Hong Kong’s reputation as a busy, vibrant city packed with skyscrapers and people is…completely true. It’s one of the most densely populated areas in the world and has grown massively over the past few decades. But what’s it like with kids? We spent three days in Hong Kong with two children, a four year old and ten month old. How did we get on? Here’s our experience and some key details on visiting Hong Kong with kids.

Mrs T on the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Hong Kong with kids

Activities
There’s no shortage of activities aimed at children in Hong Kong. The theme parks of Disneyland, Ocean Park and the new Noah’s Ark are sure to thrill while the Wetland centre and Zoological and Botanical Gardens bring nature into the tightly-packed city. There are also educational spaces such as Hong Kong Science Museum and Heritage Museum.

As neither my husband or I had visited the city before, we wanted to explore Hong Kong as a whole rather than tailor it specifically for the children. Most of the main sights are family-friendly though and we had no complaints about our itinerary aside from the odd “I’m tired” or “my legs hurt”. These were easily fixed by getting a ride on daddy’s shoulders or falling asleep in the buggy as jet lag caught up. At 10 month’s old and not yet mobile, Cheeky went along with our plans and seemed happy.

Cheeky in Hong Kong

Mrs T’s one request was to go on the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. We obliged and saw some wonderful views of the city.

View from Hong Kong Observation wheel

Other activities included taking the tram to Victoria Peak, visiting Man Mo temple, the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade, Star Ferry, exploring the night markets of Mong Kok and visiting Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. More on our trip itinerary to come in another post. You can watch our highlights in the short film below.

Accessibility
It can take time to navigate Hong Kong. It is large and spread across a few islands. We alternated between the two main areas, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon on the peninsula which is where we were staying (at the Royal Plaza hotel). In terms of gradient, Kowloon is fairly flat although you may have to walk across elevated walkways which can be a tricky to work out. In Hong Kong Island we kept finding ourselves being directed through a mall. Finding our way out through the right exit wasn’t always a smooth experience.

Elevated walkways in Hong Kong

Some places on hilly Hong Kong island can be tough to navigate with a buggy, the Soho area in particular. We somehow made it Man Mo temple but there were a lot of stairs in the streets leading up to it and at times we had to go on the road.

Although the Zoological Park is great for children, it’s not so great to get to on foot with kids. There’s a hilly and sweaty walk up then a few gradients to tackle when there. It was doable with one in a baby carrier and the other in the pushchair. Taking an umbrella buggy which both girls could use was really helpful especially with the jet lag. The baby carrier got a lot of use too.

Cheeky in the baby carrier, Hong Kong
Transport
Hong Kong has a good public transport network with an underground (MTR), tram, bus and ferry. We gave the buses and trams a miss as we had a buggy so the MTR was our main transportation.

MTR (Hong Kong Underground)
To be honest, it felt a little slow with children. From buying the ticket, to locating the lift and walking through the barriers down to the track, it seemed to take a while. The stations are big and can be time-consuming (and tiring) to walk inbetween the different lines. Not something we would have noticed so much without children. Some of the trains seemed a little infrequent too compared to the London Underground when waiting as long as ten minutes for a tube is rare. However, most of them did have lifts (unlike the majority of London stations).

Tickets are cheap, around 50p – £1 in central areas, one way. You have to pay if your child is over 100cm tall (although they weren’t exactly checking). Day tickets are also available. Hong Kong has an Octopus card which comes preloaded and can be used on most public transport. We didn’t purchase one as didn’t think it would be worth it for all of us for our short time.

A child and adult ticket for the Hong Kong MTR
Taxis
Taxis are very reasonable. When we had two tired children on our hands after a day sightseeing, we simply grabbed a cab back to the hotel. From Hong Kong island to our hotel in Kowloon it was less than £10. Taxis run on a meter but beware, some will not go under the tunnel to the other islands. After loading up the buggy and ourselves into a taxi outside Man Mo temple, we had to decamp after a shaking of the head from the driver when we told him our hotel. There are plenty around though so it didn’t take long to flag one down. There are also designated taxi ranks in some areas.

Other
The Star Ferry was absolutely fine with a buggy while the Peak Tram can be done with a foldable umbrella buggy. The near vertical ride is quite an experience for them and the views from the top will surely impress. There are long queues for the Peak Tram so get there early. Alternatively consider getting a combined hop-on hop off bus ticket or one for Madame Tussards (which we did) which enables you to skip the queue.

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Despite queue-jumping on the way up, you can’t do the same to get back down (and believe me, my husband tried!). If the children (or adults) are fed up and can’t wait, hop in a taxi. The number 15 bus also goes to and from Victoria Peak. If you have older children and are feeling energetic, you could consider hiking up and down the peak.

Accommodation
We stayed in Kowloon at the Royal Plaza which offered a decent sized room at a fraction of the price compared Hong Kong Island (we paid £500 for four nights). It had a swimming pool and a gym (which we didn’t end up using). Most of the main sights are on Hong Kong Island so we did a bit of travel within the city. Although it would have been more convenient to stay on Hong Kong Island, it was eye-opening to experience the night markets and shops of Mong Kok. I am not sure we would have done so if we hadn’t stayed on the Kowloon side. Tsim Sha Tsui also offers good midrange prices.

Mongkok, Hong Kong
Mongkok in Kowloon

Weather
We went at the beginning of April and got a good spell of sunny weather with temperatures of 22-25 degrees celsius most days. It does get humid and sweaty but got cooler in the evenings (so take a cardigan). June to August are the hottest months and can reach up to 40 degrees celsius.

Eating out
Hong Kong is well known for its food and there’s plenty of different cuisines on offer. Most places welcome children and many restaurants serve food all day. Most are reasonably priced. There appeared to be a good level of sanitation (and none of us got ill). We didn’t brave the street food though, just in case. High chairs or booster seats are available although some weren’t ideal for very small children without safety straps. Some restaurants have children’s meals and a mix of western and Asian food. We mainly ate Asian food. Our children enjoy noodles and rice while soup went down well too.

Food in Hong Kong with kids
Having tea at ‘Dim Dim Sum’ restaurant

Drinking
We managed to have some early evening drinks with the girls at a roof top bar in Wan Chai called Wooloomooloo. It had amazing views.

Hong Kong at dusk from roof top bar Wooloomooloo

The staff were accommodating and I sipped a cocktail without it being split on me by a little person…surely a success?

Hong Kong with kids
Baby facilities
You’ll find nappy change toilets in the modern malls but individual restaurants can be hit and miss. Some will have a table you can use. I had to improvise on occasions. Nursing rooms are available in large malls and museums.

Safety
Hong Kong can be intense and with so many people around, keep your children close. I never felt unsafe but be cautious. Western children will get a lot of attention. Many people wanted photos with the girls and some took them without asking. Streets and parks can get busy and hectic. We had one heart-stopping moment when Mrs T ran out of sight in a playground at the Zoological Park. She was absolutely fine but aged my husband by about ten years. Don’t take your eyes off them.

Hong Kong with kids
Cheeky getting attention from tourists at Victoria Peak

Verdict
Hong Kong with kids can be a lot of fun and we really enjoyed our trip. At times it was a little challenging but travel with children can anyway, right? Hong Kong was a cultural experience we won’t forget in a hurry and both our daughters soaked up the atmosphere and sights. Some areas are hilly and are probably better suited to older children without a buggy but there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy. I loved wandering the hectic night markets in Mong Kok and seeing the views from Victoria Peak. Mrs T told me her Hong Kong highlights were the Observation Wheel and seeing the monkeys at the Zoological Park.

Practicalities
Don’t drink the tap water. Bottled water is reasonably priced and we had plenty provided by our hotel. Hong Kong has a time difference of seven hours ahead of GMT.  US and EU residents staying under 30 days do not need a visa. Hong Kong using a three pronged plug, same as the UK. As a former British colony, English is widely spoken and signs and public notices have english translations.

For further information on visiting, go to the Discover Hong Kong website.

Food in Hong Kong with kids

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Guide To Visiting Hong Kong With Kids

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48 Comments on Guide To Visiting Hong Kong With Kids

  1. Ian
    May 9, 2017 at 8:02 am (3 months ago)

    “From buying the ticket, to locating the lift and walking through the barriers” – Travel on the metro’s are the biggest reason we almost exclusively stick to baby carriers. #citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm (2 months ago)

      You do right Ian. It can be a bit of a mission!

      Reply
  2. Bumble Bee Mum
    May 9, 2017 at 8:39 am (3 months ago)

    I felt tired reading about your Hong Kong adventure with the kids. LOL… Hong Kong can be so tiring, with all their hills and stairs and poor stroller accessibility. That aside, it’s true they have some great attractions for kids. If you’re back, try the Ngong Ping 360! That was my boys’ favourite part of Hong Kong. #CityTripping
    Bumble Bee Mum recently posted…Driving Daisetsuzan National Park & Visit to Daisetsu Asahigaoka Mori no Garden (Hokkaido, Japan)My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm (2 months ago)

      Ooh that sounds interesting. Missed that one. We certainly felt like we deserved all the food after wandering the streets and hills of HK!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm (2 months ago)

      Thanks. It was really fun.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm (2 months ago)

      I’m working on it!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 9, 2017 at 11:20 pm (3 months ago)

      It was really varied…something I love about it!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm (3 months ago)

      Thanks Fiona. There was definitely some challenging times and you can’t do many things in a hurry!

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth Newcamp
    May 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm (3 months ago)

    There is a strong possibility we will be moving to Japan in 2018, which would position us for some amazing travel in Asia. This post is exactly the sort of thing I cannot wait to check out. I had no idea how much family friendly stuff is available in what I previously thought was just a big city. I cannot wait to (hopefully) check out some of these recommendations ourselves! #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm (2 months ago)

      Japan! That’s super exciting! Glad this can be useful! You’ll be on a brilliant position to explore Asia!

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth
    May 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm (3 months ago)

    So many great tips for visiting Hong Kong with kids. Its nice when a city is kid friendly even if not over the top. Sounds like you found plenty of kid friendly places and restaurants without much trouble! #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:47 pm (2 months ago)

      Thanks. We did! Restaurants were great with kids and the girls slotted into the main HK activities we wanted to do.

      Reply
  5. Lyf&Spice
    May 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm (3 months ago)

    Your posts are so natural and real. Really exciting about linking up with #citytripping Cheers!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you so much. That’s lovely to hear! Great to have you on #citytripping

      Reply
  6. Corey at fifi + hop
    May 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm (3 months ago)

    What an amazing trip for you and your family! We are the same way – if there’s a place we haven’t explored yet we don’t necessarily tailor it to the kids, but always make sure to include things they’ll like. I can imagine that must have been a scary moment in time when Mrs. T couldn’t be spotted at the playground, all the more enhanced by being in a foreign country. That’s something I think about often when we travel. Love the video!!! #citytripping
    Corey at fifi + hop recently posted…New Orleans: the Draw of the French QuarterMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm (3 months ago)

      So glad you like the video Corey! Yes, misplacing Mrs T was very scary! Only lasted a few minutes, seconds even but you do have to be vigilant. Children can find fun in most things and it’s always important to have balance.

      Reply
  7. Wherejogoes
    May 9, 2017 at 6:06 pm (3 months ago)

    It’s a long time since I’ve been to HK and it was Before Children so all the child friendly things passed me by. You crammed a lot into a few days and even managed some rooftop cocktails I call that a parenting success! If I went again with the kids then Disneyland would definitely be on the list but I agree with you – there are a lot of not necessarily child orientated things that children still enjoy doing like the ferry and Victoria Peak. I’d love to go back with the girls. #CityTripping
    Wherejogoes recently posted…TAKING A FOOD TOUR IN THE CITY OF PORTO -WITH KIDSMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm (3 months ago)

      Hehe – the cocktails were good! I hope you get to visit soon. It’s a fascinating place.

      Reply
  8. Jane @ Raincity Librarian
    May 9, 2017 at 6:47 pm (3 months ago)

    I don’t know how well I’d fare with the crowds – I found Tokyo exhausting, and I think Hong Kong might just do me in! That’s what I get for being Canadian, where we have more space than we know what to do with – going to densely populated cities can be a major shock to the system! 😉

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm (3 months ago)

      Hehe – it was a shock to my system and I live in London! In turns of crowds, it’s similar to Tokyo. The trick is to have a beach holiday afterwards to recover!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm (2 months ago)

      Oh, I think they would. My daughters loved it. It goes very slowly so not too scary going round.

      Reply
  9. beatravelling
    May 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm (3 months ago)

    I had a good time in HK as well. I’ve never seen so many high-rises in one place 🙂
    beatravelling recently posted…VIP Lounge Pau CanudasMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm (3 months ago)

      I know! It’s crammed full of them.

      Reply
  10. Sarah
    May 9, 2017 at 10:59 pm (3 months ago)

    Oh my gosh your daughter’s hair is wild and gorgeous! What a wonderful trip – and I love that you have a section specifically about accessibility 🙂

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you Sarah! Yes, the hair is very crazy!

      Reply
  11. Hilary
    May 9, 2017 at 11:49 pm (3 months ago)

    Great article! You’ve touched upon many of the things I was wondering about, I’ll look forward to reading more about your adventures in future posts!
    Hilary recently posted…A Photo Tour of the French QuarterMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm (3 months ago)

      I’m glad you found it useful Hilary!

      Reply
  12. Kat
    May 10, 2017 at 11:12 am (3 months ago)

    You did pretty well moving around in HK with the kids considering how hilly the island is! Even I get tired sometimes walking up and down the streets of HK but it’s good exercise for me, lol! #Citytripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm (3 months ago)

      It as a bit challenging at times Kat, especially getting to the Zoological park but we managed and, like you say, was all good exercise!

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you Claire! You must go back at some point and fully appreciate it. How did your parents enjoy living there?

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 17, 2017 at 7:39 am (2 months ago)

      The Star ferry was a fun outing.

      Reply
  13. April Berry
    May 11, 2017 at 9:29 pm (2 months ago)

    I would have never even thought of Hong Kong for a family vacation. It has never even popped up on my destination radar. But wow, it looks like such a neat place to explore!! What a great trip! #CityTripping

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 18, 2017 at 7:01 am (2 months ago)

      Thanks April. It was doable with children and a great stop-off for exploring more of Asia. X

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 18, 2017 at 7:03 am (2 months ago)

      Thank you! Yes, they do…even in the UK.

      Reply
  14. Katy Clarke
    May 19, 2017 at 4:57 am (2 months ago)

    So glad you were able to enjoy a lovely cocktail. I think our travel styles are quite similar in that we try to accommodate everyone’s needs when visiting new places. I like to mix it up between kid stuff and adult activities too. Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 19, 2017 at 1:06 pm (2 months ago)

      That’s good to hear. I think it’s important to have some variety and cater for everyone’s needs as best you can. Thanks for hosting #citytripping

      Reply
  15. Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    May 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm (2 months ago)

    I love that picture of you juggling a cocktail with two little ones by your side! Says it all really. Wow, Hong Kong looks so hectic but one of those must-see places, I think. Your tips are really useful. I’d love to show my kids the sights and sounds of such an iconic city. The foodie treats would be a big highlight for us. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm (2 months ago)

      Hehe – it certainly sums up how travel with kids can be! HK had been on our list for a ages. Was a fab experience!

      Reply
  16. Erin Gustafson
    May 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm (2 months ago)

    Oooh – what a balancing act – bravo! I know Hong Kong would have something to offer every age – I think my teens would love it. I’m having flashbacks to those Baby Bjorn days with another little in tow when we took our then two to Australia from the States. It’s exhausting thinking about the energy required to manage all of it! Well done! #FarawayFiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 29, 2017 at 2:49 pm (2 months ago)

      Hehe, thank you! It was exhausting at times. I think your teens would love Hong Kong!

      Reply

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