Best Destinations to celebrate New Year's Eve in Europe.
New Year’s Eve is a time most of us look forward to putting the old year behind us and starting with a fresh slate in the New Year. Many people believe that how we ring in the New Year also has bearing on what the year will bring us. New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and you will want to find the perfect place to share this special time with your loved ones. There are so many fantastic places in the world to visit for this celebration. Discover the best destinations to celebrate New Year in Europe and read further for just a few ideas.
Why? London is a special place at the turn of the year. The city is lit up and establishments across the capital will pull out all the stops to make this New Year’s Eve in London a memorable one. London remains aglow with the holiday spirit through New Year’s Eve, when the city’s three-hour extravaganza along the River Thames draws 250,000 people with its 10,000 performers, a fireworks show at the London Eye, a midnight countdown alongside the chiming of Big Ben, and a massive group sing-along to “Auld Lang Syne.” Take in the sights of all the festivities on a Thames dinner cruise, or for land-based viewing, grab a spot along the Victoria Embankment or the Waterloo or Westminster bridges.
Why? Berlin has a worldwide reputation as a party city. It seems the German capital hasn’t stopped celebrating its freedom since the Wall fell in 1989. On New Year’s Eve, or Silvester, as it’s called in Germany, more than 1 million people fill the “Party Mile” that extends from Brandenburg Gate and is lined with music stages and food and drink tents serving beer, mulled wine, BBQs and local specialties like currywurst, a pork sausage topped with curry-dusted ketchup. There’s a fireworks show at midnight, after which the party moves to the city’s many over-the-top dance clubs like Berghain, a gargantuan club with a 1,500-person capacity, legendary for its wild parties that can last for 12 hours or more. If you’re still standing the next day, sweat out the previous night’s excess in the annual free four-kilometer New Year’s Run, which loops from Brandenburg Gate to the Berliner Dom and back.
Why? The Eiffel Tower, the Seine, the bridges of Paris … a magical setting for a New Year celebration. And for a night you’ll never forget a truly spectacular light show and fireworks display. However, most all the streets of Paris come alive with hordes of people celebrating, making the rounds of bars and clubs and having a wonderful time with fireworks and lots of champagne. Romantic New Year’s Eve boat cruises along the Seine are also offered for those who wish for a little privacy for their celebration.
Why? No city does New Year’s with as much enthusiasm as Edinburgh. The Hogmanay celebration lasts four days and includes a torchlight parade through the city (thousands of torch carriers create a river of fire from the historic Royal Mile to the son et lumiére and fireworks finale on Calton Hill), concerts, and a massive street party on Princes Street. “Auld Lang Syne” was written by Scotsman Robert Burns, and the song takes on special significance when sung in the streets of Edinburgh as glowing torchlights illuminate the happy revelers. The Scots practice the tradition of “first-footing,” in which the first guest of the New Year should bring gifts; popular offerings include whisky or Scottish shortbread. On January 1, spectators gather at the River Forth to watch a group of brave soul’s splash into the freezing water in the annual Queensferry Loony Dook charity event.
Prague, Czech Republic
Why? “Golden Prague” is known as “the crown of the world“, as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and one of the most beautiful in the world. The “city of a hundred spires” comes alive on New Year’s Eve, which is also known as Silvestr. The streets will be packed with a rag-tag crowd of revelers, and bars, clubs and restaurants will be filled with party-goers. Much of the fun takes place at Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. Fireworks are set off all around town (and perhaps with a bit of dangerous abandon), with one of the best displays occurring at Letna Gardens, which can be watched from nearby bridges and embankments. When the clock strikes midnight in Prague, champagne is thrown, firecrackers get bandied about on the squares and the bridges fizzle in a haphazard haze of a million tiny sparks. NYE in Prague is definitely not one for the faint-hearted, but if you can handle all the thrills and spills along Wenceslas and the Old Town Square, by all means, embrace the madness. Champagne bottles are smashed during the celebrations, which means you might want to bring a helmet to this party, but who could resist ringing in the New Year in the heart of Europe?
Why? Reykjavik may be one of the more chilly spots to celebrate the New Year with only four hours of daylight in late December, but Iceland’s capital puts on one of the hottest celebrations on the planet. Locals throw a massive, citywide celebration that begins at 6 p.m. with mass at Reykjavik Cathedral –attending or listening on the radio and then share a meal with family and friends before going outdoors to attend neighborhood bonfires that are meant to symbolize the burning away of the previous year’s troubles. Thousands of fireworks can be seen lighting up the sky from every corner of the city, while the flame-fueled gatherings typically feature lots of drinking, folk songs and people dressed up as elves and trolls. For the best view, head to the Perlan, or Pearl and Landakotskirkja church, which offer a fantastic view of the city and hosts a New Year’s Eve party with dinner, drinks, and dancing. If you make it to 5 a.m., join the locals queuing up for hangover-helping hot dogs, or head to the hot springs for a dehydrating soak.
Why? Experience delirious tourist and cultural activities such as the Atomium and the Manneken Pis. Discover the charming city streets of the Fashion District shopping, packed with clothing and concept stores and a variety of authentic and trendy bars, each with their own selection of renowned Belgian beers. More than 60 DJs in 15 New Year’s Eve parties around the city. A range of parties for all tastes, going from rock 'n' roll, hip-hop to house and techno, as well as gay friendly parties for which Brussels is known for."
Why? Budapest’s Szilveszter (New Year’s Eve) celebration is a bumper 3-day mix of music, fireworks and time-honored Hungarian traditions. Another famous annual event is the Chamber Concert on New Year’s Day at the Danube Palace, a superb Chamber Concert performed by the famous and supremely talented Danube Symphony Orchestra. Vörösmarty Square is party HQ: expect crowds, DJs and live bands. Public transport runs all night and most bars and restaurants lay on ticketed parties and special events.
Why? Like many other festive occasions in Sweden, the New Year has become increasingly dominated by the traditional offerings of the media. Each year ends with a live broadcast from the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm, where the bells chime and a New Year’s verse (interestingly enough by the British poet Lord Alfred Tennyson) is solemnly declaimed to the nation. There’s something nice and secure about rounding off the year in front of the TV in your living room.
Why? Barcelona is the party capital of Spain, and saves the very best for the last day of the year. In the hours up to midnight, massive street parties take over Plaza Catalunya, Las Ramblas and Plaza Reial, with large crowds singing, sipping champagne and counting down the minutes and seconds until the New Year. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs all hold special events to celebrate, while fireworks light up the sky at the far end of Barceloneta Beach. Find a spot near the marina for the best view, and be sure to stay during the first week of the New Year to watch the 3 Kings Parade with its brightly colored chariots, marching bands and torchlight processions through city streets.
Why? San Silvestro (New Year’s Eve) in Rome is celebrated with the vast majority of Roman population flooding the Pizza del Popolo in order to witness the NYE fireworks and free of cost musical. Rome appeals more to people who love spending their New Year with their family. Try once New Year’s Eve in Rome to experience a real Italian celebrations. The province of Rome is a matching frame for the many treasures of the capital, and the surrounding area has, more or less directly, experienced the influence of the history of the Eternal City. Rome is probably one of the most romantic places for your New Year's Eve, the Eternal City of love.