19 Best Amazing New Year's Eve Holiday: Places to Go for New Year’s Celebrations
1. New York City
It’d be a shame not to start off our list with the venerated Time Square of New York City, as it is widely revered to be the best new year party avenue in the world.
Times Square’s Ball Drop is almost as iconic as it gets. It’s the most prominent part of New Year’s Eve celebration in New York, and perhaps that applies to America as well. Every year, starting from exactly 11:59:00 pm local time, everyone would be holding their breath, eyes fixated on the roof of One Times Square where the ball slowly descends from the top of a specifically designed flagpole. The moment the ball drops to the bottom of the pole signifies the start of the new year (hence the name).
This ritual of a celebration has been organized since 1907 by the owner of The New York Times newspaper, Adolph Ochs. Over the years it has slowly but surely grown its reputation, morphing into what it is now, something almost synonymous with New Year Eve. It’s genuinely hard to top a new year celebration as iconic as this.
2. London, UK
Not the most surprising recommendation, but that doesn’t mean London will in any way disappoint you.
If you want the best view of the fireworks, you'll need to purchase a ticket for the official viewing area along the River Thames between Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges. Tickets go on sale in early December and sell out quickly, so be sure to book early.
There are many other choices in London. The Dorchester restaurant is a smart choice, as the Head chef Tom Booton will be offering a seven-course traditional yet innovative British Chef. The annual matinee performance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Albert Hall is another great choice. The finest performers of Birmingham's Royal Ballet will surely amaze you.
Besides that, any of London’s numerous Michelin-starred restaurants or rooftop bars are perfect to enjoy the city’s night sky. The city is for sure one of the best places to celebrate New Year.
>> Read more: Best Things to do on New Year's Eve in London
3. Paris, France
A kiss right on the cusp of new year with the lightshow of Eiffel Tower in the background might just be the new definition of the word “romantic”. Paris is just a perfect romantic New Year celebration choice.
People love the view of the Eiffel Tower, and local entrepreneurs know that full well, and they have come up with countless ways in which tourists and residents alike can enjoy such a view. A French-inspired dinner with white champagne on the Bateaux Mouches as it’s calmly cruising through the serene river of Seine is an ethereal experience.
If you prefer to stay indoors, then the immaculate Palais Garnier is for you. It’s even more glamorously decorated towards the end of the year when classic ballet performances occur. Classical concerts at the drop-dead gorgeous La Sainte Chapelle are as bewitching. It’s here where the royal chapel with works of Bach, Henry Purcell, and Corelli are performed religiously every year.
4. Sydney, Australia
Photo by Tom Hill on Unsplash
The reputation of Sydney fireworks is akin to the Ball Drop of London. Both are iconic, and both capture the attention of the world.
As one of the first countries to experience New Year’s Eve, Australia begrudgingly shoulders the responsibility of properly welcoming it under the watchful eyes of the entire world. And they excel every time. The focal point of the celebration is the two pyrotechnics displays over the Harbour Bridge.
However, it’s the synchronised soundtrack played along with the fireworks that catapults the display into a world-class event, drawing an audience of 1.5 million people on the spot and a reported 1.1 billion people watching remotely.
5. Tokyo, Japan
Japan celebrates the new year much more traditionally, but this tourist hotspot has been adapting to the norm of the world.
Generally, Japanese people keep it old-school when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve. Before Bonenkai (year forgetting parties) are traditionally held during the last couple of days of the year to, as the name suggests, “forget” about all the sadness and sorrow of the old year with a view to preparing for a better year to come. During the first days of new year, one of most traditional new year celebrations is hatsumode, when people flock to shrines and temples to pray and buy omamori (good luck charms).
If you like it more internationally, countdown events are held everywhere in Japan. Many people would prefer the celebration near the Tokyo Tower, others prefer theme parks like Tokyo Disney Resort. However, most will definitely appreciate the raucous atmosphere of the raves in Shibuya Crossing or Shinjuku district.
6. Berlin, German
Few places in the world come close to the infamous sybaritic lifestyle of the Germans, but once in a while, indulging in this debauchery of a celebration isn’t so bad. In fact, it might just be a memory of a lifetime. YOLO, right?
Clubs here don't close during new year's vacation. Come on, that’s the best thing about Germany. Revel in the endless partying in nightclubs. But don’t lose yourself, retain some sanity to enjoy New Year’s Eve here to its fullest. Make your way to Brandenburg Gate to witness explosive fireworks shows as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve. Oh, don’t even think you can escape the raucous parties there! Brandenburg Gate during the new year season is known as the world’s largest open-air party. Stretching over 2 kilometres, this party known as the Silvester party boasts multiple stages and tons of light and laser shows.
7. Cape Town, South Africa
Outlandish as it seems, Cape Town knows how to put on a feverish atmosphere for the biggest celebration of the year.
Capetonians look forward to the New Year’s Eve celebration held at the Grand Pavilion. It’ll be a luxurious Great Gatsby-inspired party replete with food, drinks, and DJ music. Or head over to the Grand Africa Café to enjoy rambunctious party spirit all night long by the beach. A more luxurious choice would be to book a spot at a Lobby Lounge and Mint Restaurant.
8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The capital of Brazil might be filled with Samba dances all year round, but their New Year’s Eve is special. Come here to immerse in a festive atmosphere here with the classic samba dance.
During the new year season, all eyes in Rio are on Copacabana beach. Here, there will be a unique fireworks display. The fireworks were actually launched from multiple spots along the beach so that they would explode right over the watching audience. This has changed. Now, the fireworks are launched from positions offshore to ensure the safety of the onlookers. There are a few ways to enjoy the magnificence of a sight. You can of course arrive and witness it live on the spot, revelling in the party in the process. If you like to have some privacy to enjoy the New Year celebration, the best bet would be to book an ocean view room on Copacabana, or Ipanema.
9. New Orleans, USA
New Orleans is a great place to spend your New Year’s Eve holidays. If people come to New York for the Ball Drop, then New Orleans has its own Fleur-de-lis drop. They have a little bit of everything for everyone, whether it is parting, dining, or celebrating.
The biggest celebration of the year will be held at the Jackson Square, where flocks of partygoers will unite to create possibly the lividest atmosphere ever. This is where the fleur-de-lis drop takes place. Atop the Jax Brewery, a big, stylised-flower structure will slowly drop down 25-foot with fireworks coming off on both sides as the countdown starts.
If you’re down for some live music, New Orleans has plenty. Famous large venues like Tipitina’s, The Joy Theatre, and the House of Blues will be throwing parties all night with DJ and drinks. Bars and clubs will also be hosting amazing New Year’s Eve events and entertaining for any guests.
10. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is such a charming city. Although not frequently associated with New Year’s Eve celebrations, the city is still a great place to start the year.
People don’t often associate Lisbon with romance, but perhaps that’s what makes this place romantic. It’s less crowded, making for a quiet, charming, and cosy place for couples to enjoy a meal together. Traditionally, Lisbonians prefer traditional tavern while listening to Fado (a traditional Portuguese music genre).
Of course, people like to dance and party as well. Hundreds of people will gather at the Commerce Square to enjoy the countdown to new year or to watch the fireworks. Watching the fireworks display on the Tagus River is actually a popular way in which people celebrate the new year. Besides the Commerce Square, there are countless rooftop bars around the city, the one atop Verride Palácio Santa Catarina for instance, for you to enjoy the wonderful sight.
11. Barcelona, Spain
Much like other Christian countries, New Year celebration is Spain's biggest party of the year, and the city of Barcelona knows how to throw a party in style.
In Spanish, New Year’s Eve is referred to as “Nochevieja” (literally “old night”). Every year, on December the 31st, people practice long-standing customs that are believed to wave bad lucks away and good lucks on.
Of course, there will be a party thrown downtown. The Magic Fountain of Montjuic, a combination of light shows, music shows, and several choreographed shows, will be kicking off the party night. Then comes the main event, which usually starts not long before midnight. There will be art performances and fireworks displays. The after party will start when the main event ends, in bars or pubs.
12. Venice, Italy
Venice is particularly crowded during the new year season. It’s understandable: the capital of Italy is gorgeous, enchanting, romantic, and its “Dolce Vita” (the Italian way of life) is peculiar yet fascinating. Who doesn’t want to experience New Year’s Eve here?
For the past couple of years, there has been a new romantic New Year’s Eve event called “Love” taking place at the famous St. Mark’s Square, where on-site couples exchange a kiss at the turn of the new year with fireworks while the night sky is filled with fireworks. Various other spots, like the La Riva degli Schiavoni and the L’Arsenale are also popular fireworks viewing spots. What could even be more romantic than kissing underneath the fireworks? If you’re just not into the kind of public romance. There are abundant lagoon cruises with mini-courses available, just make sure to book in advance.
And of course, what kind of New Year celebration would it be without the partying? Head over to Hotel NH Laguna Palace to enjoy the biggest party in town, which is just 10 minutes away from the city centre.
13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is one the largest tourist hotspots in Europe, hence why it’s crowded all year, including New Year’s Eve. As such, in order to please all of those wide-eyed visitors, Amsterdam has to celebrate with a bang, right?
One of the biggest and most exciting new year celebration events in the whole Netherlands is the Awakenings Bash, a techno heaven for ravers, at Gashouder and Ratatouille’s mini winter festival. Here, over 100 acts spreading over eight stages will be performed, pumping adrenaline level to the maximum.
There are also many other ways to celebrate the new year. Watching fireworks from rooftops is popular. Wandering around the streets of Amsterdam is already more than enough, as the streets are adorned to the teeth and glowing with vibrant lights. Speaking of lights, spare some time to stop over at Amsterdam Light Festival, which lasts until late January, to enjoy some of the most fascinating light shows.
14. Copenhagen, Denmark
Each country has its own way to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and few do it quite like Denmark.
New Year’s Eve is when the Danish turn boisterous. People love making noises, literally. Bullhorns, champagne popping, firecrackers, fireworks going off everywhere, making for one of the noisiest, but also most ecstatic cities. It was once believed by farmers that noise would scare off evil spirits, which was believed to be extremely active during the new year season. Although that belief no longer really holds, making noises around this time has become a tradition, now taking on a new symbolic meaning of expressing joy and excitement for a new, more prosperous year.
You may also find it strange to see people celebrating new year by literally jumping into it, as they jump down from chairs or tables. It’s done as Danes would like to avoid stepping into the space between old and new year, hence why they try to get their feet off the ground. Yes, it’s religious, but that’s what makes Amsterdam all the more fun.
15. Reykjavík, Iceland
Iceland has become a more prominent New Year’s Eve celebration destination over the last decade thanks to its unique and thrilling celebration routine.
Celebration in Iceland isn’t atypical to that elsewhere. There will be fireworks, shindigs, gatherings everywhere. It’s how they do it that makes the place worth spending time in.
Locals will gather with their families and friends for dinner around 6 pm. Then, at around 8 pm, people will swarm to the most adjacent bonfire to shoot some fireworks. After that, however, people would go back home to watch comedy TV shows at half past ten. As the clock is slowly creeping to the midnight mark, people smother the streets once more to witness fireworks, and to shoot more fireworks themselves. It’s party time following that. Bars, pubs, or private parties are open past dawn for people to drink and party all they want.
The reason why there are so many fireworks is actually very noble. People spend a fortune on them, not because of any age-old traditions or beliefs, but many to support the Icelandic Search and Rescue Teams, a volunteer organization that works in dangerous environments to provide help for people in need, who live on the income earned from selling fireworks and Christmas merchandise.
16. Las Vegas, USA
It’s Vegas, baby! You know it’s party time when you’re in Vegas. As a city where every night is a party, it still manages to put on an even more lavish party on New Year’s Eve.
Las Vegas actually throws one of the grandest parties in the entire USA, second only to that in New York, that’s probably only because of the iconic Ball Drop. It’s expected that 400,000 people will show up on Las Vegas Boulevard to rave while the luminosity of Vegas reaches deep into the sky in the form of fireworks. This near six-mile boulevard will morph into one of the largest open-air parties anywhere in the world. Besides that, countless venues around Vegas will be hosting music shows featuring big-time names like Usher or Maroon 5 for multiple nights.
17. Miami, USA
Miami is one of the most well-known beach cities in the world. Therefore, expect all sorts of exciting New Year celebration activities on the shore!
This year’s mega event is going to be the music-fest at Fontainebleau Miami Beach headlined by three-time Grammy nominee Doja Cat and record-winning producer Alesso. There will also be the Dreamland New Year’s celebration, a three-day LGBTQ+ event featuring parties at night and wellness sessions during the day. There are other unique ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve only found in Miami. One of those is The Orange Bowl Football Game. Football fans will flock to Hard Rock Stadium with likeminded people to watch the game and then celebrate the new year afterwards. Another way to celebrate new year is to kayak or to paddleboard out into the Key Biscayne while fireworks are going off.
18. Dubai, UAE
Emerging as the world’s fancy new tourist wonderlands, UAE is celebrating New Year’s Eve more and more luxuriously year after year.
Atlantis, the palm is going to town with its New Year's Eve Gala Dinner, inviting Robbie Williams to perform at a lavish buffet party featuring the fanciest gastronomy.
Besides that, there is a whole host of fine-dining restaurants for those who love the fanciness of the city but loathe the revelling on the streets to retreat into.
19. Hawaii, USA
Hawaii Island in and of itself is already one of the most unique places on earth, and its way of celebrating New Year’s Eve is just as special.
Hawaii consists of four main islands, those being Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island (the Big Island). Each has its own main attractions.
On Oahu, it’ll be the Waikiki Beach Fireworks, which can be viewed from numerous beaches around the island. On Maui, it will be the cruises along the beaches to watch the night sky and fireworks. The New Year celebration on the Big Island and on Kauai are similar to that on Oahu, where there will be firework displays at Hilo Bay and Poipu Beach respectively.
Top New Year 2024 Events Around the World
New Year Eve Fireworks in New York
Undoubtedly the largest event anywhere in the States, the Fireworks on New Year’s Eve is a must-see. The prequel to the main draw will be the famous Ball Drop atop the Times Square, whereas the sequel will be the overnight parties right in all of the bars and pubs nearby. Even if you don’t like to stand in the sheer blistering cold of the winter, in the middle of an ocean of people, tune in to the various livestream to witness this sight. There’s a reason why this event reportedly attracts up to a billion viewers every year.
Musical Nights in Venice
Venice is tightly associated with theatre performances. This year, music lovers will relish Venice’s finest traditional New Year’s Eve concert which will be held at “Teatro La Fenice”. Traditionally, it is made up of two parts, the first part is an orchestra, and the latter is an opera.
This year, the concert will be conducted by one of the most decorated conductors there is, Fabio Luisi. There will also be a concert of an acclaimed ensemble of Venice’s finest musicians held at the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro.
In addition to the main concert, there are also a number of other events that take place during the New Year's Eve festivities in Venice. These include gondola rides, fireworks displays, and parties in the squares. It's a truly unforgettable experience.
Masquerade in Paris
Masquerade’s spirit doesn’t seem to align with that of New Year’s Eve at first glance, but they share one thing in common at its core, that is the rambunctious festive spirit.
Tons of nightclubs will organise Masquerade in the city, but you have to check out the one held at The Régine Louvre Hotel. It’s glamorous and enthralling, and it has the top attractions right around the corner, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, the Trocadéro, the Invalides, the Orsay Museum, etc.
Dinner Cruise at The New York City Harbour
Celebrating New Year’s Eve on a fancy boat cruise sounds like a great idea. Here, as you sail along the shores of New York City harbour, you get to gaze out to the bewitching nightfall as it’s being illuminated by one of the most grandiose fireworks shows on the planet. Besides that, the cruise offers views to some of New York’s iconic destinations namely the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge, and Statue of Liberty. Of course, whenever you feel like it, you can head over to halls dedicated to dancing and DJs rocking the night away.
Celebrating at The Burj Khalifa
Spending a night at the world’s highest building might be an expensive choice, but believe us, if you can afford it, it will be the most memorable experience you’ll ever have. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the magnificent fireworks show from the best viewing spot possible anywhere on the planet. Adding on to that, the panoramic view of the Dubai Fountain will be icing on the cake.
Things to Do on New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve sounds like a perfect time to start a new habit to usher in the new year, or to clean up for one last time to wash away all the bad luck. Below are a few things you should definitely consider doing on New Year’s Eve.
Sort through your wardrobe
You wouldn’t want to start the first day of the year looking at a mess of a wardrobe, would you?
The end of the year is a perfect time to organise your wardrobe, as during the year, you may have accumulated tons of new clothes, while possibly abandoning a bunch. Arranging all of your clothes will save you from the hassle of finding the best clothes for the festive days of new year and boosting your calm and confidence ahead of a challenging year to come.
Make a new year resolution list
People always seek to make positive changes to improve their life. One of the best ways to do so is to plan ahead, and to follow through with such plans.
New Year’s Eve is the perfect occasion for such things, as well as reflecting on the past year, while keeping our heads high waiting for challenges to come. If you have had plans this year that you couldn’t quite make it, or if you’ve got something in sight that you’ve always wanted to achieve, now’s the time to plan ahead. Sit down, take a deep breath, and write out everything you wanted neatly in a notebook, then expound upon them. Voila, you got yourself a perfect new year resolution list!
Call your loved ones
Expressing love isn’t exclusive to special occasions, and it shouldn’t be! However, it can be the perfect excuse for tough people to loosen up a bit, or for fall-outs to be reconciled.
Even if you aren’t in those kinds of circumstances, it’d be so heartwarming for those whom you love to get a reminder of just how much you love them, and how much effort you’re willing to put in to let them know it. Therefore, make a list of all of the people whom you love dearly, call them and tell them the best wishes for the new year on New Year’s Eve.