After living in Hong Kong for almost two years, I’ve become everybody’s go-to girl for advice and recommendations whenever a trip to the fragrant harbour is on the cards.
Hong Kong is where my heart belongs. I grew up visiting frequently (every year!) and I spent some of my formative twenty-something years there, so I’ve a great pool of places to recommend, whether you love adventure, sports, history, sights, shopping, food or prefer something in-between.
Hong Kong is a beautiful city in its’ own right, a wonderful mix of modern city glamour and traditional village life. There’s a great expat community which makes it an ideal city in Asia to visit if you’re worried about communication, as pretty much everybody will be able to help you get by as long as you can speak English.
From charming coffee houses to infamous antique sellers, night markets to $10 stores, gleaming skyscrapers to village houses, Hong Kong is a melting pot, home to everybody.
Hong Kong is the sort of place where you can enjoy yourself on a shoestring budget as much as on a luxury one.
It’s very easy to spend only a pound or two on a meal, but it’s just as easy to fly high on Hong Kong Island and drop £80 on a meal at Carbone. I personally recommend visiting Hong Kong on a mid-range budget so that you don’t have to deny yourself of any locations, hot spots or shopping necessities! Because let’s face it, there’s a LOT of shopping to be done. I’ve outlined a few budget tiers below with realistic amounts that you’ll end up spending, just to give you an idea.
I wax lyrical about the MTR system in Hong Kong at any opportunity possible. The city is pretty small and is well-serviced by the MTR, minibuses and buses, in a way that’ll make you shake your first at any other system. Especially the London Underground and British railway service.
Once in Hong Kong, pick yourself up an Octopus card at a station, 7-11 or even the airport. This is a travel card that can be topped up to your whimsy and that can be used to pay for the MTR, buses, minibuses, taxis, in shops… Anywhere that you see the symbol. I used to pay my bills with mine! I’d say $300 (roughly £30) will suffice for a week’s travel. You can top up at any 7-11 store, Circle K store or at MTR stations.
Tip: Download the MTR Mobile, CitybusNWFB and Citymapper apps to make things extra simple! Uber is also available in Hong Kong although local taxis will be much cheaper.
Click here for the interactive Daisybutter Google Map to Hong Kong!
Budgeting your trip
Food: $1800 (includes one dim sum/yum cha feast and accounts for eating out 3x a day)
Fun: $800 (includes Disneyland, museums, The Peak and a beach day!)
Shopping: I’ll let you decide!
Fun: $2000 (includes Iron Fairies bar, the AIA Wheel and Sevva afternoon tea)
Total: starting at $5600
My Favourite Shops
- Sasa Supreme
- Etude House
- JHC (Japan Centre)
The Best Coffee Shops
- The Coffee Academics – Causeway Bay
- Winston’s Coffee
- Elephant Grounds
- sensory zero.
- Cafe Deadend
Useful tips & recommendations
- Always carry a bottle of water, packet of tissues, hand sanitiser and hairband with you.
- Pack a scarf in your bag because Hong Kong’s air-conditioning game is no joke.
- Read this article on basic chopstick etiquette.
- Be prepared to queue absolutely everywhere for dinner – it’s a similar vibe to London in the evenings as very few families eat at home.
- Refer to the MTR Mobile app for hints of the best exit (they’re all lettered!) to take when you arrive at your destination station to absolutely boss the MTR system.
- SPF50 will be your best friend. As will a pocket fan and towel.
- Watsons and Mannings is the equivalent to Boots/pharmacies.
- You can buy a China Mobile prepaid data SIM card at 7-11 for unlocked phones. Perfect for Instagramming your holiday!
- The drinking age is 18. Lan Kwai Fong is arguably the most popular drinking area but it is full of tourists nowadays, take that as you wish!
I hope you found this one-week Hong Kong travel guide useful. Add your recommendations below, or share a memory from one of your trips to Hong Kong!