Christmas is a date with great importance for the whole family and the loved ones. But New Year’s Eve is also a precious day, as families and friends reunite to celebrate an exciting new beginning. And there’s no better way to welcome a new year than by traveling to an exciting and new destination. A holiday trip, either with family or friends, can be a great opportunity to breathe new air, recharge, and enjoy the happy atmosphere that takes place all over the world.
Across the globe, there are several different events that celebrate New Year so, in case you’re still deciding on where to go, there is a showcase of destinations to choose from. For a cosmopolitan holiday surrounded by skyscrapers, museums, and hype restaurants, go to New York and watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s eve. For some relaxed time around nature, ring in the new year by spending a few days in Thailand, where you stay at a wellness boutique hotel in front of the ocean. The options are endless.
With the cancellation of most New Year’s Eve parties across the world, a good idea is to opt for a staycation in a nearby city, or travel internationally (if you can) and rent a cozy vacation home in your destination of choice. That way you can host a dinner party with a few close people, open a bottle of champagne, and watch the fireworks display online. You can also use the ideas from this list to plan a New Year trip for the upcoming years!
For you to experience the most memorable New Year’s Eve in 2020 or in a near future, we’ve gathered the top travel destinations where you can see spectacular fireworks, light shows, and a great deal of fun to ring in the year with a bang.
Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.
Best New Year Destinations Around the World
Take advantage of the holidays and go to Berlin for a trip filled with culture, art, and good beer. The city is known for hosting an annual New Year’s Eve Party Between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. This superb and huge open-air party brings together live music, DJs, and an amazing fireworks display at midnight, and attracts hundreds of people. However, due to the current situation, this year the celebration will happen with no audience and it will be broadcasted online. Other famous parties in Berlin will also take place this year with a Corona-compliant concept. The Spreespeicher party, for instance, will take place in the waterfront open-air Spree Terrace but, contrary to previous years, it will be a more intimate and cozy celebration. Guests will be placed in three separate rooms, and groups can stay together as long as they hold the same ticket category.
After a night of celebration, which can happen either at a party or at dinner at your vacation rental in Berlin, a great idea is to take a tour around the city and cure the hangover by trying some of the most delicious German must-eats.
Koh Phangan, Thailand
New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Thailand became famous because of the iconic Full Moon Party. This iconic celebration is an all-night beach party that originated in 1985, taking place every year on the night, before, or after every full moon. Well, if your idea is to spend the last night of the year surrounded by madness in the company of your friends, this is your place. As soon as the sun sets the party starts at Sunrise Beach and it does not end until … until one wants to. You can even start the first dawn of the year with a good dip on the beach while watching the sunrise. It sounds good, right? This iconic celebration is an all-night beach party that originated in 1985, taking place every year on the night, before, or after every full moon. Due to the pandemic, the party has been canceled, but you can still put this celebration on top of your bucket list for your next Southeast Asia trip.
This year, why not go for something more chill, and maybe try going on a yoga retreat in Thailand? Surrounded by natural features, such as forested hills and pristine beaches, the country is an authentic health and wellness retreat. So, a great idea for the New Year 2020 is to replace crowded spaces and celebrations with more secluded destinations, where you can indulge in some outdoor activities, be around nature, and recharge. That way you can still celebrate the New Year, but respecting the social distancing and keeping yourself safe.
New York City, United States
Aside from being one of the most amazing cities for a Christmas holiday, New York also happens to be one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. During the winter, New York gets even more dazzling, and the city sparkles with a slew of holiday lights, which create the perfect environment for some celebration time.
A typical New Year celebration in New York usually involves heading over to the famous Times Square for the countdown and fireworks. This iconic celebration brings together thousands of people from all around the world, but this year New York will ring 2021 in a different way. To ensure everyone’s safety, the popular Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration will go online. The famous New Year’s Ball Drop in Times Square will still happen at the exact same time as the previous year, but people will have to watch it online.
So, in case you’re planning to go to New York City to celebrate New Year, no need to be upset. You can still enjoy the city’s skyscrapers and amazing holiday attractions, such as the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. You can spend New Year by having dinner with loved ones at your vacation rental in New York. Just grab a bottle of Champagne and tun in to watch the Times Square countdown and you’re good to go!
Aside from the party in Times Square, the fireworks show in Sydney, Australia, is probably the most famous New Years Eve celebration in the world. This huge event happens Is held every year on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and it features two amazing fireworks displays: the 9 pm Family Fireworks and the Midnight Fireworks. Both of them are televised nationally, and Midnight Fireworks is televised globally. Each year, a new theme for the event is chosen and is usually viewed by more than one million people surrounding the area of the harbor and one billion worldwide for the Midnight Fireworks. A great idea is to celebrate New Year in Sydney by taking a boat tour while you enjoy the fireworks with the famous Opera House as a backdrop.
This year, the 9 pm Family Fireworks Show has been canceled, but there will still be a small fireworks display from the Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight. The celebration will be televised live on the ABC channel, and you can tune in to watch it while celebrating the New Year with close friends and family.
After you celebrate the New Year in Sydney, why not take a road trip to explore the most charming small towns in Australia? This will surely kick off your 2021 the right way!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Get ready for a very tropical New Year, because Rio de Janeiro will provide you with the ultimate summer holiday. At the end of each year, this vibrant and bustling city gets even more festive thanks to it’s traditional New Year’s Eve Celebration in Copacabana Beach. The event, which is the biggest New Years Eve party in the world, actually started in the ’80s as a religious celebration, which gathered only the people who lived nearby in the area. But the party became extremely popular, and now it brings together around 3 million people from all around the world. Aside from a spectacular and colorful fireworks display that takes about 18 minutes, the party at Copacabana also features live music.
During the New Year in Brazil, it’s common for people to wear white, in order to bring good luck. And one of the most famous traditions all across the country is for people to “jump the 7 waves”. On midnight, they go to the ocean and literally jump 7 waves in order to bring good luck for the next year.
This year, Rio de Janeiro canceled the New Years Eve festivities, and a virtual celebration is being planned. But, if you decide to spend New Year in Rio de Janeiro, you can still enjoy the local beaches, and have a private dinner with close people to ring in the New Year. Boasting warm tropical weather at any time of year, the city is one of the most Instagrammable places in the world to visit during the summer.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town hosts a myriad of fun events to celebrate New Year. The most famous one is the New Years Eve 2021 at the V&A Waterfront Cape Town, which also happens to be the biggest New Year’s Eve party in South Africa. Located in South Africa’s oldest working Harbor, on the Atlantic shore, the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront is a 123 hectares complex developed for mixed-used, harboring both residential and commercial buildings. The event features several outdoor entertainment areas, aside from carnival-themed shows, and light installations, from 6 pm to midnight.
New Orleans, United States
In case you’re planning to travel with a group of friends, New Orleans, Louisiana, is definitely one of the best places to spend the New Year, as it’s filled with street parties, live music, and plenty of fun activities for you to have a good time.
One of the most famous New Years Eve celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the Bourbon Street Party. Located in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, Bourbon Street is a historic area and well-known for having a showcase of bars and strip clubs. On New Years Eve, this iconic street gets filled with excitement, featuring nonstop parties at the local bars, fireworks, and a midnight champagne toast.
Another well-known party in New Orleans is the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, at Jackson Square. This huge, free party is open to all and features fireworks, live music performances, and the iconic “fleur-de-lis-drop”, which is the New Orleans version of the Times Square Ball Drop. Definitely a more family-friendly option than the Bourbon Street Party.
Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand is not only one of the best destinations for outdoor lovers and adrenaline seekers. The country is also one of the best places to spend the new year. So, in case you chose New Zealand as your destination, you might wanna consider bringing in the new year in Queenstown. The city is located on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, and it’s a famed spot for adventure sports such as bungee jumping and jet-boating.
Offering some of the best views of Lake Wakapitu and the surrounding snowy mountains, this resort city hosts a handful of pub crawls during New Years eve.
For a more family friendly experience, you can head over to the Marine Parade and watch the fireworks over Queenstown Bay, or to Earnslaw Park, which hosts an annual party with live music, food trucks and fireworks.
Paris is always a good idea. A perfect destination at any time of year, the City of Lights also happens to be one of the best places to ring in the new year. During the holiday season, Paris is even more beautiful, as it gets filled with themed decorations and even more dazzling lights. A true winter wonderland, the city usually hosts a series of parties, dinner cruises, cabaret shows, and many other fun events on New Year’s eve.
Starting at around 900 pm on New Years Eve, people usually head over to the Champs Elysée for the famous countdown and a gorgeous light show Along the way to Champs Elysée, you’ll be able to marvel at the Eiffel Tower, which is a true sight to be seen.
After ringing in the new year, make sure the party continues by popping some authentic French Champagne with a stunning view of the Eiffel tower.
Las Vegas, United States
The New Year’s Eve fireworks display at Sunset Strip is one of the most iconic New Years celebrations in Las Vegas. Lasting up to eight minutes, the fireworks spectacle has been a staple event in Sin City for years and, in January 2020, more than 80,000 colorful fireworks illuminated the Strip during the New Years Eve celebration in Las Vegas.
A true bucket-list New Year destination, Las Vegas attracts visitors from all over the world during the holiday season thanks to it’s lively atmosphere all year round. Unfortunately, this year Las Vegas won’t be ringin in the New Year with it’s traditional fireworks spectacle due the pandemic. But the city, which is definitely one of the best places to celebrate this special occasion, is still expected to host minor events and parties, especially in the casinos and hotels.
Of course, there are thousands of destinations to spend New Years Eve. Luckily for you, we can offer you the best accommodation in each place, so wherever you are, you’ll always feel at home.
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