Updated on December 18th, 2019: The Hong Kong Tourism Board has announced that the fireworks for the Hong Kong New Year Countdown Celebrations for 2020 had been cancelled. It would be replaced by a laser light show over the Victoria Harbour.

2020’s almost upon us and we are getting excited about the Hong Kong New Year Countdown and fireworks display. To get the best out of this annual event takes a little preparation but we have compiled some useful tips and suggestions to ensure your night is a success. Here is what you need to know about the best places to watch fireworks in Hong Kong this New Year’s Eve.

Get there early – the fun starts before midnight

As always, Victoria Harbour will be the backdrop to Hong Kong’s spectacular display. Details about this and other Hong Kong events can be found on the HK Tourism Board’s website. It has become the custom to feature “Shooting Stars”. Starting at 11 pm, rays of light will illuminate the skies above the harbor every fifteen minutes in a teaser for the main event. Anticipation ramps up and you can be sure that there will be a tangible party atmosphere as the crowd builds and the clock ticks ever closer to the top of the hour. At 11.59 pm, the wait is almost over as the countdown begins. At midnight, a fabulous display of fireworks set to music is sure to delight the waiting crowd.

Best places to watch the pyrotechnics

You have plenty of choice when it comes to seeing the display. Many hotels and restaurants lay on ticketed events to make it a night to remember. Some people prefer to watch from inside Hong Kong’s many skyscrapers but if you are not lucky enough to have a Hong Kong hotel room or an apartment with a harbor view, you could always book a place on a boat cruise. Booked out already or beyond your price range? No matter, there are plenty of locations where you can get a great view of Hong Kong fireworks without forking out at all.

It doesn’t have to cost you a thing

If you’re looking for a spot join in with the Hong Kong New Year Countdown, we have come up with a list of ten best places to watch fireworks for free in Hong Kong.

Free places to watch fireworks on Hong Kong Island:

  • IFC Mall — the fourth floor roof
  • The Peak — all along Lugard Road and also Lion’s Pavilion
  • Central Harbourfront
  • Central Ferry Pier
  • Golden Bauhinia Square

Free places to watch fireworks in Kowloon:

  • Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade — our favorite but make sure you get there early!
  • Ocean Terminal Deck
  • West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade
  • The Sky Corridor of West Kowloon Station
  • The Hung Hom Bypass

Our tips for seeing the display

To ensure you do not miss out, it makes sense to get out on the street early. Photographers wishing to find the perfect spot to set up their tripods will start to stake their claims as early as 3 or 4 in the afternoon. If you wish to have a front row view, you would be wise to follow soon afterwards. Keep abreast of road closures and which MTR exits will be operational. To maintain crowd control and keep everyone safe, some will be shut as early as 8 pm. Check the website of the Transportation Department for further details and keep abreast of any changes in the local press to make sure that the route you are planning to take will be open.

Throughout the evening, the crowd will swell and by 10 pm or so, you will be jostling for a place. Go prepared to wait – take snacks and some refreshing drinks to help you stay hydrated and check out the location of nearby public lavatories to ensure you are not caught short. Charge up the batteries in your camera and cell phone to make sure you capture multiple shots of the brightly coloured pyrotechnics as well as a selfie or two, of course.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, wherever you choose to spend it.