10 FREE must visit places in Hong Kong
A backpackers dream destination with the energetic buzz of the city, incredible sky scrapers, mountain peaks with endless views and the vibrant atmosphere when the neons come to life at dusk – Hong Kong most certainly has it all.
With Hong Kong being slightly over a backpackers budget when it comes to accommodation, eating out & transport, it’s great to know that most sight seeing spots are pretty much free to visit.
I have put together a guide to all the FREE must see places in Hong Kong
1. Montane Mansion
One of the most famous spots to see in HK. The Montane Mansion was mostly made famous by the Transformers: Age of Extinction movie starring Mark Wahlberg. The high rise flats tower above you with each flat uniquely stacked on top of the other. The symmetry here is unbelievable.
When visiting, keep in mind that this is a residential area, you are allowed to take photos here but please be respectful. We went at 6:30am as not to disturb the peace, it gets incredibly busy throughout the day leading to people queueing for photos. Try seeing this place in the evening to get a different perspective of this amazing structural building at a less busy time.
How to get there: Head to Quarry Bay, it’s around a 20 minute walk from the station. It’s pinned on google maps so is pretty easy to find. Look around the area as there are many unique perspectives of the stacked apartment buildings.
2. Kowloon Peak
A view to remember with Hong Kong’s incredible skyline, Kowloon Peak is 603m high. Head here for sunset to watch the sun go down through the haziness of the city smog. A perfect end to a day full of exploring Hong Kong.
How to get there: The free option would be to walk but it is a fair trek. The other option would be to take the MTR to Choi Hung station then grab a taxi (it’s on the meter and isn’t far so doesn’t cost much) to Fei Ngo Shan Road. The path for Kowloon Peak starts at the bottom of this road. Look for a sign on the left as you go up and turn left up this road/path way. Once you are on the trail it’ll lead you to a cross roads in the path. Take the path on the LEFT it has red ribbons to point you the correct way. The path on the right is extremely steep and dangerous. We took this path by mistake. Continue on the path for around 15-20mins and you will see the Peak on your approach.
Note- if you’re not steady on your feet or scared of heights then walking onto the Peak is not recommended. The ground is uneven and dangerous.
Stay tuned for more info on Kowloon Peak
3. Shek Kip Mei Estate
Walk around Shek Kip Mei and be amazed by the colourful sky scrapers that tower above you. For a more unusual spot head to the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre where you’ll find a unique view of the colourful residential towers.
How to get there: Get off at Shek Kip Mei MTR station, head to Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, it’s about a 15-20 minutes walk. Catch the elevator to the top floor and then take the stairs to the roof.
4. Blue House
Set on one of the most colourful streets in Hong Kong, Blue House stands out due to its bright blue colour and history. Named because of it’s blue exterior, the blue house is a grade one historic building and was recently given an award of excellence by UNESCO for cultural heritage conservation. Blue house is one of the only examples of tong lau left in Hong Kong. Tong lau is a style of residential building with balconies built in the late 19th century with a mix of Chinese and western architecture.
How to get there: Catch the MTR to Wan Chai and walk around 15 minutes. Look for Stone Nullah Lane on your map. Take the path through the local park for a more scenic route.
5. China Hong Kong City Tower 1
Not the usual place to hang out at but China Hong Kong City tower is a cool spot to snap some photos. Head here for sunset where you’ll see some amazing reflections and an unbelievable golden glow.
How to get here: The nearest station is Jordan or East Tsim Sha Tshui. Both are walking distance to the tower. The walk here is slightly complicated as you have to go through a couple of subways to get on the right side of the road. Just head to Harbour City shopping centre and ask for directions if you get stuck.
A shopping hot spot in Hong Kong with so much to see and do. Exploring Mongkok is like an intense maze bursting with energy which seems to really come alive after dark when the neon lights vibrantly light the streets.
How to get there: Hop off at Mong Kok station and wander the the busy streets. There’s no exact spot to see just go and explore.
7. Temple street
Not far from the hustle and bustle of Mong Kok, temple street is again bursting with energy. At the temple street market you will find a bit of everything. Gadgets to antiques, food stalls to fortune tellers, temple street has something for everyone. Go shopping at anytime from 4pm- midnight.
To get here: Temple Street is walking distance from Mong Kok or a 5 minute walk from Jordan station. Look for a high rise car park to get the best views of the colourful market below.
Tip- Look on your map in 3D for a multi story car park or building.
8. Jockey Innovation Tower
The Jockey Innovation Tower is notable for its impeccable architecture. The Polytechnic Design University was designed by Zaha Hadid. The staircases will leave you with Inception vibes for sure.
The Uni is free to enter but please be respectful of the students studying here.
How to get there: Roughly a 30 minute walk from Jordan MTR. The entrance is a little complicated to find so be sure to route on maps. You will go through a subway under the road, once on the same side as the building head left and walk alongside the campus. You should see a coffee shop on your right and that’s near the entrance. If you get stuck ask someone as that’s what we had to do.
9. Choi Hung Basketball Court
With its vibrant colours and energetic vibes, Choi Hung Basketball court is a cool spot to hang out and people watch. Head there around 9am because the locals use the court for their morning exercise. Bare in mind that this court is very well used so please be respectful of the residents who live there.
Fun Fact: ‘Choi Hung’ means rainbow in Cantonese? Pretty fitting 🌈
How to get there: Catch the MTR to Choi Hung, follow the exit signs for C3 or C4- these are the closest to the Choi Hung estate. Once your at the estate turn left and looks for a multi storey car park (it’s only 2 levels, so not that high). The basketball court is on top of the car park. The estate is just off of Tse Wai Avenue.
10. Nam Lian Gardens
The Nam Lian gardens are of Classical Chinese style and are very beautiful to look at. Each hill, rock or lotus pond has been specifically placed following Tang Dynasty architecture. From the gardens you will see the sky scrapers in the distance, the views are incredible. It’s a definite reminder of how diverse Hong Kong is. Across the road is the nunnery, a retreat for Buddhist nuns. A very peaceful spot with its elegant wooden architecture, a serene place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
How to get there: You can either walk from Choi Hung estate or get off the MTR at Diamond Hill. Follow the signs for Nam Lian Gardens or route it on google maps. If you’re heading to Choi Hung then Nam Lian Garden & Chi Lin Nunnery is around a 15 minute walk from the estate.
I hope you enjoyed wandering some of Hong Kong’s best free spots with me.
Stay tuned for more guides on Hong Kong.