[Updated 23 December 2019]
From the striking burst of fireworks to the joyful cheers, New Year's Eve is a fantastic way to remember the ups and downs of the past year. Whether it's the challenges you faced or the resolutions that you're still working hard to achieve, it's all about commemorating the little things we are blessed with.
If you’re planning to trade a lazy sleepover for a spectacular display of lights, these amazing cities are ready to welcome the dawn of the New Year with you!
1. Sydney, Australia
Credit: Andreas Dress on Unsplash
Whether it's a chance to experience the Sydney-New South Wales road trip
or enjoy a delicious meal at Sydney's top halal eateries
, there are many reasons why Muslim travellers keep going back to Sydney . Watching a symphony of fireworks illuminating the sky on New Year's Eve is also part of the must-see experiences. Magnificient is the best way to describe the New Year's Eve tradition that usually takes place at Sydney Opera House, Mrs Macquaries Point or Sydney Harbour Bridge. Accessible via public transport, come early to secure a good spot at these vantage points. Feel free to pack your own meals because it'll be a long wait until you see the fireworks display. [P.S. Explore Sydney’s sights and sounds with the ultimate 6D5N Muslim-friendly itinerary!]
2. New York City, USA
Credit: Jorge Fernandez Salas on Unsplash
A spectacular yearly tradition in New York City, the New Year's Eve celebration is definitely worth experiencing. If you find yourself in the Big Apple, head over to the bustling Times Square where colourful fireworks, glittery confetti and live performances will keep you and the rest of the crowd excited. Stay past your bedtime to witness the drop of the Times Square ball that signifies the beginning of the New Year! Once the celebration is over, make the most of your trip with this amazing 6D5N Muslim-friendly itinerary to the Big Apple
: You won’t find any street carts or food trucks in the Times Square perimeter during New Year’s Eve. It is best to bring your own food and water or enjoy an early dinner at these top halal eateries in New York City
[P.S. Planning your first trip? Check out our first-timer's guide to New York for Muslim travellers]
3. London, England
Credit: Kevin Hackert on Unsplash The Brits may be known for their well-mannered ways, but
they sure know how to live it up when New Year’s Eve is around the corner. A city known for throwing a great party, expect to see stunning fireworks display in various spots across London. While you can enjoy the midnight spectacle from your hotel window, follow the locals and purchase a ticket to one of the many viewing areas. Most of them are situated along River Thames, Waterloo Bridge, London Eye, and Westminster Bridge. If you're looking for something to eat before the fireworks display, you can get your fix of Malaysian food at these halal eateries in London
or complete your British experience at these Muslim-friendly bakeries in London
[P.S. Shopping for souvenirs? Check out these Muslim-friendly snacks you've got to bring back from London!]
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Credit: Thomas Nilsson on Flickr Whenever we think of luxury getaways, Dubai is definitely one of the top contenders. True to its reputation, the New Year’s Eve celebration in Dubai is as lively and vibrant as anywhere else in the world. For those who are planning to catch the fireworks display in Dubai, aim for major hotspots such as Dubai Festival City Mall, Burj Plaza, the Burj Khalifa, Atlantis, and the
Burj Al-Arab. Spectacular is a good way to describe the fireworks display here, and the Emiratis are known for taking things up a notch with live concerts and DJ shows (any Neyo fans out there?). After wrapping up the celebration, check out these iconic American food chains that are halal in Dubai
and the fun Mega Marvel-themed rides that are perfect for the ultimate Marvel fan
: During New Year’s Eve, locals would gather at the aforementioned locations as early as 4PM to score the best views of the fireworks display. So, arrive early!
[P.S. Spending a week in Dubai? You'll need this 6D5N Muslim-friendly itinerary for your next Emirati getaway]
5. Paris, France
Credit: Yann Caradec on Flickr If you’re part of the lucky ones who find themselves in the City of Lights during New Year’s Eve, we envy you! Landscaped by charming cafes and cobbled sidewalks, a celebration in Paris is an experience that will last a lifetime. Strike two birds with one stone by following the locals to the Champ-Elysees to witness the show of fireworks against the Eiffel Tower. The crowd typically swells up as early as 9pm at Champ-Elysees, so be sure to come
early. Since you'll be stuck in a crowded place, here are some tips on how to stay safe and avoid getting pickpocketed or losing your valuables
: It'll be a miss not to check out the famous attractions
and dine at delicious halal eateries in Paris
when you're here for a holiday!
[P.S. Since shopping in Paris is a must, look out for these luxury brands that are cheaper in Paris than back home!]
6. Edinburgh, Scotland
Credit: Gary Campbell-Hall on Flickr
In Scotland, the New Year's Eve is known as Hogmanay, and it's as fun as anywhere else in the world. Sharing the limelight with the country's winter solstice, the best place to experience it all is in Edinburgh. Hogmanay will be held for three days, and the festival will be brimming with a street party, live concerts, a torchlight procession, candlelit concert and many more! Out of the three days, the New Year's Eve is definitely the best because there will be FOUR fireworks displays at the stroke of midnight. Besides celebrating Hogmanay, there are many reasons that'll make you fall in love with Scotland
7. Taipei, Taiwan
Credit: Tony Ge on Flickr Always as spell-binding as the year
before, Taipei is definitely a must-visit destination for New Year’s Eve celebration. How are the fireworks displays in Taipei different from anywhere else? Every year, Taiwan transforms the glistening skyscraper of Taipei 101 into a mega countdown clock that lights up from the ground up to signify the hours leading to the midnight fireworks. Aside from the lively and happening crowd, Taipei keeps everyone’s spirit alive with star-studded performances. If you're looking for better vantage points of Taipei 101, you can walk up to Elephant Mountain or Tiger Mountain. Otherwise, you can view the fireworks at the National Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall or Bishan Temple. Complete your New Year's getaway by staying at these amazing accommodations
and enjoying authentic Taiwanese cuisine at these Muslim-friendly eateries in Taipei
: In December, the temperature can drop as low as 15°C in Taipei. Embrace the New Year's chilly weather by staying warm and toasty in these winter essentials
[P.S. Make the most of your holiday with this 5D4N Muslim-friendly itinerary to Taipei and Kaohsiung (under RM2,300!)]
8. Tokyo, Japan
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson on Flickr
The New Year's Eve celebration is slightly different in Japan, and that's why Tokyo made it on our list! Held on 1-3 January, the Japanese New Year, also known as Shogatsu, is one of the most important holidays in Japan. Welcoming the first day of a brand new year, the locals would visit major shrines and temples to pray for a good year ahead. The most popular spots in Tokyo are Meiji Shrine in Shibuya and Narita-san Shinshoji Temple in Narita. The locals would also enjoy a special dish called osechi ryori (traditional Japanese New Year food) and toshikoshi soba (Japanese New Year soba) with their loved ones.
#HHWT Tip: Do note that most attractions, restaurants and shops are closed between 29 December and 4 January. However, some restaurants remain open during the New Year, and we recommend checking the opening hours in advance before your visit.
[P.S. Plan a memorable Japan adventure with this 10D9N Muslim-friendly itinerary to Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo!]
You can always count on Singapore to put on a spectacular fireworks display, especially when it goes directly above the marina barrage! If you're planning to capture the moment around the Marina Bay area, the places to go are Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands, Helix Bridge, Benjamin Sheares Bridge and Gardens
by the Bay's East Garden. Otherwise, make your way to the Singapore River for fireworks amid a scenic river view or Queen Elizabeth Walk for a comfortable viewing spot. If you're heading to Singapore with your spouse, there are many things to do in Singapore with your other half
, so turn it into a romantic getaway!
: Our colleague Shasha recommended the National Gallery Singapore as one of the best spots to catch the New Year's Eve fireworks! You can view it from the steps outside of the gallery. Since it's not sheltered, it's best to bring your umbrella or raincoat, in case it rains.
[P.S. Before you head home, here are some delicious Muslim-friendly snacks you need to bring back from Singapore!]
10. Hong Kong
Credit: Michael Elleray on Flickr Every year, you can always count on Hong Kong to drum everyone’s anticipation with a shooting star display (starting at 11PM) before presenting the grand fireworks display as its finale. If you’ll be there with your spouse, go the extra mile by viewing the fireworks display from a boat on the harbour, or a skyscraper facing the Victoria Harbour. Alternatively, you can also head over to the Tsim
Sha Tsui waterfront in Kowloon, as well as Central Harbourfront, Central Piers 9 & 10, and the Golden Bauhinia Square on Hong Kong Island. #HHWT Tip
: Whether you're looking for top halal eateries or the best family experiences in Hong Kong, check out our ultimate guide to Hong Kong here
You might be tempted to stay in for New Year’s Eve, but there’s a celebration out there waiting for you. Whether you're counting down the minutes to midnight in Taiwan or watching the fireworks in Sydney, tell us where you'll be heading for New Year's Eve!