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Hong Kong 3 days itinerary – the ultimate guide to fun things to do

Hong Kong 3 days itinerary – the ultimate guide to fun things to do

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3 days in Hong Kong

We have been to many countries in Europe. We have been several times in North America. We have gone to the Middle East. We lived there for a few years. But we have never been to Asia. It was not tempting enough, it was not on the bucket list, and it was the region where everybody was going. But they say it’s a first time for everything. So it was about time to start planning the perfect 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary.
I love the planning stage, the research, reading blogs and looking at photos. I love to feel butterflies in my stomach and the feeling of anticipation, excitement, and expectations.
Hong Kong island skyline, things to do in Hong KongHong Kong Island skyline

But how many days would we need in Hong Kong and would 3 days in such a diverse and colossal city be enough to see all we wanted to see? Well, it won’t be enough! So you do research, and you plan or let someone else do it for you. You can, and I hope you will, use our self-experienced 3 days itinerary for Hong Kong and spend time on something else than planning.

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3 Days in Hong Kong itinerary. How to experience Hong Kong during typhoon period, including the most amazing food tour with a local.

Districts in Hong Kong

There are a few areas that are more popular than others. The city has excellent public transportation with MTR and bus system, and it is easy to get around.
Central and Mid-Levels district is located on Hong Kong Island. This is a financial district which is located near Victoria Peak, one of the main attractions of Hong Kong. The Mid-Levels escalator is the largest escalator-transportation system in the world and connects apartments high up on the mountain to the Central business area.

Causeway Bay is a heart and soul of Hong Kong Island. This neighborhood is favorite among visitors and locals. If you are on a lookout for low-cost, high-end gadgets and fashion trends the backstreets and alleys of Causeway Bay are the place for you; Causeway Bay is also full of dining options, cafes, and bars that stay open until late in the night. This area is filled with shopping malls – nock your self out!

Shops, shops, shops – Causeway Bay in Hong Kong

Tsim Sha Tsui area is located on Kowloon (the mainland) and is the promenade area, where you get the best views of Hong Kong Island and the symphony of lights. In this district, you will find museums, the Avenue of Stars “Walk of fame,”historical fort, shopping, and restaurants. Some of the most known hotel chains are located in this area.

Hong Kong Skyline

The views along the promenade

Mong Kok is mainly a residential area. Here you will find different markets, which I recommend to visit. They are totally crazy and super fun. If you prefer to stay in Airbnb, Mong Kok is most likely the district for it.

One of the markets on Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Airport transfer in Hong Kong

You can get a transfer from the Hong Kong airport to hotels. You have three options. Get a bus transfer from the airport in Hong Kong to the hotels in most of the districts, but some rules apply regarding arrival time. Read the guidelines carefully. You can also get an airport express transfer to three stations on the mainland but check carefully that the location of your accommodation is close to the station. The third option is to get a limousine service. The driver will pick you up in the arrival hall and deliver you at your accommodation.

View from the club area

Where to stay in Hong Kong

We stayed at the 5 star New World Millenium Hong Kong Hotel on Tsim Sha Tsui. The room was very spacious with panorama windows and gorgeous views. Large bathroom gave you a spa feeling. And it had a butt washer, just in case you need it. Have you tried it before? Our room contained a cell phone which could use for free Internet while exploring Hong Kong. We arrived around 8 am, and the check in was at around 12. However, we booked a club room on the top floor, and the club service desk checked us in 30 minutes after our arrival. How cool is that? They were super friendly, and we were offered drinks and snacks while waiting for the check-in. Do we recommend this hotel? Heck, yes!

Where to stay in Hong Kong, hotels in Hong Kong

One of the rooms at the New World Millennium Hotel in Hong Kong – photo courtesy to hotels.com

Click this link to go directly to the New World Millenium Hong Kong to check availability and prices

The hotel served continental breakfast in the club area on the top floor. It has 3 restaurants, and we had one of our dinners at the Teppanyaki restaurant on the first floor. The meal was amazing. The hotel has an outdoor pool. The pool was unfortunately closed due to the typhoon that hit Hong Kong just before we arrived. On the floor above the club area, there is a bar which serves easy food and drinks to beautiful views.

There are several restaurants at the hotel, and one of them serves afternoon tea. If you want to stay on the mainland Hong Kong, have great views from your room, stay close to the promenade, Star Ferry and shopping, the New World Millennium is definitely for you.

Night view from the room

Most people in Hong Kong speak English. However, you might run into some language barriers due to the Chinese accent of the locals. If you experience difficulty with the accent take a deep breath and remember that there is no R sound in the Chinese vocabulary. If you feel stuck and have a hard time to understand what they are trying to say, or even feel embarrassed, try to replace the L with an R, and it might help. This is me speaking out of the experience when I really couldn’t understand what the heck “flied lice” was (despite the worldwide jokes about the accent, no offense to Chinese people).
Another tip is to take time to let the impressions sink in, make some free time from the sightseeing to relax and people watch, believe me, there are many people to watch in Hong Kong.

FIND BEST PRICES FOR YOUR PERFECT ACCOMMODATION IN HONG KONG

Things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

3 days in Hong Kong is not enough to explore it all. But you have to start somewhere, and if you are in Hong Kong for the first time, there are some must-sees. You have most likely heard of the Victoria Peak, the Symphony of Lights, Lantau Island, and the Big Buddha, and Hong Kong Disney Land amongst many other attractions. The public transportation such as MTR and buses run smoothly, so it is easy to find your way around.

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3 Days in Hong Kong itinerary. How to experience Hong Kong during typhoon period, including the most amazing food tour with a local.
No matter when you visit Hong Kong you can see and do the same activities all year around. But try to avoid the typhoon period, which can occur in August – September. During our 3 days in Hong Kong, we stayed inside for one whole day because of the typhoon. It doesn’t get cold, but it can get extremely windy, and it rains a lot. Everything closes, and you are not allowed to drive. During that day Hong Kong was like a ghost town, and we realized how lucky we were that booked the club room. We could sit in the club area, have drinks and snacks, and work on our photos and blog.

The hotel has great food

MTR – Hong Kong’s subway

Getting around Hong Kong is super easy. MTR is Hong Kong’s subway, which is very easy once you figure out how it works. It is very crowded, naturally, but runs very smoothly. If you are taking the MTR between the Hong Kong Island and the mainland, remember to add extra time, because of the crowds. You buy tickets from the machine at the station. If you need any help, there are also personnel working at MTR, they are well visible, as they wear yellow vests.

The lighted circles indicate the line you are on and the glowing arrow shows the direction you are going. It is as simple as that.

MTR in Hong Kong

MTR in Hong Kong

MTR in Hong Kong

Crowded MTR in Hong Kong

Hong Kong itinerary

 DAY 1

Victoria Peak

After 13 hours of flight, we had to take a nap as soon as we got to our hotel room. We arrived early in the morning, and with a few hours of sleep, we still had many hours we could use for exploring Hong Kong. The weather was beautiful, and we took advantage of that by taking a Star Ferry over Victoria Harbor to Hong Kong Island. Don’t bother getting your tickets in advance – you can get them at the docks without any hassle. I always HAVE to do touristy stuff when in a new place for the first time, so we had to visit one of Hong Kong’s top attractions the famous Victoria Peak.

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3 Days in Hong Kong itinerary. How to experience Hong Kong during typhoon period, including the most amazing food tour with a local.

From Star Ferry docks we grabbed a cab to the Victoria Peak tram station. We were recommended to take the tram up and down as the views were terrific. The ticket line at the tram station was long, so get your tickets in advance. You will still have to wait in line for the entrance, but you will save time on the ticket line. We waited for around an hour to get our tickets and then another 20 min for the tram. With prepurchased tickets, you will save approximately 1 hour.

The views on the way down are fantastic. Stay on the left side of the tram, preferably in the compartment between the wagons (yes it is safe). Check that the window points frontwards and not backward if you want to take pictures. If you are going up by cab and down by the tram, check where you can get return tickets. I didn’t see any ticket booth up there, but I am sure there was one.

There is high humidity in HK (we had 86%), so drink a lot of water. As you can see we were lucky with the weather that day, as it tends to be a lot of smog.

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days, Victoria Peak

View from Victoria Peak

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

I am learning to pose – baby steps

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

The view of the other side from Victoria Peak

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days, Victoria Peak tram

Going down – the view from the tram

Star Ferry

You can get to the Hong Kong Island either by Star Ferry or by MTR. I would recommend Star Ferry – it’s cheaper and less crowded than MTR. The Star Ferry will get you across Victoria Harbor, and you will get to see the skyline of the mainland and the Hong Kong Island.

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Taking Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor back to the mainland

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days, Hong Kong Island

One of the coolest skylines in the world – Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island skyline, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Hong Kong Island skyline

Victoria Harbor, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days, Hong Kong Island skyline

View from Star Ferry

It takes about 10-15 min with the ferry to cross the harbor and about 15 min to walk from our hotel to the ferry, in case you decide to stay there. The MTR takes a little longer – you need time to get oriented, and it is packed with people.

DAY 2

Lantau Island and Symphony of Lights

Visit Lantau Island and a giant Buddha. To get to the island, you take a Ngong Ping 360 cable car. Charge up your camera because you will be provided with spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the South China Sea, Hong Kong International Airport, North Lantau Country Park and Giant Buddha. The world’s largest outdoor Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery is visited by Buddhists’ from all over the world. There are three museums underneath the Buddha. You can also visit a fishing village and have a vegetarian lunch at the Monastery. This tour might take you most of the day. You can do it by yourself or book through “Get your guide” or “Viator.” We have used both companies and never had any trouble.

I want to say that we didn’t have the chance to explore the Lantau Island this time because of the typhoon on our second day, which you can read about below.

Get your tickets with Viator for the Lantau Island here

 

On our second day in Hong Kong, we woke up to category 8 typhoon. We got a letter from the hotel under our door informing us to stay inside. There were no people on the streets, no cars, no shops open – it was like a ghost town… 11h flight for one day of exploring in beautiful weather – thank you very much, Hong Kong!

We stayed in the lounge for a few hours until we could go out for an hour after typhoon got weaker, although it was still raining a bit it was warm.

Victoria Harbor, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Typhoon

We wanted to explore Hong Kong Island but the weather made it impossible, and we decided to wait until the next day. We got out in the evening, and although it was still rain in the air, we stayed out for the Symphony of Lights. It was a pleasant experience and fun to watch many Chinese kids so excited. We planned to take a cruise with dinner and drinks but had to skip it due to poor weather. If you are luckier than we were the night cruise with dinner in the harbor is a great way to see the symphony of light and end your long day of exploration. If you book your cruise with Viator, you get unlimited drinks on board, and you will get a nine-course Chinese dinner at Lei Yue Mun Seafood Village.

Get your tickets for the night cruise with dinner on Viator here

Or go on a night cruise with dinner and visit to a night market. And if you don’t want to spend another 5, 5 hours exploring, you can take a 45 minutes cruise, which will include 1 drink and a beautiful view to the Symphony of lights.

During our second day, we stayed in the lounge for a few hours until we could go out for an hour after typhoon got weaker, although it was still raining a bit it was warm. Tsim Sha Tsui has many shops and shopping malls, and some of them opened when the typhoon got quieter. We did some shopping, walked by the historic fort of Hong Kong, and checked out the Avenue of Stars. On the promenade, it was crowded despite the rain, but we managed to take some shots of the skyline by night.

Hong Kong Island by night, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days, Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong

Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong

DAY 3

Hong Kong Island

Causeway Bay is filled with stores and shopping malls. Here you will find Victoria Park next to the Victoria Peak tram station, hop off Ding Ding Hong Kong Tramways, and Mid-levels Escalators. Experience how modern architecture blends in with the typical “old, third-world” is fascinating. Spend a few hours exploring the island but save a few hours on other activities.

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3 Days in Hong Kong itinerary. How to experience Hong Kong during typhoon period, including the most amazing food tour with a local.

Food tour

We had booked a food tour for our last day with Eating Adventures which we found on TripAdvisor. It was a fantastic experience with Katherine, our guide, who took us through Mong Kok area on the mainland. She told us about the life and habits of people in Hong Kong, and we learned a great deal. If you want to see the authentic side of Hong Kong, learn more about its culture, habits, way of life and dare to eat what and where native eat, I would recommend this activity!!! We walked through different markets, backstreets and small local eateries that looked like they were only open for us. I LOVED IT!
You can choose between the tour on the mainland or the island – we preferred the mainland area, Mong Kok. You can see what kind of food you get on different locations on the Eating Adventures website. We had a total of seven different dishes, including snake soup, tofu, and dim sum. Did you know that Dim Sum is like tapas? It is a variety of small dishes. If you love Asian food, you should read Tripgourmets guide on best street food in Asia.

Hong Kong food tour, Mongkok, Kowloon, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Having tofu for the first time in my life

Hong Kong food tour, Mongkok, Kowloon, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Snake soup – loved it

Hong Kong food tour, Mongkok, Kowloon, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Fish balls – not a fan at all

Hong Kong food market, Hong Kong food tour, Mongkok, Kowloon, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

The Food Market in Mongkok

Hong Kong food market, Hong Kong food tour, Mongkok, Kowloon, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

The market

Hong Kong food market, Hong Kong food tour, Mongkok, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Streets of Hong Kong

Other top things to do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Disney Land. I am not a huge fan of Disney Land, and we were on a romantic trip, so can’t tell you much about it. But if you are going with your kids, this would probably be a significant activity to check out.

Mong Kok markets – I loved it. It was so surreal and cool in the same way. When you see people walking with plastic bags wriggling you think what the hell, but then you enter the market area and see all the shops selling live fish, shrimps, and shells, and you get it 🙂 The market contains everything from food to funeral attributes.

Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade (where we stayed)

Fun fact – did you know that almost all the fruits that sell in Hong Kong are imported from Thailand? Hong Kong has no land suited for agriculture – there are only buildings and mountains and no farmer land.

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3 Days in Hong Kong itinerary. How to experience Hong Kong during typhoon period, including the most amazing food tour with a local.

Architecture

Being an architecture nerd I have to throw in some shots of buildings 🙂 It’s so fascinating to see how the old meets the new…

Hong Kong Island architecture, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Concrete jungle – love it

Hong Kong architecture, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

The old and the new

Hong Kong architecture, Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Hong Kong Architecture

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Hong Kong Architecture

Victoria Harbor, 3 days in Hong Kong itinerary, Hong Kong long weekend, things to do in Hong Kong for 3 days

Hong Kong Architecture

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3 Days in Hong Kong itinerary. How to experience Hong Kong during typhoon period, including the most amazing food tour with a local.

 

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32 Comments

  1. May 28, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    Pictures are amazing. This is wonderful guide to Hong Kong. Thank you for sharing it with us

    • Travelletters
      Author
      May 28, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Kathleen C
    February 28, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    We spent 3 days in Hong Kong when we lived in Mainland China. An escape from our reality. We had a one of our kids with us, so we went to Disney. It is a lot smaller than the 2 in the US, but it was good to feel a little American for a minute. We also went on the tram to the Big Buddha, the views were amazing, and of course, walked around a lot. We were surprised by how clean their subway system is. We also went to the park and I got chased by a crazy one armed monkey. True story. If I go back, I will have to try some grown up things on your list.

  3. February 26, 2018 / 8:36 am

    this will brings great memories

  4. December 31, 2017 / 8:07 pm

    Great post and wonderful photos. I’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong! This post really inspires me to go and check out some of the stuff you mentioned.

    • Travelletters
      Author
      January 3, 2018 / 7:27 am

      Thank you! I hope you visit it some day – the place is really cool 🙂

  5. December 31, 2017 / 7:43 pm

    Lots of info, thanks! I’ll pin it for later. It’s great you included all weather options. Hong Kong would be so cool.

    • Travelletters
      Author
      January 3, 2018 / 7:26 am

      Thank you! Hong Kong was really a cool experience – I love city travels 🙂

  6. lacyngo
    December 31, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Wow! Amazing pictures! Looks like a fantiastic trip!

    • Travelletters
      Author
      January 3, 2018 / 7:25 am

      Thank you! It was a great trip 🙂

  7. December 31, 2017 / 1:02 pm

    Thanks for this guide!! I especially like how it’s in any weather. It’s so easy to plan a trip for a sunny day, then arrive to rain or a storm and not know what to do!

    • Travelletters
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      Yes, we were unprepared for how badly the typhoon was and had to adjust our plans a bit 🙂 But on of my mottos is “never postpone things you can do today”. Don’t know if it gives you any sense 🙂

  8. December 31, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    Great blog post and amazing photos. Hong Kong looks awesome – I would love to go one day!

    • Travelletters
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      It was amazingly cool place despite being hopelessly crowded 🙂

  9. December 31, 2017 / 11:04 am

    How amazing is this? Thanks as well for the hotel recommendation. That is also super important 🙂

    • Travelletters
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      You are very welcome 🙂

  10. December 31, 2017 / 10:53 am

    Thank you that’s given me a true insight to what it’s like in Hong Kong. It especially looks amazing at night! x

    • Travelletters
      Author
      December 31, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      I was surprised how cool the city was too 🙂

  11. September 9, 2017 / 11:39 pm

    Those views are insane! I love the blues. Seems like you had a productive 3 days and I am definitely adding Hong Ko to my list 🙂

  12. September 5, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    OMG I LOVE HONG KONG!! And you shared so many of my favorite highlights too 🙂

  13. September 4, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    What a fun-filled, jam packed long weekend! Hong Kong looks so cool! Super jealous you flew business class aswell haha!

  14. Hannah
    September 4, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    What a fun-filled, jam-packed long weekend!! Hong Kong looks awesome– so jealous you flew business class haha thats my ultimate life goal!

  15. mapsandmuses
    September 2, 2017 / 1:59 am

    Oh how fun! I’ve only been to Hong Kong on a 9 hour layover! lol we made sure to get out and explore the city for a bit. So beautiful! I have to go back and explore more!

    • September 2, 2017 / 9:03 am

      Yeah, I would love to go back and explore more too 😍

  16. September 2, 2017 / 12:16 am

    Glad you had great weather!! The photos look stunning! Thanks for all the info!

    • September 2, 2017 / 9:02 am

      Yes, we were lucky with the weather the first day, the rest was bearable 😂

  17. September 1, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    Your photos are extremely aesthetically pleasing to view!! Great skills with photography, and it sounds like you guys had a great time in Hong Kong! I also enjoyed the small little video you input into your blog, the light show looks soothing as well! Glad I was able to stumble upon your blog 🙂

    • September 2, 2017 / 9:01 am

      Thank you so much for the appreciation and encouraging words 😊😊

  18. Susan R
    September 1, 2017 / 10:00 am

    This brings back great memories of my trip to Hong Kong – I travelled up to the Peak and had a fish pedicure there! I didn’t realize that they had typhoons so strong that you had to stay indoors – must have been a bit frustrating but the food tour sounds great

    • September 1, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      Yes, everything above 8 – is stay inside, and it happens very seldom that they have typhoons just with few days in between – so double new experience for us 🙂

  19. Tracey Best
    August 31, 2017 / 11:45 pm

    It was good not to be caught up in the typhoon. I love your photos! Your hotel view from your room is gorgeous. And I love that view from Victoria Peak. Great read and information Lena 🙂

    • September 1, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Tracy! This hotel was really great 🙂

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