The epicenter of the city, Hong Kong Central area is the true essence of Hong Kong city. From gleaming skyscrapers of financial powerhouses, the most happening bars, and nightclubs, chic shopping malls to glimpses of the colonial era in its cultural attractions, this is a traveler’s one-stop destination for everything Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Central is infamous for being the most wholesome package and with good reason because be it splendid views of the Hong Kong vistas and horizon, or a mark of the city’s wealth and political position, the Central sits in the midst of it all. Located in Hong Kong Island, it was originally named Chung Wan. It got its current westernized name only in the ’80s after the establishment of the Island Line (the MTR metro system). Hong Kong Central is the kind of place which is a complete itinerary in itself.
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Things to See at Hong Kong Central
Victoria Peak- The world-renowned Hong Kong Skyline is bound to leave you awestruck and it can be viewed from the Victoria Peak where you can also experience/ride probably the steepest tram for thrill and the drop-dead stunning perspective of the entirety of the beautiful city.
Hong Kong Observation Wheel- It is not just the likes of London that have this marvelous and mammoth of an instrument/ride. Hong Kong too is in the big leagues now and the views of its infamous skyline, the horizon of the city down below and shining tall buildings can be enjoyed while moving in rounds at this observation wheel!
Hong Kong Maritime Museum- The place to go to peruse a wealth of information that spans the Chinese military/defense and trade history. From primitive fishing to real tales of piracy, the exhibits are well curated and evoke fascination no doubt.
Star Ferry- Hopping on the Star Ferry here includes classy dining, viewing the moving skyline from a prime spot while being perched on the waters of Hong Kong in one of the oldest and most popular forms of transportation of the city.
Central Mid-level Escalators- May come as a surprise to list an escalator but it is pleasant when the one in question is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the whole wide world! That makes it worth a visit.
Hong Kong Zoo and Botanical Gardens- Sitting on over 13 acres of land, the vibrant zoo and botanical gardens at Central host over 1000 types of plants and animal species including, a beautiful aviary including exotic ones like Gibbons, Lemurs, American Flamingo among many other primates.
Man Mo Temple- This beautifully preserved temple is a sensory experience due to the incense fragrances and lanterns. It can be the one place of peace and calm for you amidst the chaos of the world beyond.
Hong Kong Park- The spark of freshness in Central, the Hong Kong Park has numerous water facilities, a tea shop and museum, an aviary other than the usual colorful and rejuvenating vibe of a park, making it a good pit stop for families and children on their visit to the Central.
Shopping in Hong Kong Central
Hong Kong Central is unarguably an oasis for shoppers all across the globe. It caters to all kinds of shopping needs because it is inclusive of large commercial malls, flourishing shopping streets and exclusive boutiques covering the fashion scene fully. The Alexandra, IFC Mall, Galleria, Prince’s building and The Landmark are top-ranking malls that ooze opulence and attract big spenders looking to splurge on luxury brands like Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, and their likes along with some mid-end companies too.
Street shopping is another great frolic and pleasure time here. Queens Road, Stanley Street, Hollywood Road, Li Yuen St. East and West, Cat Street and Des Voeux Road are filled with shops for trinkets, traditional clothes, high street fashion boutiques, affordable accessories, random souvenirs/keepsakes and so much more.
Dining and Restaurants
If there is one thing other than shopping, Hong Kong Central has a renowned glory for offering delectable food alternatives. The most popular expatriate haunt for drinking and dining, the Lan Kwai Fong, situated right in the heart of Central has over 100 multi-cuisine establishments to choose from. It is a booming district and party street packed with bars and restaurants, ideal for unwinding or a night of ultimate nightlife debauchery.
Some extremely famous drinks and food joints here are- Fang Fang, Porterhouse, Brickhouse, Havana, Insomnia and Ce La Vie. Also, try the fresh produce and expand your culinary orbits at the Graham Street Market which presents an array of stalls local fruits, vegetables, and dishes in touch with the rural side of the city which have been cherished by generations, a go-to choice for people with a tight budget or living in hostels.
Bank of China Tower- Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M Pei, it is often regarded for its unconventional shape of a rising bamboo, which actually represents prosperity, vitality, strength and an enterprising Spirit in Feng Shui. Aesthetically, this building endows the skyline of Hong Kong with a better sense of space actually!
Cheung Kong Center- Laying in the south-east corner of Central, it is considered to be equal parts a work of art and an efficient working environment.
The Hong Kong City Hall- Located in the northeast of Statue Square, it used to earlier hold city government offices but is now a venue for libraries and performing arts.
Jardines House- Was earlier called the Connaught Centre and used to be one of the tallest and best-known office towers in the city.
International Finance Centre II- Often known as a world-astonishing structure (thanks to its ultra-modern shape) by eminent personalities, it houses the workspace of some of the highest net worth companies like Samsung Electronics, UBS, and BNP Paribas. It is almost like the symbol of wealth in the city. A Hollywood favorite sometimes, it has also been featured in several high budget movies like The Dark Knight and Tomb Raider 2.
Best Time to Visit Hong Kong Central
Being one of the most popular tourist areas of Hong Kong, Central is almost always buzzing with large crowds. However, it is busier on weekends and public holidays so visiting on weekdays can be a better option in general. Also, keep in mind the timings of special programs/shows and attractions.
How To Reach Hong Kong Central
The easiest way to reach Hong Kong central is to access Hong Kong Station by MTR metro from any MTR station. The station is connected to Central Station by underground tunnels and automated walkways connected with the Island Line and Tsuen Wan Line.
The Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui also connects to the station, stopping at the pier in front of IFC 2. This will be a bit of a walk, so if carrying heavy luggage, the MTR is probably an easier option.