Planning a trip to Hong Kong? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
Both Chinese and English, the Asia’s financial capital has two distinct faces arising from its complex history. Colonised by the British from 1842, in just 150 years this small fishing port was to become one of the most influential megacities in the world. Hong Kong became part of China again in 1997. It now enjoys a special status governed by its "one country, two systems" principle – a status it will keep until 2047 – making this city a truly unique place.
Even as you arrive into Hong Kong, most likely by air, you can not help but be struck by the incredible density of skyscrapers that cover the island. Hong Kong, like Tokyo, has one of the highest numbers in the world of inhabitants per square kilometre. This is all the more surprising given that the city also comprises conservation areas, where construction is prohibited, especially on the hills. The contrast is striking.
In order to understand the scope of this unique urban phenomenon, you'll need climb to the top of Victoria Peak, the highest natural point on the island, which offers an extraordinary view of the skyscrapers. You can go up or down the hill using the trails which cover the mountain, and for the other journey can use the funicular which is also an experience.
Once back down, head to the east of the island to discover the Wan Chai district. This is one of the most dynamic areas of the city, where you only have to look up at the skyscrapers to feel dizzy. Go a little further east, and you will come to Causeway Bay, a shopper’s delight; every square inch of this area is dedicated to shopping. You’ll find anything and everything here.
In the evening, make your way to Soho, a chic, cosmopolitan area of Hong Kong. Here you can choose between the many upscale bars or dine in an exotic restaurant. With its neon signs and twinkling lights the area is magical by night, lit up in a thousand colours.
The next morning, hop on the ferry to Kowloon. Once on the continent, you can walk along the Avenue of Stars, which borders the coast and pays tribute to the stars of Hong Kong cinema, with statues and inscriptions, just like on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Next, visit the Hong Kong Museum of History which will paint a picture of the identity of the city through different themes (natural history, ethnography, archaeology and history). The reconstructions streets of old Hong Kong are particularly well made and interesting.
In the afternoon, having seen a historical view of the city in its museum, it's time to dive in and experience the city body and soul, with a visit to the Ladies Market on Tung Choi Street. This market was originally aimed at women. Here you will find a little of everything here at very affordable prices, but it’s mostly a great way to experience in the density of the population of Hong Kong. Mongkok, the district in which the market is situated, has the highest population density in the world, it would be a shame not to see it with your own eyes.
In the evening, visit the Temple Street night market in which you will see vendors of all types of products, but also musicians and acrobats. If you've seen a few films that take place in Hong Kong, you may well recognise this market which is one of the most iconic spots in the city.
The next day, it's time to leave the hectic atmosphere of Hong Kong to explore the islands that surround it. You’ll find them much more tranquil and traditional.
In the morning take the ferry to Lantau Island where you will discover the Po Lin Monastery, "Temple of Precious Lotus Zen" which houses the Tian Tan Buddha, a giant Buddha statue 34 metres high.
After lunch in a typical vegetarian restaurant on the island, you can take the ferry to Lamma Island, on which there are no roads and therefore no cars. The island is known mostly as an ideal place for hiking, especially in its southern part.
After this quiet day, return to Hong Kong for your last night. You could spend a memorable evening at the top of a skyscraper, gazing across this city that never stops. If this appeals to you, make your way to the Tsim Sha Tsui area in which there are several bars on the upper floors of skyscrapers, with magnificent views of the centre of Hong Kong.
Visiting Hong Kong is a unique experience. No city in the world is comparable to the fishing village that became a financial centre in just 150 years. Hong Kong brings East and West together, mixing up people and cultures. If you are lucky enough to spend a few more days in Hong Kong, you will find plenty more sites worth visiting, such as the Taoist Temple of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin, or the Ocean Park.