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.

This country is very compact and getting around is easy. You can enjoy a lot of sights even on a short trip if you plan your itinerary well.

The best places to visit depends on what types of attractions you like the most. Take your pick from shopping districts, theme parks, cultural experiences, museums, historical spots, urban views, dining, harbor cruises & more.

Inspire your trip in Hong Kong with this list of the best tourist spots & top things to do for first-time travelers.

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. Enjoy the best views overlooking the city’s famous skyline and Victoria Harbor, complete with all of Hong Kong’s tallest and most famous skyscrapers. The scenic and thrilling The Peak Tram is a worthy attraction on its own. Here, you can also visit the famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Trick Eye Museum.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby — Make sure to click the “Show more” buttons below to see the travel tips.

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.

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

Tickets, discounts & tours — Enjoy cashless convenience by pre-booking your tickets online.

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

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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.

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

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

From there, it’s an easy walk to many 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. And, Hong Kong’s historic landmarks like the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower.

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Admission fee — No admission/entrance fees in Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront.

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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!

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — 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.

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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

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7. Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck

https://www.instagram.com/p/BT0byOJDXJ_/

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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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

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

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Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Got places in mind that should be on this list? Share your photos and videos and tag #detourista on Facebook and Instagram.

Don’t stop here

See more Hong Kong blog tips & travel guides:

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