Hong Kong is such an amazing city with a million and one things to do so it can be overwhelming trying to cram it all into just one day. But since it’s a huge travel hub for Asia, a lot of people will find themselves on layovers here and having to do just that. So here’s your guide on how to make the most of a 24 hour layover in Hong Kong.
Where to stay:
185 HKG/30 CAD for a dorm
Hong Kong is expensive and accommodation here will eat up a good amount of your budget. We stayed on Kowloon and I would recommend staying there as well. It’s cheaper than staying on Hong Kong island and yet it’s super easy to get around. Kowloon has a ton to offer and explore too, making it a great place to start and end your city adventures. Yesinn @YMT was a great hostel to stay in, it offers both dorms and private rooms, there are plenty of restaurants nearby, it’s easy to get to from the airport (I even came here for a shorter 10 hour layover on my way back), and the hostel itself is quiet and clean.
Airport to Downtown:
Getting downtown Hong Kong from the airport is really simple. There’s a train called the Hong Kong Express that stops 3 times ending on Hong Kong island. If you buy the tickets online then you can just hop right on the train at the airport, and you don’t need to wait in any lines after your flight.
Roundtrip to Kowloon Station: 185 HKG/30 CAD
Roundtrip to Hong Kong Station: 205 HKG/34 CAD
What to do:
Take the Star Ferry
The star ferry is a must do, even if you aren’t staying in Kowloon make sure you hop on it just to get the most breathtaking views of the city. If you are staying in Kowloon then it’s also an easy way to make your way over to Hong Kong island. It’s also only 2.5 HKG/0.40 CAD for a one way ride.
Explore Hong Kong Island
Exploring Hong Kong island by foot is the best thing you can do to explore in a short period of time. Just being submerged in this amazing city will keep you entertained all day by the sheer amount of people, food, and things to see.
Largest Escalator in the World
Feet hurt from walking everywhere? Time to ride the worlds longest escalator! This escalator is meant for commuters heading to work and changes directly during the day so that it’s accessible for people coming and then leaving work. Learn from our mistake and make sure you’re going to be using it the right direction at the right time of the day – if you are planning on heading up towards Victoria peak in the morning then make sure you use the escalator on your way back down.
My favourite part of visiting Hong Kong was the view from Victoria Peak. I had read that it’s possible to walk all the way to the top, but we kept getting lost so we ended up just taking the tram up. The tram only costs 99 HKG/17 CAD return and it was absolutely worth it. The journey up through the skyscrapers and the view from the top was truly unbelievable.
Walk & Shop on Nathan Road
Nathan Road is a main strip on Kowloon that is full of little restaurants and shops. There’s lots of opportunities to find some clothes and shoes for very cheap!
Ladies Market in Kowloon
You’ll likely be the only tourists at this market, despite it being one of the biggest and well known markets in Hong Kong. It’s insanely busy and people are just selling food but it’s fun to walk through and see how locals do some of their shopping.
I loved my time in Hong Kong (despite how short it was) & I hope you do too!!