Over a thousand skyscrapers, a fascinating mix of colonial and modern architecture with dashes of old world Chinese influences, one of the world’s most active ports, shopping districts that fashionistas would die for, and a peak rising above it all with one of the most spectacular city views on the planet — Hong Kong is a lot to see in just 48 hours. With that said, our 48-hour Hong Kong itinerary is designed to help you see the very best in the little time you have. From where to eat to where to stay to do what to do – we have you covered.
9:00 a.m. Scope it out from the Promenade
After grabbing a quick breakfast at your hotel, walk just a few blocks south to the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade. The Promenade is a waterfront walkway that looks out over Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong’s Central District. Along the walk, you can catch the breeze off the water and shake off any travel cobwebs while taking in Hong Kong’s skyline.
10:30 a.m. See Victoria Harbor from the Star Ferry
Not only does the ferry get you to Hong Kong Island, it’s a great way to see the activity in the harbor (part of one of the most active ports in the world) and get a better feel for the layout. Tickets can be purchased at the pier and are just a few dollars per person. Sit on the upper deck to avoid the engine fumes and get the best views.
11:30 a.m. See Hong Kong’s historical and spiritual side at Man Mo Temple
There are a few Man Mo temples spread throughout Hong Kong, but the one in Sheung Wan, just west of the Central District, is the largest and most important. The temple is dedicated to the god of literature (Man) and the god of war (Mo) and was frequented by students praying for assistance on state official exams in the mid 19th century. The inside of the temple is meticulously decorated in a way that transports you far from the urban jungle that surrounds the building.
12:30 p.m. Congee for lunch
Congee is a rice porridge mixed with a variety of vegetables and meats and is a typical dish in Hong Kong. Sang Kee Congee Shop just so happens to be just a couple blocks from Man Mo Temple and has a reputation for serving some of the best Congee in the area. So grab a bowl and charge up for the afternoon.
3:00 p.m. Explore the shopping in Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei
After finishing up lunch, hop on the Star Ferry back across the harbor. Right by the pier, you’ll find the Shim Tsa Tsui Station and you’ll hop on the Tsuen Wan Line north. Along the line, you can hop off either in Yau Ma Tei (aka Jordan) and explore the traditional markets that attract a mixed crowd of souvenir hunters, fashionistas, and locals out shopping. Or, you can stay on the line a little longer and hop off at Mong Kok, Hong Kong’s most famous shopping district. Here you’ll find the designer brand boutiques and mega stores that draw shoppers from around the world.
7:00 p.m. Dim Sum for Some Dinner
Aptly named One Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant, this spot serves up traditional dim sum and boy does it do it well. Far from both fancy and expensive, One Dim Sum is simple in nearly every context except for the food. In the traditional dim sum style, we encourage you to run through the whole menu.
9:00 p.m. Views with some drinks
Chic would be the word that comes to mind when it comes to Aqua Spirit. The view from the 30th floor of the One Peking high-rise building over Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong’s skyline is something you won’t soon forget. The drinks match the scene and the DJ’s get excellent reviews. But don’t show up in a polo and jeans. Break out your best if you want to fit in.
1:00 a.m. Head back to the hotel to rest up for tomorrow
Tomorrow is going to need your full energy, so you don’t want to make night one anything too wild. Aqua Spirit is right next to The Kowloon Hotel so don’t worry about late night transportation. And about the hotel: The Kowloon is an affordable four-star high rise hotel with views of Hong Kong Island’s skyline. We assumed you couldn’t get enough of the view.
10:00 a.m. Hike Lantau Island
The metro will take you out to Lantau Island with just one transfer. Once on the island, locate a trail for Lantau Peak. You can take a one hour hike up mostly steep stairs from Po Lin, but we recommend the 2.5-hour route from Pak Kung Au, which offers more variety and better views. Make sure you pack a lunch!
2:30 p.m. Nothing like the beach after a long hike
The hike is no joke. After sweating it out, hit Upper Cheung Sha Beach to relax. It’s not much of a “catch some swells” type beach so think more relaxation and taking in the view.
5:00 p.m. Back to the hotel to change and rest up
The hike and the beach will take plenty out of you, so a few hours with your feet up at the hotel will be much-needed.
7:00 p.m. Victoria Peak
Take the tram up to the highest point on Hong Kong Island to take in one of the most spectacular city views in the world. Bring a camera that works at night, trust us.
9:00 p.m. Dinner at Mott 32
Mott 32 is one of the top restaurants in Hong Kong. Serving up traditional dishes like Peking Duck and Char Siu, Mott 32 is an opportunity to experience Hong Kong cuisine at the highest of culinary standards. The decorations reflect Hong Kong’s history, striking a balance between traditional Chinese and Western influences.
11:00 p.m. Party at Drop
Let’s keep the elegant theme going. Drop is a household name in Hong Kong’s well-reputed circle of upscale nightclubs and is a strong pick for your last night in Hong Kong. Reserve a table, mix with the well-dressed locals and foreigners, and listen to some of the best house music DJ’s around. Make your final hours count.