Between my family, we’ve been making regular trips to Hong Kong over the last 15 years. What I’ve noticed during this time is that prices have slowly crept up. That being said, Hong Kong is still relatively inexpensive once you get over the cost of airfare.
So how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong? My calculations below are based on the average price of a one week stay in the city. This would include roundtrip airfare, six nights at a hotel, daily meals, admission costs, and spending money. These estimates are for a single traveller, so double all the costs with the exception of hotels if you’re travelling as a pair.
|Food & Drink||$245|
The above estimate is in Canadian dollars since I’m Canadian. Even if you’re not Canadian, the only major difference will be the cost of airfare. I recommend using Skyscanner to figure out average airfare costs from your home country. Also, don’t forget to use xe.com to figure out the costs in your home currency.
For reference (as of April 13th 2017), $1 CAD = $5.9 HKD, $1 USD = $7.7 HKD
Remember, the above costs are just estimates for the average travellers. Some people will spend more while others will spend less. Since I’m a budget travel expert, I’ll be providing tips on how to save money. This how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong guide is meant to give you a rough idea of how much you’ll need to budget for.
Hong Kong is one of the more expensive destinations to fly to from Canada; it’s a 15 hour flight from Toronto and just under 13 from Vancouver. The average price for a roundtrip direct flight to Hong Kong in the low season is $1,300. In the summer it can go up to $1,800 and I’ve seen flights as high as $2,200 in December on Air Canada.
Prices do come down if you’re willing to take a stopover but it’s often not worth it. Sure you could save $300 – $400 but if it adds four to six hours to your journey, is it worth it? Your journey would be more than 20 hours! If you’re travelling as a family it might be worth it, but I think your time is more valuable than the savings.
That being said, a stopover is worth it if you plan on spending a few days at the stopover destination. Vancouver and Tokyo are natural stopovers to Hong Kong so you could plan an epic trip around those cities. Read my guide on how to find cheap flights now for some tips to save.
How much you spend on accommodations depends on your preference. $140 a night is the average price I was finding for mid-range hotels in decent locations such as Mong Kok and Sai Wan. You can find better prices if you’re willing to go a little further out towards Sham Shui Po or North Point. I’ll provide some insights below on alternate types of accommodations.
Hostels – Hong Kong is full of hostels, but the majority of them are not very good quality. Sure you’ll get basic amenities, but rooms tend to be very small. That being said, there’s no denying the price, and you can’t put a price on saying you stayed a night in the famous Chungking Mansions.
Airbnb – Airbnb prices have gone up over the years, but they’re still reasonably priced and often in good locations. Keep in mind this is Hong Kong, apartments tend to be small so expect double sized beds instead of a queen. Use my Airbnb referral link now to get $50 off your first stay.
Luxury hotels – Hong Kong has every major brand of Luxury hotel so if you’ve got money to burn, then you won’t be disappointed. Even if you’re on a modest budget, many of these hotels have great restaurants or bars with epic views which are worth splurging on.
My preferred booking site is booking.com since it lists hotels, apartments, B&B’s, vacation homes and inns. In addition, they price match and you’re not required to pay until after your stay for almost all accommodations. After five bookings, you become a member of their Genius program which gets you an extra 10% off on selected properties.
Hong Kong has one of the best transportation networks in the world, and it’s very easy to navigate. English is widely spoken (except by some cab drivers), and just about every sign is in English and Chinese. I’ve estimated $70CAD for your local transportation costs; this might be a bit high, but I’m factoring in a ride to Macau.
The main types of transportation are the metro, buses, mini-bus, and Star Ferry. There’s also an express train from the airport which you might use. All of these public transportation options can be paid with a reloadable Octopus card. You can buy an Octopus card at the airport, metro stations, and just about any convenience store (where you can also use them to buy whatever you want). The Octopus card can also be used in Macau and Shenzen.
Fares are calculated based on distance, but overall it’s not very expensive. A trip on the MTR (train) will cost you anywhere from $1 – 3 CAD in the greater Hong Kong area. Even if you decide to take the train to Shenzen which is in another country (China), you’re still only looking at about $7. There are an app and online journey planner available to help you plan your travels.
Busses will be a little cheaper, but for most tourists, the MTR will get you wherever you need. Mini-buses are also available throughout the city, but I would avoid them as a tourist as you sort of need to know what you’re doing and where you’re going.
The Hong Kong Airport Express is a great way to reach the city fast, but it’s a bit on the higher end as far as prices are concerned. You’re better off checking with your hotel or host to find out which is the best bus to take since it’ll probably 1/4th the price of taking the express train.
Hong Kong has many different attractions with varying prices. I’m going to list the price of all the major attractions, but I don’t actually expect you to go them all so my estimate for attractions costs is more of an educated guess. I’m listing adult prices below and using HKD so you know what to expect to pay.
- The Peak – HK $88
- Ngong Ping 360 – HK $185 / HK $255 Roundtrip standard / crystal cabin
- Hong Kong Disneyland – HK $589
- Ocean Park Hong Kong – HK $438
- Happy Valley Racecourse – HK $10
At first glance, you’re probably thinking that Hong Kong’s attractions are pretty expensive, but those numbers are a bit deceptive. Of the above attractions, I only expect you to pay for two of them (The Peak and one theme park).
The Ngong Ping 360 is a cool gondola that will take you up to the Big Buddha over the bay in 20 minutes, but it’s a bit expensive. To save money take bus #23 from Tung Chung Town Centre which costs just HK $18 (one way) and takes 45 minutes.
So what about the rest of Hong Kong’s top attractions? The rest of them such as the Avenue of Stars, symphony of lights, markets, temples, and islands are free. That being said, a lot of the other top attractions include food and shopping so you could end up spending a small fortune =D.
Food and drink
How much you decide to spend on food a day will vary by person, but below are prices you can expect to pay for average meals with a drink.
- Breakfast – $3
- Lunch – $8
- Dinner – $15
At just $26 Canadian a day for food, that may seem a bit low (or high), but remember, these are average prices. Most people in Hong Kong eat something simple like a baked bun or toast with a drink so $3 isn’t unreasonable. $8 for lunch can easily be had at a dai pai dong (food stall) and will probably come with a drink. I would argue that $15 for dinner is a bit high of an estimate since it’s unlikely you’ll eat double what you had for lunch.
Now although Hong Kong food can be crazy cheap, it would be foolish to cheap out. Hong Kong has the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world in Tim Ho Wan. A single dish here is about $2.50 – $5 which is expensive by Hong Kong standards, but reasonable by Canadian standards. This is a Michelin star restaurant after all.
You’ll also end up snacking a lot since there is street food and drink stands everywhere. Budgeting $30 – $40 a day is probably a smarter move. There is nothing wrong with spending more on food. Trust me, in Hong Kong, you’ll want to.
How much you spend on shopping is entirely up to you, but I always include an estimate of $200 here because people often forget to budget for their spending. If you like to shop, obviously you’ll spend more, but even if you don’t like to shop; Hong Kong has a way of making you part with your money.
The various markets are a total tourist trip, but I’ll admit that I always find something to buy there. There are so many malls in the city, each practically being a tourist attraction that it’s hard to not buy anything.
I also talked about spending on random food while walking around. It’s near impossible to resist trying some curry fish balls or stinky tofu from street vendors around town. If you’re travelling during the hotter season, you won’t feel any guilt when you stop for an ice cream or lemon tea.
So how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong? My estimates show that you should budget about $2,755. This is a reasonable amount when visiting one of the best cities in the world, but don’t be afraid to splurge. You could save some money by cutting back on certain things, but that would cut into your experience and that’s not worth it.