From the striking burst of fireworks to the deafening cheers from party-goers, New Year’s Eve is a fantastic excuse to celebrate the ups and downs of the year. Regardless of the challenges and mishaps we faced, or the resolutions that we never get 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. New York City, USA
While some may call it a yearly tradition, a New Year’s Eve celebration in New York is a spectacular experience worthy of a mention in your bucket list. If you find yourself in this side of the globe, the place to be is at the neon-adorned Times Square where colourful fireworks, glittery confetti, and live performances are coupled with a very energetic crowd.
Stay past your bedtime and witness the drop of the Times Square ball that signifies the beginning of the New Year!
#HHWT Tip: You won’t find any street carts or food trucks in the Times Square perimeter during New Year’s Eve. It is best advised to bring your own food and water.
Address: Times Square, Manhattan, New York 10036, United States
2. London, England
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 that rarely shies away from the chance of 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, we encourage you to do what the locals do and purchase a ticket for one of their five viewing areas. Most of them are situated along River Thames, Waterloo Bridge, and Westminster Bridge.
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#HHWT Tip: Tickets for London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display are on sale as early as October until the first week of December. Each ticket is priced at £10 each.
Address: River Thames, London, United Kingdom
Admission: £10 per ticket
3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Whenever we speak of extravagance, it’s easy to point out Dubai as one of the top contenders. Second to none, the New Year’s Eve celebration in Dubai is as lively and vibrant as anywhere else in the world. For those with a dream of partying up their final chapter of the year, aim for major hotspots such as the Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Khalifa, 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 David Guetta fans out there?).
#HHWT Tip: During New Year’s Eve, locals would gather at the three mentioned locations as early as 4pm to score the best views for fireworks display. So, arrive early!
Address: Burj Khalifa, 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
4. Sydney, Australia
If Australia is closer to home, you know that a boarding pass to Sydney is a must. Watch a symphony of fireworks illuminate the sky akin to a burst of shooting stars. Magnificent is the perfect way to describe this New Year’s Eve tradition here and the best places to experience it is the Sydney Opera House and Mrs Macquaries Point, which is accessible via public transportation.
Coming early to the aforementioned vantage points will give you an extra advantage in securing a good spot. While there will be plenty of food and drink vendors at these sites, feel free to pack your own meals because it will be a long wait till you see the fireworks display.
Address: Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
5. Hong Kong
Prefer a city that reminds you of your backyard? Sing to the words of Auld Lang Syne in the bustling Hong Kong metropolis. Backed by glistening buildings and modern landscape, what makes a New Year’s Eve celebration in Hong Kong extra special is the gorgeous waterfront view that is unlike anywhere else.
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’re there with someone special, go the extra miles by viewing 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.
Address: Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.
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6. Paris, France
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 elegant 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 put your punctuality to practice here. It’s also a common tradition to continue with an after party of dining and dancing after welcoming the New Year’s Eve fireworks, so tell your Mum that you will be home late.
#HHWT Tip: The preferred mode of transportation during New Year’s Eve is the Metro and it typically opens through the night.
Address: Champs-Elysees, 75009 Paris, France
7. Edinburgh, Scotland
Just because New Year’s Eve is known as Hogmanay in Scotland, it doesn’t mean that it’ll be any less fun. Also a day that shares the spotlight with winter solstice, the life of the party is certainly Edinburgh.
While a one-day celebration is enough for the rest of the world, Hogmanay is a three-day festivity that is brimming with street party, live concerts, torchlight procession, candlelit concert, and much more. Out of the three days, New Year’s Eve is definitely the best and the promise of FOUR firework displays at the stroke of midnight will pretty much confirm your attendance.
Address: Central Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Admission: Rates vary according to events (free to £85)
8. Taipei, Taiwan
Always better than the year before, Taipei’s focus on being one of the best cities for New Year’s Eve celebration is real. So, how are the fireworks displays in Taipei different from anywhere else in the globe?
Taiwan amazingly 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 below, Taipei keeps everyone’s spirit alive with star-studded performances.
#HHWT Tip: Prepare yourself for low temperatures during New Year’s Eve by staying warm.
Address: Taipei 101, No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan.
The idea of comfort may have drawn you to stay at home during New Year’s Eve, but there’s a celebration out there that is waiting for a life of the party like you. Whether the thought of doing your countdown in Taiwan, or dancing the night away in New York appeals to you, all these cities have room for one more adventurous spirit!