Hong Kong is a beautiful and expensive city to visit. Filled with high-priced hotels and multiple outlets of the world’s top designer brands, it’s certainly easy to spend money. The city is also home to many wonderful activities that cost little or no money. Here’s a list of my top five free (or almost free) things to do in Hong Kong:
Walk around. This may seem obvious but many visitors to this fast-paced city often spend too much time going from one site or activity to another. Walking is free and the city is so compact that exploring specific areas is easy. The double-decker trams are also a cheap option at $0.30 per ride and several lines (North Point to Western Market especially) cut right though the popular tourist areas, offering their own version of a hop-on, hop-off tour.
Bird Market. Our family has always enjoyed this uniquely Chinese experience in the heart of Kowloon on Yuen Po Street. With personal space at a premium in this tightly packed city, birds are a popular pet. This market is a world of birds and everything to do with them. In addition to all the vendors, many residents bring their own birds down to hang out.
Star Ferry. For only $0.32 per ride, the Star Ferry gives passengers a tremendous view of the skyline of Hong Kong Central going one way and Kowloon going the other way. It’s a great way to get across Victoria Harbour from one part of the city to the other and also a fun way to experience the city with locals (who take it to get back and forth as well).
Eat street food. Aside from some incredible Michelin-starred restaurants, the city has great street food too. Try the Causeway Bay neighborhood and just follow the crowds. There are many shops and stands serving all kinds of dim sum and other delicacies. The Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon is also a good place to find stall after stall of exotic offerings.
Visit the Peak by bus. Visiting Victoria Peak above Hong Kong and looking down at the city and harbor is one of the highlights of any visit. Instead of paying $10.50 to take the tram, pay $2.50 to ride the number 15 bus from Central to get to the top. Instead of eating at the tourist filled, over-priced restaurant at the peak, take a picnic lunch and enjoy the view.
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