Must see attractions in Hong Kong

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Peak & Northwest Hong Kong Island

    Victoria Peak

    Standing at 552m, Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. It is also one of the most visited spots by tourists, and it’s not hard to see why. Sweeping views of the metropolis, verdant woods and easy but spectacular walks are all reachable in just eight minutes from Central via Hong Kong’s 125-year-old, gravity-defying Peak Tram. Predictably, it's become a money-making circus with restaurants and two shopping malls, but there's still magic up here if you can get past that.

  • Top ChoiceSights in The Peak & Northwest Hong Kong Island

    Man Mo Temple

    One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples and a declared monument, atmospheric Man Mo Temple is dedicated to the gods of literature (‘Man’), holding a writing brush, and of war (‘Mo’), wielding a sword. Built in 1847 during the Qing dynasty by wealthy Chinese merchants, it was, besides a place of worship, a court of arbitration for local disputes when trust was thin between the Chinese and the colonialists.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sai Kung Peninsula

    High Island Reservoir East Dam

    Handsome architecture, the South China Sea, and 140-million-year-old volcanic rocks make this one of Hong Kong's most breathtaking places. High Island Reservoir East Dam is the most easily accessible part of Hong Kong Global Geopark and the only place where you can touch the hexagonal rock columns. The scenery is surreal and made even more so by the presence of thousands of dolosse (huge reinforced concrete blocks shaped like jacks) placed along the coast to break sea waves.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Central District

    Peak Tram

    This cable-hauled funicular railway has been scaling the 396m ascent to the highest point on Hong Kong Island since 1888. A ride on this clanking tram is a classic Hong Kong experience, with vertiginous views over the city as you ascend the steep mountainside. It's become so popular that the whole experience is being upgraded with larger trams and a bigger lower terminus. A five-month service suspension will take effect in the third quarter of 2020 so work can be completed by early 2021.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kowloon

    Hong Kong Museum of History

    Prepare to be whisked through millennia of Hong Kong history at this extraordinary museum, starting with prehistory (don't linger, the best is yet to come) and ending with the territory’s return to China in 1997. Highlights of the 'Hong Kong Story' include a recreation of an entire arcaded street in Central from 1881, a full-sized fishing junk, lots of informative video theatre exhibits (including an even-handed stab at the Opium Wars) – and so much more.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Lantau

    Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha

    Po Lin is a huge Buddhist monastery and temple complex that was built in 1924. Today it seems more of a tourist honeypot than a religious retreat, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and still being expanded. Most of the buildings you'll see on arrival are new, with the older, simpler ones tucked away behind them. The big draw is the enormous seated bronze Buddha, a must-see on any Hong Kong trip.

  • Sights in Yuen Long

    Mai Po Nature Reserve

    The 270-hectare nature reserve includes the Mai Po Visitor Centre at the northeastern end, where you must register; the Mai Po Education Centre to the south, with displays on the history and ecology of the wetland and Deep Bay; floating boardwalks and trails through the mangroves and mudflats; and a dozen hides. Disconcertingly, the cityscape of Shēnzhèn looms to the north.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Sha Tau Kok

    Lai Chi Wo

    Part of Hong Kong Global Geopark, 400-year-old Lai Chi Wo is Hong Kong's best-preserved Hakka walled village and has an intact woodland. With 200 houses, ancestral halls, temples, and a breezy square fringed by old banyans, it is a sight to behold. There are 90-minute guided tours every Sunday and public holiday (usually at 11am and 1.30pm), as well as bespoke tours available on weekdays; all must be booked two weeks in advance by email.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kowloon

    Temple Street Night Market

    When night falls and neon buzzes, Hong Kong's liveliest market rattles into life. Covering multiple city blocks from Man Ming Lane in the north to Nanking St in the south, Temple St is cleaved in two by the Tin Hau Temple complex. In the 1920s, vendors gathered there to serve temple-goers; a century on, the crowds descend nightly for cheap clothes and watches, street food, trinkets and teaware. Marked prices are mere suggestions – this is a place to bargain.

  • Sights in Kowloon

    Kowloon Walled City Park

    Try to imagine that this 1.2-hectare ornamental park, built by the British in the early 1990s, was just a few years earlier one of the most infamous residential estates the world had ever seen. Completely unplanned, it was home to a claustrophobic press of 40,000 Chinese people living in teetering shanty towers 15 storeys high, connected by a network of narrow passageways and staircases that never saw daylight, hence its Cantonese nickname, 'City of Darkness'.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kowloon

    Chi Lin Nunnery

    One of Hong Kong's most arresting and tranquil escapes, this Buddhist complex, originally dating from the 1930s, was rebuilt completely of wood (and not a single nail) in the style of the Tang dynasty in 1998. Amid lotus ponds, immaculate bonsai tea plants and bougainvillea, silent nuns deliver offerings of fruit and rice to Buddha and arhats (Buddhist disciples freed from the cycle of birth and death), or chant behind intricately carved screens.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Central District

    HSBC Building

    This remarkable building, designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster in 1985, has stood the test of time – more than 30 years on, its magnetism can still be felt in Central. On completion it was the world’s most expensive building and considered an engineering marvel, reflecting Foster's wish to break the mould of previous bank architecture. The ground floor is an inviting two-storey walk-through public space, housing an exhibition of HSBC's Hong Kong history and architecture.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    Blue House Cluster

    A rare heritage protection success story, the 1920s Blue House is one of Hong Kong's last surviving wooden tenement buildings. The graceful, four-storey structure, featuring cast-iron balconies reminiscent of New Orleans, and its adjoining neighbours the Yellow House and Orange House, were taken over by a local community trust (thank heavens – it almost became a spa in the 2000s), painstakingly restored and are now partially open to the public. Several apartments still house descendants of the original residents.

  • Sights in Plover Cove

    Tsz Shan Monastery

    Spanning 46,000 sq metres, Tsz Shan is state-of-the-art antiquity that cost HK$1.5 billion and took 12 years to build. At a glance, it's a graceful Tang dynasty complex. But inside the shell of precious zitan wood is a steel structure that does away with the need for the pillars and interlocking eave brackets found in ancient architecture. This gives the monastery a more modern look. Tsz Shan does not entertain walk-ins. Book online up to a month ahead. Tsz Shan also runs meditation retreats, as well as tea and zen calligraphy workshops. See the website for details.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kowloon

    Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

    A devout ensemble of halls, shrines, pavilions and altars, this busy temple is a destination for all walks of Hong Kong society, from pensioners and business people to parents and young professionals. Some come to pray, others to divine the future with chim – numbered bamboo ‘fortune sticks’ that are shaken out of a box on to the ground (they’re available free from the right of the main temple). Take the noted numbers to an attendant fortune-teller to be read.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kowloon

    Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade

    One of the finest city skylines in the world has to be that of Hong Kong Island, and the promenade here is one of the best ways to get an uninterrupted view. It’s a lovely place to stroll around during the day, but it really comes into its own in the evening, during the nightly Symphony of Lights, a spectacular sound-and-light show involving dozens of buildings on the Hong Kong Island skyline.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Aberdeen & South Hong Kong Island

    Aberdeen Promenade

    Tree-lined Aberdeen Promenade runs from west to east on Aberdeen Praya Rd across the water from Ap Lei Chau. On its western end is sprawling Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market with its industrial-strength water tanks teeming with marine life. It's pungent and grimy, but 100% Hong Kong. Before reaching the market, you'll pass berthed house boats and seafood-processing vessels. (We detected a karaoke parlour or two as well.)

  • Top ChoiceSights in Yuen Long

    Hong Kong Wetland Park

    This 60-hectare ecological park is a window on the wetland ecosystems of the northwest New Territories. The natural trails, bird hides and viewing platforms make it a handy and excellent spot for birdwatching. The futuristic grass-covered headquarters houses interesting galleries, a film theatre, a cafe and a viewing gallery. If you have binoculars, bring them; otherwise be prepared to wait to use the fixed points in the viewing galleries and hides.

  • Sights in Sai Kung Peninsula

    Sai Kung Town

    Sai Kung Town is a wonderful base for exploring the rugged and massive countryside that defines the Sai Kung Peninsula. This eclectic waterfront town has a cluster of seafood restaurants and is also a stopping point and transport hub to and from the surrounding countryside. Ferries depart regularly for offshore islands with secluded beaches and villages. From terminals by the waterfront, buses, minibuses and taxis take you to various locations in the country park, including points on the MacLehose Trail.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    Pak Tai Temple

    A short stroll up Stone Nullah Lane takes you to a majestic Taoist temple built in 1863 to honour a god of the sea, Pak Tai. The temple, the largest on Hong Kong Island, is adorned with ceramic roof-ridge ornaments made in the Guǎngdōng pottery centre of Shíwān that depict scenes from Cantonese opera. The main hall of the temple has a shadowy, 3m-tall copper likeness of Pak Tai cast during the Ming dynasty.