Hey there travel enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will cover 10 ways to spend one day in Hong Kong. Now, we all know the joys that travel can bring, from visiting far off places, experiencing different cultures and of course, all the new foods. But there is also a downside, – that dreaded day to ‘waste’ in a city whilst waiting for a midnight flight.
So if you are like me (as I live in Australia, all outgoing flights seems to leave late at night), there has been many a day where you need to find something to do that is enjoyable, but doesn’t take too much time – or cost too much money. So if you have a long layover or a day to kill in Hong Kong, here are 10 things you can do to pass the time in an enjoyable way.
Let’s check them out…
How To Spend One Day In Hong Kong
Hong Kong, a vibrant metropolis situated on the southeastern coast of China, is a mesmerizing blend of East meets West where glass skyscrapers and centuries-old temples stand side by side. A former British colony, it boasts a unique heritage that combines Cantonese traditions with colonial influences, reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and culture.
With its iconic skyline, bustling harbor, verdant mountains and myriad of markets and luxury boutiques, Hong Kong is an exciting tapestry of experiences offering a captivating journey for both the avid traveler and the curious explorer.
Let’s then check out 10 unforgettable ways to spend one day in Hong Kong.
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1. Start with a Hearty Breakfast
Your one day in Hong Kong is going to be packed with activities, so it’s important to start your day off right with a delicious breakfast. Hong Kong is famous for its food scene and breakfast is no exception. Here are two options for starting your day with a satisfying meal.
Dim Sum Delight
If you’re looking for an authentic Hong Kong breakfast experience, you can’t go wrong with dim sum. Dim sum is a style of Cantonese cuisine that involves small, bite-sized portions of food served in steamer baskets or on small plates. It’s typically eaten for breakfast or lunch and it’s a great way to sample a variety of dishes.
Some popular dim sum dishes include har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), char siu bao (barbecue pork buns) and cheong fun (rice noodle rolls). You can find dim sum restaurants all over Hong Kong, but some popular options include Tim Ho Wan, Maxim’s Palace and Lin Heung Tea House.
If you’re not in the mood for dim sum, there are plenty of Western-style breakfast options in Hong Kong as well. Many hotels and cafes offer breakfast sets that include eggs, bacon, toast and coffee or tea.
One popular cafe for Western-style breakfast is Classified, which has several locations throughout Hong Kong. They offer a variety of breakfast options including eggs Benedict, pancakes and avocado toast. Another option is The Flying Pan, which is known for its all-day breakfast menu. They offer everything from omelettes to French toast to breakfast burritos.
2. Explore Local Markets
If you want to experience the local culture and find some unique souvenirs, exploring the markets in Hong Kong is a must-do activity. Here are two of the most popular markets you can visit during your one day in Hong Kong:
Located in Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Ladies’ Market is a vibrant and bustling street market that sells a variety of products including clothes, accessories and souvenirs. The market is open from noon until late at night so you can visit it at any time during your one day in Hong Kong.
Make sure to bargain for the best price and don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t get a good deal. You can also find some delicious street food in the area so take a break and try some local snacks as well.
Temple Street Night Market
If you’re looking for a more authentic local experience, head to Temple Street Night Market in Yau Ma Tei. The market is open from 5 pm to midnight and it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture.
You can find a wide range of products from antiques and electronics to clothes and accessories. The market is also known for its street performers and fortune tellers, so take some time to enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Remember to be respectful to the vendors and avoid touching or taking pictures of their products without permission. Keep your belongings close and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.
3. Visit Cultural Centers
If you’re interested in exploring the cultural side of Hong Kong, there are several museums and attractions that showcase the rich history and heritage of the region. Here are two must-visit cultural attractions that you can explore in one day.
Hong Kong Museum of History
The Hong Kong Museum of History is a fascinating place to visit if you want to learn more about the history of Hong Kong. The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that cover everything from prehistoric times to the present day. You’ll get to see artifacts, photographs and multimedia displays that bring the history of the region to life.
One of the highlights of the museum is the exhibition on the Opium Wars, which provides an in-depth look at this important period in Hong Kong’s history. Other exhibits cover topics such as the development of the city, the lifestyle of the early settlers and the culture of the indigenous people.
Tian Tan Buddha
The Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a must-visit attraction when you’re in Hong Kong. Located on Lantau Island, this impressive statue is the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world standing at 34 meters tall.
To get to the statue, you’ll need to take a cable car ride from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping Village. From there, it’s a short walk to the base of the statue. You can climb the 268 steps to the top of the platform to get a closer look at the statue and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area.
The statue is an important religious symbol for Buddhists, so it’s important to dress appropriately and be respectful when visiting. There are also several other attractions in the area, including a monastery and a cultural village that you can explore if you have time as well .
4. Try Some Outdoor Activities
If you’re looking to spend a day in Hong Kong, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy. Here are a couple of options to consider:
Dragon’s Back Hike
The Dragon’s Back hike is a must-do for any outdoor enthusiast visiting Hong Kong. This scenic hike takes you along the ridge of a mountain offering stunning views of the coastline and surrounding islands. The trail is well-marked and not too difficult, making it suitable for hikers of all levels.
Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes as the hike can take a few hours. You can also bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the summit, where you’ll find a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the ocean.
Star Ferry Ride
For a more relaxed outdoor activity, take a ride on the iconic Star Ferry. This ferry has been operating since 1888 and offers stunning views of Hong Kong’s skyline from the water.
The ferry runs between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, making it a convenient way to see both sides of the harbor and you can take the ferry during the day or at night to see the city lights. The ride is affordable and takes less than 10 minutes each way.
5. Lunch at Street Food Stalls
Hong Kong is famous for its street food stalls offering a wide variety of delicious and affordable dishes. For a unique and authentic dining experience, head to one of the many street food markets and enjoy a lunch filled with local flavors. These include:
One of the most popular street foods in Hong Kong is roast goose. This succulent and flavorful dish is a must-try for any foodie. The crispy skin and tender meat are the perfect combination and you can find it at many street food stalls around the city.
Some of the best places to try roast goose include Yat Lok Restaurant in Central and Kam’s Roast Goose in Wan Chai. These stalls are famous for their delicious roast goose and have been serving customers for decades.
Another popular street food in Hong Kong is curry fishballs. These small and spicy snacks are made from fish paste and are usually served on skewers. They are a staple of Hong Kong street food and can be found at almost every street food market in the city.
For the best curry fishballs, head to the Temple Street Night Market in Yau Ma Tei. This bustling market is filled with food stalls and vendors selling all kinds of goods. You can find some of the best curry fishballs in Hong Kong here along with other delicious street food options as well.
6. Go on a Shopping Spree
If you have only one day in Hong Kong, you must not miss the opportunity to go on a shopping spree. Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise and has something for everyone from high-end designer stores to street markets selling affordable souvenirs. Two of the best shopping options include:
Causeway Bay is one of the best places to shop in Hong Kong and is home to many malls and department stores including Times Square, Hysan Place and Lee Gardens. These malls offer a wide range of products from clothing to electronics to cosmetics. You can also find luxury brands like Chanel and Gucci in Causeway Bay.
If you are looking for something more affordable, Causeway Bay is also home to street markets like Jardine’s Crescent and the Ladies’ Market. These markets sell everything from clothing to souvenirs to electronics at reasonable prices.
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui is another popular shopping destination in Hong Kong and is home to many luxury malls like Harbour City, which has over 450 shops including high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada.
If you are looking for something more unique, Tsim Sha Tsui also has many small boutiques and shops selling handmade items and souvenirs. You can also visit the Temple Street Night Market, which is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike that sells everything from clothing to antiques, and you can even find fortune tellers and street performers here.
7. Relax in a Park
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, spending some time in one of the city’s many parks is a great option. Here are two parks to consider:
Located in the heart of Causeway Bay, Victoria Park is Hong Kong’s largest park and it’s a great place to relax, exercise or just take a stroll. The park features a variety of amenities, including:
- Running track
- Tennis courts
- Football pitches
- Basketball courts
- Children’s playground
- Fitness stations
Victoria Park is also home to a number of events throughout the year, including the Lunar New Year Fair and the Hong Kong Flower Show.
If you’re on the Kowloon side of the harbor, Kowloon Park is a great option as well. This large park features a range of facilities, including:
- Swimming pool
- Fitness center
- Sports ground
- Maze garden
- Bird lake
- Children’s playground
Kowloon Park is also home to the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center which features exhibits on the city’s history and culture.
8. Take a Ride on the Star Ferry
We touched on this above however it is well worth its own section as to be honest, few experiences capture the essence of Hong Kong quite like a ride on the iconic Star Ferry. Steeped in over a century of history, this charming vessel offers passengers unparalleled views of one of the world’s most celebrated skylines, connecting the pulsating heart of Hong Kong Island with the bustling streets of Kowloon.
As the cityscape unfolds with each journey, the gentle sea breeze and rhythmic hum of the boat remind visitors of the city’s enduring connection to the sea. Whether you’re catching a glimpse of the awe-inspiring Symphony of Lights show at dusk or simply soaking in the early morning serenity, a trip on the Star Ferry remains an unmissable highlight for every Hong Kong itinerary.
9. Eat Dinner with a View
If you’re looking for a memorable dining experience in Hong Kong, why not try a restaurant with a stunning view? Here are two options that are sure to impress:
Victoria Harbour is one of the most iconic spots in Hong Kong and there are plenty of restaurants that offer views of the stunning skyline. One popular option is Aqua, which is located in Tsim Sha Tsui and offers panoramic views of the harbour. The restaurant serves contemporary Italian cuisine and there’s also a rooftop bar where you can enjoy a drink after dinner.
Another great option is Hutong, which is located in Central. The restaurant serves Northern Chinese cuisine and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of the harbour. Be sure to try the signature dish, Red Lantern crispy soft-shell crab.
For an even more dramatic view, head to The Peak. This is the highest point on Hong Kong Island and there are several restaurants that offer views of the city below. One popular option is The Peak Lookout, which is located in a historic building and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu features a mix of Western and Asian dishes and there’s also a bar where you can enjoy a cocktail.
Another option is Sky 100, which is located on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon. The restaurant offers 360-degree views of the city and the menu features a mix of international and Asian cuisine. Be sure to make a reservation in advance however as this is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
10. Hit up the Nightlife
When the sun goes down, Hong Kong comes alive with a vibrant nightlife that offers something for everyone. Here are two of the best places to experience the city’s nightlife:
Lan Kwai Fong
Lan Kwai Fong is a bustling nightlife district located in Central Hong Kong. This area is known for its lively atmosphere, diverse range of bars and excellent restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet drink or a wild night out, Lan Kwai Fong has something for you.
Some of the popular bars in Lan Kwai Fong include:
- The Iron Fairies: a whimsical bar with a steampunk-inspired interior.
- Bao Bei: a speakeasy-style bar with a focus on craft cocktails.
- Tazmania Ballroom: a trendy bar with a retro-inspired decor.
Located on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Kowloon, Ozone Bar is the highest rooftop bar in the world offering stunning views of Hong Kong’s skyline and a sophisticated atmosphere.
Some of the highlights of Ozone Bar include:
- Signature cocktails: Ozone Bar offers a range of signature cocktails that are inspired by the flavors of Asia.
- Live music: on select nights, Ozone Bar features live music performances by local and international artists.
- Outdoor terrace: the outdoor terrace at Ozone Bar offers breathtaking views of Hong Kong’s skyline and is the perfect place to enjoy a drink on a warm evening.
There you have it; 10 things you can try if you find yourself in Hong Kong with a day to kill. As usual, please let me know of your experiences here or if there is anything you think I should add to the list.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.