Asia Hong Kong Travel Tips

How to do Hong Kong on a Budget- Sightseeing

How to do Hong Kong on a Budget Part 3 Sightseeing

Welcome to part three of How to do Hong Kong on a Budget. Last week was all about where to find cheap food in Hong Kong. Part one was about how to sleep in Hong Kong without blowing your backpacker budget, and today is about all the things you can do in Hong Kong for little or no money! 


 Seeing the Sights of Hong Kong for Free! 


When it came to things to do in Hong Kong on a backpacker budget, I was pleasantly surprised. There was lots for us to do each day, and we managed to see a lot in a short space of time.



budget sightseeing hong kong

Walk, walk, walk. Hong Kong is an exciting and vibrant treat for the eyes. The best way to see it is to just stroll around.

hongkong street scene budget sightseeing

 Once you step outside your door, you are sightseeing. The busy streets packed with people make Hong Kong a vibrant city, and the fabulous footwear worn by the young people is enough to keep you amused alone, and very jealous!

hong kong streets feet

From the skyscrapers and bright lights, to the fascinating people watching and the shoe envy, taking a stroll around Hong Kong is the best sightseeing you can do.


Luxury Living


tiffany hong kong budget sightseeing

Hong Kong is also a city of luxury. Just because you have the tiniest of budgets doesn’t mean you can’t take in a bit of the finer life for free. Everywhere you turn there are designer stores; from Channel, to Tiffany, to an endless supply of designer watch stores. In the evenings, we saw people queuing outside these designer stores on a few occasions. It was strange to think that the stores had such demand that there were queues. Maybe they were waiting to enter to buy an exclusive bag or something, but even still, it was pretty surreal.

budget sightseeing hong kong chanel store

There are some really nice hotels around too, but beware, they may have you longing to trade in your 6 foot room in one of the Nathan Road Mansions!

Hong Kong Skyline


skyline by day hong kong on a budget

One of Hong Kong’s claims to fame is its impressive skyline. When we were there, it was really overcast and smoggy, but we could still make out the impressive buildings, although we did have to squint a little! The area of Kowloon around the Avenue of the Stars is a great spot to see the skyline on the other side of Victoria Harbour, and likewise, from the other side, the view is also great.

hong kong skyline sightseeing free

At night, the buildings are lit up, and so they are much easier to see!


Avenue of the Stars


Avenue of the Stars, Hong Kong thetraveloguer

Located on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade on Victoria Harbour is Hong Kong’s Avenue of the Stars. Very like the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, the Avenue of Stars celebrates the best of Asian film. It makes for a slightly strange tourist attraction, as the names are mostly unfamiliar, and seeing other people going crazy to get their photos taken next to them is a little funny.

Avenue of the Stars people taking photo thetraveloguer

It also gives a different perspective on the Hollywood version, in that going crazy over a tile in the floor doesn’t really make sense!

bruce lee thetraveloguer budget travel

Star Ferry

COST: Tsim Shu Tsui to Central- $5.30 (and if you want to go from Tsim Shu Tsui to Wanchai, it’s only $2.20 HK!)

Star Ferry hong kong cheap sightseeing

This is an absolute gem of a tourist attraction for anyone visiting Hong Kong on a budget. For $5.30 HK you get to board a nice ferry and enjoy a short journey across the water to Hong Kong Central. I couldn’t get over the price of the ticket, by Hong Kong standards it is an absolute steal, and it seems like the kind of experience you could easily pay $20 AU or more for in another city.

thetraveloguer man on star ferry

The journey is very peaceful and offers great views of both skylines as you cruise along. When we were in Hong Kong, it was very overcast and smoggy, as you can see from the above image of the skyline during the day. When we were on the Star Ferry, we were able to get a better look at the skyline of Central than we could when we were standing on the Tsim Shu Tsui side.

hong kong ferry sightseeing on a budget thetraveloguer

If you are coming from Tsim Shu Tsui, when you get off the ferry the contrast of being in a more business-like district is refreshing. From there, you’re free to wander the sometimes very steep hills and dart in and out of tiny lane ways which house jam-packed market stalls.

We only did one return trip on the Star Ferry, but I would have liked to have done it again. I would say it is a must-do if you are visiting Hong Kong. The ferries have been making the journey since 1888!


Central Mid-Levels Escalators


hong kong budget sightseeing

This was something I was really excited to do before we got to Hong Kong. They are the longest outdoor covered escalators in the world, but I was excited to see the different slices of Hong Kong life, all while standing on a moving escalator!

hong kong street scene thetraveloguer

Travelling up the escalators was really fun, I loved seeing all the different scenes and people of Hong Kong, and found it very hard not to hang over the side for ages, just staring down and around. At some points, the escalators travel right beside buidlings, so it is perfect for people watching, and slightly pervy!

hong kong life escalators budget sights

As you rise, you go through different areas, including a lovely looking hipster area with tiny little bars facing the escalators. Unfortunately, they were out of our price range, but they looked really good.

As we got close to the top, a couple of the escalators were out of service. This made the last bit of the journey a little unpleasant, as we had to take the stairs.

stairs escalators hong kong

We reached the top, but it wasn’t the actual top, so there were no views to be seen.

At that stage we were famished, and hot and tired, so we gave up on trying to find a way up, and headed back down, which was easier!


The Spectacle of Lights



This nightly light show and music sounded great, and we were pleased it was free. We were looking forward to seeing the Hong Kong skyline all lit up and showing off, hurried to finish our dinner on time and made our way to the waterfront. A huge crowd was gathered, which was impressive, as the Spectacle of Lights was on every night. But, once it began, it was a bit of a letdown. The buildings looked nice all lit up, but they were very spread out, so it was hard to see the full effect. I

found myself looking at a couple of buidlings that were doing a more interesting light display, rather than the whole picture. The music was a little bizarre, and with the crowds, it was kind of hard to see. That being said, I’m glad we got to see it, and that it was free. It is pretty cool of Hong Kong to do such a display every night.My favourite part was actually when it ended and the crowds thinned. The skyline was more obvious and I loved people watching.

hong kong skyline festival of lights


That’s the end of my Hong Kong on a Budget series, I hope they come in useful if anyone is planning a trip to Hong Kong. I am also going to do a post on getting your China visa in Hong Kong, but next week I’ll give another country a turn!

You can check out the other parts here…

how to do hong kong on a budget accommodation thetraveloguer


How to do Hong Kong on a budget eat

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  • Reply
    Miles of Happiness
    December 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Nice city, isn’t it?! So many things to do here! I’ve been living in this wonderful city for almost a year now and I cannot get enough of it. If you’re tempted to come back, here’s an article you would like : 😉 Enjoy your trips!!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    wow it looks fantastic and I really want to go there and I have some friends living there which gives me even more reason to go!! xxx

    • Reply
      Christine Maguire
      June 24, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      You definitely should try to go, especially if you have friends you can stay with!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Where night light and music show is held? How to get there from chungking mansion in Nathan road?

  • Reply
    February 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    1. Where is the music fountain in xian (largest in Asia)? Can I go there by subway from bell tower? What is entry fee ?
    2. I will be staying at super 8 dong si hto el in beijing. How i will go to that hotel from beijing west railway station by subway and walking?. Please give detail direction to the hotel.

  • Reply
    The Insider’s Guide to Beijing - The Traveloguer Travel Blog
    April 6, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    […] For wonderful photography and helpful suggestions, I highly recommend you check out her series on Hong Kong on a budget after reading this […]

  • Reply
    June 6, 2016 at 3:10 am

    The harbor was great at night. Perfect view. There are also a lot to see while walking along the Avenue of the Stars. The clock tower and Hong Kong Cultural Center are also worth stopping by. Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden are also a must visit. The place is also free of charge.
    Dexter recently posted…REASONS TO LOVE HONG KONGMy Profile

  • Reply
    Agness of a TukTuk
    February 18, 2017 at 6:36 am

    This was very informative, and entertaining to read! Been some time since I visited Hong Kong, totally brought back lots of great memories. These are awesome ways to explore and enjoy Hong Kong!

  • Reply
    Ashley Keith
    May 10, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Great article, Thanks so much for this!

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