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20 Things to Do in Waterford City

20 Things to Do in Waterford City

 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Waterford

Waterford has recently been voted the best city in Ireland to live in, and as a resident of this historic city, I can certainly agree. Waterford is located in the southeast of Ireland, we call it the Sunny South East, and is full of history. Over the years Waterford has become synonymous with quality Crystal Glass and Waterford Crystal is known around the world. Some of its other historic claims to fame include that it was once the capital of Ireland, Both the Normans and Vikings had influence in the city, the Vikings founded the city in 914, it is Ireland’s oldest city and Waterford is the only city in Ireland where the Catholic and Protestant Cathedrals are designed by the same architect. The city is within reach of many beaches and also mountains, all only about 30 minutes drive from the city center. This post will discuss some of the key / Top-Rated attractions and things to do in Waterford.

Some of the highlights include exploring the Waterford Treasures museums in the Viking Triangle, seeing how Waterford Crystal is made, exploring the city walls, taking a trip to the coastal towns, visiting and exploring the Waterford Greenway, and also perhaps exploring the local gardens of which there are many.

The House of Waterford Crystal

You can actually watch the famous Waterford Crystal start off as a red gooey blob of molten glass and then finish as a beautifully cut and sparkling piece of Waterford Crystal. The House of Waterford Crystal is located on the Mall and it shows you a behind-the-scenes view of the creation process. Waterford Crystal was located on the Cork road but after a troubled few years in the early 2000s, the brand has rebounded and found new success in its current location. Here, you will find the manufacturing facility which can include a guided tour and the visitor center which is now one of the key tourist attractions in Waterford. You can also purchase a finished piece of Waterford Crystal before you leave.

Address: House of Waterford Crystal, 28 The Mall, Waterford, Ireland

Official site: https://www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

The John Robert’s Cathedrals

Waterford is the only city in Ireland where the protestant and catholic cathedrals are designed by the same architect. The catholic cathedral is called the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity Within and is located on Barronstrand Street near the clock tower. The protestant cathedral is located near the Viking Triangle and you can’t miss it as it has a very tall spire. Both cathedrals are normally free to enter (unless there are special events or concerts taking place) but both are worth seeing for different reasons. The catholic cathedral has a wonderful pipe organ and stained glass windows and the protestant cathedral also has a very impressive pipe organ and many historical features inside.

 

Mount Congreve Gardens

There are many great houses and gardens in Ireland’s Ancient East and one of these is the beautifully landscaped gardens at Mount Congreve, Waterford. These amazing gardens stretch across 75 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens including a beautiful four-acre walled garden. The house and gardens were owned by Mr. Ambrose Congreve, and after his death, the gardens were left to the state so that the public could enjoy the splendour of these amazing gardens. Mount Congreve backs onto the Waterford Greenway which is a walk/cycle way that stretches all the way to Dungarvan. Mr. Ambrose Congreve’s achievements were acknowledged by Queen Elizabeth, who awarded him a CBE, and by Trinity College Dublin, which granted him an honorary doctorate. These gardens are a real joy to explore and are a must-see on your visit to Waterford. In the past month (October 2022) a brand new area called The Stables Café has opened. The Stables Café is set in a beautiful setting for enjoying a coffee, breakfast, or light lunch. In these stunning surroundings, you can enjoy the local produce combined with the fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the Mount Congreve gardens. I know of many people who have stopped going to their usual city center coffee stop and are now coming here. Either way, Mount Congreve should be on your list when visiting Waterford.

Official site: https://mountcongreve.com/  

The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens

It may be strange to find Japanese Gardens in Waterford but there is a historical reason why these gardens are here. They are dedicated to Victorian writer and Japanese translator and journalist Patrick Lafcadio Hearn who grew up and stayed in Tramore in his early life.

These Japanese gardens pay homage to the fame he attained in Japan through his incomparable literary descriptions of the people, customs, and culture of that country. Here, you can follow Lafcadio Hearn’s life journey, first through the Victorian Garden, then to the American and Greek gardens, until you eventually arrive in the Japanese gardens. Lafcadio Hearn is still known today in modern Japan.

Official site: https://www.lafcadiohearngardens.com/

The Lismore Heritage Centre & Castle Gardens

Lismore Heritage Centre was opened in 1992 with the aim to document and exhibit the history of Lismore and its surroundings. Lismore is most famous for the magnificent Lismore Castle which was built in 1185 and the castle itself can be visited separately through the Lismore Castle Experience.

The castle has beautiful gardens both within the castle walls and comprise 7 acres and boast spectacular views of Lismore Castle, the River Blackwater, and the surrounding countryside.

Official site: https://www.discoverlismore.com/

Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum

The Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum is Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th-century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th-century Mayor’s Wine Vault. Waterford Treasures is located near Christ Church Cathedral (the previously mentioned protestant cathedral. Some of the stunning historical artifacts which are exhibited here at Waterford Treasures include a fantastic array of ancient vestments, period artworks, The oldest wine vault in Ireland, a Relic of the True Cross, Pilgrim badges, the earliest gold ring brooch in Europe, The Great Charter Roll of Waterford, the Sword of Edward IV, King Henry VIII’s Cap of Maintenance and much more.

Official site: www.waterfordtreasures.com/medieval-museum

Waterford Museum of Treasures

Waterford Museum of Treasures

Reginald’s Tower

Sitting on the corner of the mall and the quay is the formidable Reginald’s Tower. The tower has been used for many different purposes over the centuries, originally part of the medieval urban defense system, Reginald’s Tower is the oldest civic building in Ireland and it is the only urban monument in Ireland to retain a Norse or Viking name.

Construction began in 1253 on the site of the original Viking fort named after Ragnall who founded the City in 914, and the walls are about 3 meters thick. At one point someone fired a cannonball at the tower and it did no damage, but is still stuck in the wall to this day.

This building in the past was used as a prison, a mint, and a military store and is now a museum, namely the Viking Museum, and part of Waterford Treasures. 

Here you can take a journey through time and discover historical and archaeological artifacts showing Waterford’s Viking heritage, many reproductions of items from this time, Viking warrior’s weapons, the exquisite 12th-century Waterford Kite Brooch, even pieces from ‘hnefatafl’, a Viking board game similar to chess, a model of what Waterford looked like hundreds of years ago and a replica Viking longship which sits next to Reginald’s tower. 

Official site: www.waterfordtreasures.com/reginalds-tower

Reginalds Tower Waterford

Reginalds Tower Waterford

Experience the Suir Valley Railway

The Waterford Suir Valley Railway which is located close to the village of Kilmeaden is a very popular tourist attraction in Waterford and is an ideal activity if you are travelling with children (even though it is enjoyable at any age due to the scenery along the river). The Waterford Suir Valley Railway is a community heritage project which brought back to life locomotive activity along 10 kilometers of the abandoned Waterford Dungarvan line but now on narrow gauge lines.

The current train on this line in its past life worked in industrial capacities across the UK and at one time even moved excavated debris during the construction of the UK-France Channel Tunnel. 

The hopes for this line are that the railway will eventually extend all the way into Waterford City and will also end up operating with a steam engine. Works are already underway to extend the platform into Waterford for the Greenway.

Address: Train Station, Kilmeadan, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Official site: www.wsvrailway.ie

Waterford Suir Valley Railway

Waterford Suir Valley Railway

Dunmore East

Dunmore east is about 25 minute’s drive from Waterford and is the quintessential fishing village. Dunmore East is certainly one of Waterford’s hidden gems – certainly a lot less crowded than Tramore but still remains a very popular place for tourists, especially during the summer months. 

While there enjoy a stroll around the park, before walking down to the working harbor if you fancy a swim there are 2 bathing areas available. There are also many restaurants in the area including the Haven Hotel, the Strand, and also a variety of smaller shops and takeaways – you have to stop at East-Pier fish for freshly cooked fish and chips.  There is also an adventure center in Dunmore East if you like water sports and this is ideal for all ages.

Address: Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Dunmore East Waterford

Dunmore East Waterford

Tramore

Tramore is located 10km away from Waterford city and will take you about 20 minutes to drive. Tramore is a holiday location for many and one of the main places for the people of Waterford to head to during the summer. Tramore has everything you will need for an enjoyable holiday stay or visit. There are a variety of Hotels, Guest Houses, B&Bs, and self-catering options and there are leisure activities such as Splashworld, which is the largest indoor aqua adventure playground in the South East, as well as surfing, fishing, hiking, horse riding, golf, mini-golf and large Amusement Park which is ideal to amuse all ages. In relation to Surfing, Tramore has a number of surf and sup schools available and the surfing activity takes place all year. Along the section of the beach where the surfing takes place, there are many cafes and restaurants such as Moes, Mollys, and The Sandcastle Café. There is also a very good park area, unofficially called Lark Park, where birds like skylarks, egrets, and curlews can be observed from the park and the nearby bird hide.  The beach is very long and there is a looped walk (just watch the tides) down the beach, around the headland (The Sandhills), and back along the back strand. This walk should take you about 2 hours. Tramore also has Guillamene and Newtown Coves (well signposted in Tramore) and these are ideal for strong swimmers who want to do some sea swimming. Carparking is available but unfortunately, the toilets can end up being locked in the Winter months (which makes no sense to me). But Tramore is a wonderful place and I normally take the drive from Waterford to Tramore for a walk at least once a week.

Newtown Cove Waterford

Newtown Cove Waterford

10 More Things to Do in Waterford

  • The Irish Silver Museum
    This museum explores the story of Ireland told through the medium of silver.
    https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/irish-silver-museum
  • The Irish Museum of Time
    If you like timepieces or horology then you will love the Irish Museum of Time. The museum features the oldest Irish-made grandfather clocks, table clocks, and watches in the world.
    https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/irish-museum-of-time
  • The Bishops Palace
    A wonderful museum set in a beautiful building along the Mall.
    https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/bishops-palace
  • The Comeragh Mountains
    Located about 45 minutes away from Waterford. Take the N25 towards Dungarvan and follow directions to Comeragh Drive.
  • The Waterford Greenway
    A 45 km route ideal for walkers and cyclists with stunning views of the countryside. My only dislike of this attraction is the many ‘sports cyclists’ who are in the Tour-de-France lycra who decided to use this as a raceway. (I almost got flattened one day by a cyclist who must have been trying to do a personal best along the route). But early morning you can enjoy the views and the fresh air and it is certainly worth a visit. Carparking is available in many of the areas along the route.
  • The Spraoi Festival
    A city-wide event which takes place in the August Bank Holiday Weekend with music, street performers, and outdoor art installations. A must-see.
    https://www.spraoi.com
  • Waterford Nature Park
    The former location of the Waterford City Refuse landfill has been transformed into a wonderful area with looped walks, trees, and great views of the city.
  • The People’s Park
    The People’s Park is located not far from the Mall and is the largest public park in Waterford City. This 16-acre park was laid out around 1860 when the marshy land around the John River was drained. The park contains a Victorian-era bandstand, a skateboarding park, a children’s playground, and a separate baby playground. The old caretaker’s house has been converted into the Park Lodge café (well worth stopping off for a coffee)
  • The Viking Sword
    Located behind the Munster Bar just off the quays – you will be amazed by the size.
  • Jack Burtchaell Waterford Walking Tours
    If you want to get to know a city, then you have to walk it. The Jack Burtchaell Waterford Walking Tours are very good and Jack will bring you on a 1-hour walk that covers over 1,000 years of history, and includes four National Monuments, two Cathedrals, and historical figures who dominated the city’s history.
    https://www.jackswalkingtours.com

 I hope you enjoyed this article on the Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Waterford. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Create a Custom Hoodie That Captures Your Travel Experiences

Create a Custom Hoodie That Captures Your Travel Experiences

The Perfect Combo: How to Create a Custom Hoodie That Captures Your Travel Experiences!

If you want to capture the essence of your travels with a wearable item, there is no better option than custom hoodies. Hoodies have been around for decades and are now used as casual wear items. They are always popular among men, women, and children alike. The good news is that they come in all different styles, and you can order them in a wide range of colors and prints. There are also many different types of hoodie styles that you could choose from to make your custom hoodie unique and memorable. Below, we’re going to look at some basic styles:

 

Pullover Hoodies Often Cost Less Than Zip Up Hoodies

A pullover hoodie is one of the most traditional types of hoodies that you can buy for yourself and others. They are warm, casual wear items, and they’re very easy to put on and don’t have a zipper. Pullover hoodies usually cost less than zip-up hoodies because they’re simpler and cheaper to make. They are also typically thicker and warmer, great for heavy workouts or cold weather.

 

Full-Zip Hoodies Offer Security And Comfort

One of the main advantages of full-zip hoodies is the comfort and security of having a zipper.  Zip-up hoodies also have the advantage of being more convenient, as you don’t have to pull them over your head every time you wear them. Full-zip hoodies are usually made from lighter materials than pullover hoodies, so they’re more suitable for warmer temperatures while they can still be worn in colder climates. Full-zip hoodies also offer you the option of wearing a high collar or low collar, which is convenient and ensures that your neck remains protected from chilly weather at all times.

 

Crewneck Hoodies Offer A Simple Yet Stylish Design

The crewneck design for hoodies is simple yet stylish, allowing you to exercise your creative freedom in a more restrained manner. They are comfortable to wear, and they’re usually made from lighter material as well, so they are suitable for warm days. You can combine them with a pair of shorts or pants of any color and style that you prefer, making them extremely versatile and convenient in all types of weather conditions. Crewneck hoodies don’t come with a zipper or any other fastening system, so you must pull them over your head.

 

Crop Top Hoodies Are Perfect For Warm Weather

If you love hoodies and don’t wear them only during cold seasons, there is no better costume than crop top hoodies. These hoodies are very popular among youth because they allow you to mix and match them with an undershirt. You can also wear them with a sports bra for workout sessions or to stroll along the beach.

 

Hoodies Are Great Costumes For Those Who Enjoy Cosplay

Cosplay is a performance art that involves wearing costumes, which are usually based on popular culture characters. Hoodies are very popular among cosplayers because they can be easily combined with other elements, such as masks, makeup, and props, to create a truly unique look. Cosplay’s popularity has increased considerably in recent years, and it is now an extremely popular pastime you can enjoy with your family, friends, and colleagues.

 

You can create a custom hoodie using the following methods:

 

Choose The Fabric Color And Size Of Your Hoodie

To start designing your hoodie, it’s time to choose a fabric and color. We offer everything from heavyweight cotton-blend hoodies that are perfect for colder weather to lightweight polyester options for layering in the spring. We also have several different colors of each type of fabric, so you can pick out just the right one to match your style. After you’ve chosen a fabric, pick out the size that’s right for you. We have everything from an extra-small to an XXL, so even our biggest customers can look their best!

 

Upload A Graphic Image

This is the most customizable option. You can upload a picture or take one using our app and place it in any part of the hoodie you want to make it truly unique.

 

Alternatively, You Can Choose A Design From Templates

If you’re not feeling creative but still want something special, print-on-demand services have a range of design templates you can use. Just pick a style, enter your text and choose from our wide selection of colors.

 

Order Your Custom Hoodie And Show Off Your Unique Style

Make ordering your custom hoodie easy. Click here for more. Pick the color and size, customize it to your liking, choose your destination, and pay. Then just sit back and wait while print-on-demand services create your hoodie. Check out print-on-demand services today to see all our customization options. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can create a one-of-a-kind hoodie.



Best Things to do in Prague

Best Things to do in Prague

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a wonderful city to visit.  If you are visiting, you will want to know what to do in Prague? This guide will bring you through the best the amazing city of Prague has to offer, where to eat and where to stay.

Prague’s has a long and interresting history going back over a millennia. Prague is up there with other cities like Paris and Vienna when it comes to culture, architecture and history. The Vlatava River runs through the city and with Prague’smany world-class museums and baroque style churches and bridges you will cross the river a few times on your trip.

The ideal amount of time to spend in Prague would be 3 to 4 full days. If you enjoy walking you can certainly get all these 20 sights visited in 2 days. Bring good walking shoes and if you are visiting from October to March, check the weather and dress accordingly. I visited in mid-February and it was 8C but feeling like 3C with a slight wind chill factor – scarf, hat and gloves very much required.

The Czech Republic does not use the Euro and has the Czech Koruna as the unit of currency. It is located about 2.5 hours from Ireland and about 2 hours from the UK. Most budget airlines fly directly to Pragues Václav Havel Airport about 12km west of Prague. Connections to the city are available by bus and taxi or private car transfer. 

Top Things to do in Prague

This is my list of the best things to do and see in Prague. Prague has a lot to offer and in my view gives Paris a run for its money as it has tons of history, and architecture and has great food and is wonderful value for money.

The Astronomical Clock

The Prague astronomical clock, or Prague orloj, is a medieval astronomical clock that is over 600 years old and it is located in the Old Town Square in Prague. you will often find tours of the area and you can get guided tours around Prague which explain the history and the mechanism of this 600-year-old piece of medieval engineering.

Old Town Square

Old Town Square, in Czech known as Staroměstské náměstí, is the main central square of the historic part of Prague. Old Town Square is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Prague, along with Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. It is almost impossible to miss it if you’re coming to Prague as a tourist.
Franz Kafka, a German-speaking Bohemian novelist, and short-story writer was born very near here.

Astronomical Clock Prague
Charles Bridge Prague

Charles Bridge

Known as Karlův Most in Czech, Charles Bridge, is a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague. Construction of the bridge began in 1357 under the order of King Charles IV, and construction finished in the early 15th century. Because King Charles ordered its construction, the bridge has his name.

This was the only means of crossing the river Vltava River until 1841 as it was an important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town. You can actually go into the Powder Tower and you get great views of the city, giving the best Sunset Views.

The Palace and Cathedral Grounds

The castle and palace grounds are visible from the river. Simply head up the hill from Charles Bridge you can enter the castle grounds and enjoy the area. You may also see the changing of the guard. At night, don’t forget to say hello to the ghost (I got a spooky and unexplainable picture here many years ago).

St. Vitus Cathedral Prague is situated entirely within the Prague Castle complex.

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square is the main square in the center of Prague. However, it is not actually square but more like a 700m long boulevard with many shops and restaurants along the length of it, Wenceslas Square reminds rather of a boulevard full of shops, focusing on various products from fashion to technologies. The square has been the place where many of the most famous demonstrations have taken place in Czech history. The focal point for Wenceslas Square is the National Museum which was founded in 1818 and was built in the neo-renaissance style. When I was here in 2002 the building was quite dull and ravaged by the elements but on my return in 2020 the building had been cleaned and sandblasted and looked amazing.

Some other of the Best places to visit Prague – in short

If you are in Stare Mesto take a look up as you are walking the street and you may just see the Golden Statue of Sigmund Freud. You can also get a great view of the city if you take the Petrin Hill Funicular. Finally, if you are interested in literature then you just have to visit the Franz Kafka Museum.

Food in Prague

The Food in Prague is amazing. If you want to try the local delicacies then you have to try Knedlíky, or Czech Dumplings and the best place to find these is Deminka at Škrétova 1, 120 00 Nové Město, Czechia – wonderful service and you have to pair the food with a Pilsner Urequel. If you are looking for a snack then try the Grand cafe orient for its strudel and coffee.

Prague is a wonderful city and I have traveled there about 4 times now, each time I found something new to enjoy. The food and the friendliness of the people are real selling points of the city.

A view of Prague from the Palace side of Prague taken at Dusk
My Next Adventures with Celebrating Queen

My Next Adventures with Celebrating Queen

My Adventures with Celebrating Queen, the US based Queen Tribute Band, continues this September and October. There are two more concerts in the coming 5 weeks and I am looking forward to meeting up with the Celebrating Queen band to fulfil these dates. The following are the Celebrating Queen tour dates in the next few weeks, detailing where the Celebrating Queen band are going to be performing.

Headlining the Murphy Maize Days Festival near Dallas, Texas on Saturday 24th September

The first event is a nice date headlinging the 13th annual Murphy Maize Days Festival. This is sort of a Carnival … or Cornival, sort of a harvest festival which is being held in Murphy Texas. The area of Murphy is within the greater Dallas metro area and is located between Plano and Wylie. If you are reading this and you are in the area, then please join us as this Maize Days Festival is a totally FREE festival, open to all.  If you are going to be attending the Murphy Maize Days festival near Dallas, then please leave a comment below and I hope to see you there.

If you are coming then I have some important location details. It is being held in Murphy Central which is at 550 N. Murphy Road Murphy, TX 75094. You can join the festivities from 12 midday to 9:45pm. Our Queen Tribute band, goes on stage around 8pm so don’t miss 90 minutes of the very best Queen hits ! There will also be other live music all day, great food from local restaurants and caterers, drinks, a variety of Dallas based market vendors, a wonderful kids zone, and much more! Also, after our performance there will be a fireworks display.

If you are interested, then I would urge you to visit the official Maize Days Festival website for more information. The website has information on how to get there, parking, vendors and much more – visit https://maizedays.com/schedule/ for full details.

Headlining the Miami-Dade Parks’ “Love-In” at Greynolds Park, Miami, Florida, 16th October

I’m only back in Waterford for 15 days and I will be flying off again, this time heading to the sunny shores of Miami, Florida to perform at the Greynolds Park “Love-in”. This music festival has a lot of music history associated with it (or atleast the venue does) and according to my research The Grateful Dead apparently played in this park at a similar music festival on April 14th, 1968. The Greynolds Park Love-in music festival is a real excuse to step back in time to the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s. It is a whole day of great food, fun attractions, delicious food and of course great music with the many live concerts on the day … and that of course includes ourselves with Celebrating Queen. I’m thrilled to be headlining at the Love-In this year and it’s the first time I’ve ever had 2 headlinging events in the same year. The closest thing I ever had to this was playing on of the smaller stages at Glastonbury 2015.

If you are attending the Love-in at Greynolds Park Miami, or the Murphy Maize Days Festival above please leave a comment below. Perhaps I might see you at one my Next Performances with Celebrating Queen.

If you want to find out more about Celebrating Queen please visit https://celebrartingqueen.com. You can also Follow Celebrating Queen on Social Media if you want to keep up to date with the latest news from the band.My Adventures with Celebrating Queen will continue in 2023 but I’m not sure what concerts are on the books as yet but I will keep you posted.

Follow Celebrating Queen on Social Media
Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong City Guide

I love Hong Kong. I have been there 5 times and every time I have learned something new about the city or tried a new experience there. There is a lot to do and see and there are many city guides out there but this is my guide to the things I like to experience in this amazing city – Hong Kong. One thing about Hong Kong is that it is easy to get overwhelmed when looking at guide books and travel guides, but in bite size pieces I have outlined the key things to see and do.

Getting To Hong Kong

Getting from Ireland/UK to Hong Kong is a bit of a trek. You can expect about 11-12 hours of a flight. This flight time maybe a bit more of you get routed more northerly or if your flight gets placed into a holding pattern while waiting to land. However, if you are in a holding pattern you will get to see some amazing sights of the boats in the bays around Hong Kong.

There are many airlines which fly to Hong Kong direct. The ones I have used include Cathay Pacific (Cathay is Very Highly Recommended), Qantas (Very Highly Recommended), Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. Other Airlines include Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, Swiss amongst others.

I very much recommend spending a bit more and enjoying Premium Economy if available. You will be on the flight quite a while so being comfortable is important. I never do long-haul now without Premium Economy!

Hotels and Staying in Hong Kong

Hotels in Hong Kong are plentiful. Many are 5* luxury hotels which are expensive and plush, such as The Langham and the Grand Hyatt. However, in the past, I have stayed in Ibis and Travelodge hotels which are basic but have all you need to rest during your visit to the city.

My Number 1 Go-To hotel in Hong Kong is always the Novotel Century Hotel which is located near Wan Chai. This hotel is within walking distance of the ferry pier, has access to the Tram system (the Ding Ding) where you can travel to Central for all your major transport needs. The key feature of this hotel which I really enjoy is the amazing Asian Buffet Breakfast. There is also an enjoyable roof-top swimming pool which is a real treat as it is outdoor and you can hear the sounds of the city and watch the aircraft fly overhead at night. Rates at the Novotel Century Hotel start at around €110/£100 low season and about €170/£155 in High Season per night.  You will sleep very well here and you will be well fed at breakfast!

Believe it or not, I would prefer to stay here than in one of the plush hotels, purely because of the relaxed atmosphere, the excellent staff, great service, rooftop pool, comfy rooms and that amazing breakfast.

My Top 10 things to do in Hong Kong are listed below but are not really in any preferred order. Therefore, I have placed a ‘MUST DO‘ beside any ones which you really should do on a visit to Hong Kong.

1) Victoria Peak

This is a Must Do attraction on a visit to Hong Kong. 

Victoria Peak is a hill overlooking Hong Kong. It is over 550m high, approx 1,800ft. You may also hear this area referred to as ‘The Peak’. This is one of the major tourist attractions in Hong Kong and you have a number of ways to get up here. You can take the Peak Tram which glides up the steep incline, you can take a taxi or bus, or if you feel very energetic you could walk (not recommended).

The Peak Tram is the best way to get here but be warned, queues could be anything up to 90 minutes in peak season. 

It is worth coming here during the day just before sunset to see the view. Then, go get some food in one of the many restaurants. After night falls you have a different nighttime view of Hong Kong. It is a stunning view of an amazing city.

2) Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui is mainly known as being a shopping and nightlife district. The reason I include it is because there is so much to see an do along here. Some of the attractions below will require you to come back to this area of Hong Kong. You can get here by ferry if you are on the other side of the bay and it is very cheap, under €1 per trip to do so. 

Really this is worthing coming to as an exploration. Visit the Harbour City shopping centre, big enough to suit most shoppers, or take a walk along Nathan Road where you will see major brand names including Canon, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and more. There are also lots of great local eateries in this area, so a good spot for lunch.

3) Symphony of Lights

This is a Must Do attraction on a visit to Hong Kong.

Normally Victoria Harbour looks wonderful at night, with the many skyscrapers lit up. However, the Symphony of Lights is a multimedia show which sets the harbour ablaze every night. This is one of the world’s most spectacular light shows. The Symphony of Lights has become one of the signature icons for Hong Kong as the buildings and skyscrapers on both sides of the harbour create a visual and sensational multimedia extravaganza.

There are searchlights, lasers, LED screens and lighting working in synchronicity in a nightly showcase which makes the Hong Kong skyline into an experience for the senses. Music is played but in certain areas cannot be heard, but you can get an app which you can use when watching the Symphony of Lights so you can enjoy the music during the light show.

4) The Star Ferry & Ding Ding

Transport in Hong Kong is very good. The MTR is the underground and operates an amazing service which is normally to-the-second. Purchase an MTR Octopus card for the easiest way to get around the underground network.

If you want something more traditional, the Star Ferry runs between points of the harbour. The average cost of a return trip on the ferry is about €0.70c which is amazing value. It is a great way to see the city in a relaxed fashion. If you visit Hong Kong you should really do this at least once.

The Ding Ding is the Hong Kong Tram service. It is a tram so you only get it on the streets where you see the tram lines. It’s a very simple service. Get on at the back and disembark at the front where you also pay your fare which is around €0.30c ($2.70HKD). Again, this is a wonderfully traditional way to see the streets of Hong Kong.

5) Ngong Ping – Tian Tan Buddha

This is a Must Do attraction on a visit to Hong Kong and one which any Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong cannot fail to list.

The Big Buddha is the common name for the Tian Tan Buddha. This large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni was completed in 1993 and is located at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. You will find many tour operators who do tours to this location however you will find that your day is very much scheduled to their plans and you really don’t get a chance to explore. You can get to the Ngong Ping 360 terminus from the Central station via the MTR. 

The Ngong Ping 360 experience starts with a cable car ride to the location. You can also get glass-bottomed cable cars if you are brave enough to look downwards. As you come across the hills you can see the buddha in the distance. It is an amazing sight. The statue itself is 34m/112ft and you have to climb 268 steps to reach the Buddha.

Once at the village you can enjoy tea ceremonies, visit Dim Sum houses, take a guided nature trail and visit the big buddha itself. There is a museum inside or you can explore the surrounding area. You should also visit the Po Lin Monastery while you are here.

The Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha are open to the public between 10 am and 5:30 pm. 

6) Kowloon Park

One of the things Hong Kong has a lot of is parks. Kowloon Park has to be my favourite. It was formerly a British Army barracks which was redeveloped in the early 70s. These days the park is about 3 times the size it was back then at about 33 acres. Kowloon Park has everything from duck ponds and aviaries to sports centres and a swimming pool complex.

Why include Kowloon Park in a Top things to do in Hong Kong … It seems strange to include a park as a thing to do in such a huge city.
Well, from time to time in a busy city you might just want to get away from it all and take some (relatively) quiet time. The green areas, birds etc. certainly bring a sense of calm in a very busy city. You will also see in the early morning, people doing Tai Chi, Fan Dancing and even performing Cantonese Opera. I saw some amazing examples of positive ageing when I was there last when I saw 3 gentlemen probably in their late 70s / early 80s doing pull-ups in the park and they then went on to demonstrate to their friends some examples of kung-fu moves – amazing stuff. I thought that I had been lucky to see these men doing Kung-Fu, but many others have reported this on TripAdvisor!

7) Temple Street Night Market

This is a famous market in Hong Kong. Once the evening comes traders lay out their wares and await the thousands who visit this area. The Temple Street Night Market has a wonderful atmosphere with everything from teaware, gadgets, electronics and watches to menswear, antiques and leather goods. The surrounding streets are buzzing with the sound of restaurants serving the very best in street food. Many movies have used this area as a backdrop.

If you want to get to Temple Street Night Market take the MTR to Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C, turn onto Temple Street at Man Ming Lane or you can take the MTR to MTR Jordan Station using Exit A and turn right onto Jordan Road and then take another right onto Temple Street. (You may need Google Maps as I chose MTR Jordan and ended up traveling the wrong direction from the exit).

8) Chi Lin Nunnery

I visited the Chi Lin Nunnery in 2013 and it is a bit of a hidden gem in Hong Kong. The Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist temple complex located in Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong.Founded in 1934 the Chi Lin Nunnery was a retreat for Buddhist nuns. There are statues of gold and wood all around the area of the main halls and the majority of these temple halls as well as the beautiful Chinese garden in front of the nunnery are open to the public daily, all free of charge.

While you are here you should also visit the Nan Lian Garden which is located opposite the Chi Lin Nunnery. 

9) Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

The Wong Tai Sin Temple is the first Temple I ever visited in Hong Kong back in 2002. It is a Taoist temple dedicated to Wong Tai Sin, or the Great Immortal Wong, and is a famous shrine for those requesting prayers to be answered.

The temple has it’s roots in the early 1900s and the temple itself was only opened to the public in 1956. At that time there was a 10c admission fee. Today the temple is free to walk around and even in early January the crowds throng this area as from 1 to 15 January, whose who had prayers answers return to thank the immortal. 

It is a wonderful way to observe and take in the spirit of Hong Kong as people use incense and ask Wong to answer their prayers.

10) Avenue of the Stars

This area along the waterfront celebrates Hong Kong’s movie industry.  The Avenue of Stars pays tribute to the many names and actors who helped to make Hong Kong the ‘Hollywood of the East’.

There are many statues along the route with stars like Bruce Lee being a very popular selfie and photo spot. 

This area is very popular during the Symphony of Lights extravaganza. 


 The Top 5 Things to do in Hong Hong

If you are short on time and only have resources to see a few things on your trip, this is my Top 5 Things to do or See in Hong Kong
  1. Ngong Ping / Tian Tan Buddha & Lantau Island
  2. Victoria Peak in the evening / sunset
  3. Ride the Star ferry and Ding Ding
  4. The Symphony of Lights, evening light display
  5. Visit a Dim Sum House (this is not on the list above but I will add it soon) – this is an eating experience like no other !

Conclusion

Hong Kong is an amazing destination and I am going to re-edit this post and make it the Top 15 or maybe the Top 20 things to do in Hong Kong. The more I write about Hong Kong the more great places I recall. So please come back and revisit for future edits. I plan on adding a map of all these Hong Kong locations in a future edit also. If you like this post ‘Top 10 Things to Do in Hong Kong’ don’t forget to share it using the social media share buttons provided or even leave a comment…