Hong Kong Island Attractions
What to See in Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is for many people the essence of what Hong Kong is all about. There are a few cultural attractions that you might want to try and there are certainly a lot of fun destinations for the family. It takes about two days to get through Hong Kong Island's attractions.
A simply must-do is to visit Victoria Peak; the highest point of the island (though not of Hong Kong), where you'll have a spectacular view and at night, it gets even better as the cityscape of Kowloon twinkles and tempts across the deep-water harbour.
All Attractions in Hong Kong Island
Academy for Performing Arts
The Academy for Performing Arts is actually a centre for education, but still offers a full schedule of performances for fans of musicals, drama, musical performances and live theatre. Acts are in English and Cantonese. Depending on the day, visitors may be able to see a Broadway music, a piano recital or a Cantonese opera. Check their website for a full schedule of events. The best time to check out the Academy for Performing Arts is during the annual Hong Kong International Dance Conference when some of the world’s greatest artists come to Hong Kong to perform.
- Address: 1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai
- Tel: +852 2584 8500
Bank of China (BOC) Tower
The soaring 70-storey BOC Tower is one of Hong Kong Island's most stunning landmarks.
Designed by acclaimed architect I M Pei and completed in 1990, the design was inspired by the elegance of bamboo, and symbolizes vitality, strength and growth. The 367-metre (1,205 feet) building's geometric glass façade also makes it one of the most photographed buildings in the city.
Cat Street is a thoroughfare in Sheung Wan, the Central and Western Districts of Hong Kong Island. Its official name is Lascar Street and locals call it Mo Lo Street. It was one of the first few roads built after the British colonised Hong Kong in 1842. Now it is a shopping area with many bars, restaurants and art boutiques. Read More...
- How to get there: By Tram – get off at Western Market Terminal, walk up on Morrison Street
By MTR – get off at Exit A2, walk up on Hillier Street
By Bus – take #26 and get off at Man Mo temple
Central Mid-levels Escalators
An escalator seems a strange tourist attraction, but this energy saving set of moving steps is world-record holding for several reasons: it runs a total distance of 800 metres and elevates over 135 metres from Des Voux Road Central, south of Central MTR Station, right up to Conduit Road in an area called the Mid-Levels. Together this interlinked escalator system is officially ‘the longest outdoor, covered escalator system in the world’. Built up on either side with shops, restaurants and bars, anyone intent on exploring this area will no doubt be thankful for this easy way to travel up and down the steep (and, at times, very steep) hills that make up Central.
Central Plaza Hong Kong
Central Plaza in Wan Chai was formerly the tallest building in Hong Kong. Some now regard this famous building as an icon of Hong Kong’s past – although others say it’s an eyesore. Either way, this tower of commerce offers free views over downtown Hong Kong, so it’s still fine by us. From the first floor, take the express elevator to the 46th floor. Alternatively, if you are in Hong Kong on Sunday you can head up to the 75th floor and attend mass at The Sky City Church (mass is held at 11:00 and 18:00 every Sunday).
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 20:00
- Address: 18 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
- Tel: +852 2586 8111
Dragon’s Back Hike takes you up to Shek O Peak and then back down the other side and is widely considered the best hike for people who want a convenient one day walk on Hong Kong Island. Located in Shek O Country Park the south of the island, this is about as far away from the busy downtown area of Hong Kong as possible, yet it takes less than one hour from Central to reach the start of the trail.
The 8.5km track takes between two and five hours to complete and it can get quite steep in parts so a sturdy and comfortable pair of trainers or walking boots are advised. It’s best to stock up with some drinks and snacks before you begin as there are no shops or restaurants on Dragon’s Back Trail. As Section 8 of the Hong Kong Trail, it is well signposted throughout and you can easily get your bearings because you are surrounded by water on three sides. Read More...
- Location: Shek O Country Park
Exchange Square and the International Finance Centre (IFC)
Exchange Square, home to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is formed by three adjacent blocks: One, Two and Three Exchange Square. This spectacular building complex has been recognised as an important achievement in architecture.
With its three towers of rose-coloured granite and silver glass, it is an aesthetic forum wherein some of the most important financial transactions take place.
Exchange Square is connected to the ifc – and the Airport Express Line's Hong Kong Station directly underneath – by a network of walkways. The ifc mall features trendy restaurants, fashion, beauty, and jewellery shops, and a cinema.
The ifc itself comprises two buildings, the first of which opened to the public in 1999. The second one (2ifc), with 88 floors, opened in 2003. The top floor is slightly higher than the viewing gallery at the Peak, making it the sixth tallest office building in the world.
As Hong Kong's tallest building (so far), 2ifc is expected to be usurped by the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon's Union Square, already under construction. Union Square is being constructed around the Airport Express Line's Kowloon Station.
The proposed International Commerce Centre also will house a seven-star Ritz-Carlton hotel with 300 rooms near the top of the tower. It will be the highest elevated hotel in the world!
- Location: Hong Kong Island
Dazzling Happy Valley Racecourse has long been Hong Kong’s premier horseracing track. It’s a great place to go and enjoy superb horseracing whilst also soaking up some genuine Hong Kong Chinese culture at the same time. The atmosphere in this Roman amphitheatre style stadium is adrenalin charged with betting stakes on a single night extortionately high. It’s rumoured that one season’s racing sees over HK$100 billion, with horse race gambling being one of Hong Kong’s most popular leisure pursuits. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Races take place from September to June on Wednesdays and weekends with the first race starting at 19:30
- Location: The race track is located in Happy Valley surrounded by Morrison Hill Road and Wong Nai Chung Road
Hong Kong City Hall
Hong Kong City Hall houses a theatre and several concert halls, making it one of the finest places for cultural performances in Hong Kong. There are occasionally world renowned artists playing here, although mostly it will be local affairs with concerts, classical music recitals, and western and Cantonese theatrical reproductions. You can check the full events calendar at the Hong Kong City Hall website. It is located adjacent to Central MRT on the waterfront.
- Address: 5 Edinburgh Pl, Hong Kong
- Tel: +852 2921 2840
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Hong Kong’s cityscape is truly pleasing to the eye and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is a particular highlight. Its domed edifice of glass and steel is pushed out on reclaimed land and can be seen from anywhere along the waterfront and from across the bay on Kowloon. One of only two convention centres in Hong Kong, there are constant events and exhibitions held here, such as the world’s largest jewellery fair, the world’s largest electronics fair, and Asia’s largest toy fair. Along with over 80,000sqm of exhibition space, there are lots of restaurants, and a photo gallery of the official handover of Hong Kong between Britain and China.
- Address: 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Cyberport
Located on the southwest coast of Hong Kong Island, this award-winning high-tech facility supports the IT, multimedia and telecommunications industries. In addition to providing grade-A offices, Cyberport is home to providing a luxury residences, Cyberport is home to the five-star Le Meridien hotel.
Cyberport is a US$2 billion (HK$15.8 billion) project managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited.
Designed to establish Hong Kong as the digital content and IT hub of the Asia-Pacific region, Cyberport is owned Company of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Cyberport regularly hosts international forums on such cutting-edge themes as global digital content and digital media research and development.
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a special visit to this futuristic IT flagship.
- Location: Located on the southwest coast of Hong Kong Island
One of Hong Kong's most frequented sites, the museum shows how China, Asia and the West have contributed together through the ages to the development of boats, ships, maritime exploration and trade, as well as naval warfare.
While concentrating on the South China coast and its adjacent seas, it also features global trends and provides an easy-to-grasp account of Hong Kong's growth and development as a major world port and trading post. The museum includes semi-permanent and special exhibitions, dynamic displays, educational events and a museum shop. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:30 - 17:30
- Location: Central Ferry Pier, Central, Hong Kong
- Tel: +852 3713 2500
Taking inspiration from London, Singapore and other world cities, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel is a popular attraction overlooking Central Ferry Pier and IFC Shopping Mall with many glass skyscrapers surrounding it. The Ferris wheel is 60 metres high and is open from 10:00 to 23:00 every day, although it’s best experienced at night time, especially during the Symphony of Lights between 20:00 and 20:15. The 42 air-conditioned cabins hold up to 10 people. The ride takes 20 minutes and costs HK$100 for adults and HK$70 for single tickets, while a VIP cabin can be booked from HK$1,500. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 23:00 daily
- Location: Central Hong Kong, in front of the Central Ferry Terminal
- Price Range: HK$100 for adults, HK$ 70 for children
Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park is a public park by Cotton Tree Drive in Central. The park offers a natural, relaxing environment in the midst of Hong Kong's hectic business centre. Its main feature is Hong Kong's largest aviary.
The vantage point is another great place from which to see the birds. Inside Hong Kong Park there is a greenhouse which holds plant exhibitions on occasion. And for athletes, the park also sports a squash court.
- Opening Hours: 06:00 - 23:00
- Address: 19 Cotton Tree Dr, Hong Kong
Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) Building
Completed in 1985 and said to be the most expensive building ever built, the 179-metres (587 feet) HSBC Building epitomizes the mix of an ancient practice with high-tech wizardry. Its design is based on the art of feng shui, in which the harmony of elements, shapes, sizes and colours is considered to be essential for producing and maintaining the proper balance of energy to generate prosperity.
When standing in the building's public plaza, you can see right into the heart of the building through a ten-storey glass atrium.
- Location: Hong Kong Island
This is Hong Kong’s largest sporting venue, located in So Kon Po just behind Causeway Bay’s main shopping area. Events held at Hong Kong Stadium include international football, rugby and music concerts from some of the world’s biggest stars. However, the 40,000 seater stadium is at its most lively during the annual Rugby 7s in March, when fanatical sports fans from around the world head to Hong Kong to watch the tournament. Check for tickets online. Read More...
- Address: 55 Eastern Hospital Rd, So Kon Po
- Tel: +852 2895 7926
Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located quite high up the hill in Central, with its highest point being 100 metres above sea level. It is a steep environment for a zoo and garden but those who put in the effort will be rewarded with exhibits of a variety of furry friends, including Bornean Orang-utans, Gibbons, Lemurs, and a host of other primates. There’s also a large aviary with lots of colourful and chirpy birds, and some giant (and lazy) tortoises. Access is from 09:00 to 16:30 for the main exhibits and it’s free.
- Opening Hours: 09:30 - 16:30
- Location: Albany Road
The Hong Kong branch of Madame Tussauds is located at the Peak, Hong Kong. It is part of the well-known international wax museum chain founded by Marie Tussaud and was the first branch to open in Asia. With a mixture of local and international celebrities wax figures, it attracts tourists from all over the world. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sun & Public Holidays 10:00 - 22:00
- Address: Shop P101, The Peak Tower No. 128 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong
- Tel: +852 2849 6966
Hong Kong's oldest and most important temple was built in 1840 and is named after its two principal deities: Man, the god of literature, who is dressed in red and holds a calligraphy brush; and Mo, the god of war, wearing a green robe and holding a sword.
Funnily enough, Mo finds patronage from both the police force and triad secret societies. Two ornately carved sedan chairs in the temple were once used during festivals to carry the statues of the gods. There are giant incense coils hanging from the ceiling, purchased by temple-goers and these burn as long as three weeks. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 18:00
- Address: 126 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
- Tel: +852 2540 0350
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s biggest amusement park and animal theme park. It is located at Wong Chuk Hang in the Southern District of Hong Kong. With more than 35 attractions and rides inside the park, it attracts more than five million visitors annually and is the seventh most popular amusement park in the world. Covering eighty thousand square metres of land, it is bigger and has more attractions than the Hong Kong Disneyland, the newest being a world-class marine themed area opened in the summer of 2011. Read More...
- Opening Hours: From 10:30 - 19:00 varies during seasons.
- How to get there: You can get there by bus. There is a special route (#629) running daily from Admiralty MTR station and Central Pier to the park entrance. Parking is available for cars and coaches outside the main entrance.
- Tour Available: Ocean Park Tour
Pak Tai Temple
Hung Shing Temple is a small, ornate and atmospheric place of worship that is located directly on Queen’s Road high street. Built in the mid-19th century, it makes an interesting place to see how religion still plays a part in the everyday lives of local Hong Kongese. Inside there is a central altar and plenty of incense burning. Hung Shing Temple was built in honour of an ancient government official who it has been claimed has appeared to seafarers to save them from tempests.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
- Address: 129-131 Queen's Rd E, Wan Chai
- Tel: +852 2527 0804
Repulse Bay is a public beach area located in Southern District, Hong Kong. It is one of the most popular beaches in Hong Kong because it is easy to access and its attractions around the beach. Located just 20 minutes away from Central, this Mediterranean-villa-style beach is a perfect break from busy Hong Kong Island. It is also has expensive housing areas in which many residents are foreigners. Read More...
- How to get there: You can take bus 6, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminal (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D)
- Tour Available: Half Day Hong Kong Island Tour
The Shek O Country Park is home to the Dragon's Back - a ridgetop trail between Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak and the steepest section of the Hong Kong Trail. There are plenty of barbecue and picnic areas in the park. Generally, Shek O is a very relaxing and enjoyable place from which to view Big Wave Bay. Read More...
- Location: Hong Kong Island
Stanley Market and Murray House rank high on the tourist trail with the former selling arts and crafts including paintings, furniture, curios and plenty of souvenirs. The market is made up of winding lanes stocking a mind-boggling assortment of gifts, clothes, ‘antiques’, watches and bric-a-bracs, making it a perfect place for tourists to explore before departing Hong Kong. There is also a smattering of restaurants woven into the market offering authentic Hong Kong delicacies plus a range of waterfront bars and restaurants close by on Stanley Main Street. Read More...
Stanley Military Cemetery
The Stanley Military Cemetery is is a place of historical interest near St Stephen Bay on Hong Kong Island. Between 1841 and 1866, this triangular plot of land was used to bury deceased British soldiers and their families. Further burials took place there during the two World Wars.
Hong Kong Cemetery, in Happy Valley, is one of Hong Kong's early Christian cemeteries from the colonial period. It has both military and civilian graves and a special Japanese section has been designated for Shinto burials. Located not far from the racecourse, it rests alongside the Jewish, Parsee and Muslim Cemeteries, as well as the Roman Catholic St Michael Cemetery.
- Location: Near St. Stephen Bay on Hong Kong Island
Statue Square and The Cenotaph
On weekdays in Central's Statue Square, people quietly sit alongside the fountains during lunch breaks or after work, but on Sundays the venue puts on its party hat as thousands of Filipinas who work in Hong Kong rendezvous with friends for picnics in and around the Square on their day off.
In the middle of the square proudly stands a statue of Sir Thomas Jackson, former chief manager (1876 to 1902) of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Not far away, across Chater Road, is the Cenotaph: a memorial to Hong Kong residents who died in World Wars I and II.
- Location: Hong Kong Island
On the harbour-front beside Central Government Complex there is a popular picnic spot called Tamar Park. Opened in 2011, this is a great place to chill out under the shade of a tree and take a break, and it’s the only expanse of green space that has clear views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon on the other side of the water. As you walk down to the park from Harcourt Road, there are some modern sculptures and a landscaped garden. Located close to Admiralty MTR Station, it is roughly halfway between the Wan Chai and Central districts. There is also a running track along the water which links the two.
- Opening Hours: 24 hours a day
- Location: Tamar Park, Harcourt Road, Admiralty
- Tel: +852 2520 2321
The Fringe Club & The Foreign Correspondents' Club
Central's Fringe Club, in a brick and stucco colonial-style low-rise structure built in 1913, originally was used as a cold-storage warehouse for ice and dairy products. The building is a historical site and, in 1984, it was taken over by the Fringe Club.
Since then, it has become a popular venue for art and crafts exhibitions, live theatre and music – such as the big band sound of the Saturday Night Jazz Orchestra – and the annual Fringe Festival. The building also features a rooftop beer garden and a cosy restaurant for romantic fine dining: M at the Fringe.
Next door to The Fringe is The Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC), a popular social and intellectual melting pot, where journalists and photographers rendez-vous with businessmen, bankers, authors and artists. The FCC facilities host a number of popular events, including Women in Publishing Society (WiPS) seminars.
- Address: 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong
The view from the Peak will take your breath away… On a clear day, a simply stunning panorama can be viewed from the pinnacle of this landmark on Hong Kong Island. The Peak – Hong Kong's premier tourist spot, about 500-metres high (1,085 feet above sea level) – is an ideal place to spend some quality time with family and friends.
Enjoy a picnic on the Peak, where you will be serenaded by chirping birds and the gentle rustling of leaves. The vista is enhanced by nature trails under the canopy of trees and the colonial ambiance of Victoria Peak Garden. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 10:00 – 23:00, Sat - Sun & Public Holidays 08:00 – 23:00
- Tel: +852 2849 0668 (The Peak Tower), +852 2522 0922 (The Peak Tram), +852 2849 4113 (The Peak Galleria)
Victoria Park & the Hong Kong Central Library
The majestic statue of Queen Victoria on her throne was placed in Causeway Bay's Victoria Park after being was restored in 1952. The park includes a central lawn, a swimming pool, and children's play areas. The Park's tennis court even hosts international tennis tournaments on occasion.
This is one of downtown Hong Kong's cherished green areas where one can sit and enjoy a good book after visiting the grand Hong Kong Central Library just across the road.
The 12-storey Hong Kong Central Library facing Victoria Park opened in 2002. Its arch-shaped entrance symbolizes a gate to knowledge. It is a top-notch public library, housing a Multimedia Information System and a 24-hour book drop. Stop by for a little respite from the heat and noise of the city!
- Location: Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island