How to Use the Hong Kong Pass for Sightseeing
Crunch the numbers to see if Hong Kong's most popular pass is right for your trip.
Over the last few years, I’ve become a fan of using sightseeing passes in major cities worldwide where ticket prices can add up. The new Hong Kong Pass offers potential savings of over 35% on admission to all included Hong Kong attractions and added convenience.
I’m thrilled that it includes Hong Kong’s most enduring, iconic attractions such as the Peak Tram, the cable car to the Big Buddha (and Po Lin Monastery), as well as admission to the Ocean Park theme park and a Star Ferry harbor tour.
So, let’s talk about whether it’s right for your holiday.
Table of Contents
What Is the Hong Kong Pass?
The Hong Kong Pass is an all inclusive sightseeing pass that can be purchased and downloaded instantly to a smartphone via their app.
How Does the Hong Kong Pass Work?
With the Hong Kong Pass in-hand, it’s possible to visit all included Hong Kong attractions for free by merely scanning the pass as you enter or redeeming the pass for a physical ticket. It’s that simple.
The pass allows users to enter each attraction one time. The Hong Kong Pass activates when you visit the first included attraction. It’s then good for the duration you choose.
Passes are available in 2, 3, and 4 consecutive day options.
Hong Kong Pass prices currently are:
- 2-Day Pass: HKD 999/adult and HKD 799/child
- 3-Day Pass: HKD 1499/adult and HKD 1099/child
- 4-day Pass: HKD 1,899/adult and HKD 1,399/child
Included Hong Kong Attractions
What I like about this pass is that it has attractions and activities that any visitor to Hong Kong should see. Current attractions include:
• Peak Tram Sky Pass
• Ngong Ping Cable Car and Guided Tour (aka the Big Buddha)
• Ocean Park
• Sky100 HK Observation Deck
• Airport Express Return Ticket
• Aberdeen Sampan Ride
• Cotai Jet: Hong Kong Macau Ferry
• Macau Tower
In addition to those already enumerated above, the Hong Kong Pass also includes some guided tours and walks. These tours include:
• Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
• Star Ferry Harbour Tour
• Aqua Luna Stanley Cruise (Aqua Luna is a traditional red-sailed Hong Kong junk boat)
• Hong Kong Walking Tour
• Macau Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
The Hong Kong Pass also entitles holders to free entry at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.
Fast Track Entry
Peak Tram lines have been incredibly long over the past few years no matter what day of the week or time of day. Hong Kong Pass holders skip the queue at the Peak Tram central terminus, which is an incredibly awesome perk of this card.
Once at the Peak, pass holders will also receive Fast Track Entry to the Peak Sky Terrace observation deck.
The Peak Tram is one of the world’s oldest and most famous funicular railways. It’s by far the easiest and fastest ways to reach the Peak and exciting because the climb is rather steep. Like the Star Ferry, the Peak Tram is a must-do.
Discounts On Food & Drink
Holders of the Hong Kong Pass are further entitled to exclusive discounts and deals on food and beverage at select sites across the city. (Typically 10% off.) Twenty-three restaurants currently participate. The specific deals and specials for Hong Kong Pass holders are enumerated online.
The restaurants currently participating are:
• Al Molo
• Alto Bar & Grill
• Bizou American Brasserie
• BLT Steak
• Bombay Dreams
• Bouchon Bistro Francais
• Café 8
• Hard Rock Café
• Jumbo Kingdom
• K11 Mall
• La Locanda
• Lilya Moroccan Lounge & Bar
• London House
• Mama San
• Soho Spice
• Tango Argentinian Steakhouse
• The Forest
• TramOramic Tour
• XTC Gelato
Of the restaurants listed above, the most noteworthy (albeit a bit touristy) is Jumbo, a floating restaurant in the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter that’s a local institution for Cantonese fare (like the traditional typhoon shelter dishes – the crab is my favorite). You’ll ride a sampan boat to the restaurant, which is a hit with kids.
The rest are scattered around Mid Levels, Central and Kowloon, so you may stumble upon them while sightseeing.
Pre-Booking And Free Online Guidebook
While most of the attractions don’t require pre-booking, some tours do. That information is on the Hong Kong Pass app and in their free, downloadable guidebook.
The guidebook comes with each Hong Kong Pass order. It includes the Hop on Hop off Bus Tour map of the City, a helpful MTR (the Hong Kong subway) map, information on various attractions, travel tips, as well as contact information.
Hong Kong Pass Itineraries
Whether or not the Hong Kong Pass makes sense for you depends on what your sightseeing plans are. I’ve put together some sample days that I think can work with the combined activities without sending you into a sightseeing coma, but this also means that active sightseers can undoubtedly add on an activity or two.
Ocean Park/Aberdeen (HKD 560+)
- Ocean Park for a day or half-day (HKD 480/adult)
- Aberdeen sampan tour (HKG 80, 15 minutes)
- Dinner at Jumbo (10% off of lunch or dinner)
Star Ferry Tour/Maritime Museum/Aqua Luna Cruise (HKD 538/adult)
Star Ferry Tours begin at 9:00 am which is a lovely time to be on the water. The Maritime Museum is located in Central right near the Star Ferry Terminal. It’s not a huge museum, but it’s interesting and worthy of 30 minutes or so.
The Aqua Luna Cruise takes riders on a scenic journey to Stanley on the other side of the island, departing from Central or TST. Aqua Luna is a traditional red-sailed junk that is one of Hong Kong’s icons. I find this a pleasant way to go because it’s otherwise a taxi ride on somewhat curvy roads. People go to Stanley for its market and excellent seaside bars/restaurants.
Ngong Ping Cable Car and Guided Tour (HKD 480) Plus One More Activity
You will get the most out of your Big Buddha visit with a guided tour because they’ll also take you to the Tai O fishing villages. This is a half-day itinerary, leaving time to use the pass on something else.
If you have some afternoon energy, take the MTR from Tung Chung to Kowloon station and stop into the ICC building in Kowloon (Elements mall is adjacent, and The Ritz-Carlton is also located in the ICC) to check out the very tall Sky100 observation deck. (HKD 188/adult)
Or, perhaps this is the day to take a Star Ferry Cruise. It would be nice to sit down after a walking tour. (HKD 108/adult)
Macau Day Trip (HKD 506/adult)
- Cotai Jet: Note that this high-speed ferry takes you to the Cotai Peninsula and not Central Macau. Cotai is where the Venetian, City of Dreams, and other casinos/entertainment complexes are. It’s located in between Taipa and Coloane islands where the beaches and famous Taipa Houses are.
- Macau Tower
- Macau Hop-on, Hop-off bus (pick-up point is at the Macau Ferry Terminal, about an HKD 65 taxi ride from the Cotai Ferry Terminal)
Peak Tram Up/Big Bus Down (HKD 529/adult)
Collect your hop-on, hop-off Big Bus pass in Central first thing in the morning and skip the queue for the Peak Tram (it starts running at 7:00 a.m. but note that many Peak attractions don’t open until 10:00 a.m. or later).
Enjoy the peak for an hour or two and then take the bus down and explore some of its stops. This would be a fun thing to do toward the front end of your trip to get the lay of the land.
Most people (including me) use the Airport Express to get to Central Hong Kong and Kowloon. You’ll pick up the ticket at the Arrivals Hall, at the customer service desk where you might typically buy a paper ticket. It’s a round-trip ticket so if your Hong Kong Pass expires before you leave Hong Kong, you’ll still be able to use the return journey on the Airport Express. Redeeming a Hong Kong Pass for an Airport Express ticket will activate the Hong Kong Pass.
Visit as many included attractions in a single day as you like. You may visit each attraction only once with Hong Kong Pass.
Child Hong Kong Passes are for kids ages 3-10. Kids 11 and older will need to buy an adult pass.
You may not share your Hong Kong Pass with friends or others. It is specific to you.
As with any sightseeing pass, it’s important to read the terms and conditions for usage.
Who Is the Hong Kong Pass For?
I would say the Hong Kong Pass is for people who are confident that they’re visiting enough attractions in a set number of days to get value out of the pass. It pays to crunch the numbers.
Many of the overseas flights land very early in the morning, before hotel check-in. The Hong Kong pass works well in these situations because you’ll activate the pass with the Airport Express redemption. And, you’ll have plenty to do while you wait for your hotel.
The longer your vacation, the more time you have to benefit from the pass.
It’s also for travelers who don’t want the inconvenience of stopping at ticket booths (or thinking about ticket price) every time they enter an attraction.Buy the Hong Kong Pass