Key sights in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a popular place to visit, and regularly features as a stop over destination. There is plenty to do but if you are short on time or just want to hit the key sights in Hong Kong, here’s my recommendations and tips.

1. Victoria harbour

There is a Symphony of Lights, daily light show at 8pm each day, so head there with plenty of time. The best viewing point is on the side near the Avenue of Stars. Note that the views from the stands allow for more peace and tranquility away from the crowds but you can barely hear the music that accompanies the lights.

victoria harbour with boat view

Victoria Harbour at night

Tip: don’t waste time at the Avenue of Stars for any other reason than the symphony of lights. During the day it’s full of tourists and kitschy souvenirs, with little else.

2. The Peak

Get there via tram (but plan an early start to miss the crowds) is definitely a must see at any time of day. The views really are quite something and walkers will enjoy the circular trails around the peak. Head there at sunset or after dark for impressive views of the city at night.

Hong Kong peak view

The Peak view

Top tip: Don’t pay for the viewing platform, views from the Galleria shopping centre are just as good.

3. Cable Car and Tian Tan Big Buddha

These are fairly impressive in length/size. The views from the cable card are a little bit different, being away from the city. Plane spotters might find this a treat as the cable car passes very close to the airport runway. The buddha is huge.

steps to the Big Buddha view

Tian Tan Big Buddha

Note: This isn’t in my opinion a must see, but it is popular. If you have climbed up steps to temples and ridden cable cars elsewhere in the world you may not be that impressed.

Tip: Bypass the village and it’s shops which you have to pass through on arrival. These are over priced and touristy.

4. Star Ferry

Take a ferry between Tsim Sha Tsui and Wanchai, for some of the best views of the city. The journey only lasts about 8 minutes, but it’s a nice escape from the metro. Travel at night during the Symphony of Lights show, and you will catch the famous cityscape illuminations.

Top tip: avoid travelling on a ferry in rush hour when thousands descend on these boats (8-9.30am and 6-7pm).

5. Temples

Man Mo temple, near Central is where all the tourists go to see a fully functional temple. Frequented by the locals and well worth a visit although it can get smokey from all the incense.

Tip: There are many temples around there city, always open to visitors, so explore them at your leisure.

6. Street photography

The streets of Hong Kong provide a great setting for some interesting photographs. From street art to high rise towers and local markets to local shops. Wander and take it all in. The Hollywood Road area has a lot of street art and everywhere you can walk is interesting to see.

Graham Road street art with people posing

Everyone wants to have their picture taken in Graham Road

Tip: pick and area and just take your time to explore it… there’s always a metro stop nearby if you want to head back or get tired.

7. Markets

There is a market for everything in Hong Kong. Check out my Quick list: markets in Hong Kong post for more on these.

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