For when the sun just doesn’t want to shine, here are the perfect rainy day activities, sure to see you through any Hong Kong rainstorm.
We all know that when it rains in Hong Kong, it really pours. Although the obvious go-tos for our city may be hiking, beaching or chilling at some of the many rooftop bars, just because the rainy season is approaching, it doesn’t mean your social plans need to go out the window. As long as you have the appropriate footwear (read: have your wellies handy!), there should be nothing stopping you from getting out there and enjoying yourself. From museums to shopping and, of course, taking the time to get some serious eating done, we’ve lined up a list of activities that are perfect for those days when the sun just doesn’t want to shine. And if all else fails, there’s always Netflix…
You’re not going to want to brave the Ladies Market, or other outdoor markets, but Hong Kong has plenty of swish malls to duck inside when the skies open. Perfect for whiling away the hours, go high end or high street (and be sure to treat yourself while you’re there). In Kowloon, popular choices include Elements, Harbour City or the ever-buzzing Langham Place, with hot spots on the island including ifc, Pacific Place and Times Square. Many also conveniently house cinemas too, so you’ll be set for a full day of indoor activities.
Explore a Hong Kong Museum or Art Gallery
It might not be what our city is known for, but there are a handful of interesting and informative museums out there – perfect for a rainy day. Try checking out the Hong Kong Space Museum, Hong Kong Science Museum, or the Hong Kong Museum of History (all in TST). Alternatively, whilst we normally marvel at the 852’s eclectic street art, when the rain is pouring, why not check out one of the cool art galleries around town? If you’re into modern and contemporary art, The Cat Street Gallery is a great one to pay a visit to, or Art Supermarket always has exciting exhibitions happening. Keep up to date with monthly art events and exhibits in Hong Kong here.
Treat Yourself to Afternoon Tea
Pause your day of shopping and museum hopping for a sophisticated afternoon tea. The perfect rainy day antidote, gather some friends and enjoy a relaxed afternoon indulging in pastries, cakes, finger sandwiches and a couple of glasses of bubbly. With plenty of high-end hotels in Hong Kong, there’s an endless list to choose from to suit a range of budgets. Not sure where to start? Check out our ultimate guide to afternoon tea here.
Indulge with a Spa Treatment
And whilst you’re treating yourself…why not go all out with a spa day? Again, many of the hotels all over the city have incredible spa facilities, so whether you’re going for a facial, a massage, or the whole works, there’s plenty of options to choose from. If a rainy day is just not enough of an excuse for you to be splashing the cash, you can always go for a more budget friendly option with one of the many nail salons around town, or treat yourself to a cheap and cheerful foot massage.
Read more: The Best Spas In Hong Kong
Escape with an Escape Room
For something a little different, escape the rain and the city for a little while with an escape room. Put your brains, brawn (and friendships!) to the test with the fun team building activities, sure to challenge you and make those rainy days a little more interesting. Check out LOST in Causeway Bay, which has seven rooms with pre-set scenarios to choose from.
Pig Out on Dim Sum
Not that we need more of an excuse to pig out on our fave local delicacies, but when the rain pours, why not pitch up at your top spot and not move for a good few hours? Perfect for when visitors are in town, so that you can show off the best eats our city has to offer. If the rain keeps chucking it down, you’ll have to sit tight and order a couple more cha siu bao. From local faves, to higher end options, here are some of our favourites in the city.
Get Competitive at a Board Game Cafe
Hands up – who loves a good board game? Harp back to your youth and remember rainy days spent playing Monopoly with HK’s famous board game cafes. There are a couple dotted around town, but try checking out Jolly Thinkers (locations in Prince Edward and Wan Chai) or Painkiller in TST. Most board game cafes also serve up a selection of snacks and coffees, with just a small minimum price to pay for a couple of hours of competitive fun.
Go For a Boozy Brunch
Come rain or shine, brunch is always a good choice. And we definitely don’t need reminding that there are countless restaurants offering up incredible and indulgent brunch menus all over the city. When the rain won’t stop, we recommend going for the free-flow options – what better way to spend a rainy afternoon, than by dousing yourself in Veuve Clicquot?
Housing local designers, creative agents and shops selling everything from jewellery and gifts, to desserts and clothing, PMQ is a great place to explore on a rainy day. A hub buzzing with creative and design entrepreneurs, head over there to refresh yourself, at the same time as exploring new talent.
Sing-a-long at Karaoke
Love it or hate it, Karaoke is a sure fire way to while away the hours. Not just reserved for 2am in Wan Chai, karaoke bars all over the city open from as early as lunch time. Just the thing when you’re caught out in a shower.
Try a New Sport
Rain and sports may not always go hand-in-hand, but Hong Kong actually has a surprising amount of unique (and indoor!) activities to try your hand at. Bounce around at Ryze trampoline park in Quarry Bay, scale some serious heights at Verm City’s clip n’ climb park, or take on a 9-hole round of crazy golf at Strokes in Causeway Bay. Not interested in trying something new? Take it old school and enjoy a day at the lanes with Tikitiki Bowling Bar in Sai Kung, or the South China Athletics Association in Causeway Bay.
Go Back in Time at a Video Game Arcade
Speaking of old school activities, when the rain is pouring, why not check out one of Hong Kong’s video game arcades? Located on both Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, these can be found tucked into basements, or hidden amongst the bustling streets of Mong Kok. Check out Game Centre in Central, Game Zone in Mong Kok or Hong Kong City Game in Wan Chai and expect classic games such as Street Fighter, Dance Dance Revolution and Mario Kart.
Want to be a little more productive and try out a new skill? Use the imminent rainy days as the perfect excuse to check out creative classes such as art jamming, pottery, calligraphy, cooking, or even glass blowing. With workshops held all over town, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up a new hobby, but we recommend Two Part Studio in Diamond Hill for painting and pottery, The Mixing Bowl cooking classes in Sheung Wan, artjamming in Wong Chuk Hang and Glazden glass blowing studio in Wan Chai.
Chillax at Chillazy
Located in Kwun Tong, Chillazy is the perfect café to take advantage of when the weather turns. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks, and are only charged by the amount of time that they spend here. Whether it’s just you and a book chilling on one of the comfy hammocks, a group of friends taking advantage of the space, or you’ve just popped in to charge your phone and duck out of a shower for 10 minutes, Chillazy is a handy place in the city to know about.
Take Advantage of Happy Hour
If all else fails, you can always find a bar and make the most of the city’s best happy hours. With offers available everywhere from Sheung Wan and Central, to Wan Chai, Kennedy Town and Quarry Bay, it’s not hard to pop into a bar and find a good drinks deal wherever you are on the island!
Just not a fan of the rain? Rainy days are the perfect excuse to sit inside all day and do a grand total of nothing. Snuggle up with your S.O. and catch up on the latest from Netflix. Sometimes the best plan for a rainy day is no plan at all.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 15 May, 2017 and was updated on 12 April, 2019.