Visitors to Hong Kong in 2016 topped 13 million in the first quarter alone. Add to that a population of some 7 million and counting and it’s easy to get lost in the rush of Hong Kong. Luckily, the city has somewhere to put, and something to entertain, everyone – it’s all here for the taking

Sights and attractions

Sights and attractions in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Island skyline is the star attraction here, especially in its night-time neon splendour, and there are photo opportunities at every turn. On a clear evening, take the Peak Tram up to the island’s highest point for an iconic view from Sky Terrace 428. Take the Star Ferry from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui and enjoy the panorama from the harbour as you sail across. Or head over to the ICC in West Kowloon, one of the world’s tallest buildings, where the sky100 Observation Deck showcases the city from 100 floors up. For a taste of old Hong Kong, hop on a ferry to one of the outlying islands: car-free Cheung Chau offers temples, fresh seafood and a vibrant bun festival. Over on Lantau Island, the Tian Tan Buddha and Tai O fishing village are worth a trip.

Art and culture

Art and culture in Hong Kong

To see the city’s thriving contemporary art scene in full swing, the best time to visit is during the annual edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, usually in March. The prestigious fair ushers in a week-long whirlwind of exhibitions, parties, performances and more. Spend an afternoon wandering the galleries in the Neoclassical Pedder Building, where names such as Gagosian, Lehmann Maupin and Pearl Lam have set up shop, and look out for Tai Kwun, a hotly-anticipated arts and heritage complex in the restored Central Police Station. In Tsim Sha Tsui, the Space, Science and History museums are within walking distance of each other. Or for a unique cultural treat, venture to the easternmost part of Hong Kong Island for the Museum of Coastal Defence, whose prim name belies a fantastic converted fort full of intriguing exhibits, including hidden ammo stores and a preserved wartime torpedo.

Food and drink

Food and drink in Hong Kong

With 120-plus restaurants rated in the Michelin Guide 2016 and a steady stream of new openings, foodies are spoiled for choice. Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons and T’ang Court each boast three Michelin stars, or for really authentic grub, look no further than a bowl of wonton noodle soup at Mak’s Noodle on Wellington Street, which has been serving the iconic dish for some 75 years. A visit to Hong Kong is not complete without a round of dim sum: Cuisine Cuisine at IFC mall offers a contemporary take on the Cantonese lunchtime tradition, while San Xi Lou in Mid-Levels serves the classics with a Sichuan kick. For a trendy look, Mott 32 is our pick, and for old-school trolley service, head to Maxim’s at City Hall. A vestige of its British colonial days is the city’s love of afternoon tea; The Peninsula hotel’s Lobby and Clipper Lounge at the Mandarin are the go-to spots. Bars with terraces are hugely popular in Hong Kong too – Sevva, Ce La Vi and Armani Bar are among the most spacious – while underground watering holes and speakeasies are on the rise: try Foxglove for great jazz and an art deco vibe.

Shopping

Shopping in Hong Kong

You could spend weeks in the city and never leave a shopping mall, the opportunities for spending are so abundant in Hong Kong. For luxury labels, start with high-end department stores Lane Crawford at IFC mall and Harvey Nichols at the Landmark. Walk through Pacific Place to get to Lab Concept for high-street brands Topshop and Urban Outfitters, as well as a terrific beauty section. For home-grown style and a street-level vibe, head to Gough Street in Soho or Star Street in Wan Chai. The Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei is great for souvenirs, while the Flower Market in nearby Prince Edward is a sight to behold, especially in the lead up to Chinese New Year (January or February), as families flock to fill their homes with plants that bring good luck and fortune.

Unique to Hong Kong

Unique to Hong Kong in Hong Kong

For all its super-skyscrapers and urban buzz, Hong Kong has lots of opportunities to get outdoors. There are many country parks, and few Hong Kongers will turn down a weekend hike on one of their myriad trails. Tai Mo Shan Country Park offers 1,440 hectares of nature and the famed Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls. The catch here is the weather, and hiking is best in the cooler months of November to March. Springtime ushers in junk season, when boats can be rented for the day or overnight. As temperatures leap into the 30s and humidity is high, the best days are spent on the water in this quintessential Hong Kong pastime. Beaches are packed in the warmer months too (although the extra keen will swim year-round). Top spots include Repulse Bay on Hong Kong Island, as well as Pui O and Cheung Sha on Lantau.

In an hour…

In an hour in Hong Kong

An hour’s ferry ride from Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan is the former Portuguese colony of Macau. Known as Asia’s Las Vegas, the eclectic city offers glitzy casinos, luxury hotels and world-class shows such as the House of Dancing Water – not to mention Michelin-starred restaurants Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room. There’s more to it than gambling and fine dining, however. Don’t miss the Ruins of St. Paul’s and the nearby Mount Fortress in Macau’s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On Hac Sa Beach in quieter Coloane, Fernando’s serves authentic Portuguese in fun, laid-back surrounds.

Hotel Offers

Worldwide deals and discounts for American Express Cardmembers