Are you someone who thinks New Year’s Eve is overrated? When you have certain expectations of what the night should be, it’s easy to be disappointed. It’s also hard to have a night to remember when you seem to do the same thing year after year. Ringing in the new year abroad, however, is a way to inject a whole new level of excitement into the occasion. Over the years, I’ve partied in Berlin, Goa and Saigon and those memories will stay with me forever. If you’re dreaming of getting away, here’s our pick of the best cities for NYE across every continent in the world.
The cities that do NYE the best on every continent:
Singapore is known for putting on one of the most extravagant New Year’s Eve shows in Asia. Ring in the new year at Marina Bay, home to a stunning, eight-minute fireworks display, not to mention lazer shows and dance parties. Make a wish for the new year too and submit it online. Then, between 26 - 31st December, the wishes are digitally projected all over the facade of the Fullerton Hotel Singapore, flooding the city with happy thoughts for the new year.
Cape Town is one of the most naturally beautiful cities in Africa, making it a stunning place to welcome in a new year. Before the party kicks off, take the cable car up to Table Mountain for a picnic dinner and to soak up the last sunset of the year. Then, head back down to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront for a lively concert and fireworks display. Come New Year’s Day, don’t think the party is over. Watch as the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival parades downtown with over 10,000 artists performing in the streets.
As the party capital of Europe, Berlin’s ‘Silvester’ celebrations are next-level. The celebrations begin in the daytime with the annual Pfannkuchenlauf or ‘pancake race’. Yes, you read that correctly. Contestants in costumes run a 10km race, flipping pancakes all the way.
Unlike many other cities around the world, don’t expect to have to wait until 9pm or midnight for the fireworks. It’s legal to buy and launch German-made fireworks yourself in Berlin! A few days prior to the 31st, fireworks stores pop up all over the city. Come evening, the entire city erupts into one big party. More than a million people head down to the Brandenburg Gate for one of the world’s biggest parties, while others take to the streets or rooftops to create their very own firework show! I’ve celebrated three New Year’s Eves in Berlin and let me tell you, no other city ever comes close to comparing.
Image by Juska Wendland via Flickr
New York City
The New Year’s Eve party in Times Square is the most famous in the entire world and being there at the stroke of midnight is a once in a lifetime experience. Join a million other revellers and watch as the glittering ball drops 70 ft at the stroke of midnight. Over a tonne of confetti is released from the rooftops, floating down to those below. This party is so famous that it’s broadcast to over a billion people worldwide. If you can brave the cold (and the crowds!), it’s an unforgettable experience.
Image by Peter Stevens via Flickr
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Unlike in many other cities around the world, you won’t find many people partying in dance clubs on New Year’s Eve in Rio. Here, the party is on the beach instead! Iconic Copacabana is the centre of the action with live music playing all night long. It’s customary to wear white on New Year’s Eve here, which is thought to bring luck. As the clock ticks over into the new year, people run into the water to throw flowers and other offerings into the waves. If your offering is carried out to see, it’s believed to be a good omen for the year ahead.
Sydney is a very special place to be on New Year’s Eve for two reasons. Firstly, because of its location, it’s one of the first major cities to welcome the new year. Secondly, the city’s dazzling fireworks display is regularly named the best in the world. This year, a special rainbow waterfall of fireworks will cascade over the Sydney Harbour Bridge in celebration of the recent ‘Yes’ Marriage Equality vote in Australia. Charter a boat and head out on the harbour or book a table at one of the many waterfront restaurants. Bondi Beach is another famous party location, with many welcoming the new year with a skinny dip in the surf!
Image by Bodie Strain via Flickr
Looking for more posts on travelling during the holidays? Check these out next:
- Why Everyone Should Celebrate Christmas in Australia at Least Once
- 10 of the Most Magical Christmas Destinations in Europe
- Travelling to Europe in Winter? Here’s 10 Things You Should Know
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Which of these cities would you love to ring the New Year in? Tell us in the comments below!