It’s time to countdown to 2023!
The year is winding down and we’re ready for the biggest and most dazzling night of the year: New Year’s Eve. If you really want to make the last night of 2022 memorable, why not hit up the best year-end celebrations in the world? From seeing the ball drop in Times Square to waiting for Big Ben to ring as the clock strikes 12, there are so many cities around the world where you can toast to the night in style and revelry. For end-of-the-year excitement, here are some of the best places to go. New years are for celebration, after all. And if it’s too late to jet off this year, then perhaps you can start planning next year’s big bash!
Note: For the latest information, always check the official tourism websites of each city before making plans.
Best places to go for New Year’s Eve
1. Las Vegas – United States
Glitzy and flashy at any time of the year, Las Vegas really pulls out the stops for New Year celebrations. The famous Las Vegas Strip becomes pedestrianised for a huge street party,and many of the lavish casinos have special parties and deals to entice revellers. Gala dinners, discos, and dancing galore can be found all around the city. At midnight, many hotels and casinos set off impressive firework displays from their roofs, illuminating the inky sky with electric lights.
2. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
For a sexy countdown on the sands, it’s tough to beat sultry Rio de Janeiro. There are many clubs and bars if you prefer to stay indoors, but most people choose to celebrate on the beach in the open air — there are a lot of raves on the sandy shores, making Rio one of the best places to travel for beach lovers letting loose on new years. Some two million people flock to the wildest party on Copacabana Beach, while Ipanema Beach is where cool cats go for a fabulous afterparty. As midnight chimes, expect an energetic buzz with lots of fireworks, Champagne sprayed over the crowds, and a palpable sense of excitement for the new year ahead.
Pro tip: Wear white to blend in with the crowds — it’s a New Year’s tradition in Rio.
2. Cape Town— South Africa
Cape Town is one the best places to go for New Years in Africa. Dress up to party hard in one of the sleek beach clubs, where trendy people gyrate to all the best tunes, or make your way to the V&A Waterfront for a fun night filled with dancing, fireworks, and concerts.
Alternatively, pack a picnic and enjoy great views from Table Mountain. The fun’s not over when the clock strikes 12 — Cape Town celebrates New Year for three days! Don’t miss the vibrant carnival that takes place after New Year’s Eve, with thousands of performers singing, making music, dancing, and strutting through the streets.
4. London – England
One of the best places to go for celebrating new years is London, where the entire city is primed for an enormous street party. Get your tickets early if you plan to mingle with the masses in front of the Houses of Parliament, though you can still see the incredible New Year’s Eve fireworks displays from other parts of the city. Call into traditional pubs for a warming beverage or two or show off your best moves in one of the city’s super clubs. Before midnight, head outside to wait in anticipation for the booming chimes of Big Benfollowed by the city erupting in a riot of colour and lights.
Several major landmarks have excellent firework displays, including the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and modern architectural gem The Shard. Don’t sleep in on New Year’s Day or you’ll miss the hypnotic parade winding through the city’s streets. With dancers, amazing costumes, musicians, floats, and royal horses, it’s a great way to start the new year.
5. Paris – France
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style! Another great place in Europe to visit this season, Parisoffers chic and classy fun. Celebrate on a boat ride along the River Seine, book a table in a high-class restaurant, sip cocktails in a swanky bar, or get down with stylish locals at the huge street party on the elegant Champs Elysees. At midnight, watch in awe as the iconic Eiffel Tower springs to life with lasers, lights, and fireworks.
6. Dubai – United Arab Emirates
A playground for the wealthy and well-heeled, Dubai promises heaps of fun on New Year’s Eve. As an Islamic nation, drinking isn’t at the fore when it comes to waiting for the turn of midnight. Foodies, however, can book an unforgettable gastronomic adventure at one of the city’s many fine restaurants and, of course, the glamorous malls have many events and promotions to help people part with their cash at one of the glitziest places to go for New Year’s Eve.
Start the new year by watching the mesmerising fireworks display from the world’s tallest building, the statuesque Burj Khalifa. It’s one of the most incredible places to go in Dubai for New Years, with many people gathering in front of the behemoth for the dazzling midnight show.
Singapore knows how to ring in New Year’s Eve with style! The biggest countdown party takes place at Marina Bay, one of the worthwhile places to go with lots of fireworks and frivolity to usher in the new years to come. If you don’t want to be right in the thick of the action but still want to witness the excitement, grab your mates and take a picnic and drinks to a quieter spot, like Mount Faber. Alternatively, sip a drink in a sky bar as you look down across the city where the party is in full swing.
8. Bangkok – Thailand
With a variety of events to suit diverse tastes, Bangkok is among the most fun places to go. New years usually see the biggest outdoor celebrations take place at Central Worldshopping mall, with an energetic countdown, fireworks, music, dancing, and family-friendly activities to keep little ones happy.
For a youthful street party to (not!) remember — head to the backpacker favourite, Khao San Road. If dressing up in your glad rags for a hip and trendy night of revelry is more your thing, the designated nightlife zone of Royal City Avenue knows how to impress. Book into a fancy restaurant or score tickets for a sky bar, cruise along the Chao Phraya River, or join in the fun at Asiatique; there are many options to choose from!
9. Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s New Year fireworks are nothing short of incredible. Take your place at the water’s edge to watch an awesome show full of loud bangs, colours, lights, and music, all erupting in glory over one of the most impressive skylines on the planet. You can watch the famous ball drop (mimicking that in New York) at the appropriately named Times Squareshopping centre.
There are tons of cool events at Victoria Harbour, too. Beyond the spectacular pyrotechnics lighting up the waters, travellers who make their way to the harbour can expect musical performances and vibrant animation. Just before midnight, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) will turn into a giant clock to count down the last 30 seconds of the year.
10. Sydney – Australia
Welcoming in the new year some 16 hours before New York, Sydney is the first major city in the world to count down to 1 Jan. The pulsating Australian city also hosts not one but two incredible firework displays, with one at 9pm to really get you in a jolly mood and then another at the stroke of midnight.
Indeed, Sydney’s New Year fireworks are the biggest across the globe! Seeing the sky dramatically light up over Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge is really out of this world! Boats bob peacefully in the harbour and there are parades, traditional celebrations, concerts, and more.
11. Berlin – Germany
Parties don’t get crazier than the ones in Berlin, so if you’re on the hunt for the biggest raves, this European city is one of the best places in the world for partying on new years. Street parties are in full swing everywhere, but the biggest one sets up between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. Every year, this open-air area hosts the most massive bash of the season, with a million revellers enjoying live music, DJ sets, and lots of booze. In this city where partying is a lifestyle, you’ll also have some of the world’s best techno clubs for nights full of music and debauchery.
12. Taipei – Taiwan
In Asia, Taipei is one of the best places to travel to for New Year’s celebrations. This vibrant city ignites in a dazzling visual spectacle of colourful lights, fireworks, and sparklers. Locals and travellers converge at the Taipei City Hall Plaza for musical performances, delicious street food, and merriment.
And at the centre of the festivities is Taipei 101. At midnight, Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper delivers a showstopping New Year’s Eve display featuring fireworks, laser lights, multimedia animations, and original music — definitely an event worth flying for.
13. Edinburgh – Scotland
Scots refer to New Year’s Eve as Hogmanay, and the fact that they have a special name shows just how seriously the holiday is taken in Scotland! Join the Scots on the streets of Edinburgh for fun Hogmanay festivities with bonfires, concerts, street parties, fireworks, and traditional singing of Auld Lang Syne at midnight.
Scots celebrate Hogmanay over two to three days, so there’s plenty to see and do in the city during the holidays. The world-famous Hogmanay Street Party and Concert in the Gardens are two of the main events on 31 Dec. Local customs include diving into the freezing River Forth on the first day of the year. And if we’re talking about unique events, there’s even a torchlight procession led by Vikings through Edinburgh’s picturesque Old Town.
14. New York – United States
Finally, we can’t talk about New Year’s Eve parties without talking about New York. After all, no New Year celebration is more iconic than counting down the last seconds of the year while waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. Roughly a million people make their way to the city to watch the world-famous ball drop, and millions more watch it on TV.
But there’s more to NYC that makes it one of the best places to go to for ringing in new years. Dining and nightlife in the Big Apple are top-notch, so if you’re in the mood to indulge in a fancy feast or to dance to amazing beats, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Fireworks and live music crop up all over the city. We think Brooklyn Bridge is a particularly great spot to see the fireworks light up the sky at midnight, while other travellers prefer watching from aboard a cruise on the Hudson River.
As you can see, there are many terrific places to go to for celebrations this year and future New Year’s Eve. Where are you planning to ring in 2023?