The West Kowloon Cultural District has become hugely popular with people of all ages thanks to the opening of M+, the Hong Kong Palace Museum, ongoing events at Freespace and more.
Gone are the days when people would raise an eyebrow at the mere mention of West Kowloon (“I’m sorry, where?”) as the openings of much-anticipated museums and live performances and events back at Freespace make the once barren land right by Elements a favourite hangout spot of ours. In fact, this Editor had her proposal (and wedding shoot!) at West Kowloon Art Park, which is perfect for a picnic spread too! After numerous expeditions, it’s high time we wrote your ultimate neighbourhood guide to the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Read More: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Tsim Sha Tsui
Where To Eat In West Kowloon
Crepes & Bakes
Sample a bit of France at West Kowloon, whether it’s a classic croissant, some éclairs or a good ol’ crepe — there are 14 different crepes to choose from! The buckwheat crepes are gluten-free and you can also opt for bold flavours like duck confit, four cheese or lamb curry crepes. Have a sweet tooth? Look to the Nutella banana roll and salted butter caramel with caramelised apples.
Curator Creative Café at M+
You’ve probably come across an Instagram post with people sipping on coffee with “photo” art! Let us explain. The Curator Creative Cafe at M+ comes with a latte printing machine, that’ll “print” art or an image of your choice in your cup. Perfect to snap for the ‘gram. For light bites, you can grab wraps, siu mai, fishballs and more.
Read More: The Best Cafes In Hong Kong With Free Wifi
Café Bohème West Kowloon
Who can resist some gooey, cheesy pizza or tiramisu? If you’re looking to end the day with a casual dinner, look to Café Bohème for comfort foods and al fresco seating facing the harbour. The restaurant is pet-friendly and open until 11pm (except on Mondays, when it’s closed).
Read More: Your Guide To Outdoor Dining
Tim Ho Wan
Once known around the world as one of the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants, and a Sassy favourite, yum cha enthusiasts may not be aware of this location inside West Kowloon station. Sample one of the best Hong Kong dim sum on your way to the Art Park!
One of our go-to brunch spots, we love this particular location in Elements as it’s usually less crowded and has open-air seating — which is lit up with mellow lights at night. It’s a great spot for large groups of friends too which the staff can easily accommodate by bringing more tables together.
Hooman by the sea
Usually taken over by adorable doggos and their owners, this pet-friendly eatery offers a variety of hotdogs named after dog breeds (we’re not sure how to feel about it either), all-day breakfast, refreshing drinks, and sweet and savoury snacks, including treats for your pets.
Tango Argentinian Steak House
Highlighting the best Argentinian steaks and magnificent South American wines, Tango Argentinian Steak House features unmissable weekend brunch deals and a daily happy hour on the outdoor terrace.
Read More: Top Butcher Shops In Hong Kong
Food Trucks At West Kowloon Art Park
West Kowloon Art Park recently introduced its food trucks and they’ve been a major hit! Conveniently located right by the park’s entrance, grab your favourite Hong Kong street snacks, hamburgers from The Butcher’s Club, baos and more.
Where To Drink In West Kowloon
Rest Coffee Gin
Speciality coffee shop by day, gin bar by night, this cafe is loved for its matcha latte and tea cocktails which are made with premium teas. Pick your poison from the joint’s 80 gins, or let Rest take care of your alcoholic needs with customised pairings.
Sophisticated, glamorous and trendy — WOOBAR at W Hotel is a cosy spot for lunch and afternoon tea during the day and when the sun sets, this groovy bar becomes the place for cocktails at West Kowloon.
Famed for being the world’s tallest rooftop bar, Ozone truly deserves its spot on your Hong Kong bucket list. We personally prefer going during the day or around sunset (day drinking and not ashamed!) — at night, it can be tough to get much of a view (due to the reflection on the glass!).
Things To Do At West Kowloon
Picnic Out At West Kowloon Art Park
Nothing says a laid-back weekend like a picnic! West Kowloon Art Park’s sweeping views of the harbour make it the perfect place to lay out our picnic mats time and time again, despite the crowds! Dropping by on weekends and weekdays is an entirely different experience — if time allows, we highly recommend a weekday spread on the lawn.
Go Museum Hopping
Both a great rainy day activity and one to beat the summer heat and humidity, the rotating exhibits at West Kowloon keep us coming back for more. Whether you’re keen to explore modern contemporary art or never-before-seen priceless ancient treasures from the Forbidden City in Beijing, get your culture fix at all the museums at West Kowloon.
Sassy Tip: Look for museum promotions. M+ is giving out free tickets on Sunday, 12 November for its two year anniversary! Find out more here.
M+ Museum, 38 Museum Drive, West Kowloon Cultural District, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.mplus.org.hk
Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), West Kowloon Cultural District, Yau Ma Tei, West Kowloon Nursery Park, West Kowloon, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.hkpm.org.hk
Read More: The Best Museums In Hong Kong
Ice-Skating At Elements
We’re adults that love cheap thrills — and for just $20, you can skate to your heart’s desire at The Rink where you’ll get a 180-degree view of Victoria Harbour. Be sure to check the schedule beforehand as the rink is sometimes closed to private classes or resurfacing.
Sassy Tip: If you give up within 30 minutes, you won’t be charged!
Plan A Luxurious Staycation
Home to two luxurious hotels, The Ritz Carlton and W Hong Kong, plan a staycation to make the most of your day. Both the hotels don’t need an introduction when it comes to their luxurious spas, and the bird’s eye view of Hong Kong Island tops it all off.
Check Out Events At Freespace
Boy were we glad to finally see Freespace thriving again. Expect bold performances of contemporary music, dance and theatre and an inclusive space for everyone to feel present and in the moment. Check here for events happening at Freespace and mark them down on your cal.
Go Cycling By The Harbour
There’s no specific track and the place is filled with children and dogs during the weekend, which makes this a tricky place for adults to go cycling. But for what it’s worth, you can rent a SmartBike for $30 per hour. Read more about renting bikes in the area here.
Read More: The Best Cycling Trails in Hong Kong
Watch Chinese Opera At Xiqu Centre
We still remember when Xiqu Centre first opened and Instagram photographers flocked to it for its stunning architecture. It’s not often you can catch Chinese opera shows on the regular in Hong Kong but if you want to, you know where to go. Check here for the full schedule of events.
Xiqu Centre, 88 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (near China Hong Kong City), Hong Kong, www.westkowloon.hk
Getting To The West Kowloon Cultural District
One of the most asked questions is perhaps, how do you get to West Kowloon?
By MTR: Get off at Kowloon Station Exit E4 or E5, and then walk along Nga Cheung Road and cross the footbridge into the West Kowloon Cultural District. You can also follow signposting when getting off at Austin Station.
By bus: There are a number of buses that are just a five-minute walk away, by alighting at either Austin Road West or the toll plaza. You can also take minibus routes 26D and 74D that stops right at the entrance of West Kowloon Art Park. For the full list of bus routes, check here.
By car: There are multiple parking spaces across the West Kowloon Cultural District — see details here.
Through Elements: We’ve been there, aimlessly walking around Elements to try and figure out how to get to West Kowloon Art Park. The footbridge next to Mango Tree is by far the easiest way through the maze-like mall.
Getting Around West Kowloon Cultural District – Electric golf carts!
In operation and running since 16 October, 2023, getting around West Kowloon has become a breeze (no more getting lost)!
Running from 10:30am to 5:30pm from Monday to Friday (with a break from 1pm to 3pm), the free shuttles will operate in a circular route between Freespace, the WKCDA Tower, M+, the Art Park and the Hong Kong Palace Museum. Find more information here.
Main image courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 1 courtesy of Crepes & Bakes HK via Facebook, image 2 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 3 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District 西九文化區 via Facebook, image 4 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 5 courtesy of Rest Coffee Gin via Facebook, image 6 courtesy of Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong via Facebook, image 7 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 8 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 9 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 10 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook, image 11 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook. image 12 courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District via Facebook.