hong kong travel

Top 10 Free Things To Do And See In Hong Kong

8/13/2016Jake Ryan

When it comes to visiting a vibrant metropolitan city like Hong Kong, most people think this automatically equates in having to spend copious amounts of money. I am here to tell you however, that this is not quite the case!

What most people don't realise is that the best things to do in Hong Kong are actually completely free. So to help you experience the city where East meets West for less; here are my top 10 free things to do and see in Hong Kong.


Every night at 8pm a free nightly multimedia show is played out on 44 of Hong Kong island's most iconic skyscrapers. A mesmerising sight, be dazzled by the lasers, skylights, searchlights, LED effects and fireworks as they dance in perfect synchronisation to music blasted from outdoor speakers. For the best vantage points, head to the waterfront promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui or the Golden Bauhinia in Wan Chai by 7.45pm and prepare to be blown away!


Hidden amongst the multi-million dollar skyscrapers you will find a plethora of stunning temples that are just waiting to be explored. Some of the oldest (and most majestic) examples of architecture in all Hong Kong, these active places of worship are all completely free to attend. My favourite is the Wong Tai Sin temple in Kowloon with its beautiful pavilions ponds, waterfall, fountains and replica of the Beijing Summer Palace corridor. You will be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful and peaceful setting.


Although the first image that Hong Kong might bring to mind is it's towering skyscrapers and gaudy neon signs, the coast of the city is actually home to some of the most glorious and serene beaches in all of the world; and guess what...they're all free! There are so many to choose from (50 in total,) but the best I found were; Repulse Bay near Central; Shek O; and, for a more secluded beach, Lo So ShingWith golden sands and crystal clear waters, I felt like I had been transported to a tropical island rather than hanging out in a metropolitan city. The perfect way to escape.


All throughout Hong Kong there are an abundance of free cultural gems just waiting to be discovered. On Wednesdays, many of the city's top museums waive their admission prices so that you can experience their exhibits for absolutely nothing. Including the likes of the Museum of Art which boasts over 15,000 works, the interactive Space MuseumHeritage Museum and History Museum; there really is something for everyone. 


A calm oasis in an otherwise bustling city, these 5.6 hectares are home to a range of free beautiful themed gardens and animal exhibits. With over 1000 species of plants and a whole host of animals including orang-utans, pythons, lemurs flamingos and Chinese alligators, It's a great way to spend an early morning. There are also some fantastic photo opportunities with the Hong Kong skyscrapers framed by the stunning Asian foliage.


Head to the Bank of China's observation deck on the 43rd floor and you will be treated to astonishing panoramic views of the Kowloon skyline and Victoria harbour. Set in the heart of the central financial district, in any other city you would easily have to pay upwards of $20 for the privilege. Here however, it is absolutely free! For a different angle, try the 55th floor of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority which again doesn't have an admission charge. If you like to have your feet firmly planted on the ground, the vista of Hong Kong island from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade is simply breathtaking, especially at sunset.


The most visited attraction in all of Hong Kong also happens to be one that is completely free; the Avenue of the Stars. Located on Tsim Sha Tsui's waterfront in Kowloon, the 440 metre boardwalk pays tribute to Asia's film industry with a mixture of hand prints, signatures and bronze statues of famed film stars. Set against the captivating Hong Kong island peninsula and Victoria Peak, it is a great way to pass an afternoon with some of the best photo opportunities in the whole city. Make sure you get a snap with the giant film clapper board and director statue! 

More info available here


When the lights go down, Hong Kong truly comes to life and there is nowhere more magical than the free to attend night markets that are scattered throughout the city. With gigantic swaying neon lights, throngs of people, and tented stalls as far as the eye can see; the atmosphere is positively electric. My personal favourite by far is the more authentic Temple Street Market in Kowloon. Here you are serenaded by the free open-air Cantonese Opera performances as you browse the many wares on offer. Even if you don't actually purchase anything, you still feel like you are going back with a part of Hong Kong.


For eclecticness and excitement without spending a cent, take a stroll down Kowloon's main thoroughfare after dark. Affectionately known as the 'golden mile', Nathan Road is THE place to be when the sun goes down. The gargantuan neon signs jutting out and jostling for space beneath the row upon row of skyward bound apartment buildings, creates a truly remarkable atmosphere. It is certainly one experience not to be missed!


Some of the most beautiful and tranquil areas in the city can be found within the 24 undeveloped network of protected sub tropical parks. Ranging from large scale manicured gardens to sweeping natural vistas, all of these areas are completely free for the public to enjoy. Although there are so many to choose from, my favourite has to be the  world class Hong Kong Park. At 16 acres it boasts a large open air aviary, landscaped gardens, greenhouse with over 2000 species of plants,  and even a free ceramic museum. Nestled in the centre of Hong Kong, climb up the steps by the small hill and you will be rewarded with a phenomenal view of the aviary, park and most recognisable skyscrapers in Hong Kong.

More info available here
What are your favourite free things to do in Hong Kong? Drop me a comment below.

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