Imagine vibrant temples, towering skyscrapers, gorgeous landscapes, and colorful, retro buildings coexisting in a place where modernity meets tradition and Western influences meet Eastern heritage. Hong Kong is full of both cultural heritage and modern innovations, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere unlike any other. It’s sure to provide a unique travel experience that will leave a lasting impression on every traveler, from shoppers to nature lovers to history buffs. This Hong Kong 4-day itinerary showcases the best the city has to offer, including stunning Lantau Island and Hong Kong Island, the magic of Disneyland, the lively streets of Kowloon, and an unforgettable day trip to Macau. In just four days, your first trip to Hong Kong will be full of its diverse cultures, delicious food, and breathtaking views.
Hong Kong 4-day itinerary: FAQs
Why should I visit Hong Kong?
It might be small, but it’s mighty! Traveling to Hong Kong is an opportunity to experience the past and present coexisting harmoniously. Hong Kong’s unique blend of culture, where Eastern traditions and Western influences blend seamlessly, creates multicultural experiences and a lively atmosphere. From the serene beauty of Lantau Island and gorgeous hikes to bustling markets and world-class shopping malls, it offers something for every traveler. Additionally, the efficient public transport and widespread use of English allows visitors to explore with ease.
Although many travelers opt for a long layover or skip it completely, Hong Kong is worth four full days of exploration. Many visitors don’t realize that Hong Kong is much more than a big city. Beyond the city lies stunning islands, relaxing beaches, tranquil religious sites, and interesting historical sites. This Hong Kong 4-day itinerary will take you on a well-rounded journey through the highlights of Hong Kong that make it an unmissable destination.
Do I need a visa to visit Hong Kong?
Travelers to Hong Kong generally don’t need a visa for short stays. Hong Kong operates as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, with its own immigration policies. Many passport holders enjoy visa-free access, including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and more. Please double-check specific entry requirements based on your citizenship using your country’s official travel information website.
Where to stay in Hong Kong?
The best place to stay in Hong Kong, especially for first-timers, is Tsim Sha Tsui. Not only is it a bustling shopping district, but it’s in a central location near many tourist attractions. This itinerary works best if you stay in Tsim Sha Tsui, as the route is optimized for this location.
4-star: Page 148 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
3-star: The OTTO Hotel ⭐⭐⭐
Hostel: Hop Inn ⭐
How to get around Hong Kong?
I exclusively used public transportation to get around Hong Kong with this itinerary, and you can easily do the same. Local buses, trams, and the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) conveniently connect almost all areas of Hong Kong. You’ll find that public transportation in Hong Kong is easy to navigate, affordable, and convenient. Just pick up an Octopus card at an MTR station and you’ll be ready to quickly tap on and off public transportation all over Hong Kong. Octopus cards can also be used to pay at many establishments, which is useful if you run out of cash!
Save time by getting a pre-loaded Octopus card for pickup at the airport upon arrival here.
Google Maps works just fine for getting directions, but sometimes it doesn’t provide the most convenient route or accurate arrival times. I recommend downloading the app Citymapper, which is more optimized for directions in Hong Kong.
When to visit Hong Kong?
Fall is the best time to visit Hong Kong because of the low humidity, warm temperatures, and bright skies. Winter is also a good time to visit because the days are dry and mild, rarely getting uncomfortably cold. Try to avoid traveling to Hong Kong in the summer, when the humidity, extreme heat, and frequent rainfall can be miserable.
Here is an overview of the weather in Hong Kong by month:
|Unpredictable, occasional rain showers
|Wet, frequent typhoons
Is Hong Kong expensive?
Yes, Hong Kong is a more expensive destination, especially for Asia. Even if you aren’t shopping in luxurious districts or fine dining, you’ll need to budget carefully if expenses are a concern. Even basic accommodation and cheaper restaurants can add up to strain your budget. Luckily, you can see Hong Kong comprehensively in just four full days. This means you don’t have to spend much time here to have a fulfilling experience. Easy ways to save money are to use public transportation and look for local, “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants to dine at.
Is Hong Kong vegetarian-friendly?
As a vegetarian, I approach traveling to East Asian countries with hesitancy after some difficulty in the past. However, Hong Kong blew me away with its wide variety of vegetarian restaurants. Not only were there many options to choose from, but everything was delicious and high-quality. Finding vegan options will be a little harder, as many vegetarian restaurants use dairy products. However, every vegetarian restaurant I visited had clearly marked vegan options as well.
My absolute favorite app when traveling as a vegetarian is HappyCow, which has been extremely useful in many countries across the world, including Hong Kong. It uses your current location to pull up a map of vegetarian and vegan options nearby. I recommend you download this app before heading to Hong Kong to make sure you always have access to good recommendations. You can also download the app OpenRice, which isn’t specifically vegetarian but has a filter for vegetarian options.
Is Hong Kong good for solo female travelers?
Yes, Hong Kong is a great destination for solo female travelers. It offers a blend of safety, unique experiences, and cultural richness that appeals to any woman traveling on her own. The city’s efficient public transportation system makes it easy to navigate, and English is widely spoken. The bustling streets provide a lively yet secure environment, and low crime rates contribute to an overall sense of safety. Whether exploring historic neighborhoods, indulging at Michelin-star restaurants, or hiking on one of its scenic islands, solo female travelers will find Hong Kong to be a welcoming and safe destination. As always, you should take standard safety precautions, but you should have a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
Hong Kong 4-day itinerary
This goes without saying, but you can rearrange the order of these days however you want. The only thing to keep in mind is that Happy Valley horse races are usually on Wednesdays. If you want to catch a race, be sure to plan that day (listed here as Day 3) for a Wednesday. Additionally, many museums are closed on Thursdays, so don’t plan on going to museums on a Thursday. Now, let’s get into the 4-day Hong Kong itinerary!
Day 1: Sha Tin & Kowloon
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery → Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple → Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden → Choi Hung Estate → Mong Kok → Temple Street Night Market → Symphony of Lights
Today, you’ll start the day in the northern neighborhood of Sha Tin to visit the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. It takes 10-15 minutes of walking uphill to reach the monastery, but the path is lined with golden monks so it’s a scenic walk. After you’re done, head south to Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, a colorful Taoist temple. Right down the road is Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden, a large Buddhist complex with a scenic garden. If you’re interested in Hong Kong architecture or just getting the perfect Instagram shot, it’s worth walking over to Choi Hung Estate. You’ll probably recognize the viral colorful apartment complex and basketball court. This stop is skippable if aesthetic photos aren’t your priority.
Next, head to Mong Kok, a neighborhood known for its markets and shopping. Be sure to check out the Flower Market, Goldfish Market, and Ladies’ Market. If sneakers and sports gear are your thing, wander down Fa Yuen Street, known for having over fifty stores selling sports shoes. Once it gets dark, Temple Street Night Market comes alive, which is a great place to buy souvenirs and try street food.
Finally, make your way to Victoria Harbor to catch the Symphony of Lights. The Symphony of Lights is a multimedia light show projected onto 42 buildings across the harbor. It happens nightly at 8 p.m., so make sure to time your evening well. The Avenue of Stars is a good place to watch the show.
Day 2: Lantau Island
Ngong Ping Cable Car → Tian Tan Buddha & Po Lin Monastery → Tai O Fishing Village → Mui Wo
You’ve likely already been to Lantau Island if you flew into Hong Kong International Airport, but today you’ll be seeing its cultural highlights. Start at the Ngong Ping Cable Car with a 25-minute scenic ride to Ngong Ping Village. In the village, you can shop, eat, or grab a coffee. Then, get ready to climb over 260 stairs to the iconic Tian Tan Buddha, the world’s tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. After descending, visit the nearby Po Lin Monastery, a colorful Buddhist temple complex facing the Tian Tan Buddha.
Skip the long ticket line by buying a Ngong Ping cable car ticket in advance here.
From Ngong Ping Village, you can catch a 20-minute bus to Tai O, a fishing village with houses built over the water. You can choose to walk the loop around the village, including a scenic ocean path, which takes about 45 minutes. Or, you can take a boat tour through the canals with the possibility of spotting Chinese white dolphins. Make sure to stop at Tai O Bakery to try one of their famous donuts.
From Tai O, you can catch a bus across the island to Mui Wo. This rural coastal town is perfect for relaxing or chasing waterfalls. You can choose to take the 30-minute hike to Silvermine Waterfall or just hang out at peaceful cafes and beaches. Be aware that the waterfall is usually dry if it hasn’t rained lately. Pause Cafe is a local expat favorite for grabbing a coffee, or you can try the delicious pastries at Village Bakery. From the Mui Wo Ferry Terminal, you can catch a 40-minute ferry back to downtown.
Day 3: Tsim Sha Tsui & Hong Kong Island
National Palace Museum → Tsim Sha Tsui shopping → Victoria Peak → Man Mo Temple → Lan Kwai Fong or Happy Valley
Hong Kong has a ton of fascinating museums, most of which are located in Tsim Sha Tsui. From the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Museum of History to the Science Museum and Space Museum, there is a museum for everyone. If you can’t make up your mind, I recommend the National Palace Museum. There are over 900 treasures on display from the Palace Museum in Beijing. After exploring a museum, get your shopping fix at one of Tsim Sha Tsui’s iconic malls, including Harbour City, The One, iSQUARE, and K11 Art Mall.
When you’re done exploring Tsim Sha Tsui’s world-class shopping scene, head across Victoria Harbor to Hong Kong Island. Here, you can take the Victoria Peak tram to the top of Hong Kong’s most scenic overlook. After taking in the amazing views, go back down the peak to Man Mo Temple. This Buddhist temple is known for its dozens of incense spirals hanging overhead.
Skip the long ticket line and get a discounted combo ticket for the Victoria Peak tram and Sky Terrace here.
To wrap up the day, you can grab a drink in Lan Kwai Fong, known for its nightlife, or catch a horse race at Happy Valley. Most Wednesdays, Happy Valley has night races starting around 7 p.m. If you find yourself in Hong Kong on a race Wednesday, I highly recommend checking it out. The atmosphere is lively with food, drinks, live music, and entertainment. You can check the racing schedule here.
Day 4: Macau day trip or Disneyland
Today, you can choose to spend your day at the Happiest Place on Earth or the Las Vegas of Asia. Although Hong Kong Disneyland is the world’s smallest Disney theme park, it packs a big punch with seven different theme parks and more than 100 amusement facilities. You can visit the first-ever World of Frozen, which opened in November 2023.
Get your Hong Kong Disneyland tickets for the best price here, with the option of early entry into the World of Frozen!
If Disneyland isn’t your thing, you can take a day trip to Macau. In Macau, you’ll find a fascinating blend of world-class casinos and Portuguese colonial influence. Just like Hong Kong, Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, so bring your passport because you have to go through immigration. Keep reading for my recommended Macau day trip route.
You must book your Macau ferry tickets at least 48 hours in advance because it takes the ferry service that long to confirm your tickets. I booked my tickets with TurboJet and everything went smoothly (except the ride itself is quite bumpy – be aware if you get seasick!).
Macau day trip route: Historic Centre of Macau → A-Ma Temple → R. do Cunha → Cotai Strip
I recommend catching an early ferry from Hong Kong to make the most of your day trip. Start your day by exploring the Historic Centre of Macau, including the Ruins of St. Paul, Monte Fort, St. Dominic’s Church, and Senado Square. Then head down to A-Ma Temple, Macau’s oldest temple dedicated to the sea goddess. From here, you’ll take a bus to Taipa on Macau’s southern island. Stroll down R. do Cunha, a cobblestone street known for its delicious snacks. Lord Stow’s Bakery is said to have the original egg tart in Asia, so the line will be long but worth the wait.
Finally, end your day in Macau by exploring the casinos on the Cotai Strip, a strip of hotel-casinos reminiscent of the Las Vegas Strip. Even if gambling isn’t your thing, the impressive hotels and casinos are worth checking out. The three most impressive hotel casinos are the Venetian, Parisian, and Londoner.
From cable cars and horse racing to temples and museums, this Hong Kong 4-day itinerary took you to its major highlights in just four days. Each day was full of unique and well-rounded experiences, blending ancient traditions with modern marvels. Whether you want to travel to Hong Kong for its shopping, nature, culture, or history, we hope that this 4-day Hong Kong itinerary allowed you to explore all that this unique destination has to offer.
After you visit Hong Kong, how about hopping on a short flight to Taiwan? Taiwan is the perfect addition to your East Asia travels. Check out my Taiwan resources here, including a 1-week itinerary and women’s packing list.