Victoria Peak and the Peak Tram — Travel Guide
For many foreign tourists to Hong Kong, Victoria Peak is their favorite place to visit every time they visit Hong Kong. Others prefer Victoria Harbour. I guess it depends on whether you like altitude. The cloud-topping Hong Kong vertical skylines and the Victoria Harbour views down below as it changes mood never ceases to amaze many people
The top of Victoria Peak offers Hong Kong's most spectacular viewpoint. The city boasts one of the best skylines in the world. Since there are 1,500 skyscrapers taller than 100 meters, Hong Kong has been titled: the "World's Most Vertical City." The fresh air and peak-crowning city park refreshes many visitors too.
The Peak Tram is such a favorite that it is often overcrowded, but there are other methods to ascend to its atmospheric heights. Walking up is more scenic, and buses and vehicles are quicker. Our travel information and half-day tour plan in this article will help you optimize your time on the mountain.
What is Victoria Peak Hong Kong?
- Elevation: 552 meters (1,811 feet)
Fairly sharp slopes rise up to the crest of the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, and there is an amazing view from the top of two sides of the island, the harbor and the ocean sides. A city park on top crowns the ridges. It has a network of pedestrian walks so that you can go to the overlooks on the three sides.
Peak Tower and mall: There is a mall in the Peak Tower, and on the top of it, there is an observation platform at the Sky Terrace for 48 HKD (about 6.20 USD). It is often packed with tourists.
The Peak Tram is an old-fashioned tram that still operates to carry 4 million riders a year to the top. There are popular restaurants on the peak. Walking paths lead from the crown in all directions so you can walk through the extensive forest parklands to go all over the island.
April 10, 2019 Update:
Due to the Peak Tram Upgrade project, tram services will be suspended from April 23, 2019. The suspension will last for 2 to 3 months.
During this time, visitors can choose between the following ways of reaching the peak:
- take New World First bus no. X15, 15, or 15B or Hong Kong Island Green Minibus no. 1;
- take a taxi; or
- hike (check Google Maps for a hiking route… it may take 1-1.5 hours to hike from Hong Kong Central to the peak).
Other peak tourist attractions, such as the Peak Tower and Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, will remain open as usual.
China Highlights will keep an eye on the situation and keep you posted with the latest information.
It Is Ritzy but Doesn't Feel Ritzy
Though some of Hong Kong's and China's richest people live in the condos on top and on the lower slopes above the city, it doesn't feel like a luxury area on top.
However, you can see expensive houses and apartments on the Pollock's Path, called the world's most expensive residential street, and if you walk around on the mountaintop. Many residences cost more than 100 million USD. Rich Mainland Chinese have been moving in. For upscale shopping, there is the Peak Mall.
For its size, the quality of the free public park, and excellent views and sunsets, Hong Kong's Victoria Peak is worth a visit even if the shopping and dining are not in your budget range.
For the British Empire, Victoria Peak was the ideal lookout post and natural fortress from which cannons guarded Victoria Harbour. It and adjacent peaks shelter the deep harbor and the city from tropical storms coming in from the south.
Since it is cooler, scenic and has other advantages, it was the preferred residential area for some of Hong Kong's top rulers and wealthiest people, and it still is.
Top Highlights of Victoria Peak
The little red Peak Tram ferries 4 million passengers a year!
The most interesting part of the peak for most tourists are all in a fairly small area of about a kilometer by a half kilometer on the very top. It is the long-timers who would generally want to enjoy extended exploration and parkland walks.
For your visit, we recommend seeing these highlights and doing these things.
- See the outdoors scenery by walking to the observation lookouts on the top.
- Perhaps see the scenery from the Sky Terrace or the Peak Mall too.
- Enjoy the restaurants and cafes.
- Shop if you want.
- Ride the Peak Tram and/or walk on the park paths up or down.
- Enjoy the evening sunset at Victoria Peak.
We detail some tips and suggestions for having an optimal half-day trip in which you can see the sunset and evening views. Most people want to avoid the crowds, so our trip plan below helps you do that.
Suggested Half-Day Tour Plan of the Peak
For an optimal half-day trip, go there in the middle or late afternoon so you can get there when it is cooler and shadier and see the sunset and evening views. Especially if you want to do some walking outside, the direct sun and high temperatures earlier in the day can be overbearing for most foreign tourists, especially in the summer.
Go there in the middle of the afternoon: The biggest crowds start to arrive around 5:00 pm for the evenings on the mountain. Perhaps many people go there after work. So if you want to take the tram up, an optimal time is the middle of the afternoon. Lines are lowest in the mornings.
Try to avoid weekends and holidays and the busy summer season when the students are on vacation from about the middle of July to early September if you can. Try to time your visit so you can do the activities you want to do such as shopping or dining and still catch the sunset and the Symphony of Lights show that starts at 8 if the weather is not inclement.
Transport: For public transport, we recommend taking the MTR to Central Station and then taking a bus either to the tram station or up the mountain. However taxis from Central are relatively quick. See the transportation information below in the Peak Tram or Transportation sections.
Our travel advisors can help with ticket purchases and private transport. We can facilitate a whole Half-Day Hong Kong Island Tour — covering the highlights of Hong Kong Island such as Repulse Bay, Ocean Park and Victoria Peak. You tell us your ideas, and well create a tour including Repulse Bay suited for you. We can accommodate you by assisting your Hong Kong visit in other ways according to your plans.
Get an Octopus card: Hong Kong is fairly unique in the world because you can purchase a card that you can swipe to pay for MTR and bus fares, and it can also be used to pay for many other things such as the Peak Tram and purchases at convenience stores, supermarkets, and restaurants.
The card allows people to travel without standing in line to buy tickets. Cardholders simply swipe their cards, and their fares are deducted electronically. You can buy these at the MTR station ticket windows and then use them for more convenience. No ID is required to buy one, and you can add money as you wish and return the card to a station window for some money back.
Middle Afternoon at Victoria Peak — Arrival
Choices to go up it are walking up Old Peak Road in about an hour, taking a bus, taking the Peak Tram, or taking a taxi, uber, or private vehicle.
Enjoy the tram: Be aware if you choose to take the tram, there might be an hour or two wait in line.
Walking up: Walking up Old Peak Road for an hour or an hour and a half and sightseeing along the route is recommended. It is one of Hong Kong Island's best hiking paths. It is an invigorating walk. See Hong Kong Island Hiking for details about taking Old Peak Road to the top.
Optional Peak Circle Walk (3.5 kilometers): A pedestrian pathway circles the top ridges. People access it from points just to the east and just to the west of The Peak. During hot days, drink plenty of water to avoid heat stroke. It makes a big circle starting and ending at The Peak.
Have dinner: You might want to rest and have dinner. On the Peak, we recommend two restaurants, Bubba Gump and Peak Lookout for the scenic views while dining. They are tourist favorite restaurants. For information about them, see The Best 20 Hong Kong Restaurants — Something for Everyone in 2019.
Evening — See the Sunset and City Lights
The sunsets on Victoria Peak are often beautiful. You can see the sunset from the southwestern side of the peak area.
Evening light show: Viewed from the peak, the scenes are different between the daytime and nighttime. During the day, you can see high and crowded buildings and the busy Victoria Harbour. At night, especially during the Symphony of Lights display at 8 pm, the cityscape transforms to one of moving colors and geometrical patterns.
During the high tourism days, there observation decks and the mall might be too crowded. We recommend that you go to watch the city light show outside from a lookout point.
Our travel advisors can help with booking restaurant reservations and private transport.=
The Best Time for a Visit
September to December are good months for a visit to Victoria Park. To avoid crowds but yet still enjoy summer weather, go in September after schools begin in the first week of September. September is rainier than the rest of the fall.
It is generally warm and dry in Hong Kong in October through the beginning of November. December's weather is usually sunny and dry too. Many people prefer the cooler temperatures and the early evening views in December for their visits. Starting in January however, rains arrive with clouds and fog that sometimes obscures the view.
You are recommended to avoid China's National Day (October 1st to 7th) when a large number of tourists go there from mainland China. If the weather is not clear and there is fog or mist in the morning, it will often clear by the afternoon.
If the weather is bad, it's better to delay your visit until another time.
Clothing: It is often colder (and wetter) on the Peak, so bring an extra layer of clothing and an umbrella if needed.
Transportation — Getting There
Transport to the Peak
- Take the tram (8–10 minutes)
- Take bus 15 (about 37 minutes, about 1.50 USD) or minibus 1
- Take a taxi (about 14 minutes, starting from about 13 USD)
Travel with us, and you will enjoy a worry-free tour to Victoria Peak. We will take care of tickets and transfers to save your time and energy.
The Peak Tram
The Peak Tram is very popular with tourists. It carries approximately 12,000 people a day. It was first built in 1888, and it has an antique feel.
It is the quickest and most scenic way to climb the peak. It overlooks Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour, and Kowloon. The right side of the tram has the better view.
Service suspension notice: Note that the Peak Tram service will be suspended for a two month upgrade project from late April of 2019. In 2020, there may be another 5 month closure for renovation.
- Fares: adults one way HK$32 (4.00 USD), round trip HK$45 (5.70 USD); children and seniors one way HK$12 (1.50 USD), round trip HK$20 (2.50 USD)
- Hours: 7am to midnight (Mon–Sun and public holidays)
- Frequency: departs every 10 to 15 minutes
- Journey time: 8–10 minutes one way
- Distance: 1.4 kilometers
- Elevation: from 28 meters to 396 meters above sea level
Busy times: The queues to purchase tickets and board the tram are very long starting in the late mornings and extending through the middle afternoon on the weekends, especially Sundays, and during holidays when the weather is good. The lines for the trams going up have the longest lines from 6 to 8. Sometimes, waiting in line takes two hours.
Up or down? Going up has the advantage of facing forward up the mountain. Be aware that if you take the tram down, it doesn't turn around to go downhill. So you go down while facing uphill. Views are the same though. The lines are shorter going downhill.
To avoid the ticket lines, try to buy a ticket in advance or use an Octopus Card. To save time and to avoid lines, you can choose to take a car/bus up to the Peak and then take a tram back down the mountain.
Transport to the Lower Peak Tram Station
Transport From Metro and Star Ferry
- From Central MTR station, take Exit J or K and follow the signs (12-minute walk)
- From Admiralty MTR station, take Exit C1 and follow the signs (12-minute walk)
- From the Star Ferry in Central, take Bus 15C from the bus stop in front (4.20 HKD)
The Peak Tower Mall and Observation Deck
The upper station of the Peak Tram is at the Peak Tower. It is the city's most unusual building and icon. The unique "wok" shaped tower sits at an elevation of 396 meters (1,299 feet). Viewing terraces located on different levels of the tower offer spectacular views of the Hong Kong and Kowloon skylines.
In level two of the Peak Tower is Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. There, you can see about 100 wax figures of celebrities that look exactly like the real people.
Sky Terrace 428
Using three flights of escalators, you will go up to the Sky Terrace 428, which is Hong Kong's highest viewing platform with an elevation of 428 meters (1,404 feet).
There is a charge of HK$48 (about 6.20 USD) to enter it. It opens from 10am to 11pm from Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
The Peak Galleria
Opposite the Peak Tower is the Peak Galleria. It has gifts shops, cafés, restaurants, bookshops, and supermarkets.
- Ocean Park is Hong Kong's most popular theme park and amusement park. It is about 15 minutes away by private vehicle.
- Aberdeen is a world-famous travel spot known for floating seafood restaurants.
Touring Victoria Peak Hong Kong with Us
We can design a tour for you of Victoria Peak or one that combines visiting the Peak with Ocean Park or other highlights in Hong Kong that you specify.
Here are two Hong Kong day tours related to Hong Kong Island for your reference:
- One-Day Hong Kong Ocean Park Tour: We take care of the tickets and transportation to save you time and energy. You might enjoy a day there and an evening at Victoria Peak. We recommend Ocean Park for children.
- Half-Day Hong Kong Island Tour: Victoria Peak with a one-way Peak Tram trip and Aberdeen with a sampan ride. You will admire the ultimate view of Hong Kong Island's renowned skyline. Visiting Aberdeen in the evening for dinner on a boat is a good way to end a day of touring.
- 4-Day Hong Kong Family Tour: including Disneyland Park and the highlights of Hong Kong Island