Hong Kong Island once housed the area’s original British settlement, and nowadays, it’s home to some of the city’s most popular attractions. Highlights include Victoria Peak and its tram, the Central Mid-Levels escalator, Aberdeen, Deep Water Bay, picturesque Repulse Bay, and Stanley Market. The Central and Causeway Bay areas of the island are prime destinations for shopping, eating, and sightseeing. Away from Victoria Harbour is a surprising amount of greenery in the island’s mountainous interior, as well as a beguiling coastline dotted with fishing villages, coves, and harbors.
Just about everyone who spends time in Hong Kong will find themselves on Hong Kong Island at one point or another. City tours, including hop-on hop-off bus tours, always make stops on the island, and the iconic Star Ferry passes between the island and Kowloon on the mainland. Catch the island’s highlights on a full- or half-day tour, or base yourself on the island to explore at a more leisurely pace, and know that the twin skylines of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are best appreciated from a cruise around Victoria Harbour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Hong Kong Island is a must-visit for every type of traveler, especially first-time visitors to Hong Kong.
- Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to do a fair bit of walking.
- Don’t forget an umbrella, as weather can be unpredictable in Hong Kong.
How to Get There
Central Station, a major transportation hub in the city, is situated on Hong Kong Island, giving travelers a wealth of options for how to arrive. The Hong Kong Airport Express train takes passengers from the airport to the island in under 30 minutes, and numerous buses, trams, ferries, and metro lines make stops all over the island. Riding the Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour from Kowloon is a quintessential Hong Kong experience for first-time visitors.
When to Get There
One of the best times to visit Hong Kong Island is between October and December, when room rates are reasonable and temperatures are comfortable. The summer months (June to September) are both the hottest and the wettest, with temperatures around 80°F (27°C). If you choose to visit just after New Year’s or during a Chinese holiday, expect Hong Kong hotel rates to jump.
Panoramic Views on Hong Kong Island
Some of the city’s best views and observation platforms can be found on Hong Kong Island. Victoria Peak’s Sky Terrace, the most popular by far, affords 360-degree views of the city’s sea of skyscrapers, while the International Finance Centre (IFC) building ranks as the tallest on the island and houses a free 55th-floor viewing platform that looks across the harbor to Kowloon. Another free option is the 46th-floor lobby inside Central Plaza in Wan Chai.