Hong Kong is a popular destination for a stopover while traveling to other places in Asia or as a stopover on the way to Australia or New Zealand. A city break to Hong Kong, as we did, is of course also possible. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive destinations in Asia, but for someone from the Netherlands or Belgium, it is still always cheaper than back home. However, for us on a Colombian salary, the costs are higher, but despite that, I found that what we spent during the two weeks was very good. In this article, I give an overview of the cost of our trip and an overall picture with how much we ended up spending. Read on and see if this matches what you would expect!
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
We calculate back to Colombian pesos, but for this overview I will calculate everything in euros. Can I immediately see for myself how much we actually spent in euros. Hong Kong is known as the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). 1 euro = 8.7 HKD (September 2016). There are many ATMs in the city where you can get dollars out of the wall.
The plane ticket to Hong Kong
The journey to Hong Kong begins, of course, with booking a flight. We paid 7,603,600 Colombian pesos = €2,374 for this for two people. So per person, the flight cost €1,187. Pretty pricey, but remember that we came from Colombia and landed in Hong Kong after a 35-hour journey. From Amsterdam fly with KLM.nl for about 800 euros (direct) to Hong Kong.
Where will you stay in Hong Kong? Our hotel.
You can find all classes and types of hotels and hostels in Hong Kong, but everything is more expensive than in the rest of Asia. We chose to book a more luxurious hotel: The Perkin Hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui district located in Kowloon. This hotel was truly fantastic! A very large room, a beautiful view from the 15th floor, a desk, ample closet space, a very spacious bathroom, bathrobe and slippers and very good service. For both of us, The Perking was one of the best and finest hotels we have ever stayed at! We stayed 12 nights and paid 4,233,180 pesos = HKD 11,502 = €1,322 for it. So per person we spent 661 euros on accommodation in Hong Kong: 55 euros per night. Of course, there are plenty of other lodging options, hostels, cheaper hotels, apartments, you name it. For an overview, click here.
Eating and drinking in Hong Kong
I didn’t keep track of exactly how much I spent per day on food and drink. For you, food in Hong Kong will be much cheaper than in Europe or the US, but for us it was slightly more expensive than we are used to. For a cheap meal you will pay less than HKD 200 (€23), at a slightly more expensive restaurant you will spend between HKD 200 and HKD 500 (€23 to €57.50), and at an expensive restaurant you will eat for more than HKD 500 (> €57.50) (source: Lonely Planet Hong Kong). The most expensive I spent on one meal was HKD 160 (€18). Usually a meal cost about HKD 50 to HKD 100 (€5.70 – €11.50). Water we just drank from the tap, saving bottles of water and other drinks every day.
Sightseeing in Hong Kong
Many attractions in Hong Kong are free. Think parks, temples and Buddhas. For many museums you will pay something, but you will also find a lot with free admission. Even though I saw a lot, the only expenses I incurred were for sightseeing:
- Hong Kong Wetland Park: HKD 30 (€3.50);
- The Peak Tram and Sky Terrace.: HKD 75 (€8.60; one-way ticket).
So in total I spent only €12.10 on entrance fees in 12 days.
Public transportation in Hong Kong
We were immediately amazed at how well organized and how cheap public transportation is in Hong Kong. Fees are calculated on the number of miles you travel (metro) or a fixed price per bus or ferry. It is very convenient to have an Octopus Card. You can recharge these anywhere, making it very easy to pay in any mode of transportation. Moreover, the card can also be used as a means of payment in supermarkets or places of interest. In total, I spent about HKD 350 (€40) on public transportation. So on average only €3.33 per day. If you return the card at the end you will simply get the deposit + the remaining amount left on it back!
Other expenses: shopping in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a real shopping city: you can literally get everything there. Now I am not much into shopping myself, but in advance I had thought of buying something nice for myself. In the end, I didn’t: I simply didn’t come across anything I really wanted. And buying for the sake of buying I really think is a waste of money. In the end, we found a few things that cost us about HKD 230 (€26). I also bought souvenirs for my colleagues at the Night Market, the Ladies Market and at a Chinese supermarket. This cost about HKD 200 (€23).
Total: how much did our Hong Kong city break cost?
In 12 days, I only pulled out two ATMs, a total of HKD 2500 (€287) and spent it all. Within this amount are all the above costs (except the flight and hotel). For 2 weeks, this city break cost:
- Flight: €1,187 (from Colombia that is, this can be much cheaper!);
- Hotel: €661;
- Sightseeing, food and drink, public transportation, shopping: €287;
- Other costs: €34.
= in total: €2,169 per person.
Is Hong Kong really that expensive?
When you look at this costs, you quickly see that the biggest expenses are logically in the flight and hotel. If you fly from Amsterdam or a city in the US and stay in a cheaper hostel, you can save quite a bit on this. During the two weeks in Hong Kong I spent very little, only about 300 euros for which I did everything. This is much less than what I had thought beforehand. Hong Kong is definitely more expensive than other places in Asia and a bigger expense for the budget traveler, but really expensive? Stay in a cheaper hotel, eat on the street or in cheap restaurants, don’t buy food and drinks at tourist hot spots or in railway stations, do and see as much as possible for free, and travel on foot or by public transport: then the costs in Hong Kong are not too bad. The traveler who does not necessarily travel on a budget will be able to enjoy all that this great city has to offer in a cheaper way than at home.
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