Whether you’ll be dancing the night away, trying to catch the fireworks or gathering at home with your nearest and dearest, New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to reflect on the year and celebrate with friends and family. We’ve rounded up some of the best parties and events around the world to give you some inspiration for your NYE plans, looking at how party-goers across the globe ring in the new year in style.
Sydney, AustraliaImage Source: Sydney New Year’s Eve
Sydney hosts a huge New Year’s celebration, with Sydney Harbour becoming the stage for a fantastic show that offers something for everyone. As it’s mid-summer, you don’t need to worry about wrapping up warm, and the show kicks off at 6pm with a spectacular aerial show and water display. More than a million people watch each year along the harbour, and you can also watch by boat or from a waterside restaurant. At 9pm the fireworks start, and at midnight, the world-renowned Harbour Light Parade is truly a stunning sight to behold.
Another awe-inspiring harbour to visit on NYE is Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, where a fantastic pyro-musical display lights up the sky at the stroke of midnight. Lasers, fireworks and expertly choreographed LEDs light up this beautiful landscape, which can be watched from a traditional junk on the water or from one of the city’s skyscrapers for an eagle eye’s view.
Barcelona is buzzing on New Year’s Eve as revellers gather at Plaça d’Espanya for a fireworks display and street party that goes on long into the night. As a city of night owls, celebrations typically don’t start here until 11pm, with locals choosing to enjoy meals with their families before the party starts later on. One of the stranger Spanish traditions for New Year’s Eve is to eat a grape in time with each chime at midnight (for good luck, of course).
The New Year’s firework display along the Victoria Embankment and South Bank areas of the Thames is world-renowned, and is definitely worth seeing at least once. You’ll need a ticket for the best viewing spots along the waterfront, but you can also watch them from Vauxhall or Lambeth Bridge for free. Once you’ve seen this iconic city landscape light up, revelries will continue throughout the night at venues across the city.
New Year’s Eve coincides with peak tourism season in Goa, so a lot of people from around the world gather here to celebrate. The result is an iconic beach party, with golden sands packed with travellers and make-shift shacks and bars serving drinks. Not much can beat dancing on the beach on New Year’s Eve, with the sand between your toes and fairy lights strung across the palm trees. World-class DJs play to huge crowds and fireworks light up the skies all along the coast.
Amsterdam, NetherlandsImage Source: Amsterdam New Year’s Eve
The lively city of Amsterdam is home to a big street party each year on 31st December, with huge crowds and bars, clubs and restaurants filled with people. You can enjoy a great evening here soaking up the atmosphere on the streets, and stop to enjoy a huge fireworks display at midnight which reflects beautifully on the water of the Amstel river.
Edinburgh, ScotlandImage Source: Edinburgh Hogmanay
The Scottish capital’s famous Hogmanay extravaganza begins on 30th December and continues until 1st January, so if you’re looking for extended celebrations, this is the place to be. There’s a vast array of things to see and do, including a Viking-style torchlight procession along the Royal Mile, the annual Concert in the Gardens, a fantastic midnight fireworks display over Edinburgh castle, a street party with acts across the city and the traditional ‘Loony Dook’ on New Year’s Day, in which crowds of people get into fancy dress and take a dip in the freezing cold Firth of Forth.
The day of 31st December sees the annual running of Berliner Silversterlauf, in which contestants dress up and jog up to 15k to collect their jelly doughnut at the finish line. The evening is more of a classic celebration, with a fantastic firework display at the Brandenburg gate and huge parties going on throughout the night. Berlin’s party scene is world-famous, so on NYE it hosts one of Europe’s largest outdoor celebrations. As the city lifts its ban on illicit pyrotechnics, amateur firework displays burst out across the city and the streets are a cacophony of colour, sound and energy. Inside clubs across the city, nonstop, open-for-days parties are waiting.
You can’t go much bigger or world-famous than NYE in NYC. Ringing in the new year in the city that never sleeps is an experience like no other, with global acts taking to the stage to entertain the crowds and the famous New Year’s Eve Ball descending on Time’s Square. It’ll be cold, but if you wrap up warm and wait it out in the heart of the city, you’ll enjoy a magical evening with a million other people.
For something a bit different, why not join 2 million others on the famous Copacabana Beach to enjoy the fireworks? It’s hot in Rio at this time of year, so partygoers favour the beach over sweaty indoor clubs, gathering on the 2.5 mile long sandy stretch for samba, champagne and fireworks. With concerts going on at Copacabana Palace, huge crowds of people all wearing white to bring in luck for the New Year and a fantastic party atmosphere, Rio De Janeiro has it all.