8 Must Know Hong Kong Travel Tips

Hong Kong Travel Tips featured image with the hong Kong Skyline at night

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

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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 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 into the city.

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

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 minute 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 our 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 within 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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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

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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  • Neha
    Posted at 06:47h, 27 November Reply

    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?


    • Hannah
      Posted at 20:17h, 01 December Reply

      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,

  • Kelsey Madison
    Posted at 21:40h, 22 December Reply

    This was amazing!! Thank you so much 🙂 traveling to HK in a week and these are awesome!

    • Hannah
      Posted at 00:24h, 23 December Reply

      Glad we could help! Make sure to check out our Things to do in Kowloon guide and Lion Rock hike for amazing views of the city. Safe travels

  • Wendy Maes
    Posted at 01:38h, 02 January Reply

    Thanks for the great tips! Hong Kong is on my list for 2017 (for a short stopover)

    • Hannah
      Posted at 23:18h, 02 January Reply

      A 24 hour layover in Hong Kong is good, you can cover some ground with that. Just take the airport express.

  • Hayley
    Posted at 03:45h, 02 January Reply

    I’m hoping to make it to Hong Kong this year so this was a very useful post. I can’t wait!

    • Hannah
      Posted at 23:18h, 02 January Reply

      Hope you get to HK this year, it’s amazing.

  • Chiera
    Posted at 10:14h, 02 January Reply

    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 🙂

    • Hannah
      Posted at 23:20h, 02 January Reply

      Glad we could help you out with your trip to Hong Kong. No problem saving you money.

  • Gail
    Posted at 13:42h, 25 January Reply

    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.

  • Jack Kennedy
    Posted at 16:17h, 01 February Reply

    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

    • Hannah
      Posted at 00:57h, 03 February Reply

      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!

  • ryan
    Posted at 07:09h, 08 June Reply

    While carrying a wallet, keep your IDs separate so that you don’t lose them.

    • Hannah Lukaszewicz
      Posted at 16:40h, 09 June Reply

      Always watch your wallet. But we would say that we felt super safe in Hong Kong.

  • Zelre
    Posted at 14:48h, 15 July Reply

    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.

    • Hannah Lukaszewicz
      Posted at 17:11h, 15 July Reply

      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!

  • David
    Posted at 09:47h, 08 August Reply

    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!

    • Adam
      Posted at 11:35h, 10 August Reply

      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.

  • Ivan
    Posted at 08:41h, 19 September Reply

    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!

    • Hannah Lukaszewicz
      Posted at 08:55h, 19 September Reply

      Hong Kong is an amazing city and one we know we’ll travel back to. Glad we could give you a few Hong Kong travel tips. Safe travels.

  • Chris
    Posted at 22:39h, 06 January Reply

    Hong Kong Express? No, it’s the Airport Express.

  • Kathy
    Posted at 00:56h, 13 February Reply

    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!

    • Hannah Lukaszewicz
      Posted at 08:07h, 22 February Reply

      Make sure to check the weather out during your trip and try and time it on a clear day. And don’t forget to pack an umbrella! Safe travels.

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