Avenue of Stars Hong Kong — Tips and Tour Plan
The Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong has been improved and reopened in 2019. Get the most out of its location and better design, refreshments, and views.
It is a shoreline promenade that offers one of the best places to view the harbor and the skyline, and the Symphony of Lights is featured each night. It is probably the most popular and visited promenade in the world. We at China Highlights have put together some touring information, tips, and a mini tour plan to help you visit the Avenue of Stars.
Why is the Avenue of Stars the World's Most Popular Promenade?
- #59 of 877 Things to Do in Hong Kong on TripAdvisor in 2019. Certificate of Excellence 2019. It is the highest rated location along the harbor shoreline.
The Avenue of Stars is the #1 highlight of the Victoria Harbour shoreline. Most of the tourists to Hong Kong go to Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong now gets about 7 million more visitors than any other city in the world (about 30 million in 2018).
Part of the reason for its popularity is its central location between Tsim Sha Tsui behind it and Central's Harbourfront Promenade, the ferry piers, and the IFC Mall in front of it. These are among the top areas most visited by tourists to Hong Kong. It is adjacent to the Harbour City Mall that is Hong Kong's most popular mall and its biggest too.
The adjacent Star Ferry itself beats it by being the 1st of Things to Do in Hong Kong for tourists according to TripAdvisor and USNEWS in 2019 and the 4th most popular Thing to Do on TripAdvisor in all of China! But since it is adjacent (almost a part of the Avenue of Stars dockside), tourists to Hong Kong who ride the Star Ferry usually walk out to appreciate the view near the promenade too.
The best place to see the Symphony of Lights is on the Avenue of Stars promenade and the dockside. It is the world's biggest and most popular city building lightning effect show. See more about the Symphony of Lights below.
The Avenue of Stars Hong Kong is probably the most popular area of Victoria Harbour. Victoria Harbour is the most popular area of Hong Kong for tourists, and Hong Kong is by far the most popular city for tourism in the world. So the Avenue of Stars promenade is one of the most popular places in the whole world!
What Is the Avenue of Stars Hong Kong?
- Avenue of Stars' length: 457 meters (quarter of a mile) long
- Newly reopened in 2019, it has more seats and shade, more garden plants, water fountains and new places to get refreshments.
- Plaques: About 107 actors, actresses, singers and entertainers have received plaques as of 2019.
- Chinese characters: 星光大道 'Starlight Avenue'
It extends out a little into Victoria Harbour that is an almost ideally naturally sheltered channel between Hong Kong Island and the Hong Kong mainland. The harbor is usually considered one of the world's most beautiful. The geography makes the channel quite sheltered so that the water is usually peaceful.
Newly Renovated 2019
In order to make it a more comfortable and enjoyable place, they closed the promenade for 3 years and added covered areas, more seating, small trees, and water fountains.
The problem in the past was that there was little shade, and the hot Hong Kong sun reflecting off the water in the summer heat was sometimes overbearing for tourists. Also, the statues were not staged right. You can see in the picture how Bruce Lee's statue looked in the past behind the chains. Now it is better set up over a bit of water.
Our Avenue of Stars Mini Visit Plan and Tips
Optimal arrival time: The scenery is beautiful any time of the day, but the highlight times are the mornings before the tourists arrive, evening sunset and the Symphony of Lights show at 8 pm. It is best to arrive when the crowds are not there on weekends and holidays.
Transport to the Avenue of Stars: You can reach the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui via buses 6, 7 and others. If you are taking the MTR, go to Tsim Sha Tsui Station or East Tsim Sha Tsui Station and go through exit J. If you are coming from Central, the ideal way is to take the Star Ferry from the pier in front of the IFC Mall.
Transport to the Central Star Ferry: You can take the metro to Hong Kong Station or Central Station. Both are under the IFC Mall complex. There is a pedestrian overpass you can take from the IFC Mall directly over to the Central Star Ferry building. Many buses park in an open air bus station in front including bus 15 that goes to Victoria Peak.
To avoid crowds and to catch good quieter morning scenery, come in the morning before 10 am. This is especially a good idea on weekends and holidays.
Symphony of Lights: If you want to see the Symphony of Lights, try to come and get a seat or a good place to stand at about 7:30 pm or half an hour before the start of the lighting display at 8:00 pm. If the weather is inclement, the show is canceled.
Recommended Avenue of Star Restaurants
If you want to have a meal or refreshments during your visit to the promenade, some of the best American and Michelin Star restaurants are only minutes away. For American food with good harbor and Symphony of Lights views, we suggest Harbour City Mall that is only a few minutes walk away.
But you can get gourmet food at the IFC Mall by crossing over on the Star Ferry. The whole ferry ride and walk into the Four Seasons or the mall might take about 20 or 25 minutes.
Middle budget American lunch/dinner: If you want American-style food, we recommend BLT Steak and Dan Ryan's that are in Harbour City Mall. Both have good harbor scenery. For more information about these restaurants, see Hong Kong's 5 Best American Restaurants for Tourists.
Gourmet lunch/dinner: If you want fine dim sum or Michelin-starred meals, then we suggest go over to the Four Seasons and the IFC Mall. In the IFC, we recommend 3 Michelin star Lung King Heen if you can afford it or Lei Garden for dim sum. In these two restaurants, you can experience authentic Cantonese-style food. For more information about these fine gourmet restaurants, see The Best 20 Hong Kong Restaurants — Something for Everyone.
Budget meals: If you want about the least expensive meals you can find near the promenade, there is a McDonalds adjacent to the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui. The prices there are actually less than you would find in the chain's restaurants in many developed countries.
Plaques and Statues to See
The names and hand prints of about 110 distinguished Hong Kong film stars such as Jackie Chan and Andy Lau are embedded in special plaques that are arranged on the railing along the promenade in order to commemorate the history of the film industry in Hong Kong.
There are also metal sculptures of Hong Kong actors or film industry figures such as Bruce Lee. The balustrades are installed with LED lighting.
The Symphony of Lights Show — Best Seen from the Avenue of Stars
The Symphony of Lights (幻彩詠香江) has been improved substantially with new version appearing in December of 2017. Now, the promenade renovation enables you to more comfortably appreciate the improved symphonic music track, the less blaring dialogue, and the much brighter lighting and enhanced LED effects.
The 3D Pulse light show fills up the side of the Hong Kong Cultural Center with colorful animation, video and laser light effects. They turn the huge 200 meter-long featureless concave facade into a super-wide screen theater. The light show runs during holiday periods such as Chinese New Year, Christmas and Hong Kong Winter Fest seasons.
To watch it, try to get a place in the plaza between the Cultural Center and the Star Ferry around the old English-style Clock Tower. For information and times for the 3D Pulse show (times change every year) and the New Year fireworks, see our annual Christmas in Hong Kong for details.
Victoria Peak and the Hong Kong Skyline — Also Best from the Avenue of Stars
Hong Kong skyline: Seeing the famous Hong Kong skyline with the Victoria Peak backdrop is rated number 2 of all the Things to Do on TripAdvisor in 2019. The Avenue of Stars is the best place to catch the view.
Tourists usually consider the Hong Kong skyline as one of the most beautiful of any city in the world day or night. There are 1,500 skyscrapers taller than 100 meters, so Hong Kong has been titled: the "World's Most Vertical City."
History of the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars
In order to promote tourism and the large Hong Kong film industry that is influential in Asia, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and some branches of the Hong Kong government built this pedestrian area in 2004.
The project cost about 5,000,000 USD. Actors, singers, directors and other stars imprinted their handprints in cement, and these cement blocks were inlaid in the sidewalk.
In 2016, the promenade was closed off for a renovation that extended to January 31, 2019. The architect for the project was an American who also designed a promenade in New York City called High Line. He followed the same principles as for that project to try to make a more interesting and enjoyable place to visit. The pavement now has a new color pattern for example.
The harbor area keeps changing: Not only the promenade itself but the harbor area keeps changing its appearance. The width of the channel between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central is now less than half of what it was about two decades ago.
Substantial construction is still ongoing in 2019 around the promenade in a 2.6-billion-USD project called Victoria Dockside that includes a new luxury hotel and a new mall near the promenade. These are new places you can visit on your arrival at the Avenue of Stars.
Travel and Visiting Information for the Avenue of Stars
- Hours: It is an open sidewalk, but generally people come between dawn and 10 PM.
- Cost: There is no admission fee.
Transportation — How to Get to the Avenue of Stars
Public bus: Take bus 1, 2, 6, 7, 8A, or 9 and others and get off by the Hong Kong Cultural Center/Star Ferry bus stop.
Taxi: From the ICC and the West Kowloon HSR Station, taxis go to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry for about 7 USD in about 6 minutes or less. The West Kowloon Station is the end station of the Kowloon to China bullet trains. Travel is somewhat indirect from this area even though it is geographically close, so the best way to get to the Avenue of Stars is by taxi.
Alternatively, you could walk over to the Austin Station in a few minutes and take the MTR to East Tsim Sha Tsui. Another option is our private transport service. Contact us for more information.
See more general pointers on Hong Kong Transportation.
The Best Time for a Visit
The best time to visit Victoria Harbour is from October to December when it is cool and dry. Rainy, cloudy weather usually begins in January. If there is inclement weather, the Symphony of Lights is canceled.
The summers are beautiful, warm, sunny and often hot, but there are occasional tropical storms.
Other Attractions around the Avenue of Stars
In Tsim Sha Tsui, there are there are other good places to sightsee and stroll. The Golden Mile of Nathan Road is almost adjacent to the Avenue of Stars, and walking the stretch northwards from the Space Museum, you'll be able to sightsee and shop as you go.
One place closeby you can visit on your walk on Nathan Road is Kowloon Park. It is recommended as a place to both rest and get some exercise if you need it.
Hong Kong Island Attractions
Victoria Peak may be the most memorable place to view the harbor, especially after a half hour or hour scenic walk up the park road through the city park above Mid-levels. There is a mall on top with restaurants, refreshment places and a Starbucks. The Peak Tram also goes up there. City buses and taxis ascend as well.
Touring the Avenue of Stars and Hong Kong and China Your Way
Victoria Harbour from Victoria Peak
Our knowledgeable guide could escort you on the promenade and relate the history of the harbor and about the many sights and places around the harbor.
He or she can lead you to the best spots that you'll prefer. Your driver will ferry you conveniently with care.
We create tailor-made, private tours according to the wishes of our clients. Here are regional tours for your consideration:
- Half-Day Hong Kong Island Tour — Victoria Peak with a Peak Tram ride and Aberdeen
- 4-Day Hong Kong Family Tour — Disneyland Park and the highlights of Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour
- Imperial and Scenic China Family Tour — You'll tour Beijing, Guilin, Yangshuo, and Hong Kong.
Design your own tour: You can design your own tour with us. All our tours are modifiable. Contact us. We reply in 24 hours. Or tell us your interests and requirements, and we will tailor-make a Hong Kong tour for you.
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- Hong Kong Regional Shopping Guide (with nifty map) Most of the recommended shopping places are conveniently accessible from the Avenue of Stars and by using the Star Ferry.
- Victoria Harbour features on our list of The Top 10 Attractions in China.
- 20 Facts about Hong Kong Surprisingly top of the world's cities for Tourism, Business, Wealth, IQ, and Popular Ferry... The facts will maybe even astound you!