It’s easy to spend money in Hong Kong, but it can be just as much fun to spend nothing at all. If you’d like to stretch your money and enjoy some of the finer things in life – after all, don’t they say that the best things in life are free? – check out this list of free attractions for tourists in Hong Kong and take your pick of free attractions and activities to enjoy during your visit to Hong Kong.
The city of Hong Kong is home to many of the finest art collections in the world. Residents and tourists alike can enjoy many of these artworks for free at various locations on the island city.
1. Browse antiques and works of art at private galleries in Central, SoHo and Sheung Wan. Enjoy yourself on a stroll along the streets, popping in to the galleries to browse and enjoy.
2. Take a walk along Kowloon’s Sculpture Walk, which features 20 works by various artists, including one by Eduardo Palozzi.
3. Keep a camera handy when strolling the malls, particularly at Harbour City and Times Square, where you’ll see many works of sculpture and art displayed publicly.
Enjoy the Lights
There is nothing like the Festival of Lights anywhere else in the world. Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, be sure to take at least one evening to settle with a beverage and enjoy one of the most unique displays you’ll ever see.
4. Enjoy the Symphony of Lights in Victoria Harbour from any one of several places. The Symphony takes place at 8 p.m. every evening, as 44 skyscrapers light up in a synchronized sequence timed to music and narration. The most popular places to take in the festivities include the lounge at the InterContinental Hotel, the waterfront promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui and Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.
Hong Kong offers a unique blend of East-meets-West culture, and nowhere is it reflected more than in the city’s temples and places of contemplation and wisdom. Many of these gardens, paths and temples are open to the public for free.
5. Visit any of Hong Kong’s temples for free, though a small donation is customary. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and take a break from the bustle of the busy city.
6. Spend a few hours at the Chi Lin Nunnery in Kowloon and leave with a renewed sense of serenity and acceptance.
7. Visit Big Buddha and Wisdom Path on Lantau Island. Admission to the two attractions is free, though you’ll have to pay the fare to reach the island.
8. Birds often bring enlightenment and inner peace, and you can test that theory with a visit oto the Edward Youde Aviary at Hong Kong Park.
9. Commune with even more of our feathered friends at the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden in Kowloon.
Educate yourself about Hong Kong and its culture at any one of the many museums and cultural centers in the city. Choose from free classes in traditional arts to exhibits of modern and contemporary art and sculpture.
10. Visit the Hong Kong Museum of Art on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 8 a.m. for a tai chi session on the Sculpture Court. The experience is free, but may require reservations.
11. Take a class on feng shui, Cantonese Opera, Chinese tea appreciation of TCM, offered free by the Hong Kong Tourist Board. Contact the Tourist Board at 2508-1234 for details on classes and availability.
12. Wednesdays are free admission days to a raft of Hong Kong museums. Take your pick of the Hong Kong Heriage Museum in Sha Tin, or Hong Kong’s Museum of History, Museum of Coastal Defence, Space Museum, Museum of Art, Science Museum and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Museum. If you plan your day carefully, you can even manage more than one.
Take in the city up close and personal with one of many self-paced or guided walking tours through its busy streets. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing suited to the weather for best enjoyment.
13. Take an hour-long stroll through Western Hong Kong between the University and the Western Market. The route passes by some of the most distinctive examples of colonial architecture in the city.
14. Take a self-guided tour through Central, passing from building to building through covered pedestrian passages. Enjoy the shops and galleries along the way, and take in the atmosphere as you wind your way through one of the most unusual arrangements of streets and passageways in the world.
15. Leave the city for a serious hike along the Dragon’s Back or climb to Lion Rock to view the city from the heights.
Take in the Sights
Speaking of city views, there are many different places to get a stunning overview of the entire city. Be sure to bring your camera along to capture the view from these places.
16. Capture the view across the harbor looking toward Kowloon from the Bank of China’s observation deck on the 43rd floor of the building. There’s no admission required to ride the elevator up and take a spot on the observation deck.
17. Catch a similar view looking toward Kowloon across the harbor from the 55th floor of the International Finance Centre.
18. Look back to Hong Kong from across the harbor in Kowloon from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade – again, for free.
19. Line up a stunning panoramic view of the bay at Victoria Park from the 5th and 6th floors of the main library in Causeway Bay.