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!

$1 USD = $8 HK

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

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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 at Klook not only will you avoid that line, but there are 30% 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.

Most people don’t know about Klook, but a friend that has lived in Hong Kong for years recommended it. 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 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 Island:                                                            

  • First train: 5:50 am
  • Last train: 0:48 am
  • Frequency: 12 min
  • Duration: 24 min
  • One way $6 USD Round Trip $16 USD

To/From Kowloon:

  • First train: 5:53 am
  • Last train: 0:52 am
  • Frequency: 12 min
  • Duration: 22 min
  • One way $8 USD Round Trip $15 USD

If you prefer to take a car from the airport I’d book this private shuttle for only $47, you won’t get this price if you book at the airport. Make sure to book online in advance. If you are traveling solo and are open to a shared airport shuttle in Hong Kong it’s only $27. 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 green and white star ferry in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong looking at the Kowloon side of HK

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 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 a tourist is the “On-Loan Octopus” which requires you to pay a $50HK refundable deposit that covers 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 the travel insurance! We personally have used travel insurance with World Nomads.  Coverage includes medical, trip cancellation, your belongings from theft or damage, baggage,  car rental coverage, and moreThey covered us when Hannah got robbed in Kuala Lumpur and when we got in a sand storm in Namibia and it damaged camera gear.

3. Stay At A Central Hotel

There are 815 hotels on Agoda in Hong Kong picking the right one can be a challenge in itself. First, decide if you want to stay on Hong Kong Island or on the Kowloon side. We spent 4 nights on Hong Kong Island and 2 nights in Kowloon as there so many things to do in Kowloon we wanted to base ourselves on that side 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.

Over on the Kowloon side, we stayed at The Luxe Manor 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 an Airbnb there are tons of condos for a fraction of the price available. Staying in an Airbnb will also help save money on meal costs as you can easily make breakfast before heading off exploring Hong Kong.

Get a $40 credit when you book your first trip! –>> sign up here!

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 on 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 with Hong Kong Foodie Tours where they showed us some of the best things to eat in Hong Kong and where to eat cheap in Hong Kong.

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 were 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.

We highly suggest this Dim Sum tour for only $26, you’ll get stuffed on some the best Dim Sum in Hong Kong and the local guide will give you some tips of other cheap places in Hong Kong to eat.

Dim Sum Square: 88 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong | Read Trip Advisor Reviews Here
Tim Ho Wan (Original location): Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Mong Kok, Hong Kong | Read Trip Advisor Reviews Here 

Hong Kong Skyline as seen from Victoria Peak on HK island

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

The line just to purchase a ticket to ride the Victoria Peak tram can be over 2 hours long. We had one good look at the line and 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 and the taxi bill was only $65 HKD. The Victoria Peak tram price is $88HK round trip but this includes admission to Sky Terrace 428.

If you take a taxi up to Victoria Peak you can 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 $48 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: $88HKD (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: $60-80HKD (depending on Traffic and pick up point) Transport only

If you prefer to book in advance Viator sells Victoria Peak tram tickets, click here for prices.

7. Carry An Umbrella At All Times

Always always always carry an umbrella with you, the weather in Hong Kong is unpredictable. 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 between 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. Wish we would have 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 just 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 being a set $22HK and additional $1.60 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.

Uber is in Hong Kong too, 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

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.

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

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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

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62 thoughts on “8 Must Know Hong Kong Travel Tips”

  1. I’m traveling to Shanghai and Hong Kong this May to study; would you say you had any difficulties on your trip with communicating with people? I don’t know if you speak Chinese or not. I’m certainly not fluent, and that’s the only aspect I’m worried about.

  2. Thanks for this good write up. Really helps. Quick question. I’m travelling with family of 5, can I buy just 1 Octopus card or should it be 5 separate ones?

  3. We just got back from a 10 day visit with friends in Hong Kong in mid November. We had a great time and didn’t see rain once! Lots of great tips that matched our experiences, but I did want to add that you can also access the Peak via the 15 bus route. It worked great! Takes you right to the top and drops you off in the bus terminal next to the Peak tower.
    Also, I HIGHLY second your recommendations on getting an Octopus card. In addition to the places you mention, it’s also taken in lots of shops and restaurants we visited.

    Finally, we also found the free mobile app Moovit to be a very helpful way to find routes/times/directions when using public transit. We used it on several occasions to go all across the city via bus and MTR and it worked fabulously.

  4. this is super helpful! leaving for HK in a few weeks to kick off a few months in Asia. looking forward to it and this advice is great

  5. I arrive at the airport at 5pm ish, and have a 7 hr layover. I don’t want to just spend it in the terminal. I would love to see something before I need to get back to the airport. Any suggestions?

    • You should have enough time to explore a little. I would take the airport express into Hong Kong and then you can catch the Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Harbor and maybe go up to the viewpoint and for sure get some dumplings. It takes less than 30 minutes on the train so I would give yourself 3 hours to get there and back and then be back at the airport 1.5 hours before your flight. So you’d have 4ish hours to explore. It’s totally worth it. Safe travels.

  6. It was great to read your article about Hk. We are going in this September. I will try to follow your all tips to make our journey wonderful.

  7. Great info!
    We are traveling next month September 17 to 21. Will it be possible to explore Hong Kong and Macao in just Four day?

    Erik

    • Yes, you could easily do both, we would suggest just going over to Macao for a day trip. There are more things to do & see in Hong Kong HOWEVER accommodation in Macao is much cheaper than Hong Kong. If you do decide to stay in Macao 1 night would be enough.

  8. This is great and exactly what I needed! Hong Kong is my first stop during my Asia tour, and I had no idea of what to do. I’m definitely interested in the food tour and and the views. And I’m glad the taxis aren’t that expensive. I can’t wait to go!

    • Hong Kong is a great place to start your Asia trip. A food tour is a must, great way to try lots of things and see what you like. Taxis and their subway is super cheap, the only thing really that is cheap in Hong Kong to be honest. Have fun!

  9. Wow!!! Its a coincidence I saw your site.. Very helpful.
    My sister and I will visit HK this Tuesday, 29th of Aug. Happy to read this before our trip.
    By the way, I heard about the plug adaptor in HK..may we ask which one do they use? US plug or UK? Your quick response will be really helpful. Thank you in advance!

  10. Great infos, much appreciated. do we have to buy the Octopus card for each person or will one card be enough for a group of 5? also, for a group of 5, is it easy to get a taxi ? Thanks a lot.

    • You might be able to squeeze 5 in certain taxis with 2 in the front and 3 in the back. I am not 100% sure on the Octopus card, best to ask someone in Hong Kong. I would think you would need 5 if using it for the Subway since you swipe in and out.

  11. Hi there! Thank you for this amazingly informative post. We are going to Hong Kong in September. My only fear is my husband is a vegetarian. I, on the other hand eat meat. I really want to go to try the local cuisine and those dim sum places you recommended. Do you think they will have ample vegetarian options for my husband?

  12. Hi, thanks for the great tips. I’m travelling to HK this Oct from Guangzhou for 3D/2N mainly for Disneyland.
    Staying in Kowloon. Would you suggest us to use MTR or taxi for moving around. We a group of 4 adult.

  13. Hi, I really enjoyed your article. I am traveling to HK in December and have four nights, but in reality only 3 and a half days, because I get there in the evening and fly out four days later in the afternoon. Is 3 and a half days enough to get a feel for the city or should I add an extra day?

    • You’ll be totally fine on time. If the weather is sunny and not rainy make sure to get in your hike and Victoria’s Peak. We loved Hong Kong! Where do you plan on staying?

      • Thanks for your response Adam. I am staying in HK central. I figured I wanted to be in the middle of it all. I looked into Kowloon but after researching its appears that HK central may be best for me.

        • HK Central is a great place to stay, we stayed in this part of Hong Kong twice and have a friend that lives there. It’s really easy to get anywhere from there. Hope you have a great time in Hong Kong.

  14. Hi, i enjoyed reading this posts. I am travelling with my family this coming September. Can you please recommend a good place where to eat and where to go shopping for clothes, shoes and jewelry. Thanks a lot!

    • There are some great malls over on Hong Kong Island near subway station. We liked the shopping better on Hong Kong Island over Kowloon. Have a great time in Hong Kong.

  15. Hey Hannah,

    Thanks for these awesome tips as we are planning to go to Hong Kong in this November.
    These tips are very useful for us.

  16. Thanks a lot for sharing! I am planning to travel to HK for 2 weeks in September and stay at an airbnb.
    How much do you think is the daily cost of food and transportation (excluding airbnb) in HK?

    Thanks a lot!

    • The daily cost to travel in Hong Kong really depends on what types of meals you want to eat. I would say $10-20 a day for subway and taxi’s and then maybe another $20 for admissions, and food and drink would be $25+ the cheapest options are local dumpling and roast pork places. Sit down restaurants would set you back $25+ just for one meal. McDonald’s is affordable if you’re looking for a cheap meal.

    • When you leave Hong Kong you can return it to the Customer Service Center at the airport or to any Customer Service Center at any MTR station to get the refundable deposit of HK$50 and the remaining value.

  17. Very helpful advice. Keep up.
    You mentioned the Hk$ 50 for octupos card is refundable… Where do we get our refund? Pls advise. Thanks & God bless!

  18. Great stuff!! Just the kind of info I needed. I’m traveling to HK in August. Looking forward to great eats and hiking Lion’s Rock.

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. You have a great piece of content here!
    I love Hong Kong and this is a comprehensive article on the Pearl of the Orient!
    Enjoyed the read!

  20. Great article, thanks for the tips! A dynamic and vibrant cosmopolis, Hong Kong has much to offer. However, there are also quite a number of crooks who target tourists in the country.

    Do be wary of the bait and switch scam, overcharging shops, weighing scale scam, shopping tours, fake herbal medicine scam, bad aura/spiritual blessing scam, fake antiques, counterfeit products, art scammers, pickpockets, spiked drinks and many more!

    • While I am sure there are some scams out there, in general, Hong Kong is a very safe city. Like always keep an eye out for things like this, but Hong Kong probably has fewer scams and pick pockets than most major European destinations.

  21. Thanks so much for these tips. Going there beginning of August and will be so happy I read this when I can skip a 2 hour tram queue, also booking our AE tickets now on Klook.

    • No problem! Booking the Airport Express tickets on Klook is the best not only saves you money but time. My friend lives there and she is the one that told me that one. Have a blast in Hong Kong!

  22. We are visiting to Hong Kong on our way home from Russia in September and you have given us some great advice. Umbrellas, Oyster cards, Klook.com just to name a few. My wife is a bit of a meat and three veg person. Can you suggest any local food that may meet her tastes. I will try anything.Many thanks

    • Glad we could help you out. Go for the dim sum and the pork buns. Hong Kong has a great food scene and tons of options. Get the crispy BBQ pork buns, they are amazing!

  23. On our last day in Hong Kong we did not want to drag our luggage around with us so we booked our luggage onto our flight from the MTR. Were a bit concerned about this thinking it a bit strange that you could book your luggage in at a train station.
    Very pleased to say that everything was fine and our luggage was waiting for us at our destination.

  24. I absolutely love posts like this! This kind of info about a new place can save so much hassle during a trip! I have spent so much money before not knowing about 30% discounts and preppaid cards etc. Thanks so mcuh for sharing your tips 🙂

  25. Hi Hannah,

    I surely have a tip for Hongkong Travel. One can use Klook.com for finding discounts on some of the things one would want to do. I find it very useful for Asia travel. However, I am still looking for a good app that can help me with other continent. Would you know any in US, Africa or so?

    Cheers!
    Neha

    • We mentioned Klook.com in the article, as this is where we bought our Hong Kong Express airport tickets best price around. In the USA we have things like Groupon that sell deals. If that is what you are looking for. Africa it really depends on what part of Africa, because Africa is HUGE.

      Safe travels,

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