The 15 Best Places to Go for New Year
Here are our recommendations on Best Places to Go for New Year in style, from the largest beach parties to the most breathtaking pyrotechnics on the globe.
The 15 Best Places to Go for New Year
It’s simple to mock New Year’s Eve: it’s overpriced, overrun with people, and puts too much pressure on you to have the best night of your life. Okay, you could stay in at home, or you could go to one of the top New Year’s Eve parties in the globe to make it truly unforgettable. There are so many incredible ways to ring in the new year, from fireworks blazing across stunning landscapes to wild street celebrations in hip capitals and all-night raves on blissed-out beaches. See our guide on how to spend New Year’s Eve in London if you plan to be closer to home.
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1. Paris, France
The main event: There is no better idea for Best Places to Go for New Year if you have someone special to kiss at midnight with than the city of love. The Champs-Élysées fireworks show is clearly the center of the activity, but if you want to take in the ambiance without being crammed in next to each other, the street parties in hilltop Sacré-Coeur provide a picturesque—and slightly calmer—view of the festivities. Avoid disappointment and completely miss the Eiffel Tower; there are no fireworks here other than on Bastille Day, and there will be a little bit less of a crowd any night of the year.
Local view: Le réveillon, a New Year’s Eve dinner customarily celebrated by the French, is typically an opulent spread of gourmet foods like oysters, caviar, escargot, and foie gras. Although you might need to start saving in January to be able to afford it, the Michelin-starred restaurant La Tour d’Argent offers a set menu with great cuisine (and much more exceptional views over the city). The best restaurant in Paris to see the fireworks across the Seine is Wanderlust’s chic club’s rooftop patio for a more affordable choice.
Where to stay: Start the year off right in the opulent Le Meurice, a refuge for artists that has hosted both Dali and Picasso and has interior design by Philippe Starck. Alternatively, get a lovely Airbnb in Paris and explore the greatest sidewalk cafés for your morning cappuccino. See our selection of the top Paris hotels for more choices.
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
The main event: The famous three-day Hogmanay festival in the Scottish capital typically begins on December 30 with a torchlight Viking parade along the Royal Mile. The main event itself boasts a Scottish music lineup that includes Dougie McLean, Eddi Reader, and Breabach and wraps up in time for concertgoers to see unmatched views of the midnight fireworks above Edinburgh Castle. On New Year’s Day, festivities continue with the customary “Loony Dook” fancy-dress dip in the frigid Firth of Forth.
The local view: One very reasonable explanation for why you probably won’t see many Edinburgh natives at the official Hogmanay celebrations is that they are aware of the need to be weather-skeptical. Instead, you’ll find the Scots enjoying themselves indoors before snagging a free seat to see the castle’s midnight fireworks display. smart, alternative The Bailie Bar in Stockbridge’s basement is a terrific place to enjoy a few drinks and some live folk music before heading to Inverleith Park for the greatest free view of the city’s countdown fireworks.
Where to stay: The most luxurious hotel in Edinburgh and the best location to unwind after Hogmanay festivities is The Balmoral. In a New Town Georgian townhouse, Eden Locke delivers a perfect storm of millennial pink and Elephant’s Breath, brass accents, wicker chairs, and tropical plants for something more reasonably priced but no less down to earth. Take over this opulent yet cozy loft Airbnb with a fantastic position that overlooks the Royal Mile for a private stay. It’s a Places to Go for New Year
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
The main event: The midnight fireworks display in Iceland’s capital is a community event; everyone buys their own from ICE-SAR, the country’s search and rescue organization, in what is by far its most successful fundraising initiative of the year. As a result, when the clock strikes twelve, the sky erupts with countless miniature fireworks displays that illuminate the whole city. It’s a breathtaking sight, but keep an ear out for the sounds as well: to ring in the New Year, fire engines and ships docked in the harbor all blow their horns and ring their bells.
The local view: Long before the countdown, celebrations get started with communal bonfires that start around town at 4 o’clock (a bonus of those long winter nights). At midnight, a sizable crowd of residents congregates at the iconic Hallgrmskirkja Church to view the fireworks display from its vantage point atop Skólavöruholt hill.
Where to stay: With its rooftop terrace for seeing the northern lights, a comfortable speakeasy-style bar, and rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the fjord and Mt. Esja or downtown Reykjavik, Reykjavik Edition is now one of the smartest hotels in Iceland.
4. New York City, USA
The main event: Even though it isn’t the most novel suggestion, Times Square epitomizes New Year’s Eve in New York City. If you’re going to see it, do it from the R Lounge in the Renaissance Hotel since the bar’s windows provide unmatched views of the renowned One Times Square building, where the ball will fall.
The local view: Like a true New Yorker, substitute Brooklyn for Manhattan. Prospect Park hosts free fireworks displays and live music, and Brooklyn Bridge is a fantastic location to view the sky-side display.
Where to stay: The standard for Midtown accommodations has been upped by Aman New York, one of the city’s newest hotels and the brand’s first urban venture in the United States. All of the rooms are spacious, soundproofed, and equipped with functioning fireplaces. Pendry Manhattan West, another Midtown hotel, adopts a laid-back West Coast attitude and features 30 expansive suites with floor-to-ceiling windows.
5. Lisbon, Portugal
The main event: The main square, Praça do Comércio, which is situated directly on the Tagus River, is the scene of the huge blowout in Europe’s newest city of cool. The celebration extends late, as is customary in Portugal; live music begins around 10 p.m. and continues until the midnight fireworks. It doesn’t feel like a tourist trap because there are lots of locals drinking and dancing in the center of the commotion with their own fizz and plastic cups.
The local view: Thanks to the liberal open-container restrictions, Lisbon’s downtown Bairro Alto neighborhood is a party hotspot all year long, and NYE is no exception. After the Praça do Comércio fireworks, revelers frequently come here to party. The neighborhood is also home to some exceptional fado houses, where you may enjoy meals while listening to traditional Portuguese music. O Faia and Cafe Luso are popular places, however they are not inexpensive.
Where to stay: With a bewildering array of pubs and entertainment around, The Lumiares is well situated in Bairro Alto. The hotel is designed to seem like a home away from home once the festivities are finished; the self-contained units have full kitchens. The nearby Bairro Alto Hotel is well-known for its lively ambiance and superior soundproofing. For more information, see our list of the top Lisbon hotels.
6. Koh Phangan, Thailand
The main event: All year long, there are celebrations on the beaches of Thailand’s islands, but the wildest of them all is New Year’s Eve on Koh Phangan, the location of the most well-known full-moon celebration in the entire world. The chaos, which revolves around Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin, begins as soon as it becomes dark and lasts well past sunrise and into the next afternoon.
The local view: Don’t even consider joining the party until right before midnight. Instead, head over to the sunset side of the island for some cocktails and a supper of freshly caught and cooked fish. Return to Sunset Beach later for a dawn swim.
Where to stay: The chic Anantara resort is located midway up Koh Phangan’s east coast, some distance from the party. However, the trip home on a boat over turquoise waters as the sun rises might just be the best taxi ride you’ve ever experienced.
7. Venice, Italy
The main event: It is indeed touristy. It is indeed crowded. However, there is something magical about Venice on New Year’s Eve, making the wait well worth it for the anticipation of the countdown to midnight in the crowded St. Marco’s Square. If you want a good place to watch the fireworks, arrive at least a couple hours in advance as there will be a line.
The local view: Take the Vaporetto (water bus) over to Giudecca and observe the display from the other side of the lagoon for one of the greatest views of Venice’s fireworks. You can take part in a number of Italian New Year’s Eve customs. Wearing red underwear as the year ends is lucky, and lentils, another food associated with luck, are a must-have for every New Year’s Eve meal. Try out more contemporary techniques as well, like the frigid Lido swim on New Year’s Day.
Where to stay: The garden at The St Regis, which views out over the Grand Canal, has the most sought-after vista of all the hotels in Venice. Il Palazzo Experimental has one of the best aperitivo hours in town for a party atmosphere.
The main event: Barcelona is a night owl city, so the party doesn’t really get going until after 11 p.m. At midnight, people congregate at Plaça d’Espanya to view the fireworks on Montjuc, the hill directly above. Poble Espanyol, the outdoor architectural museum, is a short distance away and throws a sizable dance party till six in the morning.
The local view: In addition to eating a grape for each chime at midnight (which, yes, everyone does), Plaça de Catalunya in the city’s center is the site of one of the weirder customs. After the bell rings to bring in the new year, the gathered thousands toss their empty bottles of Cava into the center of the square. If that sounds a little scary, go to the most well-known club parties instead: Pacha rages all night.
Where to stay: Book a room at The Hoxton in Pobelnou, a well-liked neighborhood hangout with a rooftop pool and taqueria. ME Barcelona is at an exceptional location, just a short stroll from Plaça de Catalunya, the city’s main center.
9. Cape Town, South Africa
The main event: On the V&A Waterfront, where everything you could possibly need is conveniently located, the Mother of All Celebrations often takes place, you may enjoy dinner, live music, dancing, and fireworks. Additionally, there are vistas of the Atlantic coastline and Table Mountain. Although it’s wonderful, you must head to the sand if you want a party with a more regional flavor.
The local view: Capetonians frequently choose to have a picnic at sunset on Clifton 4th Beach, a stunning cove in the upscale Clifton neighborhood. Then it’s time to visit one of the many glitzy beach clubs in the city. Pacha’s upscale event at Grand Africa, on the hotel’s own beach, facing Robben Island, is the most popular ticket.
Where to stay: The Silo is the epitome of a destination hotel, perched atop the renowned Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront. The bathrooms are fit for a ballroom, and the rooms are a beautiful combination of colorful silks and velvets in deep purple and bottle green. For more choices, view our list of the top hotels in Cape Town.
10. Berlin, Germany
The main event: At this enormous open-air celebration between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, Berlin’s anything-goes spirit is definitely alive and well. Around a million people congregate at this jamboree, one of the biggest outdoor events in Europe, which spans 1.6 miles. Even better, it’s free and stays pumping till three in the morning. Live music, DJs, laser shows, cuisine, and fireworks are all to be expected.
The local view: There are several top-notch clubs in Berlin, but on New Year’s Eve, the rooftop garden at House of Weekend shines, providing breathtaking views of the fireworks and the cityscape of the city. Additionally, the notorious Berghain bouncer is not a concern.
Where to stay: The trendy, upbeat Friedrichshain neighborhood is home to the AMANO East Side, which offers accommodations near to the Spree’s riverfront entertainment. The bar on the lower floor is a fun place to start the night, and the rooms here are like sensual little caverns. See our selection of the top hotels in Berlin for more suggestions.
11. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The main event: This time of year, Rio de Janeiro is literally in the middle of summer, so instead of sweltering clubs, many revelers prefer to celebrate on the beach. On New Year’s Eve, a whopping two million people congregate on the 2.5-mile-long Copacabana for samba, Champagne, and fireworks; to secure a good spot, begin staking your claim at 10 p.m. In Rio, wearing white on New Year’s Eve is customary since it is said to bring good fortune. But unless you don’t mind getting splashed with Champagne and sprayed F1-style by adoring crowds, it might be best to leave your favorite outfits at home.
The local view: Postos are the name for the lifeguard stations that line the beach; those in the know advise setting up between Postos 5 and 6. It’s less congested because it’s the last section of Copacabana, and it’s also close to the Ipanema celebrations, where many partygoers head after the countdown pyrotechnics.
Where to stay: Belmond Copacabana Palace offers exceptional views of the activity if you want to go all out (and a price tag to match). The Mama Ruisa hotel is a charming guesthouse with a vintage, homey atmosphere if you’re looking for something more reasonably priced with comparable stunning views.
12. Goa, India
The main event: Some claim that Goa’s nightlife has changed significantly. We contend that dancing on the beaches, with the sand between your toes, fairy lights hung from every palm tree, and sequined sari skirts spinning in the moonlight, is still hard to beat. The finest time of the year to party in Goa is on New Year’s Eve, when fireworks and celebrations take place all over the state’s coastline. The biggest and wildest parties are invariably centered around Anjuna, where top DJs perform for colossal crowds late into the night.
The local view: Go to Palolem in the south for a smaller party. There are several run-down beach bars strewn throughout this bay surrounded by jungle that come together for a night of psy-trance and EDM music, unlimited drinks, and midnight fireworks.
Where to stay: A 30-bedroom, all-white, modern pad with cabanas on the poolside deck, a private beach, and DJs spinning Balearic beats in the outdoor bar is the Park Inn, which is located on the beach in Candolim, close to Anjuna.
13. New Orleans, USA
The main event: Have you missed Mardi Gras? The raucous enthusiasm, sparkling extravagance, and explosive sense of fun that make New Orleans unique are all captured in these New Year’s Eve festivities. The city was, and will be, one of our top travel destinations in 2022 until the stroke of midnight on December 31. Spend the afternoon at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Parade, which is as colorful and decorated as you could expect, then proceed to Jackson Square to see the Fleur De Lis drop (the city’s equivalent of NYC’s ball drop) and the fireworks over the Mississippi.
The local view: Visit the French Quarter together with two enduring New Orleans traditions: jazz musicians and balcony celebrations. Secure a seat at one of the private events hosted in the bars and eateries on Bourbon Street, and you can spend the evening dining, drinking, and dancing far from the crowds.
Where to stay: The city is overflowing with eccentric hotels and Airbnbs; book a night at The Eliza Jane for one-of-a-kind accommodations and vibrant décor close to the French Quarter. If you need some peace and quiet to recover from your New Year’s Day hangover, check into one of the exclusive Audubon Cottages. A butler will bring breakfast right to your door.
The main event: Ordinarily reserved Danes congregate in Town Hall Square at exactly twelve o’clock for a riotous BYO bacchanal of popping champagne corks, whooshing rockets, and fizzing Roman candles. With its own Firework Festival, open roller coasters, restaurants providing New Year’s meals, and several glögg vendors serving liquid courage, Tivoli Gardens offers a slightly more orderly alternative.
The local view: Ordinarily reserved Danes congregate in Town Hall Square at exactly twelve o’clock for a riotous BYO bacchanal of popping champagne corks, whooshing rockets, and fizzing Roman candles. With its own Firework Festival, open roller coasters, restaurants providing New Year’s meals, and several glögg vendors serving liquid courage, Tivoli Gardens offers a slightly more orderly alternative.
Where to stay: On New Year’s Eve, as hundreds of cheerful people fill the streets with their own fireworks immediately after midnight, observe how Copenhageners abandon hygge for hedonism. Queen Louise’s Bridge, which spans The Lakes in the area, is a popular local site to observe the mayhem, which is loud, raucous, and a little nerve-wracking.
The main event: Any night of the year, Beirut’s famed party scene provides for a fantastic night out, but in 2017–2018, the city decided to host an official party in the streets, which instantly made it onto numerous “best of” lists and inspired it to grow even more in the years that followed. The Place de l’Etoile is crowded with revelers as live music, DJs, fireworks, and a light show usher in the new decade. The square’s 1933 Art Deco clocktower also shines a stunning light display. Things don’t usually slow down until after morning in Beirut.
The local view: Although there are many of opulent clubs in the city, the best way to mingle with the elite of Beirut is to go bar hopping in trendy Gemmayzeh and the nearby Mar Mikhael. A popular spot in the latter is Anise, where craft cocktails are made using herbs foraged nearby and the Lebanese liquor arak.
Where to stay: The Albergo, a Relais & Châteaux property, exudes old-world elegance in every detail, from the rooms’ antique furnishings to the macarons and orange juice brought to your room when you arrive.