The Best New Years Eve Destinations

Where’s the best place to be when the clock strikes midnight? We’ve searched high and low for the world’s best end of year celebrations, from the glittering Sydney Harbour to the frozen landscape of Reykjavik. Whether it’s mesmerizing fireworks displays, one-of-a-kind traditions, or ritzy dance parties, you’ll find all these and more in our top 3 destinations to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Sydney Harbour Bridge and fireworks

Sydney, Australia

On New Year’s Eve in Sydney, it’s hard to tell which is brighter–the glittering cityscape or the spectacular 12 minute, $7 billion dollar fireworks display over Sydney Harbour Bridge. Over the years, Australia’s largest city has garnered a reputation for having the largest fireworks display in the world–a title fitting for the first city where the clock strikes midnight. In addition to fireworks, Sydney’s New Year’s celebration dazzles with an air and water show featuring aerial acrobatics and the awe-inspiring Harbour of Light Parade, where a flotilla of illuminated boats glide across Sydney Harbour. For the best views, set out early to grab a spot at Mrs Macquaries Point, a picturesque peninsula that offers spectacular views of the fireworks display over the Opera House.

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

Fireworks over Palace of Westminster seen from South Bank

Fireworks over Palace of Westminster seen from South Bank

London, England

If it’s been your dream to ring in the New Year in a big city, why not London? At the turn of the year, England’s historic city comes alive with a stunning fireworks display on London’s famous South Bank, where those lucky enough to snag a ticket can see in the new year with a bang. As the clock strikes midnight, the chimes of Big Ben ring out with the bangs of hundreds of fireworks in one spectacular display.

Looking to beat the crowds this season? Ring in the New Year with plenty of razzle dazzle at The Ritz London, where the hotel’s famous Palm Court transforms into a 1920 ‘s themed black tie event complete with cocktails and champagne, bagpipes from the Lone Piper, and a 14-piece military marching band to escort you to a delectable four course dinner. Cheers!

Where to stay: Radisson Blu Edwardian, Hampshire Hotel

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Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

Reykjavik
The Northern Lights aren’t the only lights that this Icelandic city is famous for. With only four hours of daylight a day in December, you can bet the locals of this beautiful city make their New Year’s celebrations count! The festivities begin midday, where locals let go of the year’s past with 7 large community bonfires (said to symbolize burning away troubles) full of music, laughter, and dance. Neighbors share stories of the past and their hopes for the year ahead as the last rays of sunlight dwindle away and the night truly begins.

With no official fireworks display, the dazzling fireworks spectacle is left to the 200,000 people of Reykjavík, who collectively set off around 500 tons of fireworks each year. Join the crowds at Landakotskirkja church for the best views of the numerous fireworks display and city. Once the final fireworks have fizzled away, enjoy a trip to the numerous bars and pubs. Open until 5 am, you’ll be ringing in the New Year long after the clock strikes midnight.

Where to stay: Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik

 

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