The Mid-Levels Escalator

Not an Ordinary Escalator: A Microcosm of Hong Kong Daily Life

The Mid-Levels Escalator is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, and it is totally unique, this is how thousands of Hongkongners commute every day to work.

Midlevels Escalator in the afternoon

The escalator connects Central and Western Districts, with the SoHo and residential districts of the Mid-levels, from Queen's Road to Conduit Road.

In the morning rush hour it runs downhill to bring all the residents "down" to work, then from 10:30 a.m. until midnight it switches direction and runs uphill.

But more than a transportation option, it has transformed in a very unique micro-culture with bars, restaurants, shops and market stalls along the elevated path, businesses that had previously existed only at street level.

Midlevels Escalator in the afternoon

So even though this is not a "tourist attraction" per se, it does give you a very peculiar insight into every day Hong Kong life, taking you from the shimmering glass and steel towers of Central, through the little alleys, stalls and coffe shops popular with the working masses, spread along the route.

Midlevels Escalator in the afternoon

The roughly half-mile long escalator (800 meters) is not one single escalator but a series of some 20 escalators and several moving walkways.

It is covered and is a vast system that interconnects via covered footways to many areas in the city including some of the main skyscrapers in Central. In fact, this is a great way to get around when it's raining.

Midlevels Escalator in the afternoon

There are over a dozen entry and exit points and there are even "rest areas" in between the long walkways!

Midlevels Escalator in the afternoon

You can hop on and off along the way, signs point out the many points of interest.

Midlevels Escalator in the afternoon

The escalator intersects the following roads:

View Midlevels Escalator in a larger map

  • Des Voeux Road and Queen's Road: glitz and glam of Central skyscrapers and upscale shopping centers
  • Stanley, Wellington, Gage Streets: colorful market stalls, tea shops, dai pai dongs, walk along Graham Street which runs parallel to the escalator
  • Lyndhurst Terrace: restaurants, coffee shops
  • Hollywood Road: antique shops and galleries, nearby Cat Street for trinkets and curios
  • Staunton Street: SoHo Bars and Restaurants
  • Elgin Street: SoHo Bars and Restaurants
  • Caine Road: for Dr. Sun Yat Sen Museum
  • Mosque Street: for the Jamia Mosque
  • Mosque Junction
  • Robinson Road: High rise apartment buildings
  • Conduit Road: more high-rises and access the Botanical Gardens, follow the signs, it's about a 15 minute walk

Getting back down: you can walk along the stairs next to the escalator, or take Minibus 3 which brings you back to Central.

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