Note: This Hong Kong nightlife review was written by a reader who has lived over 7 years in the city.

One of the richest cities in the world, Hong Kong hosts a crowded 7 million people. Among them, you will find a diverse party-loving crowd of businessmen, expats (and their grown-up kids), students, and a fair number of tourists.

This makes for an extremely dynamic, sophisticated and intense nightlife that I consider to be one of the best in Asia.

I wrote this detailed review of Hong Kong nightlife to make sure you'll have a great time partying in the city. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them at the end of the article and I'll do my best to answer you!

Hong Kong Nightlife Areas + Hotels
There are three main party districts with their distinct atmospheres: Lan Kwai Fong, Wan Chai, and SoHo.

Here's what you need to know about each of them:

→ Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong at night
The main party area, called Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), is located in the heart of the busy Central Business District. It is a tiny area with 3 streets that are full of bars: Lan Kwai Fong Street, Wyndham Street, and D'Aguilar Street. If you are new to Hong Kong and you don't know where to start your night out, just go there first and you'll easily meet people from all over the world.

LKF tends to draw a younger crowd of local and international students, young working people, and interns who depart straight from their megalomaniac bank towers after a hard day of work. It is also where you'll find the most tourists and backpackers.

The nightlife really starts at around 10pm: The bars pump up their music, turning the entire streets into parties where people smoke, drink and dance in the middle of the road. While you can party horizontally, going from one bar to another all night long, don’t forget to look up. There are a lot of venues on the upper floors of the buildings. Sometimes an elevator ride can lead you to a completely different and unexpected space.

Recommended hotels near Lan Kwai Fong nightlife:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Landmark Mandarin Hotel (rated 9.3/10, US$550 per night) - One of the top 5 hotels in Hong Kong.
⭐⭐⭐⭐Ovolo Central (rated 8.6/10, US$280 per night) - Just 1-minute walking distance from the clubs.
⭐⭐⭐Homy Hotel Central (rated 8.1/10, US$82 per night) - Best value hotel near LKF nightlife.

→ Wan Chai
Side street in the red-light district of Wan Chai (Lockhart Street)
If LKF is light-hearted fun, Wan Chai is the darkness. Often referred to as the red light district of Hong Kong (especially because of the ever-popular hostess bars, bordellos and massage parlours on Lockhart Road), it has emerged in recent years as a great nascent party district.

Wednesdays in Wan Chai are midweek decadence where the trendy youth of Hong Kong comes to get wasted thanks to an abundance of cheap alcohol deals (as low as HKD20 per drink). Hidden within a labyrinth of boulevards, you can find a diversity of places – from classy rooftop bars to clubs more hedonistic than others.

The nightlife in Wan Chai is spread over a rather large area, but the most happening party streets are Sun Street, Star Street, Moon Street, and Ship Street. The prostitution area is a bit further away, mostly in Lockhart Street (where you can also find some great expat pubs such as Queen Victoria, Churchill's, TrafalgarDelaney's).

Recommended hotel near Wan Chai nightlife:
⭐⭐⭐⭐Burlington Hotel (rated 8.1/10, US$87 per night) - Good value for money, guest-friendly, located on Hennesy road (1 street away from the red light district on Lockhart street).

→ SoHo
Just a few minutes away by cab from LKF, SoHo district is a hipster sanctuary. In the daytime, the area is filled with small, niche art galleries and concept stores. During the night, you can find plenty of trendy live venues, cocktail bars, and comedy clubs. There is an innumerable amount of different places, so it is worth having a walk around to explore their diversity. You can start at Old Man's (named one of the 50 best bars in Asia), then walk along Staunton's Street, stopping in Little L.A.B. (craft cocktails) and ending up in Pontiac Bar (named one of the best bars in the World in 2019).

Note about getting around in Hong Kong at night:
Generally, once in Central, everything is within walking distance. The three main party districts are equally close together, but if you plan on traveling from LKF/SoHo to Wan Chai, you may require either public transport which runs until 1am or a taxi/Uber, that costs around $30-50 HKD. Night buses are also available throughout the night and are extremely punctual and frequent if you need to travel to another part of the island. 

Best Bars and Nightclubs in Hong Kong
Due to the fast pace of the city, specific bars and clubs have a quick turnaround rate. Strange concept bars aiming to become the next hot thing are constantly opening which makes the process of going out always unique and ephemeral.

At the moment, the current hotspots are the ones listed below:

(Note: Don't forget to bring your ID when going to clubs in Hong Kong. The bouncers may not let you inside if you don't show them proper identification.)

Dragon-I (Lan Kwai Fong)
Located one escalator ride from the main street of LKF, Dragon-I is an upper-class nightclub.

You are greeted by sexy hostesses on a wooden-floored terrace that smells like the inside of a Shanghai Tang store. Inside, the stone tables are encrusted with (fake) diamonds and above your head, chandeliers subtly glitter in the darkness.

It is a cool place to party with a group if you enjoy being surrounded by beautiful people. Entrance fee can be quite expensive for guys (up to HKD400 depending on the event). Bottle service starts at HKD5,000 of minimum spending. Hot dancers will entertain the guests several times during the night.

Dragon-I has hosted many celebrities in the past, both as DJs and clients (including Bruno Mars recently). It prides itself on being exclusive so you need to make sure you dress up if you want to enter.

Levels (Lan Kwai Fong)
Levels is one of the largest and most packed nightclubs on Lan Kwai Fong. The crowd is mostly local and very young (early 20s). Lots of groups but you can still enjoy it if you are alone (entrance around HKD400). Two rooms with different DJs (mostly commercial EDM).

Volar (Lan Kwai Fong)
This popular venue is where many clubbers will end their night after partying in Hong Kong. Volar is at its best after 2 or 3AM, when most of the other bars/clubs in LKF have closed. The crowd is young and international. Music is EDM/Techno/Hip-Hop. Some famous DJs are invited once in a while.

Oma (Lan Kwai Fong)
Techno is considered an alternative style in Hong Kong, especially compared to the mainstream pop that echoes through the streets of LKF. The small Oma club is trying to change that, bringing local and international DJs on Friday and Saturday (on the other days of the week, you have live bands).

The venue has an incredible sound setup, seeming enormous in proportion to its size. Also, it closes at 5am, significantly later than its counterparts. Ladies night is on Thursday with free drinks for girls.

If you like Oma, you may also want to check the LGBT-friendly Mihn Club (written 宀 Club) and Social Room.

Devil’s Advocate (Wan Chai)
On Wednesday, Devil’s Advocate is crowded with young people carrying stacks of 20$ bill. For this price, they can get one alcoholic drink. In the context of a pricey Hong Kong, it is a steal, even though they give you low-quality liquor that will give you the hangover of a lifetime on the next day (that's why I usually prefer sticking to drinking beer).

The bar is old and decrepit, and the music is mostly mainstream hits of the moment, yet the atmosphere is incredible. The place is usually packed both inside the club and outside on the street, where people are extremely friendly and talkative. The moment you get tired of Devil’s Advocate, you can cross the street to Carnegie’s which also has great deals on their drinks with equally-average music and bar decoration. However, in Carnegie, the tables have been built to handle standing and dancing which becomes the main attraction once the cheap alcohol has been ingested.
Carnegie's Bar in Wan Chai is one of the most popular expat bars in HK
Ophelia (Wan Chai)
Designed by Ashley Sutton (also the creator of hip bars in HK like Iron Fairies, J.Borowski, and Dragonfly), this hidden spot is not for the light-hearted and borders on performance art and hedonism.

To reach Ophelia, you must traverse an iconic lantern street that has been constructed to look like an old Venetian road, with paved floor and colorful colonial building facades.

The club resides on the second floor of the building. As the doors of the elevator open, you find yourself in a completely alternate reality. The walls are decorated with seemingly real foliage and from the ceiling hang bird cages, swings, and plants. Gently swinging are women dressed up as birds, who adorn the walls and merge in with the greenery. Ophelia is a good crystallization of the oddities that Hong Kong is capable of producing and certainly worth a stop for its sheer creativity.

Picada (Lan Kwai Fong)
For all those Latin-American lovers out there, Picada is the place to go. Hong Kong has an unexpected but thriving salsa community, with Picada as their sanctuary. Cooped up in a skyscraper, the restaurant/bar becomes a nightclub on weekends at around 11 PM: The music is turned up and the tables are moved aside to reveal a gold-trimmed dancefloor. Expect to hear various beats including Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton, Kizomba, Tango, Samba and, of course, Salsa.

You can sip on their delicious cocktails while watching Hong Kongers twirl their partners gracefully to the dulcet tones of cumbia. Their Salsa Caliente Thursdays are a must-go. For HKD100, you partake in an evening of salsa classes, with a drink on the house which facilitates the learning process!

Must-Try Nightlife Experiences in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Jockey Club
For both a great festive environment and an unmissable local cultural attraction, the Hong Kong Jockey Club comes to life every Wednesday evening. Starting early at 7pm, there is a $10HKD fee to enter the ring and watch horse races until 10pm.

The horse track is enormous, endowed by the silhouette of skyscrapers in the background. While betting on horses is certainly part of the attraction, there is also live music concerts between races, craft beers, dancing and celebrating. On the bleachers, you can observe what seems to be the taxi drivers that zoom around Hong Kong during the day, deeply concentrated on their newspapers in order to bet on the right horse to score big.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club on Wednesday night is a unique event, but make sure to come early because, after the final race at around 9.30pm, the festivities are over. Generally, if the gamble has gone well, the partygoers will then shift to Wan Chai Wednesday to celebrate.

Drinking at the International Financial Centre (IFC)
As Hong Kong remains a pricey place to live in, and even pricier to go out in, students and locals have found hacks to still enjoy the natural beauty and ambiance without breaking the bank.

Carrying open cans of alcohol in public spaces is legal in Hong Kong. Many young adults will buy alcohol at a local 7/11 and consume it on the roof of the International Finance Centre – one of the most famous skyscrapers in the Hong Kong skyline. On the roof, there are benches, a garden and arguably the best view of the port. You can sit on the roof, bring a speaker and drink with your friends while enjoying a view of Kowloon’s light show on the other side of the port.

It’s cheap, economic and authentically Hong Kong.

1 comment to '' Hong Kong Nightlife: Best Bars and Nightclubs (2019) "

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  1. Very good review. Some places I havent visited, but those that did are accurately described. You could only add places where you can find freelancers, almost all SEA nationalities + some Chinese /in Wan Chai, one of them club Amazon/ Actually, HK is comparable to Singapore, but much more dynamic and energetic. And many, many, many Filipinas, they work as maids. I think they have a Sunday off, so that is the time to go look for them. And there is a seafront, although no beaches. Hopefully, political turmoil will end soon

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