Hong Kong Airport is ranked fifth in the annual World’s Best Airport list in 2019 (and the World’s Best Airport Immigration Service and the Best Airport for Dining if you don’t mind us tooting our own horn). Hong Kong International Airport is a marvel to look at and to visit. There’s really no better place to be if your flight is delayed, you have a long layover, or if you’re the type of flyer who likes to arrive hours in advance of boarding. Aside from HKG’s beautiful architecture and some great views of planes on the runway, there’s plenty of other entertainment to be found at Chek Lap Kok. From amazing restaurants to fancy lounges and indoor sports club to an IMAX theatre, these are the best things to do at Hong Kong Airport.
RECOMMENDED: For the serious foodie, make sure to check out our ultimate guide to Hong Kong airport restaurants where we cover all the eateries from the unrestricted section to the joints pass customs area.
The best things to do at Hong Kong Airport
If you’ve got a couple of hours to kill, why not catch a film and experience a blockbuster in full Imax glory. Terminal 2’s Imax can seat up to 350 customers and has the biggest cinema screen in all Hong Kong.
Boasting fantastic facilities that range from private resting rooms, showers, internet workstations, as well as massage services, the 24-hour Plaza Premium Lounge is the perfect place for you to kick back before a long flight. Enjoy seasonal made-to-order entrees, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert delicacies, while your mini-travellers feast on classic favourites such as pancakes with scrambled eggs served with syrup, mixed berries, and whipped cream. Unwind with a glass of cocktail or a refreshing summer mocktail for you and your little one before you board.
Why not squeeze in a golfing session while you’re waiting to board your next flight? GreenLive Air is an indoor golf club that offers entertaining golf simulation games that allow you to practice your putting techniques or drives. You can choose between a nine-hole game or take on a full 18-hole course.
Discover more about the fascinating world of airplanes at the Aviation Discovery Centre (free entry). Here you can learn all about the history and development of aviation in Hong Kong – including the city’s famous former international airpot, Kai Tak – through more than 20 fun and interactive exhibits and graphics. Most exciting, however, is the chance to have a go on the centre’s flight simulator ($40) where you can experience airplane takeoffs and landings from the pilot’s seat.
The Aviation Discovery Centre leads through to a large outdoor platform named the SkyDeck, which is the best spot to enjoy a 360-degree view of HKG and its runways. You have to cough up $15 for the privelege but the view can be mesmerising.
Hong Kong International Airport’s food court is your last chance to taste classic Cantonese dishes before leaving the city. Tsui Wah’s signature beef brisket curry, pork cartilage with tossed instant noodles, and Swiss sauce chicken wings are must-trys. Just don’t forget to try the famous crispy bun with sweet condensed milk and Hong Kong-style milk tea, either. Alternatively, Yung Kee Restaurant and Ho Hung Kee (famous for its roast goose and HK-style wonton noodles) are solid choices too.
Wellness is Hong Kong Airport’s one and only spa. Get yourself an aromatherapy massage to relieve any travel fatigue you may have racked up or simply use it to relax if you’re a nervous flyer. Who says you can’t look good when you travel? Enjoy some much-needed R&R courtesy of Wellness’ manicures, pedicures, foot massages and blow-dry services. Just make sure you book at least six hours ahead of your arrival in the airport.
Bring a slice of Hong Kong with you on your travels and shop around for everything from edible souvenirs to Hong Kong-themed gifts. Kee Wah Bakery and Wing Wah Cake Shop are top choices for local delicacies and pastries such as wife cakes (pictured) and egg rolls. Also, make a visit to the Hong Kong Design Gallery and browse for unique products created exclusively by local designers and creative talents.
Forget KFC. Popeye’s is where you want to get your fried chicken. The fast-food shop is the world’s second largest fried chicken chain and this Popeye’s is one of two branches open in Hong Kong to get your fix of their delicious New Orleans-style chicken in a Cajun sauce. They also serve halal food as well. Pop along to Popeye’s in the departures hall for the best junk food in Hong Kong International Airport.
Forget Central or New York’s Fifth Avenue, Hong Kong International Airport has all the biggest high-end brand names under one roof to satisfy your big brand needs. There are 47 shops at Terminal 1 alone, so you literally get to have your pick of the best stores including brands like Burberry, Chanel, Prada and Versace. Swap out those sweat pants and travel in style.