The Best Places to Stay in Hong Kong – Tips and Advice
- Which areas in Hong Kong are best: If your preferences lean towards the pulsating thrum of a lively central area with an air of affluence, then the Central District may be ideal. You’ll find a wide range of activities geared towards chic fashion and high-range culinary delights, with price tags to match. If you fancy staying close to an area known for its exotic nightlife with echoes of a colonial era, then you may consider Wan Chai.
For a premier shopping district on the bay scenario, with a touch of individual flavor and character, Causeway Bay might be the ideal spot. The Southern District’s sand, sea, and nature trails may perhaps sound more like your idea of a holiday if you have a family, or by contrast, you might be more interested in diving into the crowds in some of the busiest areas like Tsim Sha Sui or Mong Kok.
- Beaches: as Hong Kong is an island there is certainly no shortage of beaches, from the popular touristy stretches like Shek O, Big Wave Bay, and Repulse Bay which are all relatively easy to access via the island’s MTR Line and bus routes to the quieter and slightly more challenging to access stretches like the ‘Maldives of Hong Kong’ Long Ke Wan, and the local favorite Half Moon Bay which requires a short ferry ride.
- Tourist areas: Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the most visited areas of Hong Kong and is an ideal place to start for any first-timers to the island. It’s got all the nightlife, cafes, shopping, markets, etc. that you need. Mong Kok is literally the busiest, most densely-populated area if you fancy blending in with the crowds, and Wan Chai is considered by many as one of the coolest places to stay.
The Central District is quite touristy due to its shopping malls, markets, and eating options, although it is actually the heart of the financial district. And although it isn’t likely to be the cheapest area to stay in, it is quite a popular choice for those with families.
- Staying in Hong Kong on a budget: Mong Kok is definitely one of the best neighborhoods for anyone traveling on a budget. With probably more by way of cheap & cheerful accommodation than any other region of Hong Kong, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your requirements. Plenty of Airbnb and hostel options, as well as night markets and cheap street food.
Hong Kong can seem like a maze of different districts and neighborhoods if you are not familiar with the territory. This can make deciding where to stay something of a challenge, especially as each area has its own characteristics and idiosyncrasies.
So we’ve tried to make that a bit easier with this guide by narrowing it down to 6 Hong Kong neighborhoods. Wherever you go in Hong Kong you will find something to be amazed by – whether it is the history, the architecture, the cuisine, or the cosmopolitan vibe — there’s something to suit all-comers according to travel style or budget!
Hong Kong Neighbourhood Guide
The 6 Best Areas To Stay In Hong Kong
1. Central District
Loosely defined as the Central District is an area of Hong Kong comprising Central, Admiralty, and Soho, which define the area as the financial district. This is the part of the city where lots of hard-earned gets made and spent. So as with any self-respecting Central Business District, there are plenty of impressive entertainment and leisure amenities.
The area pulsates during the day and the restaurants are packed during the evening. And this is not surprising considering the impressive cuisine, both local and international, that is on offer in the area.
The central area is a contrasting combination of colonial architecture and narrow streets, with a variety of official-looking buildings, like offices, banks, and other corporate entities, alongside high-end designer shopping malls and hotels. To add to the mix you’ll find an array of hostels, parks, and artisan markets.
Some of the names of the streets give further insights — Hollywood Road, Queens Road, and Des Voeux Road – where you can peruse such delights as fashion boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries.
What makes a place like Hong Kong so diverse and interesting though is that if you head towards Li Yuen East and Li Yuen West Streets, you’ll encounter local street markets plying Chinese pottery, herbal remedies, and inexpensive accessories and clothing – as well as an interesting range of street food.
- ($$$) JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong • Direct access to MTR Metro and Pacific Place Shopping Mall
- ($$) Hotel Madeira Hollywood • 200 m from Soho, 500 m from Lan Kwai Fong
- ($) Mini Hotel Central • 5-minute walk from Peak Tram Station, a 5-minute drive from Macau Ferry Terminal
- ($$$) Panda Hotel • Central location close to transport networks, 30-minute drive to train station
- ($) Commune Castle Peak • Facing Tsing Ma Bridge, 4 persons per room
- ($$$) One96 • Close to multiple MTR stations and malls
- ($$) 2 BDR Soho • 3-minute walk to Central MTR station, 10-minute walk to Peak Tram station
- ($) Double Bed Soho • Walking distance to bus and tram stations, restaurants, and bars nearby
2. Wan Chai
If you’re looking for a cool place to stay in Hong Kong, then you won’t go too far wrong with Wan Chai. This is a region of the island that still retains echoes of the colonial past although that is changing.
Traditionally this area of Hong Kong was a small village area that housed locals working in and around the docks. At night the area would transform into something of a raucous affair, like virtually any sea port the world over, which may have had something to do with the hordes of visiting sailors looking for a good time.
Wan Chai these days isn’t quite as rowdy as it might have been in the past, but it still has some of the best nightlife, bars, and clubs in the city. This is a Hong Kong district that has definitely embraced the cool, chic, and trendy elements of any self-respecting modern city as it has evolved.
And although you’ll still encounter a fair few of the old tenement buildings and temples in the area, they are increasingly competing for space with newer and ever trendier bars, restaurants, and clubs. The good thing is the prices are a bit lower in this area in terms of both the nightlife and restaurant options, as well as the accommodation.
You might consider checking out Wan Chai on foot, especially the Wan Chai Heritage Trail walk. This is definitely the best way to delve a bit deeper into the history of the area, especially in terms of the colonial heritage, and get a real feel of the neighborhood. You should also notice the extensive street art that decorates much of the roadways and walls in the area while walking.
- ($$$) Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel • Overlooking Victoria Harbour, 5-minutes to the city center and 10-minute drive to Victoria Peak
- ($$) The Harbourview • 5-minute walk from Wan Chai MTR, 45 minutes from the airport
- ($) Kew Green Hotel • 2-minute walk to MTR, nearby shopping and entertainment
- ($$$) Check Inn HK • 5 minutes from Wan Chai MTR, 45-minute drive from the airport
- ($$) Comfort Hostel • Close to MTR Causeway Bay station and Victoria Park
- ($$$) The SEVVA House • 18th floor, close to Wan Chai and Causeway Bay stations
- ($$) Wan Chai DBL • Close to Wan Chai MTR and airport bus
- ($$) 9 Boutique Hotel • 3 minutes from MTR and central areas
3. Causeway Bay
Undoubtedly you’ve heard that Hong Kong is good for shopping? Well right on the border of Wan Chai you will find probably the main shopping district in Causeway bay.
Here is a part of the city that went from being a medieval fishing village to one of Hong Kong’s busiest areas. Causeway Bay is now a highly developed area that not only converges with some parts of Wan Chai, but also reaches to Victoria harbor.
Shopping centers of all forms pack the modern but dense expanse of Causeway Bay, from the 13-story Sogo to Times Square, and smaller malls such as the World Trade Centre, Hang Lung Centre, Fashion Island, and Lee Garden.
It’s not all huge malls though, and you’ll find the network of narrow streets lined with local markets and businesses, as well as a fair few rather unique boutiques.
If that all sounds a little like shopping overkill, then this area is also home to Hong Kong’s Central Library, as well as a national monument by way of a 150-year-old Tin Hau Temple with a small garden.
You’ll also find the largest park in Hong Kong here as well — Victoria Park – and this is where you’ll find a distinct and welcome contrast to the high-rise shopping centers, by way of its ponds and fountains.
Hong Kong’s excellent MTR transportation system makes this and the surrounding areas easily accessible, and the iconic tram system is also worthy of a try. S with much of Hong Kong though, the best way to get around is on foot if you can muster the required energy.
You’ll find plenty of mid to high ranged hotels in this region, and it is a popular area of Hong Kong to stay in if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle and the heavy leaning towards retail.
- ($$$) The Park Lane • 2-minute walk to MTR station, a 10-minute walk from shopping and entertainment
- ($$) Regal Hong Kong Hotel • 28 km from Chep Lap Kok airport, 5 minutes from MTR station
- ($) Nina Hotel Causeway Bay • 3-minute walk from Tin Hau MTR, 5 minutes from the temple
- ($$) Star Way Hotel • Close to HK Exhibition Centre and HK Stadium, 26 km from the airport
- ($) Hong Kong Inn • 5-minute walk from MTR station
- ($) Hong Kong Hostel • Near Fashion Walk, 5 minutes from MTR station
- ($$$) Interior Designer Space • 3 minutes to MTR, fashion and food outlets nearby
- ($$) Designer Studio • At the top of Fashion Street/Food Street
- ($) Superior Room • In a quiet corner of Causeway within reach of shopping and entertainment
4. Southern District
If modern shopping complexes aren’t exactly your idea of a holiday and you are thinking more along the lines of sun, sea, and sand – then maybe you should head for Hong Kong’s Southern District. You’ll even find yourself in the midst of local forest, fauna, and nature trails. And perhaps you’d be inspired by a little colonial history and theme parks.
With surrounding forested hillsides, golden sand beaches, and a fair helping of residential areas, here you’ll find another side of Hong Kong entirely. Even though you are not so far away from the Central District thanks to the MTR system, you’ll think you’ve landed on a different planet in comparative terms.
While the Southern District is a popular destination for Hong Kong’s local weekend vacationers, it is also a somewhat upscale residential area. On the eastern side, you’ll find Repulse Bay, where affluent Hong Kong locals and various ex-pats reside, while districts like Aberdeen on the opposite side are somewhat more urbanized.
If you hold any interest in Hong Kong’s colonial history, you can visit one of the oldest examples in the former barracks of Murray House, or maybe the Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum, for a peek into the harsh reality of the colonial justice system.
But there’s Chinese culture in these parts too, by way of the Tin Hau Temple at Stanley, and this is also the area to check out a spot of Dragon Boat Racing.
If that’s not enough to keep you busy there are three country parks in the Southern District — Stanley Ma Hang Park, Pok Fu Lam Country Park, and Aberdeen Country Park. Or if you don’t fancy anything other than sampling some of Hong Kong’s finest beaches, then you have a choice of nine in total, along with a variety of water sports.
- ($$$) The Arca • 1.4 km from Ocean Park, 2.9 km from Victoria Peak
- ($$$) Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriot Hotel • Next to Ocean Park MTR, aquarium in hotel
- ($$) Bluejay Residences • 40 minutes from the airport, 20-minutes from the peak
Honestly not much in terms of hostels in the Southern District – better off in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and Mong Kok if you’re really on a budget and hostels are your only option
- ($$$) YHA Jockey Club Mt. Davis Youth Hostel • Views of Tsing Ma Bridge and Victoria Harbour, 20 km from the airport
- ($$$) Private Room in Stanley Oriental Hotel 5 minutes’ walk from Stanley Market, Hong Kong Heritage, and temple
- ($$) Wong Chuk Hang Apartment Grandview Gardens, near the bus terminal
- ($$) Harbour View 1BF Balcony view of Aberdeen Harbour
5. Tsim Sha Tsui
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete if it didn’t include a visit to the Kowloon Peninsula. Here is a region of Hong Kong with everything from museums and cultural centers to duty-free, high-end mall shopping. Then there are the endless markets and unique little shops. In fact, Kowloon is undoubtedly one of the busiest tourist areas in Hong Kong.
In order to get to Kowloon from Hong Kong Island, you’ll need to take a 10-minute trip on the Victoria Harbour Star Ferry. These ferry boats have been in operation since the mid-19th century, and once you reach the other side, you’ll find yourself in Tsim Sha Tsui.
If food is on your mind in this area, you’ll find much diversity whether by way of fine dining in one of the many high-rise restaurants, or the Taiwanese or Korean street food.
The harbor is actually something of a focal point in this region, whether by way of dining, accommodation, or some of the many activities based around the area. There is also a fairly broad selection of hotel accommodation across all ranges.
The Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is where you’ll find the Avenue of Stars comprising more than 100 plaster-cast handprints of Hong Kong’s famous martial arts movie stars.
In the Nathan Road region, you’ll find Tsim Sha Tsui’s main stretch of restaurants, cafes, and high-end designer malls and boutiques. You won’t run short on food options around this area which has everything from Hong Kong dim sum and noodles, to European, Korean and Japanese fare.
- ($$$) Hyatt Regency • Outdoor pool, views of Victoria Harbour
- ($$$) The Mira Hong Kong • 5-minute walk from MTR station, 10-minute walk to ferry
- ($) Butterfly on Prat Boutique Hotel • 7-minute walk from MTR, 5-minute drive from Avenue of Stars
- ($$) Hop Inn • 3-minute walk from Victoria Harbour
- ($) Ashoka Hostel • 5-minute walk to Avenue of Stars and Kowloon Park
- ($) Delta Deluxe Hostel • 2-minute walk from iSquare Shopping Centre and MTR
- ($$$) Mahjong Hotspot • 8 guests, easy access to MTR and 5 minutes from Kowloon High-Speed Rail
- ($$) Hung Hom • Close to MTR, market, and restaurants
- ($) Luxury Stylish Design • Close to 3 different MTR stations – Austin, Jordan, and Kowloon, 3-10-minute walks
6. Mong Kok
To give you some idea about this particular region of Hong Kong, we’ll start by saying that it’s officially registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the busiest district in the world. Mmm.
So if you’re not put off by that and are ready to dive into the local culture, you might be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer in this district on the Kowloon peninsula.
Mong Kok is somewhat reminiscent of many a movie-style Chinatown, and you’ll find market streets with colorful banners hanging across the road on top of endless market stalls and shops selling pretty much everything you can think of.
As dusk begins to draw in you will see the streets and shops take on that familiar, illuminated neon lighting glow as the evening crowds keep the street food vendors and stallholders going.
Mong Kok’s streets are literally full of stalls plying something or other. You will also find that many of the streets are named after the products being sold in them, which is an old Chinese tradition.
So you’ll find ‘Tung Choi Street’ (Ladies market), ‘Yuen Po Street’ (Bird Garden), and ‘Fa Yuen Street’ (Sneaker Street), the stalls are selling pretty much what their (Chinese) names say they are. Flower Market Road, is an example of one of the streets named in English, and Goldfish Street another.
You might end up getting lost around here, but with its plethora of stalls, street food, and lots of bars, you might just find that Mong Kok has all the elements that people might go to any decent Chinatown in other countries looking for.
- ($$) Stanford Hotel • 10-minute walk from Mong Kok MTR, 10 minutes from Nathan Road
- ($$) Hotel 108 • Close to Mong Kok and 2 other MTR stations, 5 minutes from Fa Yuen Street
- ($) Hotel Ease Mong Kok • Next to Yau Ma Tei MTR, 10-minute walk to Temple Street
- ($$$) YHA Mai Ho House Youth Hostel • 5-minute walk from Sham Shui Po MTR, 35 minutes from the airport
- ($$) Yesinn @YMT • Walking distance to Ladies Market and Temple Street Market
- ($$$) B6 Double Standard • 21st floor, close to Mong Kok station, Lady Market, Sneaker Street, etc.
- ($$) MTR Austin ICC • Close to Temple Street, MTR
- ($) Family Room • 1-minute walk from MTR, 10 minutes from high-speed rail
Hong Kong is undoubtedly a diverse and in many ways unique Asian destination. It’s a city that you are unlikely to get bored in due to both its modern and historic aspects.
The fact that Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth means it’s vibrant and lively in most areas pretty much constantly. It has much to behold in terms of shopping, markets, amazing food, and bursting nightlife.
Wherever you decide to stay in Hong Kong, with a little careful planning beforehand you’ll find that this is an ideal holiday destination in many ways, whether you are traveling alone, in a couple, with a family, or even on a budget.
Best Hotels by Type
- Our top pick for best luxury hotel in this instance goes to the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View, for its views and location. It does indeed have an amazing view of the harbor and is in the vicinity of a high number of attractions
- The Nina Hotel Causeway Bay is definitely one of the best in terms of value for money, and again a prime location with a top view
- If it’s hotels more on the budget side you are looking for then you could do much worse than the Butterfly on Prat Boutique Hotel, which offers comfort and style not too far away from the action
- The best family hotel would most likely need to be in the Southern District, and so the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, complete with its own lobby aquarium, fits the bill perfectly
- When it comes to romantic hotels in Hong Kong, the Hyatt Regency is worth consideration as one of the tallest skyscrapers in Kowloon, with an outdoor heated swimming pool, luxurious rooms and suites, and some amazing views of Victoria Harbour.