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by Santorini Dave • Updated: December 28, 2018
When is the best time to visit Hong Kong?
- Best Time for Shopping: Hong Kong is a shoppers’ paradise year-round, but one of the best times for bargains is from July through early September when many retailers offer attractive discounts to lure customers in from the city’s beaches. You’ll also see many big fashion labels launching their latest looks for autumn and winter. Just after Christmas and before Chinese New Year is another good period for sales. If you’d like to experience Hong Kong’s largest night market, the Temple Street Market located in the Yau Ma Tei and Jordan area of Kowloon is open all year with the exception of the first day of Chinese New Year. It’s best visited after 7pm, and most stalls will be open until nearly midnight.
- Best Time to Visit Hong Kong Disneyland: The best time for a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, is when the weather is relatively dry and temperatures are comfortable, usually between November and April. If you’re hoping to avoid crowds and especially long lines, avoid going around any major holidays, and try to visit in either early November or the month of April. No matter when you arrive, go on a weekday and plan to get there at least a few minutes before the park opens.
- Best Time to Visit Victoria Peak: The best time to visit Victoria Peak is right after it rains, which is most frequently during the summer months as it helps to clear the air, allowing for the best views. If you hope to avoid long lines, go on a weekday around 9am. The busiest time tends to be just before sunset on a clear day, but this is also the time when you’ll be able to enjoy a spectacular vista as the sun dips below the horizon – and after dark, the entire city is especially stunning with all of the dazzling lights laid out before you.
- Best Time for Festivals: Hong Kong is illuminated with festivals throughout much of the year, but if you want to experience the biggest and most colorful, plan to go during Chinese New Year which falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February; January 28 in 2017. At this time the city is filled with excitement, and hordes of tourists, so you’ll need to plan your trip well in advance. If you’re here in late May or early June, while you’ll need to be prepared for hot and steamy weather, you can enjoy the opportunity to witness the elaborately designed boats in the Shing Mun River during the Dragon Boat Festival.
Hong Kong Travel Seasons
- High Season (October through mid-May): Hong Kong is a popular destination year-round, which means it doesn’t have a well-defined high or low season. The busiest periods tend to be outside of the hot summer months, peaking during busy periods like the Golden Holiday Week around May 1, October 1 and Chinese New Year in late January/early February. During this time, you’ll need to book hotels well in advance and prepare for thick crowds, though a mass of visitors can be expected throughout much of the year. Rooms get fully booked early. Book the Best Hotels in Hong Kong and the Best Family Hotels in Hong Kong months in advance.
- Shoulder Season (mid-May through June): During late spring in Hong Kong, the heat and humidity are usually bearable, and room rates are slightly more manageable, though you may not get much relief from the crowds.
- Low Season (July and August): The summer is generally considered “low season,” though you’re unlikely to find steeply discounted rates as you would in many other destinations. The hot, muggy and typhoon-prone weather hasn’t been dissuading travelers or causing hotel rates to drop like they once did, so you’ll want to weigh any bargains against the cost of suffering through the heat and sweaty tourists.
Hong Kong Weather by Month
- Hong Kong Weather in January: While January is Hong Kong’s coldest month, people coming from northern climates will find it mostly rather pleasant, and only a bit chilly at times. Despite locals bundled up as if they’re in the Arctic, the city’s average temperature hovers around a mild 15°C, with highs reaching to a balmy 23°C. You won’t see any snow, or even frost, in fact, anything below 10°C is considered a serious cold snap. January is the second driest month after December, with only an average of 21mm of precipitation over four days. This is one of the few practically rain-free months, so it’s a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. While you probably won’t need any summer clothing, a light jacket, long-sleeved shirts, pants and some good walking shoes should more than suffice. (Average Max Temperature: 23°C. Average Precipitation: 21mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in February: February is similar to January, with the high temperature creeping up a bit to 25°C, and very little in the way of rain with 33mm on average, and when it arrives, it’s mostly in the form of drizzle. The average overnight low is 14°C, so even if you’re out during the evening you still won’t need more than a light jacket. This is one of the best times to be in Hong Kong for outdoor activities, and even getting out on the trails to do some hiking. Most of the time, a sweater or a light jacket is all you’ll need to keep warm, though you may not even need that. If you plan to head to the hills, a light windproof jacket is advisable. (Average Max Temperature: 25°C. Average Precipitation: 33mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in March: By the time March arrives, it will really feel like spring. The average temperature this month is a comfy 18°C, with the mercury occasionally rising as high as 28°C on some afternoons. Precipitation increases to 44mm, but again, it’s mainly drizzle, along with misty mornings, typically alternating with drier, sunny days. This is the last month until late autumn that you’ll be able to head outside without worrying about the humidity soaking through your clothing, so take advantage of the beautiful weather by spending time outdoors. Bring short-sleeved shirts, pants and even a pair of shorts for those nice warm days. As the temperature will rarely dip below 15°C, a light sweater is all you’ll need in the evening. Keep in mind that you may need it indoors during the day too, due to the shivering air-conditioned temperatures inside places like shopping malls and grocery stores that are typically hover around 13°C to 15°C. (Average Max Temperature: 28°C. Average Precipitation: 44mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in April: While the humidity and heat are gradually rising, April is generally a pleasant time to be in Hong Kong, with temperatures typically ranging around 20°C to 25°C, though it can get as hot as 29°C on some days. While this is definitely t-shirt and shorts weather, April also brings a lot more rain, with precipitation averaging 113mm over eight days. Although you will have plenty of sun to take advantage of outdoor activities, it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella – a jacket may be too hot. And again, a light sweater is often necessary for time spent indoors, due to the chilly air-conditioned buildings. (Average Max Temperature: 29°C. Average Precipitation: 113mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in May: Spring is short in Hong Kong, with summer arriving in May. While it isn’t the worst month to be here, with temperatures averaging in the high 20s, the mercury can climb to 31°C or even hotter – and, this is the time that the humidity really rises too. While it’s perfect beach weather, the humidity is often rather taxing for those who want to do lots of walking around the city. May also kicks off the typhoon season, with the second half the month especially quite wet and rainy – on average 155mm of precipitation falls over 15 days. Now, you’ll definitely need your summer wear, including short-sleeved shirts, shorts and sandals that you don’t mind getting wet, along with an umbrella. A sweater will help you cope with the cold indoor temperatures too. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 155mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in June: June, July and August are the wettest months of the year in Hong Kong, and June may be the worst time of all to be here. The humidity is oppressive, making it very uncomfortable to spend much time outdoors, and the average precipitation is a whopping 238mm that comes down over 18 days. The good news is that the average temperature is a balmy 28°C, with highs reaching 31°C. If you plan a visit during this month, an umbrella becomes even more essential, and shoes meant for the water may be a good idea too, along with your summer gear and sweater. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 238mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in July: In July, along with everything you needed to bring for a trip in June, you’ll need sunscreen and an industrial-sized deodorant stick. The sun shines more this month, but there’s more rain too, with an average of 252mm over 15 days. The average high temperature is 32°C, though it can get as hot as 34°C on some days – and you won’t get much relief after dark either, with average lows dipping only to 26°C. While it’s very difficult to enjoy outdoor activities for any length of time without feeling very uncomfortable, like long periods of walking, you can take refuge by heading to the air-conditioned mall or other indoor sights. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 252mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in August: August is the wettest month of all, with 281mm of precipitation on average, through occasional showers, thunderstorms and typhoons, while the high humidity remains. Within minutes, or even seconds of walking outside, your shirt is likely to be soaked. This is not a very enjoyable time to explore the city’s outdoors, although the slew of air-conditioned indoor attractions and public transport does help. Pack as you would for July, and you’ll be prepared as much as you can be for the heat, humidity, rain and chillier indoor temps. (Average Max Temperature: 32°C. Average Precipitation: 281mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in September: If you’re going to visit Hong Kong in the summer, September is your best bet. While it’s generally hot and humid, there is less humidity and rain to interfere with your plans, and you’ll enjoy many days with clear skies. The average high temperature dips slightly to 31°C, and rainfall takes a significant dive to 166mm, though the typhoon season continues and September is the month with the most tropical cyclones. By the middle of the month, while it remains sticky, the humidity backs off enough so that it’s no longer unpleasant to explore the city’s streets. By packing as you would for the other summer months, you’ll be well-prepared for a more enjoyable trip. (Average Max Temperature: 31°C. Average Precipitation: 166mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in October: When it comes to the weather, October is a wonderful time to be in Hong Kong. The rain has greatly diminished, to just 41mm falling over eight days, and you’ll enjoy mostly clear skies and constant warmth without being too hot. The average temperature hovers around 26°C, and it generally doesn’t get any hotter than 28°C. Evenings are pleasant too, with lows of 23°C. Bring your summer clothing and a light sweater for the cooler indoor spots, but don’t worry much about an umbrella, as there’s a good chance you won’t need it this month. (Average Max Temperature: 26°C. Average Precipitation: 41mm.)
- Hong Kong Weather in November: Autumn in Hong Kong is lovely, with November bringing low humidity, plenty of sun and near-perfect temperatures, averaging 22°C, and occasionally increasing to 24°C in the afternoon. Low temperatures dip to 19°C, so if you’re used to heat, you may need a light jacket and will want to dress in layers, though many people feel a few long-sleeved shirts along with short-sleeved tops for warmer days, and long pants, are ideal for this time of year. Rainfall decreases even more, to just 22mm of precipitation over six days, so there’s no need for an umbrella this month. (Average Max Temperature: 24°C. Average Precipitation: 22mm.)
- Hong Kong in December: While December ushers in winter, it’s hard to call this season “winter” in Hong Kong. You will need a sweater or a jacket, but heavy coats can stay home. Planning to dress in layers for fluctuating temperatures that vary from cool to warm is usually a good idea too. The weather is dry, the skies are clear, and you’ll enjoy lots of sunshine, with an average of six hours a day. Daytime temperatures are generally in the mid- to upper-teens, though they can get as high as 20°C, with overnight lows dipping to 14°C. With just 21mm of precipitation over four days in December, you won’t have any worries when it comes to rain. (Average Max Temperature: 20°C. Average precipitation: 21mm.)
Hong Kong Special Events by Month
Hong Kong in January
- New Year’s Day – January 1st, New Year’s Day, is a national holiday in Hong Kong, and here it brings the Dragon and Lion Dance extravaganza which features a parade that typically starts from Canton Road along the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Avenue of Stars in the early afternoon, finishing up at UC Centenary Garden, East Tsim Sha Tsui. On the same day, is the exciting New Year’s Day Race, one of eight “Magnificent Race Days,” held at the Sha Tin Race Course where you’ll see beautiful horses racing to the finish.
- Hong Kong Marathon – This signature international sporting event attracts roughly 70,000 participants and features a marathon as well as a half-marathon, 10k, half-marathon wheelchair race and a 3k wheelchair race.
- Chinese New Year – Chinese New Year, the city’s biggest and most colorful festival, is based on the lunisolar calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar, which means dates change slightly each year. While it often falls in early February, in 2017 it will fall on January 28. One of the highlights is the parade near Victoria Harbour in which you’ll see dozens of floats proceed down the streets, accompanied by marching bands, skaters, dancers, jugglers and more. The entire city shuts down for three days to celebrate, and it’s all capped off with a stunning fireworks show over the water.
Hong Kong in February
- Hong Kong Arts Festival – The long-running Hong Kong Art Festival kicks off in late February and runs throughout much of March each year. It’s hosted a multitude of rich, colorful performances, including symphonies, ballets and operas, from China as well as overseas, over the past 40+ years.
- Spring Lantern Festival – This annual festival held on the 15th day of Chinese New Year, February 11 in 2017, features brightly colored lanterns that can be seen strung throughout the city. A majority of the lanterns are red in color as the Chinese believe that red is the harbinger of fortune. The main celebration takes place in Tsim Sha Tsui at the Hong Kong Cultural Central Piazza.
- Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival – The Hong Kong Well-Wishing Festival continues the New Year celebrations. Locals take a trip to Lam Tsuen, where a variety of events are held, including the releasing of the Wishing Lanterns and well-wishing at the Wishing Trees. Performing groups and a display of floats from the New Year’s parade are also part of the festivities.
- Valentine’s Day – The westernized version of Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated on February 14th in urban areas, including Hong Kong, though the traditional Chinese Valentine’s Day takes place in August. Restaurants will offer special romantic dinners and stores will offer sales on items like roses and chocolate, though with older, local couples, the husband prepares an elaborate dinner for his wife or buys her a fancy dress on this day to show appreciation.
Hong Kong in March
- Tai Kok Tsui Temple Fair – Held annually in early March, this fair is a full day of colorful festivities that are dedicated to the God of the Sea, Hung Shing, revered in ancient days by many fishermen.
- Hong Kong International Film Festival – Asia’s oldest international film festival, and the one of the most important cultural events in Hong Kong, this event that begins during the second half of March each , brings together actors, directors, screenwriters and other industry professionals as well as film fans from all over the world.
- Hong Kong Flower Show – This show held over ten days in mid-March features elaborate displays of flowers and landscaped areas. It also features competitions, floral demonstrations and cultural events with changing themes every year.
Hong Kong in April
- Ching Ming Festival – Celebrating the start of spring on the third moon of the Lunar New Year, in late March or early April, April 4 in 2017, this festival is a time when families visit their ancestral graves to clean and leave offerings. It can be a fantastic sight to witness, as joss sticks and incense are burned, and all types of food is left – in Hong Kong, takeaway pork and rice is common.
- Hong Kong Rugby Sevens – This is the premier sports event on the annual calendar in Hong Kong. Running Friday through Sunday in early April, it draws fans from near and far. The tournament is held at Hong Kong Stadium, and there are also party tents and giant screens outside at Chater Garden. It includes a hosts of parties, entertainment and parades both prior and during the event.
- Tin Hau’s Birthday – The birthday of the Goddess of the Sea, Tin Hau, is celebrated on the 23rd day of the third month in the Lunar Calendar, in late April or early May. There are more than 60 Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong scattered across the city, and each one will hold some type of celebration, including parades, lion and dragon dances, music and more.
Hong Kong in May
- Labour Day – May 1 is a public holiday in Hong Kong, a time when workers enjoy the day off and some will gather for demonstrations in Victoria Park. Expect big crowds at most tourist sites and attractions; this is a good day for shopping, but you may want to avoid the congestion around the park.
- Le French May – Starting in early May and running through June, this annual event that’s been held for over two decades now, is a festival of French culture. Events are hosted at various venues throughout Hong Kong and include everything from the circus to the cinema, opera and classical dance along the food and fashion vendors.
- Buddha Birthday Celebrations – This national holiday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth moon in the Lunar calendar, normally in late April or early May on the western calendar, May 14 in 2016. Buddhists temples and monasteries throughout the region will be buzzing with activity; lanterns are lit, symbolizing Buddha’s enlightenment, and thousands of worshippers come to pay their respects and enjoy the festivities.
- Cheung Chau Bun Festival – Held over five days in mid-May (May 10-15, 2016) on Cheung Chau Island, the highlight of this lively festival is its massive bamboo mountains that are covered with handmade buns and set up near the Pak Tai Temple where most of the celebrations take place. It includes martial arts demonstrations, Chinese opera performances and parades.
Hong Kong in June
- Dragon Boat Festival – Held annually over three days in June, and sometimes in late May, this festival features dragon boat races at various venues throughout the region as well as live entertainment, parades, food stalls and more.
- Chinese Opera Festival – The Chinese Opera Festival begins annually in mid-June and runs through late July or early August. It features daily stage performances by leading companies as well as a wide range of events from Chinese Opera film screenings to symposiums and exhibitions.
- Stanley Dragon Boat Short-Course Races – Celebrated in late June, three weeks after the main Dragon Boat Festival races, these races, as the name suggests, take place on a shorter, 200-meter course.
Hong Kong in July
- Hong Kong July 1st Celebrations – This national holiday commemorates the anniversary of the Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. Celebrations are held throughout the city in each district and include flag-raising ceremonies, parades, cultural performances and an impressive fireworks display.
- Hong Kong Book Fair – This annual book fair takes place over a week in mid-July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In addition to exhibiting and selling new books and media products, it features seminars, reading and writing workshops, and autograph sessions with authors.
- Ani-Com and Games Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s hottest event in video games, comics, animation, digital entertainment, and toys and collectibles, is especially popular with 12- to 30-year-olds. It includes autograph sessions, stage forums, presentations, comics and figure design competitions, an international COSPLAY carnival, live performances and more.
Hong Kong in August
- Hungry Ghost Festival – This festival takes place on the 15th night of the seventh lunar month in the Chinese calendar, usually in August; August 17 in 2016. According to traditional Chinese belief, this is the time when restless spirits roam the earth, and you’ll see many people making efforts to appease them by burning incense, joss paper, candles and fake money. For the visitor, it’s an excellent opportunity to experience the city’s authentic culture.
- Hong Kong Food Expo – Held over five days in mid-August, August 11-16 in 2016, this annual food fair brings together more than 900 exhibitors showcasing delicacies and the finest selection of foods from across the globe.
- Double Seventh Day/Chinese Valentine’s Day – The most romantic of the traditional Chinese festivals, this festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh Chinese lunar month, August 9 in 2016, and August 28 in 2017. Mostly young women participate mainly in activities that demonstrate domestic skills. They pray for happiness, wealth and longevity in addition to making wishes for a good husband.
Hong Kong in September
- Mid-Autumn Festival – Also referred to as the Moon Cake Festival, this September event will be held on September 16 in 2016. It marks a historical rebellion against Mongol rule, in which the plans for rebelling were hidden inside mooncakes. It includes many lantern carnivals which showcase colorful lanterns, song and dance performances, kung fu and craft demonstrations as well as other festivities throughout Hong Kong. A lantern parade takes place in Victoria Park.
- Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair – The world’s largest timepiece event offers an incredible array of clocks and watches as well as a preview of the latest designs and trends. The highlight is the World Brand Piazza which features rare and limited edition timepieces from major international brands.
Hong Kong in October
- Cheung Yeung Festival – This public holiday is a day of remembrance which falls on the 9th day of the 9th moon, on October 9 in 2016. Similar to the Ching Ming Festival, families visit graves to pay their respects to loved ones that have passed by offering things like food, incense and Chinese paper money. Many locals also take advantage of the day off to enjoy the cooler weather that’s finally arrived by going hiking and enjoying other outdoor activities.
- Hong Kong Tennis Open – The Hong Kong Tennis Open brings together top tennis professionals who compete at Victoria Park’s Tennis Stadium over nine days in mid-October.
- Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival – Held over three days in late October, the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival features hundreds of stalls set along Victoria Harbour which offer award-winning eats along with fine wines and spirits from around the world. It kicks off an entire month of events for food enthusiasts, including culinary-themed offers, masterclasses and street carnivals.
- Halloween – Halloween here is mainly about commercial activity and entertainment for young adults who frequently dress up in costume while going bar hopping and clubbing in central Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong area. Many establishments offer special discounts and waive admission fees for those in costume.
Hong Kong in November
- Lan Kwai Fong Carnival – This two-day festival over a weekend in November brings more than 80 booths and stalls to the streets of Lan Kwai Fong, with an array of delicious foods, and an extensive selection of outstanding cocktails, beers and fine wines from around the world as well as arts and crafts and interactive games. You’ll also see parades with Brazilian dancers and acrobats.
- World of Food and Music at Stanley – This celebration of fine wines, distinct flavors and host of performances takes place every Sunday throughout the month at the amphitheater in Stanley Plaza.
- Hong Kong Winter Fest – Starting in mid-November and running through New Year’s Day, this series of events is focused on a different theme every year, with its highlight being the spectacular centerpiece in Central’s Statue Square. Colorful lights decorate the streets, while stores and markets offer reduced prices. You can also can expect to find things like wishing trees, photo booths, candy houses and a variety of delectable treats.
Hong Kong in December
- The Great European Carnival – This carnival held right on the Central Harbourfront, kicks off in mid-December and runs through mid-February. It features thrill rides, live entertainment with local and international music artists and comedians, carnival games, the biggest outdoor ice rink in Hong Kong and food from around the world.
- Hong Kong Shopping Season – Starting in late December and running through Chinese New Year, this is actually a big shopping sale in which many larger stores, particularly in the malls and more upscale designer stores and boutiques, offer slashed prices and bargains like two-for-one deals.
- Christmas Symphony of Lights – Every night during the holiday season there is a free light show at Victoria Harbor that continues to get bigger and flashier every year. It can be watched from the pedestrian walk known as Avenue of Stars that runs along the shore.
- The Hong Kong Mega ShowCase – The largest indoor carnival in Hong Kong takes place every year at the Hong Kong Convention Centre for several days around Christmas. It features more than 1,000 booths and vendors from around the world with a number of major expos and trade shows in a variety of themed zones like the Hong Kong Car Show, Hong Kong Food Festival, a beauty zone, fashion and accessories zone, DIY crafts zone and more.
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – Christmas Eve brings a huge street party in Lan Kwai Fong with loads of food, drink and entertainment. Christmas Day is a public holiday, but almost everything other than a few smaller shops will be open, and many restaurants offer Christmas dinner.
- New Year’s Eve – December 31st brings another huge street party to Lan Kwai Fong as well as a New Year’s Countdown and a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour.
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