Tsim Sha Tsui is a family favourite hangout, this bustling neighbourhood is lined with restaurants, museums, not to mention the iconic Clock Tower, Star Ferry and the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre inside K11 MUSEA at East Tsim Sha Tsui.
Get some comfortable shoes on because this one is going to be big! Looking for a neighbourhood that comprises family-friendly brunches, hotels and museums to explore? We simply can’t get enough of the bustling neighbourhood of Tsim Sha Tsui! With the opening of IKEA at K11 Art Mall and Bakehouse, we’ve got our eyed peeled for breakfast dates whilst picking up pieces to refurbish the house. And there no mentioning the line of restaurants at Tsim Sha Tsui East and K11 MUSEA! Read on for our full, handy guide.
Things To Do With Kids At Tsim Sha Tsui
1881 Heritage and House 1881
The historic former Marine Police Headquarters, 1881 Heritage, is well worth a stop when you visit Tsim Sha Tsui. Fun fact – it was actually built in 1884, but because of the bad luck associated with the number four the name has been changed! There are almost always seasonal exhibits in the Grand Piazza (definitely make time to visit at Christmas!) which make for great photo opportunities with the family. Head up the escalators to House 1881 and see how the 130-year-old building has been restored. In the courtyard out the back, see if you can spot the birdhouses (formerly used to house carrier pigeons!) and take a look at the old horse stables, which are now a restaurant.
Prepare some chef hats for the little ones, it’s time to get baking! You knead to check out BakeBe (which also has a location in Causeway Bay) where you can make everything from cupcakes, mermaid cakes, macarons, tarts and more. There’s something for kids of all ages – you can easily pick a recipe according to the level of difficulty and that’s that! You needn’t bring anything else along (and no need for cleaning up afterwards!), and the steps are easy to follow at your own pace using an iPad.
Kowloon Park is a reason in itself to visit Tsim Sha Tsui. This urban oasis is located smack bang in the middle of Canton and Nathan Road, yet you’ll feel a world away from the hustle and bustle. There are multiple playgrounds (including the Discovery Playground created around the old canons) and gardens, the outdoor maze and sculpture walk, and we haven’t even talked about visiting the flamingoes yet! When you need to cool down, head over to the public pool for a swim (there’s even a dedicated kids’ paddling pool).
Kowloon Park, 22 Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk
Middle Road Children’s Playground
This small and relatively quiet playground not only boasts views of the harbour but is conveniently located directly above the MTR. Yes, it can get a little hectic at weekends, but during the week, it’s a hidden gem with shaded seating and picnic spots.
Middle Road Children’s Playground, Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.lcsd.gov.hk
Hong Kong has excellent, educational, interactive and affordable museums, many of which are located in Tsim Sha Tsui. These are all worth a visit (more than once!) and are great to keep up your sleeve for those bad weather days. From the Hong Kong Space Museum (we highly recommend their dome shows loved by kids and adults alike) to the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art (yes, they’re all actually in East Tsim Sha Tsui!), which one will you be stopping by first? Or perhaps, the LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre? You get the idea!
Skyline Viewing Area
Turn right when you come off the ferry and stroll along the harbourfront. Point out the landmark buildings; HSBC, Bank Of China, IFC and make a game by seeing if there are any that your kids recognise. Can they pick out the tallest? Can you?! If you really want to make your visit educational, do a Google image search of historic Hong Kong images and look how the skyline has changed over the years (make sure to search for the old Kowloon-Canton Railway too).
Sassy Mama Tip: For a real Hong Kong experience, grab an egg tart from Tai Cheong Bakery (downstairs at the Star Ferry Pier) and sit down and enjoy while you admire the view.
Star Ferry Ride
Help your kids fall in love with Hong Kong (and remind yourself of what a fabulous city we live in!) with a ride on the iconic Star Ferry. Children and parents alike will get a kick out of the 10-minute journey across Victoria Harbour. At just $2.70 ($3.70 on weekends) it is the cheapest harbour cruise going!
Sassy Mama Tip: Head upstairs to the very front or the very back of the boat – the cabin is often air-conditioned!
With its convenient location on Salisbury Road, between Heritage 1881 and the Peninsula Hotel, the YMCA in Tsim Sha Tsui is worth checking out for all members of the family. The TST branch is home to The Salisbury, a hotel (perfect for out of town visitors who want a Victoria Harbour view without the Peninsula price tag!), and for us locals, a very reasonably-priced swimming pool and gymnasium, as well as educational courses and sports programmes for kids, teens, adults and even foreign domestic helpers. They even have an indoor rock climbing wall for your young adventurers!
Where To Eat And Drink At Tsim Sha Tsui: Restaurants, Bars And Cafes
Alfresco Lane at Tsim Sha Tsui Centre
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown TST, this area offers a variety of restaurants with outdoor seating and a view across from Salisbury Road to the stunning Victoria Harbour. Choose from London House by Gordon Ramsay, Wooloomooloo Steakhouse and Spasso Italian along with family-favourites like Pizza Express, Outback Steakhouse and Le Pain Quotidien.
Tsim Sha Tsui Centre, 66 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.tsimshatsuicentre.com.hk
Read More: Hong Kong Private Kitchens And Event Spaces
Unparalleled views over Victoria Harbour and fabulous food and drinks make aqua the perfect spot for a date night or a girls-only brunch. It’s popular, and for good reason! We love their weekend brunch set featuring Italian and Japanese classics (think elevated gyozas, thin-crust pizza, grilled salmon teriyaki, black truffle tagliolini and more!) and is free for children under the age of 5.
We all love CHAAT at Rosewood which is why we couldn’t contain ourselves upon hearing about the opening of BluHouse, a casual Italian eatery serving authentic Italian fare. We can’t think of a better way to spend our Sunday lunch than at this chic and relaxed restaurants with harbour views. From freshly brewed coffee, pasta, rosticceria, pizza al taglio, pasticceria and gelato, there’s plenty to dig into whilst grinning from ear-to-ear! If you’re feeling fancy or you’re marking an occasion, remember to book a table at The Dining Room.
This vegetarian restaurant is famed for its authentic and delicious South Indian cuisine. We love that it also provides flavour-bursting vegetarian fare that’s also suitable for Jains and Buddhists (no onions or garlic). Though a rather low profile restaurant, you’ll be a regular here (plus you can try more dishes off the menu each time!).
Sassy Mama Tip: If you’re after good South Indian food, there are now many more options. Sangeetha Vegetarian Restaurant and Saravanaa Bhavan both have plenty of branches across the world and now have loyal fans in Hong Kong as well. Which place serves better coconut chutney and sambhar? The jury’s out on that one!
Branto, 1/F, 9 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.facebook.com/Branto
Din Tai Fung Dumpling House
Din Tai Fung really needs no introduction. Who doesn’t love a good xiao long bao? This popular chain of restaurants serves up arguably the best in Hong Kong, alongside a mouthwatering list of all your dim sum favourites. With quick service, an English menu (we always appreciate the handy allergy guide) and classic Chinese favourites, your little ones are sure to be pleased!
Din Tai Fung, Shop 306, 3/F, Silvercord, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Din Tai Fung, Shop 407, 4/F, Food Loft, Mira Place One, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.dintaifung.com.hk
With a breathtaking view of our skyline and a contemporary twist on all our local favourites, Hutong is ideal for special occasion brunches with slightly older kids. All dim sum here is made fresh on-site and you’ll be tempted to try everything on the menu. Do note that some dishes are indeed quite spicy so may not be suitable for children and parents with low spice tolerance!
Welcome to the home of afternoon tea (since 1865!). The Palm Court pays tribute to its London namesake and serves up a wholly delicious pastry feast consisting of both sweet and savoury bites. Plus, if you’re going à-la-carte, there’s a children’s menu featuring an adorable animal-themed, organic pasta.
The Cheesecake Factory
Boy are we happy that this American favourite has its branch in Hong Kong! Some of us are guilty of bringing the kids over for just cheesecake in the afternoon after playtime but The Cheesecake Factory makes a romantic date night as well. There are 28 different flavours of cheesecake to choose from including Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl, Oreo Dream Extreme and Mango Key Lime to name a few! Brace yourself for a long waiting time during peak hours – we recommend going a little ahead to get your table’s ticket and explore the malls nearby to stay cool while waiting.
More Restaurants, Bars And Cafes In Tsim Sha Tsui
- Asaya Kitchen – Clean eats and sustainably sourced seafood and local produce offering Mediterranean flavour. www.rosewoodhotels.com/asaya-kitchen
- Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel – Whimsical Hong Kong-inspired menu, featuring the likes of Macaroni Cheesecake, mochi Fish Balls and a Hong Kong Milk Tea Cookie Shot. www.dangwenli.com
- Kailash Parbat – An all-vegetarian restuarant offering North and South Indian cuisine as well as Indo-Chinese fusion. www.kailashparbat.com.hk
- PizzaExpress – Dough balls and decadent desserts combined with classic pizzas (and some grown-up options for mum and dad too!) make this a solid option to feed hungry little mouths. www.pizzaexpress.com.hk
- The Chop House – Part of the Wooloomooloo Group, offering both indoor and a spacious outdoor seating area and Western fare. www.wooloo-mooloo.com/the-chop-house-tsim-sha-tsui
- Twist & Buckle – A pit-stop for all things churros, a popular spot for kids and adults alike! www.twistandbuckle.com
- Woodlands – Vegetarian South Indian cuisine with vegan options available. www.woodlandshk.com
Where To Go Shopping At Tsim Sha Tsui
The Tsim Sha Tsui branch of this chain store gets a special mention because it has a whole floor dedicated to Cotton On Kids. Pick up affordable (and adorable!) clothes for your little one, from babies through to teens. Speaking of teens, your older ones are sure to love the selection of stationery on offer at Typo, also located in the Granville Road megastore.
Arguably the biggest shopping mall in Hong Kong, you are sure to find everything you need (and many things you don’t) for your family at Harbour City’s 450 shops. Home to a Cruise Ship Terminal, three hotels and more than 70 food and beverage outlets you could easily spend a day or more in this shopping, dining and entertainment precinct. If you are after some junior versions of Armani, Dior, Burberry or Gucci, this is your place and you’ll also find the likes of Mothercare, Toys R Us and many, many more.
Sassy Mama Tip: For a spectacular view, head to the observation deck for unobstructed views across to Hong Kong Island.
We love the quirky homeware and furniture on offer at Homeless. It’s great for finding the perfect housewarming gifts and also has a good selection of kids’ furniture, toys and decor. Packing a wide variety of homeware and furniture brands, Homeless is undeniably one of our go-tos and it’s a ton of fun even if you’re just window shopping!
Opening its first location in Kowloon, make your way to K11 Art Mall for both the affordable furniture and cheap froyo and Swedish bites after the walk through the maze! Plus, there are always events happening at K11 Art Mall so check ahead and plan your mini field trip to this side of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Located at the intersection of Nathan and Peking Road and directly connected to the MTR, iSquare is super convenient. Head to the first and second floor for children’s specific stores like Babies R Us, Mothercare and Chicco. You’ll also find the UA Cinema (and IMAX) so you can park the older kids while you get some shopping done!
Known as the Silicon Valley of Culture, K11 MUSEA is a destination mall for gems you can’t quite find elsewhere (aside from high-end brands). From beauty and skincare brands (think apothecary-inspired Le Labo and Aesop) to finding the cutest clothes shops for kids and homegrown lifestyle stores like MaskOn._, Casetify, MoMA Design Store and more, we discover new boutiques and shops each time.
Family-Friendly Hotels And Serviced Apartments In Tsim Sha Tsui
This luxury hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon reflects the true essence of Hong Kong by showcasing local culture, be it in forms of art, design or fabulous food. We also recommend dipping in the pool at around sunset or just past sunset to get sweeping views of the glimmering buildings nearby (definitely living the urban life!). Plus, with cooking and pastry classes to book, your staycayion here will be one to remember. Note that Hotel ICON may better suit older kids from our experience.
Whether you’re looking for a short stay or a longer one, booking one of the residences at K11 ARTUS will set you up for sheer luxury. Their meticulous detail and craftsmanship, the stunning library, the unbeatable infinity pool and wait for it – rooms that come with balconies offering beautiful views of Victoria Harbour. It all sure sounds too good to be true but this home-away-from-home is one for the books!
Rosewood Hong Kong
Want a high-end hotel stay within Hong Kong with a touch of opulence whilst remaining family-friendly? Rosewood is a personal favourite of ours – it remains both luxurious yet relaxed leaving us feeling like we’re truly on vacation! Rosewood regularly hosts Family Wellcations at Asaya but even if you’re looking for a simple staycay, there’s plenty to do with kids and they (and we) sure don’t want to leave the stunning infinity pool!
A Hong Kong classic, if you have a birthday coming up in the family, book the “Your Suite Birthday” staycation at The Peninsula for a guaranteed upgrade to one of the suites (plus, late check-out). And families can opt for the connecting rooms for not just more space, but also more offers on dining deals, and more. The Peninsula is also home to eight restaurants and bars. From the famed afternoon tea in The Lobby to fine-dining and breathtaking views at Felix and an authentic Swiss experience at Chesa, there’s plenty to be enjoyed, all with the highest quality guaranteed.
Note: The “Your Suite Birthday” staycation offer is valid until Friday, 30 September, 2022 and can be used either on your birthday or one day before or after your birthday.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in February 2018 by Melissa Albarus, updated in August 2019 by Jess Mizzi and most recently updated in July 2022 by Fashila Kanakka.