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Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens I Photograph: Shutterstock
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens I Photograph: Shutterstock

Mid-Levels: Ultimate Guide

Home to chic cafés, museums and even orangutans, this quiet, residential neighbourhood is your next stomping ground

Tatum Ancheta
Edited by
Tatum Ancheta
Written by
Natasha Tang
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Get ready to explore the trendy and vibrant neighbourhood of Mid-Levels. Nestled just above Central on the slope of one of the highest points on Hong Kong Island, its prime location makes the area one of the most sought-after spots in the city. The vicinity is well-connected to the rest of Hong Kong and is filled with artisanal cafes and restaurants, museums, and stunning parks that draw visitors from all corners of the city. Keep reading to discover how to make the most of this vibrant neighbourhood.

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EAT DRINK THINGS TO DO STAY

What are the Mid-Levels known for?
The Mid-Levels is known to be a quiet residential area with a quick commute to the CBD.

Why do the locals love it?
The Mid-Levels is located between the mountains and a gastronomic haven, giving you the best of both worlds. A short hike up and you’ll find yourself getting lost in nature, only to end up at the Peak to take in panoramic views of the city. A short walk down will give you access to a myriad of restaurants, art galleries, and interesting shops.

How do I get to Mid-Levels?
The easiest way to come here is to take the MTR to Central and then ride the iconic Mid-Levels escalator to go up. There are also minibuses that will take you to Caine Road.

Map of Mid-Levels

If you only do one thing 
Ride the famous Mid-Levels Escalators, the world's longest outdoor covered escalator system, people watch, and enjoy the cityscape of the neighbourhood’s winding streets and alleys.

Where to eat

Whether you’re meeting up with friends in the area or have worked up an appetite walking around The Peak that morning, brunch is waiting for you at the bottom of the trail.

Nice weather calls for a rooftop affair, and Feather & Bone is the perfect spot. Glossing over the menu, you’ll find everything from lobster eggs benedict, steak and eggs or avocado smash to their famous spaghetti meatballs and grass-fed beef burger. For something a little sweeter, head to South Lane, 14 South Lane’s newly-opened sister restaurant. The cosy corner cafe offers a decadent list of sweet and savoury options, and their signature sweet potato coconut pancakes are not one to gloss over.

If the sea is calling you, Hooked is right around the corner, a no-frills fish and chips takeaway eatery offering delicious battered sustainably-caught fish. Other eateries worth going to are Chi Kee Noodle House, an old-school noodle joint that serves some of the best beef brisket noodles in the area, and Amaze Dumplings, which serves juicy hand-made dumplings. You’ll want to get their signature mala chicken and chicken tender bone wontons, and dan dan noodles.

If you’re craving tacos, Xoco Mexican Cantina & Bar offers Mexican fare with everything from tacos and burritos to chilli con carne and Oaxacan carne asada. The tacos are surprisingly sizable, and the bright and colourful walls are an ode to Mexican folk art.

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Where to drink

Newly-opened Double Black adds to the diverse tapestry of Mosque Street with its urban concrete interior, Chanel surfboard decor, and bold coffee beverages to keep you powering through the day. Along the escalators, recently-remodelled Blend & Grind has transformed into an open-air cafe with subtle island vibes, and an iteration of Halfway Coffee can be found tucked away down an alley, shielding coffee aficionados from the busy passageway. 

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Things to see and do

One of the busiest areas in the neighbourhood is the Mid-Levels Escalators, the world's longest outdoor covered escalator system, providing transport from the urban areas of Central to the steep hillsides of the residential Mid-Levels. Served as a backdrop in films like Chungking Mansion, step on the rolling walkway and you'll be rewarded with the best views of Hong Kong’s winding streets and tight alleys.

Ever wonder where the city’s orangutans live? Forget going to Hong Kong Park. Instead, opt to visit Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, which offers free admission to a 5.6-hectare green space of wildlife in the Mid-Levels. You’ll be amazed at just how many – and how diverse – the animals there are, including golden lion tamarins, orangutans, flamingos and peacock pheasants. You’ll even find lethal reptiles like the Burmese python and Chinese alligators. At night, be sure to visit the garden fountains before strolling through the bamboo, magnolias, and bauhinia gardens.

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The Mid-Levels give you easy access to The Peak, so head up Old Peak Road to get a nice workout and stunning views of Hong Kong. Give some TLC to those legs once you come back down with a massage from Gao’s Foot Massage – we recommend adding in the head-and-shoulder massage as well. Take it one step further by indulging in a float therapy session at Float Co, where the enveloping cocoon capsule and the weightlessness of the water will help rejuvenate and reset your body and mind. 

Art lovers can take lessons at Artiste Studio, which offers a range of art programmes for kids and adults that involve everything from acrylic to pastels.

For a little piece of history, head to Jamia Mosque. Built in the 1840s, it is Hong Kong’s first mosque and still operates to this day. With its arched main entrance and Arabic-style latticed windows, its architecture lends itself to the multiculturalism of Hong Kong. The great thing is it's uncrowded and accessible from the Mid-Levels Central Escalator.

Dr Sun Yat Sen Museum is also worth a visit, as it holds free exhibitions, an array of historical artefacts and audiovisual programmes that give an expansive overview of the first provisional president of the Republic of China’s personal life and career. 

For bookworms, escape reality for a few hours and grab a seat at Books & Co, an unassuming bookstore-slash-café filled with stacks and shelves of pre-loved books. Paired with a well-brewed coffee, this store is the perfect reading nook to spend the weekend away.

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Where to stay

There are a lot more options for hotels and accommodations in Central for short stays, but if you’re here for at least one month, Mid-Levels is an excellent option. Townplace on Caine Road offers flexible terms, with a range of service apartments, furnished and unfurnished apartments, and puts a premium on innovation and community living. 

Similarly, Weave Residences is an urban sanctuary that offers furnished and unfurnished rooms with compact storage, minimalist aesthetics and unobstructed views. 

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