It’s easy to mock New Year’s Eve: it’s expensive, crowded and there is a lot of pressure to have a good time. Whilst you may want to just stay at home, why not make New Year really memorable and spend it celebrating at one of the best New Year’s Eve parties around the world.
New Year, obviously, only happens once a year and comes straight after the Christmas festivities, so it is worth putting some effort in to make it memorable. But, where is the best place for you to spend New Year’s Eve?
From sunny beaches to bustling street parties, there is definitely no shortage of places to ring in the new year. With spectacular firework displays, night-long dance parties and one-of-a-kind traditions, you’re sure to find all of these and much more in the New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world.
Hong Kong, China
One of the most spectacular skylines in the world, Hong Kong is a city which lights up every new year with a truly impressive firework display. The celebrations begin in Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall, where there is a replica ball drop which pays homage to New York’s New Year celebrations.
The festivities then move on to Victoria Harbour, which is at the centre of the evening show. Many locals get their viewing points from rooftop terraces or party on boats into the small hours. At midnight, the skyline illuminates with fireworks, lasers and LEDs and a dazzling finale.
If you want a good space to watch the show, then Wooloomooloo Prime Steakhouse in Tsim Sha Tsui is the place to be on New Year’s Eve. This restaurant is not only one of the best in Hong Kong, but it offers 270-degree, 21st-floor views across the harbour which can be enjoyed from the balcony viewing point or in the dining room thanks to the floor length windows.
The capital city of Germany has a big reputation for being a huge party-city all year round, so New Year’s Eve here is sure to be huge. The epicentre of the celebrations can be found in “Party Mile” which is a 2 km stretch of food stalls, bars, laser shows, party tents and so much more, stretching between Victory Column and Brandenburg Gate. This is one of Europe’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration parties, with around a million people visiting.
After the midnight firework show, much of the crowd head out to the city’s dancefloors, often staying out til morning light. If you’re not a big party-goer, then take part in the Berlin Silvesterlauf, which is a “pancake race” style event in which the runners flip flapjacks as they race towards the finishing line.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
On New Year’s Eve, it is practically summer in Brazil which is why so many visitors would rather take to celebrating on the beach rather than in a bar or club. Around 2 million people gather across the 2.5 mile long Copacabana beach for fireworks and champagne on the night. It’s a tradition to wear white in Rio on New Year’s Eve, as it is said to bring in luck for the next year.
If you want to get a good spot, start looking for your space from around 10 pm. It’s often busiest in front of the landmark hotel, Copacabana Palace, which is the location for the main-stage concerts. The lifeguard stations on the final stretch of the beach are not quite as crowded, with those in the know suggesting setting up a spot between posts 5 and 6.
With so many bustling cities across the UK hosting their own version of New Year’s Eve events, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. In London, people like to ring in the New Year to the chimes of Big Ben, with more than 250,000 people crowding along the banks of the River Thames to watch the breathtaking firework display from the London Eye. There are plenty of after parties to attend and on New Year’s Day, the streets of London welcome a parade which features marching bands, floats, costumed dancers and even a procession of the Queen’s Horses.
Whilst Manchester is known for their huge Christmas celebrations, the festivities don’t end there. The fun carries on going right up to New Year’s Eve. There are plenty of bars across the city hosting their own parties and celebrations, so if you’re looking for what’s on in Manchester, then you’re not going to be short of options. There are fireworks in Albert Square at midnight, which finish off one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe in spectacular style, with plenty of bars and restaurants around the area if you want to make the most of the evening.
Head North and across the border into Edinburgh, where annual New Year festivities last for three days. Hogmanay events start on the 30th December which a torch procession across the city which ends with a firework finale. New Year’s Eve is all about big street parties and concerts, including a huge open-air Kelidh (a traditional Celtic party), which end with 4.5 tons of fireworks exploding over the city.
The article has been contributed by our guest writer, Natalie.