Victoria Harbour View: 21 Ways to Admire Hong Kong Skyline

Uncategorized

Jonathan

You will be amazed when viewing Victoria Harbour for the first time, or even after seeing it many times. With its sparkling waters, iconic skyscrapers, and mountains, no wonder Hong Kong's skyline is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world, if not the most. Where to Enjoy Victoria Harbour Views Being…

Beautiful view of Victoria Harbour skyline at dusk
Beautiful view of Victoria Harbour skyline at dusk. Photo credit © Sven Hansche

You will be amazed when viewing Victoria Harbour for the first time, or even after seeing it many times. With its sparkling waters, iconic skyscrapers, and mountains, no wonder Hong Kong’s skyline is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world, if not the most.

Where to Enjoy Victoria Harbour Views

Being one of the world’s top skylines, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to view the harbour from multiple angles. Luckily, there are many places and ways to do so and most of them are free!

  1. Ocean Terminal Deck
  2. Clock Tower & Hong Kong Cultural Centre
  3. Avenue of Stars
  4. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
  5. Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
  6. M+ Museum
  7. Golden Bauhinia Square
  8. Wan Chai Ferry Pier
  9. HarbourChill
  10. Central Star Ferry Pier
  11. Hong Kong Observation Wheel
  12. Tamar Park
  13. East Coast Park Precinct, Fortress Hill
  14. Peak Tram
  15. The Peak Tower (Sky Terrace 428)
  16. Peak Galleria
  17. Lugard Road Lookout
  18. Star Ferry
  19. Water Taxi
  20. Symphony of Lights
  21. OZONE Rooftop Bars

You don’t have to go to all of the places above, but each place has its uniqueness and angle of the harbour view. So you consider visiting some of them if you have a lot of time.

Which is the Best Place to View the Harbour?

In my opinion, both Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront and The Peak offer the best view of Victoria Harbour, but from a different perspective.

If you’re very time-constrained, you should at least go to Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. It’s a free and easily accessible area where you can enjoy the iconic Hong Kong skyline.

Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront offers the iconic view of Victoria Harbour skyline.
Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront offers the iconic view of Victoria Harbour skyline. Photo credit © Yiu Tung Lee

If you have extra time, take the Peak Tram to The Peak. As you go up, you will feel a special experience while seeing the harbor. When you reach the top, you can enjoy a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the harbor.

You can see Victoria Harbour's iconic bird's eye view from The Peak
You can see Victoria Harbour’s iconic bird’s eye view from The Peak. Photo credit © Yiu Tung Lee

In general, you can view the harbour from Kowloon Peninsula (north) and Hong Kong Island (south). Keep reading to find what can be seen from each side of Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island.

Viewing from Kowloon (Towards Hong Kong Island)

The Kowloon Peninsula, particularly Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, is considered to be the best area to view Victoria Harbour. From here, you will see rows of tall skyscrapers in Central, one of Asia’s financial centers. Six of the city’s tallest and most iconic buildings are also there.

Those tall buildings are superimposed against the mountainous Peak in the background, creating a beautiful contrast. This may be the reason why the view from the Kowloon side towards Hong Kong Island is more picturesque to many. The Hong Kong Island view is also what you’ll mostly find when you search “Victoria Harbour” in Google image. Here are the best viewing points from the Kowloon side.

Tsim Sha Tsui Waterfront

Night View of Hong Kong Victoria Harbour from Ocean Terminal Deck
Night View of Victoria Harbour from Ocean Terminal Deck. Photo credit © Yiu Tung Lee

Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront features famous spots such as Ocean Terminal Deck, Avenue of Stars, and Clock Tower to view the harbour. They are close to each other and are connected by public viewing area that spans nearly 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles). Thus, there’s plenty of space to take in the gorgeous harbour view. Furthermore, you can watch the ‘A Symphony of Lights’ show at night for a memorable experience. All three places are easily reachable by going to East Tsim Sha Tsui or Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station.

1. Ocean Terminal Deck

Ocean Terminal Deck offers fantastic view of Victoria Harbour, especially for sunset and evening views. The reason is that it is located on the rooftop of the terminal’s five-story building, so you get an unobstructed 270-degree panoramic view of Victoria Harbour.

From here, several of Hong Kong’s tallest and most iconic buildings stand out. You could see the 2IFC (International Finance Centre), Bank of China Tower, HSBC Building, and Hong Kong Observation Wheel. The deck is now free for the public and is located just north of Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier.

2. Clock Tower & Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Going south from the terminal, you’ll find the historic Clock Tower and the hard-to-miss Hong Kong Cultural Centre. There’s an elevated platform in front of them that gives a great view of the harbour. When you look east from this spot, you’ll see the Ocean Terminal. It may obstruct the harbour view a little bit, but it could also make your photos more unique.

3. Avenue of Stars

East of the Clock Tower is The Avenue of Stars, which is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From here, you can get a clearer view of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Central Plaza building, and the Eastern District area.

4. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade

North-east of Avenue of Stars is Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. You can get a clearer view of the harbour sunrise from the promenade, but I think the places above have a better view of the skyline.

West Kowloon Cultural District

Aerial View of Hong Kong Victoria Harbour in the afternoon
Aerial View of Hong Kong Victoria Harbour in the afternoon. Photo credit © Yiu Tung Lee

West Kowloon has now transformed into a notable art and culture destination. You can visit the contemporary visual culture museum, M+, while enjoying some of the best harbour views. Or, get a panoramic bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbour from sky100, Hong Kong highest indoor observation deck. Both places can be reached by going to Kowloon MTR station.

5. sky100 Observation Deck

To get an amazing bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbour, Sky 100 Observation Deck is the place to go. It is located on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong’s tallest skyscraper. This is the only spot where you can get a high 360-degree view of the city from an indoor observation deck.

6. M+ Museum

The M+ Museum combines culture and sightseeing. You can explore the museum’s exhibits and head to the public roof garden for an unobstructed view of Victoria Harbour. Or, you can relax outside the museum with views to Hong Kong Island as well.

Viewing from Hong Kong Island (Towards Kowloon)

From Hong Kong Island side, you will get a different perspective and experience of Victoria Harbour view. You can enjoy the view from Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay area.

Central

Victoria Harbour and International Commerce Centre as seen from Central towards Kowloon Peninsula
Victoria Harbour and International Commerce Centre (left side of the image) as seen from Central towards Kowloon Peninsula. Photo credit © Yiu Tung Lee

You can view Victoria Harbour in Central from the Star Ferry Pier, Hong Kong Observation Wheel, and Tamar Park. When looking towards Kowloon, you can see Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Centre (ICC), on the left side as well as the Clock Tower and Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The ferry pier and observation wheel can be reached by going to either Central or Hong Kong MTR Station. While Tamar Park can be reached by going to Admiralty MTR Station.

7. Central Star Ferry Pier

There are several piers here where you can relax while watching the harbour and ferry. From here, you can see both parts of Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, Central, Wan Chai, and Eastern District.

8. Hong Kong Observation Wheel

Located just beside Central Star Ferry Pier, you can ride the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. It is a paid ride, but it will give you a unique viewing experience. You get to see Victoria Harbour with changing perspectives as you ascend and descend in the Ferris wheel.

9. Tamar Park / Central Promenade

If you walk west from the ferry pier, you’ll arrive at Tamar Park in Admiralty. It is a nice place to take a stroll along the promenade while admiring the harbour view. Hong Kong Observation Wheel is more clearly visible against the sky from this location, with the 2IFC building beside it. Additionally, you can catch the sunrise or sunset skies from here.

Wan Chai

Sunset view of Victoria Harbour from Wan Chai. 2IFC (left) and ICC (right) can be seen facing each other
Sunset view of Victoria Harbour from Wan Chai. 2IFC (left) and ICC (right) can be seen facing each other. Photo credit © james jiao

There are three great spots in Wan Chai to enjoy the view of Victoria Harbour – the Golden Bauhinia Square, Wan Chai Ferry Pier, and HarbourChill.

You can walk to all three locations by exiting from Exhibition Centre MTR station.

10. Golden Bauhinia Square

Golden Bauhinia Square is outside of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This spot is unique because it is located in the middle of Hong Kong Island. If you walk west along the platform, you will see the ICC building in Kowloon and the 2IFC building in Central. This is a very interesting sight as the 1st and 2nd tallest buildings in Hong Kong face each other. You can also see the sunset skies from here.

If you walk east, you can see Hong Kong’s 9th tallest skyscraper, Victoria Dockside, in Tsim Sha Shui and the Eastern District area. I think the skyline view to the east is less interesting than the west, but you can see the sunrise in this direction.

11. Wan Chai Ferry Pier

Around 360 meters (0.2 miles) west of Golden Bauhinia Square is Wan Chai Ferry Pier. There’s an elevated public observation deck in the terminal that gives you a nice 360 view of Victoria Harbour.

12. HarbourChill

Just west of the ferry pier is HarbourChill, a themed public park where you can also enjoy the harbour view. It’s especially popular during the evening when the skyline is beautifully lit.

Causeway Bay

Causeway Bay may be famous for shopping, but you can get a distinct viewpoint of Victoria Harbour from East Coast Park Precinct. The park is reachable by going to Fortress Hill MTR Station.

13. East Coast Park Precinct, Fortress Hill

In this park, you can get a distinct view of Victoria Harbour thanks to the Central-Wan Chai East Vent Shaft. It is the largest outdoor air purification system with a unique shape designed to be in harmony with the harbour view. If you look west, you will see the shaft along with the tall buildings in Kowloon and Central as the background.

Enjoying the View with Different Experiemce

There are additional things you can do to make the beautiful Victoria Harbour scene more unforgettable. You can go to The Peak, cross the harbour, watch the Symphony of Lights, or spend some time at Hong Kong rooftop bars.

The Peak

Bird's eye view of Victoria Harbour from Lugard Road at The Peak
Bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbour from Lugard Road at The Peak. Photo credit © Paulwongkwan

The Peak is the top attraction in Hong Kong for good reasons. One of them is because it offers a breathtaking and iconic view of Victoria Harbour from above.

Before you go up, remember to check if the weather is clear. Otherwise, it will be hard to see anything from above. Let’s see where to view the harbour from the Peak

14. Peak Tram

The historic Peak Tram is the most famous way to ascend The Peak. You can view Victoria Harbour through the tram’s transparent window while it goes uphill. What makes the experience special is that the journey is so steep that the harbour buildings seem like they’re slanted.

15. The Peak Tower (Sky Terrace 428)

Once at the top, you’ll arrive at The Peak Tower. You can buy tickets to go up to the Sky Terrace 428. It is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong with an iconic view of Victoria Harbour. Keep in mind that it is usually crowded though, especially at night. Just beside the tower is Lion’s Pavillion, it is free but the space is also more limited.

16. Peak Galleria

Behind the tower is The Peak Galleria, which is a shopping mall. It has a free observation deck that also offers a remarkable view of the harbour, albeit slightly lower and further than the Sky Terrace 428.

17. Lugard Road Lookout

Lugard Road is part of the Hong Kong Trail if you want to go hiking at The Peak. There are certain spots where you can get amazing views of Victoria Harbour for free if you’re willing to walk a bit.

Crossing the Harbour

Crossing Victoria Harbour is a must-do experience in Hong Kong. It is very affordable and you get to see both sides of the harbour. There are two ways to do so – by Star Ferry or Water Taxi.

18. Star Ferry

You should ride Star Ferry at least once to cross Victoria Harbour. You can also see the city from different angle.
You should ride Star Ferry at least once to cross Victoria Harbour. You can also see the city from different angle. Photo credit © Yiu Tung Lee

The Star Ferry is a historic mode of transport used by locals and tourists to cross the harbour. The 8-12 minutes journey offers a scenic way and close-up views of Victoria Harbour. You can ride the ferry from Central Pier No. 7, Wan Chai, or Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier.

19. Hong Kong Water Taxi

An alternative to Star Ferry is to take the Water Taxi cruise. It has several routes that passess several famous attractions in Victoria Harbour. You can take the water taxi from Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Central Pier No. 9, Wan Chai, or West Kowloon Ferry Pier

Victoria Harbour Light Show

20. Symphony of Lights

The Symphony of Lights is the biggest sound and laser show that features more than 40 buildings from both sides of Victoria Harbour. The show starts every night at 8pm for about 10 minutes. You can enjoy the show from Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in Kowloon or along the promenade of Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong Rooftop Bars

The rooftop bars in Hong Kong serve great drinks, food, and incredible views of Victoria Harbour. OZONE rooftop bar is one of them.

21. OZONE Ritz Carlton

One of the recommended rooftop bars is Ozone, Ritz Carlton’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Like sky100, it is also inside the International Commerce Centre, but on the 118th floor. Due to this, it is the world’s highest rooftop bar. Here, you can sip on a cocktail while taking in the stunning view of Victoria Harbour.

When to View the Harbour

The best time to view Victoria Harbour with a unique experience is around the evening (5 – 8 p.m.). You can see the harbour during the day while the skyline slowly lights up with magnificent colors. Then, the buildings will gradually come to life when the Symphony of Lights show starts at 8 p.m. Keep in mind there’s usually haze at night, so your visibility may be limited. Other than that, you can also see Victoria Harbour during the day or afternoon as each time has its beauty.

Victoria Harbour is best seen on clear days. So remember to check the weather before you go as Hong Kong can be foggy at times. This is especially important if you plan to view it from someplace further like The Peak or Sky100 Observation Deck.