Travel Itinerary:  1 Week in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an international city, with loads for travelers to do!  It’s a great place for travelers who want to experience Asia, but are a little worried about venturing deep into China or other regions.  Some people think they may get bored with having a full week in Hong Kong — but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Even thought Hong Kong is a relatively small place, there are actually LOADS of things to do.  You will be quite busy here during a full week, and you may even wish you had more than a week to truly experience it (at less than a break-neck speed).

Check out our recommended sample itinerary for one week in Hong Kong.  You will see that there is no shortage of things to do in Hong Kong!


 Day 1: History & Culture

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Tai Chi in the Parks

If you have never seen it before (and you can manage the early morning), then get up and out of your hotel early and head to one of the many parks around town.  At this early hour, you will see many elderly (but some younger) Chinese people doing their morning exercises in the Park, including Tai Chi.

I traveled solo to Hong Kong the first time I visited, and I loved getting up early to watch the Tai Chi exercises every morning.  A beautiful walk in the park & a nice way to wake up.

Hollywood Walk

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade & Avenue of the Stars

Visit the famous Avenue of the Stars and Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, one of the many free things to do in Hong Kong. Allow yourself some time to explore the famous “Stars” on this walk-of-fame, as well as famous statues (such as Bruce Lee) and signs that talk about the once thriving Hong Kong film industry.

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Hong Kong Museum of History

If you are up for it, I highly recommend making a stop at the Hong Kong History Museum. This isn’t just a boring ol’ museum — it’s impressive! Walking fast, it would take an hour. But if you want to enjoy the museum and look at some of the signs, allot 2 hours. The price is modest, but if you go on Wednesdays it is FREE!

hong kong hotels, where to stay in hong kong, peninsula hotel hong kongAfternoon tea at the famous Peninsula Hotel

For those wanting a taste of the high life in Hong Kong, and a feel for what Hong Kong was life during the days of the British, be sure to make a stop at the famous Peninsula Hotel. This historic hotel is on the list as one of the best in the world, and they serve up a delectable afternoon tea. Appropriate dress is required.

Hong Kong MarketKowloon Park & area Markets

A stroll around Kowloon Park is a wonderful way to spend the late afternoon. Check out the many species of birds at the aviary, admire the “old and historic” trees, enjoy the sculpture garden, waterfalls / fountains and trails. Relax on a bench and gaze up at the skyscrapers through the trees.You may also want to check out some of the nearby shopping on Nathan road and the Bowring Road street markets nearby.

Victoria at NightEvening cruise of Victoria Harbor and perhaps a show at the Hong Kong Culture Center.

This evening, how about taking an evening cruise on Victoria Harbor to see the lights of the city. Dinner cruises are available. You may also check out the Hong Kong culture center to see what kind of shows and events are being held, such as Chinese opera or a symphony performance.


Day 2: Around the City (HKI)

A traditional Dim Sum breakfast / brunch.

A traditional Dim Sum breakfast / brunch.

Dim Sum Breakfast

Head to one of the many local restaurants serving a traditional favorite, Dim Sum. This Cantonese traditional breakfast includes many little bite-sized dumplings, filled with some delicious (and sometimes strange) foods.  Have some tea, order many from the cart and enjoy this experience.

One of the most famous dim sum restaurants is the Jumbo floating restaurant, on the south side of Hong Kong island just offshore from the town of Aberdeen. If you purchase the Big Bus tour ticket (another great and easy way to tour Hong Kong), you have an option to include a Jumbo dim sum meal.

Hong Kong's escalator highway system!

Hong Kong’s escalator highway system!

Central, Mid-levels & Sheung Wan Districts

Explore the Central district of Hong Kong. Many big businesses are located here, as well as lots of luxury shopping! Then head to the mid-levels escalators. Along the main street of Des Voeux Rd, there are some side street markets along Li Yuen streets.

Then take this escalator highway up the mountain. Exit at Hollywood street and enjoy a stroll past many antique shops, and walk towards the Man Mo Temple.

Tending to the lanterns in the Man Mo Temple

Tending to the lanterns in the Man Mo Temple

One of the oldest in the area, it was once the heart of this traditional Chinese neighborhood (here in the Sheung Wan district). After a look inside, continue walking straight down the hill in front of the temple. Enjoy this lively, and traditional area as you pass more small markets and shops, before getting back to the main street of Des Voeux Rd.

 

 

hong kong tram, hong kong transportation

Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Tea Ware Museum

Take the Hong Kong Tram / Cable Car towards Admiralty, but get off near the giant Lippo twin towers (weird looking twin buildings) – at the base of Hong Kong Park. Take a stroll through the beautiful Hong Kong park and gardens. Stop into the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware (located inside the park). Then make your way uphill through the park to the Hong Kong botanical gardens and Zoo (all free of charge!)

Views of Hong Kong at night from the top of The Peak lookout.

Views of Hong Kong at night from the top of The Peak lookout.

Tram up to the Peak Lookout

Between the Zoo & Botanical Gardens, is The Peak Tram Terminus. Take the Peak Tram up to the lookout late afternoon. Stick around for great sunset views & view of the city at night.

** For a unique way to see the city at night (and avoid the long lines at the Peak to get DOWN the mountain, you can actually walk! It is a difficult hike, even down the mountain because it is so steep. But it is a well maintained path, it was actually the old road. It’s well lit, and offers great views of the city all the way down. This walk will take you right back down into the mid-levels. So you can end your night at one of the many international bars and restaurants in the area.


 Day 3: South Side of HKI

 

The Stanley Promenade along the water

The Stanley Promenade along the water

Stanley

Take a bus to the south side of the island, and the beautiful town of Stanley. Explore the massive market here, and relax along the promenade enjoying the many shops and restaurants.

 

 

rollercoaster and beaches ocean park hong kongRepulse / Deep Water Bay or Ocean Park

In the afternoon, take the bus back over the Repulse Bay or Deep Water Bay. Stop off here if you want to go for a swim and relax on the beach for a while. Or you may opt to head to Ocean Park – Hong Kong’s original theme park! The admission price is modest (by Hong Kong standards) and you can spend the day visiting the many exhibits of this part aquarium / zoo and ride some thrill rides up on the summit — complete with great views!

 

Our Big Bus Deluxe tour in Hong Kong also included a Sampan ride in the Aberdeen harbor & we got to see the iconic Jumbo floating restaurant!

Aberdeen & JUMBO Floating Restaurant

This evening, how about making a trip on the bus to Aberdeen to see the floating fishing village. And perhaps take a trip out to the famous JUMBO Floating Restaurant!


Day 4: Kowloon

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Just Some Men & Their Birds – Hong Kong

Po Street Bird Garden, Flower Market Street, Gold Fish Market & Mong Kok Walk

Next, finish waking up with the sounds of the birds at the Po Street Bird Garden. Every morning local bird enthusiasts bring their birds here (in beautiful wooden cages) and hang them up so that the birds can “socialize” with each other. Of course, this also gives the owners to socialize too. After the Po Street Bird Garden, it is a short walk around the corner to check out the beautiful shops around the Flower Market streets. Then follow the signs south toward the Gold Fish Market. I’m always surprised just how many different varieties of fish there are! The rest of the morning can be spent exploring these local streets in Mong Kok.

The Nan Lian Gardens in Hong Kong are breathtaking to for a stroll.

Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Gardens

Wow. That’s all we have to say about the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian gardens. While there are slightly out of the city center, they are easily accessible by a short metro ride north of the Mong Kok area. Take the MTR to the Diamond Hill station. Take exit C2 – which comes out in a large mall area, near some roads. Look for the directional signs, and you will see some pointing toward the Nunnery and garden — they are a short 5 minute walk across the street.

Jade Market CCRelax & explore the night markets

This evening, do a bit of wandering around the night markets of Kowloon. Including the Jade market, Temple Street night market and the Ladies market. Great places to get souvenirs


Day 5: Lantau Island

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Ferry Ride to Lantau Island

Head to the Central Ferry Pier and take the boat to Lantau Island (Mui Wo). Then hop on bus 2 and head up to the Ping Ngong. Here, you can take your time to visit the beautiful Po Lin Monastery, as well as hike up to see the famous Giant Buddha on the mountain! Then, you may feel up to strolling a bit through the park.

Tai O featuredBus to Tai O – Fishing & Stilt House Village

Take the bus from Po Lin Monastery to Tai O Village (a short ride).  Once at the village, head into town to the main bridge and hop on one of the boat tours. The tour should take you around town to see the famous stilt houses, then out to sea to try and spot the famous Chinese white (although it looks pink) dolphin. Afterwards, go for a hike around town to some of the nearby sights and temples, then stop off back in the village for a rest, some lunch and perhaps a coffee at a restaurant overlooking the water.

 

 

islands of hong kongBus back to Mui Wo & Silvermine Bay Beach

Head back to Mui Wo. If you have time, you may want to relax at the Silvermine Bay Beach and go for a swim when it isn’t quite so hot outside. This beautiful beach is quite, especially on the weekdays. Taking the ferry back to Central around sunset is a great time to go. Because you can watch the sunset from the boat over the islands and the water, as well as getting a great view of the lights of the city just as they start to come on for the night.

** Take the “ordinary – slow” ferry for this trip so that you can sit outside and enjoy the lights! Still, the trip only takes about 45 minutes.

2789_original_Lantau_Island_Monastery_Tour_with_Ngong_Ping_Cable_Car_1390450034Ngong Ping Cable Car, Monastery / Buddha, Tai O, Silvermine Bay Beach

Take the MTR train toward the airport, but get off at Tung Chung. Head toward the Ngong Ping cable car entrance (opens at 9 or 10 am). This scenic cable car journey takes you up and over the mountains, and drops you off at a themed village at the top of the mountain, right by the Po Lin Monastery and Big Buddha. After exploring the area, take bus 21 to Tai O for the afternoon. Then take the bus direct to Mui Wo and head over to Silvermine Bay Beach (if there is time). You can take the sunset ferry back to Central, or go even later at night (ferries run until late).


Day 6: New Territories & Outdoors

 

10000 buddhas hong kongSha Tin

Take the train to Sha Tin to see the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery.  Upon exiting the train, you can follow the signs to the monastery.  It is onnly a short walk across the street.

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong Bike Ride Through the Countryside & Small VillagesTai Po Market & Bike Rides

Then continue to the Tai Po Market. Exit the train and rent some bikes for a lovely bike ride around the lakes and countryside. There are numerous day tour options in the area too — where you can get a guided bike ride, hike, or kayaking out on the water. Tai Po is a great, and peaceful area — very different from the city of Hong Kong!

 


 Day 7: Beach & Relax

A hidden, and quiet beach near the Stanley Promenade.

Lamma Island or other beaches

Hong Kong actually has a number of very nice beaches around the different islands. One of the nicest is on Lamma Island. This quaint island is quite different from the rest of Hong Kong and offers a day full of relaxationa and exploration. Head to the Central Pier for a trip out to Lamma Island! Spend the day hiking around and exploring the few villages around here, then be sure to go to Hung Shing Yeh Beach.

Enjoy the late afternoon at one of the beaches relaxing in the water, and snag a BBQ pit to grill out for dinner — a popular activity here — and await the beautiful sunset that this beach is known for.

** Other options include many beaches on Lantau Island, or if you prefer to stay near the main areas of the city, check out Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, and Shek O Beach.

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Sweet – another foot massage for me! Loved seeing these signs all over in Hong Kong!

Spend your final night in Hong Kong however you wish. Perhaps checking out the bustling shopping districts of Causeway Bay, or dining in the funky Wan Chai district, or how about the famous party scene of Lan Kwai Fong (near the mid-levels & Central areas). Or you can relax at a spa, get a massage, and soak up the last moments of your Hong Kong experience.

 

 

 


** Other Recommended Activities to Consider Mixing Into Your Visit **

  • Happy Valley Horseracing – races are held Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Dining and shopping in the lively Wan Chai & Causeway Bay districts (next to each other on Hong Kong Island)
  • Partying in Lan Kwai Fong (if that’s your scene)
  • Theme parks! Such as Disneyland (on Lantau Island) or Ocean Park (on the south side of Hong Kong Island) — yes there are two theme parks!
  • Hiking – there are many hiking trails all over Hong Kong! Some of the most popular include Dragon’s Back trail on the south side of Hong Kong Island, and also the trails near Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.
  • China teaware museum and tea tastings

Accommodations in Hong Kong We Recommend:

YesInn (Fortress Hill and Causeway Bay) – more of a hostel

Hong Kong hostel

Amigo Inn – budget hotel

Homy Inn – boutique / budget hotel

Hotel MK – nicer business hotel

** Read our full reviews of all these hotels here

Top Recommended Activities / Day Tours in Hong Kong

Cruise of Victoria Harbor on a Chinese Junk Boat!

A visit to the “Big Buddha” on or a full day tour of Lantau Island.

We highly recommend the Hong Kong Big Bus Tour – especially if you have only a few days to see the sights.

Taking a day trip to Macau – this place is a blast!

** For all top activities & tours in Hong Kong, read our full post here.


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