By Darren Griffiths

13 Awesome Things To Do In Kowloon, Hong Kong

17th April 2023

Last updated on May 23rd, 2023 at 10:30 am

If you enjoy urban exploration then Kowloon, Hong Kong is for you. The centre of Hong Kong falls on the Hong Kong Island side but for us, Kowloon City is the most exciting part of the city.

There are so many things to do in Kowloon so the area easily warrants a couple of days or more to get the most out of your visit.

Things to do in Kowloon City

Kowloon City is an interesting mix of modern and old-school Hong Kong. At the northern end of Kowloon is Mong Kok, with smelly wet markets, dodgy-looking dark alleys, and hanging bloody meats.

To the south, overlooking Victoria Harbour, is Tsim Sha Tsui, with shiny new sky scrappers, designer shops, and high-class restaurants.

Related reading: Check out our guide to the best things to do in all of Hong Kong!

The contrasting mix of things to do in Kowloon makes it a must-do Hong Kong destination for all visitors. Check out our top Kowloon attractions.

1. Hike Lion Rock

There are loads of popular peaks to hike in Hong Kong, but Lion Rock is up there in the top three.

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Lion Rock
Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong: Hiking Lion Rock

Standing at 1,600 feet, Lion Rock is not only an essential part of anyone’s ‘things to do in Kowloon City’ itinerary, but it’s also a must-do activity in all of Hong Kong!

A moderate fitness level is needed due to some steep rocky paths to climb, but the effort is rewarded with some of the best views in the city. 

Once at the top, you get an epic birds-eye view across Kowloon’s skyline and beyond to Hong Kong Island.

We recommend getting the MTR to Diamond Hill station where you can either catch a taxi to the start of the path or take the number 96 bus.

2. Shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui

There’s no better shopping in Hong Kong than in Kowloon. Tsim Sha Tsui to the south has the type of wide and never-ending avenues that you’d expect to find in Manhattan.

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Shopping Tsim Sha Tsui
The shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

All the luxury designer brands can be found here, as well as many high street retailers including a new H&M flagship store. The main shopping street is Nathan Road.

If you prefer to shop with everything under one air-conditioned roof, then there are also some large shopping malls such as Habour City.

Book your 3.5-Hour Kowloon Walking Tour with Big Bus Pass now!

3. Skyline Sunset at Victoria Harbour

We didn’t plan to watch the sunset behind Hong Kong’s impressive skyline from Kowloon’s Victoria Harbour waterfront, but the weather and timing were on our side that day.

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Skyline Sunset
Kowloon Hong Kong Skyline Sunset

It was just by chance that we happened to arrive at the promenade as the sun was beginning to set. It was a beautiful scene so has to be included in our ‘things to do’ Kowloon list.

Kowloon’s Victoria Harbour waterfront is at the southern peninsular tip and is the best ground-level viewpoint of Hong Kong’s skyline at any time of the day.

Head there for sunset and you’ll witness the city and the Hong Kong island shore in a unique light with the orange sun reflecting off the building’s mirror-like surfaces.

4. Hong Kong’s Symphony of Lights

At 8 pm every evening, the skyline on Hong Kong Island dazzles tourists with its Symphony of Lights show.

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Symphony of Lights
Hong Kong Symphony of Lights from Kowloon, Hong Kong

Just when you think the skyline’s standard futuristic night lights are awesome enough, at 8 pm, they further compete for your attention with lights and lasers timed to music.

Only a handful of buildings take part but it’s still worth checking out if you happen to be in the area at night. However, they really need to update the music as it’s cringe-worthy bad!

The Symphony of Lights show is part of a lot of tourist’s things to do in Kowloon itinerary so it gets busy, but there’s really no need to head there early to get a good spot.

Even with a crowd of people in front of you, you’ll still be able to see due to the height of the buildings. We watched the show from Kowloon’s public pier which is next to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry terminal on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront.

Book your Symphony of Lights: Harbor Cruise with Drinks now!

5. Eat Street Food

For us, no visit to an Asian city is complete until we’ve tasted enough street food til we’re about to burst.

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Street Food
Shelley tucking into some street food!

Mong Kok offers the biggest selection of cheap street food vendors in Hong Kong.

From simply steamed fish balls and stinky deep-fried tofu to fresh grilled fish mains and stir-fried chicken noodles, Mong Kok caters to many tastes.

If you’re looking for further cheap eating options and especially if you’d like to eat Chinese street food, we’d recommend the Hawker Centres, which consist of a variety of small Chinese kitchens and a large communal seating area. At these places, you can pick up a large main for between 30 and 70 HK dollars (£3 – £7).

Book your Kowloon street food tours now!

6. Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles

Wherever you are in Hong Kong, you’re never far away from an egg waffle vendor!

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles
Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles, Kowloon, Hong Kong

A Hong Kong waffle is an eggy batter cooked between two hot plates in the shape of several circular cells. They’re often eaten plain, but toppings can be added such as chocolate, coconut, or cheese.

If you only try one Hong Kong egg waffle then make sure it’s at Kowloon’s hole-in-the-wall vendor called Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles.

You’ll find it on Nathan Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui district. LKK’s waffles are just sweet enough with the perfect balance of crispy on the outside and soft/chewy in the middle.

The only downside to Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles is you have to join a long line at most times of the day, but this shows how good they are!

See MAP for location.

7. Hong Kong Museum of History

Beginning in 2001 there was a fantastic permanent exhibition here called the “Hong Kong Story”.

But the museum is undergoing a major renovation and there’s a temporary exhibition called “The Best Features of the Hong Kong Story”.

You can read and see exhibits like glove puppets and more than 400 items that tell the story of Hong Kong from prehistoric times, through the Japanese occupation and onwards to Hong Kong’s colonial past, ending in the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

It’s one of the most interesting Hong Kong Museums and you’ll learn a lot in just a short visit!

8. Mong Kok Markets

For Hong Kong’s best markets, Mong Kok wins hands down.

The variety of markets in the area have been around for decades or more so it’s the best place for a more authentic old school Hong Kong shopping/browsing experience.

Make sure to add these three markets to your things to do in Kowloon itinerary.

Goldfish Market

Goldfish and other tropical fish are big business in Hong Kong. Residents love to decorate their homes and offices with them and Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading exporters of the colourful swimmers.

Bags of goldfish on the wall at the Gold Fish Market, Kowloon Hong Kong
Bags of goldfish on the wall at the Gold Fish Market, Kowloon Hong Kong

Head to Tung Choi Street for the strange sight of thousands of bagged creatures covering the walls of the many aquatic shops.

The market has boomed over the past 40 years due to the resident’s lack of space to keep larger pets such as cats and dogs.

See this MAP for the location.

Ladies Market

Mong Kok’s Ladies market seems like a never-ending street of stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to toys and games. It’s actually 1km in length with over 100 stalls!

The crowded Ladies Market, Kowloon, Hong Kong
The crowded Ladies Market, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Mong Kok’s Ladies market seems like a never-ending street of stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to toys and games. It’s actually 1km in length with over 100 stalls!

The market gets its name from a large amount of ladies’ items for sale but there’s enough variety for the opposite sex to warrant a wander. Don’t forget to get your haggle on as prices aren’t fixed so can always be negotiated.

See MAP for location.

Temple Street Night Market

Wandering Mong Kok’s streets at night is an interesting enough experience, but Temple Street night market is another reason for a walk after sundown.

Temple Street Market, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Temple Street Market, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Temple Street market is definitely Hong Kong’s largest and best night market. Expect to find goods such as clothing, bags, watches, selfie sticks and sunglasses.

Around the market are some great street food eating options if your stomach starts to rumble.

See MAP for location.

Book your Hong Kong & Kowloon market tours now!

9. Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

This large Chinese temple seems so out of place in the middle of busy high-rise Hong Kong but it’s a very popular religious site for locals and visiting tourists.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Easily the most impressive of Hong Kong’s temples in the city, Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is home to three religions: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Heading inside is a peaceful welcome relief from the traffic-heavy road it stands beside.

Take a wander around the grounds and gardens while watching devoted religious followers in prayer and lighting incense.

It’s super easy to get to, just head by MTR to Wong Tai Sin station and you’ll find the temple next to it.

See MAP for location.

Book your Kowloon Temples, Gardens, Streets & Markets tour now!

10. Wander Mong Kok at Night

We really loved Mong Kok, modern Hong Kong is all good but seeing the city’s older and grimier side is far more interesting.

Things to do in Kowloon Hong Kong Mong Kok at Night
Mong Kok Night Market, Kowloon, Hong Kong

When in Mong Kok, we felt like we were in real old-school Hong Kong. It felt more local with fascinating unorganised chaos. Taking a wander around Mong Kok at night is something everyone who comes to Hong Kong should do.

Flickering neon signs, dirty dark alleys, buckets of wet fish, ladies of the night, atmospheric night markets, dangling raw meats, suspicious-looking massage parlours, and streetside kitchens are just some of what’s to see.

Many of the world’s modernising cities have lost these captivating neighbourhoods so it was a pleasure to see a side of Hong Kong that hasn’t been forgotten.

Book your Hong Kong After Dark: 3-Hour Night Tour now!

11. Take the Star Ferry

You can easily get to and from Kowloon using the MTR, but taking the Star Ferry is far more fun.

Star Ferry, Kowloon Harbor, Kong Kong
Star Ferry, Kowloon Harbor, Kong Kong

The inexpensive ferry departs from Tsim Sha Tsui’s Star Ferry pier and floats across Victoria Harbour to either Central or Wan Chai on the opposite side.

It’s an alternative way to see Hong Kong’s astounding skyline on both sides of the harbour.

See MAP for location.

Book your Hong Kong Private 5-Hour Night Tour & Ferry from Kowloon now!

12. Kowloon Walled City Park

The Kowloon walled city park is a fascinating little piece of Hong Kong history that was used by Chinese officials from the 15th century!

Hong Kong Kowloon Walled City Park
Hong Kong Kowloon Walled City Park

It was originally tucked into the corner of the northeast of the Kowloon Peninsula but was disassembled during the Japanese Occupation.

To see its early Qing dynasty-inspired garden and the parts of the Walled City Park still on the site, you’ll find it on Tung Tsing Road, Kowloon City. You can take the MTR Sung Wong Toi Station Exit B3.

Admission is free and the city park is open 6.30 am to 11 pm every day

13. Hong Kong Science Museum

The Hong Kong Science Museum is at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon City.

Hong Kong Science Museum Energy Machine, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Science Museum Energy Machine, Kowloon, Hong Kong

It has over 700 exhibits but our favorite was the Energy Machine. We could have watched those balls roll around their wire tracks all day. The Emergy Machine is 22 meters high which is the largest one in the world.

It costs $20 for a regular admission and if you have kids, it’s a fantastic thing to do on a rainy day.

Accommodation in Kowloon

Just like Hong Kong Island, Kowloon City has a massive variety of accommodation options for most budgets.

It doesn’t matter whether you stay on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon, the excellent transport system will get you to where you need to go in no time.

There are just as many things to do in Kowloon as there are on the main Hong Kong island so it’s a difficult choice. For the most Kowloon accommodation options check out booking.com.