What do I need to do before travelling?
We suggest that all our customers review foreign office advice for Hong Kong before travelling. Click here for the latest information from the foreign office.
What are the visa requirements?
British citizens do not require a visa to visit Hong Kong, for a stay of up to six months. You must hold a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the period of intended stay in Hong Kong.
How do I get downtown from Hong Kong Airport?
Located in Chep Lap Kok outside of Hong Kong City, Hong Kong International Airport is one of the world's busiest airports, serving more than 50 million passengers each year.
If you have not pre-booked transfers: The Airport Express Line is a dedicated airport railway providing a fast and reliable service to and from the airport and downtown Hong Kong (HK$100 one way). Trains depart daily, every 12 minutes, between 6am and 1am, and take around 25 minutes into Central. Free scheduled shuttle buses leave Hong Kong and Kowloon stations everyday, taking Airport Express passengers to and from major hotels plus key transport interchanges. There are nine Airbus routes that can take you to and from the airport and taxis are readily available from the taxi pick-up area in front of the arrivals hall.
What is the currency in Hong Kong?
The unit of currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD); HK$1 is divided into 100 cents. Major banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12:30pm on Saturday. Banks and moneychangers charge commission as do hotels that provide exchange services. All major credit cards are accepted and ATMs are widely distributed.
What languages are spoken in Hong Kong?
The official languages in Hong Kong are English and Cantonese. Cantonese is spoken by 88 per cent of people in Hong Kong. But English is also widely spoken and is the language of preference in the government, business and tourist sectors. All official signs and public transport announcements, as well as most menus, are bilingual. As a visitor, you can expect to encounter minimal problems communicating in English. Incidentally, Mandarin, China’s official dialect has become more widely spoken in Hong Kong since the reunification in 1997.
Are there any customs I should be aware of?
Littering and spitting are illegal in Hong Kong and will incur on the spot fines.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public places, including restaurants, karaoke venues, malls and bars.
Will I need to bring an adaptor?
Electrical current in Hong Kong is 220 volts, 50Hz. The majority of electrical outlets in Hong Kong take a three-pronged UK-style plug, however it is also worth taking a universal plug adaptor.
What is the cuisine like in Hong Kong?
Despite being a compact city, Hong Kong boasts more than 11,000 restaurants! With cuisine offerings from Chinese Barbecue to Cantonese dishes; French to Italian specialties; Mexican to American fast food and atmosphere ranging from sandwich bars to Michelin stars!
One of the most popular options is Dim Sum. This consists of an incredible variety of steamed or fried dumplings, buns, pastries and soups served for breakfast and lunch. Traditional favourites include Har Gau (shrimp dumpling) Siu Mai (pork dumpling) and Cha Siu Bau (barbecued pork in steamed bread). Dishes are usually served with Chinese tea which aids the digestion.
Jumbo Kingdom, in the district of Aberdeen, is worth a visit: one of the world’s largest floating restaurants it is designed like a Chinese palace, can seat up to 2,300 diners and serves high-quality traditional Chinese and fusion dishes.
Where are the best places for shopping in Hong Kong?
Shopping is the number one pastime in Hong Kong. There is something for everyone here and if you time it right - July to September and December to February - the city erupts with sale fever with discounts of up to 70%!
The latest electronics and every type of gadget and gizmo are available, and Hong Kong’s lack of sales tax and import duty means great prices can be had. The shops in Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay offer the most competitive prices.
Hong Kong boasts more jewellery stores per square kilometre than any other city in the world, partly down to the Chinese belief that precious stones ward off bad luck. Jewellery shops can be found just about everywhere and watches particularly are in vast supply.
Tailor-made clothing is a Hong Kong tradition and even extends now to hand made shoes and bespoke designed leather luggage! For off-the-peg fashion there’s an array of skyscraper shopping malls, factory outlets and chic boutiques to browse through.
The local markets are also worth visiting and enjoy a lively atmosphere – don’t miss a trip to historic Stanley Market where you can pick up everything from brand-name clothing to Oriental knick-knacks.
Is Hong Kong safe?
Hong Kong is considered a safe travel destination, although caution should always be exercised when travelling. Pickpockets are likely to target unsuspecting tourists so one should minimise this risk through vigilance and by leaving valuables locked up in hotel safes when possible. Be wary of accepting drinks from strangers, as reports of spiked drinks are on the increase.
What nightlife is available?
When the city shuts down for the day Hong Kong's nightlife kicks in! This is a late night city with British pubs, American bars, karaoke clubs and all-night dance clubs. Lan Kwai Fong is the city's premier night time entertainment spot with dozens of bars, restaurants and night spots crammed into a 3-block radius. A quick walk on the Central Mid-levels escalator will take you to nearby SoHo (south of Hollywood Road) packed with up market eateries and bars. Wan Chai, just east of Central Hong Kong, also boasts numerous bars and nightclubs.
Hong Kong also has a flourishing arts scene. Look out for the Hong Kong Arts Festival that showcases Asia’s top talents with performances from the classical to avant-garde, and the Hong Kong International Film Festival that showcases the best of Asian cinema as well as unearthing new talent. The Hong Kong Ballet Company, Hong Kong Dance Company and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra are internationally renowned.
How do I contact the Tourist Board?
Hong Kong Tourism has a dedicated team based in London. You can visit the office: 6th floor, Mutual House, 70 Conduit Street, London W1S 2GF; call them 020 7432 7700 or email them firstname.lastname@example.org