Central is full of history and stories, and is the birthplace of colonial Hong Kong. It reflects the evolution of Hong Kong from a sleepy British colony to one of the world’s great cities. Central is well-known as a glitzy financial district, jam-packed with skyscrapers, but beneath the stunning skyline, history, art, food and culture take hold in this once colonial neighborhood, where East and West, past and present, tradition and innovation, and bustle and tranquility coexist, blend and collide.
To provide visitors with a unique perspective when exploring Central and neighbouring Sheung Wan area, five themed walking routes have been thoughtfully designed to reveal over 100 years of Hong Kong history. The routes take visitors to colonial monuments, temples, art galleries, street art display, antique stores, hip boutiques, trending restaurants, and bars and local delicacies, with hidden gems at every turn.
Five “Old Town Central” Walking Routes
- Heritage: Time Traveller – The Central and Sheung Wan areas were where the story of modern Hong Kong began. From Possession Point, where the British flag was first officially raised, to the Tai Ping Shan area, where many Chinese first settled in the 1840s, this journey leads you through some of the city’s oldest streets and offers glimpses of what life was like when the future world city was still in its infancy.
- Art: Crazy for Art – Take a stroll down the Hollywood Road, one of the oldest streets in Hong Kong, lined with galleries offering a huge range of artworks, from ancient to contemporary and from Asian to Western. Enjoy the creative graffiti art on the walls of the many side alleys leading off the street.
- Dining: Tasting Hong Kong – Central is a paradise for food lovers, offering a world of choices only steps from each other. From traditional dim sum and international and fusion cuisine to local dai pai dongs and street food, there’s something to appeal to every taste.
- Treasure Hunt: Hidden Gems in Back Alleys – This route takes you to Upper Lascar Row, which has a fascinating mix of antiques; a blooming creative neighborhood on Tai Ping Shan Street and in the PoHo area, where design studios are nestled between teahouses; and the Bridges Street area, where visitors can find second-hand books, knickknacks and reminders of the city’s past.
- Something for Everyone – This walk covers the top landmarks and points of interests from each thematic route and is perfect for visitors who have limited time to explore the area.