Hong Kong Travel Guide
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Hong Kong (HK) is short for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR). Hong Kong has developed from a small fishing village in the 1800s into a dynamic and thrilling 21st century cosmopolitan metropolis.
It is a bustling coastal city full of impressive high rises, and a fusion of eastern and western cultures. It proudly proclaims itself to be "Asia's World City" and remains a key gateway to China.
- Population: 7,448,900 (in 2018)
- Land area: 1,108 km2 (428 mi2)
- Languages: Mandarin, English, Cantonese
- Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), 1 USD = 7.8 HKD
- Time in Hong Kong: the same as Beijing time, GMT+8
- See more Hong Kong facts.
Where Is Hong Kong Located?
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. It is located on the southeast coast of China, facing the South China Sea. It is about 3½ hours by air from Beijing and 2½ hours from Shanghai.
With an area of 1,110 sq. km, Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and a group of 260 outlying islands.
Why Visit Hong Kong
The Towering City Skyline
The city of Hong Kong is dominated by modern architecture, with a large number of skyscrapers on both sides of Victoria Harbour — more than 3,000 buildings over 90 meters high. The number of skyscrapers in Hong Kong ranks first in the world. Learn the best places to visit Hong Kong's skyline.
A Shopping Paradise
Hong Kong is a shopping paradise that brings together all the world-famous brands. Shopping malls, department stores, and boutiques cluster around the city.
See What to Buy and Where to Shop in Hong Kong (with a helpful info-map).
Fusion of Cultures
Hong Kong is a fusion of many cultures. Remnants of its colonial past, as well as the British culture and values, share space with the Chinese traditions. There is no better place to experience both eastern and western cultures, and experience traditional and modern life.
Hong Kong is a world of exquisite, mouthwatering international cuisine. According to statistics, there are more than 10,000 Chinese and Western restaurants in Hong Kong. Discover 20 Hong Kong Dishes You Should Try.
Visa-Free Policy and Convenient Transportation
Hong Kong offers visa-free access for passport holders from about 160 countries including the US, Canada, Australia, and most of the countries in Europe. The duration ranges from 180 days to 7 days, depending on nationality. Read more about Hong Kong's Visa Policy.
Hong Kong boasts a highly developed transportation network. It is very convenient to travel to and from Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the ideal springboard for trips to the rest of China as well to other parts of East Asia.
Discover more reasons to visit Hong Kong.
Districts of Hong Kong
Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and a group of 260 outlying islands. The following places you might visit during your trip in Hong Kong.
Central is Hong Kong's economic center, with top shopping malls, high-end hotels, and expensive luxury brand stores.
Mong Kok is a good place for Hong Kong local culture. Between the fashionable high-rises, you can find local streets and night markets full of cheap but good-quality goods and authentic snacks.
Outlying islands such as Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, and Ping Chau are places where you can feel the quiet side of Hong Kong.
Top Things to Do and See in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a melting pot of East and West, tradition and modernity. It offers countless things to do and see.
The Most Popular Attractions
- Take the century-old Peak Tram up Victoria Peak, and enjoy a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour.
- Ride the Star Ferry to immerse yourself in the beautiful views of Victoria Harbour.
- Visit historical temples , like Wong Tai Sin Temple and Po Lin Monastery.
- Stoll along the Avenue of Stars, which is a shoreline promenade that offers one of the best places to view the harbor and the skyline.
- Repulse Bay: With clean water and a white sandy beach, this is an ideal place for relaxation.
More In-Depth Exploration
Beyond the must-see attractions, these cultural experiences will enrich your stay in Hong Kong.
- Visit Wan Chai to see how local people live by exploring their local markets.
- Explore the special fishermen's area — Aberdeen, which is unique for its fishing village customs and seafood.
- Spend a day on Lantau Island to enjoy beautiful beaches, fishing villages, the Giant Buddha, and elegant temples.
- For a different world only a bridge away, take a one-day tour of Macau. See details about How to Plan a 1-Day Trip to Macau from Hong Kong.
Diverse Travel Experiences in Hong Kong
Hong Kong offers rich travel experiences from convenient layover tours and relaxing family vacations to active outdoor adventures. No matter what kind of travel style you prefer, you can find something catering to you.
Hong Kong is a popular layover destination for its visa-free access for most countries and well-developed infrastructure. You can make the most of your stopover time in Hong Kong by visiting some must-see attractions or just go shopping. See the Complete Guide to a Hong Kong Layover.
Hong Kong is a perfect destination for family tours. It offers a wide array of kid-friendly attractions from interactive museums to nature reserves and incredible theme parks, such as Disneyland and Ocean Park. Learn about the top things to do with kids in Hong Kong.
About 70 percent of Hong Kong's 1,100 square kilometer (420 square mile) territory is undeveloped country park land, and there are many large areas to hike, bike, camp, canoe, swim, surf, and have fun in.
There are four main areas with natural parkland or islands that are big enough to really enjoy yourself and get to where you won't see people or houses: in Sai Kung in the eastern part of Hong Kong, in the country park area north of Kowloon, on Lantau Island, and out of the city on Hong Kong Island. See our Hong Kong Hiking Guide.
Weather and the Best Times to Visit Hong Kong
The best time to visit Hong Kong is from October to December, when the weather is sunny, mild, and pleasant. The weather from January to March is also relatively dry and cool/mild, but cloudier.
The weather from April to September can be hot, wet and humid. The typhoon season runs roughly from June to October, and sometimes starts even in April or May. See more on Hong Kong Weather.
Hotels in Hong Kong
Hong Kong hotels can cater to all needs to a high standard from luxury resorts to campsites. Generally speaking, due to the high land price in Hong Kong, hotel prices are high and rooms can be quite small.
There are many high-end hotels in Hong Kong and the prices vary widely.
The price for luxury hotels is about HK$3,800 per night per room or more and some with a sea view can reach HK$8,000.
In general, five-star hotels are priced HK$2300–2800 and four-star hotels HK$1300–2000. These hotels are concentrated in Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and Tsim Sha Tsui.
Three-star hotels are generally HK$800–1200. Most are concentrated in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok.
The prices of the hotels are generally more expensive during the peak season (September – March) and the peak season for exhibitions (April). They may rise by 2–4 times! During these months, you'd better to book in advance.
How to Travel to and from Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the most entry and exit cities for passengers to China and Asia. There are many flights between Hong Kong and major cities of the US, Australia, and Europe.
Hong Kong is a transport hub to extend your tours to Macau and Mainland China. It takes about one hour to Macau by ferry, 1- 1½ hours to Shenzhen by MTR subway or Train, and about one hour to Guangzhou by high-speed train.
It is popular to travel from Hong Kong to Shanghai, Guilin, Lijiang, etc. See Top China Tours from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong boasts a highly-developed city transportation network. The MTR subway, trams, and buses offer cheap and convenient ways to do sightseeing. Taxis and ride apps are very efficient. Read more on Hong Kong transportation.
Our Most Popular Hong Kong Tours
English is widely spoken and almost all the street signs are bilingual. Few visitors will have problems getting around in Hong Kong. If you would like to explore the real Hong Kong and experience the lives of local people, it will be helpful to have a professional tour guide.
Here are our most popular Hong Kong tours, for your reference:
- Half-Day Hong Kong Island Tour — including Victoria Peak with a one-way Peak Tram Trip and Aberdeen with a sampan ride
- One-Day Macau Tour from Hong Kong — taking you to experience Macau's fascinating mix of cultures
- A Broad Taste of China — the tourism and taste highlights of Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Hong Kong in 13 days
See more Hong Kong tours.