It’s no secret that I’ve fallen in love with the concrete jungle that is Hong Kong and with its multitude of landscapes on offer, it truly is an explorer and Instagrammers dream. If you need to find a place that embodies both towering metropolis and natural beauty then Hong Kong is truly unique in its offering. The city is a mecca for international diversity whilst maintaining a rich colonial past. On my frequent visits this past year I’ve managed to round up my ten most Instagrammable spots in Hong Kong.
Ten Most Instagrammable Spots in Hong Kong
Choi Hung Estate (Rainbow Estate)
Definitely my favourite spot in Hong Kong and for a good reason too – it’s colourful and fills you with good vibes. The building is one of the oldest public housing estates in the city and no matter what kind of day you choose to visit; you’re almost guaranteed an Instagram-worthy shot here.
How can you not smile when you see such colours together with palm trees lining the entrance?! You should note that the classic shot is taken from the rooftop of the carpark across the road from the building that also has multiple basketball courts.
How to Get There: Easiest and quickest way is to take the MTR to Choi Hung stop and take the A3 exit. The trip should only take you 15-20 minutes from Central station (Island side).
Sai Wan Swimming Shed
The only swimming shed remaining in Hong Kong that’s still in service and with locals who are game enough to go swimming from – despite the hundreds of cargo ships steaming by in the harbour. The jetty itself is an old and dilapidated bit of wood that juts out into the questionable waters of Victoria Harbour. We visited on an extremely gloomy day but this just served to give it that much more character!
The location is pretty out of the way unless you live close to Kennedy Town so you won’t find hoards of tourists here like you would at The Peak. You may find the odd couple or two posing for wedding shots during Golden hour.
How to Get There: Take the MTR to Kennedy Town (the last stop on the Island Line) and take exit A. You can then either choose to take a local bus (no. 58) or take a taxi to the entrance point. The journey is quite short so both are affordable and if you like to explore on foot then it’s only a 15-20 minute walk away. You’ll spot white signs with red Chinese characters on it, which serves as the entry point.
If you ever speak to a young local in Hong Kong, they will always caution you on crossing over to the dark side – also known as Kowloon. I’ve never truly understood this mentality because this is where I feel you can get the true local experience. I’ve probably clocked more hours over in Kowloon than I have on Island side and for a good reason too!
Temple Street is one of the more famous streets and also known as Hong Kong’s poor man’s nightclub. There’s amazing food to be consumed, electric atmosphere to be experienced and cheap shopping to be done. The money shot however comes from the carpark across the street so be prepared to scale some stairs because nothing worth putting on the Gram comes easy these days.
How to Get There: I’m probably going to sound like a broken record by the end of this piece but the MTR is the quickest way to get anywhere in Hong Kong. You can either get off at Yau Ma Tei station or Jordan station because it’s located between the two. The best part of Hong Kong is that the signage for popular places such as this is abundant to say the least – so getting lost will not be an issue.
Sheung Wan, Soho Street Art
The two most expat friendly neighborhoods in Hong Kong; known for their hipster bars with expensive drinks to boot, steep hills and of course, photogenic walls. If you dedicate a few hours to wander through both Sheung Wan and Soho, you’ll see that there are plenty of murals to admire. The most famous and popular is the colourful buildings on Graham Street and in fact, was the first spot I shot against a few years ago.
Other streets worth exploring include Hollywood Road, Peel Street and Upper Station Street.
How to Get There: If you’re not staying around Central/Admiralty then take the MTR to Central and hop on the Mid-Level escalators to save you the tiresome ascent. You can also take a cab if you want as there are plenty on island side and they will know the streets around Sheung Wan inside out.
Yik Cheong Building (Transformers)
No – the building won’t transform into Optimus Prime BUT you will be able to see where the Age of Extinction was shot. The building complex literally looks like someone has built it from coloured lego pieces. There are signs in the central courtyard that say you can’t take photos however if you’re in there and not making a scene – the locals won’t really care.
How to Get There: Take the MTR (Island line) to Quarry Bay and walk along King’s Road until you get to number 1048. The entrance is quite obscure and you might actually miss it if you’re not paying attention (we did miss it when I first went with a mate) and if you get really stuck then just show a local a picture of the place and they will point you in the right direction.
This one should be a no-brainer to visit even if you weren’t looking for the Instagram worthy shot because you can’t visit Hong Kong without going to The Peak, period. It would be like visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower or going to NYC and skipping the Empire State – or closer to home, coming to Sydney for the first time and not seeing the Opera House. It’s sacrilegious to say the least!
Easily the spot where you’ll get the most iconic shot of the Hong Kong cityscape and perfect when you head up to watch the sunset. Marvel as the city lights up at dusk.
How to Get There: The answer for tourists is to take the tram up BUT unless you get there early or pre-purchase your ticket, the line is always epic (both ways). We’ve always taken a cab to the peak and the best way to get this cab is not to hail it from where the tram station. There are plenty of opportunistic cabbies that are ready to jump on unsuspecting tourists and rip them off.
On our visit up we were definitely ripped off by one and since then – we’ve learnt to get a cab from somewhere other than the tram station up to the peak. To give you a ballpark – if the traffic is normal then the cab fare shouldn’t be more than 70-80HKD. If you get a quote of 200HKD or more then just walk away.
Mong Kok Local Markets
My favourite place to go shopping through market stalls where you can find almost anything your little heart could desire. The ladies markets, sneaker street, the goldfish, bird and flower markets are all located within the vicinity.
If you’re looking for a shot where thousands upon thousands of goldfish are displayed in small bags on stands then just walk down Tung Choi Street and you’ll happen upon the iconic Goldfish Market. Just be wary that some owners may usher you away in disapproval but you will always find a stall where the owner is more lenient.
How to Get There: MTR (Tsuen Wan Line) across Victoria Harbour to Mong Kok station and take exit B3.
Yum Cha Restaurant
Quite possibly the cutest meal you will ever eat in your life will be at Yum Cha (yes the restaurant is called Yum Cha). The pork buns are made in the shape of little pigs and other cute little characters that will seriously make you question as to whether or not you’ll have the heart to eat them.
How to Get There: There are two locations – one in Central and the other in Tsim Sha Tsui and both very easy to find. Just take an MTR and grab a map and both are within walking distance from each of the stations.
Central: 2/F, 8 Russell Street | Central: 2/F, Nan Fung Place
TST: 3/F, Attitude on Granville
Tsim Sha Tsui Pier
Hong Kong is known for it’s multitude of landscapes and you won’t get a better view of the bustling metropolis sandwiched between mountains and ocean than from TST pier. The best shots are at dusk and you can even jump on a ferry or junk boat if you want to get shots from the middle of the harbour. My favourite junk is the Aqua Luna!
How to Get There: Pretty easy if you just walk towards the harbour and from Central it’s only a 5-10 minute walk to the pier. You can take the ferry across to TST or you can take the MTR from Central/Admiralty station across.
You know you’ve got to visit a place if it’s known as Instagram Pier and this is located on the waterfront of Sai Wan. It’s perfect at sunset and you’ll get uninterrupted views of the harbourfront from here.
How to Get There: Take the MTR to Kennedy Town station – the final stop on the Island line and walk.
Where are your favourite Instagram spots in Hong Kong?
Check out my Colours of Hong Kong post here for more!