Estimated Wait at Peak Tram Station
Tips to avoid queues at the Peak Tram Station
With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. That’s the highest mountain on the island, where the highest sky terrace in the city can be found (428 metres above sea level). Most of Hong Kong panoramas have been made from this point, and with a huge number of visitors seeing this spot as a-must-to-be place, a good timing and planning is crucial to avoid queues and get the most of your visit.
The first thing you should consider is how you plan to get to the Peak. The easiest way is the Peak Tram: a 5-minute journey on a funicular railway up the hill. The downside is that this is the most popular way as well, with queuing times at the ticket office often reaching an hour or so. How you can avoid this queue:
1) Come during not-busy hours: if you come in the morning, before 10 AM - you just usually hop on the tram. The queue starts growing fast after 10 AM, and standing in the line under the midday sun may be quite exhausting. The line gets the longest before the sunset time - which is the most popular one to be at the Peak. So try to avoid taking the Peak Tram at about 5-6 PM, when queue is the longest.
2) Try to skip the line if you hold an Octopus Card. That’s the stored-value electronic card used by most locals and tourists in Hong Kong, accepted for public transport, purchases in convenience stores, fast food shops, supermarkets, etc. You usually just place the card on the reader, and the amount is deducted automatically. It works the same way for the Peak Tram: normally you won’t need to queue at the ticket office, you just pass by the turnstiles putting the card on the reader. Be aware that in case of really long queues this tip may not work, as Octopus card holders will not have any priority and will need to stay in the same line as the others.
3) Buy a combo ticket: there’s a separate ticket office and priority boarding for those who buy a combo ticket for the Peak Tram and Madame Tussauds Museum (there’s also a 3-in-1 combo, which includes Madame Tussauds, Peak Tram two-way ticket and Sky Terrace 428 ticket, but this one should be bought at least the day before your visit).
4) You may opt for another means of transport to get to the peak:
Taxi is the most evident one, though unscrupulous taxi drivers at the Peak Tram terminal often overcharge tourists. Be aware that a typical metered fare costs about HK$50.
Bus (route 15 or 15B) or minibus (route 1) also head to the Peak, though the journey will take more time.
On foot: From MTR Central station, make your way to the J2 exit and walk up to the ground level. Turn right, through Chater Garden, cross Queen’s Road Central, and make your way up Garden Road. You will pass the Bank of China Tower and Citibank Plaza on your left and St John’s Cathedral on your right. Walking to the Peak may be tiring, better consider this option for your way back to the city center.
Photo credits to James Antrobus via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Tips to avoid crowds on observation decks at Victoria Peak
1) The views depend enormously on the weather: on rainy, misty, cloudy days you won’t see much. Be sure to choose a clear day for better visibility. Consider that clear day will also bring more visitors!
2) Define what kind of views attract you more: at daylight or nightlight. Most agree that Honk Kong panorama is more spectacular at night, but we let you decide it yourself. Not surprisingly, the most popular time is around the sunset, with people taking the opportunity to combine both day and night views.
3) Avoid peak hours and peak periods: late afternoon and early evening is the busiest period, while early morning is the calmest. The Lunar New Year period, along with the Chinese Golden Weeks (end of April - beginning of May and the second one at the beginning of October) are the worst periods of the year, with thousands of tourists per day.
4) Decide how you’ll get back to the city after: in case you take the Peak Tram back, consider there may be again the long queue, especially after the sunset. If you get back before it gets dark - walking down is a nice option, and will take about half an hour of your time.
Photo credits to Kumar nav via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Once you arrived at Victoria Peak
When you got up the hill - you can choose between two observation decks available:
Peak Tower houses the Sky Terrace 428, the highest observation platform, but you’ll have to buy the ticket to enter it.
Peak Galleria is a shopping complex with a viewing terrace and a roof garden. The views may be a bit less spectacular, but still very impressive and free of charge.
Up to you to decide!
The Peak Tram: daily, from 7 AM to midnight.
The Peak Tower and Sky Terrace 428: from 10 AM to 11 PM (Mon - Fri), from 8 AM to 11 PM (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays).
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong: daily, from 9 AM to 10 PM.
The Peak Galleria: daily, from 10 AM to 10 PM.
Peak Tram - Adult: 32 HK$ (single) / 45 HK$ (return) - Child (3-11) and Senior (65+): 12 HK$ (single) / 20 HK$ (return)
Sky Terrace 428 - Adult: 48 HK$ - Child (3-11) and Senior (65+): 24 HK$
Peak Tram Sky Pass (Peak Tram + Sky Terrace 428) - Adult: 75 HK$ (single) / 88 HK$ (return) - Child (3-11) and Senior (65+): 34 HK$ (single) / 42 HK$ (return)