Even if you only have a few days, Hong Kong is a great place to spend your Christmas and New Year holidays.
There’s so much going on in the city during this time, and you can really feel the festive spirit. The malls and shopping areas create unbelievable Christmas displays, and there are Christmas markets to enjoy. Everywhere is lit up with bright lights. Even the big tourist attractions put on special Christmas events.
As an added bonus, Christmas time is low season, meaning that hotels are cheaper and things are a little less crowded.
New Year’s Eve is definitely a big deal in Hong Kong, with lots of parties on the night of December 31. And the New Year fireworks taking place over Victoria Harbour should not be missed.
You’ll also be glad for the mild ‘winter weather’, as Hong Kong rarely drops to low temperatures, making it the perfect time to walk around, explore, and party without freezing your butt off.
So grab a Santa hat, and check out our list of eight reasons to spend Christmas holidays in Hong Kong.
1. Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival
The Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival lights up the city with large-scale illuminations, light shows and special Christmas-themed decorations. The waterfront along Victoria Harbour showcases more than a dozen of these pieces of light art, and landmark buildings in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui will be lit up with special Christmas and New Year designs.
2. Christmas displays
They’re everywhere! All of the big malls and shopping complexes don elaborate Christmas decorations and displays, both indoors and outdoors, complete with Christmas carollers, spreading cheer. One of the most beautiful ones is the almost 20-metre-tall Christmas tree in Statue Square, Central, right in the heart of the business district.
3. Genuine Christmas food
In Asia it can be hard to find authentic Christmas cuisine—after all, most people don’t own an oven for baking—but in Hong Kong many restaurants put on a proper, full-blown Christmas meal. If you’re craving a true taste of home, with baked turkey, ham, potatoes, gravy, eggnog and mom’s pumpkin pie, you can find it in Hong Kong.
4. Christmas attractions
Hong Kong’s biggest theme parks and tourist attractions all host huge Christmas events, with lights, Christmas trees, carollers, and even snow! Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park both put on full-blown Christmas shows, and Ngong Ping 360 held a ‘Snowy Christmas’, with an outdoor ice skating rink, and a snow angel area lasy year. (And in a place with no snow, as you can imagine, this is a pretty big deal.)
5. Ice skating
Talking about snow, if you happen to come from a cold, snowy place, then you probably miss things like ice hockey, tobogganing, and skating. Hong Kong has five fantastic ice skating rinks, located inside air-conditioned shopping malls. There’s only one on Hong Kong Island, at Cityplaza Ice Palace in Tai Koo Shing, with the other four in Kowloon: The Rink at Elements, Glacier at Festival Walk, Mega Ice, and Sky Rink. Time to get on the ice!
6. Christmas markets
The annual Stanley Plaza Christmas Market has more than 80 booths selling food, drink, and Christmas goodies in this quaint seaside town. Discovery Bay on Lantau Island also puts on a Christmas market in its outdoor piazza, while Taikoo Place transforms its Tong Chong Street Market into a winter wonderland.
7. Lan Kwai Fong Christmas/New Year’s Eve parties
It’s big, it’s crowded, everyone is drunk in the streets, and it’s great fun. Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) is always party central, but New Year’s Eve really takes the cake. For true cheapos, you can simply grab some drinks from the 7-11 and enjoy them outside in the streets (totally legal in Hong Kong); otherwise some bars and clubs charge an entry fee for free-flow food and drinks. This will be one night you will not forget!
8. New Year’s Eve fireworks
The incredible pyrotechnic show takes place on Victoria Harbour, and the best place to see it (for free) is from the waterfront around Central and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade next to the Star Ferry. But it’s no-joke crowded, so if you prefer, you can book your spot at one of the sky-high bars to get a view from above, or a harbour cruise, to watch it from the water.