Hong Kong (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China)

Languages: English, Chinese

Currencies: HKD · Hong Kong dollar ($)

Capitol: City of Victoria

Continents: Asia

Borders: China

More useful information

Area: 1,104km2

Population: 7,500,700

Traffic/driving side: left

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: No

United Nations member: No

IDD Prefix: +852

Timezones: UTC+08:00

Traveling to Hong Kong? Get everything you need with the best deals:

Last updated on April 22, 2024

Hong Kong is an amazing dynamic city, if you are considering visiting HG, don’t think twice! It’s a fabulous destination for 3-5 days adventure.

Hong Kong has 263 islands, which makes it even more incredible! Some are uninhabited and some are the busiest place I’ve ever seen across the world 😉 It is a special administrative region (SAR) located in southern China, bordering the South China Sea. It’s a powerful shipping port and one of the greatest global metropolises.

I was impressed at first sight with the vibe, towering skyscrapers dominating the city’s landscape and impressive architectural achievements! If you want to explore Hong Kong in a unique style, here is the best Hong Kong travel guide for first-timers, including money-saving tips to make your visit memorable and spectacular! ✬✬✬

Best Hong Kong travel guide for first-timers for a real adventure!

A snapshot of Hong Kong at a glance!

  1. Hong Kong was a former British colony until its handover to China in 1997. It operates under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, allowing it to maintain a high degree of autonomy and its own legal and economic systems.
  2. Hong Kong has a population of over 7.5 million people, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world. The city is a cultural melting pot, with influences from Chinese, British, and various other cultures.
  3. The official languages are Chinese (Cantonese) and English. English is widely used in business, government, and tourism sectors. Basically don’t worry – everyone speaks some English.
  4. Hong Kong is renowned for its free-market economy and its status as a global financial and business hub. Did you know HK has the highest number of millioners in the world 😉
Best Hong Kong travel guide for first-timers for a real adventure!

Before flying to HK.

VISA – Check your requirements for Hong Kong Travel Visa. Most nationalities can enter visa-free for stays ranging from 7 days to 180 days.

FLIGHTS: Check hottest last minute flight deals on skyscanner.com. If your flight is delayed or cancelled get AIRHelp to help you receive your compensation. All you have to do is submit your flight details.

CURRENCY: The official currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).

ATMs: widely available, debit and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere: hotels, restaurants, stores. 

SIM CARDS: you can pre-purchase your SIM card with DrimSim – the first universal real SIM, that it is not tied to an operator. Once your plane lands in a new country, Drimsim is immediately ready to work. Drimsim operates in 229 countries, provides stable communication, a fast Internet connection, and prices similar to those of local operators but this one is hassle free 😉

Best place to stay in Hong Kong!

To explore Hong Kong in and out – there are two places to stay – whether Kowloon side (the mainland near Victoria Harbour) or Hong Kong Island. If it’s Kowloon it’s best to stay near the East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station or Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station – both located near Victoria Harbour and amazing Avenue of Stars.  For best accommodation deals search on agoda.com

Mini Guesthouses (like the one I stayed in near East Tsim Sha Tsui – they are cheaper than hotels) browse on agoda.com

Luxury hotels which are worth staying, some with amazing city panoramic view on the river and night picture of the bay & avenue of stars: agoda.com or booking.com.

Most exhibitions, Art Centre (Check all events here), HK Space Museum (check events & exhibitions here.), Shopping Malls, Water Taxi (book tickets with Klook.), information & service points are located in this area – I was so lucky to stay just 3 minutes from the Avenue of Stars – which kills with a night view! 

Victoria Harbour is few minutes walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station.

Avenue of Stars in Victoria Harbour.

Avenue of Stars is a beautiful, vibrant 450 metres promenade in along Victoria Harbour – a place that never sleeps.

There are over over 100 hand imprint plaques of movie directors, scriptwriters and celebrities. Along with towering skyscrapers, Hong Kong boasts one of the most impressive skylines globally. Buildings such as the International Commerce Centre, the Bank of China Tower, and the Two International Finance Centre illuminate the night sky, which makes promenade walk really spectacular.

Best Hong Kong travel guide for first-timers for a real adventure!

Chungking Mansion (located between East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station and Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station) is a crazy place, which will serve anything for you! Hundreds of service points (mostly run by Indians and Pakistanis) will offer you literally anything you need: currency exchange, phone accessories, food stalls, etc. There are number of Guesthouses in the building, very popular among visitors. Next to the Mansion there is a Food Hall (with escalator) with local and Vietnamese cuisine, and best Coco and Avocado Coffee I have ever tasted!

MONG KOK East MTR Station is also a very good spot to stay: agoda.com

If you prefer Hong Kong Island (near Central MTR Station) check on agoda.com.

Once you landed in Hong Kong - visit Tourism Board stand.

The very first thing you notice once you land is the modernity of Hong Kong territory. Hong Kong International Airport is a major international hub, recognized for its modern facilities and high passenger satisfaction. Advanced airport infrastructure, fast-paced service points, this dynamic city seamlessly blends tradition with innovation. 

But don’t worry – Hong Kong is easy for travelers, even if you come unprepared, apart from this Hong Kong travel guide for first-timers, it’s very easy to organize your travel essentials onsite – all information is clear and easily accessible. 

The very first thing you do after collecting your luggage is visiting HONG KONG TURISM BOARD stand, which is located just at the exit area. They give full guidance on the city highlights, transportation and all useful travel information depending on purpose of your visit. 

  • First – get a city map – they will locate crucial areas and best attractions.
  • Secondly, they will point out all the ways to get get from the airport to the city centre.
  • Last, ask for Hong Kong Night Treats voucher – which you activate and get a 100HKD voucher for number of restaurants in the area – it’s really popular voucher in HK, easy to activate, so do not miss it. 

How to get from HK Airport to the city centre.

There are many ways to get from HK Airport to the city centre – train/subway (MTR), bus, shuttle, but most popular.
PUBLIC BUS A21: The cheapest and advised by the HK Tourism Board guys/the one I took/ is by a public bus A21, which goes to the Victoria Harbour via main Nathan Road. It stopped literally 50 metres from my Guesthouse. It costs 34 HKD and the ticket can be purchased at the station counter.

AIRPORT EXPRESS: A very popular option is taking Hong Kong Airport Express – buy ticket here on Klook. The bus is very comfortable with free WIFI onboard. It’s a better option than MTR, as you can admire the port city along the way.

SUBWAY (MTR): You can also take subway but it may not take you directly to your hotel and it is advised to purchase Octopus card (transport card) for easy travel – I’m dropping full information below. With this card you can use any public transport hassle-free with one tap and even make some purchases. It’s brilliant! Youcan also get a Hong Kong Airport Express Train Tickets and Hong Kong Octopus Card Combo Package.

PRIVATE/PRE-BOOKED TRANSPORT: Check best offers on GetTransfer.com in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong travel guide & kit.

Once you are in a posession of a HK Night Treats Voucher (from the Tourism Board), it’s time to explore incredible local transport.

Hong Kong boasts one of the world’s most efficient and advanced transportation systems. The Mass Transit Railway – HK subway (MTR) – provides extensive coverage across the city, connecting different districts seamlessly.

Bus network is equally impressive! Since HK shares data with Google, you can check all transport connections and reach any place within the city and its suburbs. All you need is Octopus Card for local transport.

Hong Kong Explorer Pass – you may want to get your explorer pass, which gets you an easy access to number of biggest city attractions. 

Along Victoria Harbour you will find plenty of shopping centres, information points and water taxi tickets.

Hong Kong Octopus card.

OCTOPUS CARD – the most usefull thing in Hong Kong travels – reusable and contactless travel card for subway, bus, ferry, coach, tram and even used for purchases in convenience stores, supermarkets with just a tap.

It can be purchased in every subway station – you can only pay CASH for the card and the price is 200 HKD, which are your travel credits. On the return you will get 50 HKD deposit back, but I actually kept it for next travels. You can book your OCTOPUS CARD HERE on Klook. Just pick up your card at Hong Kong International Airport upon landing. Coming preloaded with a deposit of HKD50/150. 😉

Best time to visit Hong Kong.

Honestly – the best time to visit Hong Kong is February for number of reasons.

  • If you want to experience something spectacular, visit Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year – I was there for 5 days celebrations in February 2024 and it was absolutely crazy 😉 !
  • Flower markets are amazing around Chinese New Year. Crowds too!!
  • Climate is gentle in February – it’s around 16-20 degress and yet not to humid – which is heavy in summer time.
  • Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with four distinct seasons.

Very good time to visit Hong Kong are autumn months (September to November), when the weather is mild and pleasant.

Spring (March to May) is also a good time with comfortable temperatures. Summers (June to August) are hot, humid, and prone to typhoons, while winters (December to February) are cool but rarely cold.

Best city tours, discounts and travel deals in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is an extraordinary city and there are hundreds of outstanding attractions, hence it is adviced to do some planning before the trip. So unless you are on a unlimited time, choose your favourites in advance. I went on few tours with Klook and I have to say they have the best offers and deals – perhaps because the company is based in Hong Kong, but they offer great deals on major attractions.

The best attraction of all is Victoria Peak Tram and Sky Terrace 428 Ticket in Hong Kong. The Peak Tram is one of the world’s oldest and most famous funicular railways, it will get you to an iconic city views!

Great idea to visit Hong Kong’s top sightseeing spots is Hong Kong Big Bus Unlimited Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tours.

Take THE LONGEST CABLE ROPEWAY IN ASIA with Ngong Ping Cable Car. It is a visually spectacular 5.7km journey and it is the longest bi-cable ropeway in Asia. It will take you to famous Big Buddha and you’ll be able to oversee the Lantau Island!

Two best options to get to the hill are: Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ticket or along with a beautiful heritage tour Ngong Ping 360 plus Lantau Cultural and Heritage Insight Tour. 

If you want to combine few attractions you can have a look at the HK Explorer Pass.

No matter what age you are, I know you would love to visit “Hong Kong Disneyland”, a wonderful kingdom loved by adults and children 😉 Over 4 million bookings with Klook will get you a Ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland Park!

Hong Kong Observation Wheel (very cheap tickets) will bring you spectacular views of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong Island, and Tsim Sha Tsui. 

A beautiful journey with marine life will accomodate one of the largest aquariums in the world – the Ocean Park Hong Kong Ticket.

You can browse from top 60 activities in Hong Kong and experiences with Klook. 

Hong Kong at night time!

The nighttime view of Hong Kong is truly spectacular!

The iconic Victoria Harbour comes to life after dark. The skyline on both sides of the harbor is adorned with shimmering lights, forming a stunning backdrop. You can witnessthesymphony of lights, a synchronized multimedia show featuring lasers, music, and projection art, it is a must-see spectacle in a beautiful atmosphere.

The most iconic view of Hong you’ll get with a Peak Tram, which you can book on Klook, or extremely popular Central & Victoria Peak Tour.

Best Hong Kong travel guide for first-timers for a real adventure!

HK Luxury Yacht Night Cruise.

Luxury Yacht Experience Victoria Harbour HK Night Cruise with unlimited snacks and drinks and Victoria Harbour photography is a great and really affordable experience. I really enjoyed the one booked on Klook. 

It’s a magnificent 45 minutes cruise along spectacular Victoria Harbour at night on a luxury yacht – Dreamer. No wonder it’s a bestseller. After you egt a voucher you just need to come to Victoria harbour and find, a coordinator will give you a ‘DREAMER’ sticker and you are good to go! Drinks and snacks are even included, but who would care about food in such scenery 😉

Is Hong Kong safe to travel?

Hong Kong has long been considered a safe destination for travelers. The city is known for its efficient infrastructure, low crime rates, and robust security measures.

However, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure safety. Hong Kong has a relatively low crime rate compared to many other major cities worldwide. Violent crimes targeting tourists are uncommon.

However, petty theft and pickpocketing can occur in crowded places, so it’s advisable to remain vigilant and secure your belongings. Remember I was there in the busiest time of the year – Chinese New Year – and I felt very safe. Actually HK is one of the most friendly cities I have been to, locals are lovely, despite being seen as less polite than Chinese mainlands. 

Use only marked taxis and fares based on taximetres. 

Protests and public demonstrations – in recent years, Hong Kong has experienced occasional periods of civil unrest and political protests. While these events are typically peaceful, they can sometimes result in isolated incidents of clashes between protesters and police. Just avoid such areas and stay updated with current news.

Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!