Hong Kong is an urban jungle, and as such you won’t have much time to venture into the natural parts of it. If you only have a day, or even just 24 hours, in this exciting city, you won’t be able to check off all the activities on your bucket list. Instead, you’ll need to take things up a notch and optimize that time so that you can get the most out of it. The good news is that there are several fun things to do in Hong Kong that are also quite concentrated. So if you want to see as much of the city and its major sights as possible without feeling like you missed something, read on for our suggestions on what to do when visiting Hong Kong with only a day or two.
Check Out the Tall Buildings
Hong Kong’s stunning skyline is the first thing you’ll spot as you approach the city. It’s one of the most recognizable skylines in the world, with a skyline that’s as modern as it is densely populated. If you want to see the view from the top of the city, you’ll need to book a ticket in advance. The Peak is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong, and it’s easy to see why. From up there, you’ll be able to see not only the stunning skyline, but also Victoria Harbour and the many islands in it. You may even see a few of the buildings lit up at night.
Stroll Through Victoria Harbour
If you’ve got time for only one of these two, make it Victoria Harbour. This is the waterway that separates Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. It’s also one of the most impressive views you can see in the city. You can walk along the waterfront on both sides of the harbour, but the Kowloon side is the best place to view the ferries and the massive Chinese cargo ships. Be sure to walk along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on the Hong Kong Island side, too. There you’ll find the famous Avenue of the Stars, which is home to a number of bronze statues of famous Asian actors, actresses, and directors.
Get Lost in the Malls
If you want to see what you’ve missed, head to the nearest mall. Hong Kong’s malls are world-famous, and you’ll find the biggest and best ones in the city. If you want to see the best of what this city has to offer in terms of shopping, the malls are the best place to start. Central is the largest and most central of the malls in the city. It’s got the best combination of high-end brands, local designers, and cheap, tourist-y souvenirs. You’ll find a mix of upscale brands like Gucci and Chanel, as well as specialty shops like the Japanese Manga Store.
Go on a Food Hunt
Hong Kong is more than just a shopping and sightseeing trip. It’s also an excellent place to chow down on all the amazing Asian food you’ve been missing. There are all sorts of amazing cuisines in this city, so if you’re only going to eat one thing while visiting the city, make it dim sum. Dim sum is a kind of Chinese brunch that is all about the food. No menus in dim sum restaurants, just a cart of delicious snacks that you can pick from. There are also many other Asian cuisines in Hong Kong worth trying, like Hakka and Indian.
See the Shaolin Monks
Hong Kong is full of amazing cultural experiences, but the monks at the Shaolin Temple are one of the most famous sights in the city. You can book a ticket to see their daily kung fu performances. You’ll also get a glimpse into the monks’ daily life, and you may even get to meet some of them. What’s more, going to the Shaolin Temple is an excellent way to learn about Chinese culture, plus it has the added bonus of being very Instagrammable.
Take a Walking Tour of Hong Kong Island
One of the best ways to see the major sights in Hong Kong is through a walking tour. There are several tours that take you through the best parts of Hong Kong Island, like the museums, the harbour, and the shopping. The guides tell you all about the buildings and other sights you see along the way, adding a lot more cultural context and information than you’d get on your own. These tours are great for travelers with limited time, since they let you see the best of Hong Kong without having to figure out which museums to visit or how to get around on the metro.
Catch a Show or a Game
If you want to see some culture and history, then you may want to catch a show or a game. The Lion Dance performance shows off the cultural significance of the Chinese New Year. And if you’re visiting during Chinese New Year, then you may even get to take part in the celebrations. The Hong Kong Open is also a great sporting event to see, as it’s one of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world. And if you’re into spectator sports, you’ll be able to catch a game while visiting Hong Kong, as it’s home to two major rugby teams.
Round Out your Day with Culture and Art
If you’re still hungry for culture and art after going to the shows and games, there are plenty of museums to choose from. One of the best museums in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Museum of History. Located inside the city’s best preserved colonial building, this museum explores the history of this city from ancient times to the present day. The Hong Kong Art Museum is also worth a visit. This museum is home to many world-famous art collections, including the largest collection of Chinese paintings.
Hong Kong is a fascinating blend of Chinese culture, British history, and modern architecture. While it’s best known as a shopping destination, there are many other things to do in Hong Kong besides shop. If you have only a day or two to spend in the city, you’ll need to pick and choose what you want to see and do carefully in order to fit everything in. Our suggestions on what to do when visiting Hong Kong with only a day or two can help you do just that.