Best Places in the World to Spend New Year’s Eve
Across the globe, locals celebrate the passing of one year to the next with different traditions, be it a pancake race in Berlin, tossing handfuls of flowers in the ocean in Rio De Janeiro or standing beneath the crystal ball lowering into Times Square, New York. New Year, a time to reunite with loved ones, make resolutions and generally have a fabulous time is made all the more special by being in that perfect location. So make yours unforgettable by taking a look at some of the world’s best places to celebrate New Year’s:
New Year’s Eve in Iceland’s capital city is an extraordinary experience due largely to the friendly and good natured people of Reykjavik. After the symbolic burning away of the previous year’s troubles through community bonfires, approximately 500 tons of fireworks are unleashed by locals as 200,000 people eager to celebrate the New Year, light up the sky. Crowds gather at popular viewing spots like Perlan and Landakotskirkja Church to get the best views over the city. After midnight, the city comes alive as the hard partying Icelanders head to bars and clubs until the early hours of the morning. If you can make it to 5am, treat yourself to a traditional Icelandic hangover hotdog and a soak your hangover away in the local hot springs.
The Bahamians sure know how to party as New Year’s Eve celebrations rival those on New Year’s Day. Locals of all ages perform vibrant and colourful street parades called Junkanoo reminiscent of Mardi Gras, culminating in firework displays and partying on the white sandy beaches until the sun comes up. Junkanoo street parades can be found all over the island, but the most noteworthy are found in downtown Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, Bay Street in Nassau and Alice Town in North Bimini. Families may enjoy alternative celebrations where large beachside hotels including the Atlantis and Grand Lucayan hold their own legendary New Year parties.
New Year’s Eve in London is an epic night of mind blowing firework displays, bustling street parades and partying all night long. Ring in the New Year the official way, and join 250,000 people on the banks of the River Thames for the spectacular light show and firework display at the London Eye. For the best viewing spots, arrive before 9pm at the Victoria Embankment or the Waterloo and Westminster bridges. Alternatively, for the best seats in the house, take in the sights on a stylish Thames river dinner cruise. The fireworks are only the beginning of the celebrations as flocks of partiers head to bars and clubs for all night fun. Celebrations continue on New Year’s Day as the streets of central London host a parade featuring colourful floats, marching bands, costumed performers and a procession of the Queen’s horses.
Where to stay: Flemings Mayfair Hotel
Be among the first in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the lively city of Sydney. As the first major city to strike midnight, they welcome the New Year in spectacular style with the world’s largest firework display attended by a million people and watched by one billion worldwide. Join revellers at the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House for the earlier firework display at 9pm, then onto the waterfront to marvel at the exciting air and water show. There’s even a spirit cleansing Aboriginal smoking ceremony and Harbour of Light Parade made up of 50 illuminated boats. Sydney’s celebrations last all day and night so if the hangover isn’t too severe, climb the Harbour Bridge on New Year’s Day and enjoy the sights of a city that knows how to throw a party.
The German capital is renowned for being one of the greatest party cities in the world and New Year’s Eve is the night which hosts the greatest party of them all. The main attraction on the day is the infamous ‘Party Mile’ a two kilometre stretch extending from the Brandenburg Gate. Here, a million people party in marquees with international DJ’s, drink German beer and mulled wine and feast on local specialties like currywurst and the renowned German sausages. After the fantastic firework display at midnight, after-parties can be found at some of the best nightclubs in the world including super clubs Berghain and Matrix. If you feel up to it, on New Year’s Day participate in the Silversterlauf Pancake Race or for the more energetic, join in the annual four kilometre New Year’s Day Run with thousands of other runners.
Where to stay: H’Otello K80
Las Vegas is home to the ultimate New Year’s Eve street party when the famous Strip turns into a car-free venue hosting live performers, pyrotechnic masterpieces and futuristic laser shows. There are plenty of entertainment options for the 300,000 people that flock to Sin City including concerts from the world’s top performers, breathtaking shows from the famous Cirque Du Soleil and wild parties in clubs, hotels, and high roller casinos. For the New Year countdown, fireworks are launched from several rooftops along the Strip, illuminating the vibrant city in the Nevada desert and starting off a night you’ll never forget.
Where to stay: Bellagio
Rio De Janeiro, famous for its carnival festivals, injects the same level of excitement and passion in their New Year celebrations. The place to be is undoubtedly Copacabana beach where at around 8pm more than two million revellers begin the festivities enjoying live music from Brazilian samba to rock bands. It is traditional to wear white on New Year’s Eve as it is said to bring you luck for the upcoming year, but leave your best clothes at home as cocktails and champagne fly through the air. At midnight fireworks explode into the sky from barges while locals throw flowers into the ocean, a gift to the goddess of the seas. This unique Brazilian celebration is not something to be missed and will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Everyone at some point has probably imagined what it is like to count down to New Year in Manhattan, New York City. The Big Apple has a legendary reputation as being one of the best cities in the world to celebrate New Year, the prime location being beneath the 12-foot-wide crystal ball lowered into the neon lit Times Square. Confetti bursts into the sky as rapturous screams fill the air along with a fantastic firework display to make the scene complete. Famous musicians perform to crowds which in the past have included Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. For a quieter, but no less enjoyable experience, a boat ride across the New York Harbour offers the best views of the midnight fireworks display on Liberty Island.
Where to stay: New York Palace Hotel