stanley Market, full of casual clothes, cheap souvenirs, and cheerful bric-a-brac. Stanley's popular beach is the site of the Dragon Boat Races every June. To get here from Exchange Square Bus Terminus in Central, take Bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66, or 260.

    Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 13. Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts


    After more than a decade of construction, this complex opened in 2018 in the location of the 19th-century Central Police Station; indeed, its name means "big station" in colloquial Cantonese. It's the largest restoration project ever to be completed in Hong Kong, stretching across 16 heritage buildings and 156,077 square feet. In addition to a wide range of restaurants—from dazzling design and Cantonese cuisine at Madame Fu to French fair in charming Cafe Claudel—the complex has local-designer boutiques, performing arts events, film screenings, art exhibitions, and a lovely open-air courtyard. With its red bricks and beautiful verandas, the old-world architecture contrasts delightfully with the adjacent, avant-garde JC Contemporary building—a center for contemporary arts with a metal facade so futuristic that it looks as if the entire building could take off for space at any moment. Tai Kwun is free to visit, however, the number of visitors might be restricted during peak hours. It's advised to apply online for a Tai Kwun Pass to ensure access.

    Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 14. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

    You climb some 400 steps to reach this temple, but look on the bright side: for each step you get about 32 Buddhas. The uphill path through dense vegetation is lined with 500 life-size golden Buddhas in all kinds of positions. Be sure to bring along water and insect repellent. Prepare to be dazzled inside the main temple, where walls are stacked with gilded ceramic statuettes. There are actually nearly 13,000 here, made by Shanghai artisans and donated by worshippers over the decades. Kwun Yam, goddess of mercy, is one of several deities honored in the crimson-walled courtyard.Look southwest on a clear day and you can see nearby Amah Rock, which resembles a woman with a child on her back. Legend has it that this formation was once a faithful fisherman's wife who climbed the mountain every day to wait for her husband's return, not knowing he'd drowned. Tin Hau, goddess of the sea, took pity on her and turned her to stone.The temple is in the foothills of Sha Tin, in the central New Territories. Take Exit B out of Sha Tin station, walk down the pedestrian ramp, and take the first left onto Pai Tau Street. Keep to the right-hand side of the road and follow it around to the gate where the signposted path starts. Don't be confused by the big white buildings on the left of Pai Tau Road. They are ancestral halls, not the temple.

    221 Pai Tau Village, New Territories, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Daily 9–5:30
  • 15. Tian Tan Buddha

    Hong Kongers love superlatives, even if making them true requires strings of qualifiers. So the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is the world's largest Buddha—that's seated, located outdoors, and made of bronze. Just know the vast silhouette is impressive. A set of 268 steep stairs lead to the lower podium, essentially forcing you to stare up at all 202 tons of Buddha as you ascend. At the top, cool breezes and fantastic views over Lantau Island await. The Wisdom path runs beside 38 halved tree trunks arranged in an infinity shape on a hillside. Each is carved with Chinese characters that make up the Heart Sutra, a 5th-century Buddhist prayer that expresses the doctrine of emptiness. The idea is to walk around the path—which takes five minutes—and reflect. Follow the signposted trail to the left of the Buddha.

    Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Monastery and path free; walking with Buddha: HK$40, Buddha daily 10–5:30, monastery and path daily 8–6
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  • 16. University Museum and Art Gallery


    Set inside a heritage building, the peaceful rooms of this museum and gallery are filled with a small but excellent collection of Chinese antiquities. On view are ceramics and bronzes, some dating from 3,000 BC, as well as paintings, lacquerware, and carvings in jade, stone, and wood. Some superb ancient pieces include ritual vessels, decorative mirrors, and painted pottery. The museum has the world's largest collection of Nestorian crosses, dating from the Mongol Period (1280–1368). There are usually two or three well-curated temporary exhibitions on view; contemporary artists who work in traditional mediums are often featured. The collection is spread between the T.T. Tsui Building, where there is a Tea Gallery, and the Fung Ping Shan Building, which you access via a first-floor footbridge. The museum is a bit out of the way—20 minutes from Central via Buses 3B, 23, 40, 40M, or 103, or a five-minute uphill walk from Sheung Wan MTR—but it's a must for the true Chinese art lover.

    90 Bonham Rd., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Mon.–Sat. 9:30–6, Sun. 1–6
  • 17. Victoria Peak and the Victoria Peak Tram


    As you step off the Victoria Peak Tram, you might be surprised to encounter two shopping arcades crowning Hong Kong's most prized mountaintop. But venture up the escalators to the free viewing platforms—yep, through the Peak Galleria mall—and the view will astound you. Whatever the time, whatever the weather, be it your first visit or your 50th, this is Hong Kong's one unmissable sight. Spread below you is a glittering forest of skyscrapers; beyond them the harbor and—on a clear day—Kowloon's eight mountains. On rainy days wisps of clouds catch on the buildings' pointy tops, and at night both sides of the harbor burst into color. Consider having dinner at one of the restaurants near the Upper Terminus. Skip the Peak Tower's observation deck, which is pricey. The free sights from atop the Galleria are just as good.Soaring just over 1,805 feet above sea level, Victoria Peak looks over Central and beyond. The steep funicular tracks up to the peak start at the Peak Tram Terminus, near St. John's Cathedral on Garden Road. Hong Kong is proud that its funicular railway is the world's steepest. Before it opened in 1888, the only way to get up to Victoria Peak was to walk or take a bumpy ride in a sedan chair on steep steps. At the Lower Terminus, the Peak Tram Historical Gallery displays a replica of the first-generation Peak Tram carriage. On the way up, grab a seat on the right-hand side for the best views of the harbor and mountains. The trams, which look like old-fashioned trolley cars, are hauled the whole way in seven minutes by cables attached to electric motors. En route to the Upper Terminus, 1,300 feet above sea level, the cars pass four intermediate stations, with track gradients varying from 4 to 27 degrees.The well-signed nature walks around Victoria Peak offer wonderful respites from the commercialism. Before buying a return ticket on the tram or on a bus, consider taking one of the beautiful low-impact trails back to Central. You'll be treated to spectacular views in all directions on the Hong Kong Trail, an easygoing 40- to 60-minute paved path that begins and ends at the Peak Tram Upper Terminus. Start by heading north along fern-encroached Lugard Road. There's another stunning view of Central from the lookout, 20 minutes along, after which the road snakes west to an intersection with Hatton and Harlech roads. From here Lantau, Lamma, and—on incredibly clear days—Macau come into view. The longer option from here is to wind your way down Hatton to the University of Hong Kong campus in Western District.Buses 15 and 15B shuttle you between the Peak Tram Lower Terminal and Central Bus Terminal near the Star Ferry Pier, every 15 to 20 minutes, for HK$9.80

    Between Garden Rd. and Cotton Tree Dr., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: HK$37 one-way, HK$52 round-trip, Tram daily every 10–15 mins, 7 am–midnight
  • 18. Aberdeen


    Aberdeen's harbor contains about 3,000 junks and sampans, and each might be home to multiple generations of one family. During the Tin Hau Festival in April and May, hundreds more boats converge along the shore. On Aberdeen's side streets you'll find outdoor barbers hard at work and any number of dim sum restaurants serving up dishes you won't find at home. You'll also see traditional sights like the Aberdeen Cemetery, with its enormous terraced gravestones, and yet another shrine to the goddess of the sea: the Tin Hau Temple.

    Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 19. Ap Lei Chau Island


    A bridge connects Aberdeen with Ap Lei Chau Island (Duck's Tongue Island), where you'll find popular shopping malls like designer-packed Horizon Plaza.

    Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 20. Asia Society Hong Kong Center


    A former explosives magazine compound built by the British Army in the 19th century, the Asia Society Hong Kong Center's Chantal Miller Gallery is a pleasant setting for exhibitions pertaining to Asian countries and cultures. Views from the lush roof garden are spectacular; a walk on the grounds is a must. The Center's AMMO (Asia, Modern, Museum, Original) restaurant and bar is a lovely spot for lunch or a drink.

    9 Justice Dr., Hong Kong, n/a Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: HK$30 to enter Chantal Miller Gallery, Tues.–Sun. 11–6

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