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Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the most well-known districts of Hong Kong. It is probably most known for shopping and eating but there are plenty of other things to do around there. No wonder it’s a representative district of HK and a popular destination for locals and tourists. Even if you only have 24 hours in Hong Kong, it’s an area you have to visit.
This blog post will go into the nitty gritty details about everything related to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Explore Tsim Sha Tsui – What to See
In Tsim Sha Tsui, there are tons of museums to discover. Within this district, these are the following museums:
- Hong Kong Palace Museum
- Cup Noodle Museum
- Hong Kong Science Museum
- Hong Kong History Museum
- Hong Kong Space Museum
- Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre
The Hong Kong Palace Museum is for those who are interested in history and the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is in Beijing but you get a taste of it in the HK Palace Museum.
The cup noodle museum is something unique because it’s a space dedicated to Nissin ramen noodles. There are activities you can join like decorating your noodle package and making your own noodles. It’s a fun family activity.
For nature lovers, there is Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s also free to get in. A lot of the activities in TST are indoors so it’s nice to take in some fresh air while you’re walking around here, especially in the winter. Unlike many other cities, HK locals tend to favour the colder season. HK’s cold is only around ten to twenty degrees Celsius. To people who come from places like Toronto, that’s practically summer.
Avenue of Stars/Victoria Harbour
The Avenue of Stars is like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, there are plaques along the path and the clock tower. This walk is very picturesque since you’re walking along Victoria Harbour. This is also the path you can get from one shopping mall, K11 Musea to another, Harbour City .
The view is always beautiful but it’s arguably nicer at night. The neon lights on the buildings and skyscrapers make the view absolutely breathtaking.
Taking the Ferry
In Tsim Sha Tsui, people can opt to take a ferry as a mode of public transportation. The star ferry will take you across Victoria Harbour to the Hong Kong Islands side.
It’s an inexpensive ride and a way of taking in the view of Hong Kong.
Explore Tsim Sha Tsui – What to Eat
There are hundreds of restaurants around this district. Since there are so many of them, here’s a quick breakdown of some restaurants you can eat at.
Paisano’s is best known for its New York style pizza. Other than the typical regular slices like pepperoni and cheese pizza, they also have pesto chicken pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, and bacon cheeseburger pizza.
You can quickly grab a large slice of pizza to go or order a whole pizza from scratch. They also have other side dishes like fries, chicken wings, and pasta dishes.
Whenever I’m craving pizza, this is the place I’ll visit.
Good Day Bad Day Mama Day
Good Day Bad Day Mama Day is a fusion restaurant near Paisano’s. Their menu items have interesting-sounding names.
For example, they have an appetizer dish called the whatever fried platter. It’s a dish where they throw in a bunch of fried food but they don’t tell you exactly what’s in it because it changes. There’s an element of surprise because you don’t know what you’re going to get.
Other signature dishes include their crab spaghetti and their soft-shell crab pizza.
Good Day Bad Day Mama Day is a bright and colourful café to chill at when you’re tired from walking all the stores on Granville Road.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is a well-known American chain restaurant that has a location in Tsim Sha Tsui.
If you haven’t eaten here before, don’t be fooled by the name. Yes, The Cheesecake Factory is famous for its cheesecake but it’s not only their dessert that’s good. Their dishes like fried calamari and miso salmon are also worth a try.
Warning – their portions are American sized so don’t order so much unless you want to take home the leftovers.
Angelini is an Italian restaurant located inside the Shangri-La Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East. The hotel location is a little further away from the crowded area so the atmosphere is more peaceful and quiet. It is on the pricier side but perfect for a quiet night in and a treat for special occasions.
When people think of Granville Road, people usually think of Korean fashion because there are so many stores on this street that sells Korean clothing.
So, of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are decent Korean restaurants nearby. One of those places is called Outdark, a restaurant that serves Korean fried chicken. The food at Outdark is authentic as they have restaurants in South Korea.
Above and Beyond
As with many other areas in Hong Kong, there are many dim sum restaurants in Tsim Sha Tsui.
You’ll often see Above and Beyond as one of the best Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong. The restaurant is on the 28th floor in Hotel Icon and has a beautiful view of Victoria Harbour.
However, this is one of those restaurants you must book weeks in advance. It sounds intense but it’s not uncommon for people to do this for Hong Kong restaurants. If you’re unsure about reserving a table that much more time in advance, check out Openrice to see if it’s a place you’re interested in trying. Customers leave reviews of a restaurant on that platform and it’s a commonly used app in Hong Kong to discover new restaurants.
Umai Sushi Kan
Umai Sushi Kan is a Japanese restaurant in the basement of Harbour City.
What’s great about this place is that they have a big selection for the food menu, even for those who are pickier eaters and don’t like raw food. However, prices do lean towards the more expensive side. This shouldn’t be too surprising as high-quality Japanese food can often get pricey.
Also, the bakery, Dominique Ansel is next to Umai Sushi Kan so you can grab some Western dessert right after lunch or dinner at Umai Sushi Kan. You get good food from two places at extremely close distances.
Gontran Cherrier has some killer baked goods.
This bakery is in the basement of K11 Musea and there’s almost always a lineup for their croissants. Some of their other pastries include scones, financiers, and brownies.
Since they are so popular, they often replenish their inventory by putting out fresh pastries. I often see employees asking customers if they want to buy any more fresh out of the oven pastries as they are lining up to pay. The croissants at Gontran Cherrier are delicious either way but eating them warm is the best.
Bakehouse is best known for its egg tarts but because a lot of people flock to Bakehouse locations to buy them, there is a limit to how many each customer can buy.
This cafe is always busy no matter which location you go to. There can be lines forming down the block because locals are so eager about this place. People go crazy for their food here, especially their egg tarts.
Dang Wen Li
Dominique Ansel (it’s called Dang Wen Li in Chinese) is another bakery with multiple locations around the city.
They have the most adorable little cakes that often reflect HK culture. This bakery also makes flaky pastries that sell out quickly daily.
Their almond croissant and chocolate chunk cookie.
Explore Tsim Sha Tsui – Where to Stay
Since Tsim Sha Tsui is a tourist area, there are plenty of hotels nearby to stay at. TST is perhaps known for more high-end five-star hotels such as Rosewood, The Peninsula, Shangri-La, The Langham, Hyatt Regency, and The Sheraton.
On the other hand, there are also more affordable hotels like the YMCA (this is where I did my 14-day hotel quarantine when I moved back to Hong Kong), Holiday Inn, and Best Western.
Explore Tsim Sha Tsui – Where to Shop
You can’t miss out on the many shopping malls when it comes to Tsim Sha Tsui.
The high-end stores will be inside the biggest mall in Hong Kong, Harbour City. There are all sorts of premium designer brands including Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton (their store in TST is HUGE), Prada, etc. It’s also always busy with crowds.
Inside Harbour City is also a high-end department store called Lane Crawford. It’s the U.S. equivalent of Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Straight across the department store is another shopping location that sells expensive jewellery like Chaumet and Van Cleef. Although there are not a lot of stores in 1881 Heritage (it’s also a hotel), it’s worth going to see. Their architecture will remind you of a European style building. It’s gorgeous and you’ll see people posing trying to get photos of the background.
Another option for international luxury stores is visiting Elements. It’s another shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui but it’s in the West Kowloon area. The interior is newer so it’s considered nicer than Harbour City. It’s also less crowded. You’ll still find brands like Chanel and Gucci but there are fewer people since it’s more out of the way.
K11 Musea on Salisbury Road is another popular shopping destination for beauty and fashion. Again, it’s a relatively new compared to the other malls in TST. The interior of this building makes a fantastic Instagram spot. The interior design is modern and visually pleasing. Across the mall is the UK luxury grocery store, Fortnum and Mason, a store that the British royal family likes apparently. Don’t expect frozen foods there. It’s more fancy biscuits and chocolates they sell. There’s even a sit-down restaurant upstairs.
Explore Tsim Sha Tsui local shopping experience in malls like Silvercord, which is across from Harbour City, and The One and Mira Place, which is on Nathan Road. These three malls are not as expensive and perfect for those looking to purchase more local brands.
The most affordable shopping part of TST is Granville Road. On this street, you’ll find tons of Korean-inspired clothes. Some stores even sell clothes that are made in Korea.
It’s also where you’ll find preloved luxury stores. Go thrifting at these boutiques to see what designer gems you can find. If you’re doing a season clean-out and have any designer items you don’t want anymore, these shops are also a good place to go see if you can get a satisfying price for your second-hand items.
Luxury brands aren’t exactly screaming affordable but there is an outlet in Tsim Sha Tsui called ISA.
ISA is a boutique with all sorts of designers in one store. It’s similar to a department store.
People might be hesitant to shop from there because they are worried about purchasing counterfeit items. The things they sell inside ISA are authentic. It’s a one stop shop where you can look at products from Saint Laurent and Burberry instead of going to the individual stores. The ISA outlet store is located in the mall, China Hong Kong City. It’s in the same building as the Cup Noodle Museum.
Shopping – Others
TST is known more for beauty and fashion stores. There are countless cosmetic and perfume stores in the area but there are other stores that are worth checking out.
One of them is called Dondondonki. It’s a Japanese grocery store chain that has several locations in Hong Kong. They sell mostly food but also sell cute gifts and other lifestyle goods. It’s a great place to visit if you’re into Japanese snacks. Whenever I come here, I buy a bunch of Japanese snacks to stock up for when I’m feeling peckish.
There’s also a pretty big bookstore called Eslite. It’s located in Star House but there is a pathway that connects the store to Harbour City. Eslite has a mixture of both Chinese and English books as well as individual counters that sell miscellaneous goods from snacks to jewelry to accessories to souvenirs.
Final Thoughts – Explore Tsim Sha Tsui
There’s so much to do in Tsim Sha Tsui that walking around here will keep you busy for days!
It’s one of my absolute favourite districts in Hong Kong because when I come here, it’s a never-ending exploration of the place. It’s understandable why people are so drawn to TST and want to visit here all the time as a local or a tourist.
Explore Hong Kong by visiting one of its most famous districts!
Now to You – Explore Tsim Sha Tsui
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