With the year racing to a close, now’s the perfect time to start planning your New Year’s Eve celebration. With parties taking place across the world, it would be a shame to miss out on the annual festivities. Here, we’ve taken a look at what’s on offer at some of our best destinations to make your choice of where to go a little easier.
Count down the seconds to New Year in Times Square! The global leader in New Year’s Eve celebrations, New York’s Times Square has it all. With star-studded performances throughout the night, balloons and pyrotechnic displays, you’re bound to have a party to remember. Typically, around a million people flock to the square each year to celebrate, so there’s no doubt you’ll find yourself in good company. The famous Ball Drop at the end of the evening marks the beginning of the New Year as it is lowered down a pole to count down the seconds.
Be dazzled by the fireworks displays from the banks of the Thames! London has a terrific nightlife scene and is a great place to party any time of year, but at New Year’s Eve, the festivities reach a whole new level. The firework displays have grown to such a spectacle in recent years that the best viewing spots are now ticketed to offset the costs and raise money for charity. One entry pass will set you back just £10, and you can pre-order your tickets from the Mayor of London’s website.
Why not head over to Madrid‘s Puerto del Sol Square? Usher in the New Year the Spanish way of eating 12 grapes, one by one, at the striking of the clock! The tradition comes with the belief that if you manage to eat all the grapes on time, then you will enjoy a year of good luck and prosperity.
What better place to enjoy a New Year’s Eve firework display than the City of Light? With parties taking place across the city, there’s so much on offer for late night revellers. Head down to the Champs-Élysées to party with a view of the Eiffel Tower as it bursts into sparkling light on the stroke of midnight.
The Oosterdok is the traditional location of Amsterdam’s official New Year’s Eve festivities, where you can enjoy the stunning fireworks display against the beautiful backdrop of the Scheepvaartmuseum and the VOC ship. There’s also plenty of great dining opportunities on offer, with many restaurants putting together special menus for the celebrations. Be sure to devour some traditional New Year’s treats such as appelflappen or oliebollen at the Oosterdok, while revelling in the Dutch festivities.
The biggest annual party in Rome takes place at Piazza del Popolo on New Year’s Eve, with firework displays and popular local bands playing to huge crowds. You’ll also find huge crowds gathered elsewhere in the city. You can enjoy a free concert at Circus Maximus, a dance party around the Colosseum, or a free classical concert from 11pm at the Quirinale. Why not enjoy a traditional New Year’s feast, or cenone, at a restaurant before heading out to party? Other New Year traditions include eating lentils after the stroke of midnight for prosperity and wearing red underwear to ward off sickness.
Barcelona’s official celebration is the spectacular New Year Chimes event, which takes place at the Font Màgica de Montjuïc. Fireworks are accompanied by the fountain’s impressive coloured light show, which starts at 11.30pm and lasts around 45 minutes. Across the city, you’ll find countless other parties to choose from. One of the biggest and best is at the Poble Espanyol Spanish Village, where you can make merry alongside replicas of some of Spain’s most iconic buildings.
Head over to Copenhagen to celebrate New Year like a Dane! The world-famous Tivoli Gardens are open for the festivities, with rides staying open until around 10pm. If you stick around for a couple of hours, you can enjoy one of the best firework displays in the city. Alternatively, you can try out a special New Year’s menu at a restaurant before heading to the Town Hall Square or Queen Louise’s Bridge – the traditional gathering spots for the celebrations.
If you fancy a trip a little further afield, then Bangkok may be the place for you. With distinctive countdown events in many of the districts, there’s a huge selection of things to do and see. With everything from rooftop dinners offering spectacular views and dance clubs showcasing world famous DJs, to the family-friendly Asiatique night market and gargantuan firework displays, there’s something for everyone.
Join thousands of festive revellers along banks of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour to cheer the countdown to the New Year. The jolly street parties culminate in a world-class 10-minute pyromusical display that illuminates the waterfront. Another option is to enjoy the party and the displays with unparalleled views from one of the rooftop bars, such as Ozone, which is located on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton.