Hong Kong : The Ultimate one week itinerary

Since we moved in Hong Kong three and a half years ago, we kind of became masters on planning itineraries for our families and friends visiting. It's about time I share with you the ultimate Hong Kong itinerary!

One week in Hong Kong : Itinerary

People who have never been to Hong Kong seem to think it's a perfect destination for a stopover, but they don't know there's so much more to explore than they think in this fantastic city -read my 10 reasons NOT to come to Hong Kong for a stopover. Beside the worldwide famous skyline and the Peak, there's a fabulous food scene to discover, a creative local street art, many gorgeous markets, and -believe it or not- stunning outdoors! 

One way or another, this city will surprise you. There are hundreds of must-do in Hong Kong, of course you won't be able to see "everything" (who can?), but here's an itinerary that will help you make the most of your trip in the Pearl of the Orient!


how to spend a week in hong kong?

Day 1: kowloon side, from Sham Shui Po to Tsim Sha Tsui

When you first arrive in Hong Kong, you want to go deep into the city's busy streets, get lost in the markets and eat like a local. That's why I recommend to start your week on Kowloon side. Prepare some cash for the markets and pack light, you'll be walking aaall day...

SHAM SHUI PO

  • Visit Dragon Center : Hong Kong is known for its fancy malls, but this is a complete different kind... This old-school nine-floors shopping center features loads of arcade games straight from the 90s, a collection of 'kawaii' shops, an ice rink and even an indoor roller coaster! (37, Yuen Chow Street - Sham Shui Po MTR, open 10am-10pm)
  • Explore Sham Shui Po markets : this is were you'll find the cheapest fabrics, ribbons and craft accessories (Yu Chau St, Ki Lung St), electronics (Ap Liu St), sports gear, fashion outlets (Cheung Sha Wan Rd) and toys (Fuk Wing St). (10am-8pm)

MONG KOK

  • Flower market & Yuen Po St bird garden : photographers, get ready for some colorful shots! (open 9:30am-10pm)
  • Ladies Market is the typical tourist market -not my favorite one, but cool if you've never been to Asia and want to bring back some souvenirs -although the best bargains you'll find are in Sham Shui Po. You'll also find many sports shops with very interesting deals. (open 11am-11:30pm)
  • Jade market holds a wide diversity of jade ranging from expensive to cheap ones. (open 11am-5:30pm)
  • Temple St Night market : another cool market to explore and get lost in! (open 2pm-00am)
  • Fortune tellers near Temple St Night market : if you're not afraid to hear the interpretation of your future -seriously, you should read my post about that day I've seen a fortune teller in Hong Kong. (open 7pm-11pm)
  • Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine : HK's famous Hello Kitty themed dim sum ! (Lee Loy Mansion, Canton Rd, open 11am-11pm)

TSIM SHA TSUI

  • Escape from the crowd in Kowloon Park and enjoy some nature in the middle of the city. (open 5am-00am)
  • Walk on Canton Road, 'Hong Kong's Champs Elysées', an avenue lined with the most luxurious boutiques
  • Eat the best dim sum in Din Tai Fung : a must in Hong Kong! ( Shop 306, 3/F, 30 Canton Rd, open 11:30am-10:30pm)
  • Admire Hong Kong's skyline from the Avenue of Stars. The Symphony of Lights show is every night at 8pm.
  • Take the Star Ferry and go for an authentic ride across Victoria Harbor direction Wan Chai! 

WAN CHAI

  • Wooloo Mooloo : excellent cocktails and captivating views. (Rooftop The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Rd, open 6pm-11pm)
  • Lockhart Rd : If you still have some energy left at the end of the day, Lockhart Road is the "red light district" of Hong Kong, but most important, it's a great place to party and a heaven for photographers, with its multitude of neons signs.

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DAY 2: Downtown, from Causeway bay TO soho

Welcome in Hong Kong Island! The financial district is here, as well the most popular places to hang out for locals and expats.

One week in Hong Kong : Itinerary

CAUSEWAY BAY

  • Victoria Park : get there early morning to watch the locals do their tai chi sessions. On Sunday, the park gets reeeally crowded, as this is were the maids meet up on their day off. (1 Hing Fat Street, MTR Causeway Bay Exit E)
  • Shopping time : Causeway Bay is one of the most popular neighborhoods for shopping, with all the 'big brands' such as Sogo, H&M, Hollister, Mark & Spencer. Two malls really worth a stop: Hysan Place, for its giant Line Friend Store (2/F, 500 Hennessy Rd, open 10am-10pm), and Time Square for its eccentric temporary exhibitions, its impressive architecture -it looks a bit like NYC's Guggenheim!-, its transparent lifts and the view from the 9th floor. (1 Matheson St,open 10am-10pm)
  • Take a ride to Wan Chai on HK's old tramways. It's a good way to explore the city while resting a bit.

WAN CHAI

  • Eat an exotic lunch at the Spice House : one of the best options for cheap Thai food in HK. It's authentic and delicious (if you like it spicy ;))! (35 Amoy Street, open 11:30am-10pm)
  • Go geek in Wan Chai Computer Center : the place to go for your electronic shopping. That's where we buy most of our gear -they've got excellent deals. (130 Hennessy Rd, 11am-9pm)
  • Spot the Blue House, one of HK's remaining historic buildings. (72 Stone Nullah Ln). From there, walk up a hundred meters on Stone Nullah Lane and you'll discover the lovely Pak Tai Temple.
  • If you need to recharge your battery, the Coffee Academics has been my favorite in the city for the past years. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and the drinks and food delicious. (34, Johnston Rd, open 8am-10pm)
  • Explore Moon, Sun and Star Street : we call it "the village" -because it holds this tranquil yet hip vibe. Beautiful cafes, bars and concept stores to discover.

ADMIRALTY & SOHO

  • Walk from Wan Chai to Soho, you'll pass some of HK's iconic buildings such as Lippo Center and the Bank of China. 
  • Hong Kong Park : enjoy some tranquility in the midst of the city and visit the impressive aviary.
  • From there you can walk on Queen's Rd Central to Central and Soho. Don't miss Pottinger St and its colorful costume market (open 11am-6pm), then take a ride on the longest escalator in the world (which is 800m long!). On your way up, treat yourself with a relaxing massage in Zen Foot (6/F Jade Centre, 98 Wellington street, open 10:30am-11:30pm), then with the city's best egg tart in Tai Cheong Bakery (35, Lydhurst Terrace, open 7:30am-9pm)
  • Time to play it fancy in Sevva, a rooftop in the middle of the urban jungle. (Princes Bldg, 25/F, 10 Chater Rd, 12nn-00am)
  • Discover the delicious Vietnamese cuisine at BÊP, one of our favorite restaurants in Hong Kong. Their Pho is to die for! (9-11 Staunton St or 88-90 Wellington St, open 12nn-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm)

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Day 3: a break from the city in The exotic hong kong, sai kung

After two days running across one of the world's busiest cities, you deserve a day in the countryside... If 70% of Hong Kong is made of green country park, one of its most exotic parts is Sai Kung Peninsula... Don't forget to bring some cash for the food, taxi and boat ride, lots of water, a hat and some suncream! I'd recommend to do this trip on a weekday to avoid the crowds.

To get to Sai Kung, the easiest is a taxi to Sai Kung Town, but you can also take the MTR to Diamond Hill, exit C + minibus 92. 

SAI KUNG COUNTRY PARK

  • Sai Wan Beach : To get to Tai Long Wan hike starting point from Sai Kung Town, you need to take a taxi to Sai Wan Pavillon. From there, a lovely 40 minutes hike will take you to Sai Wan Beach, a beautiful sandy beach where you can swim, eat and drink coconuts. If you're in for a day trip, book your boat ride as soon as you get there, to be sure to get a seat.
  • Sheung Luk Stream : 20 minutes from Sai Wan Beach, these waterfalls are great to cool down, cliff jump and swim.
  • Tai Long Wan : a scenic 12km trail will take you to one of the most magnificent beaches in Hong Kong, where you can rent a tent and camp for the night. A pretty magical experience! Tai Long Wan is also known for its good surf breaks.

SAI KUNG TOWN

  • Explore the village and discover a whole different part of Hong Kong with tiny streets, mini-temples and tropical fruits stands. There's also a cool coffee scene to discover in Sai Kung Hoi Pong Street.
  • Taste Sai Kung's seafood on the seafront. It's full of locals, and it's GOOD. A must try: the lobster with cheese! 
  • If you're in Sai Kung town on a weekend, try to spot the dog strollers on the seafront... Hilarious!

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DAY 4: The zen and authentic, the new territories' temples

Hong Kong also holds a very strong spiritual culture, it's time to discover it! Are you ready to find the wisdom?

CENTRAL

  • Get a takeaway breakfast and head to the IFC mall rooftop to start the day with a view. (8, Finance St, open 9:30am-10pm)
  • Watch Victoria Harbor from the 55th floor of the IFC (open from Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-2pm). It's free, but you'll need an ID to get in.

NEW TERRITORIES

  • Count the Buddhas in the 10.000 Buddhas Temple. Imagine thousands of statues with funny expressions lined all the way to a red pagoda overlooking the city. A bit remote, but worth the journey. (MTR Sha Tin Exit B, open 10am-5pm)
  • Explore Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery, a piece of serenity in the middle of chaos. You'll be impressed by the Feng shui garden and the bonsai collection. (5 Chi Lin Dr, Sheung Yuen Leng, nunnery 9am-4:30pm, garden 6:30am-7pm)
  • Time for some ACTION in Bounce trampoline park -a great place to have fun, with many trampos, including an olympic one. They have showers, so don't forget to bring your towel and a change. (EMAX GF, 1 Trademart Dr, open 11am-9pm)

QUARRY BAY

  • Enjoy the sunset from Sugar rooftop for a complete different view of the city -you'll get a panoramic view over Kowloon and the old airport, now transformed into a cruise terminal. (32F, EAST, 29 Taikoo Shing Road, open 5pm-1am)

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Day 5 : LANTAU ISLAND, from mountains to beaches

This is Hong Kong's largest outlying island -a great option for all outdoor lovers, with pleeenty to discover...

One week in Hong Kong : Itinerary

NGONG PING

  • If it's sunny, ride the Cable Car to the Big Buddha for a 25 minutes scenic ride. The terminal is in Tung Chung -don't miss the souvenir shop, where you can now buy my illustrated postcards! I highly recommend to get there early to avoid the crowds. (open 10am-6pm on weekdays, 9am-6:30 on weekends).
  • Explore Ngong Ping 360 Village : touristy but pretty cute, with great souvenirs shops and cafes. 
  • A short walk will take your to the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery (open 10am-5:30pm), two majestic religious monuments set in a gorgeous landscape.

TAI O

  • Bus 21 will take you to Tai O fishing village, an authentic old village with stilt houses. It's very picturesque -and pretty amazing when you think that earlier this morning, you were still in the middle of a urban jungle
  • Get a drink at the stylish Heritage Hotel before hitting the road again. (14 Shek Tsai Po St, Shek Tsai Po, Tai O)

CHEUNG SHA BEACH

  • Take bus 11 to Lower Cheung Sha Beach for a lunch feet in the sand -I recommend Long Island's excellent fish & chips.
  • Then you can enjoy the beach, rent a paddle board or a kayak, then take bus 11 or a taxi to Pak Kung Au...

SUNSET PEAK

  • From Pak Kung Au, a gorgeous 7kms hike awaits you, all the way to Sunset Peak for a very rewarding panoramic view on Lantau Island. Read all about it on my post Hiking Hong Kong : Sunset from the Sunset Peak.
  • Once you get back to Pak Kung Au, if it's still early and if you're on Friday or weekend, take the bus 3M to Pui O... 

PUI O

  • Finish your day with drinks and music at the Mavericks, a relaxed surfer bar by the beach (open Friday 5pm-10pm, Sat/Sunday 11am-11pm and public holidays 11am-10pm).

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Day 6 : hong kong from above, a scenic day

It's day 6 already, your Hong Kong trip is almost over : it's time to let your eyes sparkle with the most scenic views! 

One week in Hong Kong : Itinerary

NEW TERRITORIES

  • Climb Lion's Rock for a breathtaking view of the city. It's about 4hr hike total. Lion Head stairs can be a bit challenging at as it's steep, but it's short! ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS.
  • Then it's time to head back to your hotel for a shower and to get change...

KOWLOON

  • The Peninsula Hotel is a legend in Hong Kong -their High Tea is a Hong Kong classic! They're easy on dress code, except you can't wear shorts or flip flops. (Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, open 7am-00pm). Avoid weekends.
  • Hong Kong skyline is considered to be one of the most spectacular in the world, it's time to see it from above! Head up to the top of the Peninsula Hotel and hop on an helicopter for a ride. It's one of the best experience we had in HK. Book your flight with Heliflight Services. (prices starts from 1.999HKD for a 15 minutes flight over HK Island)
  • End your day on top of the world with drinks from one of the highest rooftop sky bars, the Ozone. To do on a clear day only, or you can be stuck in the clouds. It's the Ritz rooftop so a dress code applies after 9pm. It's casual between 5pm to 9pm, which is exactly when you want to be there, to see the sunset. (Level 118, ICC, 1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon, Monday-Wednesday 5pm-1am, Thursday 5pm-2am, Friday 5pm-3am, Sat 3pm-3am, Sunday 12nn-00am)

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Day 7: Southern hong kong island & the peak

Discover the other side of Hong Kong Island before your leave, with its hilly terrain and relaxing beaches...

One week in Hong Kong : Itinerary

SOUTHERN HONG KONG ISLAND

  • The Dragon's Back is a must in Hong Kong. This 8.5kms hike takes you on a mountain ridge all the way to Big Wave Bay beach. To get to the starting point, take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, Exit A, then bus 9 and stop at To Tei Tan, Shek O Rd.
  • After a swim in Big Wave Bay, hop on a taxi to Stanley market. This market holds a selection of fashion items, home furnishing, souvenirs, ornaments and local knick-knacks in a picturesque warren of lanes. (open around 10:30am to 6pm). 
  • Take bus 40 or 40x to Repulse Bay and discover the Longevity Bridge. The legend says your life will be prolonged for 3 more days each time you cross it! Next to it is Kwun Yam Shrine, a colorful temple dedicated to protect the fishermen. 
  • Then a lovely 20 minutes walk on the Seaview Promenade will take you to Deep Water Bay, where you will find Coconut, a delicious Thai restaurant by the beach. (Beach Building Deep Water Bay, Island Rd, Deep Water Bay, open 11:45am-11pm)

THE PEAK 

  • Get back to the city before the sunset and head to the Peak for an incredible view over the city. The Peak Tram ride is pretty cool but often busy. If not too crowded, it's worth taking it to get back down to the city!

HAPPY VALLEY

  • If you're lucky to be downtown on a Wednesday, don't miss Happy Valley racecourse -iIt's THE place to be every week. You can even try your chance and bet on a horse! (gates open at 5:15pm, first races at 7:15pm, last one by 11pm)