The best places to view Hong Kong’s skyline for free
June 7, 2019
by Jamie Bennett
There is nothing more iconically Hong Kong than the incredible skyline of Victoria Harbour. The views looking out over the Harbour, either from Hong Kong Island or Kowloon side, will impress and inspire even the most seasoned of travellers. In fact, the view is so awesome that each night at 8 pm a free light and sound show called Symphony of Lights is held. Many of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers participate and shooting choreographed lasers into the night sky along to a soundtrack.
Many restaurants and hotels cash in on this magnificent attraction, offering premium views for premium prices. Just one drink at a rooftop bar will set you back HK$180, which is about US$23. However, for travellers on a budget, there are multiple different locations where you can experience the beauty of the Victoria Harbour skyline for free.
Lugard Road Lookout
One of the best things to do in Hong Kong is to visit Victoria Peak and enjoy the cooler temperatures while taking in that amazing skyline. Many tourists make the mistake of paying to go up to the overcrowded viewing deck above the Victoria Peak mall. Instead, keep walking past the mall complex and stroll along Lugard Road to the Lugard Road Lookout. Not only is this viewing area for free, but it’s also far less crowded and provides a completely unobstructed view. The best time to come is at sunset. Be sure to bring your camera.
Wan Chai Ferry Pier Public Viewing Deck
In the midst of the construction along the Wan Chai waterfront is the Wan Chai Ferry Pier. On the top level is an amazing new public viewing deck with beautiful views of the skyline. It’s open from 7:30 am to 11 pm daily and has a delightful cactus garden theme. Although it’s a little out of the way, few people know about this spot so it’s usually almost empty. Come here and bring a few drinks and some snacks for a quiet, more private view of Victoria Harbour looking out to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Kennedy Town Industrial Pier
Also known as Instagram Pier, this hidden gem is a favourite with locals for an afternoon stroll or evening dog walk. It’s open 24 hours and is the perfect place to come and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Students practising photography, the elderly listening to opera together and children learning to ride bikes alongside cargo ships offloading add a distinctly local flavour to the spectacular view of Victoria Harbour. There’s also a café serving great coffee and fun drinks but be aware there is only outside seating.
Ocean Terminal Deck at Harbour City
To look out over the Hong Kong Island skyline, most tourists will go to the Kowloon Public Pier viewing deck just next to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry, especially for the Symphony of Lights show. However, this gets incredibly crowded and noisy with constant voiceovers, making it a far from enjoyable experience. Instead, head over to the nearby Ocean Terminal Deck, which is part of the Harbour City mall. Follow the signs to the restaurant HEXA and then make your way up to the top floor, which has a well-manicured and relaxing viewing deck.