Best 12 Things to Do in Central – Hong Kong

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Jonathan

Discover what you can do in Central, including enjoying the city's nightlife, exploring historical sites, and taking in the stunning skyline views.

Things to Do Central Hong Kong
Photo credit © Florian Wehde (CC BY 4.0) modified

Central is Hong Kong’s financial district where you can shop in high-end shopping centers or experience Hong Kong nightlife. Despite being filled with towering skyscrapers, you can also find big parks and ancient temples. Read on for a list of the top 12 things to do in Central, Hong Kong.

Enjoying the Promenade

If you go to Central by riding the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui, you’ll arrive at Central Ferry Pier. You can find several attractions just outside the pier.

1. Hong Kong Observation Wheel & AIA Vitality Park

Hong Kong Observation Wheel at Dusk in Central
Photo credit © Jackee Lainebla MC (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Located just outside the Star Ferry Pier, Hong Kong Observation Wheel and AIA Vitality Park is perfect for a leisurely day out or a romantic evening date. The ride offers an affordable and spectacular view of the harbour, especially at night. The ride is fairly long, 15 minutes, and priced at just HK$20 for adults.

2. Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Hong Kong Maritime Museum Central Hong Kong
Photo credit © LN9267 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

If you want to understand Hong Kong’s maritime history and its evolution as a global trade hub, visit the Hong Kong Maritime Museum at Central Pier 8. The three-level museum houses over 1,000 intriguing artifacts. As you explore the museum, the second and third floors offer a bonus treat – a captivating view of Victoria Harbour. Tickets are priced at HK$30, with potential discounts available for Star Ferry Water Tour tickets.

3. Tamar Park

Tamar Park Central Hong Kong
Photo credit © Wpcpey (CC BY 3.0) modified

A short walk from the observation wheel is Tamar Park, a nice open area perfect for a picnic or a peaceful stroll. This park offers a unique perspective of the harbour and the city’s vibrant skyline. Occasionally, you might also find art and light displays that add to the charm of the park, especially after sunset.

Shopping & Nightlife

4. IFC Mall

IFC Mall Central Hong Kong
Photo credit © WiNG (CC BY 3.0) modified

Also just in front of Central Ferry Pier is the IFC Mall. There, you’ll find an array of high-end brands like Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and more. But it’s not just about shopping; the mall also offers a selection of spacious cafes for a relaxing coffee break, and a variety of restaurants to satiate your hunger after a long day of shopping. There’s also a rooftop there where you can get a nice view of the city and harbour. The mall is conveniently connected to Hong Kong MTR Station.

5. Lan Kwai Fong

Lan Kwai Fong Central Hong Kong
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When the sun sets, the party begins at Lan Kwai Fong, one of Hong Kong’s most buzzing nightlife hubs. With over 90 restaurants and bars, the area is a melting pot of expats and locals alike, growing livelier as the night progresses. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out with friends, or a quiet corner to enjoy a beer during happy hour, Lan Kwai Fong has it all. If you’re someone who thrives on energy and enjoys vibrant environments, this place is a must-visit.

6. Central-Mid-Levels Escalators and Soho

Central Mid Levels Escalator Hong Kong
Photo credit © Wpcpey (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Step onto the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system spanning over 800 meters, and give yourself a unique urban experience of Hong Kong. This escalator system allows you to explore the Central area in a novel and convenient way, with several stops along the route. Be sure to at least stop and explore Soho, a great spot to dine, enjoy a glass of wine, or simply meander through the charming alleys. To reach the escalator, you can walk from Lan Kwai Fong towards the Central Market or The Center building in Queen’s Road Central.

Culture & History

7. Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts

Tai Kwun Central Hong Kong
Photo credit © Dorefuom 993 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts is an award-winning site, recognized by UNESCO for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2019. With 16 revitalized buildings, you’ll discover relics from Hong Kong’s past such as a prison, police museums, and courtrooms, all contrasted against contemporary structures designed by renowned architects, Herzog & de Meuron. Additionally, you can partake in art exhibitions, music events, and film screenings, or dine at the top-floor restaurants. Conveniently located in the SoHo area, Tai Kwun is accessible via the Central-Mid-Levels escalator and is free to enter.

8. Man Mo Temple

Man Mo Temple Sheung Wan Hong Kong
Soft, ambient lighting illuminates the interior of Man Mo Temple along with numerous coiled incense hanging from the ceiling, emitting a tranquil and distinctive atmosphere. Photo credit © Alexander Shalamov

Constructed between 1847 and 1862, this temple is a tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). There, you can admire the picturesque ceiling full of hanging incense coils.

9. Ride on the Ding Ding Tram

Ding Ding Tram Central Hong Kong
Photo credit © Chorzinghuam 2 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Experiencing a ride on the historic Ding Ding Tram is a must when on Hong Kong Island. These double-deck trams offer an affordable and picturesque journey with fares of just HK$3.00 for adults. The top deck provides stunning views, making it an ideal choice if you plan to travel from Central to Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, or the Eastern District of Hong Kong. You can hop on the tram at any station along Des Voeux Road in Central, including Pottinger, Jubilee Street, Bank Street, and more. Use the interactive map on the Hong Kong Tramways website to plan your journey.

Nature Stroll and The Peak

10. Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is the oldest park in the territory, where you can find fascinating animals like orangutans, Hawaiian geese, elongated tortoises, and more. The garden is located in Albany Road, Mid-Levels and is free to enter.

11. Hong Kong Park

Edward Youde Aviary Hong Kong Park Central
There’s a raised walkway where you can watch rare birds inside Edward Youde Aviary, which is a part of Hong Kong Park. Photo credit © Tuomaslehtinen

Hong Kong Park is one of the largest parks in the city. If you have time, you should go to Edward Youde Aviary, a raised walkway where you can see around 550 beautiful and exotic birds. However, please note that the walkway is currently under renovation until 31 December 2023.

12. Ride the Peak Tram

Peak Tram Central Terminus Hong Kong
Photo credit © LN9267 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

Adjacent to Hong Kong Park is The Central/Lower Terminus, where you can ride the iconic Peak Tram to Victoria Peak. Both are notably one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong. Even if you only have a short time in Hong Kong, be sure not to miss this experience. The tram ride offers a unique experience as it ascends steeply from 33m to 396m while passing a beautiful 1,278 m-long track. As you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.