Top things to do in Hong Kong

5 days Hong Kong itinerary

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Vertigo-inducing skyscrapers, delicious dim sum and some of the best nightlife and shopping in the world. 

These are some of the images that Hong Kong conjures up in the minds of travelers. 

Hong Kong might be a bit overwhelming to a first-time traveler, because there are so many things do in this city. Plan between 3 to 5 days Hong Kong itinerary to see the city and some of its surrounding areas such as Lantau Island. And If you want to visit Macau, add another extra day. 

Best time to visit Hong Kong

Summer and spring tend to be hot and humid in Hong Kong.

The typhoon season is from May through November and often brings rainstorms and flight delays. 

From November through March, the city has some of the mildest temperatures that won’t leave you drenched in sweat after 10 minutes of being outside. 

Hong Kong currency

Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

Hong Kong language

Chinese and English. Hong Kongers speak Cantonese which is different from Mandarin Chinese that is spoken in mainland China. 

Hong Kong transportation

Hong Kong subway system is the best and cheapest way to get around the city. 

Octopus Card covers travel on MRT (Mass Transport Rail) and also gets you a free ride to Hong Kong Airport on Airport Express. You have to pay the 50 HKD deposit to get the card, however, you get money back if there’s anything left over when you return the card at the airport.

Visit mtr.com.hk ahead of your trip to get information on public transport.

PRO TIP: To better navigate Hong Kong’s train system, download the Hong Kong MTR app on your phone. 

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

Where to stay in Hong Kong

When it comes to accommodations in Hong Kong, there’s no lack of options.

Hong Kong hotels from three stars and above tend to be expensive around Hong Kong Island and parts of Kowloon that overlook the waterfront.

While low prices could be tempting, you should do your research and read reviews before booking hotels or hostels in Hong Kong. 

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Cheap hotels in Hong Kong are sometimes crammed in huge buildings that are packed with residential apartments, stores, and restaurants. Often those hotels are so tiny that there is barely enough space for a bed and shower next to it, however, you can still find good hostels in Hong Kong.

Consider checking Agoda, a website that has a lot of options specifically for Asia.

PRO TIP: To avoid making mistakes in Hong Kong, read my article about some of the most common pitfalls among travelers in this city.

Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong

Hong Kong areas

Hong Kong is divided into Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and New Territories. 

I started my trip in Kowloon, a peninsula across Victoria Harbor that is known as an entertainment and shopping district.

PRO TIP: Hong Kong is huge and requires time to navigate. If you are short on time, consider hiring a local guide through Get Your Guide who can save you time and money and give you a tour of one the city’s areas.

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

Day 1

Roam around Mong Kok

Start your 5 days Hong Kong itinerary with Mong Kok, an area of Kowloon where you can shop and eat inexpensively. 

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

Translated as “crowded corner” in Cantonese, Mong Kok is a home to bustling street markets and delicious street food. 

The famous Ladies Market in Mong Kok has plenty of stands with knock-off luxury goods, souvenirs, clothing, and trinkets. Remember to haggle if you want to get a good deal.

Another place you might consider visiting in Mong Kok is Sai Yeung Choi, a long, pedestrian street where you can find many stores and malls that sell trinkets, gadgets and clothings. 

Your 5 days Hong Kong Itinerary

Check out Wong Tai Sin Temple

Your 5 days Hong Kong Itinerary should include at least one temple. And it’s good to start with Wong Tai Sin because it’s located further away from the touristy areas. To get there, hop across several MTR lines to get to Wong Tai Sin Temple in Chuk Un, a residential area of New Kowloon. 

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

This colorful temple is home to three religions: Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It also commemorates the monk of yore, Wong Tai Sin. 

Perhaps, the large number of people at Wong Tai Sin Temple could be explained by the fact that it the temple is said to make every wish come true upon request.

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

Take Star Ferry

Make your way to Tsim Sha Tsui promenade for a spectacular view of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbor. 

Here, you can find the Avenue of Stars that features many statues of stars from the Chinese and Western movies such as Bruce Lee. The area is also a stone throw away from museums, restaurants and night clubs in Kowloon.  

Star Ferry tickets

To wrap up your first day, catch a Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. You can purchase tickets at Harbour/Water Tour ticket office located at Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier or the Central Pier 7.

I recommend taking a night ride on Star Ferry because it culminates with a colorful light show that lights up the Hong Kong skyline in a myriad of colors. 

You can also book your tickets online ahead of your trip here.

Nan Lian Garden, Hong Kong
Nan Lian Garden, Hong Kong

Day 2

Walk around Nan Lian Garden

Take a morning stroll along Nan Lian Garden on the Diamond Hill in Kowloon. 

The beautiful Chi Lin Nunnery, a Buddhist temple built in 1934 spans 33,000 square meters, but only a small part of it is open to visitors.  It’s better to visit Nan Lian Garden early morning before it gets crowded. 

How to get to Nan Lian Garden: The garden is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day and the entrance is free. To get there, get off the train at Diamond Hill Station and walk across the road. 

Eat at one of Kowloon restaurants

Kowloon restaurants boast a variety of food. 

Here you will find tons of options with Western, Asian and Cantonese cuisines. But dining in Hong Kong doesn’t necessarily mean spending big money.

The city has plenty of pop-up food stands and inexpensive diners where you can eat on a budget. A good place to find good and inexpensive places to eat is Nathan Road, a central street of Kowloon that stretches from Tsim Sha Tsui to Sham Shui Po.

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

Visit Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Hong Kong is one of the most remarkable cultural sites the city, and although it takes a while to get there, it’s an absolute must on your 5 days Hong Kong itinerary.

The monastery is located in Sha Tin, part of New Territories and it contains several buildings including a nine-story pagoda, several halls and ornate gazebos with religious displays. 

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Hong Kong
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Hong Kong

How to get to Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery: Get off at Sha Tin station on MTR’s East Rail Line and take an Exit B. Walk down the ramp and make a left turn to Pai Tau Street. After that, turn right onto Sheung Wo Che Street. As you get to the end of the road, you will see a few signs that will direct you to the monastery.

When you get closer to the monastery, you will see a narrow concrete path that snakes up the hill. You will have to climb up nearly 400 stairs with two rows of Buddhas in different positions on each side.

5 Days Hong Kong Itinerary

Day 3

Explore Hong Kong Island

After you get the taste of the gritty Kowloon, it’s time to check out the cosmopolitan Hong Kong Island.

Home to towering skyscrapers and a busy financial district, Hong Kong Island has a whole different vibe to it.

Here you can find offices of many international companies, big shopping malls, restaurants, and the largest public park in Hong Kong.

Shopping lovers should head to Causeway Bay that has an abundance of boutiques and small stores for every budget.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong

Go up Victoria Peak

Most travelers prefer to take the renowned Peak Tram to Victoria Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong to get panoramic views of the city and surrounding hills. You can also take a bus that will take you there.

However, you might have to spend some time in line if you want to take a tram, since it’s very popular.

The Sky Terrace 428 at Victoria Peak is the tallest platform that offers a 360-degree view of the city. 

Hollywood Road, Hong Kong

Visit Old Town Central

On your way down from Victoria Peak, make a stop at Old Town Central.

Here old meets new as modern restaurants and hipster bars are nestled next to historic temples. Take a walk along Hollywood Road where you will see several graffiti walls alongside art galleries and souvenir stalls. 

5 days itinerary hong kong
Tank Lane Hong Kong
Hong Kong Tank Lane

Old Town Central is also famous because of its street art. 

As you walk around Hollywood Road and surrounding streets, you will find dozens of graffiti covering the walls. The graffiti along Tank Line and Graham Street are especially famous and it’s not uncommon to see lines of people waiting to take photos. 

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Step inside Man Mo Temple

One of the main attractions of Old Town central in Hong Kong is Man Mo Temple (Or Man Mo Miu) located on Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong
Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road in Hong Kong

The 19-century temple attracts many tourists and locals as its inside its adorned with hanging incense coils, Buddha statues and colorful paraphernalia. The Man Mo Temple pays tribune to the God of Literature (Man Tai) and the Martial God (Mo Tai). The temple is open from  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. 

Grab a drink at Lan Kwai Fong

Lan Kwai Fong is a historic area in the heart of the Hong Kong Central District famous for its nightlife, and entertainment. If you are in the mood partying and don’t mind staying up all night, Lan Kwai Fong is the place to be. Lan Kwai Fong boasts over 90 restaurants and bars. 

Monster Building, Hong Kong

Day 4

Visit Monster Building

You have seen it in Transformers, numerous magazines and on social media.

This concrete behemoth nicknamed Monster Building has become a target for tourists and photographers from all over the world thanks to a profile in a Hollywood movie and subsequent Internet articles, annoying local residents who have since put up signs prohibiting photography, all to no avail.

Monster Building, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
Monster Building, Hong Kong

The Monster Building consists of five units that were built during the population boom in the 1960s to accommodate low-income residents. Despite its seemingly depressing look, the complex offers great potential for street photography because of its perfect symmetry.

How to find the Monster building: To get to the Monster building get off at Quarry Bay, take exit A and make a left turn on King Road. Walk toward Tai Koo. The building is located inside one of the yards, and if you ask around, you will easily find it. 

Hong Kong tram

Ride a Hong Kong Tram

Otherwise known as Ding Ding, Hong Kong’s most eco-friendly mode of transportation can be spotted in many parts of the city including Quarry Bay.

Riding the famous train during your 5 days Hong Kong itinerary will give your feet a break and provide you with an opportunity to take in the surroundings as the train moves pretty slowly. 

You can check routes and schedules here

Choi Hung Estate Basketball Court

Check out Choi Hung Estate

Hong Kong boasts colorful buildings and landmarks that can often be seen in articles and social media. One of the best spots for photos in Hong Kong is the Choi Hung Estate Basketball Court in Kowloon. Choi Hung means “rainbow” in Cantonese, so it’s an easy name to remember. 

The basketball court located on the top floor of the parking garage in Wong Tai Sin District of Kowloon. 

How to find Choi Hung Estate Basketball Court: Take MRT to Choi Hung station and get off at exit C3 or C4. Make a left turn toward the Estate and walk to the top floor of the car parking right in the middle of it. I recommend to bring photos of the place with you, in case you need to ask for directions.

Kowloon instagrammable places
Instagram places, Hong Kong

Lok Wah South Estate

Another popular spot for photos in Kowloon is Lok Wah South Estate.  Just like Choi Hung, it is located on top of the car parking. 

How to find Lok Wah South Estate: Get off at Kwun Tong MTR and make a left turn when you get out of the train station. Walk uphill for about half an hour and make a right turn as you get to the top and see residential buildings. Lok Wah South Estate is on the roof of one of the car parking buildings right before the rainbow school. 

Just down the road from Lok Wah Estate sits the rainbow school. You might want to check it out once you are done taking photos at Lok Wah

Tian Tan Buddha Lantau Island

Day 5

Spend a day at Lantau Island

Lantau, the largest island in Hong Kong is likely to take your whole day, which makes it a perfect place to finish you 5 days Hong Kong itinerary.

How to get to Lantau Island: Ttake the MTR to Tung Chung and take an Exit B. From there, you can either take a bus or the Ngong Ping Cable Car that will carry you over the emerald-green hills of Lantau Island and the clear blue waters of Tung Chung Bay.

As someone who spent nearly two hours in line to get tickets to a cable car, I have to warn you that it can get pretty crowded during the busy season. Check the bus and cable car schedule online ahead of your trip to select the best transportation option.

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island

If you are going to the island by cable car, you will be able to see Tian Tian Buddha, the bronze sculpture that is accessible by a climb over 268 steps. 

Right nearby sits Po Lin Monastery, a colorful monastery with many shrines, halls, and gardens. To get a glimpse into the pre-colonial Hong Kong, take about a tour or Tai O Village and when you get tired, relax at the Silvermine Bay Beach located in the small town called Mui Wo.

I recommend spending your whole day at Lantau Island, as it also offers the 70-kilometer long Lantau Trail, pristine nature and villages built in a traditional Chinese style.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I might earn a small commission if you make a purchase through the links in this article. 

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Best things to do in Hong Kong
Things to do in Hong Kong
Things to do in Hong Kong

8 thoughts on “5 days Hong Kong itinerary”

  1. Love the Pro Tips! I often forget about the apps until it’s too late; and love the shout for Star Ferry! Really felt like HK was brought to life and I’m so eager to experience it now.

    1. The Discovery Nut

      Hello Jamie,

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you were able to learn new things and discover a new place that you want to visit!

  2. Nan Lian Garden looks amazing!!! Hong Kong has always seemed so overwhelming to me – probably because it’s so HUGE and I’ve never visited a city so big! It’s funny you’ve also listed a Ten Thousand Buddhas temple – we actually have one here right in Niagara Falls (Canada) too! Great photos and tips – useful for anyone travelling here!

  3. Ah I am getting excited about Hong Kong especially with the Ten Thousand Buddhas temple, Old Town Central and the amazing views from Victoria Peak!

  4. This is such a great detailed post. Hong Kong is on my list. I will definitely be using this guide as a reference.
    😊

  5. I’ve always wanted to go to Hong Kong, it looks like such an incredible place. I seriously can’t wait to start travelling again, so I am definitely pinning this for later.

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