12 Days in Hong Kong on a Budget

Hong Kong is one of those cities that can appear expensive on the surface. However, dig a little deeper, and it can be done on a slim budget easier than you would think. The overwhelming choice of hotels and high competition for flights make the biggest cost of your Hong Kong trip more affordable than Europe, Japan, and even many US destinations. It is entirely possible to do 12 days in Hong Kong on a budget.

Make a free visit to the Chi Lin Nunnery.
Make a free visit to the Chi Lin Nunnery.

Flights from the US

On the West Coast, the two US airlines with flights to Hong Kong are United and Delta. United flies out of San Francisco, and  Delta out of Seattle. If you’d like to fly on an Asian airline, EVA flies to the West Coast, with a transfer in Taipei.

All flights out of the West Coast are normally $800-900 roundtrip. Anything under $600 is a great deal. Recently, there was a price war between United and Delta, with flights edging under $400.

United Flights from Seattle to Hong Kong
United Flights from Seattle to Hong Kong

United has flights out of Chicago, and Newark for slightly more. For alerts on flight sales, create a deal alert on SkyScanner and subscribe to our newsletter on the top-right side.

To book flights, head on over to SkyScanner to start searching for your travel dates.

Hotels in Hong Kong

We recommend staying in Hotels over AirBNB for Hong Kong. Our preferred choice for Hong Kong is IBIS in Sheung Wan. It’s a short walk away from everything. They’re also part of the Accor Hotels family.

Stretch your budget with the extended stay rate.
Stretch your budget with the extended stay rate.

The Extended Stay rate offered by IBIS makes it a great choice for a 12 day trip. A comparable AirBNB costs approximately $400 more.

To take advantage of the extended stay rate, you’ll need to book a minimum of 11 nights and at least 10 days before your arrival. Go to the Accor Hotels website to start your reservation.

Transportation in Hong Kong

The cost of getting around in Hong Kong is amongst the cheapest in all developed cities. Before leaving Hong Kong International Airport, make a visit to the MTR counter to purchase your round trip Airport Express ticket for $180, and an Octopus card. For a 12 day trip, around $500 HKD will be enough. You can always add value later in any MTR station.

After taking the Airport Express to Hong Kong Station – there are free hotel shuttles every 15 minutes.

Budgeting for Food and Activities.

Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak for US$10
Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak for US$10

One of the amazing things about Hong Kong is the quality of meal for $5 USD. Budget for $20-30 USD per day for food. OpenRice is the recommended way to find local restaurants in Hong Kong. There’s also iOS and Android apps.

There are many things to see in Hong Kong, most of them are free or for a few dollars US. Check out this guide and also check out LonelyPlanet for their Hong Kong travel guide.


  • Flight: $400-$600
  • Hotel: $1250
  • Transportation: $80
  • Food: $200
  • Activities: $200

Total: $2180-2380

Hong Kong is not as expensive as you think.

Published by

Kevin Chau

World Traveler, Photographer, Expat. Traveling at the Pointy End.