A gawk-worthy modern skyline and exciting urban attractions are the top reasons that got me on a plane to Hong Kong on my first trip abroad. With so much travel information available online and popularity among other first-time international travelers, it’s easy to plan an itinerary and travel to this compact city.

Start planning your trip with this list of the best places to visit & top things to do in Hong Kong:

1. The Peak

Skyline view looking north towards Victoria Harbour and Kowloon from The Peak - Sky Terrace 428 in Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Skyline view looking north towards Victoria Harbour and Kowloon from The Peak – Sky Terrace 428 in Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.

Why go — The breathtaking panoramic view from Victoria Peak is Hong Kong’s most popular attraction for a good reason. Here you can enjoy the best overlooking view of the city’s famous skyline and Victoria Harbor complete with all of Hong Kong’s tallest and most famous skyscrapers. Scenic and thrilling The Peak Tram is a worthy attraction on its own.

The Madame Tussauds Wax Museum at the Peak Tower is also interesting to visit.

Plan a trip

How to go — Ride the MTR to Central. Take the J2 exit and walk to the Peak Tram lower terminus along Garden Road. Board The Peak Tram to get to The Peak Tower. You may go to Victoria Peak more cheaply by taking the bus and go trekking along the Peak Circle Walk. There are a couple of scenic viewing decks along the way. The bus ride down the steep roads of the hill has its own thrills. It’s a good alternative if you want to take a different route back to Central Hong Kong.

Ticket price for the Peak Tram Sky Pass (The Peak Tram + Sky Terrace 428) is HKD83 per adult for a return journey.

Places to stay near The Peak.

17% OFF Peak Tram + Sky Terrace Skip-the-line Combo Ticket.

The Peak tours & discounts.

2. Tian Tan Buddha & Ngong Ping Village

01-Nong Ping 360 Cable Car & Tian Tan Buddha

Tian Tan Buddha & Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car in Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

Why go — The Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the “Big Buddha,” is literally the biggest attraction this side of Lantau Island. It is the World’s largest outdoor sitting Buddha that is made of bronze. The best way to get there is through the fabulous Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride, which offers panoramic views overlooking Lantau Island, Hong Kong International Airport, South China Sea, and surrounding areas.

See the Po Lin Monastery & Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery famous for its hall with almost 13,000 miniature Buddha statues

Plan a trip

How to go — Take the MTR to Tung Chung Station. Walk to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car lower terminus and take the cable car to Ngong Ping Village.

Ticket price for the standard cabin is HKD185 per adult for a return journey and HKD130 per adult for a single journey.

8% OFF Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ticket.

Ngong Ping tours & discounts.

Hotels near Ngong Ping.

3. Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks Show in Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Disneyland Fireworks Show in Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

Why go — Traveling with kids or adults who want to feel like a kid again? Experience a magical adventure at Hong Kong Disneyland. It is the second Disney-themed amusement park in Asia after Tokyo Disneyland.

Best time to visit is in the afternoon if you want to explore the park and watch the beautiful fireworks show at Sleeping Beauty Castle, which lights up the sky every night at 9PM (weather permitting). Go to Main Street at least 15-minutes early to get a good spot before the crowds join in.

Plan a trip

How to go — Very easy to get to since it’s connected with the MTR train system. Take the Orange MTR Line to Sunny Bay and switch to Disneyland Resort “Pink” MTR Line..

The Hong Kong Disneyland ticket price is HKD499 per adult for a 1-day general admission.

15% OFF Hong Kong Disneyland Admission Ticket.

Hong Kong Disneyland tours & discounts.

Hotels near Hong Kong Disneyland.

4. Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront & Symphony of Lights

Symphony of Lights facing Central, Hong Kong Skyline during a rainy evening in Tsim Sha Tsui

Symphony of Lights facing Central, Hong Kong Skyline during a rainy evening in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Why go — A trip to Hong Kong is not complete without a visit to Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront to enjoy the panoramic views of impressive Central Hong Kong Skyline and Victoria Harbor. This is a must for photographers..

Don’t miss the Symphony of Lights, the World’s Largest Permanent light and sound Show by Guinness World Records. It lights up every night starting at 8pm and includes more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour.

Lots of museums in the area including the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, and Health Education Exhibition and Resource Centre.

See Hong Kong’s historic landmarks like the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower.

Plan a trip

How to go — Take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui or East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. Proceed to Exit J and follow the signs to Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront.

Hong Kong dining tours & discounts.

Hotels near Tsim Sha Tsui.

5. Star Ferry Ride

Star Ferry ride to Central from Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong kong

Star Ferry ride to Central from Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong kong

Why go — Not only dirt cheap, but it also offers a nostalgic ferry crossing with an amazing view of the amazing skyline on both sides of Victoria Harbor. If you’re looking for the perfect introduction to Hong Kong, this is it!

Plan a trip

How to go — From Kowloon side — Take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui and proceed to Exit L4. Walk and follow the signs to Star Ferry Pier Terminal.

One-way ticket fare to Central Star Ferry Pier is HKD2.50 per adult on weekdays and HKD3.40 per adult on weekends and public holidays.

5% OFF Hong Kong Symphony of Lights AquaLuna Cruise.

Hong Kong Harbor tours & discounts.

See also

6. Ocean Park Hong Kong

06-Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong.

Why go — Hong Kong’s most famous theme park and one of the World’s most popular marine-themed amusement parks. Don’t miss the giant panda habitat, a jellyfish & Chinese sturgeon aquarium, as well as the Grand Aquarium, which features the World’s largest aquarium dome. Ocean Park Hong Kong also has many decent rides for thrill seekers and an entertaining dolphin show at the Ocean Theatre.

Plan a trip

How to go — Ride the MTR to Admiralty station. Take Exit B and walk to the terminal of Bus 629 at the corner of Drake and Tamar Streets. Ride Bus #629 to Ocean Park. The fare is HKD10..

The Ocean Park Hong Kong ticket price is HKD345 per adult for a 1-day general admission.

11% OFF Ocean Park Hong Kong Admission Ticket.

Ocean Park Hong Kong tours & discounts.

Hotels near Ocean Park Hong Kong.

7. Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck

Why go — This is another fascinating view deck for enjoying fabulous overlooking views of the skyline. Located on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), the tallest building in Hong Kong, it is the only indoor observation deck in Hong Kong that offers 360-degree views of the territory and its famous Victoria Harbour.

Plan a trip

How to go — Take the MTR to Kowloon Station. Proceed to Exit C and follow the signs to the International Commerce Centre (ICC).

Standard entry price on Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck costs HKD134 when booked online and HKD168 per adult for walk-ins.

48% OFF Sky100 Observatory Admission.

Sky100 tours & discounts.

Hotels near near Sky100.

Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Did I miss something that should be on this list? Share your comments or tag me @marcosdetourist on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I’d love to read your suggestions.