What to do on a Hong Kong layover

If you’ve got limited time on a layover, planning is key to enjoying your trip.

What to do on a Hong Kong layover

Hong Kong is a great city to explore, but if you’ve got limited time on a layover, planning is key to enjoying your trip.

Q. Cathy

We’re travelling to Europe in next month and in an attempt to keep our costs down, have booked a flight with a long layover in Hong Kong – 20 hours to be exact. Obviously, we don’t want to hang around the airport for this time, but booking a hotel room also seems pointless. So, is it possible to venture into the city during this time? If so, what should we consider seeing and doing?

A. Long layovers can be fun, as long as you’re prepared, and Hong Kong is the perfect city to explore in a limited time. Although there is so much more to see than your available time will allow, great transport links and an abundance of organised day trips will make filling in the time easy.

Make use of the bag storage facility in Terminal 2, which is open 20 hours a day from 5:30 to 1:30. It will cost you HK$140 (approx. AUD$23) per bag per day, so pack wisely and don’t forget to take anything you may need throughout the day.

You can easily catch the Airport Express into Hong Kong; it only takes 24 minutes and costs about HK$100 (approx. AUD$17.60). Jump off at Kowloon and take a hop-on-hop-off tour operated by the Big Bus Company. A 24-hour ticket will cost you US$55 (approximately AUD$76) and will enable you to see as much of the city as possible in the time you have. Don’t forget to try some of Hong Kong’s many restaurants, which offer some of the best Chinese food you’ll ever taste.

If you’re unsure about going your own way in Hong Kong, Splendid Tours offers an airport transit tour, which takes about eight hours and, as the name suggests, includes a one-way transfer from the airport. This will then give you plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely meal, or stroll around your favourite part of the city, before heading back to the airport.

Remember to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the services in the airport before the next leg of your flight. You can relax with a massage, take in one of the many exhibitions on offer, enjoy a surprisingly tasty meal at the food court, or even play nine holes of golf at the course just next to Terminal 2.

Hong Kong airport (bag storage details)

Hong Kong airport (airport express details)

Big Bus Company

Splendid Tours

Hong Kong airport (things to do)


    To make a comment, please register or login
    fish head
    17th Oct 2015
    Take into account jet lag depending on the time of your arrival or you may find yourself asleep on a ferry as I did.
    17th Oct 2015
    This may seem like a statement of the obvious to seasoned travelers, but we has similar intentions and ran into difficulties at HK recently. In theory, if you book a 'best price' fare to Europe, with a transit in HK, then the stop in HK is just that - TRANSIT.
    The fare price takes account of this and does not include the regular (and higher) airport departure tax.
    If you intend to disembark in HK (i.e. pass through customs) then you will need to book the trip as two separate tickets: Aus to HK & HK to Europe. Thus losing the benefit of a cheaper single trip ticket.
    We were very fortunate with our ignorance and ran into a sympathetic airline who agreed to cover the cost of the additional taxes.
    You may also be lucky, but be warned.
    17th Oct 2015
    Not true with Singapore Peekay.any traveller with more than an 8 hour transit in Singapore can request a city sights tour.Just go to the appropriate desk and book,pop luggage into locker go through customs and the bus will have you back in good time,the fare structure is irrelevant.
    18th Oct 2015
    OK, understood cookie, but I did say Hong Kong, not Singapore.
    And all I'm doing is just telling you what happened to us. We are not seasoned travelers so don't know all the tricks at all the transit ports.

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