Visit Hong Kong With Kids in 48 Hours

We had 48 hours to spend in Hong Kong with our kids on our way to Cambodia, and we wanted to be sure we hit the ground running with a productive plan.  Hong Kong is such a mixture of old and new, east and west, it makes for a fascinating city visit with delicious dim sum, floating islands, and an incredible skyline. If you only have a long layover, then 2 days Hong Kong is perfect. These 5 things will give you and your kids a flavor of the many different characteristics of this city.

The bustling city is a full assault on your senses with the bright lights, noise, and the most memorable smells, (some amazing and some rather ghastly).

Here is a 2-day itinerary and the top five things to do in Hong Kong with kids!

2 days in Hong Kong with kids - Victoria park
View from Victoria Peak is incredible

Day 1: Hong Kong with Kids

Visit Victoria Peak

Taking the train up the peak is good fun, very steep with incredible views, but it’s VERY crowded with long lines. I’d highly suggest getting there as early as possible in the morning.  Once you get to the top of the peak, there are more levels to climb (via escalators) and so many restaurants at the top to choose something delicious to eat. There are all kinds of ticket combos.

For the best views, get the Tram + Sky Terrace combo ticket.  The view of the city below is fantastic, and despite the fog (due to the humidity), we were able to see the whole of Hong Kong and take some incredible pictures.

Take Star Ferry to Kowloon Peninsula

Since 1888, the Hong Kong Star Ferry has been connecting Kowloon, Hong Kong Island side and Tsim Sha Tsui.  It’s a ten-minute ferry ride and we paid about 50c per person for a breathtaking view of the best skyline in the world direct from the water.  The ferry is a great way to take in the Hong Kong skyline, both by day and night (without breaking the bank). Grab a seat by the window for the best views and lovely breeze.

Day 1: Evening

Temple Street Night Market

Temple Street Night Market is pretty famous in Hong Kong.  If you like the hustle and bustle with lots of things to look at and like to find bargains, then you’ll love this place! Be sure to bring cash as you do have to barter.  We ate at one of the restaurants on the side of the markets, and our traditional Cantonese food and four beers cost about $30 for four people, and we couldn’t even finish all of the food.

Hong Kong with kids - temple street night market
More food that we could eat and four beers for $30.  I like this place!

With full tummies, we headed to the stalls packed with electrical goods, fake bags and clothes, pirated CD’s and interesting-looking food.  The boys haggled over stuff they didn’t even want, we bought some treasures and enjoyed the hot evening.

It was incredibly hot and humid but had a great atmosphere. These markets are open until midnight,  so there’s plenty of time to eat and shop.Hong Kong night market with kids shopping

Day 2: Hong Kong with Kids

City Hall Maxim’s Palace, Hong Kong

If you are in Hong Kong and you want a traditional dim sum experience, this is the place to go.  City Hall Maxim’s Palace was recommended to us by several people — including a few locals. After a tricky time finding this location (there are several Maxim’s), we took a number and didn’t have too long of a wait for our table (they do not take reservations and there’s always a line and looooong wait).

The dim sum comes around in carts and you have to be quick to call over the lady (who is typically old and non-English speaking) who pushes the cart if you want the dishes in her cart! There is a huge variety so wouldn’t suggest getting more than 1 of the same dish. Wait to check out the others.  This was literally the best dim sum we have ever eaten, and well worth the wait (TIP: ask for a window seat for incredible views of the harbor)!

Visiting Hong Kong Park with Kids

Hong Kong Park is a slice of peace and tranquility amongst the hustle and commercial buildings.  The park offers a quiet oasis amongst the bustle and is full of beautiful flowers, trees, peaceful ponds, and is very relaxing.

The conservatories are tucked away at the back and there’s a huge aviary full of incredible birds.  We walked through this park on the way to Victoria Peak Station.  It’s worth a visit just to get some green quiet times in a busy city.

tired kids in Hong Kong after 2 days
Jet-lag is a problem from LAX to Hong Kong, and since we only had 48 hours, we didn’t have time to sleep.  Jules found time for a cat-nap at the dinner table!

48 Hours in Hong Kong: Hidden Gems and Insider Secrets

When we were planning our long layover in Hong Kong, we had a lot of questions. We wanted to soak up the culture, speak with locals, and make sure we had “PC” behavior. Here are some of the questions we had, along with the answers we found along the way.

When is the best time to visit Hong Kong?

We found out the best times to visit Hong Kong are from October to early December when the weather is sunny, cool, and pleasant. We packed our bags for this trip in November over Thanksgiving, and it was perfect.

How do we get around in Hong Kong?

Walk, take a taxi, take a ferry (to get to Kowloon) or take the MTR (the subway). If you want to get around quickly, the Octopus card is a card you top up with money and use on public transport like the MTR, buses, and ferries. Super easy and convenient.

Are there any cultural do’s and don’ts we should know about?

Definitely. Always be polite and wait your turn, especially in queues. When receiving or giving something, use both hands as a sign of respect. And remember, tipping isn’t a big thing here, except maybe at fancy restaurants.

What’s a must-try food in Hong Kong?

Dim sum is the way to go! Make sure to try the shrimp dumplings (har gow) and barbecue pork buns (char siu bao) – they’re delicious. You should also try some noodel dishes. The kids loved the thin noodles – are so yummy.

Can we drink the tap water?

We were told it’s safe to drink the tap water in Hong Kong, but most locals prefer to boil it or drink bottled water. We stuck to bottled water just to be on the safe side.

Is 2 days in Hong Kong really enough time? 

There are other family-friendly activities in Hong Kong, like Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park. For a more laid-back day, we explored Hong Kong Park and the Science Museum.

How do we greet people in Hong Kong?

A simple nod or a handshake is common. We learned that saying “hello” in Cantonese (“Nei ho”) really impresses locals and shows you’re trying to embrace their culture.

What area should we stay in?

We stayed near Victoria harbor, near the Kowloon ferry and that worked out well. We were also thinking of staying on Hong Kong Island, near Central. Its easy access to shopping, the Peak Tram, and ferries from there. Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon is another great option, but it’s a different vibe in that part of the city.

Is Hong Kong safe for families?

Absolutely. We felt safe walking around, even at night. Of course, we kept an eye on our belongings in crowded places, but overall, it’s a very safe city for travelers.

What’s one hidden gem if we have more time?

We hear that visiting the outlying islands like Lamma or Cheung Chau was a fantastic day trip. You can take a ferry to Lamma Island for a day, enjoyed some seafood, and hike. It would be a nice peaceful break from the city buzz.

Hong Kong dragon - on a 2 day layover

48 Hours in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant city with a mix of modern and traditional experiences. We learned so much and met very friendly and helpful people. Just remember to keep an open mind, be respectful of the local customs, and dive into the adventure. The best things to do in Hong Kong with kids in 48 hours will keep you busy!

Next stop, Cambodia for another Wonder of the World! We spent a day in Phnom Phen, then drove from Phnom Phen to Siem Reap and had an amazing time visiting Angkor Wat with kids.

What is your favorite thing about Hong Kong?

Let me know in the comments below!

About The Author


I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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