On Saturday, Hong Kong will mark the 26th anniversary of its Handover from Britain to China with a slew of giveaways and discounts, from free entry at museums and swimming pools to deals at over 1,000 restaurants.

victoria park handover
A display marking the 26th anniversary of the Handover. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Chief Executive John Lee said last week that the offerings would allow the public to “happily enjoy this joyous date.” Traditionally a day of demonstrations – now muted under the security law – the usual protests are set to be replaced by pomp, patriotism and city-wide special offers.

Museums and other sites

M+ Museum: All exhibitions at the M+ Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District will be free. No advance booking is required.

Palace Museum: The seven thematic exhibitions at the Palace Museum will allow free entry. Pre-registration, however, is required and all tickets have been distributed, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority said.

Palace Museum
Hong Kong’s Palace Museum. Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP.

Hong Kong Science Museum: The Hong Kong Science Museum will open all of its permanent exhibitions to the public for free.

Hong Kong Space Museum: All permanent exhibitions at the Space Museum, except for shows at the Space Theatre, will be free.

Hong Kong Wetland Park: Free admission will be offered for the park on Saturday. Visitors do not need to register in advance.

Sha Tin Racecourse
Sha Tin Racecourse. Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Sha Tin Racecourse: Visitors can enter the Sha Tin Racecourse on Saturday for free, when the Jockey Club will hold its Hong Kong Reunification Raceday. Restaurants at the racecourse will also offer

Public transportation

Trams: For five days from Saturday to Wednesday, the Hong Kong Tramways is offering free tram rides to commuters.

Star Ferry: Commuters will be able to take the Star Ferry on the Tsim Sha Tsui-Wan Chai route for free on Saturday.

Star Ferry
Hong Kong’s Star Ferry. File photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Fortune Ferry: The Central-Hung Hom route will be free on Saturday. Water Taxis that take riders on a circular route between Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai and West Kowloon, will also see ticket fees waived.

Public sports facilities

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said it would open most of its facilities for free use to “encourage people of all ages to do more physical exercises and develop a healthy lifestyle.”

Victoria Park Swimming Pool
Victoria Park Swimming Pool. Photo: GovHK.

The facilities include badminton courts, basketball courts, sport climbing walls, tennis courts, swimming pools and more. Each person can only book one free session, while pools do not require advance booking.

Restaurant offers

Almost 1,500 restaurants will offer discounts for specific dishes or meal sets to mark the Handover anniversary, from fast food chains to high-end restaurants. “Besides having a good time, we also hope people have fun eating,” Tommy Cheung, the lawmaker representing the catering sector, said.

Among the eateries are McDonald’s, the Cafe de Coral chain, Japanese yakiniku chain Gyu-Kaku, Cafe Deco Pizzeria, American bar Stormies, Foxglove and Japanese restaurant FUMI, according to a list published by Cheung.

national day north point
File photo: HKFP.

Many will offer a 29 per cent discount on selected items, which will see customers paying 71 per cent of the original price. The discount is a reference to the “7/1” anniversary date.

Other free events

Other patriotic and community events include a free exhibition and food event in Victoria Park until Sunday, a food festival at Wong Tai Sin Square until July 26, as well as a multi-ethnic carnival between 2pm and 5pm at the same venue on Saturday.

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Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.