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5 Things to Do to Make the Most of Your Stopover Time in Hong Kong

Hong KongHong Kong

Will you be in transit through Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for a few hours, or staying overnight? Don’t be bored on your stopover. There are plenty of entertaining things to do from anywhere between 2 to 24 hours, like watching movies, shopping in malls, visiting a temple or Victoria Peak, or enjoying a Hong Kong Highlights Tour.

1. UA IMAX Theatre and Aviation Discovery Centre in the Airport (2 Hours)

If you only have a stopover period of 2 to 3 hours in Hong Kong, we recommend that you spend your time in the airport. Hong Kong International Airport is one of the world's best airports. It provides a large variety of shops and restaurants, together with a few entertainment facilities.

Apart from shopping and eating, you can have fun at UA IMAX Theatre and Aviation Discovery Centre.

UA IMAX Theatre

UA IMAX Theatre is the largest IMAX giant screen in Hong Kong. The theater is designed and positioned to maximize each audience's field of view. You will be impressed by the world's most immersive movie experience either watching IMAX 2D or IMAX 3D movies.

Aviation Discovery Centre in the AirportAviation Discovery Centre in the airport
  • Address: Level 6, Terminal 2
  • Open: 11am–10pm (Monday–Friday), 9:30am–10pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Aviation Discovery Centre

The Aviation Discovery Centre (ADC) tracks aviation history in Hong Kong through themed exhibits and attractions including the SkyDeck and Cockpit Simulator. It offers you an opportunity to discover fascinating aviation related topics.

  • Address: Level 6, Terminal 2
  • Open: 11am–10pm (Monday–Friday), 9:30am–10pm (Saturday and Sunday)

2. Shopping in Malls Near the Airport (4 Hours)

If you love shopping and do not want to miss the "Shopping Heaven" of Hong Kong, you can use your limited time to shop in two shopping malls near the airport: Citygate Outlets and Maritime Square.

Citygate Outlets

Shopping in Hong KongShopping in Hong Kong

Citygate Outlets is the largest outlet mall in Hong Kong and home to over 90 international brands for fashion, beauty, accessories, and household items. It offers year-round discounts of 30% to 70%. Apart from shopping, you can also enjoy a spa treatment, see a movie, or taste some food.

How to get there: It can be reached from the airport in approximately 10 minutes via the S1 or S64 bus services.

Maritime Square

Maritime Square is the first shopping mall with a unique ocean theme in Hong Kong. With over a hundred shops and restaurants, it provides all you need by offering a dynamic and energetic one-stop shopping experience.

How to get there: You can take the Airport Express and get off at Tsing Yi Railway Station. It takes about 35 minutes.

Shopping malls in Hong Kong usually open from 10:30am to 10pm. Learn more about the top malls in Hong Kong and what to buy in Hong Kong.

3. Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car and Big Buddha (6 Hours)

Big Buddha on the Lantau IslandBig Buddha on Lantau Island

Big Buddha is one of the top three tourist attractions in Hong Kong and is close to the airport.

A visually spectacular 25-minute ride over nearly 6 kilometers crosses Tung Chung Bay and climbs over 500 meters to Ngong Ping and the Big Buddha. Vistas of the South China Sea and rolling grassland slopes of Lantau's country parks replace the urban backdrop as the ride offers a breathtaking panorama of Lantau Island.

At the end of the line is the largest outdoor, seated bronze Buddha in the world and a 360-degree view of Ngong Ping plateau.

Get some inspiration from our One-Day Lantau Island and Giant Buddha Tour.

4. Take the Tram to Victoria Peak (8 Hours)

If you have about 8 hours to spare before your connecting flight, you can consider exploring the downtown areas and doing some sightseeing.

Victoria PeakTake in the world-famous vista of Victoria Harbour from Victoria Peak.

Victoria Peak is a must–see attraction in Hong Kong. It is the best place to enjoy the panoramic view of the harbor. The best way to get to the peak is via the Peak Tram. It is a special experience to ride along the fairly steep rail track through towering trees and buildings.

It takes half an hour to 2 hours to queue for the tram depending on the number of tourists. You are recommended to book a tour to the peak including the tram ahead of time. Your guide can buy a tram ticket in advance and help to shorten your waiting time.

5. Enjoy a Hong Kong Highlights Tour (12 Hours)

If you have one day in Hong Kong, you can make the most of your time to visit the most popular attractions. Here is a sample tour, for your reference:

take a junk to explore a fishing village at AberdeenTake a junk to explore a fishing village at Aberdeen.

In the morning, you can reach Hong Kong's symbol, Victoria Peak, for a bird’s-eye view of Hong Kong Island. Then take some time to stroll around Repulse Bay, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong, or hunt for bargains at Stanley Market.

After lunch, take a junk to explore a fishing village at Aberdeen. Finally, pay a visit to Wong Tai Sin Temple, one of Hong Kong's busiest temples.

Layover Must-Dos

1. Check Your Check-In Time

Double-check when your next flight's check-in time is with your airline.

2. Manage Your Luggage

Double-check whether your luggage is checked through or needs to be picked up between your connecting flights.

If you don’t want to take your luggage with you, you can store it at the airport. A secure short-term baggage storage facility is located on Level 3 of Terminal 2 and is open every day between 5:30am and 1:30am.

3. Consider Visas/Customs

Double-check if you need a visa to enter Hong Kong. Travelers with passports from the UK, US, Australia, and the EU can get into Hong Kong without a visa.

If leaving the airport, allow 1 hour both ways for customs.

Travel from the Airport to Central Hong Kong

Hong Kong subwayHong Kong subway

Hong Kong International Airport provides many transit options to the city center. It is very convenient for you to get to and from the airport by public or private transport.

Airport Express and HK Subway

You can take the Airport Express to the city center in 24 minutes. The trains depart every 10–12 minutes daily. Learn more about Hong Kong's subway — the world's best.

Public Bus

Hong Kong International Airport is well served by public bus routes. You can take them to and from most parts of Hong Kong. They are comfortable and relatively inexpensive.


It is more flexible to take a taxi but it may not be a good option during the rush hours (8–9am and 5–7pm, as with other options). In Hong Kong, taxis are color coded according to their operating areas. Learn more about Hong Kong taxis.

China Highlights Can Maximize Your Hong Kong Stopover

It is not very easy to plan a layover tour in Hong Kong if you are not familiar with the transportation and sightseeing there. Please feel free to contact us if you need any assistance.

Our professional travel consultants will be glad to give you some recommendations and tailor-make a Hong Kong stopover tour according to your interests and your stopover time. We can also provide a hotel–airport transfer.

Recommended tours:

See more Hong Kong tours.