As we approach New Year’s Eve, is it a case of ‘another year, another trip to that same overpriced bar’?
Or are you going to a party to sit round the kitchen table until it’s time to leave? Well, if you can even get a cab, that is!
Get away from the drudgery of doing the same thing every year and explore somewhere a little further afield with our top 10 New Year’s Eve spots!
1) Wear White in Rio
Rio de Janeiro is our first pick for a number of reasons.
First off, it’s summer over in South America, so instead of being stood in the cold at midnight, you’ll can enjoy the nighttime heat on the beach with about 2 million other people!
Copacabana Beach is a 2.5-mile stretch of beach where all the action happens, from live entertainment to an impressive fireworks display.
However, you’ll have to get there early in the evening to bag a good spot, and be sure to stay away from the Copacabana Palace hotel as this is the busiest spot on the beach. Instead, head towards lifeguard stations 5 and 6 at the end of the beach as it’ll be much quieter.
It’s believed that wearing all white brings good luck for the year ahead, so feel free to jump aboard with the tradition, but be aware your sparkly new white outfit is likely to get covered in booze.
2) Have a 3-Day Party in Cape Town
Next we travel east to South Africa, and the beautiful city of Cape Town.
For New Year’s Eve, you simply can’t go anywhere but the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. The gig and midnight fireworks display are world famous, and there are many fantastic places to eat, dance and generally be merry.
However, in Cape Town, the fun doesn’t stop on New Year’s Eve. Celebrations continue onto 2nd January, thousands of partygoers head to the beach, and thousands more head downtown to watch 10,000 performers dance and perform in the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival.
3) Enjoy Edinburgh’s Insane Street Party
A bit closer to home, the Scots are also known for having a three-day party known as Hogmanay.
It all starts on 30th December with the Torchlight Procession, where thousands of torch carriers light up the streets from the Royal Mile to Calton Hill where that night’s spectacular fireworks display occurs.
Then on New Year’s Eve itself you’ll have the most fun on Princes Street, where the party spills in and out of the pubs, with 80,000 people coming together for the largest street party in Scotland, all accompanied by big names at the Concert in the Gardens, which is this year headlined by Franz Ferdinand.
Then on New Year’s Day, why not take a dip in the freezing cold River Forth as part of the Loony Dook?
4) Marvel at the Hong Kong Skyline
Hong Kong has a skyline that’s to die for, but as you might expect, places can get awfully busy if you don’t know where to go.
The main fireworks display is at Victoria Harbour, where it’s combined with music, and lasershow and choreographed lights to create a unique audiovisual treat.
However, if you head to the waterfront, you’ll never get a good view.
Instead, head to a local hotel with a good rooftop bar, such as the Hotel Icon, or try Star Ferry Pier (Tsim Sha Tsui), where you’ll be treated to a little extra from live circus performers and dancers.
Our top tip is to book in at the Wooloomooloo Prime steakhouse in Tsim Sha Tsui, as this place on the 21st floor gives you a fantastic view of the show from any position in the restaurant, with a delicious menu to boot!
5) Travel Down Berlin’s Party Mile
There are a variety of bar and clubs you could frequent in Berlin, often known as the city where the party bever dies.
You could do much worse than heading down the Party Mile, a 2km stretch of bars, tents, food stalls and even music stages.
There’ll be no shortage of live entertainment and DJs, and maybe even a few names you know!
The whole thing is free entry, including the fireworks display, but expect to pay good money for your evening’s drinks.
If you want to get away from the crowd’s a little bit, the House of Weekend has a rooftop garden that will give you a stunning view of the Party Mile without being in the thick of it.
6) Be the First to Ring in New Year in Sydney
Sydney, Australia is considered by many as one of the top destinations for New Year’s Eve, and for good reason – plenty of them, actually.
Due to its location, it is the first major world city to greet the New Year, and the locals relish this status.
Sydney’s celebration is among the biggest light and fireworks displays in the world (Dubai is the biggest), with one starting at 9pm and another show when the clock strikes midnight.
More than a million people from all corners of Earth come to enjoy the waterfront festivities every year, which also include aerial acrobatics and indigenous smoking ceremonies, as well as a lighted boat parade.
7) Join the Most Famous Party in New York
New York is famous worldwide for its New Year’s Eve festivities.
You’ll get to enjoy world-class performers, spectacular neon lights, and the famous ball drop in Times Square.
You can also expect over a million joyful people enjoying the celebration in the streets, a pyrotechnic show, as well as a Wishing Wall where people write down their New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re looking for an even more unique experience, consider hiring a boat ride on New York Harbour when the festivities start, so you can enjoy a jaw-dropping view of the fireworks.
8) Head to Asia’s Party Capital Bangkok
You might not immediately consider Bangkok as being one of the world’s best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve but this city is the party capital of Asia.
The locals and expats in Bangkok love any opportunity to party, and they sure make the most of it on New Year’s Eve.
The centrepiece of their celebration is a massive gathering in CentralWorld Square, where hundreds of thousands of people come together to enjoy the live concerts and light shows, as well as the fantastic fireworks display that illuminates the riverside at midnight.
Similar to New York’s Times Square, CentralWorld also has a spectacular ball drop when the clock strikes 12, but here you’ll enjoy an infinitely better climate and the most magnificent mix of cultures.
9) Ring in the New Year with Big Ben
Over 250,000 people crowd onto the banks of the River Thames as Big Ben rings in the New Year — the signal to kick off a magnificent light and fireworks show that centres on the South Bank lighting up iconic landmarks such as the London Eye.
There are numerous after parties that last until morning, and, on New Year’s Day, there’s a fantastically festive parade that comes complete with costumed dancers, marching bands, clowns, acrobats, colourful floats, horses, and much more!
10) Burn Away Your Troubles in Reykjavik
Having only four hours of daylight in late December, the people in Reykjavik know how to party like no one else, making the northernmost capital on Earth also one of the world’s best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Their celebration starts with community bonfires, which are meant to burn away last year’s troubles. People gather around the fire to sing and dance creating a festive atmosphere, while fireworks illuminate the whole city.
The official fireworks display starts at midnight, of course, and is not to be missed!