Hong Kong Rugby Sevens South Stand

The Ultimate Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Survival Guide (2024)

Collage of Rugby Sevens Hong Kong photos with text overlay Collage of Rugby Sevens Hong Kong photos with text overlay

The Hong Kong Sevens (AKA Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens) is one of the most popular sporting events in Asia, attracting some of the world’s greatest rugby players and tens of thousands of people who gather to watch fast-paced sevens matches. The Hong Kong 7s 2024 will take place from April 5th-7th.

The Hong Kong 7s has been around since the mid-1970s and is one of the most crucial tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series. It’s not just an event for die-hard rugby fans, but also families and fun-seeking revellers who want to bask in the crazy atmosphere at Hong Kong Stadium.

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Feature Image_Photo credit Ike Li Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Ike Li / Shutterstock

Unlike a traditional rugby match where 15 players on each side play 40 minute halves, a sevens match lasts only 7 minutes per half with 7 players on each side. During the 7s, Hong Kong becomes even busier than usual when as many as 40,000 people pour in to get their fill of rugby (and beer) at Hong Kong Stadium in Causeway Bay.

If you’re thinking about visiting Hong Kong and attending the Hong Kong Sevens, read on for everything you need to know to plan your weekend of debauchery and sports!

But first, a few quick Hong Kong travel tips so you are prepared for your trip.

View of Hong Kong from an airplane

✈️ To get into Hong Kong you’ll need to fly into Hong Kong International Airport. A cab from the airport to the city costs approximately HK$350-450 and typically takes less than 45 minutes/1 hour from door-to-door, or you can pre-book your private airport pick up or drop off here.

Hong Kong Airport Express train

However, the best way to get to and from the airport is via the Airport Express train. Tickets can be purchased at the station and the train stops in Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island – it takes just 24 minutes from end to end! Want 20% off your Airport Express ticket? Buy your ticket ahead of time online here! Once you’ve purchased your ticket online, you can use the QR code that they send you to swipe through the special gates equipped with the QR reader.

🛂 Most visitors to Hong Kong do not require a visa for entry. See here for more details.

💱 The local currency is the Hong Kong dollar. Most places accept Visa or Mastercard, and I’d say 40-50% of places will also accept American Express. There are tons of ATM machines around Hong Kong, just make sure you’ve enabled international withdrawal or your card has the “Plus” or “Cirrus” logo on the back.

🎟️ You pretty much never have to pay full price for admissions tickets in Hong Kong as most tour operators, car charters, spas and major attractions are listed on Klook. Just click here and search for places you want to go, and book online for discounted entry or head on over here to read more about how to use Klook to book travel experiences.

📱 Buy a local SIM card. The easiest way to do that is via Klook – you can get a 7 day Hong Kong tourist SIM card and pick it up from the airport on arrival.

🚗 Getting around Hong Kong is easy. Public transportation is efficient, cheap and clean, and the network is very extensive. Taxis are cheap as well if you are in a hurry.

Octopus Card in Hong Kong

One of the first things you have to do when you arrive in Hong Kong is get an Octopus card. It is a stored value card that works on all public transportation (but not in taxis). You can purchase your tourist Octopus card in advance here – pick it up from the airport when you arrive, and it comes with HK$50 already pre-loaded.

🌤️ Hong Kong gets 4 seasons! It is not a year-round tropical country as many people seem to believe. Summers are HOT and it gets fairly cold during the winter months (December to February). The weather in March/April is still relatively warm though there can be the unpredictable rainstorm.

🌐 Language in Hong Kong: The main language spoken in Hong Kong is Cantonese, a local dialect. Many people speak English (or at least basic English), and almost all signs are bilingual.

The King Room at The Hari in Hong Kong

🛏️ Booking hotels in Hong Kong: Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay for maximum convenience and easy access to public transportation.

There are some fantastic boutique hotels in Hong Kong: I’m a fan of The Fleming, a boutique hotel in Wan Chai which features Hong Kong-inspired design and furnishings, Little Tai Hang in a happening neighborhood on the edge of Causeway Bay, as well as The Murray, a luxury boutique hotel in Central which used to serve as government offices.

When is the Hong Kong Sevens?

East stand at the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Sevens Tournament usually takes place around March/April every year over 3 days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The dates change and are usually announced a few months in advance. The Hong Kong 7s 2024 will take place from April 5th-7th.

How to get to the Hong Kong Sevens stadium

The Hong Kong Sevens is held at Hong Kong Stadium in Causeway Bay. If you are headed to the stadium, your best bet is to take public transportation to Causeway Bay via the MTR (subway – take exit F), or by bus.

Many buses pass through Causeway Bay, so take a look at the route maps and hop on any one that takes you in that direction. If you are taking a taxi, ask the driver to take you to “Dai Kau Cheung, Tung Lo Wan”, though you should expect lots of traffic in the final stretch towards the stadium.

Where to stay for the Hong Kong Sevens

Hong Kong skyline

Most visitors for the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens opt to book hotels on Hong Kong Island or on Kowloon side. If you don’t have a lot of time in the city, look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay for maximum convenience and easy access to Hong Kong Stadium! Click here to check current rates and availability for hotels in Hong Kong.

The Fleming urban hotel in Hong Kong queen sized bed

I’m a big fan of The Fleming, a boutique hotel in Wan Chai just steps away from the MTR or you could even walk to Hong Kong Stadium on foot in under 15-20 minutes. The hotel’s design is inspired by Hong Kong’s heritage and the iconic Star Ferry, and offers visitors the opportunity to stay in a space that celebrates the spirit and essence of the city. Click here for current rates and availability at The Fleming.

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, then I recommend checking out The Murray in Central. The rooms are spacious and classy, and the dining facilities are fantastic – I’m partial to Popinjays which is one of my favourite rooftop bars in the city. The hotel is a stone’s throw from Hong Kong Park (which is connected to Admiralty MTR station), or a short 10-minute walk from Central (which offers you numerous transportation links throughout Hong Kong to Causeway Bay). Click here for current rates and availability at The Murray.

Little Tai Hang boutique hotel in Hong Kong

I also love Little Tai Hang, which is located just a 10-15 minute walk away from Hong Kong Stadium. The standard rooms are compact, but it doesn’t cost much to upgrade to a harbour view room or even a suite if you’re traveling with friends or family. What we love in particular is the number of local diners and coffee shops located just downstairs – you’ll never go hungry in Tai Hang. Click here to book your stay at Little Tai Hang!

Whatever you do, book early! Hotels in Hong Kong are always fully booked for the 7s weekend and the room rates are often double during that time. If you book using Booking.com, you can always cancel if your travel plans change.

Leaving it until the last minute to book accommodation during a major holiday or event in Hong Kong can be an expensive travel mistake. Click here for even more things to avoid doing in Hong Kong!

How to get Rugby Sevens tickets

Hong Kong Sevens tickets
*Dogs not included with ticket

Over the years, 7s tickets have gotten harder and harder to get your hands on, and ticket prices go up every year. The good news is that when there’s a will, there’s a way. The price for 2022 and 2023 Hong Kong Sevens tickets was HKD$1950 for 3 days (approx US$250), and remains unchanged for 2024. If you buy them separately from resellers, the face value of the Friday ticket is usually HKD$350, and Saturday/Sunday tickets go for HKS$800. This year, tickets for the Hong Kong 7s are available as of December 1 from the official ticket website here.

Public ballot: A few months ahead of the 7s, the Hong Kong Rugby Union will open registration for a public ballot via their website, hksevens.com. This mechanism is mostly for Hong Kong Residents holding Hong Kong Identity Cards who want to attend the tournament. The draw takes places 2-3 months before the event, and you may win tickets to none, some, or all of your chosen days.

Klook: This year, Hong Kong Sevens has teamed up with Klook to offer a 3-day pass + HK$500 coupon for HK$2,450. This is great for visitors to Hong Kong who want to check out some other tourist attractions and restaurants! Buy your Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tickets via Klook here.

Cathay Pacific Fly & See Packages: Cathay Pacific Airline is the title sponsor for the event, and usually offers special packages that include airfare, hotel and a 3-day event ticket. Explore the Cathay Hong Kong Sevens packages here (country-specific).

Viagogo: Honestly, I’m not a massive fan of this sales channel because it’s a bit of a rip off, with many people marking up ticket prices by several hundred Hong Kong dollars. If you’re desperate, have a look and see if you can find tickets for a reasonable price.

Facebook Groups: Many people sell their tickets via Facebook, but this comes with a certain amount of risk. You should meet in person for a face-to-face exchange. Look up “Hong Kong Sevens Buy and Sell” to find available groups.

Apart from these main channels for getting tickets, you’ll have to rely on friends, colleagues or other people you know to get tickets. Rugby clubs in Hong Kong often receive an allocation of tickets for their members, and corporate sponsors like HSBC and Cathay Pacific give some of their employees box passes – if you know the right people then you might get lucky and score a ticket!

And if you’re desperate…scalpers: Like every other big sporting event, there are always scalpers outside the stadium trying to sell off tickets last-minute on the day. If you are super desperate, head straight to the stadium and you’ll find a dozen or so of them hanging around by the entrance. Just be aware that Hong Kong police have been cracking down on scalping.

What to wear to the Rugby Sevens

South stand at the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong

The weather in Hong Kong in March/April tends to be warm (between 20-30 degrees Celsius / 70-86 degrees Fahrenheit) and not too humid yet, though it does vary year-to-year. If you’re lucky, it won’t rain all weekend, but I have been at the Sevens during torrential downpour – the stadium is not covered, so getting soaked is a real possibility!

Depending on which stand you go to (and what you’re at the Sevens for), you’ll want to wear comfortable and breathable clothes, preferably nothing long that drags on the floor (skip the maxi-dress, you’ll thank me later). Closed toe shoes are your best bet as the floor can be pretty filthy with spilled beer, trash and god knows what else.

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Fancy Dress
Photo credit: Hong Kong Rugby Union

One of the best traditions at the Hong Kong Sevens is fancy dress – it’s like Halloween on steroids! Most people dress up on Saturday and wear “regular” clothes on Friday and Sunday.

You can find last-minute costumes at Pottinger Street in Central or Wan Chai Market, and if you’re ambitious you can order costumes ahead of time from Matteo Party or Taobao (Chinese only), or DIY!

What to bring to the Rugby Sevens

Rugby Sevens check point in Hong Kong

Bring as little as possible for the sake of convenience. Bags are searched at the entrance and many things like bottles (plastic or glass) are not allowed. See the prohibited items list here.

There are plenty of food and beverage stalls inside the stadium, but be prepared for marked up prices with one pint of beer costing upwards of US$10-15. Bring cash as there aren’t many ATMs within the stadium, or top up your Octopus card to pay for your food and drink.

You can purchase your tourist Octopus card in advance here – pick it up from the airport when you arrive so you can use it for public transportation and at the stadium. It is easy to top up the card at any convenience store and at any MTR station.

If you plan on drinking at the Rugby Sevens, bring your ID as it does get checked occasionally, especially if you are trying to get into the south stand.

Don’t forget your Rugby 7s tickets (duh), a pair of sunglasses so you can watch the matches without squinting, your phone so you can find your friends if you get separated, and a battery pack for when your phone runs out of juice.

Looking for a convenient place to stay in Hong Kong for the Sevens? Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay – click here to book accommodation in Hong Kong!

You may want to check out TUVE (a small industrial-chic boutique hotel just next to Causeway Bay),  Little Tai Hang (a boutique hotel and serviced apartment complex a 10-15 minute walk from the stadium) or The Fleming (featuring Hong Kong-inspired decor and design in Wan Chai, 1 MTR stop from Causeway Bay).

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Schedule

South stand at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

The 7s matches start in the morning and finish at around 8 PM each night.

There’s an art to attending the Hong Kong 7s and planning your strategy. In general, Friday tends to be less rambunctious and many people head there in the afternoon after work. Most people don’t dress up in costumes and the focus is more on the rugby itself.

Saturday at the Hong Kong Sevens is the biggest day of the tournament and this is when most people show up in costumes and let loose. Many people skip Friday and only go to the Sevens on Saturday, so this is the day where you’ll see people go all out and more often than not, get plastered.

Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Ike Li / Shutterstock

If you’ve made it to Sunday, congratulations! The rugby matches heat up and the competition is fierce, with teams battling it out for the cup, plate and bowl. If you’re a rugby fan, Sunday is a MUST because the matches are incredible!

Ready to check out the Hong Kong Sevens? Buy your 3-day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) pass + HK$500 coupon for Klook here.

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Stadium

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens South Stand

There are 4 stands in the stadium – north, south, east and west. In general, the east and west stands are where you’ll find the die-hard rugby fans, families and corporate boxes.

For this reason, they tend to be quite civilized. The north stand is smaller and many players will watch the games from here along with some regular sevens-goers, but the real 7s action is in the notorious South Stand.

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens South Stand

The infamous Hong Kong Sevens South Stand is 18+ and pretty much anything goes – this is where you’ll find extreme debauchery, hilarious costumes (lots and lots of Minions), and plenty of drunk people. Players also often meet and greet rugby fans here after their match is complete.

Meet and greet with rugby players at the south stand at the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong

The South Stand gets extremely busy on Saturday and Sunday, so if you want to get in without queuing for hours (yes, HOURS) you’ll have to plan to arrive early. Some people head to the stadium as early as 7 AM!

Rugby Sevens south stand in Hong Kong

Otherwise, brace yourself for long lines, though this is an experience in and of itself as vendors will approach you and serve beer and alcohol. In general, the entrance to the South Stand on the east side of the stadium tends to have shorter lines than the entrance on the west side.

Hong Kong 7s After Parties

Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong

As if drinking all day weren’t enough, you can go out for incredible after parties, often with rugby teams who have been knocked out of the tournament. The main parties will be in Lan Kwai Fong in Central, Lockhart Road in Wan Chai, or at the Sevens Village across from the stadium.

Booking tip: Hotels book up FAST during Sevens weekend so book early! Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Soho, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay – click here to book accommodation in Hong Kong!

You may want to check out Ovolo Central (a boutique hotel right above Lan Kwai Fong – perfect for afterparties), The Hari (a sophisticated luxury hotel steps away from Wan Chai MTR station) or The Figo (a budget-friendly quirky boutique hotel located between Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan).

Safety at the Hong Kong Sevens

Meet and greet with rugby players at the south stand at the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong

As you can imagine, it can get seriously rowdy at the Hong Kong Sevens, especially in the South Stand. Though alcohol-related violence isn’t extremely common, fights can break out so you’ll want to steer clear of that. It’s also important to look after your belongings as theft happens more frequently than you’d think.

Unfortunately, sexual harassment is not unheard of and I was personally groped by some sleazeball a few years back. The good news is, police are on site and stationed all around the stadium, and when they realized what happened they tackled the guy to the ground. They are also your best point of contact to report any stolen belongings. Paramedics also staff the event in case of injuries and/or emergencies.

To get the most out of your Sevens experience, pace yourself so that you don’t suffer from alcohol poisoning or end up passed out somewhere. Make sure you eat food before you drink – if you don’t want to splurge on the mediocre food in the stadium, eat ahead in Causeway Bay.

Where to eat around Hong Kong Stadium

Food in Hong Kong stadium isn’t the best quality, and prices are fairly exorbitant. If you are heading to the stadium in the afternoon, grab some lunch first. Alternatively, you can leave for lunch and re-enter the stadium via the dedicated re-entry gate. Just make sure you don’t lose your ticket/wristband.

Din Tai Fung is one of my favorite restaurants in Hong Kong and is close to the stadium.

Soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Hong Kong

FRITES is just a few streets away from the stadium and serves up heart Belgian food that will keep you full (and your stomach lined).

There are also plenty of restaurants in Times Square including Vietnamese, Japanese, Shanghainese, Pizza Express, and much more.

Across the street from Times Square is Midtown Plaza where you will find Thai fusion and a number of Japanese restaurants.

And last but not least, there’s always good old Macca’s!

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Fancy Dress

Ready for the 2024 Hong Kong Sevens from April 5th to 7th? The Hong Kong Sevens is truly a memorable experience for any sports lover, even if you have no idea what the rules of rugby are because there’s always someone willing to explain the rules to you! Hong Kong is electric during the Hong Kong Sevens weekend with plenty of things to do and see if you’re not spending the entire weekend at the stadium.

Hong Kong Sevens hotels: Look for hotels located along the Island (blue) line of the MTR subway system for easy access to Causeway Bay (where the stadium is located). Look into hotels in Wan Chai, Central, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay itself for maximum convenience.

There are some fantastic boutique hotels in Hong Kong: I’m a fan of The Fleming, a boutique hotel in Wan Chai which features Hong Kong-inspired design and furnishings, Little Tai Hang on the edge of Causeway Bay as well as The Murray, a luxury boutique hotel in the Admiralty area which used to serve as government offices.

Need some ideas for things to do in Hong Kong? You might enjoy these reads:

Have you ever been to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens? Tell me all about it in the comments section below!

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  1. Glad I found your site! I was starting to plan a trip to Hong Kong 7s in November and had no clue where to look for hotel and things to do as we are staying for a few extra days. Great info!

    1. Hi Benjamin, thanks for taking the time to read this and I’m thrilled to hear that you found it helpful. Fingers crossed that the event can go ahead as planned in November!

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