Last updated on February 18th, 2024 at 07:28 am
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Those who want to explore Hong Kong in 3 days should follow this perfect tailor-made itinerary to see all the main sights.
72 hours is a decent amount of time to see what the city has to offer without being super rushed.
Hong Kong is split into three different sections – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and New Territories. Instead of zigzagging across the city, which is exhausting, I have split the itinerary so you can have one day in each section.
Without further ado, here is a breakdown of the perfect 3-day itinerary.
Let’s get started!
Hong Kong in 3 Days – Day One in Kowloon
1st day – Early Morning
Wong Tai Sin Temple
This is the perfect start to your first day in Hong Kong because the temple opens early in the morning. Early risers will have something to do instead of feeling like they’re missing out during their time here.
The area in Wong Tai Sin temple is quite large. Take a walk around and take in the beautiful temple. It’s a traditional Chinese temple with several attractions.
The main attraction is where you’ll see hordes of people praying for all kinds of reasons like career, health, love, and finances.
People are lighting up incense left and right. There’s the traditional kneeling and present offerings to the Gods but there is also something called kau chim.
This type of fortune telling is where you kneel and shake the container with sticks asking God your question. The first stick that comes out is your answer. Remember your number and scan the QR code to see what the answer is.
You can pay a little extra and go to a fortune teller booth. There are dozens of them lined up where they will explain to you your answer in detail. These fortune tellers also provide other services such as palm reading, face reading, and birthday reading.
Wong Tai Sin – Temple Mall
Within a few minutes of walking distance of the temple, there is a shopping centre called Temple Mall. They are split into two different types – Temple Mall North and Temple Mall South. The stores inside the mall don’t open as early but you might be able to find a few bakeries open if you’re in a rush to grab something for breakfast.
1st day – Late Morning
A few subway stops away from Wong Tai Sin is Choi Hung. Here is where you will find Choi Hung Estate, Chi Lun Nunnery, and Nan Lian Garden. These three spots are all a must-visit if you want to take pretty Instagram pictures of Hong Kong.
The area is on top of a parking lot so you have to climb up the stairs to get there. Ask locals nearby because they will for sure know. Too many people come here for pictures. Also, the area gets quite crowded because there are basketball courts in front of the Rainbow estate. You’re going to have to be strategic when it comes to taking pictures if you want humans out of the way. It’s a quick stop because there’s not much to see other than some photos.
People actually live at Choi Hung Estate so those who are visiting should respect the residents living there.
You’ll spend more time at Chi Lun Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. They are next to each other so you kill two birds with one stone.
This morning could have been quite rushed so strolling around Nan Lian Garden will be more relaxing. Of course, it depends on the month you’re visiting. In the summer months, you might not be as eager to spend a lot of time in the garden since it will be too warm (the heat is unfortunately one of the downsides of being in HK).
It can seem too much since that’s two temples in one morning but the vibe at Chi Lun Nunnery is completely different. Wong Tai Sin is busier and there’s a lot of red and gold everywhere. Chi Lun Nunnery has darker colours since it’s a wooden building. It’s also not as big but it’s easy to focus since it’s super close to Nan Lian Garden.
1st day – Lunch
One of the best foods to eat in Hong Kong is dim sum. It’s a classic and you can find dim sum restaurants all around the city. Even if there are so many of them, they’re always busy on the weekends. It’s a ritual with many families to go for yum cha on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Depending on which restaurant you go to, they will also serve signature HK dishes like barbeque meats, wonton noodles, and egg tarts. That’s multiple classic HK foods you can eat on your first day.
1st Day – Afternoon
There are several malls around the area. If there are only 2 you can visit, go to K11 Musea for their modern architecture.
The other one is Harbour City. It’s the largest mall in Hong Kong with hundreds of shops.
There’s even a Cheesecake Factory and an Apple Store there. You know that the mall is a prime location when both these companies have a store there.
As you’re walking from K11 Musea to Harbour, walk along the promenade. It’s a gorgeous water view of Hong Kong.
This pathway is where the Avenue of Stars is. It’s inspired by Hollywood’s Walk of Fame where you’ll see iconic celebrities. If you are familiar with the Chinese entertainment industry, there are definitely at least a few you’ll recognize along the way.
Tsim Sha Tsui also has multiple museums to choose from. Here are all the options:
- Hong Kong Space Museum
- Hong Kong Palace Museum
- Hong Kong History Museum
- Hong Kong Museum of Art
- Hong Kong Science Museum
- Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Museum (inside Kowloon Park)
- Nissan Cup Noodle Museum
You can spend a whole day there and still have plenty of things to keep you busy.
1st Day – Late Afternoon
Next up is Mong Kok.
The best time to go to Mong Kok is during late afternoon. The stores here open later (around 1:30 p.m.) because they close later than regular stores.
Here, there are all kinds of things to buy like…
- Korean Clothes
- Hong Kong Souvenirs
- Korean skincare and makeup
- Street Food
If there’s one thing to hit in Mong Kok, it’s Ladies’ Market. It’s arguably the most well-known market in Hong Kong. This is an outdoor market where sellers sell miscellaneous goods. You can even try your hand at bargaining but a lot of stalls now aren’t willing to budge as much as before.
1st Day – Dinner
Temple Street Night Market is a place where it comes alive at night. It’s extremely close to Mong Kok. You can take public transportation or even walk. (The closest MTR (what we call subway here) station to Temple Street is Jordan station. Take Exit A to see the huge entrance to Temple Street.)
It’s similar to Ladies’ Market since vendors are selling all sorts of miscellaneous goods. The difference is that Temple Street is more catered towards males.
These are dai pai dongs, which are essentially outside stalls to serve food. These places aren’t fancy. Some might even think it’s too dirty but it’s very Hong Kong.
Normally, people go to New Territories for live and fresh seafood but depending on your journey, it might be a bit out of the way. You have to try the seafood in Hong Kong. It isn’t talked about enough but it’s fantastic.
1st Day – After Dinner
After dinner, it’s time to visit Temple Street Fortune Telling. This is a street that comes alive at night with fortune tellers and their red tents that line up across the street.
Hong Kong people are quite superstitious. Unlike the stalls at Wong Tai Sin Temple, these fortune tellers here also offer tarot card reading as well as traditional services like birth time reading, palm reading, etc.
My favourite is the fortune teller with the bird. You share what topic you’d want to learn more about, ask your question, give your surname, and the fortune teller will ask the bird. He will first feed the bird then the bird will then select an envelope for you. I picked a bird that the fortune teller told me is usually lazy! But thankfully he cooperated with me and chose one.
Inside the envelope lies your answer. You might not believe in fortune-telling and think it’s totally bogus. But it’s fun and something that’s not often found.
Hong Kong in 3 days – Day 2 in Hong Kong Island
2nd day – Morning
On the 2nd day, the day starts a little later because it’s going to end later.
Have a quiet morning and start the day by grabbing some breakfast at a HK café. There are dishes like egg sandwiches, macaroni soup, French toast, and congee with fried dough sticks for breakfast.
First stop is Monster Building in Quarry Bay. Like Rainbow Estate, it’s a residential building where people from all over the world come to visit to take pictures. There is no set time for when it opens because it’s outdoors. It’s also not a place you’ll stay for too long unless you’re trying to get that one perfect shot.
Some movies have come to film here because it’s unbelievable how many people live in this space. Hundreds of people can fit into this one building?! It seems fake but I can assure you that it’s totally real.
2nd Day – Late Morning/Early Afternoon
Causeway Bay is similar to Tsim Sha Tsui except it’s on the HK Island side. The stores here also don’t usually open until around 11 a.m.
Shoppers will love this area as there are multiple malls like Times Square, Hysan Place, Lee Gardens, and Fashion Walk. There is also SOGO which is a huge department store that sells pretty much anything you can think of.
The basement level is dedicated to grocery and food stalls so there’s tons to eat as you get hungry from all that moving and walking.
Lunch – HK Café
You might be thinking ‘Why on earth would I eat at a HK café again after I had it for breakfast?’
That’s because the dishes they serve in the morning and afternoon are completely different. In the afternoon, they have BBQ meats, curry rice, baked tomato rice, fried noodles, wonton noodles, etc.
Locals eat at HK cafes when they want to grab a quick bite to eat but still don’t want to skimp on food quality. There are also a lot of options and most importantly, they’re affordable!
I personally love HK cafes and eat food from there usually about once a week.
2nd Day – Afternoon
After lunch, it’s time to head up to Victoria Peak. The Peak is where you can see the highest point in Hong Kong.
Most people take the peak tram to get up there. When you’re up on top, there are attractions to keep you occupied like the Madam Tussauds Museum, walking trail, shopping mall, souvenir stores, and restaurants.
It’s overpriced but I like their candy store there called Candylicious. It reminds me of Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC where there are hundreds of options for sweets. It’s too bad that they don’t have a store in city centre because I’ll visit the store often. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it’s a good thing they don’t have a store in the city or else too much of my money will go there.
It’s an area that can take about 2-3 hours of your time.
2nd Day – Late Afternoon
In order to take the peak tram, it has to be at Central. When you take the peak tram back down, you’ll be back in Central and where you started.
Central is the financial district of Hong Kong so if you come here on a weekend, it tends to be more quiet.
There are fine-dining restaurants and luxury malls all around the area.
Although you’ve just taken the peak tram, you can take the tram, or as locals call it the ding ding, to go around the area.
Your feet need a rest from all that walking and there’s still so much to do in the time you have left in Hong Kong. The ding ding lets you see a street view of the city. This type of transportation is quite slow and most of them do not have air conditioning. On the plus side, it’s affordable.
The tram has limited routes so if you pass on the opportunity to take it, there might not be another chance to ride the tram according to this Hong Kong in 3 days schedule.
2nd Day – Late Night
Lan Kwai Fong, Central is a must for those who love visiting bars and clubs. It is THE party place in HK.
Lan Kwai Fong is filled with people at night, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. If you compare it to the exact place in the daytime, it’s completely dead. The atmosphere after the sun sets feels more fun and lively.
This is where you must go to see the fun nightlife in Hong Kong.
Wind down in this area before heading back to the hotel.
The last day of your trip will also be a full schedule so try not to get too crazy at Lan Kwai Fong.
Hong Kong in 3 Days – Day 3 in Lantau Island
The last day is reserved for a day trip. This can be a variety of options depending on what you would like to do.
3rd Day – Option One
Those who prefer sightseeing should visit Big Buddha. When you go to Big Buddha, you take the cable car up to Ngong Ping Village. This small village has a few souvenir shops, restaurants, a monastery, and a mini chocolate museum to keep you busy before going to the main tourist attraction.
There are hundreds of steps before you can reach the foot of the bronze Buddha. It’s quite tiring and can get quite cramped especially if there are a lot of people there at the same time. But it’s also something people usually only do once so remind yourself of that as you’re huffing and puffing as you continue to walk up the stairs.
If you did your research before coming to Hong Kong, you should have known to pack comfortable footwear because there’s a lot of walking involved.
Big Buddha and Ngong Ping Village won’t take the whole day. Many people will partner with Big Buddha and Tai O Fishing Village. Tai O Fishing Village is known for its shrimp paste and pink dolphins.
3rd Day – Option Two
Did you know HK has two amusement parks?
It might come as a surprise since Hong Kong is known for its small spaces.
There is Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland. Ocean Park has more of a chill local vibe. It’s also bigger with more attractions.
On the other hand, there is Disneyland. It’s a worldwide famous theme park that doesn’t have much of an introduction. Disney fanatics won’t want to skip out on this one.
Be wise on the day you visit Disneyland and you’ll find yourself not having to queue for an absurd amount of time.
3rd Day – Option Three
The third option is to spend your last day in Hong Kong with nature.
The last two days were spent so much time in the city that the 3rd day is to spend time with nature. Head over to Sai Kung or Discovery Bay for fresh seafood, local shops, beaches, hiking trails, temples, and parks.
These islands in Hong Kong have a slower pace of life. You won’t feel as rushed to finish everything in one go and can leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood.
Final Thoughts – Hong Kong in 3 days
You might be wondering why I didn’t include Macau when visiting Hong Kong in 3 days. There’s a good reason for this.
There’s so much of Hong Kong to see but people automatically think that they should travel to Shenzhen and Macau if they have extra time in the city. While those two places are definitely worth exploring, if you have a shorter time in Hong Kong, I would highly recommend visiting the city centre and suburbs before moving on to other cities.
With this thorough itinerary, you can see the most important parts of Hong Kong in 3 days. This 72-hour itinerary has a mixture of everything so it’s suitable for anyone visiting this Chinese city.
Now to You – Hong Kong in 3 days
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