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How to Make a Travel Itinerary with Google Maps

Last Updated: March 14, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Stan Kats and by wikiHow staff writer, Nihal Shetty . Stan Kats is a Professional Technologist and the COO and Chief Technologist for The STG IT Consulting Group in West Hollywood, California. Stan provides comprehensive technology solutions to businesses through managed IT services, and for individuals through his consumer service business, Stan's Tech Garage. Stan holds a BA in International Relations from The University of Southern California. He began his career working in the Fortune 500 IT world. Stan founded his companies to offer an enterprise-level of expertise for small businesses and individuals. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 86,228 times.

If you’re planning a trip, you might be wondering how to figure out where to go and in what order. Luckily, Google has a free tool that you can use in order to get a better sense of your travel plans. We’ll walk you through how to make a travel itinerary with Google Maps through its My Maps feature. In a few easy steps, you can master an excellent organizational tool that’ll help you plan the best trip possible.

Setting Up Your Map

Step 1 Sign in to My Maps on your web browser.

  • Unfortunately, as of October 2021, Google no longer supports the “My Maps” app on phones. If you’re on mobile, you’ll have to use your phone’s web browser to access the site while on the go. [2] X Research source
  • If you don’t already have a Google account, setting one up is a quick process. A Google account gives you a number of benefits, including a new gmail address. Check out this link to start the set-up process:

Step 2 Create a new map through the home screen.

  • For instance, your might name your map something like “California Summer Trip 2022,” and you could enter a description like, “Places to see and eat during two-week California road trip.”

Step 4 Search for places to visit on your trip.

  • For example, for a California road trip, you might enter “Golden Gate Bridge” into the search box. My Maps will automatically direct you to its location.

Step 5 Add the locations of any places you want to visit to your map.

  • For instance, if you’ve searched for “Golden Gate Bridge,” there will be a white box that offers some information on the location, and even a rating from other users. Click on the “Add to map” button to send it to your saved locations.

Step 6 Add descriptions to your saved locations.

  • For example, you might fill in the description to the “Golden Gate Bridge” box with something like, “Spend at least 1 hour here—must-see location.”

Step 7 Color-code your locations for convenience.

  • You might consider changing the colors of your pins to match how important each location is to your trip. For example, must-see locations could be red pins, your housing spots could be green pins, and optional places to visit could remain as blue pins.

Creating an Itinerary and Planning Routes

Step 1 Organize your selected places with the “layers” function.

  • For example, you might have a layer titled “Places to see,” one titled “Places to eat,” and one titled “Places to sleep.” You can then put sightseeing destinations, restaurants, and hotels you want to stay at in their respective layers.

Step 2 Plan your travel routes using your Google Map.

  • You can add more than one location to a single route. For example, if you wanted to plot a route from Big Sur to the Golden Gate Bridge, and then to Palo Alto, you can add all three locations to your route layer and create a multi-stop path. [11] X Research source
  • By clicking on the three dots next to the layer with your travel route, then selecting “Step-by-step directions,” My Maps will create a set of directions for your travel. Handy!

Step 3 Use your map to create a daily schedule.

  • For example, by using My Maps, you might notice that seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, walking around San Francisco, and eating at a restaurant in Berkeley are close enough to all be doable in one day, while visiting Big Sur might be better saved for another afternoon. My Maps can help you plan out the most efficient trip possible, so you can enjoy your travels even more.

Step 4 Use the “Share” option to loop your friends in on travel plans.

  • When sharing your map, you can also choose the option that allows others to edit the map as well. With this option selected, your friends can pick places that they’re interested in as well, so you can have them all on the same document. [13] X Research source

Step 5 Print your map for offline use.

  • Although My Maps can’t be viewed offline, you can download an offline map of any areas you’re interested in on your phone. Using the Google Maps app, type in a location into the search bar, tap the name of the location, then navigate to the option “Download offline map.” [15] X Research source

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5 Travel Planning Apps With Live Maps to Plot a Trip Itinerary

These free travel planning apps show all your activities and attractions on a live map and help you plot an itinerary.

Since the pandemic, you need to plan your trips carefully. So many things can change in no time, and people, in general, are traveling more, so advance bookings are crucial. These travel planning apps will help you plot an itinerary and ensure you don't miss out on any activities or attractions.

All the apps in this list come with maps that show all the locations you're traveling to. It's much better than using a Google Doc to write out your plan. Each app does something a little different or better than the others, so you'll likely find exactly what you're looking for in a travel planning app.

1. Scout (Web): Best Travel Planner for Cities With Detailed Map

When you're planning a trip to a new city, either alone or as a group, you will usually list many places you want to visit. With Scout, you can add these in different sections and see them on a live map, thus making it easier to figure out which places are within close distance and create an itinerary.

When you start a new trip in Scout, you'll first have to pick a city you're visiting and set your arrival and departure dates. By default, you get sections for attractions, food, and accommodations. But you can always add more custom sections. Each section gets its colored pin marker (for example, all food places will show as blue pins). You can add a place by searching for it or typing out the full address. It's powered by Google Maps, so it'll be easy to find any place.

Once you've added the points of interest, open the itinerary view to see your dates. Drag-and-drop places from the first bar to any day's itinerary. Once you add multiple places to a day, the map will automatically create a route for that day, linking all the places. You can rearrange them to find the best route to take.

You can also share your Scout trip with others, so that they can add their own points of interest and update the itinerary to create a group plan. It's also a helpful way to get tips from locals, as they'll be able to add recommendations directly to your map.

Scout also lets you publish your map or itinerary to its directory so that others can discover your helpful recommendations. And of course, you can browse the directory to find what others have recommended.

2. Puffin (Web): Find the Best Commute or Route for Your Travel Itinerary

Puffin is similar to Scout, with a few minor differences. When you create a new trip in Puffin and add a city, it automatically gives you a few recommendations for interesting and unique tourist spots , which show up as flowers on the map. Then, you start adding places of interest by searching for them in the left sidebar when set to Places, after which they'll show up as pins on the map.

Once you've added all the pins you want, switch the sidebar from Places to Itinerary. Create a new "day" and drag places from the map to that day. Puffin will automatically create a commute for you in the order of the places. Rearrange the places to get a better commute. You can also set a custom color for all the places and routes for a day.

For a detailed view of your entire itinerary, toggle the "View Full Schedule" button at the top of the sidebar. This will show a kanban board-like view of all your days. You can quickly drag and drop places between different days.

Puffin trips can also be shared between friends to build a trip collaboratively. Other users can comment on any place, so you can have a chat within Puffin on whether that place is worth going to or not.

3. Travel Trove (Web): Detailed Travel Planner for Multi-City Trips

Travel Trove is an excellent app if you go to a new country and plan to visit multiple cities. First, add the country you'll be going to, and then add the places you want to visit. For example, if you were going to Italy, search for the Colosseum and for the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and add both. Then, in your sidebar, Travel Trove will automatically list them under the different cities of Rome and Pisa.

For every place you add, you can also put in a few notes about it. Travel Trove also automatically scrapes information from Google Maps like the website, timings, and address of that place.

Once you've added all the places, switch to itinerary mode (and select all the cities in your trip when prompted). Now you'll be building a day-by-day itinerary for your visit. Each day has an "accommodation" slot and more slots for AM and PM to plan your holidays. Simply drag-and-drop your places to these slots to build the plan. You can also add notes for each day.

Travel Trove lets you quickly filter places by categories you have set while adding them, like must-visit, food, accommodation, etc. You can also add Packing Notes to your itinerary to ensure you don't forget anything. Once you're done with the travel plan, you can share it with others too.

4. Travel Mapper (Web): Google Sheets Travel Itinerary With Live Map

When you're planning the itinerary for your next trip, you usually want to visualize it on Google Maps too. Travel Mapper is a custom Google Sheets template that lets you create your travel itinerary, share it with friends, and instantly add the locations to Google Maps.

Travel Mapper is simple to use. Once you download the add-on, open a new Google Sheet and go to Extensions > Travel Mapper > Start Here > Generate Template . Add the date, time, activity, location, links, costs, and any additional notes in the sheet. The sidebar shows the Google Map for your itinerary, which you can update when you make any changes.

The map is customizable. You can add color codes for different elements and filter activities to see your map differently. The Google Maps in the sidebar can also be used to discover other places of interest nearby to any location. It's one of the best Google Maps hacks for travel trips .

Travel Mapper also includes a to-do list, a packing checklist, and a favorites list to ensure you don't forget anything. You can also share your newly created sheet with friends, who can add their own locations to the map.

5. Plip (Web, Android, iOS): Mobile-First Collaborative Trip Planner With Maps

The apps mentioned above in this list are all made to be used on computers. However, Plip bucks the trend by being a mobile-first travel planning app so that you can plan your entire trip on your phone or tablet. Plip also has a web app if you want to use it on your laptop.

Register for an account once you create a new trip; otherwise, your travels won't be saved. You can keep the trip private or share it with a group by adding others' emails.

When you want to add a new entry, there are eight types of plans to choose from: plan (generic), flight, reservation, lodging, restaurant, event, vehicle rental, and transit. The default details to fill for any entry are the title, the location, the start and end date and time, and any notes if necessary. Certain plans have additional entries, like "Provider" in events or "Confirmation number" in lodgings.

You can quickly filter your entries by the type of plan to view them in a list. Otherwise, switch to the Map view to view all your places of interest marked on the map, and scroll through a pane at the bottom.

Download: Plip for Android | iOS (Free)

Plan Well, But Look for Last Minute Deals

These apps will help plan out your entire trip, giving you a clear idea of when and where you will be. But don't yet rush to book it all.

The travel and hospitality industry has a lot of last-minute deals on flights, hotels, and tourist attractions. You should try to take advantage of these where you can. Since you will plan out your trip, add a few alternatives or flexible dates with flexible itineraries so that you can wait a bit more and benefit from these deals.

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Plan That Trip is here to take the hassle out of your trip planning process.

We eliminate the clutter of traditional planning methods by combining various planning aspects into one intuitive interface.

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Yes! Our free plan offers you everything you need to plan a trip. Trips with itinerary, calendar, and map views are saved for a year. You can also track expenses and attach notes. However, there are no sharing or collaboration tools, and you cannot upload or sync documents from email with the free plan.

Can I share my trip plan?

Absolutely! Plan That Trip allows you to invite friends, family, or colleagues to collaborate on your travel plans. They can view, edit, and add to the itinerary in real-time, ensuring everyone involved has the latest information. Collaboration and sharing require a Premium plan.

How do I add flights?

Plan That Trip lets you add flights in lots of ways. You can specify the destination and arrival location, or flight number and date. With the Premium plan, you can automatically load flights from any document.

Can I track my spending and budget?

You can assign a cost to any part of your itinerary, and we'll tracks all expenses across the entire trip. Cost splitting lets you determine who owes what for various activities and is a good way of keeping tabs on individual expenses. The complete budget view requires a Premium plan.

Is my data secure with Plan That Trip?

We take your data security very seriously. All your information, including personal details and travel documents, is stored securely and is only accessible to you and those you choose to share your itinerary with. We also give you the ability to download your data or delete your account, so you are always in charge.

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Unlike other travel apps, TripIt can organize it no matter where you book. We'll make sense of all your travel plans and create a single itinerary for every trip.

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Google Maps Trip Planner: How to Create an Epic Itinerary & Make The Most of This Tool

Google Maps Trip Planner: How to Create an Epic Itinerary & Make The Most of This Tool

Few travel tools are as useful and versatile as the Google Maps Trip Planner .

Whether you want to create a detailed road trip itinerary, share trip plans easily between friends, or have a basic idea of what sites you want to see on your trip, the Google Maps Trip Planner can do it all. This guide will let you know who the trip planner is perfect for, what the best features are, and how to use this free trip planning resource to the fullest!

Some of these links are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure !

Who is Google Maps Trip Planner Most Useful For?

The best thing about Google Maps Trip Planner is that it is not just a road trip planning tool. It can be used in a variety of ways that you may not think of at first.

Road Trippers

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. Planning a road trip with Google Maps Trip Planner is so easy. We’ll dive in-depth on specific features later in this post, but some of the best things about Trip Planner for creating a road trip itinerary are:

  • the ability to plan out each day of your road trip.
  • automatically sync your map to the Google Maps app.
  • know exact distances and real-time travel updates to use your time in the most efficient way possible.

Discover exactly how to plan the perfect road trip budget with tools like Trip Planner and money-saving tips !

Group Travelers

Anyone trying to coordinate a trip with a group of travelers knows the struggles of getting everyone on the same page. Everyone has their own priorities of what they want to see, how much they are willing to spend, etc. Google Maps Trip Planner is perfect for group travelers because:

  • you can share your itinerary easily with anyone you choose.
  • use color-coding to attend to each traveler’s needs.
  • use directions and distances to determine what locations are too out of the way.

Travel Photographers, Bloggers & Content Creators

Creatives like travel photographers, content creators and bloggers should all be using Google Maps Trip Planner! From my own personal experience, I do lots of research on locations I want to photograph before visiting a new place.

Then, what do you do with the information? After I’ve come up with my list of must-shoot places, I go to Google Maps Trip Planner and add a layer to my map that’s solely photo locations.

Then I can see if there are any too far out of the way of my itinerary or, also a possibility, some that can’t be reached by car.

You may think of Trip Planner as just a tool for planning road trips, but it’s actually an incredibly useful organizational tool for someone like me as a travel blogger to plan out where and when I will shoot new content!

Solo Travelers

Solo road trip? It’s a thing – and all solo travelers should take advantage of Trip Planner!

The number one reason Trip Planner is great for solo travelers is because it’s a safety tool. By putting your itinerary all in one place and easily be able to share it with family and friends, they can know where you will be on what days of your trip. This is one of my top tips for solo female travelers , especially!

Why Use Google Maps Trip Planner?

It’s free, with no strings attached.

plan trip itinerary map

The best part is that this trip planner is completely free! No subscription or In-App purchases, just a helpful web tool that puts the power of making your own itinerary on an actual map in your hands.

The only thing you need is a Gmail account with which you’ll sign in and then be able to create a map. But no worries, you won’t get any extra annoying emails sent to your inbox for using Trip Planner.

When you go to the site, you’ll sign in at the top right corner of the web page. If you’re already logged into Gmail on your computer, you’ll already be signed in!

Maps Automatically Back Up To Your Drive

Once you’re signed into your Gmail account, your maps become automatically connected to your Google Drive. No need to worry about losing progress while making your map.

Always double check in the upper lefthand corner that it says “All Changes Saved To Drive” before closing your map tab, otherwise you will lose whatever work you’ve done in that session.

It’s Compatible Across Devices

plan trip itinerary map

Once you make your map and it’s in your Google Drive, it becomes compatible across devices within Google Maps.

You can open Google Maps on your phone and open your map to easily access directions and reference your location markers on the go.

Pro Tip: If your map doesn’t automatically pop up when you open the app, go to the Saved tab in the middle of the menu at the bottom. You’ll see under “Your Lists” a row of circular icons. Click on the icon that says Maps and you’ll have access to every map you’ve created with Google Maps Trip Planner!

You Can Easily Share Your Itinerary With Others

Whether it’s for safety as a solo traveler, coordinating a group of trip-goers, or creating an itinerary for your blog followers, Google Maps Trip Planner makes it super simple to share your map.

At the end of this post, you’ll find the exact instructions for sharing!

Have Everything In One Place

I know when I’m trip planning, you’ll see me writing lists in a million different notebooks as new thoughts enter my mind – where am I going to find parking, I want to add this place to our itinerary, here’s options for restaurants, etc.

Google Maps Trip Planner can organize all of that information for me and save it in one place so trip planning is more organized and actually useful, in comparison to saving information in tons of different places and trying to piece it together as you are traveling.

Travel Bloggers & Creators Can Create Sample Itineraries To Share With Their Audiences

plan trip itinerary map

I mentioned this very briefly when it came to sharing maps, but this creative idea deserves its own category. If you don’t want to use the Google Maps plugin as a travel blogger (because it costs money) consider creating an itinerary for your followers to be inspired by on Trip Planner.

With the layering feature, you can create multiple sample itineraries within one map for your followers to get even more use and inspiration out of your blog and resources.

To add a map to your website, go to the upper lefthand corner next to map name and click the three dotes. Then click “Embed on my site” and copy the generated code into your post!

Amazing Features to Take Advantage of in Google Maps Trip Planner

Layering your map.

plan trip itinerary map

The most useful feature in Google Maps Trip Planner is layering. Adding layers to your map has so many pros during the trip planning process.

Firstly, while you’re planning and trying to determine how much you can see and do with your time, you can create sample itineraries within your one map by using different layers. While you brainstorm, you can visually see all of your options in one place and determine which routes work and which ones don’t.

Layers also allow you to plan your trip in-depth. You can make a layer for each day of your trip, each hour, each week – however specific or general you want to be, you can be!

Layers can also be used to differentiate between different traveler’s wants and needs. If you’re planning a group trip, each traveler can add their own layer of places they want to go. Have every layer visible and you can easily determine which places are too far out of the way from your route. Now, you can streamline your itinerary without argument.

There are so many ways to use the layers to make your trip planning creative and customizable to your needs!

Fun Tip: You can select the “Base Map” to be a different setting, for example if you want your map to be satellite or black and white!

Color-Coding Location Markers

One of the coolest things you can do on top of layering to make your map super detailed and specific is color coding your location markers.

Assigning location pins different colors can help you categorize what each location is without having to constantly click between them. For example, yellow markers could be Day 1, red markers Day 2, etc. Or you can add a category like “places to take pictures” that aren’t necessarily a part of your driving route.

For example, I was photographing certain locations for a company in Zurich, Switzerland a few weeks ago. I created a layer in my road trip map of only blue markers that were the locations I was supposed to shoot. I wasn’t driving to these locations, so it helped me to differentiate my locations I was photographing between my actual road trip route!

Ideas for what kinds of parameters you can use for different colored markers are:

  • Restaurants
  • Different days of your trip
  • Picture spots
  • Places each traveler in your group wants to visit
  • Places that are a priority versus places you will visit if you have the time
  • Activities & Tours

Adding Symbols to Location Markers

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that you can get even more specific with your trip planning. If color coding your markers isn’t enough for you, try adding a symbol to them.

You can add a symbol for gas stations, parking, your accommodation, restaurants, places you want to take pictures, – almost anything you can think of!

You can also add a short description in the text box pop-up when you click your location pin with whatever information you may want to note!

Add Directions Between Locations To Know Exact Travel Times

plan trip itinerary map

You can add directions between each day’s location or the entire road trip journey as a whole to know exactly how much time you’ll spend driving.

Often when we start planning a road trip, we want to see as much as possible and get a little in over our heads as to how much time we’ll really have to get around.

Places can sometimes look a lot closer on a map than they are by car. By seeing the travel times all in one place, you can easily weed out which spots don’t fit in your itinerary.

Use It Along Via Michelin to Estimate Fuel Costs On Your Road Trip

plan trip itinerary map

The one thing Google Maps Trip Planner doesn’t do is factor in fuel expenditure and cost. To rectify this problem and have the most detailed plan for your road trip and budget, use the trip planner in conjunction with ViaMichelin .

First, input your itinerary that you refined in Google Maps Trip Planner into ViaMichelin’s Route Planner. Then, enter the information of the make and model of your car.

ViaMichelin then takes all this information as well as insights about your route (local gas prices, toll costs, etc.) and gives you an accurate estimation of how much you’ll spend on your trip in fuel and tolls.

With these two tools working together, you’ll be the best prepared to use your budget and time wisely!

How to Create Your First Map in Google Maps Trip Planner

Google Maps Trip Planner becomes a very intuitive tool after you give it a try. It looks quite intimidating at first and not user-friendly, but once you start creating a map and clicking around to get to know the interface, you can catch one quickly and eventually master mapmaking.

This easy-to-follow guide will help you easily create a map in Google Maps Trip Planner for the first time.

Navigation Panel

Everything you need to make a map is in the white navigation panel on the lefthand side of your screen. At the top of your screen is a small search bar, where you can type in specific locations you want to add to your map!

Some tools below the search bar that I won’t write about later are:

  • Undo & Redo Buttons – Denoted by an arrow going left and another going right
  • Select Tool – Denoted by a handprint and useful for moving around the map without creating new markers
  • Draw a Line Tool – Denoted by three points connected by a line
  • Ruler Tool – Used for measuring distances

Name Your Map & Add Location Markers

plan trip itinerary map

The first step in creating your map is to go to Google Maps Road Trip Planner, click Create New Map, and give it a name. You can also give it a description (which is especially helpful if you plan to make it public or are sharing it with others.) You’ll find where you can name the map in the upper lefthand corner of the screen.

The next step is to start adding locations! Type in the search or click in a place on the map to create a marker for a location. If you type your location in, remember to click “Add to Map” in the bottom lefthand corner of the popup.

How to Add Layers in Your Map

You can easily add layers to your map in Google Maps Trip Planner by clicking “Add Layer” in the upper lefthand corner of the navigation panel. Each layer is divided as a box in the navigation panel.

When working with different layers, be sure the layer you want to add or make changes too has a blue line on the side of its box. If there is no blue line, you’re changing a different layer.

How to Color Code or Add Symbols to Your Location Markers

plan trip itinerary map

To categorize your location markers, you can either group them by different colors or attach a symbol to them.

To give them a new color, scroll over the location and click on the paint bucket that appears to the right of the location name. You’ll then be able to select a color for your marker!

In the same popup panel, you can transform your marker into a symbol, like P for parking, a camera for a photo location, a fork and knife for a restaurant, and many more specific options to choose from!

How to Add Directions to Your Map

To add direction between locations, create a new layer. Click the icon below the search bar that has the symbol of an arrow turning right and then input the locations you need directions between.

You can also click on a location marker and hit the same symbol at the bottom righthand corner of the popup to get directions.

Access step-by-step directions by clicking on the three dots in that layer and then selecting “Step-By-Step Directions.” It takes into account real-time traffic to give you accurate travel times and also notifies you if you will be passing through tolls!

Pro Tip: Because you add directions to a whole new layer, you can easily turn the other layers off just to see your driving route. This is an awesome feature of Google Trips Planner, since you can pick and choose which location markers you are driving between!

How to Share Your Map

plan trip itinerary map

Congrats! You made your map! Now you can share it with your fellow trip-goers or with the world in two easy steps!

First, click Share at the top of the navigation panel. In the popup, you can choose to share privately with others using the URL or make the map public for anyone to search, not using the URL.

If you don’t want users to be able to edit the map that you share with them, click “Drive Sharing” and make sure the link permissions are set to “Viewer.”

Extra Tips for Using Google Maps Trip Planner

  • Google has their own articles related to using Trip Planner . They are more technical but can be helpful when needing clear step-by-step instructions on how to do something.
  • As much as I love using this online tool, I still love to make my lists. I always write down trip plans in my travel journal (I’m obsessed with the WANDRD brand, as you’ll know if you are a regular reader,) which is also a great place to write reflections of my travels in!

I hope you found this guide to Google Maps Trip Planner helpful for planning your next getaway itinerary!

Any questions on using Trip Planner? Are you surprised by any of its features? Let me know in a comment!

Save these tips for easy reference on Pinterest!

plan trip itinerary map

Happy trip planning!

plan trip itinerary map

Michela is a travel writer and photographer living in northern Italy. She is passionate about helping people make the most of their travels by sharing advice gained from her personal experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and time-saving quick itineraries. Browse her top articles or have her help you plan your itinerary to your dream destination!

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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Fantastic guide, really appreciate it!

plan trip itinerary map

Thank you, I’m glad you found it helpful! 🙂

plan trip itinerary map

This is super-helpful information. I was trying to figure out how I could do exactly this kind of thing so your detailed instructions are very helpful.

Once I’ve created the map, with locations and pre-mapped directions, is it possible to access the details and directions in my phone app? I looked in the Maps help center/community for this but I can’t figure it out.

I just re-read this and apologize that my question isn’t clear! I have figured out how to see the map in my maps app, what I can’t figure out is how to use that information to actually run navigation/directions.

So, you would have to open the saved map on your Google Maps app. The only way you can run navigation is by clicking on one of your saved locations and then hitting Directions when the menu pops up. Then you would have to manually insert your starting point.

Unfortunately they don’t make it in a way that you can automatically set off the directions between two places on your saved map! Frustrating but this way is still more convenient for itinerary planning than anything else. Safe travels!

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How to use Google Maps as a trip planner and make a full itinerary

  • You can use Google Maps as a trip planner through the "Places" and "My Maps" features.
  • Both the Google Maps website and app let you save locations to lists, which you can then get immediate directions to.
  • When getting directions, you can look up reviews and add multiple stops to your route.

Google Maps has become an essential part of any road trip. After all, it's a GPS, business directory, and reviews platform all-in-one.

But if you spend some time with it, you can integrate Google Maps even more seamlessly into your next vacation. Google Maps has a variety of features you can use to plan your trip and save any interesting spots you find on the way.

Here's how to make Google Maps your trip planner, using the Places feature, My Maps, and more.

How to use Google Maps as a trip planner

Use the 'places' feature to save points of interest.

Let's say you're traveling, and happen to stumble upon the cutest coffee shop you've ever seen. You want to visit, but don't have time right now — what's the best way to remember it?

Google Maps' Places feature can help you out. Both the Google Maps website and app let you save any location on the map to a list, which you can then easily find later.

1. Open Google Maps and click, tap, or search for the location that you want to save.

2. Find the Save icon , which has the icon of a bookmark. You'll find it right under the location's name, but you might need to swipe to find it in the mobile app.

3. Pick where you want to save the location to. You've got three lists to start with — Favorites , Starred places , and Want to go — but you can make a new one by tapping New list .

4. Once you've saved the location, you can find it again by opening the list. In the mobile app, tap Saved at the bottom of the screen; on the website, click the three stacked lines in the top-left and then Your places .

Tap on a location in your list to have the map jump straight to it.

Look at Google Reviews to find the best shops

Nearly every point of interest on Google Maps has a section for user reviews. Similar to sites like Yelp, these reviews can be a great way to see which stops are must-sees and which you can pass.

To check out reviews:

1. Open Google Maps and find the location that you're interested in.

2. At the top of its information page should be a star rating and a number, showing how many people have left reviews.

3. Scroll down until you hit the Reviews section, and you'll find reviews from other users who've visited the location. They'll include a star rating, a date, and occasionally a picture.

If you're interested in leaving a review of your own, check out our article on how to write Google reviews .

Make a custom My Maps page to share your road trip plan

Only available on a computer as of this month , Google's My Maps program lets you make a custom map or plot out a route with as many waypoints as you like, and then save and share it with others.

1. Head to the My Maps homepage and click Create a New Map .

2. You'll be given a world map. In the menu in the top-left, click the Untitled map name to give your map a name.

3. Use the search bar at the top of the page to find any location, then click Add to map to save it. You can add as many points of interest as you like.

4. You can also save multiple separate lists of locations to the same map; just click Add layer in the top-left menu.

5. To save directions between multiple locations, click the Add directions icon that looks like a curved arrow. It'll add a new layer that you can use to plot a path.

6. When you're done, click Share or Preview in the top-left window.

Add multiple stops to one trip

Driving from one city to another is simple. But if you want to make stops along the way — lunch, the beach, a mall — things get complicated.

Luckily, you don't need to start a new Google Maps route for every stop. You can create one navigation route that includes every stop from the start, giving you a clear way to see how long it'll all take.

1. Open the Google Maps app and start navigating to another location.

2. On the screen that lets you pick your starting and ending location, tap the three dot icon .

3. Select Add stop .

4. A third waypoint — labeled "B" — will appear. Tap it to choose your second destination, or drag it to reorder the waypoints.

On a computer

1. On the Google Maps app website, find a location and start getting directions to it.

2. Underneath the menu that lets you pick your starting and ending location, click Add destination . 

3. A new field will appear. Enter your third waypoint.

4. Once you pick a new waypoint, you'll be able to click Add destination again and pick another one, as well as reorder them.

You can add up to nine destinations on both the website and mobile app.

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There's an easier way to plan and organize your trips—here's how

May 14, 2019

[[read-time]] min read

Richard Holden

Travel planning is complicated. The number of tools and amount of information you need to sift through when deciding where to go, where to stay and what flight to take can be time consuming and overwhelming. That’s why today, we’re simplifying the way we help travelers plan trips with Google across devices.

When you’re planning a trip—whether you’re on desktop or mobile—we want to help you find the information you need, fast. Last year , we simplified trip planning by making navigation between Google Flights, Hotels, and Trips easier on smartphones. We’re now rolling this out on desktop as well. You can either go to or search for something like “hotels in Tokyo” or “Vancouver” to find travel information from a variety of sources in one place.

As you plan a trip, your research and reservations will be organized for you in Trips. As we continue to evolve Google Trips, we’re making this information more accessible at, and in Google Search and Google Maps. We’re also adding a few new features to make planning and organizing your trips easier.

One place for all of your trip details

Last year , we started adding your trip reservations for things like hotels and flights to a trip timeline for your upcoming trips, when you’re signed into your Google account and you’ve received a confirmation in Gmail. When you go to, you can now make edits directly to your trips timeline, and in a few weeks you’ll be able to manually add new reservations as well.

Whether you’re packing your bags or finalizing your travel dates, the weather is an important part of every trip. You’ll now see the weather for any upcoming or potential trips at—so you can make sure you’re prepared, rain or shine.

Keep track of research and keep planning

It often takes days or weeks to plan a trip. When you need to pick up planning again, we’ll keep track of your trip research across Google. Recent searches, saved places and flights you’re tracking are added automatically to your trips when you’re signed into your Google Account. Soon, we’ll add viewed things to do and saved and viewed hotels to your trips. When you want to continue planning, all of your research will be waiting for you at If you don’t want to see private results, you can opt out by adjusting your results and web & app activity settings.

When you’re ready to continue researching other parts of your trip, scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination like suggested day plans, popular restaurants around your hotel and events happening during your dates.

Continue planning on-the-go  

When you’re on-the-go or visiting a new place, we’ll do more to highlight things to do, restaurants and more with Google Maps. For instance, last year we made it easier to find the best places to see and things to do when using Google Maps to explore a new place. Now, we’ll also help you get the lay of the land when you’re traveling by pointing out popular neighborhoods nearby and what they’re known for.

And in the next few months, your trips—including reservations for things like hotels and restaurants—will be accessible in Google Maps, too.

Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device. We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search and —so you can get out and enjoy the world.

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The best choice for vacation planning with personalized trip planning capabilities. TripPlan tailors your vacation experience based on your destination, interests, and travel dates. Add or remove attractions, accommodation options, and transportation choices, ensuring that your vacation perfectly aligns with your preferences. Enjoy a stress-free and well-organized vacation.

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7 Free Travel Planning AI and ChatGPT Apps to Get an Instant Itinerary

Quick links.

  • PLAN by ixigo
  • Trip Planner AI
  • Vacay Chatbot
  • Layla, Wonderplan, and PLAN by ixigo are AI travel planning apps with customizable itineraries.
  • offers detailed itineraries for popular tourist cities based on interests and budget.
  • Curiosio plans road trips on all continents, while Trip Planner AI helps with activity selection and cost estimation.

You can tell a travel agent your preferred dates, the place you want to visit, and your budget, and expect a full itinerary of what to do there based on your preferences. But can AI do the same job?

These free travel planning apps use AI and machine-learning tools like ChatGPT to prepare an itinerary for you in a few seconds, and we took them for a spin.

Layla describes itself as an AI trip planner, meaning you can use it to decide your vacation destination, create itineraries, and find suitable hotels and flights.

If you are uncertain about your destination or would like suggestions, you can ask Layla for advice regarding your trip. Otherwise, enter your destination and ask Layla to create your itinerary. Within a few seconds, you'll get a detailed plan for your trip.

As Layla is a chatbot, you can enter a prompt to ask it to change your itinerary. For instance, ask it to focus more on outdoor activities or include local restaurants. If you're unsatisfied with the activities planned on any particular day, you can give instructions and ask Layla to regenerate that part only.

Once you've perfected your itinerary, you can share it with your friends via a URL or add it to your bucket list.

2. Wonderplan

Wonderplan is a wonderful AI tool for planning your trip. To create your itinerary, Wonderplan first asks you to enter your destination country and city, your budget, the number of days you'll be staying, and your interests.

It then creates a travel plan within a few minutes, displaying various places to visit, their descriptions, and the time usually spent at each location. Although Wonderplan doesn't show the trip map, it does provide a link to Google Maps for each place.

It also displays different types of accommodation available (like Airbnb, hotel, or hostel) and their respective costs. Similarly, there are details about transportation, food, and activities. This way, you can estimate the potential cost of your trip.

In addition to your itinerary, Wonderplan also shows essential information about the country you're visiting. These include the currency conversion rate, electricity plug type, languages spoken, weather, and popular conveyances.

3. PLAN by ixigo

PLAN by ixigo starts by asking you about your dream destination. Then, it provides an option to describe the type of experience you want to have. This is just like a ChatGPT prompt, so you can enter anything you wish.

For example, you can specify the duration of your stay, your interests, the kinds of activities you're looking for, whether you have a family with you, and so on.

But if you can't think of any prompts, PLAN by ixigo provides a few trip ideas, so you can always select those. PLAN by ixigo then shows a day-wise plan, showing what you can do in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

However, if the suggested itinerary doesn't sound appealing, you can again enter a prompt to edit it.


While doesn't mention which AI or machine-learning algorithm it uses, the results are fantastic enough to gloss over that. The app works beautifully on phones to give you a full itinerary for any one city at a time, depending on how many days you have there.

The app first asks you to name the destination city. As far as we checked, works best for popular tourist cities, not offbeat or obscure travel. Next, note how many days you will be there, and then choose your free time each day—a cool step to ensure a better itinerary if you already have some plans, but not a whole days worth.

Tell if you're traveling solo, as a couple, with family, or with friends, and then choose your interest among topics like history, art and culture, nature, entertainment, shopping, food, sports, relaxing, etc. Finally, choose between an economy, normal, or luxury budget.

After a few minutes, gives you a day-wise itinerary for your trip. It's plotted on a map so you can see all the locations, and each point of interest has a brief description along with estimated travel time.

The app has both free and paid plans. With a paid account, you can share the trip plan with your friends and access it offline. Another limitation of is that you can't get an itinerary for a multi-city trip. For now, you'll need to make a plan for each city you're visiting, one at a time.

Download: for Android | iOS (Free, Paid)

5. Curiosio

The easiest last-minute travel plan is to get into a car and drive. Curiosio specializes in helping you plan an itinerary for a road trip to several major countries on all continents. It doesn't cover every single place, but the existing collection is impressive enough.

Curiosio uses its own AI engine, Ingeenee, which is trained on several crowdsourced travel-based resources, such as Wikivoyage, Wikipedia, Wikidata, Freebase, DBpedia, GeoNames, OSMNames, and OpenStreetMap. Through this dataset, it can chart an itinerary that meets your requirements across various parameters.

You can set options for a round trip or a one-way trip with starting and finishing points. If there are any places you want to visit on the way, add them in. Then set the number of travelers, dates of the journey, what vehicle you're using, total budget, and whether you want to visit places that spark curiosity or are obscure. The AI will usually give you multiple plans and routes for these options.

The itinerary includes a map of your route and a day-wise breakdown of where you'll be going and what you'll be seeing. Each point of interest is clickable to find more information about it. There are easy ways to share your itinerary with co-travelers, print it out, or even export it to Google Maps. Curiosio is one of the best road trip planners for your next adventure .

6. Trip Planner AI

Trip Planner AI plans a perfect trip to your dream destination. Begin creating your itinerary by entering the city you wish to visit and traveling dates. You can add multiple destinations here.

Then, select the kinds of activities you prefer, the number of people, and whether you're traveling with friends or family. Trip Planner AI asks you about your dietary preferences and budget.

As an optional step, you can specify the place where you'll be staying so that it creates an itinerary accordingly. If you haven't decided on your lodging yet, you can explore hotels suggested by Trip Planner AI.

Finally, Trip Planner AI generates a detailed itinerary, a map, and basic information about the city you're visiting. For each destination, it provides the details of the place, expected traveling time, and cost. Though it provides a complete plan for your trip, you can manually add or remove activities from your itinerary. You can also invite your friends to edit the itinerary and download it as a PDF.

7. Vacay Chatbot

Vacay Chatbot is not a dedicated itinerary maker but an AI chatbot that acts like your travel advisor. So, you can ask it to give travel recommendations, compare different destinations, and, of course, create an itinerary. If you've previously used AI chatbots like ChatGPT, you'll find this trip planner easy to use.

Just enter a prompt specifying your destination and trip details and ask Vacay Chatbot to create an itinerary. You can include details like your trip duration, budget, preferences, number of travelers, etc. The more details you provide, the better your itinerary will be.

One of the downsides of using Vacay Chatbot is that it doesn't provide a map for your trip. However, you can use these apps to plot your itinerary on a map .

All these travel planning AI apps urge you not to use the itinerary as-is and only treat it as a template or guide to begin planning your trip. This is because they currently have several limitations, like databases that aren't recently updated or require specific prompts from the user.

A real human travel agent will still give you a more customized itinerary, but it will cost you a few bucks. If you want a free base guide, more basic travel planning apps are a good starting point.

7 Free Travel Planning AI and ChatGPT Apps to Get an Instant Itinerary

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Hong Kong Travel Itinerary – 7 Days Of Food, Culture and Adventure

Last Updated May 10, 2024 William Tang

You are here: Home » Travel Itineraries » Hong Kong Travel Itinerary – 7 Days Of Food, Culture and Adventure

Hong Kong is Asia’s World City but more than that, it’s an open kitchen, has a legendary skyline, and is filled with vibrant traditions, unexpected lush greenery and ancient volcanoes. You think you know the city, but until you’ve seen our Hong Kong travel itinerary, you’ll realize that there’s so much that you haven’t seen.

In 7 days, we cover all the essential details you need to build your own epic trip to Hong Kong. Let’s jump right in!

What You’ll Get Out of This Itinerary

  • Day-by-day breakdown that covers how to build a 7 day itinerary of Hong Kong.
  • Important details about major attractions including where to buy tickets, directions, best days to go, and more.
  • Interactive Google Map of all locations on the itinerary.
  • Access to the get the itinerary spreadsheet.

Table of Contents

Journey leading to hong kong, who this hong kong itinerary is for, how to use this hong kong itinerary, itinerary day 1 – iconic red junk boat, itinerary day 2 – discover peng chau island, itinerary day 3 – rising to the peak, itinerary day 4 – hanging in causeway bay, itinerary day 5 – the center of art and culture in west kowloon, itinerary day 6 – hike to kowloon peak, itinerary day 7 – enter an ancient rock column palace, map of hong kong itinerary, 1 – octopus does it all, 2 – organize your itinerary by neighborhoods, 3 – credit card is accepted (almost) everywhere, 4 – download these apps before you go, 5 – it’s hot but they pump the ac.

  • Where To Stay in Hong Kong

How Much Did This Trip Cost

Hong kong planning essentials, what we missed in hong kong, hong kong is full of surprises, frequently asked questions, read more hong kong content, best place to book hotels in hong kong, hong kong trip planning.

hong kong observation wheel long exposure spinning

This trip to Hong Kong was certainly a unique one for me because half of it was with my parents who and the other half on my own. This was the last leg of their Asia tour before flying home to Canada and I was accompanying them and playing a bit of tour guide as well.

When putting together the itinerary, I wanted to show them the an authentic side to Hong Kong and be able to do it independently because they’re so used to seeing Asia through the lens of a bus tour.

As someone that’s been to Hong Kong before, it’s also worth noting that we didn’t feel as much FOMO about doing absolutely every single touristy spot in the city. In some ways, this was much more liberating because we could go a bit off-the-beaten-path.

While this itinerary is certainly perfect for first-timers, with a week to work with, it gave us some latitude to incorporate a few unique locations that often don’t make their way to most Hong Kong trips.

  • Seeking local eats – This itinerary almost exclusively focuses on local street eats. If you enjoy trying authentic Hong Kong cuisine, you’re going to be a happy camper.
  • Enjoy the natural outdoors – Easily overlooked are Hong Kong’s bounty of outdoor experiences. If you love hiking, you’ll love how Hong Kong’s Green Outdoors are incorporated.
  • Want to see the popular sights – We still make sure that you get to see and do many of Hong Kong’s icons.
  • You’re a first timer but want to go deeper – Ultimately, we feel that this itinerary is a balanced mix of the classics with opportunities to delve into Hong Kong’s art, cultural, foodie, and hiking-scene that are normally skipped.

As with all of our itineraries , we do our best to make these as helpful as possible. Instead of making you jump between a lot of different pages and force you to assemble it, we put as much detail in our day-by-day breakdown.

With this Hong Kong travel itinerary, we have special call out boxes called “What you need to know” which have deep insight from our personal experiences. We also have summaries of each day and an interactive trip map that you can take away to use as well.

Before you go, make sure to sign up to get access to our pre-made spreadsheet of this exact trip, a tool we swear by for our trip planning process .

Lastly, feel like we missed something or want ideas for other things you can swap in? We have you covered with our What We Missed in Hong Kong section.

7-Day Hong Kong Travel Itinerary

aqualuna red junk boat evening harbour cruise in hong kong

Even as a transit day into Hong Kong, you’re going to make the most of it immediately after you touch down. Get ready to say “Hello Hong Kong”!

Arrive in Hong Kong

hong kong tourism board arrival counter at the airport

The arrival procedure at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is pretty straightforward. The only things you will encounter are:

  • They do random temperature checks on arrival into the terminal where a staff has a handheld temperature meter. In my case, I was asked to take off my hat.
  • You need to fill out an Arrival Card which you may or may not receive on the plane. If you didn’t, there’s a counter at customs which will allow you to grab one and fill it out.
  • In between the luggage carousel area and the arrival hall, you’ll find a Hong Kong Tourism Board desk . They run promotions from time to time and it’s definitely worth lining up to get their freebies or vouchers.

The Octopus Card is KEY

TRAVEL TIP:  In Hong Kong it’s pretty much mandatory to have an  Octopus Card . Like the Suica or PASMO Card in Japan, it just makes it so much easier to tap to use the MTR, ferry, tramways, the Peak Tram, and to even pay for things. You can pre-book your Tourist Octopus Card  that’s already loaded with HK$50 and pick it up at the airport. These aren’t rental cards so you can keep them as a souvenir.

hong kong airport express group ticket for discounted prices

Once you get your Octopus Card sorted, you’ll need a way to get into the city. One of the fastest and most convenient ways to do this is to take the Airport Express trail.

While you can definitely use your Octopus Card to pay, the important tip is that if you are a group of 2 or more , you’ll want to buy their group tickets because they are cheaper. Alternatively, you can also buy tickets in advance to save some time.


We’ll focus on getting from the airport to the city but we’ll add some details that are important for those that are taking Airport Express when leaving Hong Kong.

Location: Connected to the arrivals hall of Hong Kong International Airport is the Airport Express station. It’s on the same level and doesn’t require taking any escalators or elevators. Airport Express has 5 stations in the line going from west to east.

  • AsiaWorld-Expo – This is actually before the airport so most people won’t be going here.
  • Airport – This is where you’ll get on.
  • Tsing Yi – This is a small urban island and mostly residential.
  • Kowloon – This connects with the MTR station of the same name. The only problem with this station is that it doesn’t have an easy connection if you want to go to other parts of Kowloon such as Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, and Mong Kok by MTR.
  • Hong Kong – This is the end of the line and right below MTR Hong Kong Station which is also connected with MTR Central Station.
  • Frequency – Varies throughout different parts of the day but during prime time, it’s roughly ever 50 minutes so it’s worth checking the airport express schedule .
  • Schedule from airport – First train at 5:54AM and last train at 12:48AM.
  • Schedule from Hong Kong station – First train at 5:53 AM and last train at 12:52AM.
  • Duration – 24 minutes to Hong Kong Station and 22 minutes to Kowloon station.

Price: The airport express fare table has the most up-to-date pricing but there are a few things you want to pay attention to.

  • Paying by Octopus Card is cheaper than buying a single-use ticket (what they call a Smart Ticket)
  • Single journey and same day return tickets are the same price. This is useful for those that are doing a connection through Hong Kong but have many hours to spare and want to go into the city.
  • If you’re taking Airport Express and interchange to the MTR (subway), this is free. This only works if you use the Octopus Card to ride the Airport Express.
  • IMPORTANT – Not well advertised is that there are significant savings for group tickets. If you’re travelling in groups of 2, 3, or 4, it’s cheaper to buy these Smart Tickets instead of using your Octopus Card.

In-Town Check-in Service: Airport Express has special counters at Hong Kong Station and is a handy service they offer where you can get your boarding pass and check-in your luggage ahead of time. There are some caveats though:

  • To enter the In-Town Check-in Service area, you need a valid Airport Express ticket which you scan to get in.
  • Currently, this service is only offered to flights operated by Cathay Pacific (cannot be a codeshare flight with another airline).
  • You can actually check-in here a full day in advance and up to 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time (during service hours). Exception are US destinations where check-in can only start 24 hours before scheduled flight departure time.
  • We wouldn’t recommend you do this the day before your flight though as you’d need two Airport Express tickets. That said, this is handy for those that want to drop off their bags early in the morning if your flight is later in the day and still want to spend the day to explore.
  • Check-in bags are limited to 145cm (length) x 100cm (width) x 85cm (height) and weight of 70kg.
  • Service hours are 6AM to 11PM.
  • After you complete the check-in, you leave the In-Town Check-in Service gated area and take the elevator down to train-level where you’ll tap your Airport Express ticket again.

Hotel Shuttle Service: Complimentary shuttles are offered from Hong Kong Station and Kowloon Station. These are buses that go to specific hotels and have their own specific schedule . You don’t necessarily need to hold a reservation at one of these hotels to take them.

Alternatives to Airport Express: If you’re looking for a cheaper, private, or more frequent way to get into the city, there are other options.

  • Public buses – If you’re going to Tsim Sha Tsui, take Citybus A25 (HK$40.8, every 30 minutes) or Citybus A21 (HK$34.6, every 15 minutes). If you’re trying to get to the Hong Kong Island side (Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and North Point), take Citybus A11 (HK$41.9).
  • Taxis – Fares are metered. Take a red taxi if you’re headed to Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, green taxi if you’re going to the New Territories, and blue taxi for Lantau Island. As a guideline , the fare from the airport to Tsim Sha Tsui is around HK$265 and to Central is HK$335.
  • Uber – Uber works in Hong Kong but the consensus for most is that the standard taxi is better because they know the roads inside out and their pricing is the same as Uber or cheaper.
  • Private transfer – If you’re traveling in a large group, this might make more sense and brings you straight to your hotel. You can find great prices for transfers on Klook .

Booking: You can book online directly with Airport Express. You can also book tickets in advance with Klook, saving you $1-$2 in the process. You can also book tickets through Viator .

Website: Hong Kong Airport Express

  • Are seats assigned on the Airport Express? No, the train is first-come-first-serve. You’ll find that the train doesn’t get very full so it is not competitive.
  • Is there a place for luggage on Airport Express? In each car there are 4 luggage racks like the one depicted above which is plenty of space and ensures they don’t move around.
  • The hotel shuttle service is a sneaky way to get closer to where you want to be if it works out.
  • If you need to charge your devices, outlets are available only on the first and last car of the train. Free wifi-service is available throughout.
  • Hong Kong’s Transportation Department developed an app called HKeMobility that is meant to be an all-in-one travel app for the city. Download it ( iOS / Android ) before you go.

You’ll be lugging around your luggage so once you hop out of Airport Express, connect with the MTR to get to your closest subway station.

In our case, since we stayed at Page148 , MTR Jordan Station was the closest and we walked the rest of the way. It was too early to check-in so we left our bags with the front desk.

Classic lunch at Australia Dairy Company

australia dairy company restaurant famed dishes including french toast egg sandwich and steamed milk

No matter whether you arrive in Hong Kong in the morning or afternoon, start your trip right by heading to a legendary HK-style cafe, Australia Dairy Company .

These types of cafes are distinctly a part of the fabric of Hong Kong cuisine and known as cha chaan teng . You can think of these as an equivalent to an American diner except they’re a fusion of east and west that developed from British influence.

If you see a long queue outside, don’t worry, the turnover is insanely fast so you’ll get a table in no time. Of course, with that, you’ll likely be sharing a table with another group, they’ll hustle you for your order, and when the food arrives, you eat and go.

It’s a chaotic scene but you’ll love how it gives you glimpse into Hong Kong’s fast-paced lifestyle.

When you’re here, make sure to order their steamed milk pudding, HK-style French toast, milk tea, and egg sandwich.

Explore Ladies Market and Goldfish Market

bustling ladies market street in hong kong

Next, make your way to Ladies Market , a 1 kilometer stretch, covering 4 blocks and consists of stalls selling all sorts of knickknacks, primarily geared towards tourists. That said, it’s an open-air market that has a liveliness to it that is always welcome.

Here, you’ll find everything from magnets, t-shirts, bobble-heads, jewelry, phone cases, handbags, socks, knockoffs, and more.

Just north of the market is the Goldfish Market on Tung Choi Street. You’re probably not buying any luck-bringing goldfish on your trip but you get to peer into the window of where locals go to buy pets.

At this point, your room should be ready so head back to the hotel to get organized.

Enjoy the iconic aqualuna Harbour Cruise

view from onboard the aqualua red junk boat

You’re in for a treat! On our first few visits to Hong Kong, the classic thing to do is to head out to watch the sparkling night lights from Kowloon pier and we’d always see this beautiful red junk boat sailing in the foreground. I thought, “now that has to be the best way to see Hong Kong!” – I was right!

So turns out, one of the main operators is aqualuna where they own two iconic red sail junk boats . The best time to do their cruise is around sunset where they do a 45 minute loop around Victoria Harbour, giving you ample time to sip on a glass of wine while enjoying the illuminated skyline on both Kowloon-side and Hong Kong Island.

There are a few companies that have the red sail junk boat for their harbour cruise but the one we recommend is aqualuna.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Hong Kong Station or MTR Central Station

Location: One of the advantages of aqualuna is that they do pick ups from both sides of Victoria Harbour. Something to keep in mind is that only Tsim Sha Tsui is offered as a disembarking pier.

  • Tsim Sha Tsui Pier 1 – This is the first pick up point and also the drop off.
  • Central Ferry Pier 9 – This is the second pick up point.
  • Cruises operate year-round.
  • Departures on the 30 minute – These bring you back to your point of departure
  • Departures on the 45 minute – These bring you across the harbor when they drop you off.
  • TST departure – 4:45PM, 5:30PM, 5:45PM, 6:30PM, 6:45PM, 7:30PM, 7:45PM, 8:30PM, 8:45PM
  • Central departure – 4:30PM, 5:30PM, 5:45PM, 6:30PM, 6:45PM, 7:30PM, 7:45PM, 8:30PM, 8:45PM
  • Note that the 7:30PM and 7:4PM departures are the special Symphony of Lights Cruise which is more expensive.
  • The schedule is subject to change with the availability of both ships and if any of them are booked for private events.
  • Cruise duration – 45 minutes if dropping you off on the other side, 60 minutes if you do a return trip.
  • Adults – HK$270
  • Child (4-11) – HK$170
  • Child under 4 – Free
  • Drink list – House white or red wine, Prosecco, beer, juices, Sundowner mocktail, soft drinks, and still or sparkling water.
  • You can upgrade to a Mini Moët Impérial 20cl for HK$150

Booking: Advanced bookings are required as there are no ticket booths at either pick up location. You can reserve directly with aqualuna but we found that booking through either Viator or Klook come with the advantage of having quicker customer service.

Website: aqualuna

  • How early do I need to arrive for my harbor cruise? It’s recommended to arrive at your pier at least 15 minutes in advance.
  • Are seats assigned on the boat? Guests are free to choose where they want to sit. This means that it is first-come-first-serve.
  • To get to Central Ferry Pier 9 from the MTR, you’ll want to get onto the elevated pedestrian walkway that connects to all the skyscrapers here. If you get onto street level, look for the escalator up to the walkway. Follow the signs to the Central Ferry Pier.
  • Make sure to check the Hong Kong sunset times for the date that you’re interested in so you can select the right cruise time. For instance, if the sunset time is 6:45PM, ideally choose the 6:30PM sailing so you can catch the sunset and the night skyline view.
  • Since seating is first-come-first-serve, if you want to guarantee a specific spot on the junk boat, we recommend that you board from the Tsim Sha Tsui Pier and show up early to start the queue.
  • The advantage of starting in Tsim Sha Tsui is that you’ll board the boat first, and you’ll have an additional 15 minutes of cruise time.
  • The advantage of starting in Central is that you effectively get a free harbour crossing as you’ll start off on the Hong Kong-side and end up on the Kowloon-side
  • If you look at the aqualuna site , their timetable is honestly confusing and contradictory but this is because things work different between low season and high season. In low season, it’s straightforward with pick ups only in Tsim Sha Tsui, followed by Central, and everyone dropped off back at Tsim Sha Tsui. During high season, the starting point is different.
  • It gets a fair bit chillier after sunset so we recommend bringing a light jacket , shawl, or cardigan in case you get cold.

Walk amongst the stars

kowloon canton-railway clock tower in tsim sha tsui in the evening

After disembarking in TST, check out the Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower and walk to newly revitalized Avenue of the Stars where you’ll see hand-print plaques of famous Chinese stars on the railing and the famed statue of Bruce Lee.

Slurp A hearty bowl of wontons

shek kee wonton noodles storefront

As you’ll learn throughout this trip to Hong Kong, to experience authentic local eats, you have to find the hole-in-the-wall joints that are frequented by the very people that live there.

Since you’re already in TST, head over to Shek Kee Wonton Noodles . You won’t see a single lick of English on the outside but on the inside is one of the best places in the city to have a bowl of wonton noodles.

The multi-language menu will be overwhelming to go through but I’ll make it easy for you, get the “Wonton, Fish Ball & Beef with Noodle”. That’s what you see above and it is a winner.

Day 1 Summary

What you’ll see & do:

  • Ladies Market
  • Goldfish Market
  • aqualuna Harbour Cruise
  • Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower
  • Avenue of the Stars

Where you’ll eat:

  • Lunch – Australia Dairy Company – HK-style cafe that specializing in steamed milk pudding and scrabbled egg sandwiches but expect all of the Hong Kong classics like milk tea, French toast, macaroni soup, spaghetti, and congee. They have English menus and are cash-only .
  • Dinner – Shek Kee Wonton Noodles – A no-frills wonton noodles shop in TST that locals love to frequent because they have generously-sized wontons, noodles are cooked al-dente, their chili sauce is excellent, and it’s incredibly affordable. They have English menus and are cash-only . Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended.

Where you’ll stay:

  • Page148 ( Agoda / Booking ) – This is a boutique hotel that has a modern sensibility to it.  It features plenty of sleek lines, a nice blend of textures, and plenty of minimalism. Their lobby has a spacious in-house cafe with plenty of table space. The front desk staff are very friendly and accommodating. We stayed in the Signature Greenery room which has a comfortable queen bed and as a corner unit, it has views of the cricket club, Kowloon skyscrapers and the silhouette of the mountains. It’s a bit of a pricier option but you can’t go wrong .

peng chau island aerial overview of this outlying island in hong kong

Hong Kong is made up of many small islands and this is personally something we make sure we do every time we visit. For day two, you’ll go on an adventure to see a completely different side to the metropolis that you saw on your first day.

Ride the ferry to Peng Chau

peng chau ferry pier with ferry docked and small fishing boats in the foreground

Peng Chau means ‘flat island’ and ironically is crescent-shaped and is more hilly than it is flat. In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), industry thrived here with over 100 factories, including the largest match factory in Southeast Asia.

Today, Peng Chau is a peaceful retreat that gives a taste of authentic village life, hideaway beaches, easy hiking trails, panoramic viewpoints, and soothing sea breezes .

To get to the outlying island of Peng Chau is quite easy. From Central Ferry Pier 6 , there is a ferry run by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry (HKKF) and will whisk you away in 40 minutes with the ordinary-speed catamaran ship.

plan trip itinerary map

Closest MTR Station: MTR Central Station

Location: The ferry departs from Central Ferry Pier Number 6.

  • Duration – The ordinary ferry is 40 minutes and the fast ferry is 25-30 minutes.
  • Timetable – Make sure to visit the official page for the most up-to-date schedule.

Price: The below are the fares for each direction. There are no discounts for round trips.

To pay, the easiest way is to simply tap your Octopus Card. Alternatively, you can also look for this ticket booth to the left of the pier to buy a ticket with cash or card.

The above are the current prices but are subject to change. Check the HKKF page for the up-to-date rates.

Booking: You can’t book this online. It’s first-come-first-serve but generally the boat does not fill up to capacity. Advanced tickets also cannot be purchased. Tickets purchased are for the upcoming sailing so you can’t pay ahead of time to guarantee a spot.

Website: Central to Peng Chau Ferry

  • How early in advance should you get to the ferry? This is not usually a very busy ferry so we recommend getting to the pier 20 minutes ahead of departure.
  • When does boarding start for the ferry? Typically, they start letting passengers on 8-10 minutes ahead of departure.
  • Will I get sea sick on the ferry? The catamaran ships used for the ferry are very stable and since the waters are quite calm on a normal day, chances of feeling sea sick are very low.

open air deck of peng chua ferry

  • The easiest way to get to Central Ferry Pier is to pop out of Central MTR station and get on the elevated walkway. This walkway connects with many of the high rises in the area and also takes you straight out to the pier area. Pay attention to the signs in English that direct you to Piers 2 to 6 that go to the Outlying Islands.
  • Since using your Octopus Card is the easiest way to pay for the ferry, make sure yours is topped up before your day trip to Peng Chau island.
  • The ferry has two levels. We recommend getting a seat on the upper deck which has better views. This is still covered with rows of leather seats. If you go all the way to the back, the door opens to the only part of the ship that is open-air. There are limited seats out here but we found that these are usually less popular.

See the many temples of Peng Chau

peng chau island welcome sign

Once you arrive on the island, you’ll see the customary “Welcome to Peng Chau” sign. You can find these at all of the outlying islands including Lamma Island and Cheung Chau.

The ferry pier is right next to the central part of the island. If you’re hungry, you can go to Kee Sum Cafe to try their famed prawn toast.

It’s also here where you’ll find Tin Hau Temple . This is a popular name for temple so you’ll see these all over Hong Kong. Make sure to go inside to see all of the spiral incense hung from above. Most people come to pray for good fortune at sea and their safety.

A short walk away is Kam Fa Temple or Golden Flower Shrine. I personally love this one because of the twin dragon pillars that flank each side. This temple is right next to an old banyan tree and many people come to worship Kam Fa Goddess because she’s known to make wishes come true.

tai lei island connected by a bridge with fishing boats in the water

Continue along the western shoreline, you’ll pass by Seven Sisters Temple . This is a collection of temples that are dedicated to seven deities that couples will come visit to pray for fertility.

From here, you’ll see a bridge that connects to a lone islet. This is Tai Lei Island , a popular spot for fishermen, but is also quite photogenic thanks to the large ‘Turtle Rock’ that juts out into the water.

Walk the Peng Yu Path

snoopy rock and old fishermans rock aerial photo of peng chau island

At this point, the Peng Yu Path begins. This is a walking trail that covers the northern part of the island. Along the way, you’ll pass by several secluded beaches.

The main highlight of this path are Snoopy Rock and Old Fisherman’s Rock that stand precariously on different parts an island that’s connected by sand.

Along the path are several pavilions offering a place to sit and get under the shade. Continue along Peng Chau Family Walk which completes the northern crescent and drops you into Tung Wan Beach , the largest of all beaches.

Along the beach is Lung Mo Temple , decorated by gold on the inside, and is famous for the goddess, Lung Mo’s statue and her Dragon Bed. Many is said about it but apparently if you touch it, you’ll be bestowed good luck.

Take a break at Hoho Kitchen

hoho kitchen storefront on peng chau island

Back in the center of the island, this is the perfect time to take your lunch break. We highly recommend you eat at Hoho Kitchen on Wing On Street. They serve many of the classic Hong Kong dishes, alongside their Insta-famous pineapple bun ice cream sandwich.

When done, take your time to wander the local village streets, check out the traditional Chinese architecture, and pick up some snacks and drinks for your afternoon walk.

Make sure to also seek out the Fook Yuen Leather Factory , a historic building that’s been transformed into a creative art installation made of recycled materials.

Complete the Peng Chau Family Trail

aerial view from finger hill peng chau island trail

From the center of town, start your walk on the Peng Chau Family Trail which will take you up to Finger Hill, the highest point on the island.

On your way, you’ll have 355 steps laid out in front of you so take your time, take breaks, and don’t forget to look back down for some awesome views.

At the very top of Finger Hill is a pagoda where you’ll no doubt want to cool off a bit with the shaded breeze as you take in the views.

Next, take a flight of stairs down to Ngan Chai Tsai Pavilion , which arguably has the better view, facing east and points directly at Hong Kong and the skyscrapers that surround Victoria Harbour.

Round out your day on Peng Chau by following the path to a lower viewing platform and beach that has looks at Ngan Chau Island , another that resembles a turtle. Get back on the paved road and pass by an old pier, another beach, and finally to Nam Wan (South Beach).

A short distance along the seaside promenade and you’ll be back to the Peng Chau ferry pier . If you want, you can grab a quick bite at A Noy Bakery or Island Table Grocer Cafe .

Catch the ferry back to Central Ferry Pier 6 and watch a brilliant sunset cash its glow on the silhouette of islands.

mister softee iconic soft serve ice cream by central pier

Unmissable is the giant ferris wheel that’s staring right at you. This is the Hong Kong Observation Wheel which is part of the AIA Vitality Park .

While you’d assume that it’d cost an arm and a leg to ride the ferris wheel, think again! Tickets only costs HK$20 for adults (less than $3 USD) so there’s almost no reason to not buy your tickets in advance .

If you’re lucky, be on the lookout for the Mister Softee ice cream truck or listen for the Blue Danube jingle. They’re a childhood favourite and still so good today.

Enjoy delicious claypot rice dish

hing kee restaurant claypot rice dish in hong kong

Another beloved Hong Kong street food classic is claypot rice . This is where the crackle and crunch of rice from the baked rice is topped with a mix of meat, seafood, and vegetables, then you stir in the sweet soy sauce.

Running for over 30 years, Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant has become so popular that they’ve had to scoop up multiple storefronts to keep up with demand. Even though you’ll see branches across two streets, there’s still a line to get a table.

There are literally 60+ variations of claypot rice so you might be overloaded with choice. Sometimes, the simplest combos are the best so I’d stick to spare ribs with Chinese sausage or chicken with Chinese sausage.

Beyond claypot rice, make sure to try other dishes like razor clams and deep fried oyster pancakes.

TIP: The line may seem long but like Australia Dairy Company, the turnover is fast and they have so many tables scattered around.

Take in the Temple Street Night Market

temple street night market main gate in the evening

To close out the night, walk down from Hing Kee and enter the main gates of Temple Street Market . This is a lively area that’s kept much of its original character. It’s a bit rough around the edges but is certainly eye-opening.

The main stretch is dominated by many of the same type of shops you’ll find at Ladies Market, but surrounding it are also an eclectic mix of fortune-tellers, open-air karaoke, street food, and prostitutes lurking in the shadows.

Day 2 Summary

  • Tin Hau Temple
  • Kam Fa Temple
  • Seven Sisters Temple
  • Tai Lei Island
  • Peng Yu Path
  • Tung Wan Beach
  • Lung Mo Temple
  • Fook Yuen Leather Factory
  • Peng Chau Family Trail
  • Tai Wo Pier
  • Nam Wan Pier
  • Hong Kong Observation Wheel
  • Breakfast – Page148 or Kee Sum Cafe – If breakfast is included, you have the option to eat at your hotel or you can eat once you arrive on Peng Chau Island. This cafe is a staple on the island and is best known for its prawn toast and pork chop sandwich. They are closed on Mondays.
  • Lunch – Hoho Kitchen – A classic HK-style cafe that also happens to make a killer ice cream sandwich where they use a pineapple bun instead. They are closed on Thursdays.
  • Snack – Island Table Grocer Cafe and A Noy Bakery – Both of these are great options if you want a later afternoon pick-me-up before you hop on the ferry. A Noy Bakery is closed on Mondays.
  • Snack – Mister Softee – Vintage icon ice cream truck that has been around since the 1970s.   They specialize in milk-flavored soft-serve.
  • Dinner – Hing Kee Claypot Rice Restaurant – One of the go-to restaurants to have claypot rice on Temple Street. Heads up, don’t get this mixed up with “Hing Kee Restaurant” as they are not the same.
  • Page148 ( Agoda / Booking ) – We do a deeper dive in our Where To Stay in Hong Kong section of the article.

Best Restaurants in Hong Kong

It’s impossible to eat at all of them but you should at least try! Many of them are featured in this itinerary but there are many more. Make sure to read our guide to find out where else you’d like to eat.

hong kong victoria peak view of the skyline centered by a lion statue

Next on your travel itinerary is a day filled with many of the Hong Kong classics – the kind that you’d feel the FOMO if you didn’t do, and if you’ve done it before, it’s is the kind of place that you never mind being reacquainted with.

Experience authentic dim sum

sun hing restaurant dim sum interior

Start off your morning by venturing out to the most western stop on MTR’s Island Line, Kennedy Town. You’ve made it all this way to eat at Sun Hing Restaurant , a dim sum specialist that opens as early as 3AM.

This might be one of the most raw forms of dining you’ll have on this trip and that’s precisely why you’ll love it. Nobody really speaks English here, you’ll most definitely have to share a table, and the plastic stools aren’t the most comfortable but the dim sum will make it worth it.

I’d say the chaos here surpasses what you’ll experience at Australia Dairy Company. Dishes come out of nowhere and sometimes they don’t come at all. Once you’re done eating, you’ll feel darting glares from those that are standing at the entrance, so it’s best to be quick about it.

TIP: Despite providing a order sheet that’s completely in Chinese, you quickly learn that it doesn’t go anywhere. If the wait-staff remember what you ordered, they’ll bring it over but if they don’t, nothing will ever come. The best way to get what you want is to just point at dishes when they come out. If you’re having trouble, there is an English translation of the menu on the wall with pictures.

Take in the atmospheric Man Mo Temple

man mo temple hong kong with spiral incense coils

Next, pop out of MTR Sheung Wan Station and pass through Upper Lascar Row , an antique street market that’s always fascinating to browse through.

Once you pass through the market, the picturesque temple, Man Mo Temple , will come into view.  This temple pays tribute to the God of Literature and the God of War, so this is the place locals would come if they wanted to ace an upcoming exam or solve conflicts.

The most striking feature when you walk inside the main temple are the wafts of smoke coming from the spirals of incense suspended from the roof.  You’ll also see wood carvings, golden deities, murals, and lanterns.

Before you leave, make sure to also pop into the adjoining temple next door which is a separate place of worship for other Buddhist and Taoist deities.

Go on a walking tour of Hong Kong Island

kung lee cane juice shop

One of the things I love doing is just walking from Man Mo Temple towards Central. This part of the city is always more peaceful and filled so many different boutique shops, murals, and a look into the daily comings and goings of locals on the Hong Kong Island.

A few stops along the way we recommend are:

  • Kung Lee Sugar Cane Drink – They make fresh sugar cane juice and herbal jelly which are very refreshing on a hot day.
  • Graham Street Mural – There’s a section of the sloping street that has a painted mural depicting tightly packed homes set in a vibrant blue sky.

See the old and new of Tai Kwun

tai kwun courtyard in central hong kong

You’ll eventually come across a cluster of British colonial buildings amidst towering skyscrapers. This is Tai Kwun , a redeveloped area that combines the old with the new.

This was once a compound consisting of a police station, central magistracy and prison. Undergoing a massive transformation, it’s now a museum, cultural hub, space for art, and simply a really cool place to hang out with its open spaces, cafes, and restaurants.

As a visitor, they do an excellent job at showing how the police operated here back then since it was established in 1841, and you’ll get to walk in various blocks of the Victoria Prison that was fully functioning up to 2006.

There are also two museums called the JC Contemporary and JC Cube , both are spaces for exhibition and performing arts. JC Contemporary art gallery is free to enter and in addition to their incredibly photogenic spiral staircase, they host a constant flow of new art exhibitions.

In our case, we weren’t feeling too hungry after all of that dim sum but if you’re looking for a lunch spot, we scoped out Central Market inside a revitalized historic building and has a foodcourt-style hall where you’ll have plenty to choose from.

Enjoy the panoramic view of Hong Kong from The Peak

the peak tram arriving at victoria peak

Your walk will continue along a lush green respite through Lower Albert Road until you reach the lower terminus of the Peak Tram . This is perhaps one of the three most iconic modes of transportation in Hong Kong.

This funicular railway has been bringing visitors up to “The Peak” since 1888. Thanks to the large panes of glass on its current generation of tram cars, you’ll see the urban apartments fade to greenery and occasional peeks at the impressive array of skyscrapers.

We’ll be focusing on The Peak Tram but we’ll also provide options for those that want to take the bus or hike.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Central or Admiralty Station are both close by however the most direct route is to come out Central’s J2 Exit.

Location: The lower terminus is located at 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

  • 7:30AM to 11PM (Mon – Sun & Holidays)
  • Frequency – Departs every 10 to 15 minutes
  • Duration – 8-10 minutes

Price: The pricing is divided between regular and peak days. For most of the year, peak days are simply Saturdays and Sundays. The exception are major Chinese holidays, second half of July to the third week of August, and Christmas. At the end of the ticket and booking page , they have a PDF of all peak days.

For the most up-to-date pricing, head over to the Peak Tram’s ticket and booking page .

Combo ticket are also available if you want to combine Peak Tram with Sky Terrace 428.

Booking: You can buy tickets online ahead of time through a number of different platforms. That said, it is not necessary because you can skip the line by tapping your Octopus Card at the turnstile.

If you’d like to book in advance, you can do so through the official website or the combo tickets through Klook , Viator , or GetYourGuide . If you decide to buy tickets when you arrive, you can line up to pay at the booth or you can simply scan your Octopus Card at the turnstile.

If you’re looking to do a number of attractions such as the Peak Tram, Ngong Ping 360, Hop-On-Hop-Off, and M+, make sure to check out the GoCity pass for Hong Kong which can help you save a lot of money if you manage to do all of the inclusive activities.

Website: The Peak Tram

Alternative Way Up To Victoria Peak:

  • Bus –
  • Taxi – There are plenty of taxis in Hong Kong and willing to head up to the Peak. These are metered, air-conditioned, and clean. The HK$65-$80 and should take roughly 7 minutes.
  • Hike – There is a trail that takes you all the way up to the Peak (2.8 km/1.74 mi). From MTR Central Station, this is a 1-1.5 hour hike. Note that you’re effectively. walking on the same road as cars so you’re not hiking the mountain.

Alternative Way Down From Victoria Peak:

the peak green minibus 1

  • Bus – The bus stop at the Peak is underneath Peak Galleria mall.
  • Where should you sit on the Peak Tram? If you happen to be at the front of the line for the next departure, the front of the tram has the best views but if you’re further back, it’s really not a big deal because the new trams have huge glass windows and bring in tons of light. If you can, sit on the right side of the tram going up because the views of the skyline will be there.
  • Can you buy a return ticket and use them on different days? No, return tickets have to be used on the same day.
  • Is Sky Terrace 428 worth it? We don’t think it’s absolutely necessarily to experience Victoria Peak but what we do like about it is that since it’s paid, you end up with fewer crowds and is more relaxed. They have an unobstructed view of the skyline. That’s why you can consider getting a combo ticket .
  • When is the best time to go to Victoria Peak? If you’re interested in the smallest crowds, The Peak Tram is the least busy from 8AM – 12PM. The most scenic time to go to Victoria Peak is at sunset and Symphony of Lights which occurs every night at 8AM (10 minute show).
  • If you don’t buy tickets in advance, when you arrive at the lower terminus of The Peak Tram, don’t stand in line with everyone else, you can bypass it, go straight to the front, and simply tap your Octopus Card to get in.
  • We think that the best way to plan for Victoria Peak is to take the Peak Tram up and the bus down. Not only does this give you a different experiences but the bus back down is more convenient because it brings you right back to MTR Central Station.
  • While you’re riding the tram, pay attention to the Peak Tram illusion .

hong kong skyline view from victoria peak during the daytime

The tram arrives inside The Peak Tower which has a mix of museums, shopping, and restaurants. Once you’re on the ground floor, you’ll be officially standing on the tallest hill on Hong Kong Island – Victoria Peak .

Continuing walking to east towards the lion pavilion and terrace. It’s here that you’ll see the perfect opening in the trees to lay out the iconic skyline in front of you.

While you’re here, we recommend that you explore the The Peak Galleria which is the mall across The Peak Tower. Their roof is free and gives you a great lookout of the southwestern side of the island. Pacific Coffee in The Peak Tower also has a wonderful patio space that has a direct view of the Peak Tram’s tracks, and the skyline as well.

Take the cheapest way to cross Victoria Harbour

star ferry docked at tsim sha tsui pier at sunset

You can take the Peak Tram down but we recommend using the bus because it drops you right in front of Central Ferry Pier 8 which is where one of the other famous modes of transportation is located – the Star Ferry .

These green and white passenger ferries are distinctly Hong Kong and have been moving people from all over the world between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island for more than 120 years. What’s endearing about the Star Ferry is that they look and feel the same

To get on the ferry, you’ll want to have an Octopus Card so you can tap right on. You’ll get to choose between two decks of the ferry – the upper is a tad more expensive and is better because it is air conditioned, has more comfortable seats, and a better vantage point, the lower deck is cheaper and is open air although we think the views are just as good because there aren’t any windows to contend with.

TIP: The prices are different on weekends versus weekdays and the upper deck is roughly HK$1 more for adults. That said, the prices are insignificantly different that it’s really a matter of preference.

Eat at one of the oldest dai pai dong in Hong Kong

chef posing for crowds at oi man sang

Foodies can all agree that the best food in Hong Kong isn’t found in in fancy dining rooms of 5-star hotels, they’re the ones that usually spill out onto the street, are loud, and rambunctious. These are what’s called dai pai dong .

With their flaming woks, chefs with serious personality, plastic stools, and foldable tables, spots like Oi Man Sang are keeping this tradition alive. The experience here is no frills and unpretentious. It’s all about authentic local eats and toasting to another great day.

As a staple of the Sham Shui Po area since 1956, the must-order dishes are their potato and beef stir fry, salted egg yolk prawns, clams with black bean & chili sauce, and steamed razor clams.

TIP: When you arrive, make sure to go to the machine to get a ticket first. There’s typically a long queue but with so many tables, it moves through relatively quickly.

kung wo beancurd factory restaurant in sham shui po in hong kong

Save some room though because there are 2 more popular snack spots in Sham Sui Po.

The first is Kung Wo Beancurd Factory . They specialize tofu pudding, a silky smooth, rich in soy aroma, and syrup-glazed dessert that’s slurp-worthy.

Nearby is also Hop Yik Tai where they are the go-to place for the Hong Kong-style snack of rice rolls that are drizzled with a peanut, oyster, and hot sauce, plus a dash of sesame. If you take it to go, they’ll prepare it in a plastic bag and hand it over to you with a few skewers – the local way.

Day 3 Summary

  • Upper Lascar Row
  • Man Mo Temple
  • Graham Street Mural
  • The Peak Tram
  • Victoria Peak
  • Breakfast – Sun Hing Restaurant – Hyper-local dim sum restaurant that is famous for their golden custard buns.
  • Snack – Kung Lee Sugar Cane – Traditional shop in Central specializing in sugar cane juice and herbal jelly.
  • Lunch – Central Market – Food-court with a range of cuisine that’ll be sure to have something you’re interested in.
  • Dinner – Oi Man Sang – One of the oldest dai pai dong where it’s got the lively atmosphere paired with great local fare.
  • Snack – Kung Wo Beancurd Factory – Come here for their tofu pudding dessert. They have English menus and are cash-only . Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended.
  • Snack – Hop Yik Tai – Rice noodle roll specialists but they also have other items like fish balls, dim sum, pork skin, and radish. Most take their snacks to-go in a plastic bag but you can also eat in.They don’t have English menus and are cash-only .
  • Page148 ( Agoda / Booking ) – Read our review of Page 148 in the Where To Stay in Hong Kong section below.

hong kong tramway view from second deck

As a mid-way point in your itinerary, it’s the perfect time to have a more relaxed day, taking the opportunity to explore the other side of Hong Kong island – Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay, and Taikoo Shing.

Have breakfast at the nostalgia-filled Cafe Match Box

cafe match box entrance in causeway bay

You can never have enough cha chaang teng when in Hong Kong. A fun twist to the breakfast can be found at Cafe Match Box . They serve all of the classics but inside you’ll find a larger-than-life cutout of a green minibus and around it, tons of nostalgia from the 80s and 90s.

And yes, that’s a ping pong table and plenty of patio space outside.

Enjoy retail therapy in Causeway Bay

times square mall in causeway bay hong kong

Causeway Bay is the best place to go to satisfy your retail therapy. From high end luxury, shopping centers, multi-level department stores, duty-free, and ground-level shops, there’s just about everything here.

For an orientation of sorts, make sure to check out the venerable SOGO Causeway Bay . They’re a Japanese-style department store where upstairs are layers of fashion brands we always love heading down to the basement to hunt for confectionary snacks, baked goods, refreshments, and Japanese imports.

The district’s largest shopping mall is Times Square . Various times of the year they have displays outside. Inside, they carry most of the biggest fashion brands. Again, we love heading down to the basement for city’super , a grocery store that has seasonal food festivals, sweet treats, and ice cream.

Other notable spots to check out is the Transformer’s themed restaurant called The Ark , DFS Causeway Bay for duty-free shopping, and if you love egg tarts, get in line at Hashtag B .

Salivate over steamed milk pudding

yee shun milk company steamed milk pudding

You’ll be snacking along the way so you probably won’t be super hungry so we suggest you try Yee Shun Milk Company . They’re similar to Australia Dairy Company but we think their steamed milk pudding has a richer milk flavour.

Capture a new a vantage from Quarry Bay Park

Get on the MTR and hop over to a quieter and more residential part of Hong Kong Island. From MTR Quarry Bay Station, if you walk towards the water, you’ll eventually get to Quarry Bay Park , a beautiful green space that allows you to escape the chaos of the city.

With 10 hectares of space, you’ll enjoy a different view of Victoria Harbour. We suggest you follow the promenade until you get to the Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery .

Get dazzling views from a rooftop bar in Taikoo Shing

sugar hong kong rooftop bar at night

Hong Kong has many notable rooftop bars and one of them is Sugar in Taikoo Shing – a perfect pairing to your very chill day.

From their spacious open deck with fabulous views of the harbor, sip on a sundowner while indulging in shisha or nibbling on Japanese-inspired shareable plates.

TIP: Sugar opens at 5:30PM all days of the week.

Take advantage of the ultimate Hong Kong hack

Psst, we’ll let you in on a secret. You don’t need to do a hop-on-hop-off bus on Hong Kong Island. There’s a practically-free one you can take (adults are only HK$3)!

It’s the double-decker Hong Kong Tramways that you’ll see run length-wise on the island. Locals affectionately call a ‘Ding Ding’, the third of the iconic modes of transportation in Hong Kong.

We recommend that you take a nice stretch of the tram westbound from Taikoo Shing to Central. It’s fun to people-watch from this vantage point and there are photo-worthy framings of the urban jungle.

TIP: You get on the tram from the rear. You get off the tram from the front and pay upon exit by tapping your Octopus Card or you can pay by cash but no change is given. The best seats are on the second level right at the front.

Dine at the original one Michelin-star dim sum specialist

tim ho wan dim sum baked bbq pork buns

Back in 2009, a tiny 20-seat dim sum restaurant called Tim Ho Wan opened in Olympia, Hong Kong and within a year, it gained its first Michelin-star, becoming “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant”.

With locations all over the city it’s much easier to get a seat compared to back then. On your way home, they have an outlet inside the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.

Along with the classics, the must-have item is the Baked BBQ Pork Buns. There aren’t any rules around having dim sum for dinner, right?

On your way home, drop by Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles which is right around the corner from Page148. Bubble waffles are another dessert that’s taken the world by storm and originated in Hong Kong.

Day 4 Summary

  • SOGO Causeway Bay
  • Times Square Mall
  • Quarry Bay Park
  • Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery
  • Sugar Rooftop Bar
  • Breakfast – Cafe Match Box – A nostalgia-filled HK-style cafe in Causeway Bay.
  • Snack – Hashtag B – There’s a line up everyday for their egg tarts with a twist of their Napoleon cake style crust and layer of caramel.
  • Lunch – Yee Shun Dairy Company – A steamed milk pudding specialist because you’ll want to have it more than just once!
  • Dinner – Tim Ho Wan – The world-famous dim sum restaurant that got a Michelin-star back in 2009.
  • Snack – Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles – Right by the hotel is a tiny egg waffle shop run by an elderly couple. Expect a line here but we found that their hours are not always consistent with what’s posted.
  • Page148 ( Agoda / Booking ) – There are more photos of the hotel in the Where To Stay in Hong Kong section below.

west kowloon cultural district view from m plus rooftop

The newest developed area in central Hong Kong is the West Kowloon Cultural District . Built on 50 hectares of reclaimed land, this has been a development project as early as 2012.

This is the kind of cultural and arts hub that the city’s never had before and while there’s still work being done, the anchor sites are complete and is totally worth spending a day here.

Walk the West Kowloon Art Park

west kowloon art park harbor promenade

When you get here, start by exploring the Art Park , a large city green space that makes the foundation for the West Kowloon Cultural District.

When you’re here, there might be special cultural events but you can also come here for running, biking, picnicking, or just a relaxing stroll. After all, there are beautiful views of the harbour from the waterfront promenade. There’s also a second level viewing platform that you can take advantage of.

TIP: As it stands, getting here isn’t the most convenient. If you’re coming from TST, cut across on Austin Road. There’s a portion that goes underground and that leads you into MTR Austin Station. The station has a bridge that crosses into Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and from there you can walk on foot into West Kowloon Cultural District.

Immerse yourself in the Hong Kong Palace Museum

hong kong palace museum architecture from the entrance

There are two must-visit museums here. The first is the Hong Kong Palace Museum which focuses on ancient Chinese art and culture but presents it in a contemporary architectural lens.

I was particularly blown away by their main exhibit which brings to light, artifacts and stories from the Forbidden Palace in Beijing and more specifically, during the Qing dynasty.  Through the viewing of immersive elements and many never-before-displayed treasures, you’ll get to experience what life was like in the court.

You’ll also appreciate the three atriums stacked on different levels of the museum, each offer panoramic vistas of the city and surroundings in different directions.

For lunch, we recommend you check out the food trucks in the Art Park . Pineapple Canteen is good but a bit far so you might want to try Pat Chun Saucy Truck instead.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Kowloon Station

Location: Hong Kong Palace Museum is located on the far west side of the West Kowloon Art Park. The ticket office is located outside of the museum itself. You can find it across from the courtyard.

  • Mon-Thurs, Sun – 10AM – 6PM
  • Fri – Sat, Holidays – 10AM – 8PM
  • Closed on Tuesdays (except holidays) and the first 2 days of the Lunar New Year
  • Ticket office closed one hour before closing.

The Special Exhibition Ticket gives you access to Galleries 1- 7 and also the special exhibitions in Galleries 8 and 9.

Booking: You can purchase tickets online through the museum or you can buy it on Klook .

Website: Hong Kong Palace Museum

hong kong palace museum luggage storage in clock room ticket

Museum Rules:

  • Items larger than 55ccm x 35cm x 20cm (bags, boxes, luggage, and long umbrellas primarily) aren’t allowed inside the museum. For instance, my Shimoda X50 backpack wasn’t allowed.
  • You are allowed to take photos and videos. Flash photography, selfie sticks, monopods, and tripods are prohibited.
  • Wheeled luggage, carriers, and things like skateboards, scooters, inline skates, and shoes with built-in wheels are not allowed.
  • To enter the museum, you will go through a security check which includes an x-ray machine.
  • Where can I store my bags and luggage? There are 3 lockers for visitors to use but they are small. If you have larger items, you’ll have to effectively use their cloakroom with the ground floor Information Counter. The fee is $HK10 per hour.
  • When is the best time to go to Hong Kong palace Museum? To avoid the large tour bus and school group crowds, your best bet is to go early in the morning when the museum opens or towards the end of the day.
  • How long should I plan to visit the museum for? If you’d like to see all galleries as part of the General Admission Ticket, budget for 2 hours.
  • Are there guided tours? Yes, there are free guided tours of specific exhibitions. Those tour times can be found at the ground floor Information Counter. This is first-come-first-serve. They also offer paid tours led by a docent for selected galleries.
  • Can you rent audio guides? They have digital-only audio guides which are free to access with a QR code or this audio guide page .
  • Does the Hong Kong Palace Museum have a gift shop? Yes, they have a gift shop called ART EXPRESS by The Commercial Press that closely mirrors the hours of the museum.
  • There are a lot of open spaces in the museum galleries and not many seating areas. Next to the ground floor Information Counter, there are foldable chairs that you can borrow for free.
  • While MTR Kowloon Station is the closest, ironically, for those that are staying on the Kowloon-side, your best bet to get here is to walk. You stick above-ground and take Austin Road all the way west or you can mix and match between the underground tunnels that eventually take you through MTR Austin Station, West Kowloon Rail Station, and either getting back on street-level or through the Hong Kong Elements shopping mall.
  • If you didn’t catch it above, the museum is closed on Tuesdays, contrasting M+ which is closed on Mondays.
  • If you are tight on time, the most memorable exhibits of the museum for me were “Entering the Forbidden City: Architecture, Collection, and Heritage”, and “From Dawn to Dusk: Life in the Forbidden City”.
  • Bring wireless earbuds such as the the Apple Airpods because the museum has an audio guide that can be accessed through your phone.

Wander through the contemporary M+ museum

m plus museum exterior architecture

The other one to visit is M+ Museum , Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual art and is packed with collections that span the 20th and 21st century visual art, design, and architecture.

What I really appreciated about this museum is that it’s a museum of modern art that also has a focus on Asian and Chinese artists and themes.  The layout of the museum is also easy to explore and are spaced out very well so it never feels overwhelming either.

Don’t miss the North and South Roof Gardens while you’re here.  The views from here are quite the remarkable and gives you a panoramic look at the whole of West Kowloon Cultural District.

You can easily spend a full day in the West Kowloon Art District and when you’re done, head back out to the promenade and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Location: M+ is located on the east side of the West Kowloon Art Park and most likely the first museum you’ll encounter. Unlike Hong Kong Palace Museum, the ticket office is located inside the building.

  • Tues-Thurs, Sat-Sun – 10AM – 6PM
  • Fri – 10AM – 8PM
  • Closed on Mondays (except holidays) and the first 2 days of the Lunar New Year
  • Holidays – Open on all public holidays.
  • Last admission is 30 minutes before closing

Special exhibitions change throughout the year and are all priced differently so check their ticket page to find out their prices.

Booking: You can’t buy tickets directly through the museum. Instead, they encourage those wanting advanced tickets to go through partners like Klook and KKday , or have it included as part of GoCity pass for Hong Kong .

Website: M+

  • Bags and backpacks smaller than 30 cm x 42 cm x 10 cm are allowed in the galleries, but backpacks must be worn on the front of the body with the strap(s) slung over one or both shoulders. Larger items must be checked in to lockers or the cloakroom. For instance, my Shimoda X50 backpack wasn’t allowed.
  • Wheelchairs and baby strollers are allowed in the galleries. You can also borrow these free of charge.
  • You are allowed to take photos but no flash photography. They are more strict with video here and really depends on the artwork. They will sometimes have signs up of where it’s not allowed. If you’re not sure, ask the M+ staff.

m plus museum locker room in the basement

  • Where can I store my bags and luggage? There is a locker room available on the basement level with multiple sizes. The staff will hand you a green RFID band to access a locker of your choosing. You’ll get a paper receipt but your band will act as your key. When returning, simply tap to unlock and pay by either Octopus Card or cash. The fee is HK$10 per hour. Note that they close at 5:30PM (9:30PM on Fridays).
  • When is the best time to go to M+? To avoid the large tour bus and school group crowds, your best bet is to go early in the morning or towards the end of the day.
  • Are there guided tours? Yes, there are free 45-minute public tours led by M+ Guides. These are held in either Cantonese, English, or Mandarin and take place daily at 11:30AM, 3:30PM. On Fridays, there’s an additional time slot at 7:30PM. You can register for the tour at the ground floor Information Desk.
  • Can you rent audio guides? They have free digital-only audio guides which are free to access with a QR code or on the audio-guide page .
  • Does M+ have a gift shop? Yes, they have a gift shop called the M+ Shop that closely mirrors the hours of the museum but shifted forward by an hour.
  • If you didn’t catch it above, M+ is closed on Mondays, Remember that Hong Kong Palace Museum is closed on Tuesday.
  • The entire M+ Collection is compelling. If you’re short on time, there isn’t one specific gallery you should focus on so it’ll be about focusing on what draws your attention and skipping ones that don’t. Try your best to go through all of the second floor and when you’re done, head up to the Roof Garden.
  • You can’t access the Roof Garden from the gallery floor (2). Instead, you have to go back to ground level (G) and take the elevator from there.
  • The most photogenic parts of M+ are: Grand Stair, the spiral staircase in the center of the second floor atrium, the outdoor staircase that is perpendicular to the view of the Hong Kong skyline, and there is another outdoor staircase area that faces west.
  • Have your wireless earbuds ready for the free audio guide through your phone.
  • If you don’t want to pay for tickets, the Grand Stair, Basement 1, Roof Garden, and Mediatheque are free.

Bonus: Go on a photography hunt

hong kong monster building night photography looking up

This might not be for everyone but the photography side of me had an itch to seek out a few locations in the city I’ve always wanted to capture.

  • Monster Building: This is a hulking and tightly-packed E-shaped residential complex in Quarry Bay. It’s easy to find and relatively easy to frame because you just have to look up. HDR will help to bring out the tapestry of colors. Remember to be respectful as people live here.
  • Long Exposure from IFC Footbridge: This one’s a bit harder to find. I’ve seen photos of this before but it’s not marked anywhere but I eventually figured out which footbridge you need to be on which you’ll see on our itinerary map .

For both of these shots, you’ll want to have a tripod with you and the widest lens that you have.

If you end off near IFC Mall, in a departure from street eats, our from-left-field-suggestion is to go to Shake Shack .

Their burgers are just as good as they are in New York City (something we feature in our NYC food guide ) but each location has their own exclusive. In Hong Kong, it’s the mango bubble shake with popping boba, vanilla custard, pomelo, coconut cream, mango puree, and crunchy egg rolls. Worth it!!

Day 5 Summary

  • West Kowloon Art Park
  • Hong Kong Palace Museum
  • Monster Building
  • IFC Footbridge
  • Breakfast – Page148 – Pick up a few breakfast items from the cafe at the hotel.
  • Lunch – Food trucks of West Kowloon District – There are two main locations where they can be found. Make sure to check the site to see who’s going to be there.
  • Dinner – Shake Shack – Burger restaurant hailing from New York City that has everything you’d expect except it also has a Hong Kong exclusive, the mango bubble shake.
  • Page148 ( Agoda / Booking ) – Since the hotel is on Austin Road, all you have to do is just start cutting west to get to the West Kowloon Cultural District.

man with yellow backpacking hiking down the stairs of kowloon peak at sunset

As someone that loves the outdoors, this was one of my favourite days of the trip. It’ll be a packed day but with the Walled city, Kowloon Peak, Chinese desserts, and egg tarts, this is a day you won’t find any one else’s itinerary.

Grab these super hot egg tarts

holding a tray of 6 egg tarts from bakehouse in tst hong kong

Egg tarts are synonymous with Hong Kong and if you loved Hashtag B, you’ll also want to try Bakehouse by Chef Grégoire Michaud. What makes theirs special is they have a flaky shell and a little burnt on the top, similar to a pastel de nata.

What everyone is after are their egg tarts with their flaky sourdough shell and is a little burnt on the top, similar to a pastel de nata.  They make them in batches and often sell out so your best bet is to go right when they open.

Make sure to pick up a few extra baked goods while you’re here that you can eat on your hike.

Learn the legacy of Kowloon Walled City

kowloon walled city park 3d model on display

Coming out of Sung Wong Toi MTR Station, head into Carpenter Road Park and adjacent to that is the infamous Kowloon Walled City Park .

The extremely dense and ungoverned enclave was demolished in 1994 and was converted into an urban green space. So while you won’t be able to see the walled city, they do a great job at showing you what it was like with a great 3D model and a cross-section mural.

So what’s actually left? There are two points of interest.

The first is the remnants of the original South Gate where you’ll see the original path, drainage ditch, and two stone plaques that say “South Gate” and “Kowloon Walled City”.

The other point of interest is the yamen building .  It’s the only building that survived the demolition and consists of 3 halls and was used for a number of different purposes including a senior home, place for refugees, school, and clinic.  Today, it’s a museum and they’ve built several immersive spaces to give you a better sense of what life was like in the walled city.

kowloon walled city volunteer local guide

Closest MTR station: MTR Sung Wong Toi Station (B3 exit)

  • Park grounds – Daily 6:30AM – 11PM
  • Exhibitions rooms (Yamen building) – 10AM to 6PM (Closed on Wednesdays)

Price: Free

Website: Kowloon Walled City Park

  • Are there guided tours of Kowloon Walled City Park? Yes, they offer 45 minute guided tours on weekends and holidays for park visitors at 9AM, 11AM, 3PM and 4PM. These are run by volunteer guides but not all speak English.
  • Is there signage in English? Yes, all of the signage here is translated to English and easy to read.
  • You can definitely enjoy the park without a guide and if you want to know more of its history, we recommend you watch this video .
  • The B3 exit of Sung Wong Toi MTR station gets you close but you’ll need to walk a few blocks north. The initial park you enter through is Carpenter Road Park with a great cycling path. Keep going to connect with the Kowloon Walled City Park.

Try the best Chinese desserts at Tei Mou Koon

table of 4 different chinese desserts from tei mou koon in hong kong

Before you leave the neighbourhood, you’d be remiss if you don’t visit Tei Mou Koon . They serve all of the classic Chinese desserts that are mainly soup based but also have other favourites like mango pillows and glutinous rice balls.

As you can see in the photo, I went a little overboard with my order so this turned into a lunch.

Conquer the Kowloon Peak for epic views

silhoette of man standing on rock on kowloon peak hike with view of the night skyline view of hong kong

This might not be for everyone but if you’re up for a moderately challenging hike and are seeking the most epic views of Hong Kong, Kowloon Peak is an excellent off-the-beaten-path addition.

I heard about the Suicide Cliff hike but 1) being more of a cautious traveler and 2) experience vertigo and 3) the name itself not being the most comforting, I looked into whether I could do it another way. Luckily there is.

So yes, you can hike to Kowloon Peak without doing Suicide Cliff.

Our video of the best things to do in Hong Kong shows you the behind-the-scenes of the hike and we have all of the details laid out below so I won’t go into more detail but this is 100% worth the effort .

There are a lot of great guides specific for Kowloon Peak but we wanted to provide you a version of it that’s more condensed and doesn’t include the vertigo-inducing Suicide Cliff.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Choi Hung Station (B Exit)

Location: Google can easily lead you astray here because the labelling isn’t the most accurate and there are multiple places that are supposedly “Kowloon Peak”. The actual peak for this hike is right next to “Kowloon Peak Television and radio transmission stations” or more accurately, marked on our Hong Kong trip planning map . The “Kowloon Peak Viewing Point” on Google is in an entirely different area that you’d get to if you did the full loop but in our case, is way too far from where you want to be.

plan trip itinerary map

Getting to the start of the hike:

  • From Choi Hung Station, stay on Clear Water Bay Road.
  • Past Fung Shing Street, we recommend you stick to the right side of Clear Water Bay Road as this is where the side walk continues as you keep going further east.
  • The road eventually splits and to the left is Fei Ngo Shan Road. Follow this and continue to the left after you see the Kowloon Peak rock.
  • This road takes you up through a wealthy neighbourhood of houses and villas. Keep going north until you see a trailhead to your left that goes up. You’ll recognize it from the “Danger” sign that’s posted but it is completely safe.
  • The stairs will keep rising up. Once you pass through a bamboo forest, it opens up and you’ll see the television and radio equipment.
  • Hours – There are no gates for this trail so you can do it at any time.
  • I started at 3:20PM, reached the peak at 5:05PM, finished photography at 6:35PM, and got back to the paved road at 7:20PM.

Difficulty: Without Suicide Cliff, the hike is moderate with most of the challenge being the stair climb up to the peak. The good news is that the path is well laid out and you’ll be at sea level.

  • When is the best time to do the Kowloon Peak hike? It can get very hot in the middle of the day so it’s a good idea to do the hike early in the day or late in the day. For the best lighting, you’ll want to be here closer to sunset.
  • How much water should I bring? We recommend that you bring at least 2 liters of water.
  • How can can you go along the path without getting to Suicide Cliff? If you look at our interactive map , we captured the exact GPS coordinates at “Kowloon Peak Photo Spot” of where I stopped. The trail starts to descend more rapidly at this point and there are many large boulders to get through.
  • For the photographers, we recommend coming here for the sunset and the evening cityscape. With that, you’ll want to bring a tripod. Since you’ll be hiking back down at night, you’ll also need a headlamp (see my reviews of my Fenix HM65R ).
  • While what I call the “Kowloon Peak” is scenic with its view of the city and the willows in the foreground, you don’t really get the full unobstructed view of the city until you keep going further down from the peak and right before Suicide Cliff.
  • If you are filming a timelapse, my recommendation would be do it further down from the peak. Set it up and let it run, allowing you to photograph or film with another camera. I learned from my experience at the peak that I couldn’t let it run and explore the trail further down.
  • The stairs down immediately after the peak is highly photogenic.
  • Make sure to pack a light jacket or fleece with you. Despite how hot it might be throughout the day, at the top of the mountain after sunset, it gets quite chilly and windy.
  • If you’d like to track this hike, make sure to download Gaia GPS or AllTrails .

Reward yourself with Asam Chicken Rice

asam chicken rice hainanese plate

You’ll be exhausted by the time you finally make it back to TST so have a quick dinner at Asam Chicken Rice and crash early.

Day 6 Summary

  • Kowloon Walled City Park
  • Kowloon Peak Observation Point
  • Breakfast – Page148 – Whether it’s included with your stay or not, their hot items and coffee make a great breakfast.
  • Snack – Bakehouse – Modern bakery that’s risen in popularity because of their egg tarts. Their bolo bao (pineapple bun) is also superb. There have multiple locations in the city.
  • Dessert/Lunch – Tei Mou Koon – One of the top traditional Chinese dessert shops and the oldest in Kowloon City. A heads up that their menu is Chinese-only.
  • Dinner – Asam Chicken Rice – They make delicious Hainanese chicken rice and best of all, they’re close to Page148 so you can rest after a long day of hiking.

rare viewing of rock columns in hong kong geopark's high reservoir east dam walking trail

It’s easy to associate Hong Kong with it’s plethora of landmark skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle of a megatropolis.

So far we’ve peeled back the layers from that to show you that there’s so much more to the city. On your final full day of the itinerary, you’ll get to see a place that belongs to somewhere like Iceland or Northern Ireland.

See the colorful Choi Hung Estate

Once you arrive at MTR Choi Hung Station, you’re only a short walk away to the Choi Hung Estate , the famous public housing apartments.

This has become a hotspot for photographers because these estates are painted a strikingly beautiful layers of pastel. From the basketball court, you can’t help but snap away!

Venture out to the geological wonder of Sai Kung County

ryholitic volcanic rock columns seen from coffer dam of hong kong's high island reservoir east dam

What makes this area unique is that it belongs to a large protected area known as the Hong Kong Global Geopark .  The area is particularly rich in super rare rhyolitic volcanic rock columns that was revealed during the excavation work for the dam.  Thanks to this project, it’s the only place in Hong Kongwhere you can walk to on foot and get right up to the hexagonal rock columns.

What’s special is that this type of rare rock showcases more of the features of the original lava and tuff. This whole area was created 140 million years ago from a supervolcano where the cooling process eventually sculpted the volcanic materials into millions of hexagonal rock columns.

Spend your day hiking the High Island Geo Trail which consists of:

  • Reservoir Monument
  • The overlook of the reservoir
  • Geopark Monument
  • Hexagonal Rock Columns including the buckled S-shaped hexagonal columns 
  • The inner Cofferdam
  • The lower wall which consists of thousands of concrete wave-dissipating dolosse

If you have time, you can also do:

  • 1 km-long extension to Biu Tsim Kok viewing point
  • Connecting trail from the lower wall to get close to seeing the Po Pin Chau sea stack island

TIP: We cover this in detail below but coming here is the easiest on the weekends and you’ll want to plan to head back before 3:30PM because the line up for the bus gets very long.

While visiting High Island Reservoir East Dam is relatively straightforward, one topic that deserves more clarification is how to get there and back.

Closest MTR Station: MTR Diamond Hill Station or MTR Hang Hau Station

Location: High Island Reservoir East Dam is located inside the the Sai Kung County Park. The UNESCO Hong Kong GeoPark is a large collection of sites and landscapes of international significance and includes the East Dam.

Time: The park isn’t gated and can be visited at anytime. However, you’ll most likely be limited based on your transportation opens in and out of the Hong Kong GeoPark.

  • Getting to East Dam – 2 hours including wait times during transfer (based on weekend 96R + 9A route)
  • Exploring East Dam – 3 hours

mtr diamond hill bus terminal location

How to get to the East Dam: This is not an easy spot to get to unfortunately. There are a few options to get here that you’ll want to pay attention to. When it’s time to leave the East Dam, just follow the reverse.

  • Weekday from Diamond Hill – From MTR Diamond Hill Station exit C2, take bus 92 to Sai Kung Town Centre and connect with bus 94 to Pak Tam Chung stop. Take a taxi from here or walk.
  • Weekday from Hang Hau – From MTR Hang Hau Station exit B1, take minibus 101M to Sai Kung Town Centre and connect with bus 94 to Pak Tam Chung stop. Take a taxi from here or walk.
  • [Best option] Weekend and Holidays from Diamond Hill – From MTR Diamond Hill Station exit C2, take bus 96R to Pak Tam Chung stop. Connect with green minibus 9A .
  • Weekend and Holiday from Sai Kung – Get to Sai Kung Town Centre and connect with bus 94 to Pak Tam Chung stop. Connect with green minibus 9A .
  • Weekend and Holiday from Sha Tin – Take bus 289R from Sha Tin Central to Pak Tam Chung stop. Connect with green minibus 9A .

About Bus 92:

  • This is a standard double-decker bus.
  • From Diamond Hill, it operates from 6AM – 11PM. Frequency varies from 15-30 minutes.
  • From Sai Kung, it operates from 6AM – 11:45PM. Frequency varies from 15 – 30 minutes.
  • This bus does not run on Sunday.
  • Fare is HK$7.50 and they only take Octopus Card or exact fare.
  • The journey takes 40-45 minutes.

About Bus 96R:

  • From Pak Tam Chung, it operates from 7:30AM to 5PM. Frequency varies from 18-30 minutes.
  • From East Dam, it operates from 8:50AM to 7:30PM (8:50AM to 3PM on holidays). Frequency varies from 20-30 minutes.
  • Pak Tam Chung stop is not the final destination so make sure to pay attention to the stops.
  • Fare is HK$19.90 and they only take Octopus Card or exact fare.
  • The journey takes 60-65 minutes.

About 9A Bus:

  • Only runs on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays.
  • From Pak Tam Chung, it operates from 9:30AM to 6:30PM.
  • From East Dam, it operates from 10AM to 7PM.
  • This bus doesn’t have a specific schedule during operation. They basically have several mini buses that run back and forth. Get in line and wait patiently.
  • Green mini buses have a maximum capacity of 19 people.
  • Fare is HK$11.90 and they only take Octopus Card or exact fare.
  • The journey takes 20 minutes.
  • Service updates due to bad weather can be found on their website or Facebook page .

About taking the taxi:

  • The cost for a cab ride between Sai Kung Town Centre and East Dam can be anywhere between HK$120-160. This is metered and takes 30 minutes.
  • The cost for a cab ride between Pak Tam Chung and East Dam is listed to be roughly HK$95. This is metered and takes 25 minutes.
  • It’s much easier to hail a taxi on-the-fly from Sai Kung and Pak Tam Chung stops but much more difficult from East Dam, especially on weekends.
  • To call a taxi, you can try the following numbers: +852-8103-1189 , +852-2729-6600 or +852-6767-8181 . You’ll be charged an extra HK$50 for booking a cab this way. Alternatively, use the HKTaxi app ( iOS / Android ). Make sure you download this ahead of time and have your credit card set up.
  • You’ll have much better luck getting your taxi if you call for one a few hours in advance.
  • You might see different colored taxis. Red taxis are urban taxis that service Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Green taxis are ones that operate in the New Territories. If you’re in Sai Kung, Pak Tam Chung, or East Dam, you can take any to get between these 3 locations but if you’re looking to get all the way back to the Kowloon area (i.e. Diamond Hill), take a red taxi.
  • Download the HKTaxi app (iOS

Price: Free. There is no cost to enter Hong Kong GeoPark/Sai Kung County Park or the High Island Reservoir East Dam.

Booking: There are no advanced booking of transportation but there are guided tours available.

Guided tours:

  • East Dam Half Day Tour – Offered by the Volcano Discovery Centre and operates from October to February on weekends and holidays (except Lunar New Year’s Day and Second Day of Lunar New Year).
  • Group Hiking Tour ( Viator or Klook ) – A guided hiking tour of Hong Kong GeoPark and includes the East Dam.

Website: UNESCO Hong Kong GeoPark – High Island Reservoir East Dam

  • When is the best day of the week to go to the High Island Reservoir East Dam? From a transportation perspective, the most convenient day to go is on weekends and holidays. That said, this is also when the East Dam is the busiest. If you prefer to go on a quieter day, weekdays are great as long as you’re willing to pay for a taxi.
  • When is the best time of day to go to the East Dam? The most photogenic part of the day is close to sunset when you have less harsh light and the sky starts to change colour. Going early in the morning is also a great time when the sun isn’t as high up and there are fewer people.
  • How long is the walk from Pak Tam Chung to the East Dam? The walk takes roughly 2-2.5 hours.
  • Are there bathrooms at the East Dam? Yes, there are basic bathrooms at the end of the road and next to the GeoPark Monument.
  • Are there food vendors at East Dam? No, you can’t buy any food here.
  • Are there bathrooms at Pak Tam Chung? Yes, there is a large bathroom facility here as it’s also meant for those camping here.
  • Are there food vendors at Pak Tam Chung? Yes, there is a supplies store here for campers. They sell a variety of snacks, drinks, and ice cream.

extremely long queue waiting for bus to leave high island reservoir east dam in the afternoon

  • Now that you know your transportation options to the East Dam, we still think the best option in and out would be to go on weekends so that you don’t have to rely on the taxi.
  • If you’re open to taking a taxi and would like to avoid crowds, go during the weekday.
  • If a taxi tries to charge you per person, they are trying to scam you. Politely say no and wait try another one.
  • On weekends, the line to take minibus 9A gets very long after 4PM. To avoid this, we recommend that you try to leave the East Dam no later than 3:30PM.
  • The most photogenic time at the East Dam is at sunset. However, the flip side is that the line up to take the bus or taxi will be much longer. Also, be mindful of when the minibus 9A is which is 7PM.
  • If the queue for the minibus 9A is really bad, you may consider trying to group up with other travelers to hail a taxi. We saw a number of people do this which is quite smart.
  • We noticed that most taxis will go all the way to end of the road by the GeoPark Monument (where the bathroom facilities are). To hail a return taxi, your best bet is to make a line from here to catch an empty cab back instead of where the lineup for minibus 9A is.

Wind down with dinner and dessert

tai hing three meat combo rice dish in hong kong

There’s nothing better than simple and classic Hong Kong comfort dishes when you finally get back to TST.

Tai Hing is a popular chain restaurant that you’ll find all over Hong Kong. They started specializing in BBQ roast meats but is now a casual restaurant that you could say is very much like a HK-style cafe as well.

When you get to this point, you will be shocked that you’ve already a full week in Hong Kong. Since it’s your last night, do any last minute shopping that you might want to do, re-pack your belongings, and prepare for the next leg of your journey.

Going to Japan before or after Hong Kong?

Tokyo is overwhelming with so many great places to eat so use our guide helps narrow it down.

Day 7 Summary

  • Choi Hung Estate
  • High Island Reservoir East Dam
  • Breakfast – Page148 – Make sure to have a full breakfast because you’ll be burning a lot of calories exploring the GeoPark.
  • Lunch – Packed food – There isn’t any food for purchase at High Island Reservoir East Dam so build your own lunch with food from a local bakery and/or a convenient store.
  • Dinner – Tai Hing – A popular HK-style cafe restaurant that you’ll find all over the city. If it’s your first time, the BBQ meats (chicken, park, and duck) on rice is a no-brainer.
  • Dessert – Frozen Yogurt Drool – A tiny shop of icy treats literally a stone’s throw away from Page148 that you might even want to build into your daily routine walking back to the hotel. It’s that good!

To help with your Hong Kong trip planning, this map be super handy in knowing where everywhere we’ve included in this itinerary is located.

Even with our week in Hong Kong, there was a lot that we missed and wish we could’ve included. As a bonus, we’ve also included extra pins for activities, attractions, restaurants.

HOW TO USE THE MAP: You can use the Hong Kong itinerary map as is but if you’d like to do more with it, expand the map and create a copy in your logged-in Google account. With this copy, you’ll be able to access it in your Google Maps app under the Saved tab. Scroll to the bottom and look for the “Maps” button. Keep in mind that you need data to access this map . For an offline solution, use the offline Google Maps feature and individually save location pins on your primary map.

5 Essential Hong Kong Travel Tips

yayoi kusama dots obsession exhibit at the m plus museum in hong kong

So far we’ve covered a ton of itinerary-specific tips but we have a few more for you that are more general to Hong Kong. These nuggets of advice will help ensure you have the most stress-free and awesome time in the city.

octopus card point of sales tap system in hong kong

We talked about this at the beginning but the Octopus Card is truly a wonder in Hong Kong and extremely visitor friendly.

Not only can you use it to take the subway (MTR), tramways, and Star Ferry, you can also use it to take the ferries to outlying islands, pay for things at places such as cafes, bakeries, and convenient stores, and you can even use it to take the Peak Tram.

It’s as simple as either pre-ordering one loaded with HK$50 or getting it right at the airport (HK$39 with no deposit charge) at the following locations:

  • 7-Eleven (Unit 5T058, Arrivals Meeters & Greeters Hall, or any 7-Eleven outlets)
  • MTR Ticket & Octopus Selling Machine (Airport Station)
  • Relay (Arrivals Pre-Immigration, L5, Terminal 1, (Restricted Area))

Always keep it topped up and try to use up all of the funds by the end of the trip.

While Hong Kong isn’t a massive city, it makes sense to build your days around the different areas of Hong Kong. This helps reduce the commuting time and unnecessary back and forth.

At a high level, you can break out your days between spending time on Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon-side. More specifically though, you can also look at your itinerary around the neighborhoods of:

  • Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Sham Sui Po
  • West Kowloon
  • Diamond Hill/Choi Hung
  • Causeway Bay

That’s why it’s super helpful to have all of the places you want to go pinned on a map. Make sure to grab a copy of our Hong Kong trip planning map .

If you’re not able to make it work, it’s not the end of the world either because transit is so convenient. As you saw from this itinerary, we tried our best but sometimes less-optimal detours were unavoidable.

There were very few places now that are cash-only in Hong Kong. This means that you don’t necessarily need to convert too many Hong Kong Dollars before you come.

In our case, we loved the convenience of our Wise card . This is the ultimate travel hack. It’s this magical hybrid of being a Visa credit card and a loadable card except the beauty is that it can hold multiple currencies, and they have near-market exchange rates. Since you’re spending local currency, you don’t have to worry about any foreign-exchange mark up.

That said, there are exceptions. On this itinerary specifically, Australia Dairy Company and Shek Kee Wonton Noodles are cash-only. You’ll also need it for those Mom & Pop street vendors and markets that you might encounter (including Ladies Market).

TIP: For a week in Hong Kong, we recommend you have HK$2,000 (roughly $250 USD) per person.

It’s easy to stay connected in Hong Kong thanks to hotels like Page148 offering free pocket wifi devices and the ease of the use of eSIMs with the likes of Airalo so offline capability isn’t too big of a deal but here are a few apps to download:

  • MyMapHK ( iOS / Android ) – This is an official Lands Department app and a great free companion if you plan on doing any hikes in Hong Kong.
  • Google Maps ( iOS / Android ) – You probably already have this installed but we found this to be the most straightforward app to get transit directions including times. Quick reminder that it’s always good practice to turn Google Maps offline before you go.
  • Explore Hong Kong ( iOS / Android ) – Sometimes you just want a quick look at the MTR map without having to search for it on Google and this does just that
  • Wise ( iOS / Android ) – Managing your foreign currency has never been this easy with the accompanying app. You’ll have a physical Visa debit card with Wise but you can also set it up in your digital wallet.
  • Gaia GPS ( iOS / Android ) – If you are doing any of the bigger hikes, you’re better off having the premium version of this which is great to for tracking your hike but also available offline incase signal cuts out. Get the 1 year free trial from us!
  • Google Translate ( iOS / Android ) – Hong Kong is very visitor-friendly with tons of English signage everywhere but you’ll inevitably run into a place or menu that is only in Chinese. Remember to download the Chinese (Traditional) language pack for offline use.

Hong Kong can get insanely hot so on most days, you’ll want to manage the sweltering heat by wearing t-shirt and shorts but I’ve learned to always bring light layers with me because they love to crank up the air condition indoors.

We recommend the following items to help you stayed prepared on your trip:

  • Whether it’s for the ice-cold indoors, breezes by the water, high peaks, or cooler evenings we recommend having an active fleece or mid-layer jacket with you.
  • We find that wearing Breathable and lightweight active-wear is way more comfortable than their cotten equivalents. Even on days you aren’t doing anything super strenuous, you’ll be glad to have something breatheable.

page148 hotel exterior view of building

For this Hong Kong travel itinerary, we stayed at Page148 Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui and closest to MTR Jordan Station.

This hotel was certainly a bit more of a splurge compared to the additional hotels we recommend below but we were very happy with this property for a number of reasons:

  • Modern and new – It’s a newer hotel which just gave a fresh and energetic vibe as most properties in Hong Kong will feel outdated.
  • Free drinks – Refilled daily (if you opt for housekeeping), it was really nice to have refreshments available in the room or to bring on the road.
  • Free wifi hotspot – While we didn’t know this at the time of booking, they actually offer wifi hotspots. This means that you can get data access for free, eliminating the need to get an eSIM while you’re in Hong Kong.
  • Breakfast – Our package included breakfast and we actually loved that they served Western-style cafe items such as avocado toast, smoked salmon bagel, and burrata cheese & roasted red pepper toast. We preferred this over a buffet because it left all-important stomach space to eat more throughout the day.
  • Convenient location – We’ve stayed in different parts of Hong Kong over the years and being in the Tsim Sha Tsui area can’t be beat. There’s tons of food, shopping, and is easy to get back to at the end of the night.

page148 hotel breakfast from the cafe

TIP: When looking for hotels in Asia, Agoda is hands-down the best booking platform. We’ve done numerous tests and it’s always come out on top in terms of inventory and prices. They’re also love showering their users with coupons for additional savings.

We understand that everyone has different budget requirements and interests in types of accommodations so below are 4 alternate properties that you should consider for your trip to Hong Kong.

Overall, we’ll say that Hong Kong isn’t a cheap place to stay when comparing to Asia standards of prices. However, deals can be found, if you know where to look. We’ve included 4 well-priced hotels and one intriguing luxury place to stay.

TIP: You might be tempted to stay at an ultra-budget hotel like Dragon Inn but if you look more closely, these inns are all in the infamous Chungking Mansions . While we know people that have stayed here in the past, it’s good to know more about the building.


arial top down view of ramada hong kong grand view hotel

Ramada Hong Kong Grand View

This is the cheapest of this set of hotels but is clean, modern, spacious and comfortable. While it is located in North Point on the Hong Kong Island-side, the Island Line easily connects to Tsuen Wan Line on the MTR.

the emperor hotel exterior in hong kong

The Emperor Hotel

This is another affordable stay on the Hong Kong island-side and near the MTR Wan Chai Station. It’s great value for the money, the bed is comfortable, has welcoming staff, and is in a quieter part of the neighborhood.


rosedale hotel hong kong reception desk area

Rosedale Hotel Hong Kong

Another property that offers great value for the money. It’s only a 5 minute walk from MTR Causeway Bay Station and is also next to Victoria Park. As a bonus, many rates include buffet breakfast.


the perkin hotel suite interior

The Perkin Hotel

This is located in a prime area of Kowloon, making it a great base for your trip to Hong Kong. Rooms are large for Hong Kong, and have the bonus of complimentary coffee and snacks.

Looking for more accommodation ideas?

We breakdown the different neighborhoods of Hong Kong, reasons to stay at each, and hotel recommendations.

west kowloon cultural district view from the harbour

When we put together our travel itineraries , everyone wants to know how much it cost. It’s a great question and we’ve got you covered.

Below is a table of our travel expenses in Hong Kong converted to USD. We’ve purposely left out flights because everyone will have different inbound and outbound plans.

What’s a bit tricky about the 12 d ays is that 3 days was with my parents and 4 days on my own. After some fancy math, I was able to calculate a daily per person spend of $316 USD.

Comparing to the 12-day Shikoku itinerary which was a $208 USD/day, this trip cost a bit more but came very close to what our week in Sapporo in the winter cost ($318 USD/person/day).

Ultimately, the biggest expense was our stay at Page148 . To bring the costs down, you can stay a budget property such as ….

For other points of comparison, 1 month in Chile averaged out to $308 USD/day, 3 weeks in New Zealand was $353 USD/day, and 10 days in Egypt was $204 USD/day.

Flights – Use Skyscanner’s alerts to track the prices so you can book when they’re the cheapest.

eSIM – In Hong Kong, we tested AloSIM and the speed was excellent and stable. For most of our travels, we always consider Airalo as well.

Hotel – We’ve tested it and Agoda ultimately has the best prices, hands down.

Tours – Out of all the booked tours we did, aqualuna was the most memorable.

Transit – Make sure you get your Octopus card when you land or have it pre-ordered .

Travel Insurance – Sh*t happens and you want to make sure you’re covered. If you’re travelling for a long period of time, check out SafetyWing . We also love Insured Nomads .

What To Pack for A Trip To Hong Kong

what to wear for a trip to hong kong if you are more active

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate which means that it gets pretty steamy for half of the year because of its high humidity. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-prepared.

For some context, we visited in mid-November which just happens to be one of the best times to visit because the temperatures are more comfortable (low 20s) and there are cool breezes.

  • Jacket – Arc’teryx Beta Shell – If you come during typhoon season (July – September), this will be important to have so the rain doesn’t ruin your days.
  • Waterproof pants – Arc’teryx Beta Pant – Especially if you don’t want to carry an umbrella everywhere, waterproof pants to pair with your jacket will be important.
  • Light jacket – Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody – A super light shell that provides wind protection and packs into itself. Since it’s designed for minimalists, you can pack it in your bags and pull it out when you freeze with all of that AC pumping.
  • Active fleece – Delta Hoody – This is a thin fleece that can be your go-to long-sleeve. This’ll come in handy for cooler nights or when you’re on Kowloon Peak after dark.
  • Travel pants – Outdoor Research Ferrosi Joggers – My new favorite travel pants that features a zippered back pocket, elastic cuff hem, elastic waist, and quick-drying material.
  • Shoes – Altra Lone Peak 7 – Lightweight, versatile, zero-drop shoes that are comfortable for long days on foot and excels on the trail.
  • Active t-shirt – Arc’teryx Cormac Crew Shirt – Hong Kong in the summer gets sweaty. Ditch anything that’s not breatheable and only pack these active tees.
  • Long-sleeve sunshirt – Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie – On days where you’ll have no cover from the sun (i.e. Kowloon Peak or Peng Chau Island), this gives you UV protection while keeping you cool.
  • Hat – Ciele GOCap – I’m a big fan of these light, quick-drying, packable, and fun-colored hats for travel. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a hardcore runner!
  • Sunglasses – Maui Jim – The current model I’m wearing is discontinued (Chee Hoo) but I can back up optometrist’s claiming that they have the best clarity and quality of lenses on the market.
  • Luggage – Db Journey Ramverk Luggage – I chose the medium size of this niche-brand suitcase because they use one of the best and largest wheels on the market (60mm Hinomoto), making them silent and easy to move around the streets of Hong Kong.
  • Charging – Mogics Super Bagel – This is a handy universal power strip for travelers that gives you 5 standard North American outlets, fast-charging Type C USB and a original USB A. You’re also protected with a replaceable fuse.
  • Backpack – Shimoda Action X50 V2 – The ultimate photography backpack for active travellers.
  • Messenger bag – Everyday Sling – The 3L and 6L slings are amazing for travel, especially in Hong Kong when you’re urban exploring and don’t need that much camera gear with you.
  • Packing cubes – Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes and Compression Cubes – Keep your suitcase organized.
  • Sunscreen – Sun Bum SPF50 for face and body – Make sure you’re protected every day.
  • Reuseable tote – Peak Design Packable Tote – Super handy when you go shopping and don’t have space in your sling or backpack.
  • Tripod – Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod – This is our go-to tripod for our travels and we’ve reviewed it extensively .
  • Camera – OM System OM-1 – Certainly one of the minority but I love my OM System (previously Olympus) micro-four-thirds system. It’s perfect for travel .
  • Camera – DJI Osmo Pocket 3 – If you watch our video on the best things to do in Hong Kong and where to eat and stay in Hong Kong , you’ll be surprised to hear that most of it was shot on the Pocket. It worked extremely well in those tight spaces, to be discreet, and encouraged me to do more on-camera commentary.
  • Drone – DJI Mini 4 Pro – This is the perfect travel drone (for now). I was able to fly it on Peng Chau and High Island Reservoir East Dam.
  • Lens – OM System M.Zuiko Pro 8-25mm – I had to be selective with my lens choices for this trip and ended up using this one the most.
  • Powerbank – VEEKTOMX 10000mAh – So good that I travel with 2 of these now. One is permanently with the Shimoda backpack and the other in the sling or my pocket.

The funny thing is that most people think of Hong Kong as merely a quick stopover. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great hub to get to other parts of Asia but as you’ve seen with our Hong Kong travel itinerary, even with 7 days, we missed plenty of stuff.

If you’ve loved our itinerary but would like to make tweaks to it based on your interests, travel style, and group dynamic, here is a list of places that we think would be great to swap in.

Places to go

  • Golden Bauhinia – By the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is this golden flower statue. The whole area has great views of the Kowloon-side.
  • Ocean Park – The original amusement park in Hong Kong with roller coasters, water park, shows, and wildlife encounters, this is fun for the whole family.
  • Ngong Ping 360 – Cablecar experience on Lantau Island that takes you up to The Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery.
  • Happy Valley Racecourse – This is a fun night out especially if you go on one of their Happy Wednesday events which includes their Beer Garden and English-commentary.
  • Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden – These two are next to each other and are beautiful places to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Sky100 – If you’re a fan of views from skyscrapers, don’t miss out the observation deck on the 100th floor. It’s also right next to the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Day trip ideas

  • Hong Kong Disneyland – With the exclusive World of Frozen, this is a must-visit for any Disney-lover. Get your tickets ahead of time to save money.
  • Stanley – Picturesque coastal town that’s located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island with a sandy beach, shopping, temple, vibrant market, and seaside restaurants.
  • Macau – We have a great Macau day trip itinerary that shows you how you can fit it in your trip.
  • Sai Kung – A great seaside fishing village that is worthy of being a day trip on its own or you could even try to combine it with your visit to the Hong Kong GeoPark area.
  • Tai O Fishing Village – At this historic fishing village in the far end of Lantau Island, explore scenic trails, seafood restaurants, street food, and houses on stilts.
  • Outlying Islands – Peng Chau is just one of many. Others we’ve loved in the past are Cheung Chau and Lamma Island.
  • Hikes – There are so many epic hikes in Hong Kong. If you’re looking for a different type of trail and view, check out Dragon’s Back, Braemar Hill Peak, Lion Rock, and Sunset Peak to name a few.
  • Shek O Beach – A popular beach getaway within the city and easy to get to on Hong Kong Island.
  • Lau Fau Shan & Nam Sang Wai – Chatting with a local, he said if you really want to go off-the-beaten-path, these two spots on the far northwest end of Hong Kong’s New Territories is a more untouched fisherman village (Lau Fau Shan) and nature preserve that’s great for bird-watching and extremely photogenic (Nam Sang Wai).

Activities and tours to join

  • Plover Cove Bicycling and Hiking – A great guided tour that includes biking and hiking in Hong Kong’s wilderness and through one of the prettiest parts of the city that rarely anyone gets to see.
  • GeoPark Kayaking – See the GeoPark and the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region from the water with this kayaking adventure .
  • Baked Goods DIY Workshop – This is a bit of a new concept. You’ll go to a self-service baking studio to learn how to make traditional Chinese baked goods like egg tarts and mooncakes.
  • Dark Side of Hong Kong Walking Tour – In this walking tour , see the real disparities in housing in Hong Kong with visits to a subdivided unit what it’s like to live in a 100 sq. ft. apartment.
  • Street Food Walking Tour – A great way to try the best street food in one walking tour .

Restaurants to try

  • We’re not going to list them all but we’ve added several that we wanted to fit in but just didn’t have the time on our trip planning map .

Short on time? You can always follow our 2 day Hong Kong itinerary as well!

How To Spend A Day in Macau

If you’re thinking of replacing one of the days with a trip to Macau instead, you can easily do that with this guide.

travelers taking photos of the hong kong skyline from m plus museum promenade

Even if you think you know what Hong Kong is about, think again! Whether you’ve been to Hong Kong before or it’s your first time, there is so much to do.

Thinking about the trip as a whole, these were 4 highlights that made it really special.

Can’t beat local eats – If you think we intentionally picked the grungiest and no frills street food-type restaurants that we could find, you’d be right and I’m so glad that we did. The energy, cheap prices, and downright deliciousness can’t be beat!

What a view! – While in Hong Kong, you kind of get used to the gorgeous skyline everywhere you go but I’m not exaggerating when I say that the view from Kowloon Peak is absolutely jaw-dropping.

Thriving art scene – I’ll be honest, on previous visits, going to a museum never even crossed my mind. Hearing all of the buzz around the West Kowloon Cultural District, I was interested to see if it lived up to the hype. I was impressed and am glad I spent a day dedicated to the area. On top of that, places like Tai Kwun which I never thought to do added another layer to Hong Kong’s diverse culture.

Outdoor gems – We believe that the perfect Hong Kong itinerary should have a nice sprinkle of its gorgeous outdoors. Green spaces are another thing that doesn’t necessarily come to mind right away but it’s one of those hidden secrets where “if you know, you know!”

Hey I get it, a week in Hong Kong seems like a long time but I’m proof that there’s more than enough places to visit and things to eat. In fact, I probably could’ve used a few more days but I’ll leave that for a future trip.

Hope this itinerary leaves you inspired for your upcoming adventure in Hong Kong!

For the best combination of weather and crowds, November and April are the best months to visit. These are away from the big holiday seasons in January/February (Chinese New Year), May (Labour Day Golden Week), October (China National Day) and December (Christmas) and the climate is very comfortable. Avoid summer as it is unbearably hot.

At a minimum, with so many things to do in Hong Kong, and numerous day trip options, we recommend at least 5 days in Hong Kong.

We did this trip the third week of November.

November is the perfect time to visit Hong Kong because it’s out of Typhoon Season, rainfall and humidity is at a minimum, and the temperatures are pleasantly cool at an average of 22°C (71.6°F)

Hong Kong is a relatively drone-friendly location. Beyond the common-sense rules, if your drone is >250g, you’ll need to register it with eSUA although that will be challenging if you don’t live in Hong Kong. There are some locations designated as no-drone zones such as Victoria Peak, Por Lo Shan, Siu Ma Shan, most of Northern Lantau Island, Tai Mo Shan, and most of Victoria Harbour.

The best eSIM to use in Hong Kong is Airalo where 5GB is $12 USD and is valid for 30 days. Use code WILLIA9500 to get $3 off your first order.

  • 2 Day Hong Kong Itinerary – Maximize Your 48 Hours
  • 20 Best Places To Eat in Hong Kong
  • Our Best Hong Kong Articles
  • We normally use and Expedia when looking for hotels but for Asia, Agoda has lower prices and often more inventory as well.

Travel Resources For Your Next Trip

If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100% .

Credit cards: Don’t get burned by hidden fees on top of terrible exchange rates. When we travel now, we use the Wise Card . Simply load it with the currency you need before you go and use it as a regular VISA or their digital wallet card. Use their free app to track how much you have and top up when you need to.

Flights: Of all the booking search engines, Skyscanner is the most helpful and easy to use thanks to their Everywhere feature . Kayak is also another that’s we will often check as well.

Car Rental: If you’re looking to save money, these car rental coupon codes will be a true game-changer. Otherwise, DiscoverCars and RentalCars are great places to start.

park sleep fly airport parking discount code

Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.

Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi (use code GAP24300) because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo . Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.

Hotels: Our go-to is because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts . The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.

Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.

Tours: When planning our trips, we always check both Viator and GetYourGuide to at least see what’s out there in the destination that we’re going to. They often have different offerings and prices so check both.

Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.

  • Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
  • RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
  • SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
  • Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
  • InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.

This trip was in partnership with Hong Kong but all opinions are our own.

About William Tang

William Tang is the Chief of Awesome behind the award-winning Going Awesome Places which is focused on outdoor adventure, and experiential travel. His true passion lies in telling stories, inspiring photography and videos, and writing detailed itineraries and travel guides. He is a member of Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), and Travel Massive. He has also been featured in publications such as Reader's Digest, Entrepreneur, Men's Journal, and Haute Living. Make sure to learn more about William Tang to find out his story and how Going Awesome Places started.

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Travel advisory: president biden visiting seattle later this week – plan ahead and expect travel delays.

View of a cityscape with large buildings, radio towers, and a mountain in the background.

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  • President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Seattle later this week.
  • We expect significant travel delays and detours in the greater Seattle area in the coming days.
  • Continue to check traffic conditions before you leave, and give yourself plenty of extra travel time.
  • To stay informed, check King County Metro’s service advisories and sign up for transit alerts . You can also follow tweets from King County Metro , SDOT Traffic , and WSDOT Traffic .
  • Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this Presidential visit to our region.

During President Biden’s visit, the U.S. Secret Service has the authority to provide security, including requiring intermittent closures of freeways and streets. The flow of buses and cars in downtown Seattle and around the region will be affected.

While the president’s exact travel route and timing are not published in advance, travelers can still plan ahead by anticipating delays and temporary road closures., what to expect and how to get around.

You can check media reports and the websites of local jurisdictions and transit agencies before you leave, so you have the latest information about travel conditions. Remember to give yourself plenty of extra time to reach your destination.

If you can, please consider options to get around without driving. Riding transit and biking can be good ways to avoid traffic, but please note that some bus routes may also be affected by temporary traffic closures or detours, including short-term re-routes.

Our Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) engineers can adjust traffic signal timing within the city of Seattle based on expected closures and any necessary re-routing. We may also post messages on dynamic message signs when needed.

How to stay informed

King County Metro publishes service advisories online and sends transit alerts to riders notifying them of bus re-routes and travel changes. You can see if your route is affected by visiting Metro’s service advisories page .

We also encourage you to sign up for Metro’s transit alerts and to monitor local news reports and social media updates.

  • Sign up for King County Metro transit alerts
  • Follow tweets from King County Metro , SDOT Traffic , and WSDOT Traffic .

Thank you again for your patience and cooperation during this Presidential visit.

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