Hong Kong Asia's World City

Sleepless City

Sleepless City

From day to night

Hong Kong comes alive at night, abuzz with diners, revelers, theater goers and even market traders still out plying their wares. The nightlife scene is rightly legendary: there is something to do at every time of the day in this city that never sleeps. The nightlife options are too numerous to mention, but below you’ll find just a sample of what’s on offer: from cultural performances through to late-night party venues and midnight feasts. You can also spend a whole night in Wan Chai with our guide to one of the city’s most renowned night owl destinations.

So you’re after a good time? You’ve definitely come to the right city! Hong Kong boasts entertainment galore and most of it kicks off after sunset. Whether you’re after a classy cocktail in a trendy bar, live entertainment that beats through the night, a late-night snack to quell those hunger pangs or even a midnight run, Hong Kong is the city to oblige.

If you’ve already heard of Hong Kong’s crazy all-night vibe, then it’s surely because of the sheer number of bars of all shapes and sizes. Most first-timers head straight to the thoroughfares of Lan Kwai Fong in Central, which are packed full of bars and nightclubs, with revelers spilling out onto the streets at all hours. However away from this main draw, lots of trendy niche bars are opening up for a slightly more cultural experience.

Little Lab

Pop by newcomer Little Lab, which is leading the way in cocktails with a uniquely Hong Kong spin. The Yuan-yang is a favorite, transforming Hong Kong’s hugely popular yuanyang (coffee-tea drink combo) into a malty alcoholic cocktail; or HK Tea Time, which reimagines the street-side Hong Kong milk tea into a smooth after-hours concoction using tea syrup, evaporated milk and pale ale. Another cool bar that’s the talk of the town is Ping Pong 129, which sits underground in a converted ping pong hall in the gentrified district of Sai Ying Pun. This Spanish Gintoneria—gin and tonic bar—serves upwards of 40 international craft gins, each of which can be paired with a different tonic and garnish to bring out its different flavor profiles. Try the Gin Mare, a Mediterranean gin infused with rosemary, olives, basil and thyme, served with a sprig of rosemary and craft tonic water from Spain.

Dada Bar + Lounge

Be sure to fill up on more than just cocktails at one of the city’s varying entertainment venues. Hong Kong has a happening live music scene, offering everything from Cantopop gigs to jazz recitals and even karaoke. Full Cup Café is so much more than just a coffee spot: this chilled five-floor space is a hipster’s paradise, with lots of artistic corners, a workshop space and a “secret” garden that regularly hosts popular indie artists. You’ll often find creative types huddled together around coffee tables, escaping from the busy outside world. Jazz enthusiasts will love the scene at Dada Bar + Lounge, a chic den inside The Luxe Manor that’s inspired by the quirky Dadaism art movement of the early 20th century. Settle onto a red velvety chaise longue or a puffed purple sofa and listen to one of the venue’s many jazz, blues or string bands transport you to another—very whimsical—world.

Fringe Club

For a really cultured night out, you should seek out an authentic Cantonese opera performance. Sunbeam Theatre is one of Hong Kong’s most historic theaters, having been founded in 1972 by a troupe of Shanghai immigrants, and it’s renowned for its Chinese traditional art performances—Cantonese opera in particular. Many of the Cantonese opera stars of note will have trod these boards at one point in their careers, so you’ll certainly find authentic performances here, held most days of the week in its two auditoriums. Another unique theater venue with a proud history is the Fringe Club, one of the city’s foremost art spaces that’s been providing a platform for artists since 1984. There is always something creative going on here, so whether you’re after a Shakespeare rendition, a stand-up comedy show, a live music gig, an art exhibition or a poetry evening, then be sure to look up the Fringe Club’s events calendar while you’re here.

If you’re looking for a more active nighttime activity then head out on the Bowen Road Fitness Trail. Positioned half way up to the Peak, this popular 4-kilometer-long running and walking trail is safe and well-lit at night, with lookout points that furnish vistas across to Kowloon and beyond. Mid-way along the route you’ll discover Lovers’ Rock, a boulder which is said to have the power to grant happy marriages. You’ll often find worshippers making a beeline for this pilgrimage site, which sits loftily above the city. Not only is this trail a great location for a spot of nighttime exercise, but you’ll also find memorable skyline views from here, minus the crowds.

Hong Kong’s nightlife is legendary and you’ll be sure to feel the vibe too after trying some of these suggestions. But whatever you do while you’re here, just be sure to capture the city’s skyline view at night—it’s one experience that will stay with you forever.

Get Going

  • Little Lab
    Little Lab
    This cocktail bar is leading the way in drinks with a uniquely Hong Kong spin, reimagining favorites like Hong Kong milk tea.
    Address:
    Shop B, 50 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 2858 8580
    How to Get There:
    MTR Central Station, Exit D1. Exit via Theatre Lane on to Queen’s Road Central and turn right. Head up the Central–Mid-Levels Escalator and get off at Hollywood Road. Turn right and walk for 2 minutes. It’s about a 10-minute journey.
  • Ping Pong 129
    Ping Pong 129
    This converted ping pong hall is a Spanish Gintoneria—gin and tonic bar—serving upwards of 40 international craft gins.
    Address:
    LG/F, Nam Cheong House, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 9835 5061
    How to Get There:
    From Central Ferry Piers bus terminus, take bus 7 and alight at Western Street. Turn left on Western Street and right on Second Street. It’s about a 20-minute journey.
  • Full Cup Café
    Full Cup Café
    This chilled five-floor space has artistic corners, a workshop space and a “secret” garden for indie gigs.
    Address:
    3-7/F, Hanway Commercial Centre, 36 Dundas Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon
    Tel:
    +852 2771 7775
    How to Get There:
    MTR Yau Ma Tei MTR Station, Exit A1. Walk north on Nathan Road and turn left onto Dundas Street. It’s about a 3-minute walk.
  • Dada Bar + Lounge
    Dada Bar + Lounge
    Settle onto a red velvety chaise longue in the chic lounge and listen to one of the many jazz, blues or string bands.
    Address:
    2/F, The Luxe Manor, 39 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
    Tel:
    +852 3763 8778
    How to Get There:
    MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit B1. Walk north on Nathan Road and turn right on Kimberley Road. It’s about a 5-minute walk.
  • Sunbeam Theatre
    Sunbeam Theatre
    This historic theater was founded in 1972 by Shanghai immigrants and is renowned for its traditional Cantonese opera.
    Address:
    423 King's Road, North Point, Hong Kong
    Tel:
    +852 2856 0158
  • Bowen Road Fitness Trail
    Bowen Road Fitness Trail
    This popular 4-kilometer-long running and walking trail is safe and well-lit at night, with lookout points across to Kowloon.
    Address:
    Bowen Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
    How to Get There:
    Take minibus 24A from Admiralty bus station. Get off at the terminus, Shiu Fai Terrace, and walk up the steps behind the housing complex to the middle of the Bowen Road Fitness Trail. It’s about a 30-minute journey.
  • Fringe Club
    Fringe Club
    This unique theater venue is one of the city’s foremost art spaces and has been providing a platform for artists since 1984.
    Address:
    2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 2521 7251
    How to Get There:
    MTR Central Station, Exit D1. Turn right on Pedder Street, cross Queen’s Road Central and walk up Wyndham Street. It’s about a 5-minute walk.

Sleepless City 'Musts'

  • Sugar
    Take your cocktails with a view
    Sugar
    Top off your incredible nighttime experience with unforgettable skyline views at Sugar, the rooftop bar at East hotel. Up on the 32nd floor, this bar boasts an extensive lounge-style terrace with slouching sofas. Its pièce de résistance: wrap-around views of Hong Kong’s eastern harbor—a little seen panorama that includes the former airport-turned-cruise terminal Kai Tak. Sugar’s regular chilled DJ sets, international menu and great cocktail deals will always come second to the spectacular setting.
    Address:
    32/F, East, 29 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong Island
    Tel:
    +852 3968 3738
    How to Get There:
    MTR Tai Koo Station, Exit D1. East hotel is right beside the MTR exit.
  • Old Man Hot Pot
    Gather friends for hot pot
    Old Man Hot Pot
    Round off your cultural experience with a favorite Hong Kong nighttime tradition: hot pot—the ultimate in communal dining activities! Old Man Hot Pot is a famous family-run restaurant in the Hung Hom neighborhood that’s definitely worth trying out. You pick the broth, they bring it out on a burner to your table and then you pile in your chosen ingredients of meat, seafood and vegetables. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the marinated cockles or pig hamstrings.
    Address:
    25-31 Cooke Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon
    Tel:
    +852 9089 7732
    How to Get There:
    MTR Hung Hom, Exit A2. Take the pedestrian underpass to Cheong Tung Road. Continue onto Gillies Avenue South and turn left onto Cooke Street. It’s about a 10-minute walk.

This guide was produced by HK Magazine Media Group from 2014-2015.

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