The best cities to see in the New Year

Sydney Harbour NYE Fireworks Panorama

IF you want to celebrate the New Year in a big, big way, head to one of these destinations, famed for their celebrations, fireworks and world-class attractions. Choose wisely, as it will be the place where you will also be making your resolutions!

Sydney

AUSTRALIA

For those of you eager to see the best and biggest display of fireworks in the world, then Sydney Harbour is your spot. The Aussies know how to do it right.

Given its location, Sydney is the first major city to welcome in the New Year, and draws a crowd of more than one million people who quickly fill up the streets to watch the spectacular light show, with fireworks hopping off Sydney Harbour Bridge and the water. It is a spectacular event with boats galore out on the water and crowds holding picnics waiting for the 12 minutes of intense fireworks at midnight.

If you’re not into mingling around packed crowds, make sure to reserve tickets for a boat cruise around the harbour and enjoy the festivities from a unique vantage point, the water.

There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area hosting their own parties; check those out if you aren’t interested in battling the one million plus people that will be in and around the Harbour area.

Mexico City

MEXICO

While many of us in the northern hemisphere will be wrapping up warm and wearing double layers to keep out the cool winter chill on New Year’s Eve, the Mexicans will be lining the streets in their shorts and sundresses.

Zocalo, the city’s main square and route to the Palacio de Bellas Artes will be closed down as will part of the Paseo de la Reforma Boulevard. Here in the afternoon, music starts to blare the air as local bands set up their podiums in the area. Featuring dancers, spectacular festive floats and people from every walk of life, the atmosphere is carnival like and continues on into the early hours of the morning. Zocolo square, the Times Square of Mexico plays host to some of the country’s biggest names in latin music. At the stroke of midnight, make sure to have a bunch of grapes on hand. The Twelve Grapes is a Spanish tradition that consists of eating a grape with each bell strike at midnight on December 31st. It is thought that it wards off witches and general evil for the upcoming year.

Dubai

UAE

Synonymous with excess and over the top extravagance, Dubai goes all out for its New Year’s Eve festivities.

Most of the action will be centred around the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. From 5pm in the afternoon, thousands will flock to the area in order to obtain the best vantage point for the pyrotechnic magic that will take place at midnight. If crowds are not your thing, then head down to the beachside bash at the Atlantis, the Palm between 3pm and 3am, which will be hosting its annual New Year’s festivities. Here, not only will you enjoy an exceptional dining experience but you will also witness a magical sunset. Other fantastic places to bring in the New Year is Meydan and The Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE.

Las Vegas

USA

While it might seem like an obvious choice, the truth is, no place on this earth throws a party like Las Vegas. Laser shows, live bands (with some of the world’s biggest names) and pyrotechnic displays take over the streets. Las Vegas’s prestigious hotels and casinos offer their own private parties that often include discos, concerts and amazing firework displays.

The midnight fireworks display is an intense spectacle launching from seven different hotels and casinos down the four mile strip including the MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian and the Stratosphere.

But, the biggest party in Vegas on New Year’s Eve is on the streets itself. The strip is closed to traffic, and revellers are encouraged to take to the streets to celebrate.

New York

USA

The Big Apple is the hub of New Year’s celebrations in the U.S. with over one million visitors piling into the free event in Times Square to witness the giant ball drop; where 1 ton of confetti is dropped over the city as soon as the clock strikes midnight. It has been a tradition dating back to 1906. Isn’t that incredible? Not only that, several other events like performances by some of the best artists in the world are there to catch your eye. Can you really find a better way of celebrating the New Year than this?

Get there early to find a good spot and don’t expect to be able to leave until the party is over.

Paris

FRANCE

Spending New Year’s in Paris is worth it just to see the Eiffel Tower glitter and sparkle. Pack a bottle of Champagne and some plastic Champagne flutes to join the crowds along the Champs Elysees from where you can get a good view of the Eiffel Tower as it explodes in light at the stroke of midnight while other fireworks explode around the city.

For a similar experience that is not quite as hardcore, consider heading to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza in Montmarte for a more laid back street party.  If it’s a clear night, you’ll have no problem seeing the Paris skyline and midnight fireworks.

Berlin

GERMANY

Credited as the largest open-air party in the world, this German city will host more than one million people on its streets, offering great music, stage shows, and spectacular fireworks. The ‘Party Mile’ stretches from the Brandenburg Gate all the way to Victory Column. Food and drink stalls line the route to ensure you don’t go thirsty or hungry.

Don’t expect the fireworks to wait until midnight in Berlin with locals often choosing to offer their own warm-up displays from balconies or in local parks, where people will sit around small fires or BBQs.

Edinburgh

SCOTLAND

New Year’s Eve is all about ringing in the new without forgetting the old. Nowhere is this philosophy more apparent than in Edinburgh, where the annual Hogmanay festival combines the holiday’s usual revelry with time-honoured tradition.

Edinburgh has perhaps one of the most unique and longstanding New Year’s traditions, even having their own name for their celebration, Hogmanay. A fireworks display and torchlight procession through Edinburgh are just a few of the traditions still celebrated today.

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