10 of the best places to see in the New Year!
22 Dec 2016
As 2016 rolls into 2017, where will you be when it’s time to see in the New Year? If you’re planning on going abroad or travelling to a city near you, there are some spectacular events this December 31st. Here are ten of the best places in the world to enjoy the end of year celebrations!
1. London, England
See in the New Year at the UK capital – be wowed by a stunning fireworks display from the river on London’s South Bank. The display is ushered in by the Mayor of London and UNICEF. Combined with Big Ben chiming at midnight, the lightshow on the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, over 250,000 people will get to enjoy this iconic midnight celebration.
The parties continue into New Year’s Day, with a 8,500-strong parade featuring floats, performers, dances and marching bands, all followed by a procession of the Queen’s horses!
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh's “Hogmanay” (last day of the year) is one of the biggest New Year celebrations in the world. Festivities begin early – 30th December – with the spectacular Torchlight Procession. Thousands of torch carriers create a river of fire from the historic Royal Mile to the son et lumiére and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.
The festivities continue for three days, and Princes Street in the heart of Edinburgh is the place to be; set beneath the incredible backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, over 80,000 people party their way into the New Year, all partaking in singing “Auld Lang Syne!”
3. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is famous across the world for its New Year’s Eve Grand Ball, held at Hofburg Palace. The city’s stunning Christmas markets transform into New Year fairs and hundreds of thousands of people flood to the city centre to the “Silvesterpfad” (New Year’s Path).
The festivities start in the afternoon on 31st December, and continue well past midnight. Fireworks help see in the New Year, and on New Year’s Day, the Vienna Philharmonic’s Orchestra put on a sensational concert, available to view on a giant screen outside City Hall.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland
New Year’s Eve in the northern-most capital of the world, Reykjavik, is an extraordinary experience. Unlike most New Year’s celebrations, there are no official firework displays in the city! 200,000 locals set off their own fireworks at 23:35, and there are plenty of community bonfires. People sing, dance, and play music long into the night, with most venues open until considerably past dawn.
On New Year’s Day, eating and relaxing in local hot springs are the preferred activities to recover from the inevitable hangovers!
5. New York, USA
The atmosphere in New York City as the New Year turns in is hard to match. Over one million people gather in the famous Times Square to watch musicians and the crystal ball descend on One Times Square. It’s busy and bustling, and the energy is electric!
For something a bit quieter, you can take a boat ride on New York Harbour, which offers unparalleled views of the fireworks display at midnight from Liberty Island.
6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A city known for its outstanding Carnivals, Rio de Janeiro’s New Year’s Eve celebration does not disappoint! The two mile long Copacabana Beach hosts the world’s largest New Year’s Eve party, with over two million people crowding onto the sand!
Known as Réveillon, this stunning Brazilian celebration blends religious and spiritual beliefs, with locals dressing in white to bring good luck in the coming year. The celebration also includes large oceanfront stages for live musical and dance performances, and a beautiful midnight fireworks display.
7. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is one of the most iconic cities in the world to see in the New Year! Not only it is the first major city to step into the New Year, but it also provides the world’s largest fireworks display – with one at 9pm and a second at midnight!
Over one million people enjoy the festivities against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, and enjoy an air and water show, an Aboriginal smoking ceremony, and the sensational Harbour of Light Parade.
8. Hong Kong
The festivities in Hong Kong begin with a homage to New York; there is a replica ball drop in Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall before the evening activities commence in Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong offers crowds an outstanding fireworks display, with an incredible finale; a pyrotechnic dragon which flies across the sky!
The “Avenue of Stars” in Tsim Tsa Shui offers the best views of the incredible lightshow, and there are plenty of party boats and rooftop terraces from which to enjoy the festivities.
9. Dubai, UAE
A city of skyscrapers, Dubai is nothing short of spectacular. What better way to see in the New Year fireworks than from a stunning rooftop lounge? There are dozens to choose from, from fine dining to incredible cocktails – if you’re in the city; this is the way to see in the New Year!
Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, puts on a fantastic show at midnight. Many hotels have a great light show to offer, from Atlantis, The Palm, to Jumeirah Beach Hotel, wherever you’re staying in the city, you’ll be able to see the incredible fireworks light up the sky.
10. Tokyo, Japan
The Hanayashiki amusement park in Asakusa holds an annual New Year event – with rides lit up at night, stand-up comedians hosting the countdown, and with a raffle offering you the chance to return to the park free of charge for the next year, New Year in Tokyo can be a wonderful, playful occasion!
The “countdown at Hanayashiki” has been enjoyed for over 160 years, and locals enjoy the festivities before making their way to the Sensoji Temple for the prayer ceremonies undertaken at the beginning of the year. The temple also holds a “Hagoita-Ichi Fair” which sells “hagoita” good luck charms!