What to Expect: Revitalized Central Market in Hong Kong

A lot of people in Hong Kong consider the markets as integral to the city’s culture. From the wet markets to the supermarkets, there are plenty of places to go when it comes to shopping.

The Central Market, which was built in 1930, reopened to the public on August 23, 2021. This historic site was recently renovated and transformed into a vibrant public space. In this guide we will share some of the important things you can do at the newly renovated Central market in Hong Kong.

Here’s What You Can Find in the Newly Refurbished Central Market in Hong Kong

What To Expect In The Revitalized Central Market in Hong Kong
Credits: Central Market / Instagram

Before we look at the present state of the iconic marketplace on the island-city, let’s first take a brief historical overview of the well-loved Central Market since it was first opened to the public:

The northern coast of Central was known as the Marine Lot. These prime locations were often used by British merchants for the construction of their establishments.

The inland section of Central was split into two groups: the Town Lot and the Banzaar Lot. The former was populated by Europeans and Chinese, and it bordered by Aberdeen Street and Queen’s Road Central. The latter had Chinese residents.

The first building that became Central Market was a wartime facility. It was constructed during the time of the British colonial era.

Central Market was opened on June 10, 1842. It was the first major shopping centre in the City of Victoria.

In 1850s, the Taiping Rebellion in China led to another influx of Chinese into Hong Kong. The demand for new markets was created by the rapid population growth.

The third generation of the Central Market building was a 3-story Victorian style building with a tower in the middle of it. It was demolished in 1937.

The Bauhaus style was very popular during that time, and markets like Wanchai Market and Central Market were constructed in this style.

The fourth generation of the market was bounded by Queen Victoria Street, Des Voeux Road, and Jubilee Street.

The Central Market building has a place in the collective memory of many Hongkongers. The first prototype of the market was established in 1842. The building that became known as the Central Market was completed in 1938.

The Central Market had over 250 stalls back in the 1940s, and it featured various kinds of fresh food. Back then, horse meat was also an affordable source of protein.

List of Activities to Do in the Newly Renovated Central Market in Hong Kong

The Central Market has been revamped with a brand new open floor plan that features a variety of units for retail and F&B. This includes a second floor that’s open to SMEs and start-ups. Hence, its slogan “playground for all”.

1.      Keep an eye out for buskers and public performances — or busk yourself!

What To Expect In The Revitalized Central Market in Hong Kong
Credits: Central Market / Instagram

The new Central Market features a large atrium with projection and sound systems, and it’s a great place to perform street performances. There’s also a semi-open space in front of the Grand Staircase.

The Legacy Hall features a variety of features that are designed to enhance the experience of visitors. Some of these include an LED projection wall and a motion sensor system.

The Staging Ground @ Central is for buskers and street performers wanting to promote their art and culture in Central Market. Come join the performers and be a part of our vibrant “Playground for ALL”.

Timing: 11:00 – 18:00

Address: Oasis G/F, Central Market

Admission: Free

Credits: Central Market / Facebook

2.      Visit the well-known filming locations in Hong Kong.

What To Expect In The Revitalized Central Market in Hong Kong
Credits: Michael K H Lau / Google Maps

Central Market used to be a film location. During the 1900s, it was the place to see outdoor movies. When the Market closed in 2003, the attached Central Link Alley was also discontinued.

The Central-Mid-Levels escalator has always connected the Market to the Central area. This junction has also appeared in various films and television shows.

These include the following unique locations and the films they were featured in:

  • Rouge (1987) – Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan: Rouge is a romantic drama that revolves around a ghost romance. It features Jackie Chan and Leonard Ho as the titular characters. Directed by Sheung Wan, the movie was made in 1931.
  • Chungking Express (1995) – Chungking Mansions, TST: One of the most prominent films in internationally-acclaimed director Wong Kar-wai’s career was Chungking Express, which was shot in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. The film was made in the building that houses the famous Indian restaurants and shops.
  • Throw Down (2004) – Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Mid-Levels: The Hong Kong Medical Sciences Museum was established in 1996 to promote the various medical sciences in the city. This building is often used as a filming location for various films and TV shows.
  • All About Love (2010) – Mid-Levels escalator, SoHo: The Mid-Levels is an outdoor covered escalator system that connects the Mid-Levels to the other levels of the building. It’s also one of the most iconic film locations in Hong Kong.
  • Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011) – King George V Memorial Park, Sai Ying Pun: This park is located in Sai Ying Pun and features some of the most stunning architecture in the city. It is also home to some of the most popular Cantonese rom-coms.

3.      Eat, drink, and have a good time.

What To Expect In The Revitalized Central Market in Hong Kong
Credits: Central Market Website

Though the Central Market’s opening is still in its early stages, some of the establishments that have opened are already full-fledged restaurants and stallholders. Some of these include Mammy Pancake, On Lee Dai Dong Pai, and Souper Authentic.

The Central Market is also about food. There are plenty of places to eat and drink in this area, both local and global. From fine wines to bakeries, the market has something for everyone.

4.      Take part in workshops and audio tours.

With new event spaces opening up in the Market, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and make new friends. There are also events for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about the building’s history and architecture, audio tours can be found on its website:  https://www.centralmarket.hk/en/conservation.

5.      You’ve arrived in the Heritage Triangle!

What To Expect In The Revitalized Central Market in Hong Kong
Credits: Central Market website

Similar to Tai Kwun, Central Market has a strong art and culture component. This is evidenced by the many historic sites in the area.

Video: A Look at the New Central Market

Excited to visit the newly refurbished Central Market, but haven’t got the time to check it out yet? Here’s a quick tour into the newly opened establishment as shared by our featured vloggers, a couple – Dave and Lei. According to the couple, the renovation of the historic city landmark cost approximately 50 million HKD (or around 64 million USD) – that’s a lot of money! So you can expect that they’ve done some serious renovation work on this project.

And true enough – it did not disappoint. There are three levels in the Central Market building, each with a purpose. You’ll find food, shopping stalls, open areas for events and public concerts, and lots of Instagram-worthy spots you can snap a shot with friends or your special someone. This was so, that the residents of the city-state can get to enjoy public places while enjoying the culture of Hong Kong and its vibrant community, which is  a mix of different cultures, practices, and  Asian traditions.

Final Thoughts

You might think that Hong Kong is a pretty small city-state. Well, indeed it is. Despite this, there’s no shortage of cultural heritage and great city attractions – only if you know where to look. After reading this guide, you will have found out about more of one of the city’s top public spots, the newly renovated Central Market. Aside from its much-improved facilities, creating that cozier ambience for anyone who wants to relax, hang out with friends, explore new things to shop, and sights and sounds to experience. Here’s what one of the foreign guests, Richard Addison, has to say about their visit few weeks back: “Central Market was impressive. Thank you. I appreciate that it is a work in progress, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. Imaginative displays and satisfying installations to inspire everyone. Well done to the powers that be. You have all made an excellent start. Keep up your good work please. Today “Halloween for All”. Fantastic work everyone.” So, if you have got the time, make sure to visit this spot – you won’t miss it! And certainly, you won’t regret it! This is especially useful information, especially if you want to go out and celebrate the holidays, whether with family or friends – this goes both ways, for residents and tourists. It’s highly recommended! And hopefully, through the help of this guide, you get to have a clearer perspective of what you can expect, check out and get to do when you get here sometime soon.

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Contact Information

Timings: Open daily from 10am to 10 pm

Address: 93 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong

Telephone Number:

E-mail: info@centralmarket.hk

Website: https://www.centralmarket.hk/en

Google Map Location:

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