These days, people are usually busy getting Christmas presents for their friends and families, decorating their houses and preparing everything for the great holiday but just a few days after Christmas, there is another big event that deserves some planning and preparation as well. The New Year celebration is also a time that we want to spend with our loved ones and have fun. Today´s post can help you with the probably most important thing about the event – where to celebrate it. Wild and raucous, peaceful and quiet, active or relaxing – whatever you are in the mood for, everybody can find their spot among these 25 awesome places to celebrate the New Year.
If you want your New Year celebration to be wild and noisy, Berlin is the place you are looking for. Every year, more than a million people join in the fun on the party avenue between the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate in what is generally considered one of the largest open-air New Year parties in the world. Spectacular laser shows, dancing parties featuring world´s top DJs and – of course – a gigantic mid-night fireworks that light up the city skyline – that’s what you will find in Berlin.
New York City, New York
Similarly to Berlin, New Year celebration in NYC is also just for those who don’t mind crowds of party fellows, loud music and pompous shows. The place where people gather for the celebration is the legendary Times Square with over a million people crowding together there every New Year´s Eve. At midnight, a fantastic pyrotechnic light show begins, accompanied by the legendary ball drop and tons of paper confetti spread around the party goers.
The Japanese mostly celebrate the New Year in the same way as the Westerners do with Christmas – at home. Therefore, many Tokyo residents leave the city to be with their families. But there are still a lot of people to join in the city center. The best place to enjoy the New Year´s Eve celebrations is probably the Shibuya crossing where masses of party fellows gather at midnight to watch the spectacular fireworks and release balloons in the annual countdown ceremony.
Those who prefer active holiday rather than just drinking and partying can book a hotel or chalet in Zermatt – a renowned ski resort located in the Swiss Alps. At an altitude of 3,800 meters (almost 12,500 feet), it is one of the world’s highest and most popular ski areas. With dozens of slope-side restaurants, Zermatt is also a foodie paradise. After skiing your socks off and eating your heart out on the New Year´s Eve, you can go to the Church Square where you will enjoy an open air party, surrounded by the astonishing snow blanketed mountains.
Couples in love as well as hundreds of thousands of tourists and party goers from all over the world – they all head to the French capital to celebrate the New Year. Hordes of people have fun in Paris making the rounds of bars, pubs and clubs while romantic New Year’s Eve boat cruises along the River Seine are offered to those who wish for a little privacy for their celebration. No matter who you spend the New Year´s Eve with, delicious local treats and gallons of Champagne are in every nook and cranny.
London, United Kingdom
London is another European metropolis famous for organizing tremendous New Year celebrations. Every year large crowds of people gather on the banks of the Thames River to begin the countdown and watch the elaborate light show and firework display. Celebrating the New Year in London got so popular that tickets are required to many areas so check ahead. But don’t party too hard and long – the New Year Day parade with marching bands, colorful floats and costumed dancers is also worth seeing.
Dubbed the Magic City, Miami can also boast hundreds of thousands both of local as well as international party goers to invade the city center for the New Year celebration. Bayfront Park, home to The Big Orange, is the spot where the crowds gather to watch the fireworks over Biscayne Bay and start the midnight countdown as a 35-foot neon orange descends from the top of the InterContinental Miami. Family activities, entertainment and food are to be found everywhere around.
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland offers a somewhat different way of celebrating New Year. Traditionally, the city streets are quiet until around 11:30 P.M. when the annual New Year´s Eve TV show ends. After that, the city gets crowded with tens of thousands of people who each unleash their own fireworks, creating an amazing spectacle, sometimes even highlighted with one of the most beautiful natural display – the northern lights. After midnight, the nightclubs and pubs remain open and the celebrations go on well into the morning.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There are few events that attract as many visitors to Rio de Janeiro as the New Year celebration. In South America, New Year’s Eve comes during the summer when children have summer holiday which is one of the reasons why over 2 million people gather for the celebration in the city. At the New Year´ Eve, Copacabana, the renowned beach, is the place to be. The fireworks, usually ranked as one of the largest and most beautiful in the world, are launched from numerous barges floating in the ocean.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is famous for its lively and loud New Year celebrations that take place all over the city center but if you prefer something more discreet, you can choose from a variety of undisturbed, cozy restaurants or take a romantic river cruise. At midnight, the city´ skyline is lit up with numerous firework shows launched by both – professionals as well as local residents and tourists. The best spots to watch the midnight spectacle are the main squares – the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square.
If you liked the idea of spending the New Year´s Eve in mountains but for some reason cannot visit Switzerland, similar great options are to be found in the Austrian Alps and Kitzbuhel is definitely one the best ones. The celebrations begin directly on the slopes, as crowds gather at the famous Hahnenkamm downhill run for a torch light show put on by local ski schools, followed by a pyrotechnic fireworks display. The crowds then usually head to the center for evening festivities in local riotous bars with live music.
As one of the major Canadian metropolis, Toronto offers a New Year celebration similar to those of the largest American cities but with a little more breathing room. For this New Year Eve, the city plans to hold over a 100 night club events and shows. Toronto’s equivalent to the Times Square Ball drop happens at CityTv’s celebration in Nathan Square, where celebrities gather for the countdown to midnight and huge fireworks.
There are many reasons why people travel to Sydney to celebrate the New Year and one of them is the unique location of the city, allowing you to be among the very first people to welcome the New Year. As Sydney became a New Year hot spot for tourists from all over the world, many events surround the celebrations in the city. You can expect to see indigenous smoking ceremonies, aerial flyovers complete with messages in the sky, various light shows, spectacular fireworks and even a lighted boat parade.
If you don’t want to rush away from the old year and – by contrast – want to make it last as long as possible, there is no better place for you than Hawaii. Spending the New Year´s Eve in warm weather with astonishing tropical sceneries all around you is something that more and more people have been looking for. Watching the marvelous Honolulu´s beaches lit up with fireworks is a truly amazing experience but the city also holds its own quirky traditions like the Kahala Hotel´s Pineapple Drop.
Rio de Janeiro is not the only cool place to welcome to New Year in South America. If you want to see the largest firework display on the continent, you have to visit Valparaiso, a historical city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Chile. The firework, launched from 17 different spots, takes place in the Valparaiso Harbor. After midnight, many of more than a million people that come to the city every year join in a huge dance party that lasts until the sun comes up.
When it comes to celebrating the New Year, the Scottish are the experts. In Edinburgh, welcoming the New Year is a part of the Hogmanay celebrations that last four days and includes a torchlight parade through the city, numerous concerts and live music performances, massive street parties etc. “Auld Lang Syne”, a folk song written by the Scottish national poet Robert Burns, is sung in the streets of Edinburgh on the New Year´s Eve, highlighting the unique and fascinating atmosphere. Seeing the city castle lit up by fireworks is another unforgettable experience.
St. Petersburg, Russia
New Year is a big thing for the Russians so it is no surprise that their way of celebration of this event is among the largest and most pompous in the world. In St. Petersburg, the Hermitage Museum is the place to be on the New Year´s Eve. There, crowds of people get together to watch the fireworks above the partially frozen Neva River. Traditionally, people also release paper lantern up in the sky to have their wishes granted in the New Year.
Cape Town, South Africa
If the Russian winter is too cold for you to handle, you can try the other climatic extreme – spending the New Year´s Eve in South Africa. Dubbed the Mother City, Cape Town gives you the unique opportunity to welcome the New Year on top of one of the most amazing natural wonders in the world, the Table Mountain, from where the view on the city lit up with fireworks is truly breathtaking. Followed by the New Year Day carnival, the celebrations include gigantic parties, concerts, feasts and much more.
Similarly to other Asian metropolis, Hong Kong’s New Year’s Eve celebration features one of the world’s best pyrotechnic shows, an astonishing combination of light and sound that includes an eight-minute fireworks show over the Victoria Harbour in the city center. Whether you watch it from a boat in the harbor, along the shoreline, or up high in a skyscraper, it’s definitely worth planning early to make sure you have a good spot. Hong Kong also created its own replica of the Times Square midnight ball drop.
Amsterdam is famous for its busy and colorful night life and the same goes for the New Year celebrations. Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world come to the Netherlands capital to spend the last day of the year. Brimming with pubs, bars, dance clubs as well as renowned cafes and romantic restaurants, the city has something for everybody. Before midnight, all the people gather in the city center to watch the dazzling firework display with VOC Ship The Amsterdam and the Scheepvaartmuseum as a backdrop.
Auckland, New Zealand
If you don’t want be stressed out in the hustle and bustle of Sydney but still want to be among the very first people in the world to ring in the New Year, then Auckland might be the right choice for you. The city guarantees memorable experiences, including grand firework displays, friendly locals, delicious food and unforgettable surroundings. The focal point of the firework is the Sky Tower, a dominant of the city skyline and the tallest free standing structure in the southern hemisphere.
Seoul, South Korea
Situated on the River Han, Seoul is another Asian metropolis that can boast brilliant New Year celebrations and light shows. The main pyrotechnic display takes place right above the river with people from all over the world watching it from nearby islands. The celebration events are centered in the city´s Times Square which is filled with a diverse assortment of entertainment venues, performances, restaurants, shops, accommodations and the world’s biggest movie screen.
Located southeast off the United States, Bahamas hosts mostly American visitors but recently, tourists from other parts of the world have been coming to this tropical paradise to ring in the New Year. On New Year´s Eve, most of the people love to spend their daytime relaxing and having fun on the beaches. The real party begins with the arrival of the evening, when all night clubs, discos, pubs, and hotels become packed with crowds of people. The celebrations continue the other day with costume parades, street performances, concerts, fireworks etc.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nicknamed the Sin City, Las Vegas is among the very top U.S. destinations to spend the New Year´s Eve. In the evening, the main boulevard is shut down for the traffic, turning itself into a gigantic dance floor for hundreds of thousands of people who come to the city every year. At midnight, local casinos launch a choreographed fireworks display that might outshine even those of New York or Miami. When strolling through the Las Vegas clubs and bars, you can easily stumble upon some world-known celebrities that often celebrate the New Year in the city.
We promised there will be options for everybody in the list and to keep our word, we also have to find something for those who prefer absolute isolation and loneliness on the last day of the year. If you don’t want to be disturbed by any noise, music, people, fireworks and all the New Year´s Eve stuff, we recommend this astounding house sitting in the middle of a cliff in Vestmannaeyjar archipelago in southern Iceland.