A journey to Hong Kong is incomplete without a trip to Victoria Peak, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong. Standing at 552 metres above sea level, Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island, offering a breathtaking awe-inspiring view of Hong Kong. In this travel guide, we share with you some interesting stories on Victoria Peak, how to get there, as well as our step-by-step guide for the best (and free) view from the top!
History of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong
Did you know that Victoria Peak has a few Chinese names? They are Tai Ping Shan, which refers to the Mountain of Great Peace, and Tse Ki Shan, which stands for the Mountain of the Hoisted Flag.
Before the Opium War, Hong Kong was haunted by pirates. These pirates would raise their flag of skull and skeleton on the Victoria Peak and demand merchant ships to surrender large amounts of treasure. Hence, the locals refer to Victoria Peak as the Mountain of the Hoisted Flag, Tse Ki Shan. The most famous pirate was known as Cheung Po Tsai. Eventually, Cheung Po Tsai worked hand-in-hand with the Qing Dynasty and brought peace to the area. As a result, gone were the days when pirate flags were hoisted on Victoria Peak. The official Chinese name of Victoria Peak became the Mountain of Great Peace, Tai Ping Shan.
Victoria Peak is also known as Mount Austin. Today, we named it after Queen Victoria. This goes back to Hong Kong’s history when the First Opium War started in 1840. The war finally ended in August 1842, with the signing of China’s first unequal treaty, the Treaty of Nanking. In essence, the Qing government ceded Hong Kong island to the British, which was under the reign of Queen Victoria.
Back then, British colonies developed hill stations, wherever possible, as a refuge from the lowland heat and the tropical diseases that claimed so many lives. In spite of its small size, Hong Kong was no exception. Victoria Peak used to be a natural signaling post for incoming cargo ships in the 19th Century. In time, the more privileged early residents, such as our governors, found the Peak District to be the perfect retreat from Hong Kong’s summer heat.
How to Get to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong
Today, Victoria Peak is world-famous for offering fabulous panoramic views of Hong Kong. There are many ways to get to Victoria Peak.
By the Peak Tram: The most popular option is to catch the Peak Tram from the Lower Terminus. The Peak Tram operates from 7am to 12 midnight and it takes only seven minutes to get to the top. Provided that the waiting line is short, this is the quickest way to get to Victoria Peak.
More often than not, the queue for Peak Tram at the Lower Terminus is terribly long, sometimes up to 2 hours! This is partially because travel agents with big tour groups typically have priority access to the Peak Tram. Consequently, the wait becomes frustrating. Our tip is to give the upward tram ride a miss and use the Peak Tram for the return trip instead. The waiting line for Peak Tram at the Upper Terminus is usually shorter, as most of these big tour groups would head back to the city by coach buses.
Alternatively, try taking a taxi or a bus to Victoria Peak!
By Taxi: Taxi drivers should go strictly by the meter in Hong Kong. A taxi ride from Central to Victoria Peak takes around 20 minutes and the taxi fare is around HK$100.
By Bus 15 from Central Bus Terminus: If you are up for an adventure, we suggest taking Bus 15 from Central Bus Terminus. Many locals adore this option in part due to the scenic and thrilling bus ride. Here are the details:
To begin, take the MTR to Central Station. Once you get to Central Station, head for Exit A. Next, look across and you’ll find a bus interchange on street level. That’s where you’ll find Bus 15!
Right outside Central Station – Exit A, take the upward escalator, and cross the footbridge. Thereafter, keep a lookout for the Central Bus Terminus sign.
In due time, you’ll find yourself at the junction shown below. Turn right straightaway and you will find an escalator that leads to the Central Bus Terminus. Don’t miss it!
At this instance, make your way down to Central Bus Terminus.
Now, look for Bus 15. On average, there are buses every 10-15 minutes. At the moment, the fare is HK$9.80 for Adults and HK$4.90 for Children or Seniors. You can pay with your Octopus card by simply scanning the card as you board the bus. Otherwise, please prepare the exact fare because no change will be given. For the purpose of having the best view during the bus ride, we suggest heading up to the Upper Deck and grabbing the front-row seat on the left side. Another key point to remember, is please buckle up your seat belts. The bus moves crazily fast!
Generally speaking and depending on the traffic, the bus ride takes around 40 minutes. Don’t worry about missing a stop because Victoria Peak is the terminus station. As such, once the bus driver switches off the engine, you have arrived at Victoria Peak. Time to alight!
Step-by-Step Guide to the Best (and Free) Viewing Spot at Victoria Peak
At Victoria Peak, you’ll notice a gigantic structure, which looks like a bowl and a pair of chopsticks to most Chinese. That is the Peak Tower, where you will find Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Upper Terminus of Peak Tram (where you can buy tickets for the Peak Tram ride back to the Lower Terminus, or simply use your Octopus card!) and Sky Terrace 428.
Standing at 428 meters above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 is the highest 360 degrees viewing terrace in town. You’ll need to purchase a ticket to enter Sky Terrace 428. For more information on ticket prices, please refer to The Peak.
Alternatively, we say, take a short 15-minute walk and head straight to our SECRET SPOT! In our opinion, this spot offers a much more magnificent view of Hong Kong’s charming skyline, and the best part? It’s free of charge!
Firstly, head left to find this tiny path, Lugard Road.
Lugard Road. You are on the right track!
The tracks are well-paved and perfect for an easy stroll. For this reason, this scenic path is a popular trail for joggers who love a quick getaway from the buzz of the city.
From here on, follow the path. There’s no need for any deviation.
Continue to stay in the right lane. Keep going!
Similarly, keep right. At this point, you are only a few minutes away!
In due time, you’ll arrive at this spot where it seems to be THE place. Well… Not yet! Remember, we want you to have the best view from Victoria Peak. With this in mind, walk further up!
Here we are! There is no obstruction, but just a sight to behold!
An awesome view of Western Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. Take as many pictures as you wish!
Our charming Victoria Harbour.
How about a Panorama shot?
We hope you have enjoyed this step-by-step guide to Victoria Peak. For more local insights or tips and tricks to maximize your time in Hong Kong, book a Big Foot Tour with us today!
Hello, 1st of all, great article. I’m heading to HK next month and found your website to be really helpful. I am planing to go to the peak early in the morning, catch the fist ferry to the island, but it seems that the bus 15C only runs after 10am, and my plan was to catch the bus 7/7:30 am. Do you know if there is a different bus I can catch, just outside of the pier?
Hi Sirleidge, Bus 15C goes only to the Peak Tram station – Lower Terminus. To head directly to the Peak, take Bus 15 at the Central Bus Terminus (it’s a short walk from the pier). Bus 15 departs from there between 6.15am to 9.48am (information as of today). Alternatively, you can take the Green Minibus 1 from Hong Kong Station Public Transport Interchange (located under the Four Seasons Hotel) to the Peak. Frankly, I’ll suggest Bus 15 over the minibus, for a more scenic bus ride!
hello. we are going to HK on november. i’d like to ask for your best suggestion. we are going to the peak on a sunday. which is best to ride going there? the peak tram or the bus 15?
Bus 15 or a taxi. The line for Peak Tram is usually way too crazy! You can consider taking the Peak Tram downhill instead, back to Central. =)
Hi. We’ll be at hk in the morning of sunday. Is it best to go to the peak around 3pm? What ride to use if were coming from jordan statiion? Is the time suitable to roam around ang visit madam taussaud? Thank you
Hey Jen, you can usually expect crazy lines for Peak Tram on Sundays all day long – unless you head there really early (7 – 8am). For a 3pm visit, I’ll suggest to head to the Peak by Bus 15 or by Taxi, as per our blog post. So from Jordan Station, it’ll be good for you to head to Central Station first (just 3 stations on the Red MTR line). That’s where you can find the Central Bus Terminus for Bus 15 as well as taxi-stands located nearby.
For Madame Tussauds, you can check their opening hours from their website – as of now, it’s opened between 10am to 10pm. 🙂
Just wanted to say thanks for the great instructions! We went to the peak today and caught the 15 bus from Central. It was much quicker than waiting in line for the tram and your photos and guides to Lugard Rd were spot on.
Glad you enjoyed it as much as we do!
I would like to go Victoria Peak on Wednesday around 5pm.
Is the peak tram still crowded around this time? and what do you suggest for ride back around 7pm?
I would like to have at least 1 ride using peak tram (both way also ok if the crowd permits).
Yes, it’s the most crowded around 5pm, as many head to the Peak for both the day view and then subsequently for the night view. As such, I would not suggest heading up the Peak by the Peak Tram. For the ride back down, the line should be shorter – it’s worth a venture!
We have travelled to Victoria Peak before and it was amazing but not via this route! Will have to give it go.
Very good and simple travel instructions so thank you!
thank you for this post! I would like to ask, if I start to go to Victoria Peak at 8pm from Tsim Sha Sui, do you think its okay and safe to go to the route u gave?
and if I decided to go to sky terrace, do u think I can still make it?
Yes, Hong Kong’s a safe city, but the general travelling rule apples – do not leave your valuables unattended (especially if you tend to be caught up when taking photos). Sky Terrace is opened till 11pm, so you probably may be in time for it (assuming traffic’s good too).
Hi! Thanks for the detailed explanation to get to The Peak via bus. I was wondering if I want to get back to Central Bus Terminus from The Peak, can I still board bus No15?
Hop to get a reply soon.
Yes, you can take bus 15 from The Peak.
Will the fare will still be the same from The Peak to Central Bus Terminus? Also, do you know the operating hours of Bus No15? Will it be available throughout the day or only at certain times?
I would suggest for you to refer to the bus website directly for more detailed information, especially if there are any changes on the day of your travel:
To Peak: https://mobile.nwstbus.com.hk/text/getstopinroute.php?lid=1&l=1
To Central: https://mobile.nwstbus.com.hk/text/getstopinroute.php?lid=0&l=1
Noted with many thanks!
I just followed your instruction, everything went great!
Our pleasure! Hope you enjoy Hong Kong as much as we do!
Thank you for your informative article on Victoria Peak. The pictures helps in clarifying and is really helpful. I like to ask if I the starting point of Bus 15 is outside Central Pier 5? That would maybe give me a better chance of getting front row seats on the bus? Many thanks
Hey Eugene, it starts at Central Pier 5 from 10am onwards. Prior to that, the starting point is Exchange Square in Central.
Have fun! If possible, share your beautiful photos with us by tagging us on Facebook (@bigfoottour) or Instagram (@bigfoottour_hk). Our hashtag is #bigfoottour.
Thanks for this info Man! I would just like to ask if the lines going up on the peak trams are packed during saturdays? And if yes, what is the best time to go as to avoid long lines? Thanks in advance.
The lines for the Peak Tram are very very crazy on Saturdays and Sundays. You can expect the weekend crowd from both locals and the tourists. My suggestion is to take the bus (as per the blog). Head early, perhaps around 9am?
i tried it and it worked well. Thank you so much for the turn-by-turn directions. ?
You are welcome! Do share your amazing pictures with us on Instagram (@bigfoottour_hk) or Facebook (@bigfoottour)!
Just wanted to add that Bus 15 to the Peak is much cheaper than the Peak Tram, and offers a wide range of city views on its way up. You can also get on/off it from Queens Road East in Wanchai. Suggest sitting on the right hand side going to the Peak, or left hand side coming down, for the best views (and top deck of course!).
Also recommended for an alternative to Lugard Road are the concentric circles of Plantation Road, Severn Road and Barker Road, east of the Peak Tram terminal. Typically I take Plunketts Path to Plantation Road southern part, head down into Severn Rd, then around the peak, checking out views to Aberdeen, Ocean Park and beyond; ending up connecting back into Plantation Road (north) for the harbour views. These give views all around the island – I find the Lugard Road walk around the peak is for the most part obscured by plants and views are relatively limited. Particularly spectacular at/after dusk.
Great advice, John!
PS: it may be difficult to get a good seat on Bus 15 if you board it only at Queen’s Road East, especially on the weekends. I’ll suggest boarding the bus right at the very first stop! 🙂
Hello!! This is really amazing and helpful!!!
Can you please tell me if it open all night and for sunrise?
Yes, the secret spot route is open for public throughout the day and night.
If you are asking about the Peak Tram & Sky Terrace, they do have opening hours and you can check from their website.
Public buses have their operating times too. That said, you can always head to Peak by the taxi.
Hello I’d like to know if this path or route is open 24hours a day or at night after midnight?
24 hours. 🙂
We will be in Hong Kong on the 19th of August. Your article is just amazing.
Thanks for the visuals.
Hope you enjoy Hong Kong as much as we do, Ivy!
Hi! I’ll be travelling next month with a 9 hr daytime layover at HKIA. Hoping to take advantage of this and visit a few places. The Peak, Tsim Sha Tsui and anyplace else you might suggest.
I’m thinking to cover the peak first , to avoid the crowds and waiting mostly,so find the idea of taking Bus 15 up, lugard road walk and the tram down quite good. Can you please suggest how to get to TST from the peak and other places i can visit. My flight lands at 09:40 am and next flight is at 09:00 pm.
The best way to get from HKIA to victoria peak.
If anybody has done a similar itinerary in recent months, i would love to hear about your experience and suggestions.I’ll be travelling alone and this being my first visit to HK , i’d be grateful for any advice.
Best way to get from HKIA to Victoria Peak: Airport Express to Hong Kong Station -> taxi to the Peak.
Best way to get from Victoria Peak to TST: Peak Tram (to Garden Road Lower Terminus) -> Bus 15C to Star Ferry Pier (Central) -> Take a Star Ferry (another must-do in Hong Kong) to TST
Thank you . How much time does the star ferry crossing take ? do i need to pre book the passage to save time?
To get back from TST to HKIA ?
Star Ferry takes roughly 8 minutes. There’s no need to prebook – you can buy the ticket on the spot.
TST to HKIA: Take a short taxi ride to Kowloon Station. From there, take the Airport Express to HKIA.
Hello, we are staying near Tin Hau station in Causaway Bay. Can you tell me where we can catch the Bus 15? Thank you for your detailed instructions with the photos. Very helpful!!
I’ll suggest catching the bus at Central Bus Terminus. You can head there by taking the MTR to Central MTR Station first, before heading to the Central Bus Terminus. In that way, you’ll have a higher opportunity of securing the best seats on the bus (i.e. left window seats and upper deck). The last you want is to board a crowded bus and end up having to stand all the way to the Peak. Besides missing the views (which defeats a big purpose of taking the bus), the bus route can get quite winding too! I certainly wouldn’t advise standing in the bus!
Hello! I just want to ask if the view is also nice if we will go on the peak tower without going to sky terrace?
Yes, view is great, but it may be slightly more challenging to take great photos due to the reflection of the glass windows. We say, try our secret spot instead! It’s free and the view will be more magnificent!
hi. first, thank you because your tips is so helpful. 🙂
I will travel in group of 4 person. Can we fit into 1 taxi?
and can we pay using the octopus card for the taxi?
Hi Ivana, yes, taxis in Hong Kong can fit 4 people (or even 5). Only some taxis take Octopus card, so on the safe side, do prepare cash for taxi rides.
Thank you very much for this detailed plan. Went today and took the bus up (scarey at times but husband loved it and fantastic views). Walked the full circle around the peak in the direction you said and had fabulous views and peaceful away from all the tourists. Only wish we had taken the bus back as tram packed and view nowhere near as good and it was dark when we left so would have been stunning, plus a lot cheaper lol
Glad you had a lovely time at the Peak, Victoria. Yes, sometimes the lines for tram is crazy and it would be a good alternative to take the bus down. However, do note that in Hong Kong, we drive on the left side. So when the bus is heading back to Central, much of the view is blocked by the oncoming traffic, especially the big buses that are heading towards the Peak. From a view perspective, this is the reason why we would recommend taking the bus up to the Peak instead of taking the bus back to Central. So not to worry, you are not missing much! 🙂
Hi, this is a very detailed instruction. Thank you for this! I just want to ask, if we ride the star ferry and wait for bus15 right outside, will it be the first stop for the bus? Because I’d really want to get the best views coming from the upper deck, on the left side, is it right? And, is there gonna be a bus15 at around 9am?
Hey Cez, bus 15 departs at Central (Star Ferry) only after 10am. If you are taking the bus at 9am, please take from the Central Bus Terminus, as mentioned in the blog. Please check this link for the latest bus information: https://www.nwstbus.com.hk/en/uploadedFiles/cust_notice/RI-NWFB-15-15-D.pdf
Hi! I am having a layover on HK (falls on monday) and I plan to visit Victoria peak. As you can see I have a limited time only because my flight is at exactly 4:30pm. I have a few questions.
1. Planning to be there as early as the tram opens around 7am? Will the line still be long? coz i really wanna experience the way going up via tram.
2. What’s the fastest way going down? Tram or the bus? If the bus is your recommendation will it be near a MTR? ?
3. How many minutes does it take to go up and down via tram?
Thanks, your reply will be a big help as it’s my first time and I will be travelling alone 🙂
1. Peak tram opens at 7am. You can always refer to this link: https://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/getting-to-the-peak/opening-hours. There shouldn’t be a line at 7am. 🙂
2. Tram is the fastest, as the ride itself is only 8 minutes, of course, notwithstanding the waiting lines. If you are there in the morning, I think it should be fine.
3. Around 8 minutes each way.
Thanks for the reply btw! I’ll take note of this.
I have additional questions 🙂
1. I’m planning to follow this guide you made.
The bus 15 in Central Bus Terminus, do you know the time of the first trip? coz my target time to be at the peak is around 8am/9am?
2. At the lower terminus of the peak, where can I go to get in the MTR to go back to the airport 🙂
Thanks a lot 🙂 ?
Hi! I’ll be going to Hong Kong the 1st week of April. I’m planning to check out the sunrise from the peak. Just wondering if taxis go all the way up since Bus 15 doesn’t start until 6:15am and that’s about when Sunrise is?
Yes, Seth. You can take a taxi.
Can’t thank you enough for this article, not only did we find great locations to take photos. It also saved us a fortune
Glad you find it useful, Simon. If you can, please help us to share the post link! We hope these tips can reach more travellers. 🙂
The directions are great, i followed the same and experienced the view from the victoria peak
Hi. Mga magkano po kaya ang magagastos fro the transportation from causeway bay to the peak tram 🙂
I have some queries which I would like to seek your advise.
I will be traveling to Hong Kong on 16th June 2019, arriving at 2pm.
Upon arrival, I will proceed to TST for checking in to hotel and proceed to Victoria Peak.
Have checked the website on the Peak tram but sadly it is under maintenance during my visiting period.
Can you advise me the fastest way to go Victoria Peak for scenery?
Will I be too late and missed the view?
Should I travel from MTR TST to MTR Central and transfer for bus15?
I am confused on how to plan this trip to Victoria Peak.
Yes, you can take MTR to Central and then take a taxi or bus 15.
Alternatively, from TST, take the Star Ferry to Central Pier (great views of Victoria Harbour, and personally, I think Star Ferry is must-do in Hong Kong!)
Then catch a taxi straight to the Peak. That’s the fastest! If not, you can take bus 15 too.
Bus information: https://www.nwstbus.com.hk/en/uploadedFiles/cust_notice/RI-NWFB-15-15-D.pdf
Never too late for a view at the Peak, weather-permitting, of course. 🙂 Views are charming in the night too, especially when all the buildings light up!
Hi. We plan to take Bus 15 up the Peak from Central Bus Terminus. You mentioned that the best seat is the 2nd level, front row, left side. Is it left side, when you’re facing forward (looking towards the front of the bus)?
Yes, left side, facing forward (looking towards the front of the bus) — not for the faint-hearted though! :p
Hi! May i ask where can we get bus going down victorias peak?
Hey Winx, it’s at the basement of Peak Galleria.
Hi. I will be there on 4th of August. I plan to visit the Peak during evening hours. Could you tell me which time from the day is less crowded during this period as if there is a chance I would like to propose my girlfriend. I would like to keep it private as much as possible. Do you recommend taking taxi after midnight and etc.?
Thank you in advance. You are having a really good tips. 🙂
Hi Bragor, I’ll suggest for you to head there after 10pm. It should be quiet. 🙂
It usually gets crowded between 4pm to 9pm. So just avoid these times.
All the best!
Good day everyone!
For those who tried riding Bus 15, may I know the latest bus schedule? How early do they start operating?
Plan to be there when the Skyline Terrace opens.
Hey, we plan to take bus 15 early morning, would we have to wait at the exchange square opposite Starbucks instead of waiting at the Central Pier No.5? Much thanks for the info mate.
This was awesome! Your directions with photos were perfect! We followed it with no problem! Just be sure to bring a water bottle! ?
Glad you like our secret spot. Yes, bring a water bottle along, especially if you are visiting during the hot summer. That’s a great tip, Katie!
Hi! We are heading to Hongkong next month and we’re planning to do this adventure that you suggested going to Victoria Peak. I have 2 toddlers though, ages 5 and 6. The bus ride won’t be too scary for them, right? LOL. And may I also ask, going down, if we take the Peak Tram on our way down, would you know the fare rates? Thanks in advance! (“,)
Hey Ria, you can refer to the Tram rates here: https://www.thepeak.com.hk/en/ticket-and-booking/purchase-ticket/peak-tram-sky-pass#tram
I’m sure your children will like the bus ride. Remember to sit on the left side, upper deck! 🙂
Thank you for this amazing guide on how to get to Victoria Peak. I can’t wait to visit Hong Kong in March 😍💙🇭🇰
We are coming from tung chung station , how do we get to Victoria Peak by train then taxi ? Thank you