2 Days in Hong Kong: The Perfect Hong Kong Itinerary
Are you planning to spend 48 hours in Hong Kong? This 2 days Hong Kong itinerary sets out what to do in Hong Kong in 2 days and includes tons of tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time.
Hong Kong is a fantastic city to visit, whether you have two days or many. But, since there are so many great things to do in Hong Kong, choosing what to do and see with limited time can be a bit tricky. I’ve traveled to Hong Kong several times during my time as an ex-pat in Taiwan and wanted to share all my tips and tricks with you here so that you, too, can plan the perfect Hong Kong itinerary. And hopefully, after reading this Hong Kong 2 days itinerary, you will have a pretty good idea of how to spend a weekend in the city!
While two days in Hong Kong is an extremely fast-paced itinerary, it will allow ample time to sample all of the city’s best bits. With that being said, feel free to tailor this Hong Kong 2 days itinerary to your own needs and preferences. If you have a few extra days in the city, I’ve also added a few extra options to extend your itinerary.
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2 Days in Hong Kong Pre-Planning Tips
Before you jet off to Hong Kong, there are a few things that will come in handy for a stress-free Hong Kong trip. If this is your first visit to Hong Kong, make sure also to read these Hong Kong travel tips to help you plan a better trip.
Ready to spend less time planning and more time enjoying Hong Kong? Here are my top essentials for spending 2 days in Hong Kong:
- Search the best hotels in Hong Kong well in advance. Hong Kong is a densely packed city with plenty of accommodation options. Make sure you book accommodation well in advance as rooms fill up quickly.
- Grab an Airport Express Train ticket online first to help you get quickly from the airport to the city center. If you’re traveling with lots of luggage, it might be best to book a private transfer instead.
- If you’re planning to use of the subway, I highly recommend grabbing Hong Kong’s transit card, the Octopus Card. This way, you can simply tap-and-go on buses and the MTR without the headache of looking for small change.
- Wifi is widely available in Hong Kong. But, for a stress-free trip, it’s a good idea to get a 4G sim card or pocket wifi. That way, you’ll be able to access maps and translations, plan your stops, and generally have a hassle-free trip.
- Since you simply cannot predict the future, it’s always best to get travel insurance before traveling in Hong Kong. World Nomads has a bunch of excellent cover options catering to all kinds of budgets and needs. Plus, it only takes a few clicks to get covered!
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Hong Kong Itinerary 2 Days – Quick Overview
While 2 days in Hong Kong is a bit rushed, it is ample time to sample all of the city’s best attractions. Here’s a quick overview of what to do in Hong Kong in 2 days.
Day 1: Victoria Peak Tram, Central Mid-Level Escalator, Man Mo Temple, Tao Oa Fishing Village, Lan Kwai Fong
Day 2: Lan Tau Island, Star Ferry, Symphony of Lights, Shopping.
The Perfect 2 Days Hong Kong Itinerary
Hong Kong packs the perfect mix of architecture, landmarks, museums, stunning views, and rich history. From the chaotic streets of Kowloon packed with museums and bustling markets to the rich history, architecture, and mindblowing views at Hong Kong Central – Hong Kong has something for everyone! So much so that the city is well-known as one of Asia’s top destinations.
Added to that, Hong Kong has a highly efficient and extensive transit network allowing you to get from one place to another quickly. So, whether you have two days in Hong Kong or more, getting around the city couldn’t be easier.
Before planning a Hong Kong trip, you should probably know that it is much more expensive than other Asian destinations, like Taiwan or Japan. However, that shouldn’t deter you from visiting! Hong Kong is a great city to explore and a firm favorite among culture seekers, shoppers, foodies, and even outdoor enthusiasts.
If you are, however, visiting Hong Kong on a budget, these affordable activities in Hong Kong will come in handy.
2 Days in Hong Kong Itinerary – Day 1
Start day 1 of 2 days in Hong Kong by exploring Hong Kong Central. It’s a beautiful part well known for its rich history, top tourist attractions, skyscraper-studded streets, and bustling markets and temples.
On day 1 of your two days in Hong Kong, you’ll get a chance to take the tram to Victoria Peak, enjoy a quick ride of the world’s longest escalator, drop by temples, get a glimpse into Hong Kong’s unique fishing culture and party the night away at vibrant Lan Kwai Fong. Since day 1 of your Hong Kong 2 days is packed to the brim, getting an early start is highly encouraged.
Ready to find out what to do with one day in Hong Kong? Let’s go!
Take the Tram to Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak is undoubtedly Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks and a huge must on any 2-day Hong Kong itinerary. Towering above the city, Victoria Peak is the perfect spot to get a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent skyline! It’s also and a firm favorite among hikers, tourists, and photographers.
The easiest way to get to the top of Victoria Peak is by taking the historic tram up the hillside. It’s quite a scary ride as the tram travels up the mountain at an incline of 45-degrees. It’s a relatively short ride, taking only a few minutes, but the views along the way are simply incredible!
Once you reach the top of Victoria Peak, there are lots of shops, restaurants, short hiking trails, and several points of interest to while away the time. The most notable attraction here, however, is the Sky Terrace from where you can get a mindblowing 360-degree panoramic view of the cityscape.
The lines for the tram are always very long, and on my most recent trip, I had to queue up for more than 2 hours. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did by booking a fast pass ticket online first. Although it is slightly more expensive than the standard fare, it will allow you to cut the long tram queues and ultimately spend more time enjoying the gorgeous views from atop. Make sure to grab your Victoria Peak Tram Fast Track Tickets and Tram Peak Sky Pass in advance.
Victoria Peak Top Tips:
- Taking the tram up to Victoria Peak is quite an expensive thing to do in Hong Kong. If your budget doesn’t have room for this, consider hiking up (or down) the peak. Just a note, it’s quite a steep climb, and should only be attempted if you are fit enough to complete the journey. You can buy single journey tickets at either the lower or upper terminuses.
- It’s also essential to know that Hong Kong is a major tourist hub. And this, unfortunately, means that the top tourist attractions are always crowded. If you want to skip the crowds, it’s best to time your visit here. Come during the week.
- It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast before visiting Victoria Peak. The smog or fog can be quite dense at times and can really ruin the views. For the best pictures, visit on a bright sunny day.
How to get to Victoria Peak
At MTR Central station, take Exit J2 and walk through Chater Garden. Then make your way up Garden Road from where you’ll spot the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus.
Take the World’s Longest Escalator
After you’ve taken in the magnificent views from Victoria Peak, it’s time to see the city from a different vantage point. And what better way to do just that than by taking a ride of the world’s longest outdoor escalator!
The Central Mid-Level Escalator comprises of 20 escalators and three moving walkways, which stretch over 800 meters. It’s one of the easiest ways to get up the steep hillside, linking Queen’s Road Central and Conduit Road and a great way to get a closer look at locals going about their daily life. The escalator takes you through shopping malls, past hidden alleys, and is a truly unique experience.
It takes about 20-25 minutes to ride the escalator’s full length one-way. So, if you have an hour or two to spare, this is a great way to while away the time.
Travel Tip: At the time of updating this post, the Central Mid-Level Escalator was still undergoing refurbishment. Work has been suspended until October 2020.
Drop by Man Mo Temple
Further afield, drop by one of the most Instagrammable places in Hong Kong – Man Mo Temple. This ancient place of worship pays tribute to both the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). The temple was built in 1847, and despite being one of the most famous temples in Hong Kong, it is an incredibly peaceful place.
Besides its unique history, yet another reason to visit Man Mo Temple is that it is incredibly photogenic. Inside you’ll find dozens of giant hanging incense coils, creating a lovely atmosphere and plenty of photo opportunities.
Visit Tai-O Fishing Village
Touted as the “Venice of Hong Kong,” Tai-O Village is one of the few remaining fishing villages in Hong Kong and a huge must on any Hong Kong 2 day itinerary.
It’s a great day trip to take and popular among seafood lovers and shutterbugs alike. If you are interested in learning more about the Tanka boat people or simply just want to stroll along the causeway and admire the stilt houses, this is one stop you really shouldn’t miss.
Looking for something more adventurous? Get your Tai-O Village Sea Kayaking Tour here.
Have Drinks in Lan Kwai Fong
After a day out exploring Central Hong Kong, it’s time to experience Hong Kong’s bustling nightlife scene. And there’s no better place to do just that than Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife area – Lan Kwai Fong.
There’s something for everyone in Lan Kwai Fong – from British-style pubs, hipster-hangouts, karaoke bars, trendy nightclubs, and just about everything in-between. So, whether you fancy dancing the night away or simply want to unwind – an evening out in Lan Kwai Fong guarantees an epic night out!
Since Lan Kwai Fong is the nightlife area in Hong Kong, make sure not to come too late. Bars usually fill up quickly after working hours and stay open until the early morning hours.
Travel Tip: Since you only have 2 days in Hong Kong, don’t stay out too late in Lan Kwai Fong. Day 2 of your Hong Kong 2 days itinerary is just as jam-packed as day 1!
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Hong Kong 2 days Itinerary: Day 2
On your last day of 2 days in Hong Kong, make sure to yet again get an early start. Today you’ll get a chance to get out of the city, explore a slice of nature, take an iconic harbor cruise, watch the city’s dazzling lights extravaganza, and practice your haggling skills in Kowloon!
Visit Lantau Island
One of the most memorable things to do in Hong Kong in 2 days is visiting Lantau Island. There is plenty to do at Lantau Island. But, perhaps the biggest draw here is the breathtaking cable car ride and seeing the giant Buddha statue up close.
The best way to reach the mountain top is by cable car. Alternatively, you could also hike to the peak from Pak Kung Au. The Lantau Peak trail is one of the best hiking trails in Hong Kong, offering breathtaking views along the way.
The cable car ride, on the other hand, offers fantastic views of Tung Chong Bay, the airport, and Lantau Mountain. Once you reach the top, first spend some time exploring the Ngong Ping plateau. There are tons of little shops selling all kinds of cute souvenirs and even a few restaurants if you want to grab a bite to eat.
Afterward, it’s time to head over to Po Lin Monastery – a beautiful complex with several pavilions to explore. It’s a great place to take photos, or simply just take in the magnificent atmosphere. Further afield, head over to the Big Buddha. Here you’ll have to climb the iconic 268-step stairway to get a closeup view of this incredible 34m-tall statue.
Tips for visiting Lantau Island
You can buy cable car tickets at the Ngong Ping 360 Ticketing Offices at Tung Chung and Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminals and even at most 7-11’s in Hong Kong. But you should know that Ngong Ping is one of Hong Kong’s top attractions, so the queues are always long. To save time and maximize your time on the mountain, grabbing a cable car ticket online is highly recommended. If you aren’t comfortable navigating the city by yourself, this Lantau Island Cultural and Heritage Tour day tour is the best way to access the area without the headache.
Since Lantau Island is a major Buddhist center in Hong Kong, it is often packed with tourists, worshippers, and photographers. Therefore, it’s best to time your visit here.
How to get to Lantau Island
From Tung Chung MRT Station, take exit B. The Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal is a 5-minute walk from here.
Take a Harbor Cruise
No 2 days Hong Kong itinerary would be complete without taking an iconic Hong Kong harbor cruise. Since your time in Hong Kong is probably limited, choosing the right harbor cruise will ultimately depend on how much time you have and your budget. Luckily, there are several cruises to join, ranging in price and length. Here are my top suggestions.
Anyone who has ever done a quick photo search on Hong Kong is likely to have seen the iconic red junk boats sailing through the city’s harbor. If your Hong Kong budget isn’t too tight, this is one activity I highly recommend splurging on! There are several packages to choose from, but for the most reasonable prices, this AquaLuna evening sail package is the best and most affordable package in the city. Rides usually last for 45 minutes, and although it is pricey, consider it a once in a lifetime experience!
The Star Ferry is another excellent way to enjoy Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor views and a great way to get from Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
It’s also a huge tourist attraction in Hong Kong and for a good reason. For starters, the Star Ferry is exceptionally cheap. In fact, it’s even cheaper than taking the MTR from Hong Kong Central to Kowloon! Secondly, it’s a great way to see Hong Kong’s cityscape from a different vantage point and an incredibly relaxing journey. The star ferry departs from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, every 8 minutes and from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui, every 12 minutes.
If you do, however, want to spend a bit more time enjoying the epic harbor views, I highly recommend taking a Star Ferry Harbor Tour. The tour runs an hour-long circular route around Victoria Harbor, calling at Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wan Chai. Tickets are sold daily on first-come-first-served-basis right at the harbor, but if you’d like to skip the long lines, it’s always best to book Star Ferry Harbor Tour tickets online in advance.
Watch the Symphony of Lights
Every evening at 8 pm, Hong Kong’s impressive skyline lights up in a dazzling audiovisual show. Besides the brightly lit lights and lasers bouncing from one iconic building to the next, the most remarkable feature has to be that every sequence is meticulously timed to the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s music.
There are several excellent vantage points to watch the show. For the best viewing spots, however, head to the harbor front areas near Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui or Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.
Watching the Symphony of Lights is one of the most popular free things to do in Hong Kong. All the more reason not to miss it when spending 48 hours in Hong Kong.
Top Tips: Travelers looking for something a bit more unique may want to consider watching the Symphony of Lights from the water. Many of the cruises offer great tour packages with drinks and a meal on board during the show. Here’s my favorite Symphony of Lights Harbor Tour.
Go Shopping in Kowloon
Hong Kong is an excellent destination for shopping and renowned as a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion or bargain hunting, getting your fair share of retail therapy is super easy. Here are some of the best places to shop while spending 2 days in Hong Kong.
The Golden Mile
The Golden Mile, also better known as Nathan Road is the main thoroughfare of the Kowloon peninsula. It’s notorious for its neon lights, as well as being the best shopping area in Hong Kong. With tons of shops and restaurants, you can easily spend hours browsing, shopping, or simply watching the crowds. Plus, the Golden Mile has it all – from high-end couture and international brands to boutique stores and bustling markets teeming with people and options!
Temple Street Market
If you are looking for an authentic night out in Hong Kong, head to Hong Kong’s best and largest night market – Temple Street Market. Although Temple Street is filled to the brim with tourists today, it’s still one of the best places to experience the city’s bustling atmosphere.
Bargain your way through the stalls, where haggling is considered normal. Expect to find anything from teaware, clothes, bags, souvenirs, art, and selfie sticks here. When your stomach starts to rumble, take in the smells and tastes on offer from the open-air food stalls. Then visit a fortune-teller to discover your path in life or even listen to Cantonese opera singers for free. Most hawkers set up shop around 6 pm and start shutting down around 11 pm.
Another excellent shopping area in Kowloon is the Mong Kok Ladies Market. Although the market only covers 1km in length, there are more than 100 stalls to keep you busy. Despite its name, the market does sell other things apart from goods for the fairer sex. Moreover, it’s a great place to bargain hunt for toys, clothing, accessories, and souvenirs.
Similarly to the Temple Street Market, it’s one of the best places to practice your haggling skills in Hong Kong. Most hawkers set up shop around noon and start shutting down around 10 pm.
Other things to do in Hong Kong
If you have a bit more time in Hong Kong or prefer traveling at a slower pace, this Hong Kong 2 day itinerary can easily be extended. With 3 days in Hong Kong, there’s much more to see and do! From beautiful hikes and hitting the beach to visiting Macau’s most instagrammable spots and joining a cooking class.
Here are some alternatives and suggestions for a 3-4 day Hong Kong itinerary.
Take a Cooking Class
One of the quickest ways to really get to know the city is through your stomach! Hong Kong has a fantastic food culture and boasts plenty of ‘oh-so-delicious‘ dishes. While there are several excellent food tours to join, taking a cooking class is also highly encouraged. By doing so, you’ll be able to learn a new skill and bring the authentic flavors of Hong Kong home to share with friends and family.
Learn how to make the perfect set of Dim Sum or impress friends and family with amazing traditional Cantonese dishes. Here are two of my favorite cooking classes to join in Hong Kong – Dim Sum cooking class and Cantonese cooking class.
Relax at Stanley Bay
The laid-back seaside village of Stanley is the perfect place to explore when the bustling streets of Hong Kong get too much for you.
It’s an incredibly peaceful area, and if you’re looking to hang out at the beach, this is the best place to do just that in all of Hong Kong. Besides relaxing on the beach, you could also head over to one of the cute coffee shops, hipster bars, or restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
If you still happen to be in Stanley by sunset, make sure to head over to Stanley Market. It’s well-known as one of the best markets in Hong Kong to buy cheap trinkets, silk garments, souvenirs, and affordable clothes.
Take a Day Trip to Macau
While there’s plenty to do in Hong Kong, taking a quick side trip to Macau will be well worth your time. Besides being the ‘Las Vegas of Asia,’ Macau is exceptionally photogenic and has so much more to offer travelers besides its glitzy casinos. From historical sites, rich culture, and the best pasteis de nata in Asia – a day trip to Macau from Hong Kong will not disappoint.
Hiking in Hong Kong
Yet another, albeit a less touristy, activity to do in Hong Kong is hiking. There are several excellent trails on the outskirts of the city. While hiking Lion Rock is a firm favorite among locals and tourists alike, the Hong Kong Heritage trails in the North Territories also offer a unique experience. The hikes take you through old villages filled with rustic temples and beautiful city walls.
Visit Hong Kong Ocean Park
If you’re visiting Hong Kong with kids, spending some time at Hong Kong Ocean Park is highly encouraged. This huge theme-park is located on southern Hong Kong Island and features different animals, thrill rides, and shows. There’s also a cable car and ocean express funicular train connecting the park’s two-star attractions – the Waterfront and the Summit.
Make sure to grab your Ocean Park tickets online though, as the lines are often very long (especially on weekends).
Where to stay in Hong Kong for 2-3 days
As mentioned before, Hong Kong has countless accommodation options. Choosing where to stay in Hong Kong will ultimately depend on your travel needs, style, and budget. That said, to make the most of your 2 days in Hong Kong, it’s best to stay somewhere central. That way, you’ll have easy access to all of the city’s best bits. Here are my top suggestions on where to stay in Hong Kong in 2 days.
Mojo Nomad Central is an excellent budget option near some of the city’s best tourist spots. Both dorm-style and private rooms are available at affordable rates. There are also plenty of shops, bars and restaurants nearby.
Travelodge is an excellent mid-range option for travelers looking for something a bit more upscale at affordable rates. Located in Hong Kong Central, this budget-friendly hotel allows easy access to all of Hong Kong’s top attractions. There are many restaurants, coffee shops, and markets nearby, while the MTR station and Sheung Wan Pier are also just a short stroll away.
Travelers looking for a high-end stay may consider checking in at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel located in Tsim Sha Tsui. This luxurious 5-star hotel offers beautiful rooms, a dreamy indoor pool, and easy access to many of the city’s best museums.
That wraps up this Hong Kong 2 day itinerary. Have you visited Hong Kong yet? What tips do you have for fellow travelers planning to spend 2 days in Hong Kong? If I’ve missed any of your favorite things to do in Hong Kong, let me know in the comments below.
Need more help planning your Hong Kong itinerary? Read my Hong Kong travel tips to help you plan your trip while this guide on Instagrammable places in Hong Kong is a must-read for travelers looking to explore Hong Kong’s most dreamy Instagram gems. Make sure also to join my Facebook group, where you can ask questions about planning the perfect 2-day Hong Kong itinerary.
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