Take a Trip Through Hong Kong's Art and Culture Scene

Hong Kong offers countless opportunities for discovery, from watching an exhilarating dragon boat race to joining a festival that dates back to the Qing dynasty

Every evening at 8:00 p.m., searchlights, lasers, and LED screens work their magic, transforming Hong Kong’s impressive skyline into a visual feast. Locals are well aware to stand along Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and the Avenue of Stars, as the location offers the best vantage point for the nightly spectacle.

If you happen to be in Hong Kong this 2024, follow along as we have secured the best spots to enjoy the art and culture world. The fairs, where more than two-thirds of participating galleries have spaces in Asia, serve as prime venues to explore emerging talents from the region and expand your cultural knowledge. With numerous other events in its lineup, Hong Kong provides countless opportunities for discovery—whether it’s watching an exhilarating dragon boat race or joining a festival that dates back to the Qing dynasty.

Art Basel Hong Kong

The inaugural Art Basel took place in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland, and has since evolved into one of the most influential art fairs worldwide, including Hong Kong

A city of contrasts where East meets West, Hong Kong is a cultural ecosystem unto itself, with trendy art galleries and cutting-edge creative spaces forming the fiber of the city.

Art Basel Hong Kong’s upcoming edition will revert to its pre-pandemic scale, featuring 242 exhibitors at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This includes 68 returning galleries and 25 newcomers, and will take place from March 28 to 30. The fair maintains its three main sections: Galleries, the main portion of the fair representing 200 exhibitors; Discoveries, for solo presentations of emerging artists; and Insights, dedicated to historical presentations on artists from the Asia-Pacific region.

When: March 28-30, 2024
Where: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Art Central

Compared to Art Basel, Art Central is a more intimate affair where the passion for supporting local artists is the focal point

The month of March in Hong Kong offers a unique opportunity to explore its diverse art scene, hosting two renowned fairs during the same period at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The international art fair showcases a wide array of traditional paintings and sculptures from artists worldwide, spanning Asia, Europe, and the United States. Alongside these, anticipate contemporary artworks, featuring cutting-edge media such as installations and video works, as well as engaging workshops and talks.

When: March 28-31, 2024
Where: Central Harbourfront

Hong Kong Sevens

The Sevens gives a big boost to the local economy, attracting locals and tourists alike

The Hong Kong Sevens is one of the most popular sporting events in Asia, drawing teams from around the world for top-tier rugby matches. Dress up in costumes or sport a jersey to cheer for your favorite team.

Just a few minutes away from Lan Kwai Fong, extend the experience by heading to some of the city’s trendiest bars and restaurants after the thrilling match.

When: April 5-7, 2024
Where: Hong Kong Stadium

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

Each bun is marked in red with the Chinese character for “peace”

Held on the small island of Cheung Chau, the Cheung Chau Bun Festival is named after their renowned steamed buns. Its origins date back to the Qing Dynasty, where it began as a Taoist ritual aimed at appeasing the gods following a devastating storm and a plague outbreak.

Despite Cheung Chau typically being a quiet fishing village, the festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the island’s famous buns, each marked in red with the Chinese character for “peace.”

In preparation for the main procession, the people of the island observe a vegetarian diet for three days. Meanwhile, massive bamboo towers, soaring to 16 meters in height and studded with thousands of plastic buns, are erected in front of the Pak Tai temple.

The festival’s highlight—a bun scrambling competition—happens at midnight. Qualified contestants climb the towers while tossing as many plastic buns as possible over their shoulders into open knapsacks.

When: May 12-16, 2024
Where: Cheung Chau

Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, also called the “Double Fifth Festival,” falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month

Hong Kong isn’t all skyscrapers. A natural landform harbor situated between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, Victoria Harbour provides a picturesque setting for the Dragon Boat Festival.

According to legend, Qu Yuan, an exiled poet and state servant during China’s Warring States period (475-221 BC), took his own life in the Miluo River upon learning of the downfall of his state. Villagers rushed out in boats in a desperate attempt to rescue him. Realizing it was too late, they tossed zongzi, or glutinous rice dumplings, into the water to keep the fish from feeding on his remains, and thrashed their paddles and beat drums to scare them away. This has since evolved into the annual tradition of eating zongzi and rowing dragon boats on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

When: June 22, 2024
Where: Victoria Harbour

Mid-Autumn Festival

The 67-meter dragon is paraded through the streets by 300 people

To celebrate mid-autumn in Hong Kong, locals eagerly anticipate lantern-lit skies and mooncakes. In one corner of the city, the Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance adds a spectacular touch to the festivities.

Head to the Tai Hang neighborhood to witness the 67-meter dragon crafted from bamboo and adorned with thousands of glowing incense sticks. The dragon dance commences at Tai Hang Causeway Bay, starting from Wun Sha Street and proceeding along King Street, then to Sun Chun Street, followed by Tung Lo Wan Road, before returning to Wun Sha Street.

When: September 17, 2024
Where: Tai Hang

Temple Street Night Market

Although the market officially opens at 2:00 p.m., most stalls set up shop at around 4:00 p.m.

The market officially opens at 2:00 p.m., but the fortune tellers, tarot card readers, Cantonese opera singers, and such rarities of the city won’t be seen until much later.

Until then, stroll the Jordan and Yau Ma Tei districts and discover lesser-known Hong Kong street food such as ding ding candy, dragon’s beard candy, and airplane olives—olives pickled with salt, tangerine peel, clove, and cinnamon. For curious shoppers, there are stalls selling all manner of paraphernalia, from silk scarves and bags to electronics and Hong Kong-themed knick-knacks.

When: until the end of May
Where: Temple Street

For more information, visit Hong Kong Tourism Board’s official website. Follow the Hong Kong Tourism Board on Instagram.

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