A curated selection of the top five Hong Kong urban oases that provide instant rest and relaxation amidst the urban sprawl.
Nestled right next to Central on Hong Kong Island, Admiralty is home to many of Hong Kong’s government buildings including the Central Government Offices (or Justice Place), the Legislative Chamber and the Chief Executive’s Office.
You don’t often see Admiralty on tourists’ lists of places to go. It does, however, have a number of high-end hotels and ultra sleek shopping malls with all the brand names, so if you like to shop in style, this is a great place to do it.
With easy access to two beautiful parks, you can also enjoy some rare green space, and get beautiful views of Victoria Harbour.
Pacific Place is the premier mall in the area, housing one of Hong Kong’s largest collection of luxury stores, from Miu Miu to Shanghai Tang. This mall is also full of great restaurants, bars, and a cinema.
The Hong Kong Tramways go through the heart of Admiralty on Queensway, with stops right in front of Pacific Place. This is a great opportunity to jump on the beloved and historic ‘ding ding’ and take a quick ride to Central or Wan Chai—it’s much more scenic than taking the MTR.
Opposite Pacific Place is the Queensway Plaza, connected by an elevated walkway, with access to the Admiralty MTR Station. There are a few shops to see in the plaza, but this is primarily a pedestrian footbridge which gets people from Admiralty to Central (and vice versa).
Heading towards the harbour, you can stroll through Tamar Park, which is also a prime spot for watching the New Year and Chinese New Year Fireworks. Tamar Park is popular for early morning exercise, such as yoga, tai chi, and jogging, with the skyscrapers behind creating a dramatic backdrop.
Tamar Park connects to the lovely Central and Western District Promenade, a waterfront walkway which stretches all the way from Admiralty to the Central Harbourfront Event Space and the Central Ferry Piers. If you have time, definitely take a walk along this promenade, which only takes about 20 minutes.
Pacific Place has no shortage of places to eat, though you can expect it to be very crowded at lunch time when hungry office workers come out of the woodworks. You can find everything from Thai to Korean to French and Italian, but for something local try the Dim Sum Library, a very cool Hong Kong-style tea room. The Commissary is another favourite, especially in the cooler months when you can enjoy the patio.
Just behind Pacific Place is the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, which hosts events and exhibitions, and also has a stylish and award-winning Spanish tapas bar called AMMO (‘Asia, Modern, Museum and Original’).
If you don’t mind a little walk, then head to nearby Hong Kong Park, where you can grab a bite at L16 Cafe and Bar, a hidden gem of a place with both indoor and outdoor seating, overlooking the park’s ponds and waterfalls. Also within the park is the classic Chinese-style Lock Cha Tea House, which has fine tea and vegetarian dim sum.
All around Admiralty Station are some restaurants that are a lot more affordable than Pacific Place, including conveyor belt sushi at Genki Sushi, Starbucks, and fast food. If you want a meal that is fast and filling, try local favourites Fairwood or Cafe de Coral, both long-time staples for busy workers.
Staying in Admiralty won’t come cheap—there are only four hotels in this area, and all of them are five-star. Located within Pacific Place, you can enjoy the lap of luxury at either the Island Shangri-La, the Conrad, The Upper House, or the JW Marriott Hotel, all of which are fabulous, with harbour views, rooftop pools, and amazing food.
However, if you’re a true cheapo, then you’ll find much more budget-friendly accommodation a stone’s throw away in Wan Chai. Be sure to read our Wan Chai area guide for tips on travel, and on where to stay.