Over the past few years, street art has truly taken off in Hong Kong. The appearance of mainstream street art is a relatively new phenomena and culture in this metropolitan city, with many local and international artists leaving their mark in the form of captivating murals – there’s nothing cookie-cutter about the street art pieces in Hong Kong!
This makes Hong Kong one of the most colourful places to explore, and you can easily spend an afternoon or two walking around the various neighborhoods and stumbling upon funky and colorful street art hidden down tiny side streets. Going on a self-guided street art tour is one of the most unique things to do in Hong Kong! Here are some neighborhoods rich in street art culture in Hong Kong that you won’t want to miss.
For more Hong Kong insider tips on the best places to visit, where to eat and where to stay check out this collection of Hong Kong destination guides!
1. Soho and Sheung Wan
Though Soho and Sheung Wan are only a stone’s throw from Central, the city’s main commercial district, these neighborhoods are as eclectic as they come. There are cocktail bars, speakeasies, retail shops, art galleries, boutique hotels, heritage sites, temples, restaurants and pockets of residential areas scattered around Soho and Sheung Wan.
For those looking for the best graffiti in Hong Kong start at Graham Street and walk along Hollywood Road towards Sheung Wan. Keep your eyes peeled as there are pieces high and low – the HKWalls organization has held three iterations of its annual street art festival in these neighborhoods. Check out the maps from 2014, 2015 and 2018 here.
Don’t miss: The colourful facade next to the G.O.D. shop on Graham Street by Alex Croft; the Bruce Lee mural by Xeva on Tank Lane; the geometric patterned mural by Pasha Wais on Square Street; the gorgeous red ladies by Neil Wang on Square Street; the laughing woman by Elsa de Jean De Dieu on Peel Street.
2. Sai Ying Pun
Once largely a residential neighborhood, Sai Ying Pun has been the new “cool kid” in town for only a couple of years. A mix of the traditional “Old Hong Kong” and new, hipster shops and cafes, Sai Ying Pun (or “SYP”) is home to ARTLANE, a project by a local real estate developer.
A handful of streets around Ki Ling Lane, Shek Chan Lane and Chung Ching Street have been transformed into a multi-coloured canvas for vibrant murals by Hong Kong and international artists. Navigate through the little side streets and nooks and crannies to see all of what ARTLANE has to offer.
It can be reached easily by hopping on the MTR to Sai Ying Pun on the Island line (blue), and taking exit B3.
3. Wan Chai
I just love Wan Chai. Wan Chai is one of the best places in Hong Kong to explore traditional culture and heritage, and has so much character that sometimes I feel like I never need to leave. And since HKWalls’ 2019 street art festival in Wan Chai, I’m lucky enough to spot world-class street art in Hong Kong on my daily dog walks around the neighborhood. I was even fortunate enough to actually be in Hong Kong during the festival and caught a few of the artists in action!
In Wan Chai, start on Queen’s Road East near Hopewell Centre and make your way towards Morrison Hill Swimming Pool – make sure you explore all the different side streets as there are some smaller murals tucked away from prying eyes.
Don’t miss: The Huskey by Yopey on Kennedy Street; the “Knowledge Girl” by Fluke on Oi Kwan Road; the psychedelic wheel by INSA and neon street art by the KWAN CLAN on Oi Kwan Road; Joker & Gus Eagleton’s massive animal mural outside the SPCA.
Looking for the perfect base for your city exploration adventures? I’m a big fan of The Fleming in Wan Chai. The Hong Kong-inspired boutique hotel is extremely popular so book early – click here to check current rates and availability!
4. Wong Chuk Hang
Largely an industrial area in southern Hong Kong, Wong Chuk Hang is not on the typical tourist radar. For those in the know, the warehouses and industrial buildings are home to spacious galleries, showrooms, restaurants and homegrown breweries.
What you might not expect from Wong Chuk Hang is the Hong Kong graffiti that adorns its streets. The area hosted the fourth edition of HKWalls’ Hong Kong street art festival in 2017, and to this day a number of vibrant murals still remain. Hop on the MTR and get off at Wong Chuk Hang station on the light green line, exit A1 or A2. The vast majority of the street art pieces are within this three block radius.
Don’t miss: The cartoon mural by SEENAEME and Messy Desk next to the Wong Chuk Hang playground; the graffiti dragon by SPOK on Heung Yip Road; the Blue Girl by SNIK on Yip Fat Street.
5. Sham Shui Po
Sham Shui Po is a bustling neighborhood on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, filled with local markets and craft shops. The streets of Sham Shui Po always appear to be pulsing with frenetic activity on the surface, yet if you take a closer look the local residents are often found bonding and catching up on the daily gossip and chitter-chatter on street corners.
This traditional neighborhood is also home to some of the coolest street art in Hong Kong, visible between one of the many fabric shops or tucked away next to a secondhand electronics store. Make an afternoon of exploring Sham Shui Po and take a break in one of its many third-wave coffee shops – it’s one of the most unique places to visit in Hong Kong.
Don’t miss: The insta-famous geometric bear by Okuda; the gorgeous pair of birds by Clogtwo; the funky fish by Dmojo.
Bonus: The Mills in Tsuen Wan
The Mills is a heritage landmark that was once the site of working textile factories – its history and preservation makes it one of the most unique places to visit in Hong Kong. Today, it has been revitalized and is a destination for boutiques, coffee shops, eco-living hubs and even a start-up incubator.
I’ve added The Mills as a fantastic place to see street art in Hong Kong as it showcases half-a-dozen pieces of seriously retro and vintage-inspired street art. However, it’s on this list as a “bonus” because the journey to get there is extremely long and can take up to an hour if you’re staying on Hong Kong Island. The Mills also only has a handful of street art murals along the entrance, so if your primary goal is to see street art in Hong Kong I wouldn’t necessary schlep over to Tsuen Wan.
That being said, if you have the time to spare and don’t mind the long travel time then The Mills is a great place to visit for the day – head there for a leisurely lunch, grab a coffee, check out the murals and immerse yourself in a corner of old Hong Kong.
Insider tip: If you really want to delve into the street art culture in Hong Kong, follow HKwalls, a non-profit arts organization that hosts annual street art festivals in the city.
The beauty of street art is that it’s not everlasting, which means that the mural you see today might not be there tomorrow! So make sure you take the time to explore these Hong Kong neighborhoods and catch the labors of love created by talented artists.
Have you seen the street art in Hong Kong? What was your favourite piece?
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