Is Hong Kong expensive? How much does it cost to travel to Hong Kong?
Those are the two most commonly asked questions when planning a trip to Hong Kong. To answer them and many other doubts about Hong Kong prices and how expensive Hong Kong is to visit, we wrote this post. Welcome to our Hong Kong trip costs guide, be ready for tips on saving money, and discover how much to bring to Hong Kong on your trip.
Hong Kong, known as the Pearl of the Orient, isn’t a travel destination that comes to mind when you are traveling on a budget. With one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, cheap and Hong Kong are simply three words that don’t go together.
In our guide, we will break down the cost of traveling in Hong Kong and the various prices so you can budget your trip properly! Keep reading to know about Hong Kong hotel prices, costs of transportation, food, attractions and how to have fun without spending all your cash.
Let’s start our Hong Kong trip costs guide by talking about the costs of flying there.
How much does a flight to Hong Kong cost?
First things first, before diving into your Hong Kong travel budget we need to talk about how much you will spend to get there. The prices of international flights to Hong Kong can vary greatly, from $300 to $800, it all depends on where you are coming from and the airline.
Some booking platforms will say that March is the cheapest month to travel to Hong Kong, but the truth is that you need to do a good research and compare prices to find a ticket that fits in your pocket.
When searching for flights compare the prices between direct flights, connecting flights with the same ticket and if you book two or three flights separated. If you are traveling within Asia or Southeast Asia there are many budget airlines flying to Hong Kong International Airport that can help you save a big chunk of your travel budget.
Now let’s move to the fun part. Before breaking down the costs of accommodation in Hong Kong, food prices, and activities, we’re going to talk about nightlife, one of the best things to do in HK and one of the most expensive activities there.
Save on your next trip, read our Travel Planning Guide.
Cost of Nightlife in Hong Kong
The cost of nightlife in Hong Kong is very expensive. While there are many things to do in Hong Kong at night, the most popular nightlife activities will be clubs, bars, and maybe karaoke (if you hang out with the locals). If you are a tourist in Hong Kong, you will inevitably visit Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) for the ultimate nightlife experience. Sadly, expect to spend hundreds of Hong Kong dollars on a night out in LKF.
The beer price in Hong Kong is around $80 HKD (10 USD) and a cocktail can cost around $160 HKD (20 USD). Some venues will charge cover fees upward to $500 HKD. However, girls can frequently enter for free.
If you are not a party-goer, there are alternative things you can do at night. Admiring Victoria Harbour, going on a night hike (if you are adventurous), shopping at the Temple Street Night Market, or even just relaxing with a beer on Garden Hill are some of them. And probably, these activities will be cheaper than going on a night out.
Now let’s talk about the expenses you can’t avoid when traveling to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong transportation costs
In general, the cost of public transportation in Hong Kong is relatively cheap (compared to the price of food, activities, and accommodation).
When using public transportation in Hong Kong, it is encouraged to have an Octopus Card, a reusable contactless store value smart card accepted almost everywhere in Hong Kong (except fancy restaurants).
The tourist Octopus card itself costs $39 HKD (5 USD) and you can top up as much money as you would like. After your Hong Kong visit, you can either decide to keep the Octopus card as a souvenir or return it for $39 HKD plus any remaining value on the card.
Each person needs to have his or her own Octopus card and we HIGHLY recommend you getting one upon arrival. It is sold at convenience stores such as 7 Eleven, Circle K, the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), and many other places. There is also a slight discount on some modes of public transportation when using the Octopus card.
The most convenient mode of transportation in Hong Kong will be the MTR. With 163 stations, the MTR covers the majority of Hong Kong’s 1,106 sq km. The fare for the MTR depends on the stop you get on and the stop you get off. You usually won’t pay more than $15 HKD for your trip unless you are going somewhere special like Asia-Expo or Disneyland.
Buses are another very common mode of transportation in Hong Kong. It’s usually around the same price as the MTR but might be quicker depending on the route. Locals usually prefer buses because they are less hectic and more likely to get a seat.
Besides buses and the MTR, 16-seater minibuses are also quite popular in Hong Kong. A lot slimmer than the double-decker buses, the minibus is a quicker mode of transportation than the bus, which will often have difficulty going up the hills of Hong Kong. Unlike the MTR or bus, there is no standing room on a minibus (probably a good thing considering how fast they tend to go), so you might have to wait a bit to get on (especially during rush hour). There is also no indicator of the stops on the minibus, so a tourist will definitely be confused.
If you tend to get lost, you might be wondering about Hong Kong taxi prices and how expensive they are. The answer? Quite expensive. Taxis are territory-specific and have three different colors: red, light blue, and green. If you are a tourist, don’t worry about the colors. The taxi fare is based on a meter that accounts for distance traveled and time elapsed, and the rate varies slightly depending on the color of the taxi.
Hong Kong taxi fare starts around $24 HKD, the rate per kilometer is $6 HKD to $8.5 HKD, and an additional $84 HKD is charged per hour of travel. For example, a taxi from Central in Hong Kong Island to Tseung Kwan O in New Territories would cost around $130 HKD (minus tolls), while on the MTR it would only cost around $12.1 HKD (with Octopus Card)!
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance!
Cost of accommodation – Hong Kong hotel prices
With one of the highest housing markets in the world, it shouldn’t surprise you that cost of accommodation in Hong Kong is relatively high. Choosing a good place to stay that fits your pocket is the best way to keep your Hong Kong trip costs under control.
For hostels, expect to pay somewhere around $160 HKD (20 USD) to $200 HKD (25 USD) for a bed in a dormitory room per night. For private rooms in a hostel, somewhere around $230 HKD (30 USD) to $310 HKD (40 USD) is quite the norm.
Check out these Hong Kong budget hostels:
Comfort and cleanliness in the Yau Tsim Mong District district in Hong Kong. Though they don’t have a shared kitchen, the AMU Dreamhouse is conveniently located amidst many shops and markets. It is also within walking distance of the metro and bus lines. They feature fridges in the common area, free water/WiFi, air-conditioned rooms and family rooms, and super helpful staff.
– Hop Inn
An award-winning hostel in an excellent location, very close to the subway in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. Fully equipped thematic rooms, featuring artwork by local artists. The communal space and rooftop terrace grant nice city views, plus free water, tea and coffee. At Hop Inn you’ll have access to fast internet, free toiletries, storage luggage, tour info and ticketing services.
Right by the bus stop and a mile away from the MTR Mong Kok Station, the beautiful Mahjong sits in a great neighborhood and many guests say it’s the best hostel in Hong Kong. Its rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, offering cool views of the city. They have a kitchenette with a refrigerator and a microwave. Shared and private bathrooms come with hairdryers and toiletries. There are a shared lounge, a bar and a terrace.
If you are looking for a decent hotel in Hong Kong, aim to pay around $310 HKD (40 USD) or more. If you are looking for a luxurious hotel experience in Hong Kong, you can easily spend a few thousand Hong Kong dollars per night.
Here are a few options of cheap hotels in Hong Kong:
A contemporary Hong Kong budget hotel in the heart of Mongkok, near popular attractions and a metro station. Thorough facilities, fancy decor and comfy rooms, they offer ergonomic work desks and can arrange interconnected rooms. The staff is friendly, a good breakfast is served daily and they offer a Kids-Eat-Free program.
Located in one of the best places to stay in Hong Kong, the Minimal Hotel Avenue is a modern facility on Nathan Road that offers very good value for your money. Bright rooms, soft pillows, nice showers. Accommodating staff can help with travel arrangements at the tour desk. Guests are free to use the computers in the lobby.
One of the most stylish budget hotels in Hong Kong. The OTTO Hotel, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district, is close to the MTR and has many convenient services nearby. Each room comes with a fridge and a kettle, plus free toiletries. They have wonderful decor and a sun terrace that overlooks Hong Kong.
Looking for Hong Kong luxury hotels, but I mean really luxurious ones? ‘Cause at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong perfection is the word. They feature sky-high rooms and the highest bar in the world, besides 5 restaurants (including 2 Michelin starred), 400-thread count linens, feather pillows, Nespresso machine in the rooms; bathrooms equipped with rainshower and bathtub. Be ready for world-class services and celebrity treatment.
Superb facilities for an exceptional stay in Hong Kong. Suites designed with a fusion of Western and Chinese elements, floor-to-ceiling windows, deep soaking tub and French toiletries. The Four Seasons Hotel features 2 Michelin award-winning restaurants and an amazing pool. They have spa offering massages, saunas and steam rooms. The hotel provides babysitting services.
Among the luxury hotels in Hong Kong, the Cordis certainly stands out. It has direct access to Mongkok MTR Station and is less than a mile away from popular attractions (like the Temple Street Night Market). They feature fully equipped rooms and stunning marble bathrooms. The property has an outdoor heated pool, a spa with over 60 treatments, a fitness center and 2 fitness studios. Upscale dining options are available on-site.
Obviously, this all depends on the neighborhood you are staying at. Generally, it is more expensive to stay on the Hong Kong Island side, as that area is filled with skyscrapers, expats, and high-end establishments. Kowloon is where we would recommend you to stay, as it is a more affordable neighborhood filled with authentic local elements.
To search for Hong Kong hotel deals use Booking.com and Agoda. They have a great selection of Hong Kong accommodation from budget to luxury. You can compare prices and reviews then choose the one that suits your taste and pocket. If you are having a hard time finding out where to stay in Hong Kong and how to book the perfect room, read our Accommodation Guide.
If you are looking for affordable private rooms in HK, the Chungking Mansion features numerous accommodation options at very affordable prices. However, make sure you read the reviews and don’t go for anything that is “too” cheap, as there are some really bad accommodations there too.
Hong Kong food prices
Besides accommodation, your other big expense in Hong Kong will be food. In general, Asia (especially Southeast Asia) gets a rep for having really cheap street food, well, not in Hong Kong. Street vendors selling food are close to non-existent in Hong Kong. Most “street food” are sold from roadside stalls, moderately priced, and won’t fill you up.
Consequently, travelers will have to resort to normal dining establishments. While dining options are diverse in Hong Kong, they are certainly not cheap.
On the higher end, you will usually find steakhouses, bistros, and other “western-style” restaurants. The cost of food in those restaurants range from 150 HKD (~20 USD) to 350 HKD (45 USD) for an entree.
The moderately-priced restaurants in Hong Kong are usually Asian cuisine such as Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. An entree in one of those places can range anywhere from around 80 HKD (10 USD) to 160 HKD (20 USD).
On the lower end, you will find typical Hong Kong canteens such as Fairwood or Cafe de Coral and cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong style cafes). They will serve the cheapest food in Hong Kong, an entree will cost somewhere between 50 HKD (~7 USD) to 100 HKD (~13 USD).
A good way to explore the Hong Kong food scene without the need to face the endless options of places to eat is by booking a cooking class. There are plenty of options in HK island and in Kowloon. Click here for the best cooking classes in Hong Kong.
Cost of activities and attractions in Hong Kong
Luckily for you, the cost of activities in Hong Kong is relatively cheap, unless you decide to visit the theme parks such as Disneyland or Ocean Park.
If you are planning to visit Hong Kong Disneyland be smart and book you skip the line ticket. Click here to buy your HK Disneyland ticket in advance. You can also buy your ticket in advance for Hong Kong Ocean Park.
Apart from the park, many Hong Kong attractions are free, and you just need to pay for transportation to get there. These activities include the Big Buddha in Lantau, Victoria Harbour, The Peak, and the Temple Street Night Market. One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is hiking and you don’t pay for that (only in sweat and energy). Many of Hong Kong’s most Instagram-worthy places are located in public housing estates and are free to enter.
For more Hong Kong travel advice read: Hong Kong Itinerary – tourist attractions and local experiences
The activities that will typically burn your Hong Kong budget are nightlife and dining in nice restaurants. While those are quintessential experiences in Hong Kong, they are quite costly. The key is to find a balance, save on where it’s possible and enjoy yourself in a few activities. In the end, your Hong Kong trip costs will vary according to your tastes and what type of experiences you want to have.
So, what should be your Hong Kong travel budget?
Though Hong Kong is expensive, it can be traveled on a low budget as well. If you don’t party in LKF, take taxis, or eat in western-style dining establishments, you will most likely save a lot of money on your Hong Kong trip.
If you are traveling to Hong Kong on a budget, you can probably get by with around 60 USD per day. This would mean sleeping in a shared dormitory room, taking public transportation, eating locally, visiting attractions that are less costly, and not partying hard at night.
Hong Kong trip costs for budget travelers – $60 per day
If you want to travel comfortably and get the most out of your trip, your Hong Kong daily budget will be around 100 USD per day. With 100 USD, you can afford a private room, more variety in your dining options and activities, and maybe one or two beers on a night out.
Hong Kong trip costs for mid-range travelers – $100 per day
If you want to travel lavishly, the sky is your limit. With hotel rooms that can cost up to 35,000 HKD a night (I am looking at you Rosewood Hong Kong), you can really spend a lot of money in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong trip costs for luxury travelers – the sky is your limit 😉
This concludes our guide about prices in Hong Kong and travel costs. We hope you gained an understanding of how much it costs to travel in Hong Kong and you can enjoy the best of the city spend wisely.
Planning for trips? Don’t forget to check out our Costs of Traveling page, there you will find information and detailed breakdown of how much it costs to travel to different countries and cities around the world, from destinations in Southeast Asia to Europe and America.
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Author: Sean Lau
Hey, I am Sean of LivingOutLau. Since 2018, I have been on a journey to experience the world through different cultures. With my words and photography, I hope to inspire my readers to travel more and enjoy the diversity in heritages. On LivingOutLau, you will find carefully curated travel guides, tips, and photos to help plan your next trip! Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.