New Year’s Eve is a time most of us look forward to putting the old year behind us and starting with a fresh slate in the new year. Many people believe that how we ring in the new year also has bearing on what the year will bring us. For travelers, what could be better than celebrating with friends new and old in a far-flung locale? These 10 world cities know how to ring in the new year. Let’s take a look at our choice of New Year’s Destinations Around The World.
1.New York City [New York]
It may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that New Year’s Eve in New York City has an atmosphere that few other cities can rival. Most famous, of course, is the annual gathering of a million people in Times Square to see famous musicians and the ball drop. A 12-foot-wide crystal ball weighing nearly 12,000 pounds descends atop One Times Square.
For a slightly less chaotic experience, book a reservation at one of the bars or restaurants overlooking Times Square. And for something completely different, consider a nighttime boat ride on New York Harbor. It offers the best views of the midnight fireworks display on Liberty Island.
2. Paris [France]
It should be little wonder that one of Europe’s most iconic cities makes the list as one of the best places to spend New Year’s. The Eiffel Tower is lit up to mark the occasion and crowds of revelers swarm the Champs-Elysees, which provides fantastic views of the tower. The area turns into a massive street party, with both champagne bottles and fireworks popping everywhere.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try Montmarte for excellent views of fireworks without the crowd.
If you want something romantic, book a dinner cruise along the Seine and listen to a live orchestra as you sail through the City of Lights. Restaurants and nightclubs also hold soirees so you have no shortage of options for how to ring in the new year. On New Year’s Day, the Grande Parade de Paris caps off the celebrations.
3. Sydney [Australia]
Many events surround this celebration. You can expect to see indigenous smoking ceremonies, aerial flyovers complete with messages in the sky, mini-light shows, a truly huge and spectacular fireworks show and a lighted boat parade. An ultimate dance party is held at Bondi Beach and there are even special events to help the children celebrate at Taronga Zoo.
4. Las Vegas [Nevada]
Always the party town, over 300,000 visitors show up here to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 6 p.m., the famous four-mile-long Strip is shut to vehicle traffic and opened up to those who wish to celebrate by walking around, drinking, mingling and watching various fireworks being shot off from surrounding rooftops. Most of the hotels, clubs and bars will be offering special shows and activities.
5. Rio de Janeiro [Brazil]
Rio’s Copacabana Beach plays host each New Year’s Eve to Reveillon, the world’s largest and wildest New Year’s celebration. More than 2 million cariocas (Rio natives) congregate on the beach wearing stark white attire and filling a 2 1/2-mile stretch of sand. Blending African rituals and local culture, Brazilians pay homage to Iemanja, the goddess of the sea.
In addition to the customary white garb, red (symbolizing romance), green (for good health), and yellow and gold (for prosperity) accessories highlight the landscape. Just be sure to leave your black attire at home: Brazilian lore considers it an evil omen.
6. Hong Kong [China]
One of the world’s most dramatic skylines lights up every year with a display of fireworks that grows more impressive every year. Concluding with a dazzling finale: a pyrotechnic dragon that dances across the sky. The events kick off in Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall, where a replica ball drop takes place in homage to New York City’s famous festivities.
Victoria harbour is the center of the evening activity, though, so savvy locals party on boats, rooftop terraces, or at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Tsa Shui for the best views of the dazzling light-show.
7. Dubai [United Arab Emirates]
For its 2014 celebration, Dubai made it into the Guinness Book of Records for having the largest fireworks display ever with 479,651 shells fired in six minutes over 400 parts of the Dubai shoreline.
New Year’s Eve here is sure to be an experience of a lifetime. With performances by world superstars also bringing an unsurpassed dimension to massive parties that are known to stand out from those held around the globe in terms of grandeur and celebration.
For the very best spot here, enjoy an iconic view of the brilliant display from the Burj Al Arab luxury hotel.
8. St. Petersburg [Russia]
The magnificent boulevards and bridges of St. Petersburg are at their most stunning when covered in white and illuminated by holiday lights. The opulent Hermitage Museum is especially beautiful on New Year’s Eve. When it’s surrounded by crowds waiting for the fireworks show over Neva River. During the countdown, revelers sip champagne and send hundreds of paper lanterns up into the night sky.
Russians celebrate Catholic Christmas on December 25 and Orthodox Christmas on January 7, which means a visit during this time is right in the middle of the holiday season. The city’s main drag, Nevsky Prospect, is decorated in dazzling lights and images of Father Frost are everywhere.
9. Amsterdam [Netherland]
Impromptu street parties are easy to find in the Dutch capital on New Year’s Eve. There are organized parties in just about every large public space, including Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, Museumplein and Dam Square.
There are fireworks displays in multiple locations, best viewed from the city’s bridges; after those are over, revelers head out to the clubs for drinks, live music, and dancing until the sun comes up.
10. Walt Disney World
Toast to a sparkling new year with decadent dining, festive libations, a dazzling dance party and mesmerizing fireworks.
Magic Kingdom is the most popular park and will be the most crowded during New Year’s Eve at Disney World. If this is your park of choice, we recommend you arrive early and stay all day since it is likely to reach capacity for some part of the day.
A close runner-up to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be very crowded for celebrating New Year’s Eve at Disney World. While it will be busy, there are lots of entertainment options. To ensure a seat in the Fantasmic! Theater, you’ll need to get in line at least one and a half hours early. The park is also scheduled to have BOTH of its nighttime spectaculars running.
The Frog Family is all about discovering new experiences and cultures. For that reason, Epcot is our choice for New Year’s Eve at Disney World. World Showcase goes all out in giving guests a New Year’s Eve at Disney World with an international flair. You can catch a smoke-billowing dragon in China, dance to Euro-pop and a laser show in Italy, enjoy Latin tunes from a band and DJ at the America Gardens Stage. As for crowds, Epcot is the largest of all Disney parks and can hold the most people.