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Chi Lin Nunnery
Photograph: Joshua Lin

23 Top attractions to visit in Hong Kong

The city's top attractions, landmarks, and sightseeing spots you’d be mad to miss

Jenny Leung
Edited by
Jenny Leung
Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Hong Kong is packed with many wonderful attractions, so it’s easy for visitors to feel overwhelmed – that's why we've put together a list of must-visit landmarks and sightseeing spots that will let you make the most of your trip. From places to view Hong Kong's iconic skyline to exploring historic landmarks and the city’s best museums, this one-stop guide will make you fall in love with Hong Kong.

RECOMMENDED: Looking for more activities? Our ultimate Hong Kong Bucket List is what you need.

Top Hong Kong Attractions to visit

  • Attractions
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

There was a time when Hong Kong’s filmic output was only bested by Hollywood and Bollywood, and while it’s a less prodigious beast these days, the city’s film industry still once produced illustrious names like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, the Shaw Brothers, John Woo, and Wong Kar-wai. Avenue of Stars pays tribute to these figures and many others who have helped burnish Hong Kong’s cinematic legacy. Selfie opportunities come with sculptures of Hong Kong legends such as martial arts master Bruce Lee, as well as singer and actress Anita Mui. Even Hong Kong's beloved local cartoon character McDull has a prime spot in front of the Victoria Harbour skyline. Plus, you can check out over 100 handprint plaques set into the wooden handrails along the waterfront.

  • Attractions
  • Lantau Island

Tian Tan Buddha – or as it’s better known, the Big Buddha – is Hong Kong’s most recognisable and iconic landmark. It was 12 years in the making: 34 metres high, and accessible to visitors by over 200 gruelling steps. Needless to say, be prepared for aching legs by the time you’re at the top. Just beside the Buddha is Po Lin Monastery, a wondrous, incense-filled sanctum that ranks among Buddhism’s most important institutions. And if that slog gives you an appetite, refuel at the neighbouring Ngong Ping Village.

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  • Attractions
  • Central

Okay, it’s no London Eye, but the Hong Kong Observation Wheel does still provide stunning views of Victoria Harbour and Central. The whole circuit on this 60-metre-high Ferris Wheel takes around 15 minutes, providing ample opportunity to get your snaps of the city, whether during the day or at night. 

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  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

It’s hard to miss this egg-shaped dome on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. The theatre dome makes up half of the Hong Kong Space Museum, along with two permanent exhibitions: Hall of the Cosmos and the Hall of Space Exploration. Visitors can enjoy documentary screenings under the curved ceiling of the planetarium, or head over to the main museum and discover plenty of action and gadgetry for space and science enthusiasts. 

  • Things to do
  • Yuen Long

This 61-hectare wetland reserve and ecotourism park is home to a diverse range of wetland plants and animals, from mangroves to rare species of birds. Promoting the importance of wildlife and nature conservation, the Wetland Park is great for birdwatchers who are keen to spot migrations – and for families to enjoy a fun, informative day out.

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  • Things to do
  • Tai Po

Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden spreads over 148 hectares of land on the northern slopes of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s highest mountain. The farm was originally established to aid poor farmers in the New Territories but has since morphed into a nature conservation centre. Wander around the vegetable gardens and greenhouses, and learn about fascinating organic growth methods. It’s perfect for those trying to transition into a more sustainable living at home. Visit exotics animals like flamingos, deer and, if you’re lucky, the occasional porcupines and pangolins in the area surrounding the farm.

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  • Things to do
  • Lan Kwai Fong

Love it or loathe it, Lan Kwai Fong – or LKF for short– is party central. There's a myriad of restaurants and bars packed into the neighbourhood, from upscale joints to pubs that are rougher around the edges. It's where you ought to be if you want to party hard with tourists, expats, and locals alike. It gets especially rowdy on holidays or special occasions like Halloween.

 

  • Art
  • West Kowloon

Clad with a large harbour-facing LED screen, this waterfront museum is a must-visit for art lovers. Inside, the building houses numerous galleries with exhibits that cover themes of architecture and design, post-war art, conceptual art, installation art, multimedia works and more. Aside from exhibitions, visitors can also enjoy public facilities and spaces including shops, restaurants, the M+ cinema, and a beautiful rooftop garden offering expansive views of Victoria Harbour and the city's skyline.

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  • Things to do
  • Sheung Wan

Man Mo Temple is a mid-nineteenth-century historical building and a declared monument located on Hollywood Road. It’s surrounded by antique stores that are common in the area. The temple is mostly dedicated to Man Cheong, the god of literature, and Mo Tai, the god of martial arts, a pair of deities often worshipped by students who were about to take Imperial China’s civil service exams. With its clouds of intense and introspective calm, it makes for a haven from all the downtown hubbubs outside.

  • Things to do
  • Wong Tai Sin

This public park is so leafy and peaceful it looks like an illustration from the Tang Dynasty. Wander around through calm waters and rocks as you head towards the unmissable red Zi Wu Bridge and stunning gold Pavilion of Absolute Perfection. Not far away from the garden is Chi Lin Nunnery and a vegetarian restaurant worthy of a visit, if you find yourself peckish.

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  • Things to do
  • Tung Chung

One of the longest aerial cable car systems in Asia, the Ngong Ping 360 takes guests on a visually spectacular journey from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping. During the ride, you'll get to take in fantastic views of Lantau Island including the North Lantau Country Park, Tung Chung Bay, and the Hong Kong International Airport. For the brave souls out there, get on the Crystal+ cable cars, where all sides and bottom of the cabin are made of transparent tempered glass to provide a 360-degree view.

  • Things to do
  • Wong Chuk Hang

Located on the southside of Hong Kong Island, Ocean Park has a special spot in many Hongkongers' hearts. Hop on the many hair-raising rollercoaster rides and visit an array of animals and exotic birds. If you’re in town during Halloween, the theme park is also incredibly popular for its month-long – and genuinely rather spooky – Halloween attractions.

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  • Attractions
  • The Peak

As you might guess from the name, The Peak is the high point on Hong Kong Island, offering the best views of the city stretching from the skyscrapers and towers of the city centre to the mountains in the New Territories. It’s accessible by the Peak Tram, which passes the city’s buildings at a dizzying incline as it travels up to 1,300 feet above sea level. To get the best possible views at the top, we suggest you head to the viewing platforms at the anvil-shaped Peak Tower. Or if you fancy a hike, take a stroll around the Peak Circle Walk, where you’ll get an astonishing bird’s-eye view of the metropolis below.

  • Attractions
  • Sheung Wan

The transformation of the former Police Married Quarters into a centre for all things creative and design-based is one of the largest, most ambitious conservation projects in Hong Kong. An exciting mix of creative enterprises can be found at PMQ, where old residential units have been converted into small boutiques selling handmade products – ranging from jewellery to homeware goods – as well as design studios and art spaces. Pop-ups, markets, art festivals, and festive happenings are also common occurrences at PMQ.

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  • Attractions
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

If The Peak doesn’t satisfy your need for aerial views of Hong Kong, try sky100 at the International Commerce Centre (ICC). The clue is in the name. An indoor observation deck located on the 100th floor of the ICC skyscraper, sky100 provides an unobscured 360-degree view of the entire territory of Hong Kong. You can head there during the day to get a snapshot with some clear skies or pop in at night and capture the citys famous night lights. Cap off your visit with the sky-high dining experience at Café 100 at The Ritz-Carlton where you can savour the top-quality delicacies with a side of stunning view. 

  • Attractions
  • Ships and boats
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

A less-than-five-minute journey from shore to shore, the Star Ferry is the swiftest and cheapest way to travel between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central or Wan Chai. Despite its short length, the journey still feels leisurely, helped in no small part by the cooling breeze. And you’ll also get some truly spectacular views of Hong Kong’s skyline – essentially front-row seats to Victoria Harbour. Cameras at the ready people – city vistas don't get much better than this.

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  • Attractions
  • Tai O

Showcasing a different side of Hong Kong, Tai O is one of the few remaining fishing villages in Hong Kong. Wander through its streets or hop on a sampan to see stilt houses perched above the waters. There are also many eateries and street food stalls around Tai O where you can delight in local bites such as 'sa young' (a Cantonese-style doughnut), tofu fa, jumbo fishballs, grilled seafood, and many more.

  • Art
  • Central

Tai Kwun is a massive independent art space in the heart of Central and one of our city's biggest creative hubs. The former Central Police compound opened its doors to the public in June 2018 and is a conglomerate of historic sites, repurposed buildings, art galleries, as well as various bars and restaurants. The heritage site slash art space hosts events and art exhibitions around the year, including immersive programmes, live performances, and workshops, providing an opportunity for Hongkongers and visitors alike to re-imagine this once-closed-off part of town.

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  • Things to do
  • Tai Po

This monastery houses the world’s largest bronze statue of Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy (also known as Kwun Yum in Cantonese). It’s quite the sight: 76 metres tall, and twice the size of Big Buddha on Lantau Island. The Tsz Shan Monastery took 12 years to fully complete and is designed in a style that echoes the Tang Dynasty. In the Buddhist compound, there are several grand halls and beautiful gardens. Do bear in mind there’s a strict limit on how many visitors can come here each day, so booking online in advance is essential. Take a look at our guide to visiting the monastery.

  • Things to do
  • Wong Tai Sin

A home to three religions – Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism – Wong Tai Sin Temple is the go-to place for worship during big celebrations such as Buddha’s birthday, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Chinese New Year. It's also a popular site courtesy of its gorgeously ornate buildings. The historic temple is also known for its supposedly accurate fortune-telling via something called 'kau chim', where you must shake a bamboo cylinder containing various fortune sticks until one that holds your fortune falls out.

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  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Sha Tin

The 431 steps leading up to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery are lined with life-sized, gold-painted Buddha statues, each entirely distinct from the next. At the top, at the complex itself (also known as Man Fat Sze), another 12,000 golden statues will greet you, as well as pavilions and a pagoda. Oh, and the panorama of Sha Tin and its mountainous surroundings. In a nutshell: it’s all very scenic and Insta-worthy.

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