Hong Kong is one of our favorite cities in the world. There are so many things to see and do in this busy city so we narrowed down the best things to do if you only have 2 or 3 days in Hong Kong.
3 Days in Hong Kong Itinerary for First Time Visitors
Our 3 day Hong Kong itinerary covers the must sees in Hong Kong in the first two days, so if you are only in Hong Kong for 2 days just follow the itinerary for Day 1 and 2.
Ride the Ngong Ping Cable Car
If you want to see aerial panoramic views of Hong Kong, ride a cable car at Lantau Island.
Ngong Ping Cable Car is a 5.7km cable car journey between Tung Chung Town Centre and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. In addition to the regular cable cars, there are special glass bottom cable cars but we did not find them worth the extra cost. For more information about the cable cars as well as prices visit https://www.np360.com.hk/.
Climb the Stairs to Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha)
Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a 34 meter tall statue and is one of the world’s largest outdoor bronze statues of a seated Buddha. The Big Buddha is located near the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island.
To get a closer look of the Big Buddha, climb the 268 steps which lead to an outdoor platform near the top which beautiful panoramic views.
Take a Walk Around Tai O
Most tourists leave Lantau Island after seeing the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, but if you have time make the trip to Tai O. Tai O is a traditional fishing village located on the western side of Lantau Island and famous for its stilt houses.
Unlike most of Hong Kong which is modern and hectic, this place is calm and peaceful. You can reach Tai O by taking a bus from Ngong Ping Village.
Visit the Yuen Po Bird Garden
The Chinese traditionally liked to keep birds as pets. This bird market sells all kind of things relating to birds such as bamboo cages, feed, and birds themselves. You will also see elderly men out on a walk with their pet birds.
Ride a Tram to Victoria Peak (The Peak)
If there is one must do in Hong Kong it is taking the tram up to Victoria Peak to gaze at this iconic view. There are several ways to get to the Peak (including bus and taxi) but the most scenic way is the Peak Tram. Just a warning that lines for the Peak Tram are long and tourists are pushy.
Enjoy the Skyline at Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour separates Hong Kong Island and Kowloon and is one of the best skylines in the world (we did not have a tripod so the photo does not do the view justice). Following are some ways to view the harbor:
Star Ferry: The Star Ferry is 7 minute long passenger ferry service between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Not only is the Star Ferry is a picturesque and enjoyable way to cross Victoria Harbour, it is super cheap. While the Star Ferry attracts tourists, it is mainly used by locals to cross the harbour.
Avenue of Stars: Avenue of Stars is a promenade located along the Victoria Harbour waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui. The Avenue of the Stars is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame with statues and plaques honoring local celebrities.
Symphony of Lights: If possible try to visit Victoria Harbour in the evening to see the light and sound show (called the Symphony of Lights) that takes place at 8pm every night. The best spots to watch the Symphony of Lights is from the Kowloon side (especially the Avenue of Stars) or from a boat in the harbour. One suggestion to catch the show on water is to board one of the Star ferries leaving right before 8pm.
The views of Victoria Harbour are amazing both at day and at night. However, if you can only see the harbor one time we recommend visiting in the evening.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a great spot to visit in Hong Kong although it is a bit out of the way in Sha Tin. It is a bit tricky to find upon exiting the MTR but look for the IKEA store sign.
A steep concrete path of 430 steps leads visitors to the temple. Most people assume that the monastery is named for the large gold-painted Buddha statues, but the name refers to the more than 10,000 small Buddhas found in the monastery.
Watch a Horse Race at Happy Valley
If you find yourself in Hong Kong on a Wednesday night, consider going to the weekly horse races at Happy Valley. In most cities, racetracks tend to be located far from the center, but Happy Valley is unique because it located right in the center of Hong Kong Island in Causeway Bay.