Hong Kong is a vibrant and bustling city that is filled with tons of distinct neighborhoods to explore and experience. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, something that goes through everyone’s head is where to stay in Hong Kong.
In this post, we will take a closer look at four popular neighborhoods/places to stay in Hong Kong: Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Causeway Bay, and Wan Chai.
Depending on what your itinerary is as well as the overall atmosphere you’re looking for, one neighborhood may really stand out to you compared to the rest.
By the end of this post, you should have a good idea of which neighborhood is best for you and your travel needs!
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HONG KONG IN A NUTSHELL
Here’s a quick overview of all the useful info you need to plan an awesome trip!
When To Go: October through December (peak season). January to April or June to September (off-season, good for decent weather and fewer crowds).
Where To Stay: Popular areas to stay in include Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Causeway Bay. You can discover some of my favorite Hong Kong accommodations in this post!
Nearest Airport: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
How to Get Around: Public transportation all the way! Hong Kong has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trains, trams, and ferries. The Octopus card is a super convenient way to pay for transportation and can be used on most forms of public transportation.
Must-Do’s: Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak for epic views of the city skyline, visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, eat loads of dim sum, go to Hong Kong Disneyland, and party it up in Lan Kwai Fong (LKF).
Before You Go: Pack comfortable shoes for walking around the city, and be prepared for the humidity and occasional rain. If sightseeing is one of your top priorities, consider grabbing the Go City Hong Kong digital attraction pass to save loads of money on attractions! You can buy the Go City Hong Kong pass online here.
Internet access: If your phone plan doesn’t include free international data, we recommend getting a prepaid SIM card for internet access during your stay in Hong Kong. Another option is to use Airalo, an affordable eSIM option for travelers. With Airalo, you just purchase a data plan online and activate it on your phone without the hassle of purchasing a physical SIM card or picking it up in person!
Local Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) – click for current conversion rates
‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Cantonese:
- ‘Hello’ in Cantonese: Nei hou or Lei hou (你好)
- ‘Thank You’ in Cantonese: M̀h’gōi (唔該)
What Is Hong Kong Known For?
Hong Kong is known for its vibrant and diverse culture, as well as its status as a major financial hub in Asia. It is home to a bustling port, a skyline filled with skyscrapers, and a number of tourist attractions such as Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, and the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.
The city is also known for its delicious cuisine, which includes a wide variety of Cantonese dishes and street food.
In addition, Hong Kong is known for its shopping, with a variety of markets, shopping malls, and boutiques that offer a wide range of products.
So where is the best place to situate yourself so you can be in the middle of all the action?
If you’re visiting Hong Kong for the first time, I recommend staying in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) on the Kowloon side. There’s so much to see and do around this area, plus it has direct connections to practically everywhere in the city!
Keep reading below to learn more about TST, as well as three other neighborhoods I recommend staying in.
Understanding The Different Parts Of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is divided into three main regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. These regions are separated by Victoria Harbour, which is a large body of water that runs between them.
Hong Kong Island is located to the south of Victoria Harbour and is the most urbanized and developed part of the city. It is home to the city’s central business district, as well as many of its major tourist attractions, such as Victoria Peak, the Central–Mid-Levels escalator, and Ocean Park.
Kowloon is located to the north of Victoria Harbour and is the most densely populated part of the city. It is known for its bustling streets, markets, and shopping areas, such as the Nathan Road shopping district, Temple Night Market, and the Mong Kok Ladies Market.
The New Territories are located to the north and east of Kowloon and consist of a large area of land that includes a number of smaller towns and villages. This region is less developed and more residential than Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. This is where you’ll find the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Kam Shan Country Park, and a lot of other great countryside hiking opportunities.
Where To Stay In Hong Kong: 4 Best Neighborhoods
Tsim Sha Tsui
Best for: First-timers looking to stay in a central location to all parts of Hong Kong. You’ll get easy access to both the Kowloon side and the Hong Kong side.
- Close to: Lantau Island and Hong Kong Disneyland, ferry to Macau, Mongkok, Jordan, K11 Musea, Temple Street Night Market, Avenue of Stars, Symphony of Lights nightly show, lots and lots of museums, Kowloon Park
- Direct Bus To/From Airport: Yes (A21)
- Direct Train To/From Airport: No (requires a quick transfer from Red Line to Airport Express)
Tsim Sha Tsui, also known as TST, is a neighborhood located in the southern part of the Kowloon Peninsula. It is one of the most popular areas for tourists to stay in Hong Kong, thanks to its convenient location and abundance of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the busiest areas in Hong Kong and the best place to stay if you want to experience the full spectrum of Hong Kong, from luxury shopping all the way to off-the-beaten-path dai pai dongs that only the locals frequent.
Tsim Sha Tsui is also home to many of Hong Kong’s top attractions, such as the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
The neighborhood is also a shopper’s paradise, with numerous malls and markets to explore, including the famous Nathan Road, which is lined with souvenir shops, electronics stores, and local boutiques.
If you’re looking for high-end shopping, head to hotspots like K11 Musea, Harbour City, or 1881 Heritage. If you’re looking for indie boutique shopping, this neighborhood is a gold mine for that–just head to places like Granville Road or Mira Place. Looking for vintage? You’ll find a lot of options in TST.
Food-wise, you’ll find everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to dim sum shops where the menus are completely in Chinese. It’s so diverse here!
Really, there’s something for everyone in TST!
One of the reasons I love staying in the TST area is because of its location in relation to the MTR. TST is home to the Tsim Sha Tsui Station and the Tsim Sha Tsui East station. You basically get direct access to not one, but two subway lines!
It’s just a couple of stops away from Central, and it’s on the Tseun Wan line (red line), which will bring you to all the popular spots on the Kowloon side.
There are various accommodation options in Tsim Sha Tsui, ranging from budget options to luxury ones.
Luxury Hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui
The Peninsula – The grand-daddy of all hotels in TST! Known as the ‘Grande Dame of the Far East’, this 5-star hotel prides itself on being Hong Kong’s oldest hotel with nearly a century of excellence. Even if you don’t stay here, you should try to experience their afternoon tea (one of the most popular things to do while in HK)!
Kowloon Shangri-La – Another popular hotel in the area that offers stunning views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong Island skyline, 7 dining options, an indoor pool, and elegantly decorated rooms.
Budget-Friendly Hotels In Tsim Sha Tsui
Page148, Page Hotels – a hip and modern hotel that’s pretty darn affordable for this part of town! This was my second choice when doing research on where to stay for my own trip.
Best for: Business travelers, people looking to be close to all the hip and modern restaurants, top-notch nightlife, luxury shopping
- Close to: all the piers where the ferries take off (to destinations like Tai O, Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, Macau, etc.), Victoria Peak, Ocean Park, Cat Street Flea Market, Hong Kong Observation Wheel, Upper Lascar Row, Hollywood Road arts district
- Direct Bus To/From Airport: Yes (E11 and A11)
- Direct Train To/From Airport: Yes (Airport Express)
Central is the business and financial hub of Hong Kong, and it is also a popular place for tourists to stay. The neighborhood is known for its towering skyscrapers, high-end shopping options, and excellent dining and entertainment options.
Central is home to many of Hong Kong’s top attractions, such as the Hong Kong Bank Museum and the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. The neighborhood is also a shopper’s paradise, with numerous malls and markets to explore, such as the Landmark and the Pacific Place.
For people looking for nightlife, you’ll be glad to know that Lan Kwai Fong – or LKF as locals like to call it – Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife area, is located around here. If you plan to have late nights out, staying at a hotel that’s within walking distance or just a short taxi ride away is key.
While Central is quite conveniently located, I’ve found things on this side to be more expensive than on the Kowloon side (food, shopping, groceries, etc.).
It’s also a lot hillier than other parts of Hong Kong. While this might not a dealbreaker for you, it is something to keep in mind if you’re traveling with children or elderly family members.
Luxury Hotels In Central
Four Seasons – like with all Four Seasons, this one offers an impeccable list of services and amenities ranging from Michelin-starred dining, a 24-hour fitness center, a vitality lounge at the spa, and two outdoor pools. Expect world-class service!
The Mandarin Oriental – a really popular choice for travelers looking for a luxurious hotel experience! The hotel features stylish rooms, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool with panoramic views of the city.
The Upper House – another amazingly highly-rated hotel in the area, offering modern rooms and excellent facilities, including a fitness center and a spa. It directly links to Admiralty MTR station and provides free yoga classes during the weekend.
Budget-Friendly Hotels In Central
Butterfly on LKF Boutique Hotel Central – this boutique hotel has less than 50 rooms but is in a great location for a great price.
Best for: travelers looking to enjoy hip and modern establishments
- Close to: Victoria Harbor, Ocean Park, Wan Chai Heritage Trail, Sun Street, Wan Chai Ferry Pier (can quickly bring you to TST and the Kowloon side), equidistant from Central and Causeway Bay (close to both, you get the best of both worlds!)
- Direct Bus To/From Airport: Yes (E11 and A11)
- Direct Train To/From Airport: No (requires a quick transfer from Blue Line to Airport Express)
Wan Chai is a neighborhood located on the north side of Hong Kong Island. While it was once run-down, this neighborhood is coming up as one of the most interesting and diverse districts in the city.
As one of the earliest British settlements in Hong Kong, Wan Chai’s atmosphere is quite unique. You’ll get to see the Colonial era influence through its architecture and the presence of many pubs, while still finding a large amount of traditional Chinese buildings, shops and restaurants.
Wan Chai is a great place to stay when visiting Hong Kong for a number of reasons, including its hip and lively atmosphere, excellent dining and entertainment options, and convenient location.
One of the main advantages of staying in Wan Chai is its convenient location.
The neighborhood is easily accessible from the airport via the Airport Express train, and it is also well-connected to other parts of the city via the MTR subway system. This makes it easy to explore all that Hong Kong has to offer, whether you are interested in shopping, dining, or sightseeing.
Another reason why Wan Chai is a great place to stay is its lively atmosphere. The neighborhood is known for its bars, clubs, and restaurants, which offer a wide range of dining and entertainment options.
Whether you are looking for a casual meal at a local restaurant or a night out on the town, you’ll definitely find something that fits your budget.
In terms of accommodation, Wan Chai has a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. There are budget hotels and hostels for travelers on a tight budget, as well as luxury hotels for those who want to indulge in a little bit of luxury.
Luxury Hotels In Wan Chai
Mira Moon – This is the first boutique hotel under the Mira Hotel Collection and the well-awarded Boutique Hotel in Hong Kong!
The Fleming Hong Kong – Renovated in October 2017, The Fleming Hong Kong features classy rooms and luxurious bathrooms inspired by Hong Kong’s iconic cross-harbor ferries.
Budget-Friendly Hotels In Wan Chai
Wharney Hotel – Conveniently located in Wan Chai, Wharney Hotel is a super-affordable option just a 3-minute walk from Wan Chai MTR Station.
Best for: shopping, nightlife, and families
- Close to: premier shopping areas, awesome nightlife, Ocean Park, North Point Ferry Pier (easy access to Kowloon side), Victoria Park, closest neighborhood in this list to the Dragon’s Back Hike
- Direct Bus To/From Airport: Yes (E11 and A11)
- Direct Train To/From Airport: No (requires a quick transfer from Blue Line to Airport Express)
Known as the Shinjuku of Hong Kong, Causeway Bay is a bustling neighborhood located on the north side of Hong Kong Island. It is known as the biggest retail district as well as being a great place to stay for families.
If shopping is your main objective on your trip to Hong Kong, then you need to stay in or near Causeway Bay. Causeway Bay is home to some of Hong Kong’s most popular shopping malls, such as the Times Square shopping mall and Sogo Department Store.
International brands not your thing? No worries, head to Island Beverly or Laforet for hip, adorable, and unique shopping opportunities!
A true shopper’s paradise, you’ll find all the biggest international brands in this neighborhood, as well as small indie boutiques!
Traveling with kids or teens? You’ll be glad to know that Causeway Bay’s become a hub for entertainment, with lots of gaming and VR opportunities abound.
Causeway Bay is also known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
Luxury Hotels In Causeway Bay
The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman Hotel – This newly refurbished luxury hotel is quite affordable and just a 2-minute walk from Causeway Bay MTR, located right across Victoria Park.
Lanson Place Hotel – a luxury boutique hotel housed in a French-style building that’s tucked away on a quiet street but still within walking distance from some of the best restaurants and shopping in the area.
Budget-Friendly Hotels In Causeway Bay
Eco Tree Hotel Causeway Bay – affordable and newly renovated as of September 2018!
Best Place To Stay in Hong Kong On A Budget
There are several neighborhoods in Hong Kong that are known for being more budget-friendly than others, and the best place for you to stay will depend on your specific needs and interests. Here are a few options to consider:
Mong Kok: This neighborhood is known for its markets and street food, and it has a wide range of accommodation options, including guesthouses and hostels that can be more affordable than hotels.
Jordan: Located near the harbor and the Temple Street Night Market, Jordan is another neighborhood that is popular with budget travelers. It has a number of guesthouses, hostels, and budget hotels, as well as a range of dining and shopping options.
Yau Ma Tei: This neighborhood is home to the Jade Market and the Temple Street Night Market, and it also has a number of budget-friendly accommodation options, including guesthouses and hostels.
Tsuen Wan: Located in the New Territories, Tsuen Wan is a more residential area that is a bit further out from the city center. It has a number of affordable hotels and lots of affordable shopping as well, and it is well-connected to the rest of the city by public transportation.
Mong Kok, Jordan, and Yau Ma Tei are relatively close to each other and are within walking distance (or just 1 or 2 subway stops away) from each other.
It is worth noting that prices can vary depending on the time of year and other factors, so it may be worth shopping around to find the best deal.
Consider Getting The Go City Hong Kong Attraction Pass
This easy-to-use mobile attraction pass can really help you see a lot of Hong Kong’s best attractions in a really short amount of time, and it can help you save a ton of money while doing so!
The Go City Hong Kong Pass is a digital attraction pass that provides easy access and admission to some of HK’s most popular museums and excursions. With certain excursions, you’re even able to skip the line, saving you both money and time.
The Go City All-Inclusive Pass is really great for travelers who want to see as much as possible while they’re in Hong Kong. With the All-Inclusive Pass, you can choose between a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7-day pass that will give you free admission to 20+ museums and attractions throughout the city.
The pass includes admission to the following heavy-hitters and immersive experiences:
- Hong Kong Disneyland 1-Day Ticket: HK$759.00 normal ticket value
- Ngong Ping 360: Cable Car & Ngong Ping Village Experiences: HK$335.00 normal ticket value
- Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour – Discover Ticket: HK$380.00 normal ticket value
- Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck: HK$218.00
- Noah’s Ark: HK$198.00
- Aberdeen 1773 Fishing Heritage: Sampan and Houseboat Audio Tour: HK$220.00
- Ngong Ping 360 Tai O Pass: HK$315.00
- Monopoly Dreams: HK$260.00
- Authentic Peking Duck Meal at Peking Garden: HK$550.00
- Big Bus Night Tour: HK$320.00
- Hong Kong Heritage and History Tour: HK$450.00
- World War 2 Walking Tour: HK$500.00
- Hong Kong Maritime Museum: HK$30.00
- Peak Tram Special Combo (Peak Tram & Sky Terrace 428): HK$148.00
- Beginners’ Chinese Ink Painting Class: HK$550.00
- Baking Ideas: Traditional Egg Tart Class: HK$399.00
- Chinese Tea Appreciation Workshop: HK$380.00
- Hurricane Candle Holder Workshop: HK$480.00
- The Art Of Chocolate Workshop and Tasting: HK$178.00
- Legend Heroes Park: HK$380.00
Prices start at HK$1479 (~ $180 USD) for the adult admission 2-day All-Inclusive Pass and you can visit literally as many attractions as you can fit into each day! If you opt for more consecutive days on your pass, the pass actually gets cheaper on a per-day basis.
If you don’t plan on visiting a ton of different attractions, Go City also has an Explorer Pass which will still save you a lot of money. With the Explorer Pass, you’ll pay one flat fee for a 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7-choice pass.
The Explorer Pass is best for ticking off a few of your must-sees!
You’ll then have 60 days to use the Explorer Pass on whichever attractions you’d like. There is also no need to pick attractions ahead of time, so you’ll have the flexibility to choose attractions as you go.
Passes start at HK$799 (~ $100 USD) for 3 choices. But similar to the All-Inclusive option, the more choices you opt for, the cheaper it costs per activity!
DEAL ALERT: For a limited time, use the above link + the promo code AFFGOALL for an additional 5% off your Go City pass. This code is valid for any Go City pass in any destination!
Hong Kong Travel Insurance
This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.
I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.
True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun… and most definitely not cheap.
Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!
One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.
SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, THEY will cover the medical expenses.
In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as:
- emergency medical evacuation – very much needed if you like to go hiking or backpacking in the wild.
- travel delay
- lost checked luggage
- adventure sports coverage (add-on) – so you can rappel down waterfalls, cave dive, mountain bike, scuba dive, etc. with peace of mind.
- electronics theft (add-on) – get reimbursed if your laptop, phone, camera or other electronics get stolen.
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