Hong Kong is quite unlike anywhere else on earth and is chock full of unique and exciting activities. Whether you are visiting for fun, business or simply to experience a different culture, you’ll be blown away by everything it has to offer. From its ancient temples to futuristic theme parks and everything in between – Hong Kong literally has it all!
You wouldn’t want to arrive in Hong Kong without a plan, as you may end up missing some amazing things to do! While the attractions are relatively easy to access, no matter where you are, there are optimal ways to see and do the best on offer. Which is exactly what we’ve highlighted in this detailed Hong Kong travel guide!
- A Little Bit about this 3-Day Hong Kong Itinerary
- Where to stay in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Itinerary Day 1: Langtau & Hong Kong Island
- Hong Kong Itinerary Day 2: Kowloon & More
- What To Do With More Than 3 Days in Hong Kong
- Best time to Visit Hong Kong
- How To Get Around Hong Kong
- What To Prepare Before Visiting Hong Kong
- Final Thoughts
A Little Bit about this 3-Day Hong Kong Itinerary
Hong Kong actually consists of 3 islands and 1 peninsula. The peninsula that connects to mainland China is known as Kowloon and this is where a lot of tourists attractions are situated. Then there is Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island and Lamma Island.
This itinerary spans all of these areas but fortunately, they are well connected by Metro or Ferries.
The first 2 days are very busy and time will be of the essence. Day 3 is more like a buffet option whereby we set out a number of cool options for you to choose from. Anyway, lets dive in and look at what do for your first time in Hong Kong.
3 Day Hong Kong Itinerary Overview
When choosing your accommodation in Hong Kong, it’s good to know that there are several neighborhoods of varying atmospheres to choose from. If you’re wanting shopping malls, nightlife and being in the center of excitement, then staying in Hong Kong central is your best bet. Causeway Bay or Wan Chai are also fantastic choices too!
Lantau Island is not only where you will land, but also home to Hong Kong’s Disneyland, so this is usually a family favorite location. The Western District is a slightly “quieter” neighborhood, perfect for those who need some peace and tranquility at night. Alternatively, you can stay in Kowloon, which is busy, but full of budget accommodation and backpacker lodges.
Best Hostel in Hong Kong – Hop Inn on Mody
The Hop Inn on Mody is a comfy, affordable hostel nestled in the center of TST, Kowloon. There are both female-only and mixed dorms, sleeping 4 – 8 people each. It’s the perfect mix of quiet rooms and colorful artistic decor, with open common areas to chill and meet other travelers, making it one of the best hostels in Hong Kong!
Best Airbnb in Hong Kong – Cozy Studio near Mongkok
Conveniently based in northern Kowloon, this spacious apartment is as cool as the bustling streets outside. With exposed brick walls and quirky egg-shaped chairs, it’s every hipster’s dream – minus the avocado. It also boasts high-speed WiFi, 24-hour security and easy access to the subway.
Best Budget Hotel in Hong Kong – Ovolo Southside
This may be budget accommodation, but it certainly won’t seem like it when you’re there. The hotel has 162 rooms, each as comfy and stylish as the next. The floor-to-ceiling windows show off the beauty of Hong Kong, while you rest comfortably in your soft, relaxing bed! Enjoy in-room comforts, as well as on-site extras such as a restaurant and fitness center.
This is gonna be a busy day and your legs are going to get a workout! Day 1 of this itinerary also covers some pretty extensive ground so be prepared to spend some time in transit. However, it will be worth it as we whisk you around Hong Kong’s Biggest Buddha, a Tao temple and finish of with some a light show.
The Tian Tan Buddha stands at 34 meters high and is a must-see for any trip to Hong Kong! You can visit this ginormous statue any day of the week. To get to the platform that the statue sits on, you’ll need to walk up the grueling 268 steps – quite a workout, but oh so worth it!
For those with mobility issues, or simply unable to fathom a 268-step climb, opt for the small, winding path that leads up to the Buddha instead!
Once at the top, you’ll have insaaaane views of Lantau Island, as well as a close-up look of this huge landmark.
You can choose to go inside the statue, there are 3 halls inside and they are full of Buddhism relics and interesting items. However, staying on the outside of the statue doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on anything though. You’ll be able to catch some fabulous photos either way!
- Cost: Free unless you want to go inside (in which case purchase a meal ticket ranging from Us $ 9 – 13)
- How Long Should I Stay here? The visit should take no more than 2 hours
- Getting There? Langtau Island is reached by taking the Tsung Chung line from Tung Chung Station. The ride takes 25 minutes. If you are coming from Tsim Sha Tsui, the whole journey will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes
Hollywood road is one of the oldest, and most famous, roads you will find in Hong Kong. It is approximately 1 km (0.6 miles) long and features many cultural and historic landmarks.
Fun Fact, Hollywood Road was built and named in 1844, before the famously known Hollywood, California! Along this road, you will find art galleries, museums, and temples galore.
These show off the history of Hong Kong, and the culture that the state has preserved all these years.
Some attractions to look out for:
- Man Mo Temple
- Hollywood Mural
- Hollywood Road Park
- Liang Li Museum
Although not quite on Hollywood Road itself, you should definitely make a detour to check out the Alex Croft G.O.D graffiti wall in Graham Street.
- Cost: Free to explore – only pay for food and gallery/temple entrances where necessary.
- How Long Should I Stay here? 3 hours
- Getting There? The metro from Lantau’s Big Budda takes around 1 hour 15 minute
Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island and draws a crowd of tourists each day. This mountain stands at 552 meters above sea level and was used as a natural signal for cargo ships in the 19th century. Today, it is simply a beautiful place to visit and enjoy.
On top of the peak, you will find The Peak Tower.
Inside this fantastic building, there are shops and restaurants galore, as well as Sky Terrace 428 – Hong Kong’s highest outdoor observation deck.
At the peak, visitors can also take advantage of the Madness 3D Adventure experience, the Post Love to the Future mailbox, and the amazing nature walks available.
- Cost: The train is $5 one way
- How Long Should I Stay here? Stay to enjoy the sunset over the city before heading down
- Getting There? I’m giving you options! If you want a perfectly manageable but sweaty 45 minute hike, do it. Otherwise there is a less satisfying but also less sweaty train
Each night, at exactly 8 pm, tourists and locals alike will make their way to the harbor to amaze their senses with the Symphony of Lights show! This show is a mix of dazzling lights and glorious orchestra music. The best vantage points include the “Avenue of Stars” on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, on the waterfront promenade outside the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai and on sightseeing ferries (i.e. Star Ferry) running across the Victoria Harbour.
It can be seen from both the Hong Kong main island and Kowloon and is one of the top attractions in Hong Kong.
As well as from The Peak, and other rooftop bars and lounges, but from those spots, you won’t be able to hear the music… So why not just take a boat cruise and enjoy the show from the water??
The best way to see the show is to find a comfy spot, preferably where they serve dinner and drinks and sit back to relax. The show only lasts around 10 minutes, but it’s a definite must-see!
- Cost: Free
- How Long Should I Stay here?
- Getting There? Get the Metro to Tsim Sha Tsui and walk along the promenade to take in the spectacle
Whether you are a Hemingway fan, or not, The Old Man is sure to delight and entertain you! This cozy bar has been fashioned in a way that honors Hemingway and his love of literature.
Ready for some classy and seriously elegant cocktails? Bingo! This venue is the ultimate place to end of a busy day. The quiet atmosphere and innovative drinks are sure to be the cherry on top of a perfect first day in Hong Kong!
- Cost: About $4 per drink
- How Long Should I Stay here?
- Getting There? It’s a 16 minute walk from Central down near the Waterfront
Any trip to Hong Kong must swing by the 10,000 Budda’s monastery as well as take a look at the fascinating history of this unique city state. Day 2 of our 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary does just that.
Day 2 starts in the north of Kowloon, at the 10, 000 Buddhas Monastery – a must see in Hong Kong. Slightly off the beaten path, on a hill in Sha Tin New Territories, sits the 5 temples, 4 pavilions and 1 pagoda that make up the 10, 000 Buddhas Monastery! To get there, from Kowloon, it takes around an hour if you take the bus, a taxi cab could do the trip in around 20 minutes too.
Fill up on a big breakfast before you leave, because this is going to involve a lot of walking!
There is much to explore once you are here, and with a long hill and many steps to climb, those with mobility issues will, unfortunately, find this a hard activity to take part in.
Take a walk through the forest – beware of the wild monkeys though – and take your time to really appreciate the serenity that this place offers. Many people come here to meditate and reflect on their thoughts.
By the way, contrary to the translation of its name, the monastery houses 13, 000 Buddha statues in total.
- Cost: Free
- How Long Should I Stay here? 2 -3 hours
- Getting There? Head to Sha Tin Metro station
Sham Shui Po is a district you can’t miss on your Hong Kong trip! Firstly, you absolutely must try out Tim Ho Wan, the district’s only Michelin-star restaurant, offering some of the best Dim Sum you’ll ever eat. Dim Sim is by the way one of THE things to do in Hong Kong in 3 days.
You can visit the many shops, from clothes to electronics, and even toys!
There are many a special and sale to be found along these crowded streets too, so keep your eyes peeled.
The main attraction, though, is the food! We suggest walking around for a little while, just enough to gain an appetite, you know? Then, make your way through your list of faves – bite-by-bite. Try out a 3-course traveling meal – doing each course in a different eatery.
- Cost: Free to explore – pay for what you buy
- How Long Should I Stay here? 1 -2 hours
- Getting There? From 10,000 Budda’s you take the Blue East Line metro from Sha Tin Station to Kowloon Tong Station. Then take the Green Kwun Tong line to Prince Edward Street
The Hong Kong Museum of history tells the fascinating and complex history of the region using a series of exhibitions. From ancient times, through the rise and fall of Chinese dynasties and into the days of the British Empire, the full tale of Hong Kong is told here. There are some wonderful mock-up’s of Hong Kong corner shops, bank’s and shipping terminals that give you a feel of how it must have been back when it was the worlds major trading hub.
- Cost: $10
- How Long Should I Stay here? 90 – 120 minutes
- Getting There? It’s kinda near (12 minute walk) to the Hung Hom Metro Station. If you are happy trying the bus, then it’s 3 minute walk from the Empire Centre. From Sham Shui Po it should take about 30 minutes
Located on Salisbury Road, the Hong Kong Museum of Art offers extensive collection of Chinese art. The collections include a busy mixture of Qing ceramics, ancient calligraphic scrolls, bronze, jade, lacquerware, textiles, and contemporary canvases. It is an essential stop for those wishing to understand Hong Kong’s artistic culture through the ages. If you are wondering what to see in Hong Kong in 3 days then some fine art is a good safe bet.
- Cost: $2
- How Long Should I Stay here? 60 minutes
- Getting There? It’s a 13 minute walk from the History Museum
Provided you’re not afraid of heights, this is an experience you should have at least once in Hong Kong. The Ozone bar is listed on the list of the 10 highest bars in the world! It’s situated on floor 118 of The Ritz-Carlton hotel. The elegant, rich decor gives the bar a classy feel, and the large windows allow for the perfect
The friendly staff, delicious cocktails, and breathtaking views make this an experience on its own! You can get anything from beer to top-quality whiskeys and wines. Their menu includes sushi and scrumptious tapas, so you can easily enjoy a luxury dinner on the terrace, overlooking Hong Kong.
- Cost: Cocktails are about $25 each
- How Long Should I Stay here? I think 1 drink is plenty!
- Getting There? It’s a 10 minute walk from Kowloon Metro
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Aside from the itinerary, there are loads more stuff to do in Hong Kong. If you’re lucky enough to be spending three or more days in this exciting city, be sure to check out some of these exciting, quirky and memorable activities!
The Ocean Park in Hong Kong is so much fun, you really need an entire day to fully enjoy it! You’ll find adventure rides, bumper cars, a cable car, jumping castle, even wet rides. You would want to miss the chance to visit the many animal encounters, from koalas to pandas and marine animals, too!
To eat, there is a list of amazing restaurants, as well as food kiosks for a quick bite in between the fun!
You can get anything from traditional Hong Kong dishes to seafood. There are also some amazing desserts, cakes and other sweet dishes available from the several restaurants and bakeries.
Shopping is an experience on its own in the park! Check out the Waterfront Gift Shop and take an ocean-themed souvenir home with you, or go to The Panda Kingdom Shop and pick one of the many panda-related gifts on offer there.
The park is big on conservation! The seafood served in the restaurants is all sustainable, they encourage visitors to bring reusable bags, and charge for plastic bags to be taken when shopping or taking home doggy bags. They also offer conservation resources on their website and app.
- Cost: An adult day ticket is $65USD
- How Long Should I Stay here? 4 hours
- Getting There? There are 3 main options. Take South Island Line and get off at Ocean Park Station, Exit B. Take bus 48, 107, 629, or 973 to Hong Kong Ocean Park directly. Take bus 71, 71P, 72A, 75 or N72 to Wong Chuk Hang. Then, you will see the Park
If you’re in Hong Kong for an extended period, a trip to Lamma Island is absolutely worth it! This fishing village-turned multicultural hub is home to many different types of people and offers some splendid sights.
You can hike the Lamma Island family trails or take a breathtaking cycle around the island. Fill up on a delicious lunch at the Rainbow Seafood Restaurant.
Then, make your way to the Lamma Fisherfolks Village where you can learn about this community and even take part in some of their fishing activities if you wish to!
You can spend a good 7.5 hours doing the sea kayaking and hiking tour around the island – a wonderful, active way to spend a day! Be sure, though, that you don’t leave the island before grabbing a coffee at the Book Worm Cafe. Sit down with a good book – read one of theirs or bring your own – and relax after a day of walking!
Other sights to see are the power station, the wind power station, and so many gorgeous picnic spots and beaches to relax in. Whether you visit the island for an entire day or just a few hours, it makes for a great break from everyday life! If you need to stay over, there are affordable and comfy spots to rent a room on the island as well.
- Cost: Exploring is free
- How Long Should I Stay here? 4 to 5 hours
- Getting There? Lamma is easily reachable by ferry from Central Pier 4 on Hong Kong Island and from Aberdeen on the south side of Hong Kong Island.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art, known for its health benefits. If you’ve never tried it before, doing a class in Hong Kong is a brilliant idea! Not only will you be learning from masters of the art, but the culture of the activity is well-preserved as well.
You can find many places to catch a Tai Chi class, most are free and open, taking place in public spaces.
Some of these will have numbers or emails where you need to book ahead of time, while others let you simply drop in and find a space! These will usually be in a public park, under the shade of a large tree or next to a calm body of water.
The carefully choreographed moves, along with the peaceful setting allow for a tranquil, yet energized experience! This truly is a rejuvenating activity for both body and mind.
If you prefer to learn in a more private setting, you can book one of the private classes on offer, which are not free but offer you some privacy in a smaller group.
This is actually something you can do on more than just one occasion, if you find the right spots, you can try and catch a Tai Chi class each morning of your stay.
- Cost: Varies
- How Long Should I Stay here? Classes are usually 1 hour
- Getting There? Depends where it is
Hiking Dragon’s Back is thought to be the best way to start a hiking habit! The peak is easy to access and doesn’t require a very high level of fitness. The scenic views are well worth the climb as well, as from the top of the ridge you get to see a more natural side of Hong Kong.
The name, Dragon’s Back, comes from the shape of the spinal ridge.
The ridge is situated between the Wan Cham Shan and Shek O Peak.
The ridge is a 4-hour bus ride from Central Hong Kong. It is best to do the hike before it gets hot, so you’ll want to leave quite early in the morning or find closer accommodation for the night before. The bus will bring you right to the foot of the ridge, allowing you to start your hike without too long of a pre-walk!
There are different hiking options, ranging from 5 – 8 km, and will take around 2 to 3 hours. Finishing the hike will leave you either at the bus stop, where you can take a bus to Shek O Beach, or it will take you right to Big Wave Bay beach, depending on the route you decide to take.
Once the hike is done, you can enjoy the afternoon soaking up the sun on the soft beach sand. There are also some great lunch spots to fill you up for your trip back to your hotel.
- Cost: Free!
- How Long Should I Stay here? The hike may take 2 – 3 hours
- Getting There? Take the metro to Shau Kei Wan Station. Then take the bus to To Tei Wan, Dragon’s Back
Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighborhood in Hong Kong:
Tsim Sha Tsui
As one of the most central districts in the city, it’s little wonder Tsim Sha Tsui receives so many visitors and we believe it’s the best area to stay in Hong Kong on a first-time visit. The nightlife, cafes, and markets might also have something to do with it.
- Kowloon Park – those keen to escape city life can take a wark in sprawling Kowloon Park which is home to greenery, plants and birdlife.
- The Avenue of Stars walkway beside Victoria Harbor is as famed for its static telescopes allowing you to admire the cities skyline and it also focuses on another type of star – those from the movies.
- Don’t miss the K11 art gallery and shopping center which displays exhibitions all throughout the year. Pick up some goods as you explore the installations.
First things first, when is the best time to head down to this beautiful location? There isn’t necessarily a wrong time to visit Hong Kong, but each season has pros and cons of its own. The table below is pretty helpful.
|Average Temperatures||Chance of Rain||Crowds||Overall Grade|
|September||30°C/86°F||Very High||Medium/Mid-Autumn Festival||🙁|
How To Get Around Hong Kong
Wherever you choose to base yourself in Hong Kong, you’ll have easy access to transport and accessing the attractions and sights on this itinerary. Taxis in Hong Kong come by often, and the Star Ferry shuttles crowds across from the main island to Kowloon and back often each day.
The Metro is perhaps the easiest way to get around as you can study the maps and announcements are in English. However, it gets very crowded. Busses can sometimes be faster and signs are written in English – still drivers do not speak much English and knowing where to get off can very confusing. As you only have 3 days in Hong Kong, wasting time getting lost may not be adviseable.
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If you are visiting Hong Kong for the weekend then the business and financial districts will be quieter but the shopping areas and temples may be busier.
Planning a trip to Hong Kong is simple enough as many nationalities don’t need a visa to enter. The weather can be very hot and humid all year round. Even when it rains it can remain very stick out. Despite the tropical climate, people in Hong Kong dress very well usually donning a mixture of business/casual/fashionable attire. For this reason, flip flops and cargo shorts are not advisable – you will look ridiculous.
Instead, wear loose but nice clothes of thin material. If you must wear shorts make sure they are nice ones and dress them up at least. Most things a traveller will need can easily be bought in Hong Kong so if you do forget anything, don’t worry too much.
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Hong Kong is relatively safe and violent crime is rare. There is a significant criminal underworld in Hong Kong but it is not a concern tourists or backpackers in Hong Kong need worry about. However, always travelers are encouraged to stay vigilant when in crowds and to keep valuables safe.
There is a high police presence all throughout Hong Kong, which creates a safe feeling for both locals and tourists.
The public transport in Hong Kong is relatively safe and reliable, and walking through the streets and parks shouldn’t be an issue! If you a female traveling alone, however, take the necessary precautions and try not to walk down secluded streets on your own, especially at night.
And have you thought about getting Travel Insurance for your trip? We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
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Now, you can easily plan your trip to Hong Kong, knowing where you should go and what you should do when there! All there is to do now is book your trip and decide how long you have to spend there. Be double sure that you make time to try out Hong Kong’s food – as this is usually a large part of the enjoyment for visitors!
We hope you found valuable information in this Hong Kong guide, and that you’re able to travel Hong Kong with the knowledge you need. Also remember that in between the larger, better-known attractions are tiny sights and scenes that are not often found in other parts of the world. Keep your eyes peeled and be sure to arrive in Hong Kong ready to learn and embrace all their culture has to offer you!
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