If you’re anything like me, each year you’ll leave New Year’s Eve plans until the last minute. You’re left flapping around trying to find a good plan or venue to see in the new year. Tickets to clubs, bars, or restaurants are expensive, and taxis back even more so. So, where are the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Check out my guide for the coolest destinations to see in the new year.
Of course, the place to be on New Year’s Eve is Sydney. With the Aussie summer in full force come December 31st, it couldn’t get more glamorous. As the first major city to welcome in the New Year at midnight, it’s well ahead of the rest of the world. Join other revellers at Sydney Harbour for an incredible fireworks display, with the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge forming the perfect backdrop. Turn it up a notch if you’re feeling bouji by purchasing tickets for a boat on the harbour, or one of the islands.
Dubai loves to do everything bigger and better than the rest of the world, and New Year’s Eve is no different. With the world’s tallest building at their helm, the Burj Khalifa goes even more outlandish on New Year’s Eve. Each December 31st, crowds gather at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, ready to watch the incredible fireworks display in awe. With an excellent reputation for food, bars, and nightclubs, you’re spoilt for choice after midnight strikes. As one of the best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve, indulge in a fancy restaurant beforehand and finish off at one of the luxurious clubs.
If you’re looking to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style, look no further than London. The main event is heading to Embankment for the incredible New Year’s Eve fireworks from the London Eye. Alternatively, head a little further out to areas like beautiful Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath’s Parliament Hill for a view from afar. For something fancier, take a Thames cruise in a Clipper for the fireworks. If you’re after the ultimate party, hit up the London Skybar on the 28th and 29th floor of the Millbank Tower. They’re hosting a 12 hour party full of champagne, DJs, food, and views.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For a warmer celebration, Rio de Janeiro is one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Join around two million revellers on glamorous Copacabana Beach for live music and incredible fireworks. With the Brazilian summer in full flow for New Year’s Eve, there’s everything from samba to champagne. The iconic Copacabana Palace has its very own stage for live music and dancing. Make sure you wear white, as the Brazilians say it brings luck for the New Year ahead.
New York City, New York
In the USA, where else to spend New Year’s Eve than in Manhattan’s Times Square? With its glittering ball drop traditions dating back to 1907, it’s one not to be missed. Each December 31st, revellers are treated to celebrity concerts as entertainment while they wait. There are also pyrotechnic shows, and a Wishing Wall where you can write down your New Year’s resolutions. Rooftop parties are also in abundance, as views of the legendary fireworks in high demand. For something a little extra special, hire a boat ride on New York Harbour for a unique view of the fireworks.
Undoubtedly one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve is Edinburgh. The Scottish capital celebrates the festivities not for one or two, but three days. Hogmanay kicks off on December 30th with a torchlit parade along the iconic Royal Mile. For New Year’s Eve itself, there’s a Concert in the Gardens, where revellers can catch spectacular fireworks at midnight over Edinburgh Castle. The merriment continues into New Year’s Day, where there’s live music. Don’t miss the ‘Loony Dook’ either – where some brave souls take a fancy dress dip in the freezing Firth of Forth.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in Africa, and it’s also one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Its 31st December fireworks display is truly spectacular, and there are so many places to party. Another city in the height of summer at New Year’s Eve, head to the V&A Waterfront to celebrate in style. Here, there’s everything from great food to live music, dancing, and fireworks. With Table Mountain and the Atlantic shore forming the backdrop, what more could you want? Afterwards, locals hit up the glitzy beach clubs.
Berlin’s legendary New Year’s Eve street party takes place in the two kilometre stretch between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. There’s a great atmosphere, with DJ sets and light shows to entertain attendees. One of Europe’s largest celebrations, it’s free of charge and continues through the night until 3am. House of Weekend’s rooftop offers amazing views across the city and its fireworks as an alternative option. Afterwards, hit up one of Berlin’s many crazy bars and techno clubs.
After more of a party? Check out my guide to the best party cites in the world.
That’s my pick of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.