All Articles Hong Kong's best hits: Find the perfect day itinerary

Hong Kong's best hits: Find the perfect day itinerary

A collage of places and people in Hong Kong. Clockwise from top left: A man walking in front of sign in Soho, Kiri T holding a mic and singing, two men admiring the view at The Peak, a graffiti wall, Crash Adams in front of neon LED fixtures, a junk boat on the waters of the Victoria Harbour at night, a group of men eat at a casual diner
Image: (Clockwise from top left) Pariyanuchy/Tripadvisor, Chris Lusher (lusher_photography), Robson Hatsukami Morgan/Unsplash, BradJill/Tripadvisor, Chris Lusher (lusher_photography), Big Dodzy/Unsplash
Tripadvisor in partnership with Warner Music
By Tripadvisor in partnership with Warner Music26 Mar 2024 8 minutes read

There’s a different side of Hong Kong for all different beats. We caught up with rising music artists at Live at the Big Top to share their Hong Kong hit list, like homegrown popstar Kiri T’s favorite hood and Texan crooner Johnny Stimson’s harbor hangout spot.

From old-school cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong-style cafes) and neon-lit backstreets to revitalized heritage buildings and mod-Canto restaurants, this itinerary guide has everything you know and love about Hong Kong, and more. Not sure where to start? Pick a song and we’ll show you how to spend the perfect day in Hong Kong.

Pick a song for your Hong Kong soundtrack:

Click to listen on Spotify 🎧
"Skateboard Night" - Zpecial
"Housing Problem" - Moon Tang
"Smile" - Johnny Stimson
"Wanderlust" - Paul Partohap
"Psycho" - Kiri T
"Good Side" - Crash Adams
"hebeolle" - Bang Yedam
Image: Chris Lusher (lusher_photography)

A perfect day in Hong Kong for romance

If you picked "hebeolle" by Bang Yedam, “Wanderlust” by Paul Partohap, or “Good Side” by Crash Adams, you’re in the mood for love. And there’s nothing more romantic than exploring Hong Kong’s idyllic waterfronts and charming seaside towns.

Victoria Harbour at night with a red junk boat sailing on the waters. Text over image: "Our song “Good Side” captures the vibe of Hong Kong. Everyone was cheerful and upbeat, and the city is full of action. - Crash Adams" "
Kwun Tong Promenade in Hong Kong
Graffiti on the walls in Sai Kung
Image: (Clockwise from left) Andres Garcia/Unsplash, Adam Xin/Tripadvisor, BradJill/Tripadvisor

Morning: Kwun Tong

Start your day in Kwun Tong, an industrial turned industrial-chic district in Kowloon. Here, you’ll find creative enclaves amid shiny office towers right by the waterfront. Get your fuel for the day at one of the many stylish cafes tucked away within former industrial buildings and factories. Those beholden to a good cuppa will love Coffee Slave, or coffee roastery and bakery First Glance. Steakhouse Factory 99 is another interesting spot set in an old factory and a regular haunt for local office workers.

Follow breakfast with a nice romantic stroll along Kwun Tong Promenade for amazing waterfront views. Travelers say it’s a great spot to visit at sunset and for nighttime views of Hong Kong’s skyline too.

By Johnny Stimson, United States
“My favorite place I’ve visited is Kwun Tong Promenade. I love to jog in the mornings and the view was spectacular. There are lots of cute little cafes around and people walking together. If you want to go for a bike ride or a jog, check it out!”

If you’re up for more adventure, you can take an hour-long hike past 19th-century ruins and a big cemetery to the top of Devil’s Peak. While that doesn’t sound like the most romantic of hikes, trust us, the views at the top will prove otherwise.

Afternoon: Sai Kung

Go on a seaside rendezvous in Sai Kung, a popular weekend getaway for locals. Enjoy a lunchtime feast by the water at the Michelin-recommended Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant, where they serve freshly caught seafood cooked in whichever way you please. Steamed, sauteed, fried—you name it, they’ll do it. Get recs from the servers or go for their specialty: lobster noodles with cheese sauce. If you’re still spoiled for choice, nothing beats a good ol’ fish and chips at Chip In Fish & Chips.

Get some snacks to-go from Miss Hui Homemade Steamed Bun or Sai Kung Cafe & Bakery—famous for their pineapple buns and Portuguese egg tarts—before checking out the rest of Sai Kung Town, starting with the colorful murals and quirky boutiques that line its streets.

By Moon Tang, Hong Kong
“⁠I love Sai Kung on a weekday! Especially in the morning and for the sunsets.”

You can easily spend the whole afternoon in the town center, but if you want to find out why this peninsula is dubbed the “back garden of Hong Kong”, venture out to explore more of its stunning scenery, hiking trails, and beautiful beaches. The short 1.5-hour Tai Long Wan hike is a great option, where you can beach-hop to four gorgeous beaches: Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan, and Tung Wan. They’re great for water sports like snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, and glass-bottom kayaking too, especially during the summer.

Evening: Victoria Harbour

Head back to Tsim Sha Tsui for a chill night by Victoria Harbour. Start at the Avenue of Stars by the promenade, where you can snap a pic with (or at least the statues of!) Hong Kong stars like Bruce Lee and Anita Mui against the stunning skyline.

By Paul Partohap, Indonesia
“I loved to walk along the Avenue of Stars. You can take a lot of good pics, especially panoramas.”

While waiting for the mesmerizing Symphony of Lights show at 8 p.m., you can dip into malls like K11 MUSEA and K11 Art Mall for some shopping, or enjoy a romantic dinner at a restaurant overlooking the harbor. You can’t go wrong with Travelers’ Choice award-winning Above & Beyond (for Cantonese cuisine at the top of Hotel Icon) or Lai Ching Heen (Michelin-starred restaurant at Regent Hong Kong).

End the night on a relaxing harbor cruise on a traditional red-sail junk boat or soldier on into the night at the buzzing Temple Street Night Market. Try street food, shop for souvenirs, or duck into the alleyways to recreate scenes from your favorite Wong Kar Wai film.

By Bang Yedam, South Korea
"Temple Street. There were a lot of people, and it was a very special place where I could fully experience the night mood of Hong Kong."

Where to stay

A perfect day in Hong Kong for culture & nightlife

If you picked “Skateboard Night” by Zpecial, “Housing Problem” by Moon Tang, or “Psycho” by Kiri T, you’re a creative folk who loves going off the beaten path. You’ll love Hong Kong’s stylish neighborhoods, creative art centers, and award-winning bars and restaurants.

Aerial view of Temple Street market at night. Text over image: "“Skateboard Night" will bring you on a tour of Hong Kong’s remarkable nighttime scenery. - Zpecial"
A group of men eating at a diner in Tai Hang
Graffiti on a hotel facade in Soho Hong Kong
Image: (Clockwise from left) Chapman Chow/Unsplash, Big Dodzy/Unsplash, ittsu88/Tripadvisor

Morning: M+ Museum

Start your art-filled adventure at Kubrick Bookshop Cafe in Yau Ma Tei, inspired by the prolific filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick. Fittingly located next to the arthouse cinema Broadway Cinematheque, you can browse a wide range of English and foreign books and magazines over breakfast and coffee.

After you’re done with your meal, head over to M+ Museum in West Kowloon, one of the world’s largest modern and contemporary visual arts museums. It houses 33 galleries, three cinemas, a multimedia library and has featured the works of modern artists like conceptual artist Yayoi Kusama, fashion designer Guopei, and digital artist Beeple. And it’s not just international artists—they also spotlight local artists and culture, including a conservation effort to preserve Hong Kong’s disappearing neon signs.

Here’s a tip: Head to the museum’s rooftop garden for sweeping views of Victoria Harbour.

Afternoon: Tai Hang and PMQ

Head over to the trendy neighborhood of Tai Hang where you’ll find a good mix of the old and new. Head to Shun Hing Restaurant for their runny scrambled eggs and charsiu (roast meat) or Bing Kee Cha Dong, a roadside dai pai dong (outdoor street food vendor) loved for its pork chop noodles and iced milk tea.

After lunch, check out some of the area’s cool boutique shops that are brimming with creative and youthful energy. The skater boys and girls will love Psyroot Store (a local skate shop) and those who love collecting knick-knacks and trinkets should check out Kanamono (a Japanese-inspired hardware store) and The Minimal (a vintage lifestyle store).

When you need to refuel, try modern coffee shops like Fineprint (an Aussie-style cafe), Muse (a cafe and lifestyle store concept), and Unar Coffee Company (a takeaway-only coffee shop), or satiate your sweet tooth with a dessert from Cookie Vission (a cookie shop) or Plumcot (a French-style pastry store).

We recommend visiting Tai Hang between Friday to Sunday or on public holidays, so you can join the exclusive 1.5-hour guided tour of the Haw Par Mansion (or Tiger Balm Garden). It’s the former residence of Aw Boon Haw, the businessman behind the beloved medicated balm. Slots are gone fast so reserve early.

By Kiri T, Hong Kong
“There are hip cafes and galleries in Tai Hang, local fruit stalls, and authentic cha chan tengs that serve creamy milk teas and yummy Hong Kong-style French toast. A lot of people walk their puppies and it’s a very family-friendly and cute neighborhood. It’s a breath of fresh air in the middle of this loud and buzzing city.”

Next, discover more local designers and artisans at PMQ at the intersection of Staunton and Aberdeen Street. The former Police Married Quarters has been reimagined as a creative arts center, housing over a hundred design stores, pop-ups, cafes, exhibitions, and workshops across two buildings. Shop for artisanal paints (513 Paint Shop), bamboo goods (Bamboa Home), and premium soaps (Bathe to Basics); or join a jewelry-making class, cooking class, or even an art-jamming sesh.

Evening: Soho

Another heritage building turned creative arts hub worth visiting is Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, the former Central Police Station Compound in the middle of Central’s Soho District. There are boutique shops, exhibitions, and also plenty of restaurants and bars like Behind Bars and The Chinese Library that are good options for a great night out. Once you’re ready for round two, you can take the night to the rest of the Soho area for more bars, clubs, and even shisha lounges. Don’t forget to use the Central mid-level escalators—the world’s longest outdoor escalator—to help you get around!

By Crash Adams, Canada
“We enjoyed walking around the Soho area near all the different bars and restaurants. The architecture is much different from where we live so it was extremely fascinating to see.”

If you’re looking for other dinner options, there’s the local favorite Kau Kee Food Cafe, famous for its decadent beef brisket noodles, or mod dining options like the ever-popular Ho Lee Fook, worth a visit just for their out-of-this-world service and interiors. Both are super busy so you’ll need to get in line early or make a reservation respectively. For more casual options, check out Little Bao for fusion burger baos (steamed buns) or YardBird in Sheung Wan for yakitori (Japanese grilled skewers), sake, and cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails, Hong Kong is home to some of the best bars in Asia. Get a nightcap at COA—a Mexican-inspired bar specializing in agave spirits—which has consistently taken the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, or The Old Man—another award-winning watering hole that pays homage to Ernst Hemingway.

Where to stay

A perfect day in Hong Kong for nature

If you picked “Smile” by Johnny Stimson, you live in the moment and have an appreciation for the simpler things in life. Get away from the bustle of the city and explore Hong Kong’s nature and peaks.

Two men admiring the view at The Peak. Text over image: "I have to go with my song “Smile.” Not only am I getting to live my dream and travel around the world singing, but I also got to meet so many smiley people! - Johnny Stimson""
Tai O Fishing village
Aerial view of Big Buddha on Lantau Island
Image: (Clockwise from left) Robson Hatsukami Morgan, Keith Hardy, Jason Cooper/Unsplash

Morning: Lantau Island

Before you start your day, grab breakfast to-go from one of Hong Kong’s favorite bakeries like Bakehouse, an artisanal bakery by acclaimed chef Grégoire Michaud, or Queen Sophie, loved for their creative egg tarts. Both have multiple outlets across the city so you’re bound to find one near you. You’ll need the fuel when you stand in line for the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. (Psst… you can skip the line if you buy your tickets beforehand.)

The 25-minute scenic cable car ride—we recommend the Crystal+ Cabin for 360 views—will bring you to Lantau Island, an archipelago that’s great for hikes, nature, and culture. Upon reaching the island, you won’t be able to miss the Tian Tan Buddha, a massive 250-ton bronze statue that stands at 112 feet. Admire the Big Buddha from the bottom or climb 268 steps up to see the extraordinary structure up close. Afterward, you can explore the next door Po Lin Monastery, one of the most significant Buddhist monasteries in Hong Kong.

Tip: Lantau Island is near the airport so it’s a great half-day trip option if you’re stopping over or looking for activities to squeeze in on your last day.

Afternoon: Tai O Fishing Village

At the monastery, there’s a vegetarian restaurant and cafe that’s a great lunch option on the island. But if you’re not a fan of vegetarian food, you can head straight to the historic Tai O Fishing Village on the other side of Lantau for an afternoon of exploration. Get a fresh grilled seafood lunch from Tai O Store or Crossing Boat Restaurant, or try Cheung Choi Kee’s famous shrimp and pork “Husband Rolls”.

Once you’re fueled up, start your exploration of Tai O and learn more about the lives of the native Tanka people, the local community of fishermen who have built the stilt houses that the village is known for.

Instead of a trip to Tai O, you can also try a hike across the island, one of the easiest being part of the Lantau Trail (Section 1) from Mui Wo to Nam Shan.

Evening: Victoria Peak and Central

You can’t say that you’ve been to Hong Kong without visiting Victoria Peak (The Peak), the highest point in the city. Take the glass ceiling Peak Tram to the top, just in time to catch the sunset at the Sky Terrace 428. As dusk falls, watch Hong Kong’s skyline come to life in a sea of twinkling lights. If you don’t want to pay for access to the terrace, you can take the short Victoria Peak Circle Walk that offers some of the best viewpoints.

By Zpecial, Hong Kong
The Peak is located at the highest point in Hong Kong. You can take the Peak Tram to the top of the mountain to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the city. If you go at night, you can see the colors of Hong Kong from the top.”

When you’re done soaking in the views, the Central area is the perfect spot to end the night. Grab a roast goose dinner at the Michelin-recommended Yat Lok Restaurant or go for dim sum and fried noodles at Luk Yu Tea House. For drinks, check Draft Land, which serves Asian-inspired craft cocktails on tap, or The Aubrey, a Japanese izakaya on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental for a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour.

Where to stay

Find out what else the artists love about Hong Kong

Images by Chris Lusher (lusher_photography)
  • Zpecial
    Hong Kong is an international metropolis—luxurious and fast-paced. But when you slow down, you will find that Hong Kong is very different from day to night. We love this diversity.
  • Johnny Stimson
    I love the energy and the scenery! There’s something about looking across the bay from the Avenue of Stars that just makes me feel so proud of humanity. It’s peak manmade and natural beauty put together. It’s unlike anywhere I’ve ever been.
  • Crash Adams
    We really love the people and the energy that the city brings. Everyone really loves to have a great time, and they really appreciate their art and entertainment. The city is calm yet busy, and Hong Kong has a fantastic music scene.
  • Kiri T
    I love how Hong Kong is very convenient. And it's a very international city so no matter where you’re from, you’ll find it easy to assimilate culturally.
  • Paul Partohap
    I love everything about it. It's so clean and the people were also nice and helpful. And the food was really good.
  • Moon Tang
    The fact that there’s sooooo many people.
  • Bang Yedam
    Hong Kong food was really great. Dim sum tasted amazing. Hong Kong is a place full of magical vibes.

Save their hits to your Hong Kong playlist