Anyone who has stepped foot into Hong Kong knows the city has limited space. A lot of effort has been put into injecting green space wherever possible, even if that means it has to be under a highway or on a patch of space in the middle of the busy streets of Sham Shui Po or Mong Kok. So where there’s space, Hong Kong does the most with it. While there is no shortage of incredible hiking or waterfalls here, sometimes you need a quick escape right in the middle of the city. Here are our favourite parks in Hong Kong, where greenery has been turned into an art, skaters can find their havens, and you can just forget for a moment that you’re in a land full of high rises.
Kowloon Park — Tsim Sha Tsui
As soon as you step into Tsim Sha Tsui’s bustling district, the last thing you’d expect is to find a serene oasis like Kowloon Park. Spanning over 13 hectares, this park is perfect for family outings and picnics, with its maze of pathways, swimming complex, aviary, and Bird Lake, which is home to five species of birds (including Greater Flamingos!). It also houses multiple themed gardens (among which are the Garden of Life, Maze Garden, and Sculpture Garden) and a Heritage Discovery Centre (which tells the history of the British army’s barracks which once stood on the site of the park). Kowloon Park is so big, it can be reached by three different MTR stations: Tsim Sha Tsui, Austin, and Jordan stations.
Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong Wetland Park — Tin Shui Wai
Spanning over 61 hectares, the Wetland Park is a reserve that actually returns the land that was converted into the mostly residential area of Tin Shui Wai Town back to its natural state of wetland. Here, you can observe wildlife from bird hides or wander through the mangroves on the boardwalks leading visitors through the recreated habitats of species that thrive in this area’s original wetland ecosystem. This conservation centre and park in Hong Kong also has multiple exhibitions about the animals that live in the park and how wetland systems benefit the surrounding environment, as well as an indoor play area for kids.
Hong Kong Wetland Park, Wetland Park Rd, Tin Shui Wai
Tamar Park — Admiralty
Tamar Park is an urban oasis in the middle of Admiralty’s bustling crowds of office workers. With its spacious lawns and stunning views right next to Victoria Harbour, it’s an ideal spot to relax with a picnic blanket. Elevated platforms protruding out into the harbour even act as a multi-purpose space for occasional exercise classes! The towering Central Government Complex, where the Chief Executive’s office is located, acts as a arched gate leading visitors into the park. However, beware of visiting on a cloudy day, as there aren’t covered areas to shelter you from bad weather.
Tamar Park, Harcourt Rd, Admiralty
Victoria Park — Causeway Bay
Victoria Park is Hong Kong Island’s largest park. Covering a vast 19 hectares, the park offers green spaces and sports facilities galore: six football pitches, a whopping 14 tennis courts, four basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool, and a bowling green. For families, there are also four playgrounds. This Hong Kong park located almost halfway between Causeway Bay and Tin Hau MTR stations is a hub for cultural events such as the Lunar New Year Fair and Mid-Autumn Festival, when market stalls selling food and seasonal traditional products are erected on the football pitches.
Victoria Park, 1 Hing Fat St, Causeway Bay
Lai Chi Kok Park — Lai Chi Kok
Lai Chi Kok Park is a picturesque 17.6-hectare park that features Chinese-style landscaping, a lake, outdoor chess tables, and a 200-seat amphitheatre. It’s an excellent spot for outdoor activities, with its range of recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, sports courts, a children’s playground, and a skatepark. The peaceful Lingnan Garden built in the Cantonese style with rock heaps making ‘mountains’ and a pebblestone path is a lovely feature of the park.
Pet-friendly: In designated areas
Lai Chi Kok Park, 1 Lai Wan Rd, Lai Chi Kok
Tuen Mun Park — Tuen Mun
Tuen Mun Park is a 12.5-hectare park that is a haven for reptile enthusiasts, with its Reptile House accommodating more than 30 species of lizards, snakes, and turtles (see if you can spot the Chinese Water Dragon!). There is also a lake, gardens, sports facilities, and a rollerskating rink. A nice place to stop over on a stroll is the Rose Corner in the eastern end of the park, where fragrant roses are planted.
Bike-friendly: In designated areas
Tuen Mun Park, Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Rd, Tuen Mun
Tsuen Wan Park — Tsuen Wan
Tsuen Wan Park is a 5.3-hectare urban park that offers stunning waterfront views of Rambler Channel (Tsuen Wan Pier, with a ferry to private housing estate Park Island, is connected to the park). Take a leisurely stroll along its promenade, relax on the lawn, listen to the burbling waterfall, or let the kids play in the playground. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s multipurpose courts and government-operated sports centre with a gym and outdoor climbing wall.
Tsuen Wan Park, 59 Wing Shun St, Tsuen Wan
Tsing Yi Park — Tsing Yi
Tsing Yi Park is a tranquil 7-hectare park on Tsing Yi Island that features a central lake, Chinese-style gardens, and ornamental bridges. A lively spot frequented by locals living in the multiple surrounding housing estates, this park in Hong Kong has jogging trails, free elderly fitness stations, and a Tai Chi Garden. The Palm Garden is a secluded oasis with a quaint stone path lacing through palm trees, which is perfect for a walk or quiet picnic.
Tsing Yi Park, 60 Tsing King Rd, Tsing Yi
Kowloon Walled City Park — Kowloon City
Built on the site of a former Qing Dynasty fortress, Kowloon Walled City Park is a historical park that provides a fascinating insight into Hong Kong’s past. The 2.8-hectare Walled City was home to 30,000 to 40,000 people and a site of debauchery under colonial rule, which was demolished and repurposed into a park by 1995. The park’s traditional Chinese gardens, ancient relics, and preserved archaeological artifacts (including an 1847 Qing building called the ‘Yamen’ and the remains of the Walled City’s South Gate) are a must-see for history buffs. Kowloon Walled City Park’s floral walks trailing all through the park are a beautiful way to see the whole space.
Kowloon Walled City Park, Tung Tsing Rd, Kowloon City
Hong Kong Park — Central
Hong Kong Park is a place that is very easy to miss unless you know it’s there. Located in an unprecedented place: the city’s primary business district of Central, it’s a luscious 8-hectare park that boasts grand greenery and striking views of high-rise buildings soaring over the treetops. Explore the aviary, conservatory, or lily ponds, and enjoy a meal at the park’s restaurant, Pondside. There’s even a museum situated in a 19th century home occupied by British Commanders during the colonial era, which displays ancient Chinese teaware.
Hong Kong Park, 19 Cotton Tree Dr, Central
Header image credits: SeanPavonePhoto via Canva