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How to Plan the Perfect Weekend in Hong Kong

Discover where to eat, stay and explore in Hong Kong now.

U.S. News & World Report

How to Plan the Perfect Weekend in Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour and Central from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Taking in incredible views from Victoria Peak, sampling dim sum and checking out contemporary art are just a few can't-miss experiences in Hong Kong.(Getty Images)

With its vibrant street markets, high-end shops, flourishing art scene and Michelin-starred restaurants, Hong Kong's cosmopolitan, culture-filled and fast-paced city beckons to the worldly traveler. While art aficionados take in the contemporary works on display at Art Basel, foodies can sample diverse cuisines, from authentic Cantonese dim sum to extravagant afternoon high tea to sticky rice pudding and stir-fries at open-air street markets. And with the chance to check out countless museums, the dazzling light display along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and inspiring views from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong offers exhilarating experiences for everyone. Here's where to stay, eat and play on your next trip to Hong Kong.

Where to Stay

In the heart of Hong Kong, you'll find a variety of upscale hotels, many of which offer jaw-dropping views of the city's glimmering skyscrapers. The Peninsula Hong Kong and the Four Seasons Hong Kong are top accommodation picks, along with the lavish 56-story Island Shangri-La, which features plenty of old-world elegance and versatile dining choices serving everything from Japanese to French fare. Another popular retreat is the Langham, Hong Kong, which features a luxurious spa as well as a Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, Tang Court.

Where to Eat 

Street food, gourmet food, dim sum meccas … Hong Kong's tantalizing cuisine, influenced by both Cantonese and non-Cantonese style, is full of mouthwatering flavors. Today, renowned 20th-century Cantonese favorites, such as char siu and boat congee remain popular staples in modern Hong Kong cuisine. If you're yearning for a memorable meal, but Michelin-starred spots like Tang Court are beyond your wallet's reach, head to Temple Street Night Market. Located in Kowloon, this lively market is filled with bustling street food and small food stalls. Don't miss the opportunity to order claypot rice, a dish prepared over charcoal flames that includes rice and fresh, flavorful ingredients, such as Chinese sausage or preserved meats, minced pork cakes flavored with salted egg or salted fish and Chicken and mushroom. Though the order takes about 20 minutes to prepare, the result is a drool-worthy dish that's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

What Not to Miss in Hong Kong

With Hong Kong's countless allures and must-visit attractions, the dizzying array of options for visitors can be overwhelming. Outdoorsy types shouldn't pass up the opportunity to check out Hong Kong's numerous beaches, parks, scenic hiking trails or nearby islands, such as Lantau Island and Cheung Chau. And whether you're craving urban allures or natural splendors, you can't skip visiting the 34-foot tall Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as "Big Buddha").

Another can't-miss activity is ascending the Peak Tram to the highest point in Hong Kong. From the Peak, you can take in heart-stopping vantage points of Victoria Harbor as well as the green hills of the New Territories. Make sure to check out the Peak Galleria, which offers free entry to an observation deck as well as the 2-mile-long Peak Circle Walk, which snakes around to Lugard Road and Lions Pavilion lookout. After taking in the city from soaring heights, leisurely take in Hong Kong from the ground level with the Star Ferry. From the Wan Chai Star Perry pier to the Kowloon Peninsula, the Star Ferry gives visitors a unique perspective on the enormity of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor. 

And if you're a history buff, you can't forgo the chance to visit Stanley (named after Lord Stanley, a British Colonial Secretary in the 19th century). One of the oldest villages on Hong Kong Island, Stanley Village and it's robust market offers excellent shopping opportunities, with stores selling everything from clothes and electronics to antiques, jade and handmade accessories. 

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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