48 Hours in Hong Kong

Thanks to a top-notch airport and affordable direct flights from many cities throughout the region, Hong Kong is the perfect city for a quick weekend away. Fly in on a Friday evening, and fly out two days later for a laid-back weekend of world-class shopping, great food, and fantastic scenery. We’re sharing some of our favorite finds from our latest trip.


18:00 Check in at EAST, a sleek, 345-room hotel located in the Taikoo district. While slightly out of the city center, a direct MTR connection brings you to Causeway Bay in less than 15 minutes. As a trade-off for the offbeat location (though, it’s perfect for business trips as many multinationals’ offices are just steps away), you get rooms that feel bright and spacious for Hong Kong standards, made even better with enormous floor-to-ceiling windows on the full length of each room. The views — incredible. Do make sure to snag a harbor-facing room – the views more than justify the slightly higher rates.

EAST Hong Kong hotel review

Upholstered in light wood, following a palette of cream and white, the rooms are calming and very comfortable. Bathrooms follow an open plan, and the spacious shower cabin is big enough to host a small party (theoretically speaking…). This being a business hotel during the week, the rooms feature ample space to work from — including large desks and enough power plugs to charge all your electronics at once. All rooms are equipped with a Handy smartphone that guests can borrow throughout their stay. And while its ad-driven city guides aren’t exactly useful – it makes a great wifi tethering device while you’re out and about.

19:00 If you haven’t had dinner on the plane, fret not. The hotel is directly connected to Cityplaza Mall which offers a plethora of dining options (Think Schoolfood, Greyhound Cafe and a very useful Japanese supermarket in the basement). Alternatively, FEAST, EAST’s all-day dining restaurant, offers a range of Western and Chinese dishes done well.

22:00 Head upstairs for a nightcap at Sugar, EAST Hotel’s buzzy rooftop bar. Located on the 32nd floor, this spot guarantees prime views over Kowloon Bay. The menu features a wide selection of wines, beers, and cocktails. The bartenders tend to get crafty, so do ask for the weekly specials.


9:00 Get up early to beat the crowds at Australia Dairy Company (). Yes, it’s touristy as hell — but take one bite of their insanely fluffy scrambled eggs and you’ll understand why this place is perpetually packed. The secret to their success is the different types of eggs they mix together, or so we’ve been told. Lingering around isn’t appreciated here, so order, eat and get out.

Hong Kong flower market

10:30 Hop in a taxi (or take the MTR) and get off at Prince Edward station for some market-hopping. Start at the Mong Kok Flower Market () for a visual feast of shops packed with colorful flowers, shrubs, and bonsai. Walk all the way to the end, and you’ll stumble upon the Hong Kong Bird Market (), a charming alley set inside a beautiful Chinese garden. It’s a delightfully local affair with Cantonese aunties and uncles chatting the day away. Head south for the Goldfish Market (), a lively street in Mong Kok where all kinds of live fish are traded. The huge displays of fish in little plastic bags make for a spectacular sight.

13:00 For lunch, head to Instagram-favorite Mido Cafe (), opposite the Tin Hau temple in Yau Ma Tei. The retro interior hasn’t changed a bit since its opening in the 1950s, which results in hordes of photographers flocking to this restaurant at any given time. While the menu doesn’t really surpass that of a standard cha chaan teng and is passable at best, the atmosphere and surprisingly friendly service make up for it.

Mido Cafe Hong Kong

14:00 Walk off the carbs with a stroll around Kowloon Park (), twenty minutes down Nathan Road. With its quiet Chinese gardens, scenic ponds and lush aviary, you’d almost forget that you’re in the center of a city of millions. Follow the trail all the way to the little-visited China Ferry Terminal () pier for prime views over Victoria Bay, but without the tourist crowds you find at the nearby Harbour City viewpoint. After that, make your way to the Star Ferry to cross the harbor.

16:00 Have you ever visited a coffee shop just because their takeaway cups are so damn cool? We did – and you should check out Halfway Coffee () too. Located in a small alley in Sheun Wan, this cozy cafe serves their flat whites in paper cups that resemble colorful Nyonya ceramics. Order your coffee to go (but feel free to linger around), or fork out 50 HKD for a set of four different cup designs.

17:00 Antique Street and Cat Street are just a few steps away, and it would be a shame to skip ‘em. Browse around the dozen of antique stalls and stores for kitschy dragon statues and gorgeous blue-and-whites. Even if you’re not planning to bring anything home, this colorful market makes for a perfect photo opportunity.

Hong Kong Antique Street

19:30 For dinner, snag a table at New Punjab Club () in Central. Their mission statement says they’re “bringing the swagger back to Punjabi cuisine”, and well — they’re not wrong. The menu features a bold selection of Punjabi favorites with a modern twist – including a toothsome wagyu kebab with green chili chutney, lamb-chops with crunchy onion and beetroot korma, and a delectable chicken tikka. Whatever you order, do order a side of samosa chaat (Smashed samosas, crispy noodles, tamarind glaze and yogurt) — It’s like crack, seriously. Thanks to incredibly amicable waiters (who aren’t shy about doing shots with their guests), a fun-filled evening is guaranteed. Do make sure to make a reservation a few days ahead, as this small restaurant is immensely popular.

21:30 Rowdy Lan Kwai Fong might be just around the corner, but you’re forgiven if the hordes of boisterous exchange students aren’t exactly your crowd. For something more stylish, make your way to Foxglove (), a sleek speakeasy hidden behind a bespoke umbrella shop on Duddell street. The vibe is jazzy, sophisticated and inviting enough to linger around for a cocktail or two.


9:30 Before hitting the shower, take a few moments to soak up the phenomenal views from your room at EAST. Then, head downstairs for breakfast at FEAST (Food by East), where a solid breakfast buffet awaits. A-la-carte options are also available at no extra cost, and the menu spans way beyond the typical ‘eggs, any style’. The Eggs on Avocado Toast and the Matcha Chia Bowl with mixed berries come highly recommended.

10:30 Get ready for check out and store your luggage at the lobby. Before leaving Taikoo, hop by one of the city’s most Instagrammed hotspots: the Yick Fat Building (). Despite signage that kindly requests photographers to stay away, it’s permanently packed with camera-touting crowds, but the impressive backdrop (with a slight Ghost in the Shell vibe) makes it worth the detour.

12:00 We’d take any opportunity to visit a member of the PTT Family (especially after our fantastic stay at Katamama in Bali), so a stop at Potato Head Hong Kong () is a no-brainer. Located in the hip Sai Ying Pun area, this bar-cum-restaurant-cum-retail space brings together some of PTTs best concepts, with outposts of Canaan (selling tropical T-shirts and hip homeware) and KAUM (modern Indonesian cuisine) under the same roof. While it’s more of a nightlife spot, the exotic interior and excellent store make it a great spot for a late-morning coffee, too.

Potato Head Hong Kong

13:30 For lunch, head to hidden Mrs. Pound () in Sheung Wan. Keep your eyes out for the Lee Sai Wah Locksmith shopfront and touch the right key to gain access to a snazzy restaurant serving playful variations of pan-Asian street food. Will it be the best lunch you’ve ever had? Probably not — but the inventive restaurant design and fun atmosphere more than make up for it.

15:00 A Hong Kong trip wouldn’t be complete without at least a few hours of serious retail therapy, so stay around Sheung Wan for some of the city’s smartest concept stores. The area is packed with interesting shops, but standouts include Château Zoobeetle () for funky leather goods, WOAW () for well-designed gadgets you didn’t know you needed, and Asterisk () for deadstock and vintage sneakers and streetwear.

17:30 On your way back to the MTR station, stop by the Lee Kung Man Knitting Factory () nearby the Sheung Wan MTR station. Their plain white tees are unparalleled in comfort and quality and make for an iconic Hong Kong souvenir to bring back home.

18:00 Pick up your bags at EAST and head back to the airport using the MTR to Central, then a quick transfer to the Hong Kong Airport Express station.

Full disclosure: we were hosted by EAST and invited to New Punjab Club – but expressed opinions are 100% our own.