Header images courtesy of @capturng (via Instagram)
When you think of Hong Kong, what do you picture? Maybe it’s the mountains, the red taxis, or the wooden junk boats. Odds are you can also imagine an iconic building or even the entire densely packed, eclectic skyline. You’ve likely seen Instagram posts of the skyscrapers of Hong Kong against blue skies or all lit up at night, but nothing beats the real thing.
There’s no question that Hong Kong has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. What makes it truly worthwhile is the uniqueness of the buildings that make up said skyline. You can marvel at the vastness of the tallest building in Hong Kong, the International Commerce Centre, or see the International Finance Centre II as featured in Hollywood movies such as The Dark Knight. Even from a distance, you can make out the distinctive silhouettes of the asymmetrical, bamboo-inspired Bank of China Tower and the triangular-topped Central Plaza.
When admiring the Hong Kong skyline, it’s not enough to just make a day of it. In fact, every night at 8 pm, you can catch a light and laser show, A Symphony of Lights, that will delight even the most cynical of souls. You can see how Hong Kong is truly a city that never sleeps with a bright display that will put even the stars to shame.
What’s great about Hong Kong is that there is a multitude of ways one can view the cityscape, whether you prefer to do so indoors or outdoors. There’s nothing quite like seeing the full spectacle of the collection of buildings along the harbour from a prime position. For any occasion, here are some of the best places to get a view of the Hong Kong skyline.
Named for its location 428 metres above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 on top of the Peak Tower is a prime location to see the Hong Kong skyline in all its glory. As the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong, you get a 360-degree panoramic view of all the skyscrapers and an excellent location to enjoy the grand A Symphony of Lights show at night. There’s no place like Sky Terrace 428 in Hong Kong where you can see all the buildings dotting the natural landscape between the hills and the water.
You can get the view-only pass ($52) to simply admire the spectacular metropolis or you can get the Peak Tram Sky Pass (starting from $84) for the full experience of taking the legendary Peak Tram up to the vantage point.
Sky Terrace 428, The Peak Galleria, 1 Lugard Road, The Peak | (+852) 2849 0668
There’s a reason why Victoria Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong. The highest point on Hong Kong Island at 552 metres, Victoria Peak is a great location to get a picturesque view of the full skyline framed amongst the hills.
Part of the fun of Victoria Peak is the multitude of ways you can reach it, whether on foot, by car, or by the Peak Tram. Once you arrive, you can take in the views from the lookout on the Peak Circular Walk on Lugard Road or from the Victoria Peak Lion’s Pavilion for some nice free alternatives to Sky Terrace 428 nearby.
Nothing says romance like walking along the waterfront against the backdrop of a decorated skyline. The Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade makes this a reality as one of the best places to catch a view of the Hong Kong Island buildings along with a leisurely stroll.
Victoria Harbour provides an ideal setting for your date with Hong Kong’s famous skyline, leaving nothing in between you and one of the best views in the city. If you fancy some additional star factor, you can check out the recently redeveloped Avenue of Stars featuring the plaques of over 100 actors and a few statues of Hong Kong icons.
Did you know that you could marvel at Hong Kong from the tallest building in the city? The Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck is one of the most famous places to stand in awe of the skyline. Located in ICC, the lifts speed you up to the hundredth floor in 60 seconds to the highest indoor viewing platform in Hong Kong.
From here, you can see Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories at 393 metres above sea level. You’ll be able to make out skyscrapers and mountains as far as the eye can see, all from the comfort of Sky100’s glassed-in observation level.
In addition to the 360-degree panoramic view, there is the Sky-High tech zone where you can check out virtual reality attractions to pretend you’re flying above Hong Kong or experience a virtual version of old Hong Kong.
Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, 100/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2613 3888
The Sky Lobby at Central Plaza is a well-kept secret, but we’re letting you in on it! Right in the heart of Wan Chai, there’s a building with an observation floor that offers dazzling sights of Hong Kong. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a 360-degree view, you can feast your eyes on Victoria Harbour, the Kowloon side, and the skyscrapers that surround Central Plaza in Wan Chai. On the forty-sixth floor of a 78-storey building, Sky Lobby is completely free to the public. Score!
Sky Lobby, 46/F, Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2586 8111
Don’t let the name scare you—you can get one of the best hikes and views in Hong Kong all in one when you go to Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff. Also known as Fei Ngo Shan, Kowloon Peak is the tallest mountain in Kowloon at 602 metres. With this hike, you can feast your eyes on the full Hong Kong skyline from a new angle on the Kowloon side while also getting your steps in for the day.
As the Kowloon Peak hike is the shortest and safest way to get to Suicide Cliff, you could knock these two out in one go or just settle for the already great views at the Kowloon Peak viewpoint. There is a route that is a direct ascent to Suicide Cliff, but only seasoned hikers should attempt it.
You may have heard of the great food at Wooloomooloo Prime in Tsim Sha Tsui, but did you know that it also has a spectacular view of the Hong Kong skyline? With floor-to-ceiling windows inside the dining room and an outdoor terrace with a 270-degree view of Victoria Harbour and TST, Wooloomooloo Prime is the complete package for dinner and a show. Located on the twenty-first floor of Hong Kong’s tallest retail building, The One, you get glimpses of the surrounding buildings of Kowloon while appreciating the full display of the vistas of Victoria Harbour.
Wooloomooloo Prime, 21/F, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2870 0087
Don’t wait to take a ride on this Hong Kong icon, as it may be in jeopardy of becoming lost to time due to the pandemic and lack of funds. Operating in Victoria Harbour since 1888, the Star Ferry provides a complete view of Hong Kong from the water. The cross-harbour journey goes between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, as well as between TST and Wan Chai.
One of the most affordable methods of commuting, we recommend the upper deck for just $3.2 for the best views. If the 10- to 15-minute ride isn’t enough for you, you can embark on the Star Ferry harbour tour ($200) or the Star Ferry Harbour Tour: A Symphony of Lights ($230), both at night with a 60-minute circular journey.
One of the newest ways to see the Hong Kong skyline is the Ocean Terminal Deck, a 270-degree viewing platform extended over Victoria Harbour. Ocean Terminal Deck is the rooftop of the five-storey Ocean Terminal, an extension of the Harbour City shopping center. You get a view of the skyscrapers in the foreground with the mountains in the background, providing a picture-perfect moment.
The observatory deck supplies a not-to-be-missed view of the full scope of the skyline without having to trek up to some of the highest points of Hong Kong. Ocean Terminal Deck is also free to the public and has numerous restaurants in the building and in Harbour City, making it perfect for a full day out on the town.
Ocean Terminal Deck, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2118 8666