Countries around the world will be ringing in the new year soon with fireworks, festivals, friends, parties, and, of course, kisses. It is an exciting time and a holiday that knows no nationality. Everyone loves ringing in the new year! It’s a fun night that kicks out the old and brings in the new. For those still looking for some place to go and want the best of the best, here are the top ten places to go in the world on New Year’s Eve:
New York City
Times Square has been a focal point of New Year’s activity for more than a hundred years. Millions come into the square to watch the famed ball drop. Millions more around the world hold their breath watching Times Square on New Years Eve as the New Year’s Eve Ball drops. If you want to be at Times Square, dress warm and arrive early – people start gathering around 3pm on New Year’s Eve. The festivities continue after midnight with remarkable fireworks around the city and lots of late night drinking at the bars and clubs.
Check out my travel guide to New York City for more information on how to get there, save money, and enjoy the city.
Sydney is the first major city in the world to greet a new year (sorry New Zealand, you aren’t as big!), and they know how to do it right with the largest firework celebrations in the world. The fireworks end at 12:15, but the celebrations last until dawn. You can witness absolutely stunning fireworks over the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge from many vantage points around the harbor, but the best views come from a boat in the harbor. This is one of the biggest fireworks celebrations in the world. Be sure to book your trip early as accommodation fills up fast!
Check out my travel guide to Sydney for more information on how to get there, save money, and enjoy the city.
London has astonishing fireworks launched into the sky from the London Eye each year. The fireworks can be seen from rooftops and balconies all across London, but best views are from Westminster Bridge and the north embankment of the River Thames, opposite the London Eye. The show starts after Big Ben chimes at midnight and lasts for 15 minutes. Endless numbers of London pubs, clubs, and restaurants stay open well into New Year’s night, as would be expected since the British love any excuse to have a pint.
Check out my travel guide to London for more information on what to see and do in London.
Paris has great festivities – from high class dining to clubbing to fantastic fireworks to Champagne on the Champs-Elysees. Around 9pm, people gather at the famous street and start to count down to the New Year. Around midnight here, you can watch the Eiffel Tower’s light show. Montmartre is another fantastic place to ring in the New Year, as its elevated and has spectacular views of the entire Paris skyline. While Paris doesn’t typically have a fireworks show, there are still great parties, and many people light off fireworks from the Champs-Elysees.
Check out my travel guide to Paris for more information on spending New Year’s in Paris.
Ko Phangan, Thailand
Over 20,000 young people cram on Haat Rin beach in Thailand to celebrate the New Year. People from around the world dance, paint themselves up, and drink buckets of alcohol until the sun rises. It may not be as large as New York or Sydney or Tokyo, but for those who want to spend their new year on the beach, this place in Thailand is the only destination that should be on your mind. If you’re a traveler, want a party, and plan to be in Southeast Asia, this is one of the best and most fun places to be in the region. I’ve spent three New Year’s here and loved every one!
What better way to ring in the New Year than to be the first person to do it? This spot in the Pacific is officially the first place in the world to see the New Year. It’s like going into the future! Tourism here has picked up in recent years as the locals have tried to capitalize on that interesting fact but the island remains mostly an untouched backwater. There’s not much to do here and accommodation isn’t by any means luxurious but what better way to spend the new year than on an island in the South Pacific? Be sure to plan this well in advance as few flights go here and limited accommodation makes its difficult to find spots.
If you want to start celebrating early, head to Tokyo, where the celebration starts on the 29th of December. Here, you also have a chance to prolong your New Years celebration up to January 4th. Even though most of the major tourist sites are closed, the streets of Tokyo, as well as all restaurants and clubs, are packed with people. The city is jumping with loads of fireworks, dancing, and singing. On January 1st, the Imperial Palace also opens to the public.
Check out my travel guide to Tokyo for more information on what to do, see, and ways to save money.
The city that parties every night throughout the year certainly knows how to throw a New Year’s Eve bash to remember. There are so many clubs, hotels, bars, and casinos to choose from in Las Vegas, Nevada, that it’s almost impossible to not celebrate in style. Outdoors, “The Strip” is closed to traffic so everyone can watch the grand fireworks displays high above the city’s neon lights. If you can wade through the crowds, make your way downtown to the Fremont Street Experience and join the massive block party, complete with confetti, a massive wine toast, concerts by big-name rockers, and a five-block-long illuminated canopy 90 feet overhead, on which state-of-the-art sound and light shows are shown.
Check out my travel guide to Las Vegas for more information on enjoying life in Sin City without spending a sinful amount of money.
San Juan Del Sur
The current hotspot of Central America, SJDS as it is called is a surfing and beach mecca for travelers of all ages and styles. During New Years, this city gets packed with tourists and local Nicaraguans who come from the surround area to enjoy time on the beach, with their families, and party hard (Nicas sure know how to have fun!). This is definitely a place to go if you’re looking to get bit crazy and then nurse your hangover on the beach the next day. There’s usually a giant beach party where locals and tourists mingle, dance, drink, and countdown a new year together!
Boston’s First Night celebrations are very famous for its fireworks and ice sculptures. The fireworks take place around midnight over the river, but festivities begin days before. First Night Boston is the country’s oldest and largest New Year’s arts celebration. From 1 p.m. to midnight, First Night presents a day-long festival of art, music, dance, ice sculpture, and fireworks. First Night is an alcohol-free event that welcomes children, families, and revelers of all ages.
Check out my travel guide to Boston for more information on taking a holiday there.
Anywhere your friends are
No matter where you are in the world, this holiday is about celebrating with friends and family. Wherever they are will be the best place to celebrate. Who wants to spend such a great day with strangers? Paris, London, New York, a jungle, the beach, your home – it doesn’t matter. As long as you are with those you like and love, it will be the best New Year’s party in the world.
For other top travel lists and destination ideas, check out these posts: