It’s no secret that Hong Kong has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world.
Towering skyscrapers, their reflection shimmering on Victoria Harbor, engulf on all sides. By day the lofty buildings are a reminder of just how many people cram into Hong Kong’s dense living spaces. By night the cosmopolitan city comes alive, its sparkling silhouette providing the most romantic of backgrounds for an evening stroll.
While exploring, we found ourselves stopping in our tracks again and again in an effort to absorb just a little more of the man-made beauty surrounding us.
Each vantage point offered a different perspective of the city, mixing old and new, history and progress. Add to that the boats slowly cruising by or the majestic Peak providing a natural contrast to the concrete, and it’s no wonder we were happy to spend hours wandering, cruising, hiking and dining with the view. Of course, taking it all in over a bottle of wine was also a must.
If you want to fully experience the splendor of the Hong Kong skyline, here are our top tips on where to go with your camera in tow:
Our six favorite places to photograph Hong Kong’s skyline:
1. International Commerce Center
Home to the tallest observation deck—Sky 100—in Hong Kong, the ICC offers breathtaking views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula. We chose to skip Sky 100 and went straight for the luxurious restaurants on the 102nd floor. If you happen to be with friends who are inquiring about it for a potential wedding venue *cough-us-cough* you can avoid the high prices on the menu. Alternatively, tea time offers a good value for the location.
2. International Finance Center
Located on the waterfront of Hong Kong Island, visiting the IFC provides stunning views of Kowloon. Head to the fourth floor—here you’ll find an outdoor area open to the public. Remember to bring a bottle of wine and watch as day turns to night. Conveniently, there is a CitySuper located in the basement so you can stock up on picnic wares perfect to accompany the view.
3. West Kowloon Promenade
Once home to a dockyard, this area is now a popular spot for runners. From here you can see more of the western side of Hong Kong Island’s renowned skyline. Even better, no one comes here, so enjoy the view without flocks of tourists. If we had the time we definitely would have returned here for an evening jog.
4. Avenue of Stars
Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, this is Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While you may or may not have an interest in Asian celebrities, the promenade still warrants a walk for its location alongside Victoria Harbor, leading up to the Ferry Terminal. Upon the end of the strip, you’ll come to the observation deck for viewing Hong Kong’s nightly light show, A Symphony of Lights. It’s quite amazing how the entire skyline lights up in accordance to the song of the night; however, it is a brief show for the crowds it draws. Get there early to make sure you grab a spot up front.
5. Star Ferry
The Star Ferry is an iconic Hong Kong tourist attraction, but also a mode of public transportation for millions of passengers crossing Victoria Harbor every year. Riding the Star Ferry is as inexpensive as it gets (HK $3.70 on weekends; HK $2.70 on weekdays) and provides a unique perspective of both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Operating since 1888, riding the Star Ferry also offers a distinctly historical and cultural experience.
6. Victoria Peak
Unfortunately, we choose to summit Victoria Peak on the foggiest day we had in Hong Kong. Ordinarily, the Peak is known for its magnificent panorama of Hong Kong, with China stretching off in the distance. Judging from our glimpse within the fog, we’ll believe it. Victoria Peak also has many walking paths, as well as a famous tram shuttling tourists to the top of the Peak.
This is just the first of many Hong Kong posts to come. We loved the city so much more than we could have anticipated; it was definitely an amazing spot for our two year anniversary. Of course, now that we’re back, we can’t help but start thinking about year number 3.
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What’s your favorite skyline? Have you been blown away by any cityscapes?
Further Reading On Hong Kong
~ The No-Nonsense Guide to Hong Kong: Our travel tips to get you started in this energetic, unique and chaotic city.
~ In Search of the Best Views in Rio de Janeiro: Our hunt for the most photogenic spots in Rio.