1. Financial district
2. Sightseeing by tram
3. Hong Kong Island shopping
4. Longest escalator
5. Star Ferry
6. Eat dim sum
7. Museum of History
8. Jade Market
9. Nathan Road
10. Central Government Complex
11. Hong Kong by night
Hong Kong is a vivid, Asian metropolis with a wealth of culture, options and things to do. To make the most out of your layover, you may want to prepare and do some inspiring reading and careful planning beforehand, getting an overview of what the city has to offer. Check out useful matters like transport options, prices, opening hours etc. In this way you will not be wasting time seeking information and solving practical issues once there!
Our suggested one day itinerary is as follows. It is packed, but absolutely doable.
Head towards the Wan Chai district on Hong Kong Island. Stroll around the business and financial district in Wan Chai and make a photo shoot of the futuristic and streamlined skyscrapers.
Jump on one of the numerous electric double-decker trams, or ‘Ding Dings’ – as referred to by the locals, on Hong Kong Island to get a DIY sightseeing tour. They run between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan. The Tramways is a historical means of transport dating more than a hundred years back to the British rule.
Top 7 things to do in Hong Kong
Hong Kong travel guide
Beer price Hong Kong/your country
Both commuters and tourists eagerly make use of these eye-catching trams which are convenient for exploring both quaint neighbourhoods and areas of state-of-the-art residential buildings, as well as impressive, stylish skyscrapers. Still today, the Hong Kong Tramways has the world’s largest double-decker tram fleet. Update yourself on significant buildings beforehand, such that you will know which landmarks to notice.
Visit one of the malls, for instance the IFC mall in connection with the One IFC (International Financial Centre). It is one of the iconic skyscrapers in the city and the second tallest building (415 m / 1,362 ft). The view is amazing from up there!
From the level 1 exit of the IFC mall, you can catch the longest escalator in the world! The Central Mid-Levels Escalator System is an 800 m (2,600 ft) chain of covered escalators, travelators and elevated walkways dating back to 1993. It consists of a series of 20 reversible escalators, all covered, taking the frequent rain here into consideration. Early morning it runs downhill, and mid-morning the entire escalator system is reversed such that it only runs uphill! A one-way ride takes about 20-25 minutes – but there are frequent exits!
Victoria Harbour is next. There is a myriad of boats and ferries crossing the waters between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. The iconic double-decker Star Ferry is a fine option for a budget boat tour in spectacular Victoria Harbour. This third generation Star Ferries take you back to the 1920s when they were the prevailing means of transport in Victoria Harbour.
For lunch pop into a dim sum restaurant. Dim sum is the typical eat here, a Chinese tapas-like classic usually served for breakfast or lunch. You may even be lucky that your hotel serves them for breakfast! Dim sum are bite-sized small dishes, that can be either steamed, served in bamboo steamer baskets, fried or baked. Typically, they are served with tea. It is a long-established tradition occasionally to gather and eat dim sum with family and friends. According to the well-travelled, nowhere else are the dim sum pieces as delicious as here!
The city features a number of fabulous museums. The Museum of History, The Museum of Art or The Heritage Discovery Centre are all excellent museums to get some local insight. Pick one to get another approach to the capital. For a thorough introduction to the history and culture, the Hong Kong Museum of History will definitely not disappoint!
Continue in northerly direction to the old, covered Jade Market at Jordan in Kowloon. Here you will find tons of stalls of jade items like rings, bracelets and other quirky accessories among a wealth of statues, pearls, agate, turquoise and malachite stones, as well as other knick-knacks. The extensive jade offer is linked to the still practiced Chinese culture where jade amulets represent luck and wishes for a long life. You may try your bargaining skills to get a good buy! Jordan is in stark contrast to the modern city a traditional working-class district with affordable high-rise, monotonous-looking residential properties of similar individual units, local street markets, tiny ethnic shops and an authentic multi-cultural diversity.
‘Hong Kong Culture – One Day Itinerary’
Hong Kong Culture – One Day Itinerary
Finally, if you are keen on shopping, prioritise Nathan Road, the famous, bustling shopping street which is the heartbeat of Kowloon. It is busy day and night. Shops, restaurants and coffee shops are lined up side by side. Throngs of tourists as well as insisting street vendors contribute to the hectic vibe. Nathan Road was the very first road built in Kowloon, when the Qing dynasty passed the land over to the United Kingdom in 1860. The 3.6 km (2.2 miles) thoroughfare in Kowloon was later named after the 13th governor, Mathew Nathan. In the post WWII years it was also known as the Golden Mile.
You are back on Hong Kong Island. Stroll around the back streets and alleys with delicate food stalls and local restaurants serving savoury noodle soups, a tempting dinner option. Then continue in the direction of the Central Government Complex of HKSAR near the waterfront where you can admire the massive governmental arch-like building and other impressive skyscrapers.
There hasn’t been time for Victoria Peak since waiting for the tram (the wait is sometimes considerable) and going there most likely would have stolen too much time of your day. Instead, second best option: go to Tamar Park (next to the Central Government Complex) and the Central and Western District Promenade along the waterfront. Here you can enjoy the most spectacular 360 degree panoramic view by night with the multitude of skyscrapers. You have an awe-inspiring view of thousands of buildings lightening up the black night sky, as well as the tiny twinkling ferries and boats crossing Victoria Harbour. You may alternatively go to the other side for the Symphony of Lights at the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon. It is a stunning view and the highlight of your visit!
WE Hotel is a centrally located hotel near Victoria Harbour and Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island. The MTR Sai Ying Pun Station as well as the Eastern Street Tram Station are within a short walk from the hotel. The hotel is close to the Dried-Seafood Market, SoHo District and Cat Street. Upper hotel floors offer great open city + harbour views. There is also a free shuttle service.
View more hotels by district in Hong Kong!
Travel Insurance / Visa
Have you considered what you will do in the (unlikely) event of something unforeseen happening? Do you need a travel insurance? Check here if you need a travel insurance for your trip – and check here if you need a visa for your trip and apply for it!
Read more (vibe, see & do, accommodation, price level, transport, safety, climate, history) in the Facts About Hong Kong – Travel Guide.
Hong Kong Culture – One Day Itinerary
Things to do in Hong Kong in One Day – Culture & Itinerary
Featured image of
A Touch of Hong Kong Culture – One Day Itinerary:
Travel In Culture
One Day in Hong Kong Culture & Itinerary