Discover why Hong Kong is becoming the go-to arts hub of Asia Pacific with our handy art lover’s guide

Hong Kong is a city that rarely stands still, and its booming arts scene is no exception. Whether visiting heritage buildings, galleries, innovative world-class museums, admiring traditional craftsmen or urban street art, there is plenty here for the art-curious. The city also hosts a raft of annual international arts events at venues across the city (note the best of them in the box below). 

A good place to begin is in the dynamic Central district where Hong Kong’s contrasting faces dance an architectural tango. Hollywood Road, close to the Central-Mid-Levels escalator, is a hub for art and antiques. A few streets along in SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong, modern art galleries sit cheek by jowl with atmospheric temples, cafes and curio shops. 

Joining Central’s iconic cloud-piercing skyline is the glass-curtained vertical gallery, H Queen’s. An arts hub for the 21st century it houses five galleries and some of the city’s top restaurants. For the best view book an alfresco table at the rooftop wine bar, Plume.

Storied history: grade III-listed building PMQ is filled with studios, artisan shops and restaurants

Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

The arts offer an enjoyable way to connect with chapters in Hong Kong’s storied history. Hollywood Road is the location for the former Police Married Quarters. Now known as PMQ, the Grade III-listed building is filled with studios, artisan shops, installations and galleries and restaurants. Its buzzing courtyard and monthly calendar of pop-ups and workshops makes it a popular year-round venue.

Arts and heritage also take flight at Tai Kwun. A former police station compound, this brick building garlanded by attractive balconies now houses boutique shops, restaurants and bars, as well as doubling as a performance space and arts hub. It holds about six to eight exhibitions a year, and is a fun place to catch films and see indoor and outdoor theatre performances. 

Creative space: housed in a 1960s cotton mill, The Mills is one of the city’s newest cultural hubs

Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

Textile manufacturers began arriving in Hong Kong in the 1940s from Shanghai and by the 1970s the industry was supporting the livelihoods of more than 230,000 people. One of the city’s newest creative spaces, The Mills, is housed in a 1960s cotton mill in the former textile district of Tsuen Wan. Here you can find experiential retail and cultural events, exhibitions and studio space, and up on the roof, the verdant urban oasis that is The Park, as well as The Deck, where a rooftop vegetable garden provides for The Mills’ restaurants.

For some of the city’s newest cultural landmarks, as well as dazzling contemporary architecture to boot, head for the West Kowloon Cultural District. The “parting curtains” at the entrance to the Xiqu Centre for performing arts are an architectural tour de force and inside, visitors can gain an insight into the world of Chinese opera (xiqu). From there it’s just a short walk to the Waterfront Promenade and the monumental M+, designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron. With 33 galleries, a research centre, three cinemas, restaurants and roof a garden, it’s one of the world’s largest museums of modern contemporary visual arts, as well as a fully fledged Hong Kong landmark. 

Dazzling architecture: don’t miss the the Xiqu Centre for performing arts in West Kowloon Cultural District

Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

For a glimpse into court life during the Ming and Qing dynasties a visit to the recently opened Hong Kong Palace Museum is a must. Its nine galleries showcase more than 900 priceless Chinese antiquities from the Palace Museum in Beijing, many dating to the Ming and Qing dynasties. The treasures on display are enhanced by the vision of local architect Rocco Yim. Inspired by grand palaces inside the Forbidden City Yim’s beige-gold ceilings and “gauze-curtained” walls resemble bamboo and are a brilliant contemporary expression of traditional Chinese architecture. 

Impressive: marvel at priceless Chinese antiquities at the recently opened Hong Kong Palace Museum

Credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board

Sham Shui Po and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon may not be obvious places to head for art, but the community art project HK Urban Canvas has transformed the districts’ shop shutters into works of art depicting everyday life. From here, take the speedy MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui to check out the Hong Kong Museum of Art, which is home to a collection of over 17,000 pieces and a viewing platform overlooking Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island. You’ll soon see why locals refer to their city as “Home Kong”.

Getting there

Cathay Pacific flies non-stop to Hong Kong from London Heathrow up to five times a day, and from Manchester Airport four times a week. The award winning, five-star airline, known for its premium offerings, superior lounges, attentive service and exquisite dining on-board, is the perfect partner for travelling to the vibrant city. The airline is part of the oneworld Alliance and its modern fleet currently serves over 70 destinations worldwide. Cathay Pacific is revered for its comfort and high service standards and its award-winning hub at Hong Kong International Airport offers a world-class experience for all passengers.

Book direct with Cathay Pacific to take advantage of exclusive offers, and the best flexibility and assurance.

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