Hong Kong is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the southern coast of China. The city being a SAR (Special administrative region) has autonomy and the people are a mix of races. Hong Kong is best known as a shopper’s paradise and the “pearl of the orient” because of the city’s bright skyline, modern facilities and architecture.
What’s unique about Hong Kong’s culture is it’s a blend of traditional Chinese customs along with modern Western influences. The city is renowned for its diverse culinary scene, with a wide array of delicious dishes from traditional dim sum to international cuisines.
The city attracts millions of tourists every year who come to explore its attractions, such as Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbour, Disneyland, Ocean Park, and numerous shopping districts like Causeway Bay and Mong Kok. Cantonese and English are the official languages, and most people in Hong Kong are bilingual or multilingual, with English commonly used in business and government.
Discover the best of Hong Kong in just 4 days with this detailed Hong Kong Itinerary. From delicious street food to breathtaking views, get ready for an unforgettable adventure!
Planning a Trip to Hong Kong: Preparations
Planning a trip to Hong Kong can be an exciting experience! Here are some essential reparations to make before your journey:
Travel Documents: Ensure that you have a valid passport with at least six months’ validity from your intended departure date. Depending on your nationality, you may also need a visa to enter Hong Kong, so check the visa requirements well in advance.
Flight and Accommodation: Book your flights to Hong Kong and secure your accommodations. Hong Kong offers a wide range of hotels, hostels, and guesthouses to suit different budgets. Consider the location of your accommodations in relation to the places you want to visit.
Travel Insurance: It’s advisable to purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost baggage, and other unforeseen circumstances.
Currency Exchange: Hong Kong uses the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). Check the exchange rates and consider carrying a small amount of local currency with you. Hong Kong offers a lot of cashless online payment options like Paypal, Alipay and Wechat’s payment. To make your transactions more convenient and cashless, it is recommended to purchase an Octopus payment card in advance or at the airport.
This card can be used for various modes of transportation such as buses, taxis, and subways. Additionally, if you have a Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card, you can enjoy additional benefits and credit facilities, although there will be an extra cost of HK$1 per transaction. Having an Octopus card will ensure hassle-free transactions throughout your journey.
Language: While English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas, it’s helpful to learn some basic Cantonese phrases or download a translation app to ease communication. You can use apps like Koalssky’s offline translate, cantonese translator, Nemo cantonese.
Weather and Packing: Check the weather forecast for your travel dates and pack accordingly. Hong Kong has distinct seasons, so bring appropriate clothing, including rain gear if you’re visiting during the wet season.
Adapters and Power Plugs: Hong Kong uses a three-prong power plug with a voltage of 220V. If your devices use different plug types or voltages, bring suitable adapters and transformers.
Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions. Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city, but it’s essential to be respectful of local customs, especially when visiting temples or other cultural sites.
Health Precautions: Check if any vaccinations or health precautions are necessary for your trip to Hong Kong. Carry any essential medications and bring a basic first aid kit. Most Hongkong pharmacies are not open 24X7 and hence carry your daily medicines.
Research Attractions and Activities: Make a list of places you want to visit and activities you’d like to experience. Hong Kong offers a diverse range of attractions, from cultural landmarks to bustling street markets and picturesque hiking trails.
Public Transportation: Familiarize yourself with Hong Kong’s efficient public transportation system, including the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, and ferries. An Octopus Card is a convenient and cost-effective way to pay for public transport and some purchases.
Safety: Hong Kong is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it’s always good to exercise common sense and take basic safety precautions, such as keeping your belongings secure and being aware of your surroundings.
When is The Best Time to Visit Hong Kong?
Being a sub-tropical region, Hong Kong enjoys four main seasons that make the destination suitable to visit all-round the year. Each season offers different aspects of the city. Autumn (September to November) is generally considered the best time to visit Hong Kong.
The temperature is around 19 to 28 degrees Celsius and perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s landmarks. For those who like Winter the temperature in Hong Kong doesn’t go below 12 degrees. Hence, you can opt to visit the city in Winter and Spring. Try to avoid the Summer, as it’s hot, humid and not suitable for sightseeing and is often accompanied with rain.
4 Days in Hong Kong Itinerary
We’ll start the day with some colorful buildings which will brighten your day instantly. After breakfast, hop on one of the double-decker buses and head to the Choi Hung Estate Instagram sensation. We’ll start our journey here and then continue and visit some other interesting tourist attractions.
Hong Kong Day 1:
Choi Hung Estate:
This residential area, in the heart of Hong Kong is visited by hundreds of tourists every day. Everyone wants to have that Insta-perfect picture. My advice would be to arrive here as early as possible since the place tends to get crowded quickly.
Choi Hung Estate is situated on the top of a car park and is not exactly easy to find. If you’re having trouble finding it, make sure to ask a few locals. They would be more than happy to guide you. After arriving, make sure to respect a few simple rules:
- Don’t interrupt the basketball games.
- Don’t make too much noise, people live there.
Nan Lian Garden:
There are many beautiful gardens in many Asian countries, but none are as fascinating as the Nan Lian Garden in Hong Kong. Once you take the first step inside this garden, you’ll feel peaceful and relaxed. The garden was built during the Tang Dynasty and every tree, stone or pond is arranged according to the Tang style.
Although the Nan Lian Garden is not big, it’s perfect to take a walk and escape the chaos of Hong Kong. This oasis of tranquility also has a souvenir shop (the prices are a bit higher than in the rest of the city), a vegetarian restaurant and a Chinese tea house. I would definitely recommend you add this place to your 4-day Hong Kong itinerary. Another good part is that there is no entrance fee!
Chi Lin Nunnery:
Right across the street from the Nan Lian Garden is the Chi Lin Nunnery, built in 1934. This beautiful temple complex with incredible wooden details and carvings is situated in the Diamond Hill area. If you’re in the area, it would be a shame not to visit it.
The temple hosts some amazing statues made from gold, clay or wood, dedicated to Sakyamuni Buddha and Guanyin. The Chi Lin Nunnery also has a traditional Tang Dynasty architecture, but the most impressive thing is that no nails were used to build this temple. Chi Lin Nunnery holds the record for the biggest hand-made wooden building and is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Hong Kong.
Kowloon Walled City Park:
Even though there is a mini museum inside the park, I recommend watching this documentary before visiting. The Kowloon Walled City Park used to be the densest city in the world. Even though it was situated in the heart of Hong Kong, the Walled City was a place where crime and vice thrived. Even the local police were afraid to get inside this city.
Kowloon had a population of 50,000 residents, all living in an area of 2.6 hectares. In the early 90’s the government decided to entirely demolish the city and a few years later in the exact place where the city was built, a park was opened to the public. Nowadays, the park is a quiet place, where locals come to relax and where ex-residents of Kowloon Walled City come to remember the old days.
There is a small museum in the center of the park where you can see images and read the history of the Walled City.
Hau Wong Temple: Right near the park is the Hau Wong Temple. The temple was built in 1730 and even though it is quite small, this temple is really beautiful. Here you can find important artifacts and beautiful Chinese calligraphy.
Avenue of Stars:
Take the direct bus number 1 from the Hau Wong Temple and head straight to the famous Avenue of Stars. This waterfront promenade offers some of the best views towards Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. The idea behind the Avenue of Stars is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This walkway honors the most important celebrities from Hong Kong’s film industry.
If you want some awesome pictures with the Hong Kong skyline, this is the place to be! It is also a popular spot to watch the daily light show called the Symphony of Lights but for that I have an even better idea.
Mong Kok District:
From the Avenue of stars take the double-decker or the subway to Mong Kok, the busiest district in Hong Kong. In Cantonese, “Mong Kong” means “crowded corner” so get ready for a bit of chaos. With countless shopping malls and convenience stores this place is heaven for shopping addicts.
Also, here you can find many street food stalls. If you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend you try the local street food. You will find local dishes such as fish tofu and stinky balls and also international dishes such as pizza.
Temple Street Night Market:
After escaping the crowded Mong Kok, take the bus to the famous Temple Street Night Market. Now it’s time to buy souvenirs for the loved ones back home. Here you will find magnets, clothes, accessories, electronics and pretty much anything you can think of! The prices are decent but don’t forget to bargain!
You can easily save up a few bucks! As soon as the sun sets, the Temple Street Market opens and welcomes its visitors. Both tourists and locals shop here and it’s a really nice place to feel the vibe of the city. To get an awesome shot from above the market, head to the parking lot, where the market ends and get your camera ready to catch some colorful photos!
Hong Kong Day 2:
Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car:
Take the subway to Lantau Island and head straight to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. The 20-minute ride will take you through Hong Kong’s most beautiful scenery. If the sights are not enough for you, you can take the Crystal Cabin (it costs a bit more) which has a transparent glass floor. The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is a tourist attraction itself and one of the coolest things to do in Hong Kong.
Tian Tan Big Buddha:
Our next stop is the Tian Tan Big Buddha, situated right next to the cable car. This bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni impresses through its size and beauty. As you walk towards the statue, you’ll find six smaller bronze statues, known as “The Offering of the Six Devas”.
To get to the Big Buddha, you will have to climb no more and no less than 268 steps. I recommend wearing some comfortable shoes. While you’re in the area, I also recommend visiting the Po Lin Monastery. It’s a really nice way to experience first-hand Hong Kong’s culture.
After being featured in the Transformers – Age of Extinction movie, the Monster Building, as it’s called by locals, has become an internet sensation. To get that perfect picture surrounded by the apartment buildings from the Montane Mansion, you’ll have to queue for a while.
The Monster Building has two courtyards where you can take photos. If the first one is too crowded, try the second one. Apart from photography enthusiasts, here you will also meet many local people who seem to not even notice the tourists searching for the best photo angle. You’ll see them playing Mahjong and drinking tea.
Victoria Peak Tram:
After experiencing first-hand how locals live in Hong Kong, it’s time to head to the Victoria Peak Tram and enjoy one of the most scenic rides in the city. On your way to the top, you will pass by tall skyscrapers, dense forest and beautiful private villas.
Victoria Peak Viewpoint:
Victoria Peak Viewpoint: Once you get off the Victoria Peak Tram, head to one of the free viewing platforms. If you want, you can also go to the Sky Terrace 428 although I honestly don’t recommend it. While the view from Victoria Peak is beautiful, it’s definitely not the best one. Walk for a few minutes and you will get to a hidden gem, with a wider view and less tourists.
Lugard Road Viewpoint:
Lugard Road Viewpoint: Lugard Road is not actually a road but a path through the forest. From the Victoria Peak follow the path for about 15 minutes and you will get to this incredible viewpoint. Well hidden from tourists and with no entrance fee, this was my favorite place to watch the sunset in Hong Kong.
Take your time to watch how one by one, the skyscrapers light up. Slowly, the sunlight is replaced by neon lights and the night takes over the city. It is a truly wonderful sight. Don’t forget your camera home as you will definitely want to capture these moments.
Ride in the Star Ferry:
Head back to the Victoria Peak Tram, get back down and head to the Central Pier No. 7 (Star Ferry Pier) and catch the 8pm ferry (from the Victoria Peak Tram there is a direct bus to the pier). If you catch this exact ferry, you will be one of the few lucky ones who will get to experience the Symphony of Lights from a ferry.
Make sure to sit near a window and enjoy the show! The Symphony of Lights is a daily multimedia show where the buildings in the Victoria Harbour light up on the sound of music. At the end of the show, be prepared to admire the fireworks!
Hong Kong Day 3: Day Trip to Macau:
Take the ferry to Macau and explore another spectacular city. Day trips from Hong Kong to Macau are really popular since the ferries run every 15 minutes. Make sure to bring your passport with you! Most travelers don’t require a visa to enter Macau, but you can check out more about visa requirements here.
To explore the city, I recommend taking the hop on and hop off bus straight from the ferry terminal in Macau. The bus has 16 stops and it covers all the important tourist attractions in the city. Some of the attractions you can’t miss are: Macau Tower, A-ma Temple and of course, the famous casinos.
Hong Kong Day 4: Day Trip to Hongkong Disneyland:
Disneyland Hong Kong is one of the most visited theme parks in Asia and you should definitely visit it if you’re looking for some fun. Make sure to avoid holidays and the weekend since the park gets extremely crowded and you don’t want to spend hours queuing for rides.
To skip the lines, you can use the free fast passes. Near each important ride there is a ticketing machine that will issue a ticket with a “return time”. Make sure to be back at the time indicated on your ticket and enjoy a shorter queue! Some of the most popular attractions are Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, Iron Man Experience, Mystic Manor and Tarzan’s Treehouse.
Hong Kong 4-Day Itinerary – Tips & Tricks
If you have 4 days in Hong Kong there’s a couple of useful tips, I can share to help you make the most of your visit. Cram the nearby attractions in central Hong Kong like Peak Tower, Hong Kong Park, Zoo in one day to save time and make the most out of it.
Walk as Much as You Can: Hong Kong is a really beautiful city and there is no better way to experience it than by walking. You will find fascinating hidden alleys and you will have more time to admire the tall, crowded buildings around you.
Use Public Transport: The public transport in Hong Kong is awesome! The buses and the subway are really reliable, affordable and fast. Yes, taxis might be more comfortable but trust me, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic in Hong Kong. Tip: When using the double-decker buses, head to the upper floor and sit in the front row. You will have the best view!
Try the Local Food: Stop at small, local restaurants to grab something to eat or try the street food. The food in Hong Kong might be a bit weird, especially for Westerners but it’s definitely worth a try!
Wear Comfortable Clothing: Throughout the year, Hong Kong’s weather is pleasant and on the hotter side. Hence, pack comfortable clothing and shoes for staying cool throughout the day. If you choose to visit the city’s attraction by public transport, wear comfortable shoes for walking and wear shades and always carry sunscreen for reapplication.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is known to be a crowded city. Therefore, the bigger the hotel room is, the more you’re going to pay. There are accommodation options for each budget. You’ll definitely find something suitable for your needs! If you feel like splurging, I recommend the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
This hotel has some dreamy views and an incredible pool. Also, the rooms are incredibly spacious and very comfortable. The Grand Hyatt has all the amenities of a luxury hotel. If you’re on a budget, I recommend the City Oasis Guesthouse. Situated in a beautiful area on Lantau Island, this place is perfect to relax after a day full of sightseeing.
What to Eat in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is a palace for foodies! Numerous kinds of food can be found, from local Cantonese cuisine, street snacks, to world famous Michelin star restaurants, to diverse types of international dishes. You will never worry about what to eat in Hong Kong but may be wonder which one(s) to choose for this time.
To try some local flavors of the cafes, like the Hong Kong-style milk tea, pineapple bun with butter, etc. which are good for a first try. Also, dim sum is not to be missed. Over 1,000 different types of exquisite dim sum, including shrimp dumpling, Sui Mai, etc. are easy to find and will surely tempt you.
Remember to try the egg puffs from the street stalls, which are delicious and interesting. Dundas Street at Mong Kok is really famous for its local street snacks. To try more Hong Kong local food, you can go for the roasted goose, roasted pork, Wonton Noodles, Char Sui, egg tarts, etc. It is really highly recommended to try seafood there as they are really fresh and flavorful. Among all these dishes, Hong Kong style stir-fried crab is a must-order one.
Furthermore, as Hong Kong is an inclusive international city, you can find many dishes from other countries, like French cuisine, Italian cuisine, American cuisine, Indian cuisine, Thai cuisine, Japanese food, etc. Of course, other regional cuisines of China can also be found, like hot pot, Sichuan food, Hunan food, Shanghai food, etc. Prepare your stomach and make all the gourmets to please your taste bud to the utmost!
Budget for Hong Kong 4-Day Itinerary
For 4 days/5 night’s stay at a comfortable 4-star property along with flights, meals, sightseeing and miscellaneous, the budget would be.
Flights (Economy): It costs around $ 400 for a round trip per person from the USA. The cost can vary for other countries and for one-stop flights.
Accommodation (4 Stars): You can expect to spend $ 145 including taxes per person for a 3-star hotel. Hong Kong does have various accommodation types. The rates will vary depending on the locality. You can find air bnb as well as hostels for as cheap as $50 per night.
Transportation (Through MTR/ Public Buses/Cabs): You can expect to spend around HK$ 25 to $30 for each day in public transport. If you use cabs the cost may go higher.
Meals (Lunch and Dinner): $ 121.43 for the meals per person for two to three times meals each day.
Sightseeing: $ 200 per person for entry tickets and rides for the whole trip.
Miscellaneous Shopping: $ 300 per person
In conclusion, a four-day itinerary in Hong Kong offers an unforgettable journey through a city that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. From the bustling streets of Central to the enchanting magic of Hong Kong Disneyland, the tranquility of Lantau Island’s Big Buddha, and the vibrant neighborhoods of MongKok and Causeway Bay, each day presents a unique and enriching experience.
Though limited in time, this itinerary provides a taste of Hong Kong’s diverse culture, history, and culinary delights. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Hong Kong has something to offer. As you bid farewell, carry with you the spirit of this dynamic city and the memories of its captivating charm. Until we meet again, safe travels and may your next adventure be just as thrilling!