Hong Kong is one of the most developed cities in the world, with a population of over 7 million people. Even though this city is well known for its impressive buildings and the famous stock exchange, Hong Kong also has an astonishing cultural identity. The following article aims to present the most iconic cultural vestiges and activities, explaining why are they so important.
We're showcasing 15 free attractions to fit in your Hong Kong itinerary, perfect for travellers on a tight budget. Let's start!
1) Hong Kong Heritage Museum
This museum is a true sanctuary of art, impressive culture and history. Because of its interactive galleries and diverse exhibits, the Heritage Museum manages to display the true identity of this city. There are six permanent art exhibits, that are presenting different times of Hong Kong, in an accurate and engaging way. This museum is also known for its theatre section, where visitors can attend some live cultural performances. The ticket price (per person) is around $10, but if you travel in a group you can enter the museum for free.
2) Big Buddha & PO Lin Monastery
Hidden on the top of the mountains, the PO Lin Monastery is one of the most representative religious vestiges in Hong Kong. This settlement is considered a true icon of Buddhism, and as soon as you get there you will understand why. Even though this monastery has no imposing details or joyful colours, it impresses through simplicity and spirituality. Another important attraction here is the Big Buddha statue. Located at a 34 m altitude, this bronze statue ''guards'' the entire city, and it's being visited every year, by millions of pilgrims.
3) The Cheung Chau Bun Festival
If you want to explore the true cultural identity of Hong Kong, you have to attend the Cheung Chau Bun festival. This is a true manifestation of Hong Kong's cultural heritage, featuring different folkloric and traditional items. Here, you will have the chance to see a historical festival and to observe how people were living their lives, 2,000 years ago. Because the festival is dedicated to Pak Tai or, "The Buddha Birthday", you should visit the Pak Tai temple as well. The whole settlement embraces a celebratory atmosphere, and it will worth a visit.
4) Wing Chun Martial Arts
Martial arts were always an important part of the Hong Kong legacy. If you are fond of this art and you want to experience it exactly where it was invented, then you must visit Hong Kong. These lessons are following the same ancient principles, that trained many martial artists like Bruce Lee or Yip Man. By taking a Wing Chun tour, you will have the chance to learn some of the moves, visit the statue of Bruce Lee and many other interactive exhibitions.
5) Traditional Hong Kong Massage Therapy
It's no longer a secret that massage therapy was invented in Hong Kong. Even though this practice is performed all over the world, Hong Kong is the city where you can benefit from an authentic massage. There are many massage centres all around the city and here, you can receive a relaxing and original therapy at really cheap prices. The employees are performing the same techniques as their ancestors, and this way, you will have the chance to experience some of the Hong Kong's cultures, in a pleasant and relaxing way.
6) Victoria's Peak (The Peak)
Number one tourist attraction is definitely Victoria's Peak (The Peak) located in the heart of the city. Victoria's Peak lets its guests take a peak of an absolutely amazing, breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding area. This is definitely one place you must visit while in Hong Kong, especially if you're on a tight budget as visiting The Peak is free of charge.
7) 43rd-floor observatory deck
Bank of China Tower is located in the same area as Victoria's Peak, just head straight and you'll get to the 43rd-floor observatory deck where you'll get an amazing view for free. They're open from Monday to Friday from 9 am - 6 pm and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday.
8) Nan Lian Garden
This breathtaking garden is the most beautiful spot in Hong Kong with bridges, beautiful trees, flowers, greenery and even a vegetarian restaurant which represents the cultural and natural heritage. You will be absolutely glad that you took a visit to the Nan Lian Gardens.
9) Trying Duck Roast al local restaurants
If you're a true cultural traveller, then you can not miss the world most famous Duck Roast at Yung Kee Restaurant. Winner of many local culinary awards this authentic Chinese restaurant is worth tasting and spending some extra cash. If a 5-star restaurant is not in your budget, don't hesitate there are plenty more places and local areas that serve delicious traditional food and a budget friendly restaurants that you definitely need to visit.
10) Symphony of Lights
When you're at Victoria Harbour you simply can't miss a spectacular multimedia laser show at 8 pm. The show, called the Symphony of Lights, celebrates the spirit, energy and diversity of this town. The symphony lasts for 15 minutes and is held from more than 40 buildings on all sides of Victoria Harbour. If you're looking for the place to enjoy the show, trying the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. What is great about this attraction that is absolutely free.
11) Dr. Sun Yat Sen Museum, Hong Kong Science Museum, Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense
These are some of the most popular museums you'll find in Hong Kong. They're mostly overlooked as most visitors pay a visit to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, but if you find yourself in Hong Kong on Wednesday, we advise you spend your day exploring these five beauties for free!
12) Hong Kong Cultural Centre
The centre is located along the popular Tsim Sha Tsui promenade and is home to many traditional, cultural events. It can host more than 4000 guests and they distribute free tickets for those who arrive first.
13) Wan Chai
Wan Chai is popular for hosting concerts of some of the best local musicians. Here you'll be able to enjoy from classical music to jazz and indie, for free!
Hong Kong has some pretty surf-beaten coastlines that you can visit for free and enjoy some time relaxing while on vacation.
15) Spiritual places
Hong Kong is a place full of spiritual places that are usually free to see and something you really need to visit while on your travel trip. From hundreds of nunneries and temples to synagogues, churches and mosques, they're almost all are free of charge. Experience the architecture and history in a quiet ambience of these worship places.
Hong Kong is one of the most interesting cultural sanctuaries in the world. Visit it and see how this city managed to evolve, keeping its cultural and architectural legacy intact.