Hong Kong will celebrate its 26th HKSAR Establishment Day on July 1. To mark the occasion, there are a ton of freebies that residents of the SAR and visitors to the city can get. Think free rides on the city’s iconic trams and Star Ferry, as well as free access to exhibitions at new landmarks like M+ and the Hong Kong Palace Museum.

Here’s the list of what you can get for free on July 1 and how to access them:

Star Ferry rides

Passengers on the Star Ferry can get free trips across Victoria Harbour on the Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui route.
Passengers on the Star Ferry can get free trips across Victoria Harbour on the Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui route (© CHUNYIP WONG via Canva)

Passengers can take unlimited trips for free on the Star Ferry between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. However, if you want to take the Central-Tsim Sha Tsui ferry, you’ll have to pay the full fare.

Tram trips

Board any tram in Hong Kong on July 1 to get a free ride.
Board any tram in Hong Kong on July 1 to get a free ride (© km30192002 via WikiCommons)

Hop on board any HK Tramways tram from July 1-5 and get rides across the northern part of Hong Kong Island for free.

Water Taxi rides

All Hongkongers and visitors to the city can sail across Victoria Harbour for free using the Hong Kong Water Taxi on its Central-Hung Hom and Tsim Sha Tsui-Wan Chai-Central-West Kowloon routes.
All Hongkongers and visitors to the city can sail across Victoria Harbour for free using the Hong Kong Water Taxi on its Central-Hung Hom and Tsim Sha Tsui-Wan Chai-Central-West Kowloon routes (© LN9267 via WikiCommons)

Sail across Victoria Harbour on two Hong Kong Water Taxi trips: Central-Hung Hom and the Tsim Sha Tsui-Wan Chai-Central-West Kowloon circular route. 

If it’s your birthday on July 1, you can get free trips on the North Point-Kwun Tong-Kai Tak and Tuen Mun-Tung Chung-Sha Lo Wan-Tai O routes. Want to spend your birthday cruising across the harbour? Do it for free on the Happy Hour, Symphony of Lights and  Dazzling Night cruises.

See also
Ride The Hong Kong Water Taxi Across Victoria Harbour For Free On July 1

MTR Light Rail and bus trips

Explore the northwestern part of the New Territories with free rides on MTR's Light Rail.
Explore the northwestern part of the New Territories with free rides on MTR’s Light Rail (© Pacific Chillino via Wiki Commons)

All passengers who take MTR buses and the light rail will get fare-free rides on July 1. The railway corporation is also giving away 71,000 domestic single-ride and 26 annual passes in a lucky draw on July 1, as well as rewards worth HK$2.5 million for registered MTR Mobile app users.

KMB and Long Win bus rides for kids

Kids in the 3-12 age group can ride all KMB and Long Win buses for free on July 1.
Kids in the 3-12 age group can ride all KMB and Long Win buses for free on July 1 (© LN9267 via WikiCommons)

Children aged 3-12 can ride for free on all KMB routes (except the K12, K14, K17 and K18) and Long Win buses for 13 weekends from June to August. Since July 1 falls on a Saturday, kids in this age group are eligible for these free trips.

See also
KMB Will Give Kids Unlimited Free Bus Rides On 13 Days From June 18-August 27

Hong Kong Wetland Park

All visitors can enter Hong Kong Wetland Park for free on HKSAR Establishment Day this year (© Leung Cho Pan via Canva)

All visitors can enter Hong Kong Wetland Park without registering or buying a ticket. However, they cannot enter the Wetland Challenge Gallery (including the Kid’s Corner on the first floor) or the souvenir shop as they are closed for renovations.

Guided tours and workshops

Get free guided tours to well-known sites of historical significance in Hong Kong, such as the Blue House Cluster in Wan Chai.
Get free guided tours to well-known sites of historical significance in Hong Kong, such as the Blue House Cluster in Wan Chai (© 方畢可 via WikiCommons)

There will be free guided tours and workshops, as well as food and beverage offers, on July 1 (or on dates closest to the day) at the following 12 projects under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme:

  • Tai O Heritage Hotel (Old Tai O Police Station)
  • Hong Kong Baptist University School of Chinese Medicine – Lui Seng Chun (Lui Seng Chun)
  • YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel (Mei Ho House)
  • Jao Tsung-I Academy (former Lai Chi Kok Hospital)
  • Green Hub (Old Tai Po Police Station)
  • Stone Houses Family Garden (Stone Houses)
  • Viva Blue House (The Blue House Cluster)
  • Hong Kong News-Expo (Bridges Street Market)
  • The HKFYG Leadership Institute (Former Fanling Magistracy)
  • The Pokfulam Farm (Old Dairy Farm Senior Staff Quarters)
  • Tai Hang Fire Dragon Heritage Centre (No. 12 School Street)
  • The Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre Eco-Learn Institute (Lady Ho Tung Welfare Centre)

Government-run leisure facilities

Access to Hong Kong public swimming pools, such as the one at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, is free on July 1.
Access to Hong Kong public swimming pools, such as the one at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, is free on July 1 (© Olaongdees via WikiCommons)

Anyone can use the following indoor and outdoor facilities managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department as long as they make a booking first:

  • Indoor leisure facilities such as badminton courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, netball courts, volleyball courts, squash courts, table tennis tables, American pool tables, billiard tables, sport climbing walls, bowling greens, golf facilities, fitness rooms, activity rooms, dance rooms, and a cycling track
  • Outdoor leisure facilities like tennis courts, tennis practice courts, bowling greens, batting cages, sport climbing walls, archery ranges and golf facilities (except camp facilities, sports grounds and artificial as well as natural turf pitches)
  • Public swimming pools except for the Wan Chai Swimming Pool and the Kowloon Tsai Swimming Pool (no prior bookings required) 
  • Water sports centres, except for recreational kayaks, pedal-driven boats, sampans and colour boats at Chong Hing Water Sports Centre, which are available only for campers
See also
Free Ferry, Tram Rides, Museum Exhibitions & Guided Tours For Hong Kong July 1 Celebrations

Museum exhibitions

Entry to the seven thematic exhibitions at the Hong Kong Palace Museum is free on July 1.
Entry to the seven thematic exhibitions at the Hong Kong Palace Museum is free on July 1 (© Hong Kong Palace Museum via Facebook)

Entry to the following museums and exhibitions are free on July 1:

  • Hong Kong Palace Museum: The seven thematic exhibitions on display in Galleries 1-7
  • M+: All exhibitions 
  • Hong Kong Science Museum: All permanent exhibitions and ‘Material Tales – The Life of Things’ exhibition.
  • Hong Kong Space Museum: All permanent exhibitions except for the Space Theatre shows
  • Hong Kong Heritage Museum: All current free exhibitions as well as the ‘Virtually Versailles’ exhibition and ‘Out of Thin Air: Hong Kong Film Arts & Costumes Exhibition’
  • Hong Kong Museum of Art: All current free exhibitions as well as ‘The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Joan Miró – The Poetry of Everyday Life’ exhibition

There are also free exhibitions at the following venues: 

  • Hong Kong Museum of History
  • Dr Sun Yat-sen Museum
  • Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
  • Hong Kong Railway Museum
  • Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence
  • Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
  • Law Uk Folk Museum
  • Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
  • Sheung Yiu Folk Museum
  • Hong Kong Film Archive
  • Sam Tung Uk Museum
  • Oil Street Art Space (Oi!)
  • Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre

Header image credits: YuenWu, urban cow, and seaonweb via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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