I recently had a heated debate with someone about the best city in Asia. Of course, Tokyo and Shanghai were high on the list but for me, neither compared to Hong Kong. Hong Kong has all the charms and culture of China, yet all the convenience of Europe or America. Oh, and did I mention countless things to do? Landmarks in Hong Kong are everywhere and include recognisable skyscrapers, the famous Victoria Peak, and a couple of destinations that have recently become some of the city’s most popular and edgy spots. I have visited Hong Kong three times and by the end of my third trip, I was already writing a list of things I hadn’t managed to do yet.
Often referred to as the concrete jungle, Hong Kong’s impressive high rise landscape can feel somewhat daunting as you stand by the roadside looking up at all its grandeur. But Hong Kong’s distinctive landmarks are not only enjoyable sites in themselves; they also act as a point of guidance in this colossal megacity. So here are 20 incredible Hong Kong landmarks that will leave your SD cards full and you longing to stay an extra week.
- 21 Hong Kong Landmarks
- Famous Landmarks in Hong Kong
- Historical Landmarks in Hong Kong
- Other Landmarks in Hong Kong
21 Hong Kong Landmarks
Famous Landmarks in Hong Kong
1- Bank of China Tower
When viewing the Hong Kong skyline, the Bank of China Tower, or the zigzag building, as I like to call it, certainly stands out from the crowd.
This building is right in the heart of Hong Kong’s business district and as the Bank of China Tower is 367m tall, your best view of the building is across the water along the Kowloon Public Pier.
Located near the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Bank of China and the rest of Hong Kong’s skyline.
Now, when visiting Hong Kong, you’ll probably want to get an aerial view of the city, of course, this can be done at the famous Victoria Peak but if you don’t want to spend a penny (or a HK$) then head to the Bank of China Tower observation deck.
It might not be the tallest of Hong Kong’s buildings, but you can’t go wrong with a free 43rd-floor view of the city.
The Bank of China Tower is at 1 Garden Road, Central.
2- Victoria Peak
One of the famous landmarks in Hong Kong, Victoria Peak, is on a 552m hill on Hong Kong island’s western side and has awe-inspiring views of this jampacked skyscraper city.
Victoria Peak is a popular spot for tourists, runners, and locals, so plan to arrive early as it can become very busy.
There’s more than one option to get to the top; you can walk up if you’re feeling energetic, take a taxi from Central, hop on the number 15 bus from the Central Bus Terminal, or the most popular option is to ride the Peak Tram.
This cutesy red peak tram operates from 7 am to 12 am and costs HK$52 for a roundtrip or HK$37 one way.
When I was there, I took the tram at around 7.30 am to beat the crowds, and I practically had the carriage to myself. However, keep in mind that during peak times, especially later in the day, you may have a long wait to take the tram up and down.
Once at the top, you can head up to Sky Terrace 428 to enjoy the expansive views of the city.
There are also a surprising number of activities at the peak, including Hong Kong’s Madam Tussauds, Lion’s Pavilion, the Victoria Peak Garden, and a lovely circular walk.
Victoria Peak is at 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong Island.
3- The Choi Hung Estate
Choi Hung Estate or ‘the colourful basketball courts’ as it is colloquially known, is one of Hong Kong’s more trendy landmarks afforded much attention by the Instagram generation.
Choi Hung in Cantonese means ‘rainbow’, and once you arrive at this estate, you can certainly see where it gets its name from.
Palm trees line the blue, green, red and yellow basketball courts, which are set with a rainbow coloured apartment building backdrop.
Take edgy photographs whilst getting a feel for local life, but remember, don’t let the Instagram feed take over; locals are busy going about their daily life, so try not to intrude too much.
To get to Choi Hung, you can the MTR to Choi Hung Station along the Kwun Tung Line and then take exit C3 or C4. You’ll instantly get a sense of where the courts are once exiting the subway station.
Choi Hung Estate is at 2 Tse Wai Ave, Ngau Chi Wan, Hong Kong.
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4- The Junk Boat
Look away and you’ll find that this landmark has sailed past.
The famous Hong Kong junk boat, though not perhaps a landmark by the traditional sense of the world, is an iconic part of the traditional view of Hong Kong.
Many believe that the junk boat dates back to the Han dynasty.
Known for their distinctive red sails and authentic woodwork, whilst in Hong Kong, you can hop aboard a junk for a sail and some drinks.
There is a range of junk boat trip options, including all-inclusive deals with free-flowing drinks and dinner and cheaper options with BYOB.
Junk boats depart from several locations, including Central, Causeway Bay and Sai Kung piers.
You can choose several destinations to travel to or ask your captain for the best places to visit.
It is worth noting that the prices of junk boat trips vary considerably depending on the length of the trip and your food and beverage options.
5- Bruce Lee Statue
Located on the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui, right on the harbour front, you can visit a life-size bronze statue of the martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
This Bruce Lee statue, created in 2005 by sculptor Cao Chong’en is set in his classic ready-to-strike pose seen in the 1972 movie Fist of Fury.
The Bruce Lee Statue is on the Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
6- Quarry Bay ‘Monster Building’
The Quarry Bay residential area is unequivocal proof that Hong Kong’s nickname as the concrete jungle is accurate.
This once ordinary residential area is now a famous Hong Kong landmark owing to the domineering and colourful apartment blocks.
The so-called Monster Building is actually an E-shaped complex of apartment buildings that can make you feel rather small when standing underneath.
Monster Building is located on 1046 King’s Road in Quarry Bay.
7- Tian Tan ‘Big Buddha’
The Big Buddha is one of Hong Kong’s famous landmarks.
The Tian Tan Big Buddha sits proudly on Lantau Island and has been a popular attraction since 1993.
It officially holds the title of the ‘second-largest outdoor sitting Buddha in the world’.
It is 34m high and once you’ve climbed the 268 steps to the foot of the Buddha, you can take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding luscious green mountains.
The best way to get to the Buddha and Lantau Island is to take the cable car, but more on that next.
The Big Buddha is at Ngong Ping Rd, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
8- Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
Ngong Ping 360 is a fantastic cable car ride connecting Tung Chung and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island while providing passengers with stunning views of the city, water and mountains.
The cable car ride takes just 25 minutes, and for a round trip in a standard cabin, the cost is HK$235 for adults and $110 for children.
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Historical Landmarks in Hong Kong
9- Wong Tai Sin Temple
The temple is a dedication to the Taoist god Wong Tai Sin who devoted his life to the practices of Taoism and was believed to have become immortal.
Locals in Hong Kong travel to this temple, particularly because it has been said that if you make a wish here, there is a high chance it will come true.
Wong Tai Sin is also famous for its fortune-telling booths and the practice of kau cim where you shakes a container full of bamboo sticks until a single stick falls out. The stick is then exchanged for a piece of paper with a corresponding number, and your fortune is given.
Not only is this temple steeped in history and tradition, but it is architecturally beautiful.
Red and yellow lanterns hanging in the courtyard, intricately painted arches along with the relaxing smell of burning incense, it’s well worth a visit to this religious landmark.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is a Taoist temple located on 2 Chuk Yuen Road in Chuk Un and can be easily reached by taking the MTR to Wong Tai Sin station (nice and easy to remember).
10- 1881 Heritage Building
The 1881 Heritage Building was once the Marine Police Headquarters and is quite an elaborate building at the time.
Now it has been rejuvenated and turned into one of the most well-known cultural and shopping landmarks right in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Heritage 1881 houses several luxury shops such a Chaumet, Montblanc and Hublot, a hotel and fine-dining experiences.
1881 Heritage Building is at 2A Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.
11- Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
Now I am not suggesting that you get yourself into a situation where you find yourself unwillingly inside the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, but it’s a rather magnificent building and one you might want to view.
This impressive domed building opened in 1912 and was the home of the Supreme Court between 1912 and 1983.
If you fancy sitting in a Hong Kong courtroom, then go ahead, you can watch the hearings and walk around much of the building.
You’ll find the Court of Final Appeal in the busy Central district on 8 Jackson Road.
12- Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Art
The Tai Kwun Centre is utterly juxtaposed with its surroundings, standing beneath an overshadowing shroud of domineering skyscrapers.
The building was established by the British in 1841 as a police station, courthouse and prison and is one of Hong Kong’s most important historical monuments.
While there, visitors can enjoy music, theatre performances, educational programs and visual arts and learn about the history and culture of Hong Kong.
Tai Kwun was even afforded the Award of Excellence at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2019.
You can find the Centre for Heritage and Art on 10 Hollywood Road in the bustling Central district.
Tai Kwun Centre is at 10 Hollywood Rd, Central, Hong Kong.
13- Chin Lin Nunnery
The Chin Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist temple located in Diamond Hill in east Kowloon.
The temple was only founded in 1934 though it looks older.
The temple is in complete contrast with the silver skyscrapers set behind, something I love about Hong Kong, the continual contrast between old and new.
The nunnery is definitely worth a visit, but in all honesty, there isn’t a whole lot to do there, so make sure when you’re in Diamond Hill you also check out the next landmark.
Chin Lin Nunnery is at 5 Chi Lin Dr, Sheung Yuen Leng, Hong Kong.
14- Hong Kong Clock Tower
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Other Landmarks in Hong Kong
15- Nan Lian Garden
Right across the road from Chin Lin Nunnery is landmark number 15 on our list, Nan Lian Garden.
This garden is relatively new, only being built in 2006 but is keeping with the traditional Tang Dynasty style.
The garden is beautiful, but its crowning glory is the illustrious golden pavilion that sits on a tiny island with an aesthetically pleasing miniature red bridge connecting it to the main garden.
What’s even better is that you can enjoy the Nan Lian Garden daily between 7 am and 9 pm, and admission is entirely free.
Nan Lian Garden is at 60 Fung Tak Road, Diamond Hill, Kowloon.
16- Sky 100 Observation Deck at ICC
If you’re searching for 360 views of Hong Kong, then look no further than the International Commerce Centre (ICC).
The ICC building is 484m tall and offers impressive views of Hong Kong, including Victoria Peak and the central business district’s skyscrapers.
It’s the 13th tallest building in the world, and I always think it looks lonely and out of place sitting on the opposite side of the harbour to all the other skyscrapers.
Entry to the observation deck is a little pricey at HK$168, but the views are impressive and expansive.
Hong Kong is well-known for its hazy climate and poor visibility throughout the year, and the humidity doesn’t help matters, so try and choose a clearer day to visit the observation deck so you’ll have much better views.
The ICC is at 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon.
17- Lui Seng Chun
The Lui Seng Chun building is a four-storey curved building listed as a Grade I Historic Building.
Currently, the building’s interior has no use, but the owners are looking for tenants who can bring out the place’s historical significance.
After visiting Lui Seng Chun, you can take a 10-minute walk to the famous Goldfish Market for a rather strange experience of seeing thousands of goldfish staring at you from waterfilled plastic bags.
The Lui Seng Chun building is sandwiched between two roads on 119 Lai Chi Kok Road in Mong Kok.
18- Tsing Ma Bridge
Located a little out of central Hong Kong, the Tsing Ma Bridge connects the two islands of Tsing Yi and Ma Wan (hence the name) and lastly, Lantau Island.
Tsing Ma is the 14th longest suspension bridge in the world at 2,160m, and both trains and cars can pass over the bridge.
An excellent place to view the bridge is from Tsing Yi, specifically the Tsing Yi Nature Trails.
To reach the nature trails and the view of the bridge, you can take the MTR to Tsing Yi Station followed by the 248M bus to the Cheung Wang Estate stop.
19- Jockey Club Innovation Tower
The Innovation Tower designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, is an unusually shaped building that is the home to the School of Design Development for Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University.
This spaceship-like building is located on the Hung Hom Campus and was completed in 2014.
20- Hong Kong Institute of Design
You would expect nothing less than an edgy and quirky building as the home of the Hong Kong Institute of Design.
The building consists of four rectangular structures with an intriguing square structure encasing them.
It’s an effortlessly distinctive and recognisable structure that simply oozes art and design.
The building design came about because of a 2006 competition to design a new campus to accommodate 4,000 students.
Of 162 submissions, the French architecture firm of Coldefy & Associés was declared the winner.
If you want to visit the Institute of Design, head to 3 King Ling Road in Tseung Kwan O.
21- Two International Finance Centre (IFC)
The IFC building dominates Hong Kong’s skyscraper-filled skyline and is perhaps one of Hong Kong’s more prominent landmarks.
Just slightly shorter than the ICC building, IFC stands at 416m and has 88 floors.
The building is used as office space, but there are things to do in the surrounding area.
A shopping trip to IFC Mall or a ride on the neighbouring Hong Kong Observation Wheel are fun things to do in this busy district.
IFC is at 9 Finance Street in Central.