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8 Must Know Hong Kong Travel Tips

8 Must Know Hong Kong Travel Tips

If you’re traveling to Hong Kong for 24 hours or spending 3 days in Hong Kong, these Hong Kong travel tips are essential to making your trip easier. Hong Kong can be overwhelming as a tourist and not knowing all of these Hong Kong travel tips can really add up.

We put these tips together to help first-time visitors to Hong Kong make the most of their trip to this amazing city. Learn the best tips on how to get from the airport to the city, things to do in Hong Kong, local insider recommendations, and much more. After spending 10 days in Hong Kong, we really fell in love with it. Here are our 8 Hong Kong travel tips!

Best Places To Stay In Hong Kong

We spent half our time in Kowloon hotels and the other half in Hong Kong Island hotels. We recommend the following hotels as we personally stayed there:

Related Article: Hotel Jen Hong Kong

Hong Kong Travel Tips

Travel tips for HOng Kong Featured Pinterest Pin with Hong Kong Skyline at night

1. Take The Airport Express

Getting to and from the Hong Kong International Airport couldn’t be any easier. The Airport Express connects the airport to Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in under 24 minutes.

Get on the train right at the airport after you pass customs & immigration. Tickets are available at the airport, but every time we went, there was a long line.

We opted to purchase our tickets online here. Not only will you avoid that line, but they are cheaper when you purchase them online. For about the same price Hong Kong Airport Express tickets can be purchased on Viator here, we’ve been using Viator for years and have always had good experiences.

I purchased online, they sent an email with a voucher, we boarded the train at the airport, and when we got off, we went to the service desk and showed them the email to get our tickets (ticket required. You just have to enter it into the machine to get out of the station). If you buy a round trip ticket, they’ll give you your ticket back to the airport at this time.

To/From Hong Kong

  • First train: 5:50 am
  • Last train: 0:48 am
  • Frequency: 12 min
  • Duration: 24 min

To/From Kowloon:

  • First train: 5:53 am
  • Last train: 0:52 am
  • Frequency: 12 min
  • Duration: 22 min

If you prefer to take a car from the airport, I’d book this private shuttle. You won’t get this price if you book at the airport. Make sure to book online in advance.

If you are traveling solo to Hong Kong and are open to a shared airport shuttle in Hong Kong. If your hotel in Hong Kong isn’t close to the MRT and you don’t want to navigate to your hotel this might be the best option and it isn’t that much more.

Related Article: Things To Do In Kowloon

The star ferry looking at the Kowloon side of Hong Kong

2. Get An Octopus Card

We really wish we would have gotten an Octopus card in Hong Kong, it would have made our lives in Hong Kong so much easier. An octopus card is basically like a prepaid debit card but it works all over Hong Kong.

Instead, we were always fumbling with coins, trying to buy MTR tickets for every journey. With an Octopus card, you just scan your card over the reader, and the payment is deducted from your prepaid stored value.

Octopus cards can be used at:

  • All MTR stations
  • Star Ferry
  • Peak Tram
  • 7-Eleven
  • Mc Donald’s

The best octopus card for tourists is the “On-Loan Octopus,” which requires a $50HK refundable deposit to cover the card cost. Octopus cards can be purchased at all MTR stations; we suggest buying one at the Airport Express station at the Hong Kong airport before you even head to the city.

Traffic streaks at night in Kowloon Hong Kong at night busy street traffic

Don’t forget your insurance! You never know when you’ll need it. We suggest getting travel insurance with Safety Wing. Which coverage includes medical, trip interruption, lost luggage, and more. Often rates are as low as $12 a week. 

3. Stay At A Central Hotel

First, decide if you want to stay on Hong Kong Island or the Kowloon side. We spent 4 nights on Hong Kong Island and 2 nights in Kowloon, but because there were so many things to do in Kowloon, we wanted to base ourselves on that side for a few nights.

On Hong Kong Island, we found staying in the area known as “Central” was the best. We stayed at The Pottinger Hotel, which was only a few minutes walk to Central MTR station and nearby a bunch of great restaurants and unique things to do in Hong Kong.

On the Kowloon side, we stayed at The Luxe Manor, which is located right in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsu and only 5 minutes away from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station. We were able to walk to almost all the best things to do in Kowloon.

If you prefer to stay in a Vrbo there are tons of condos for a fraction of the price available. Staying in a Vrbo will also help save money on meal costs, as you can easily make breakfast before heading off exploring Hong Kong.

Hong Kong MRT subway train with people getting on

4. Take The MTR In Hong Kong

The MTR in Hong Kong is super easy to understand and get around Hong Kong. If you purchase an Octopus Card, like mentioned above, you just touch your card and you can move around the city freely.

Plug in your destination on Google Maps and pick public transportation. The directions will give you a step-by-step guide on what MTR station to get off at and even what exit out of the MTR station to take.

Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Hong Kong

5. Where To Eat Cheap In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is expensive, we’re not going to lie, but there are a few cheap places to eat in Hong Kong. One of the best things to do in a new city is to go on a food tour. We went on this Hong Kong food tour with Hong Kong Foodie Tours. They showed us some of the best things to eat in Hong Kong and where to eat cheaply.

Some of the best and cheapest places to eat in Hong Kong are the little local places. In Hong Kong, Dim Sum is king, but you can also find some awesome BBQ/roast pork, wonton noodle soup, egg tarts, Hong Kong waffles, etc.

Some of our favorite cheap places to eat in Hong Kong are Dim Sum Square on Hong Kong Island and Tim Ho Wan (also dim sum), which have a few locations in Hong Kong. Two people can be stuffed on dim sum for under $100HK. The only other place we found for under $5 a meal was McDonald’s…which we did end up at once or twice for a cheap meal and fifty-cent ice cream cones.

  • Dim Sum Square: 88 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
  • Tim Ho Wan (Original location): Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
Victoria Peak Tram going up and the Hong Kong skyline in the background

6. Victoria Peak Tram | Skip The Line Take A Taxi

The line to purchase a ticket to ride the Victoria Peak tram can be over two hours long. After one look at the line, we realized there had to be a faster way to Victoria Peak.

We looked it up on Uber Hong Kong, but they were having surge pricing, so we hopped in a cab. Within 15 minutes, we were at Victoria Peak. The Victoria Peak tram price is $148HK round trip but this includes admission to Sky Terrace 428.

Hong Kong Skyline as seen from Victoria Peak on HK island

If you take a taxi up to Victoria Peak you can have almost the same view at The Peak Galleria for FREE, just follow the signs Victoria Harbour view. The view at Sky Terrace is slightly better and another floor up, the price for a ticket to Sky Terrace 428 is $75 HKD. There is a taxi stand at the ground level of The Peak Galleria so getting back down the peak is no problem.

  • Victoria Peak Tram Cost: $148HKD (Adult Round Trip and includes access to Sky Terrace)
  • Victoria Peak average wait time: 1-2 hours (significantly longer on the weekends and during peak tourist seasons)
  • Taxi cost to Victoria Peak: $80-100HKD (depending on Traffic and pick-up point) Transport only
People holding umbrellas on a rainy Hong Kong street

7. Carry An Umbrella At All Times

Always always always carry an umbrella with you, the weather in Hong Kong is unpredictable. We suggest a cheap compact travel umbrella like this. Hong Kong gets an average of 101 rainy days a year!

We visited in September, which averages 8.5 inches of rain. If you visit in June-September, never leave without an umbrella.

If you do, however, forget an umbrella, there will surely be one for sale nearby. Check the average Hong Kong weather. I wish we had known some Hong Kong travel tips before our trip. We got caught in the rain several times.

Hong Kong Red Taxi in Kowloon Hong Kong

8. Hong Kong Taxis Are Cheap

In an expensive city like Hong Kong, you would assume taxis are expensive like any other big city in the world. WRONG. Taxis in Hong Kong are super cheap, with the first 2 kilometers costing $27 HK and an additional $1.90 HK for every 200 meters.

Places we wouldn’t suggest taking a taxi to or from: the airport, across the bridge to the other side (tolls add up), during rush hour, or in general, places that can be easily reached by the MTR.

There is Uber in Hong Kong, but we found it significantly more expensive than a taxi in the city. Prices for Uber in Hong Kong got much better for longer distances like to the airport and the outer parts of the city. However, within the main city areas, we found Uber to be nearly twice as expensive as the normal red taxis in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong City Skyline as seen from Kowloon side of HK
The best Hong Kong tip for taking a picture of the Hong Kong Skyline is to view it from Victoria Harbour on the Kowloon side

9. Best Hong Kong Skyline At Victoria Harbour

The best Hong Kong tip for taking a picture of the Hong Kong Skyline is to view it from Victoria Harbour on the Kowloon side. Jump on the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island, and it’ll drop you off right at Victoria Harbour in less than 10 minutes.

A prime spot is right in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Center. The area closes at 11 p.m. The nearest MRT station is Tsim Sha Tsui, which is only a ten-minute walk away.

Have you traveled to Hong Kong? Do you have any Hong Kong travel tips to add to our list? 

Hong Kong Travel Tips Pin with a view from Lion's rock Peak in Hong Kong