Last updated on April 10th, 2023 at 10:15 am
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There is always so much to do in HK but when you only have 24 hours in Hong Kong, time is tight.
You’ll have to make the most out of your time and this blog post will cover in detail where to go and what to do during your limited time here.
Here’s a detailed itinerary to cover the best parts of Hong Kong in 24 hours.
Breakfast – Hong Kong Cafe (8:30 – 9:30 am)
For breakfast, go to an HK café which we call cha chaan teng. They are sprinkled everywhere around the city and are an essential part of Hong Kong local culture.
Typical menu options include scrambled egg sandwiches, congee, toast, macaroni, and all kinds of soup noodles.
In the mornings, you’ll see a lot of older people sitting around, reading newspapers, and socializing with one another.
You might even have to share a table with strangers. Visitors might think it’s weird to share a table with other customers especially if you guys didn’t come together. But when the restaurant is swamped with people and there isn’t much space, restaurants have to be smart with the space they do have.
Also, I’m being generous with the time here. In Hong Kong, eating super quickly is not unheard of. People can finish a meal within 15-20 minutes. Yes, they’re that fast!
It’s possible too because unless the restaurant is super busy, the food will come out quickly. They want you to leave quickly so they can get other customers in.
But it’s also a holiday so I kept breakfast for a full hour so you can enjoy the first activity at a leisure pace since the next 24 hours in Hong Kong will keep you very busy.
Victoria Peak (9:30 am – 12:30 pm)
When it comes to instagrammable places in HK, Victoria Peak is a must on the list.
Victoria Peak is the highest point in Hong Kong where you can see it all. It’s the picture that is plastered everywhere when it comes to representing this Chinese city.
There are a few ways to get up to the peak but I personally recommend taking the peak tram. They make great photo opportunities as you’re riding the train. This half an hour ride provides many opportunities to take shots of the scenic view.
It’s a beautiful sight.
For even better pictures, you can consider buying tickets to go to Sky Terrace 428. It’s a platform with an unobstructed view of the city. You do have to pay extra though. For most people, taking the peak tram and walking around the peak for photos is good enough.
Once you reach up the peak, you will arrive at the Peak market. These stores are very bright and colourful. They also have a ton of souvenirs to choose from. It’s perfect for tourists who want to buy something here to remember their time at the Peak.
A few steps ahead is Madame Tussauds, the worldwide wax museum.
By far, my favourite shop at The Peak is this huge candy store called Candylicious inside the mall, Peak Galleria. No matter how old you are, it’s always fun visiting a candy store and picking your favourite treats.
There are several restaurants around here. Most of these restaurants are also available in the city center but there is one notable restaurant called The Peak Lookout. It is a fancy fusion restaurant that has been around for decades and leans toward more on the expensive side. You can try walking in but there’s always a lineup waiting for a table. If this is a place you want to eat at, it’s best to reserve a spot in advance.
The Peak also has a walking trail that goes on for several kilometers if you prefer nature.
Although the Peak is most known for the view of Hong Kong, there are actually more things to do here than you would think.
The morning will surely pass by very quickly.
Lunch – Dim Sum (1 pm – 2 pm)
As you take the peak tram back to Central, you’re probably starving by now (unless you bought some treats with you from The Peak that can last you a little while longer).
For lunch, go to a dim sum restaurant on the Hong Kong Island side. You’re there already and you can take a tram or what some locals would call it, a ding ding. It’s a unique transportation experience and is only available on the HK district side.
If you planned ahead, you might have had a restaurant booked already for this meal. All the good ones have tables that get snatched up really quickly. It can take literally weeks to get a table at one of the hottest restaurants.
However, all is not lost if you didn’t book a place. Dim Sum is pretty much the representative food of Hong Kong. It’s so iconic that wherever you go, there’s pretty much a place nearby that will serve dim sum.
Central might not be the best place to eat dim sum because it’s the financial district. It’s where all the fancy restaurants are like Summer Palace, Agehan, and SHE. If you’re travelling on a budget, this area will probably not be for you.
Causeway Bay and Wan Chai Area are good places to go because they are bustling areas with a ton of dining and shopping options.
Some Hong Kongers will prefer eating dim sum for breakfast but I prefer lunchtime.
Let me tell you why.
For quite a few restaurants, some of their dim sum menu items aren’t available until after 11 am. There are just more options at a later time.
One of those things they don’t serve until late morning is siu mei. Siu mei are things like BBQ pork, soy sauce chicken, roasted duck, roasted goose, and roasted pork.
Siu mei is another representative food of Hong Kong. Those who do not have adventurous taste buds should stick with BBQ pork and soy sauce chicken. You can’t go wrong with this combo.
Dim sum is more of a daytime meal so don’t go looking for dim sum for dinner.
It’s not absolutely impossible to eat dim sum dishes like har gow or cheung fun at night but most restaurants only serve selective dim sum dishes for dinner. You won’t be able to get the full experience or have as many options during that time.
Tsim Sha Tsui (2pm-4pm)
After lunch, it’s time to get some exercise in.
Take the ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
One of the best things about Hong Kong is the plethora of transportation options. I absolutely love it!
Tsim Sha Tsui is the place to go to because there are so many tourist attractions to keep you busy.
In this area, there are museums like the Hong Kong Palace Museum, Cup Noodle Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, HK Museum of Art, HK Science Museum, etc.
As you can tell, there are MANY museums in this district. Museum-lovers will love it here because they’re also all near each other.
Those who aren’t into museums are still okay because there’s more to do around here like SHOPPING!
You won’t be disappointed with the fashion store options in Tsim Sha Tsui. They have everything from international designers to local designers.
Visit one of the dozen malls like Harbour City, K11 Art Mall, K11 Musea, The One, and iSquare.
A few hours might not be enough to thoroughly explore Tsim Sha Tsui but when you only have 24 hours in Hong Kong, you got to speed things up a little.
Isn’t all that walking making you hungry?
Grab some local street food like egg waffles, curry fishballs, or fish siu mai.
Or grab some baked goods at one of the best bakeries in Hong Kong. The best part is, there are some wonderful bakeries in the Tsim Sha Tsui area so you don’t have to go out of your way to get some fresh pastries.
I highly recommend Gontran Cherrier (their almond croissants are the bomb), Dominique Ansel (pretty much everything), and Bakehouse (their egg tarts).
Mong Kok (4pm-6:30pm)
You’ve now taken the tram and ferry so far. The next transportation option is something not as exciting but locals love it because it makes their lives so much more convenient – the subway, which we call the MTR here.
From Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok, you take the Tsuen Wan Line (the red one) and it’s only 3 stops. There’s no need to switch lines so it’s fast and easy.
People tend to come to Mong Kok during the late afternoon or evenings because this is when the place is alive. Most stores do not open until after around 1 or 2 pm.
Here is where you’ll find all sorts of goodies.
From electronics to secondhand luxury goods to sneakers to cute gifts to flowers, this affordable shopping district has it all.
Visit Ladies Street for local souvenirs to bring home to loved ones.
The only thing about this district is that it gets quite crowded. Coming here on a weekend especially, well, be mentally prepared to see a LOT of people. You might be amazed…or annoyed.
Dinner (7 pm-8 pm)
This fact might not be as well-known but did you know Hong Kong serves some really great seafood?
Near Mong Kok is Temple Street Night Market.
Your feet are probably hurting by now so it’s nice to know you don’t have to walk too far to get to your next destination.
Over here, you can get your fortune told (it’s fun even if you don’t believe in that kind of stuff) and enjoy some fresh seafood at a dai pai dong, an open-air food stall.
If seafood isn’t your thing, try some iconic HK noodles dishes like fish ball soup noodles, wonton soup noodles, or beef brisket noodles.
Lan Kwai Fong (9pm-11pm)
If you think your trip ends after dinner time, think again.
Hong Kong is a city that never sleeps.
It’s vibrant even at night, especially Lan Kwai Fong.
Lan Kwai Fong is an area within Central where it’s mostly bars. People who come here are mostly younger people or expats. When you come here on a weekend night, that’s when it’s most alive.
Spend the rest of your night relaxing at a bar after a hectic day before taking a cab back to your hotel.
Final Thoughts – 24 Hours in Hong Kong
As someone who has spent a good chunk of her life living in Hong Kong, this is the ideal schedule for anyone who has 24 hours in Hong Kong.
This itinerary covered shopping, eating, and sightseeing in the most popular parts of the city.
You’ll definitely want to return to Hong Kong for a longer trip the next time after a day here because 24 hours in Hong Kong is simply not enough.
This little taste of the city will leave you longing for more. Hopefully, you’ll have more days to spend here the next time and thoroughly explore the city. For now, this will have to do.
Now to You – 24 Hours in Hong Kong
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