Top 10 Best FREE Things to Do in Hong Kong
1. Peruse the Avenue of Stars
—HK’s No. 1 Tourist Spot is Free!
The Avenue of Stars (星光大道) on Tsim Sha Tsui’s waterfront in Kowloon is the most visited attraction in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is 400 meters long and celebrates many Chinese film notorieties.
2. Be Entertained by the Symphony of Lights
—"World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" Guinness Book of Records
Get back to the Avenue of Stars for 8pm each night and experience the Symphony of Lights show, where 40 buildings on the Hong Kong skyline come alive in a flourish of colored lights and laser beams to synchronized music. English narration accompanies the show.
3. Walk the Golden Mile
Take a walk down Nathan Road, Kowloon’s main thoroughfare, also known as the Golden Mile and marvel at the profusion of neon signs jutting and jostling for best position from the buildings on each side of the street.
4. Visit a Temple
The Tian Tan Buddha (天壇大佛aka Big Buddha) and Po Lin Monastery (寶蓮禪寺) on Lantau Island are great free attractions. The outdoor seated bronze Buddha at 34 meters in height is reputedly the tallest of its kind in the world.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze 萬佛寺) with its 12,800 Buddha statues and monks is well worth the journey to the New Territories.
5. Hike the Dragon’s Back, Sai Kung Beaches, etc.
—"Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia" Time (Asia edition), 2004
This breathtaking urban hike, ideal for novices, joins two hills on Hong Kong Island’s south eastern seaboard and provides stunning views of hills, beaches, the South China Sea and small settlements.
6. Discover the Central and Western Heritage Trail
In Hong Kong’s earliest settled districts you will learn more about the history of political, social and economic development in HK through the history of over 100 buildings and places of interest.
7. Window Shop or Spot Stars at the Landmark
Once Hong Kong’s premier shopping mall, The Landmark is still home to a profusion of the top brands in haute couture, accessories and everything else your average Hong Kong millionaire needs on a day to day basis. There are the "Tai Tais" and "Tai Pans" to look out for, not to mention Canto pop stars and starlets.
8. See the Stalls at Temple Street
Almost, but not quite at the other end of the spectrum is Temple Street Night Market, with stalls full of brand name imitation menswear, jade, antiques, trinkets, baubles, electronics and so much more. The bazaar is also home to busking opera singers and fortune tellers.
9. Relax in an Urban Park
The Botanical Gardens are home to birds, reptiles, primates and other animals from many parts of Asia and beyond; and Yuen Po Street Bird Garden is a fascinating slice of HK culture. Bird owners out walking their caged birds chat with other bird lovers.
10. Visit the Top Three Museums
– Free on Wednesdays!
- Hong Kong Heritage Museum’s time tunnel displays chart the development of Hong Kong from its days as an imperial era fishing village.
- Hong Kong Science Museum has equal amounts of fun and education covered in nearly 500 exhibits. Sure fire fun and excitement for kids.
- Hong Kong Museum of Art is possibly Hong Kong’s most prestigious museum — a must see for art and history buffs.
10+. Take an Old Tram Ride (almost free)
Walk through Wanchai and Causeway Bay on Hennessey Road, Hong Kong Island, and experience the neon there. Better yet, though not quite free at US$0.25 is a double-decker tram ride down the same street after dark. Hong Kong trams have been running since 1904.
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I updated this article on September 17, 2013
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