How Much Does it Cost to go to Hong Kong?

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Do you want to know how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong? The city is one of my favourite places in the world. What I love about the city is how vibrant and multi-cultural it is. If it’s your first time in Asia, Hong Kong is the perfect starting point since it’s a major hub and just about everyone speaks fluent English.

So how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong? It obviously depends on the type of traveller you are. Luxury travellers could spend more in one night than most people do in a week. If you’re on a budget, Hong Kong is a great place to make your money last. That said, my estimates below are for the average traveller to give you a rough idea of how much you should budget.

 Estimated cost
Airfare$850
Accommodations$750
Transportation$50
Food & Drink$210
Attractions$100
Random spending$100
TOTAL$2,060 USD

The above estimate is for 6-nights and 7-days in U.S. dollars. If you want to know what the cost is in your home currency, go to xe.com and do the conversion. My estimate is also for a single traveller, so if you’re travelling with someone, double all your costs with the exception of food.

If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 85,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $850 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.   

how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong

Airfare

Although Hong Kong is a major international hub, it’s a fairly expensive destination for many people. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay around $850 for your Airfare if you’re flying from North America or Europe. If you’re flying within Asia or from the Middle East, prices will likely be lower.

Cathay Pacific is Hong Kong’s national carrier, but just about every major airline also flies to Hong Kong. The airport has an express train that will take you into the city, but it might actually be easier to take a bus from the airport. Talk to your hotel or host and find out what’s the best way to get to where you’re staying.

Accommodations

How much you spend on accommodations depends on your preference. $125 a night is the average price I was finding for mid-range hotels in some of the best places to stay in Hong Kong. You can find better prices if you’re willing to go a little further out towards Sham Shui Po or North Point. I personally prefer staying on the mainland as opposed to the island. I just find it to be a bit more interesting there.

Budget hotels

Hong Kong has plenty of budget hotels. You may not get a ton of space, but you will get a clean place to sleep. As you can imagine, the more popular areas are more expensive. If you stay further out, you can save a decent amount. Just make sure you’re new an MTR station.

Recommendations: The Salisbury – YMCA, Mia Casa Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Hong Kong Mongkok

Mid-Range hotels

There are a surprising amount of decent mid-range hotels in Hong Kong that fall in the $100 – $200 range. As you can imagine, prices tend to drop the further out you go from the core. If you’re going to go further out, find something close to a MTR stop.

Recommendations: Holiday Inn Express MongkokThe Cityview, Eaton, Hong Kong

Luxury hotels

Hong Kong has plenty of luxury hotels, so if you’ve got money to burn, then you won’t be disappointed. The price of these hotels compared to mid-range options can easily be double, if not more.

Recommendations: Island Shangri-La Hong KongThe Peninsula Hong KongJW Marriott Hotel

If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.

Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you up to 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $500. There’s also the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year.

Hong Kong streets

Local Transportation

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 $50 for your local transportation costs. This might be a bit high, but I’m factoring in a ride to Macau which is a common day trip.

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 – $2.50 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. 

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.

Hong Kong MTR map

Attractions

Hong Kong has many different attractions with varying prices. I recommend budgeting about $100 for attractions. Most people will do 2-3 but if you do more things will add up.

If you’re going to a theme park, I’d choose Ocean Park over Disneyland. I think it’s a better park, but if you’re a Disney fan, you’re going to Disney regardless of what I suggest. The Peak tram is definitely worth it and so is a trip to Macau.

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.  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 – $5
  • Lunch – $10
  • Dinner – $15

Food in Hong Kong can be incredibly cheap but there’s also a ton of expensive restaurants if you have fancier tastes. Most people in Hong Kong eat something simple like a baked bun or toast with a drink so $5 for breakfast isn’t unreasonable. $10 for lunch can easily be had at a dai pai dong (food stall) or takeout dim and will probably come with a drink. I would argue that $15 for dinner is a bit high since there are many cheaper options, but it’s an estimate. Some days you’ll spend more on dinner and some days you’ll spend less.

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 we’re talking about a Michelin star restaurant here.

You’ll also end up snacking a lot since there is street food and drink stands everywhere. Budgeting $30 a day is probably a smarter move as opposed to each individual meal. There is nothing wrong with spending more on food. Trust me, in Hong Kong, you’ll want to.

Random spending

How much you spend on shopping is entirely up to you, but I always include an estimate of $100 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 trap, 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 something.

Final thoughts

So how much does it cost to go to Hong Kong? My estimates show that you should budget about $2,060 USD. 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.

For more inspiration, check out my guides to Bali, the Maldives, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Is Hong Kong expensive to visit?

Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities to live in, but if you’re a tourist, it’s actually not too bad. There are a lot of hotel options, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something within your budget. Food is pretty cheap and the city has some of the cheapest Michelin star restaurants in the world. As for attractions, a lot of the stuff is free, so you don’t need to spend a fortune.

Is Hong Kong cheaper than America?

If you read my guides on New York, Orlando, Boston, and Chicago, you’ll quickly realize that Hong Kong is cheaper than America. That said, depending on where you’re flying from, the airfare could cost you quite a bit. Overall, you need to think about what kind of vacation you want. Hong Kong is very different compared to American cities.

How much is a meal in Hong Kong?

This will obviously vary depending on where you eat, but 80 Hong Kong Dollars (US $12) will get you a decent meal at take out places and street markets. Make no mistake, this is some of the best food you’ll find in Hong Kong. I’m talking about stir fried noodles, fried rice, soup noodles and more. Even if you go into a quick service restaurant, you might not pay much more for a meal. That said, Hong Kong also has a lot of nicer restaurants where you should expect to spend more.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Hong Kong?

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

6 Comments

  1. […] for being the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world; a perfect pick for those who are visiting Hong Kong on a budget. Their pork buns are the real winner; getting rave reviews by every critic and foodie who tries them. […]

  2. Jhonalyn Gamble on August 22, 2018 at 5:32 PM

    With that estimated final cost of $2700 Canadian dollars, it already includes about going to Disney land?

    • Barry Choi on August 22, 2018 at 5:41 PM

      Jhonalyn,

      My estimate for attractions is $100, if you were to go to all the attractions I suggested, you’d likely have to budget another $150

  3. How Much to Tip When Travelling? - Money We Have on August 20, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    […] major tourist areas such as Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul. A tip of 10% at restaurants in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam are typical, but if a service charge is added, there’s no need to tip anything […]

  4. […] are no crazy cheap prices but Hong Kong for less than $1,000 and Shanghai under $900 are pretty good. Heck, Beijing for less than $800 is a […]

  5. Cantopop on July 3, 2020 at 9:43 PM

    I’d recommend attending a concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum even if you don’t listen to cantonese music. HK concerts performed by its top singers are world class, and the most popular ones can hold 10+ shows, even 20+. The more shows they perform, the higher the budget they’ll put back into the shows. Check out YouTube clips of Eason Chan or Joey Yung’s concerts. https://youtu.be/pOiWYM4bVYo

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