Hong Kong turns on the style when the sun dips below the skyscrapers looming over Victoria Harbour, with this cosmopolitan city home to some of Asia’s hottest nightclubs and most vibrant bars. From casual drinks to full-blown nights on the town, Hong Kong’s nightclub and bar scene provides yet another compelling reason to visit a destination which proudly proclaims itself to be Asia's world city.
Top 5 Rooftop Bars
Ozone at the Ritz Carlton
When it comes to views, they don’t get much more spectacular than the sweeping panorama on show from the 118th and final floor of the tallest hotel in the world. Ozone’s outdoor terrace offers sweeping vistas over Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbour below, and this stunning space is the ideal spot in which to kick back and indulge in a cocktail or two, as the sun slowly sinks on the dazzling Hong Kong skyline.
The penthouse bar atop the Prince’s Building boasts one of Hong Kong’s swankiest hotels, with the wraparound terrace at SEVVA routinely buzzing with Hong Kong’s best and brightest. This glamorous space is as glitzy as the city gets and it also provides unparalleled views of the Symphony of Lights show which flashes across Victoria Harbour in spectacular fashion on a nightly basis.
Should you ever tire of the same old view of the Hong Kong skyline, then Sugar – perched like a secret oasis atop the 32nd floor of the laid-back East hotel – is the perfect remedy. Renowned as much for its casual ambience as it is for its sweeping views of North Point, Quarry Bay and Tai Tam, Sugar makes for a refreshingly cool change from some of the more upscale rooftop bars, making it a favourite haunt for expats and young professionals keen to keep things casual.
Prefer your prime rib served with a view? Look no further than the curiously spelled Wooloomooloo Prime – a premium steakhouse with its own rooftop bar attached. Located high above the Tsim Sha Tsui cityscape, this popular eatery is the perfect place to unwind with a well-done steak and some picturesque views of Victoria Harbour and glittering Hong Kong Island beyond.
La Terrazza at Lupa
A very different kind of rooftop bar, La Terrazza at Lupa offers an al fresco Hong Kong dining experience with a twist. Located in the heart of expat-favourite Lan Kwai Fong, this third-storey bar and restaurant exudes a calming natural air thanks to the lush greenery of its spectacular rooftop garden. Sip on a cocktail or enjoy some rustic Italian cuisine among the ferns and potted plants, in one what is surely one of Hong Kong’s best-kept secret gardens.
A rooftop bar of sorts, Eyebar is part seafood restaurant, part nautically-themed nightclub and all kinds of fun. The Michelin-starred restaurant is actually called Nanhai No. 1 after a 15th Century Chinese vessel, however it’s Eyebar’s voluminous floor-to-ceiling windows which really capture the imagination. The cocktail menu is extensive, so sit back and sip on a wonderfully-named Grape Expectations, while a luminous Hong Kong nightscape radiates pleasantly in the background.
The plush Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel is one of Hong Kong’s most opulent accommodation options, so it’s no surprise its upscale MO Bar mirrors this glitz and glamour. The bar's airy, two-storey interior belies a tightly conceived cocktail list, which lures an eclectic mix of white-collar professionals and Hong Kong high society types, who eagerly rub shoulders with the occasional celebrity drop-in.
A popular after-hours hang-out for the local banker and well-heeled expatriate crowd, Le Jardin does things slightly differently to its competitors. To begin with, it’s tucked away off-the-beaten-path in exceedingly hip Lan Kwai Fong, providing a sense of seclusion among the hustle and bustle of the city. Once inside, its dim lighting and old-fashioned jukebox make clear than this is a space for socialising in close quarters, making Le Jardin the ideal place to meet some genuine Hong Kong locals.
Not so much a nightclub as an all-too-rare space in which to watch bands, this edgy live music venue strictly embodies a Do It Yourself attitude and sports a grungy underground vibe. Housed in grimy, post-industrial Kwun Tong, the iconic Hidden Agenda is the place to catch international touring bands and the hottest independent local acts, all while sipping on cheap beers in a space forever operating under the constant threat of closure.
Cool, casual and home to the occasional jam session, this hard-to-find space is a hidden delight nestled among Hong Kong’s soaring steel skyline. Run by a laid-back group of artists eager to cultivate their own hang-out venue, you can sip aperitifs with students, sink wine with musicians or make music of your own in the upstairs jam room – in what is undoubtedly one of Hong Kong’s trendiest after dark spaces.
Lan Kwai Fong
Long a favourite haunt for boozy nights out and the odd spot of karaoke, Lan Kwai Fong touts itself as Hong Kong’s premier dining and entertainment district. Indeed, there are so many clubs and bars dotted throughout the densely crowded Central precinct it can be hard to know where to start. Western-themed venues are very much in vogue, so if it’s a sweaty sports bar or trendy DJ-anchored nightspot you’re after, look no further than loud and proud Lan Kwai Fong.
Tsim Shu Tsui
The neon lights of Tsim Shu Tsui burn bright once the sun goes down, and this popular tourist hotspot transforms into one of Hong Kong’s most vibrant nightlife hubs. Much of the activity is centred on Knutsford Terrace – a pedestrian-only stretch of al fresco eateries and western-style pubs. Nearby Austin Road is home to countless karaoke joints and hole-in-the-wall bars, while Kimberley Street is a veritable Little Korea and the ideal place to indulge in some late-night bibimbap.
A long-time hub of Hong Kong culture, Wan Chai was once a predominantly red-light district. Gentrification has slowly tipped the balance and these days the Lockhart and Jaffe Road precincts are more renowned for their plethora of clubs, bars and popular restaurants. Though some of the edgier venues remain, Wan Chai is also home to some of Hong Kong’s most popular clubs and bars, including Carnegies, Typhoon and the raucous Dusk Till Dawn.
Though Causeway Bay is better known for its fashionable shopping and excellent restaurants, it’s also an increasingly popular nightlife hub – owing to the plethora of trendy bars springing up all over the neighbourhood. More and more, thoroughfares like Sharp Street East and Hoi Ping Road are attracting an enthusiastic young crowd keen to shop 'til they drop, before kicking back with a cocktail to watch the world go by in one of Hong Kong’s busiest precincts.
The area south of Hollywood Road in Central is, not surprisingly, known as SoHo and it’s one of the glitzier places to explore for a night out in Hong Kong. Home to several chic bars and some of the more upmarket restaurants in the city, this is a multicultural part of town emanating an almost European vibe. It’s the perfect place to relax with a glass of fine wine once the sun dips below the glittering Hong Kong skyline.