December’s nice weather makes this a fantastic time to see the New Territories. While it will be probably too cold for sunbathing on the beach, there are some great hikes across Hong Kong's hills and valleys. A visit to Hong Kong Wetland Park is also recommended. But you don't need to be plotting grand walks to enjoy the sunshine; it's also a fantastic time to explore the city's bustling streets, from the markets to the skyscrapers of Central.
December is, of course, also the season to be merry, and Hong Kong's history as a British colony means the city celebrates the festive season.
Christmas trees, tinsel, and all the other trappings of a winter wonderland are all on display. Most of the skyscrapers on the harbor will have Christmas lights draped across them, and the malls will be stuffed with presents—find out more in our Hong Kong Christmas guide.
While New Year isn't celebrated quite as energetically as Chinese New Year a little later, there will still be plenty of options for those who want to spend the night in a pub or club.
Hong Kong Weather in December
The last month of Hong Kong's traditional high season, December means blue skies, no humidity, and cool but not cold weather. The lack of humidity makes this one of the best months to visit Hong Kong, especially as it's more comfortable to explore the outdoors. This is also the least rain Hong Kong sees in any month. As long as you aren't expecting to hit the beach and sip cocktails under the palm trees (in which case look at September or October), December is a fantastic month to visit.
- Average high: 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius)
- Average low: 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius)
Given daytime temperatures and an average rainfall of just 25 mm spread over five days, it's the ideal time of year to be outside.
What to Pack
December is sweatshirt and trouser weather, although you might enjoy a day or two when you can get away with just a T-shirt.
You should pack a light jacket. It's unlikely you'll need to use it often but nights, particularly towards the end of the month, can be cooler. If traveling to the countryside, bring mosquito repellant and walking shoes, as well as plenty of bottled water. If you're unlucky, you may get a cold snap!
December Events in Hong Kong
Large holidays like Christmas and New Year's Eve are the two benchmarks of December, but the city has plenty of other events to enjoy too.
- Hong Kong Winterfest: The city's celebration of Christmas is different each year and usually bigger than last. Expect a huge Christmas tree in the center of town at Statue Square, carolers, and a Santa’s grotto. Shopping malls also get in on the act with Christmas decorations and promotions leading up to the big day.
- Hong Kong International Races: This typically takes place in early December and is the largest and most anticipated horse racing meet in Hong Kong.
- The Great European Carnival: This outdoor event features food, carnival rides, a giant outdoor ice rink, and performances by local and international music artists. The event typically runs from mid-December through mid- February.
- Christmas: While December 25 is a public holiday, there is no shutdown of shops or services for the festive season. It's more treated as a chance to get out and meet friends rather than sit at home watching TV.
- New Year's Celebrations: While it can't eclipse the much bigger and longer celebrations Hong Kong enjoys for Chinese New Year, the city does celebrate New Year's Eve. Hong Kong's Times Square has historically been the center of festivities in Hong Kong, or you can enjoy the fireworks that are lit up over of the harbor as the clock strikes midnight.
December Travel Tips
- A useful tip for any time of year if you like to shop: Always check prices in several different shops before buying an item. Shopkeepers in Hong Kong like to overcharge tourists.
- December is Hong Kong's high season and hotels and flights are more expensive than other times of the year. Book in advance to avoid sell-outs and disappointments.
- If you're on a budget, stay in a guesthouse. These affordable accommodations are modest but are clean and comfortable.
- December in Hong Kong is much drier than other times of the year, so be sure to stay hydrated. It's very easy to get a sore throat due to the cold winter air.
- Hong Kong is one of the safest big cities, but you should still take reasonable precautions for big city travel, like not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables.
For more information about the best time to visit, check out our monthly guide to Hong Kong's weather.