Best Destinations to Spend New Year's Eve

What are you doing for New Year's? The year is coming to a close, and you'll want to find the perfect place to celebrate the New Year with your loved ones. But where's the best place to be when the clock strikes midnight on December 31? Here are a few ideas:

1. London, United Kingdom

Ring in the New Year with the chimes of Big Ben and be dazzled by the spectacular pyrotechnics over the River Thames. The best vantage points to watch the fireworks display are along the Victoria Embankment, Waterloo and Westminster bridges. Continue the night’s revelry at a host of parties and clubs around the city. There’s also the London New Year’s Day parade on 1 January with up to 10,000 performers complete with marching bands, colourful floats, costumed dancers and a procession of the Queen’s horses. The parade is a 3-hour affair starting from Piccadilly and ending at Parliament Square.

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2. New York, USA

New Year’s Eve in New York’s Times Square is one of the world’s most recognisable New Year’s celebrations and an American tradition for 100 years. A million revellers squeeze into this iconic street where Broadway and Seventh Avenue come together to count down the seconds to midnight and watch the massive 12-foot glittering LED ball make its 70-foot descent before a tonne of confetti rain over one of the biggest New Year’s street parties on the planet.

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3. Sydney, Australia

Sydney boasts one of the most impressive New Year’s Eve fireworks productions in the world. Book a table at one of the many waterfront restaurants by the Sydney Harbour Bridge or get yourself on a boat and drop anchor somewhere in the harbour for a front row seat of the spectacular fireworks display. Building up to the final moment when the fireworks are set off at midnight, revellers can expect to be entertained by aerial displays and colourful pylon projections, witness an Aboriginal smoke cleanse over Sydney Harbour and be enchanted by the “Harbour of Light Parade” which encompasses 60 illuminated ships ‘dancing’ in the harbour.

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4. Hong Kong

On New Year’s Eve, one of the world’s most famous skylines is magically illuminated with a large display of fireworks concluding with a sensational finale: a pyrotechnic dragon dancing across the sky. The iconic Times Square Shopping Mall also puts on a New Year’s Eve show with a countdown and ball drop not unlike the one in Times Square, New York, USA.Best places to join in the New Year Eve’s celebrations in the early evening are the Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui areas, where you can enjoy the best views of the night lights along the Hong Kong harbour. As Victoria Harbour will be the centre of the evening’s revelry, it would be a brilliant idea to take a cruise to Hong Kong for New Year’s.

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5. Seoul, South Korea

New Year’s Eve countdowns and fireworks displays at midnight might be the standard in most cities in the world, but in Seoul, this city welcomes the New Year with cultural traditions unique to it. The main event is the Bosingak Watch-Night Bell Ceremony where the bell is struck 33 times to literally ring in the New Year and is presided over by South Korean dignitaries. Many people travel to the small outlying islands of Khoje-do or Gangwha-do to watch the breath-taking sunset, and spend the night to witness the first sunrise of the New Year. Observers of this tradition have a breakfast of Ttoekkuk or rice cake noodles, which they believe will bring them good luck for the year ahead. For those who choose to celebrate in the city itself they will gather at Olympic Park to enjoy an evening of food, music and entertainment with friend and family before watching the fireworks at midnight.

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6. Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is party-central in Asia, and on New Year’s the city spares no expense in making sure it’s the biggest party of the year. The evening’s activity is at Central World Square, where thousands of revellers will gather to be entertained with an amazing light show, live concert by popular local artistes and video screens projecting celebrations from around the world. For families, the night market Asiatique, is a popular spot countdown to the New Year. And for those who are looking for a little luxury and the best vantage point to watch the fireworks at midnight is to take a relaxed Dinner Cruise down Chao Phraya River.

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7. Taipei, Taiwan

Not many cities in the world, can boast having one of the tallest buildings in the world as a landmark. Standing at 1,671 ft and comprising of 101 floors, the Taipei 101 or what was formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, was the tallest building in the world from 2004 until 2010. And it is at this monumental landmark where the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Taiwan take place. During the New Year’s Eve countdown, each floor of Taipei 101 lights up from the bottom to the top, making it the biggest New Year’s Eve countdown clock in the world. At midnight the entire building bursts into a multitude of colours with the fireworks setting off on each floor of the building. The co-ordinated and choreographed explosion of fireworks is certainly one of the most magnificent fireworks productions in the world.

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8. Edinburgh, Scotland

In Edinburgh, the New Year’s Eve celebrations are a massive 3-day festival. No other city in the world celebrates New Year’s with as much enthusiasm as Edinburgh. The Hogmanay celebration, which means a celebration of the last day of the year in Gaelic, kicks-off on 30 December with the Torchlight Procession, where as many as 300,000 thousand people carry torches alongside Vikings and Bag Pipers from Parliament Square to Calton Hill, where the procession ends with a stunning fireworks finale. On 31 December, there’s a huge street party on Princes Street and everyone sings the biggest and loudest rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” in the world to welcome the New Year. At midnight, the night sky is set ablaze by one of the greatest fireworks displays with Edinburgh Castle as the backdrop and the partying continues well into the wee hours of the morning. On January 1, there are a variety of events to celebrate the first day of the New Year which includes, the annual dip in the freezing River North, and Scot:Lands a multi-venue music and arts festival. In 2014, celebrating Hogmanay in Edinburgh was on Discovery Channel’s “Top 25 World Travel Experiences”.

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Whether you’re looking for a family trip abroad or a couple’s luxury cruise to celebrate the New Year, let Summit Holidays plan your perfect getaway to share this special time with your nearest and dearest.

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