There are actually two IFC Hong Kong buildings, IFC1 and IFC2, but it’s the latter that grabs all the headlines and dominates the skyline. Standing 88 floors tall and measuring 420 meters, IFC 2 was the tallest building in Hong Kong before it was surpassed by the International Commerce Centre across the water in Kowloon. It's still the tallest building on Hong Kong Island.
Standing on the shore of Victoria Harbour, the building towers over the Central business district. Inside you can find Hong Kong's banking and finance industry. The acronym IFC means International Finance Centre. On the lower floors are the swanky shops of the IFC Mall, while Hong Kong Station - the city's main transport hub to Hong Kong Airport - is in the basement.
If you think you might have seen this glass draped skyscraper before, that's probably thanks to Hollywood. IFC 2 has featured in Lara Croft Tomb Raider and also seen Batman leap from a ledge of the skyscraper during The Dark Knight.
Why Visit IFC Hong Kong
Aside from being a stunning skyscraper in its own right, IFC2 also affords breathtaking views across Hong Kong Harbour and onto the increasingly cluttered skyline of Kowloon. There are some great restaurants, both inside IFC2 and in the adjoining mall that take advantage of the views. Better still is the al fresco, picnic strip on top of IFC Mall - one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secrets.
The best way to enjoy the view is from the viewing platform, although this is on floor 55 rather than the top of the building. It's not an official viewing platform for the building, but the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Information office. But you don't need to be interested in coins and currency to pay them a visit - most people here are here for the views.
You’ll first need to register with security on the ground floor of the building, and need a photo ID, before taking the lift up to floor 55. The viewing platform seems to be subject to regular closures, so you may want to phone ahead as well. Entry is completely free.
You can also take advantage of the restaurants in IFC2 and the IFC Mall. One of the best is Cuisine Cuisine, a cutting-edge Cantonese restaurant at the base of IFC 2 with floor to ceiling window views of the harbor and one of the top five restaurants in Hong Kong for dim sum.
Alternatively, try the garden on top of the IFC Mall. There are a couple of restaurants that make the most of the unobstructed views of the harbor, or you can pop into City Super supermarket in the mall below and have a picnic on the roof garden benches. By night this is one of Hong Kong's more popular al fresco drinking spots
How to Get There
IFC2 is connected to both the Central MTR station and Hong Kong Station, which is served by the Airport Express. The Star Ferry, from Tsim Sha Tsui, also pulls in under the shadow of IFC2 and is another great way to see the harbor and skyline. The official address is 1 Finance Street, although IFC 2 will work with taxi drivers.