Perhaps one of the city’s stranger attractions, the Hong Kong Central-Mid-Levels Escalator is used to ferry thousands of workers between the bedroom community of Mid-Levels and Central Hong Kong. Built in 1994, the Hong Kong Central-Mid-Levels escalator now carries upwards of 60,000 people a day.
How it Works
The escalator is Hong Kong’s very own piece of Futurama, elevated above street level and covered; it allows the transportation of workers from their beds to their desks and back again. This is Hong Kong at its most modern and efficient.
From 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. the escalator moves downhill and then uphill from 10.15 a.m.-12 a.m. The complete system of several escalators runs for 800m and climbs a total of 135 meters, some of the ascents can be very steep.
Where it Runs
The escalator runs from Des Voeux Road, Central to Conduit Road in Mid-Levels. There are several entrances and exits throughout Soho and NoHo. The system is free and takes around 25 minutes one-way. Be sure to keep to the right, as time hungry Hong Kongers have little patience with meandering tourists.
From its starting point at Central, you’ll pass within walking distance of several key Hong Kong tourist destinations as you make your way uphill on the Mid Levels Escalator.
- IFC Mall and the Star Ferry wharf are linked by raised walkway to the Mid Levels Escalator starting point.
- Hollywood Road passes right under the Mid Levels Escalator; from this intersection, you can easily walk to the former police station turned art gallery Tai Kwun, not to mention Hollywood Road’s many art galleries and antique shops.
- Between Staunton and Elgin Streets, you can descend from the Escalator to hang out at Hong Kong’s Soho district, home to the city’s best bars and restaurants.
- Hong Kong’s oldest mosque, Jamia Mosque, can be found a short distance away from the escalator’s exit at Mosque Street
During the evening, the escalator buzzes with couples and groups wining and dining. The escalator reaches three stories at points and offers great views down into onto the wet markets and dai pai dongs below.
At the end of the line, you’ll also get to see the jungle of housing skyscrapers in Mid-Levels, the preferred living quarters for expats.