A few weeks ago, Trenton and I made our first trip to Hong Kong! It was a quick trip. We landed at around 4:30 PM and took off the next day at the same time. So we literally spent just 24 hours in the city! Whenever I go somewhere, even if it’s just for one night, I like to have a plan.This ensures that I’m able maximize my time doing fun, exciting activities, rather than spending my time wondering how to get around or wandering what to do. Before heading to Hong Kong, I made sure to write up a quick but thorough itinerary, and I’m so glad I did! We had a blast. So today, I’m sharing it with you. No need to search the internet looking for things to do on your Hong Kong layover. Just keep on reading and you’ll know exactly what to do and how to get around!
Leaving the Airport
Grab your luggage, and head to the MTR Hong Kong station. This train will take you straight from the airport and to the center of Hong Island. Grab your tickets just outside of baggage claim. It’s much cheaper to take the train into the city rather than taking a taxi! Once you have your tickets, take the train to Hong Kong Island. It’s about a 20 minute ride.
Where to Eat
My husband and I are Americans who spend the majority of our time in China, so we wanted to take advantage of the Western food found in Hong Kong that we don’t normally have access to in China. We headed to Outback Steakhouse, a delicious Australian themed steak restaurant with an amazing view overlooking the city. This route will take you to Outback, however, their are plenty of other restaurants in the Chai Wan area to eat at.
From the MTR station, walk to Central Station. Take Island Line 2 to Chai Wan (2 stops), and from there exit the station and walk outside to the Outback.
What To Do At Night
After eating, head to the pier and take the Star Ferry across Victoria’s Harbor. After exiting the ferry, head to the promenade outside the Hong Kong Cultural Center to watch the world’s biggest light show along the Harbor. It’s free, and lights along the harbor dance to music that plays from the speakers on the promenade. After the 15 minute show, explore the streets and shops in the area. Before heading back on the ferry, stop for a delicious ice cream cone outside of the pier.
How to get to the harbor: Take a taxi from the restaurant to Star Ferry Pier #5. Take the ferry (which is just a few dollars) to Tsim She Tsui Promenade. After debarking the ferry, turn right once your outside of the pier and walk to the Hong Kong Cultural Center promenade. It’s hard to miss! The light show starts at 8 PM so make sure to take the ferry at least 30 minutes ahead of time.
Where To Stay
Budget Friendly: Two MacDonell Road
Trenton and I stayed at Two MacDonell Road. We booked through Expedia and checked in after the night’s festivities. This was the the cheapest, nice hotel I could find on the island. It’s located in the center of Hong Kong, close to the Harbor and within walking distance of the Peak Tram (where you’ll be headed tomorrow!). It’s modern, clean, and, by my husband’s standards, rather fancy! The room had a little kitchenette that we didn’t use, a restroom fully stocked with everything we could possibly need, an amazing shower, and a great view of the city. In the morning, we had breakfast at the breakfast buffet, which was $10 pp. It is well worth it and had Western, English, and Asian breakfast food, including pancakes, fruit, bacon, an omelette station, and a latte station. The restaurant itself is lovely and has a beautiful view with kind, professional staff. The staff at the front desk were kind and helpful as well!
What To Do In The Day
In the morning, walk to the Peak Tram Station and purchase tickets for the tram. The line can get long, so go early if you want to beat the crowds. Take the tram up to the top of the peak. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and breathable clothes! The air is cooler up at the top and there are plenty of trails to explore. The view over Hong Kong is incredible, so make sure to bring your camera! After exploring, stop at Pacific Coffee for a refreshing Cookies and Cream Frappuccino while enjoying the unbeatable view.
Take the tram back to the station, and if you have time, explore Hong Kong park which is just across the street from the station.
Heading Back to the Airport
If your heading back from the tram station, take the bus to Central. The bus should be parked outside and labeled “Central”. Once at the station, walk to the MTR Hong Kong Station. Purchase your tickets and take the train back to the airport.
- Take the MTR Hong Kong express from the airport to Hong Kong Island.
- See the light show at Victoria Harbor which occurs every night at 8PM.
- Stay at Two MacDonell Road.
- Take the Peak Tram to Victoria’s Peak for incredible views and hiking trails.
Know Before You Go:
- The official language in Hong Kong is Cantonese. However, you won’t find a shortage of English speakers to help you find your way around.
- There is no “Great China Firewall”, so you don’t need a VPN when using the internet.
- The official currency is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), so make sure to stop at an ATM in the airport before heading out.
- Hong Kong is very “Chinese” in the way that you would see China in movies and on television. Think small streets, crowded sidewalks, bright, red neon signs, and double decker buses dotting the roads. However, Hong Kong is an independent country and is not a part of China. Since Hong Kong was not part of the Communist revolution, it missed out on all the changes that have occurred in China the past few decades. Instead, capitalism has soared and Hong Kong has become one of the most powerful cities in the world. It was British colony at one point, so it has a huge English influence, making this city very unique and worth exploring.
I hope you found this post helpful! If so, make sure to pin it and share.
Do you have any recommendations for visiting Hong Kong? What is your favorite place to eat at or visit while there? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!