There are few occasions more special than New Year’s Eve: with the glittering fireworks and warm embraces, this is, without a doubt, one of the most magical days of the year.
As the clock strikes midnight, watch in awe as the world’s biggest city’s light up in myriad colours. Soak in the atmosphere and spread the merriment with your loved ones, all before dancing the night away.
If you have an idea of how you would like to spend your New Year’s break but haven’t yet chosen your destination, there’s no need to worry – we have plenty of magical cities to choose from, both across the U.K. and abroad.
Whether you are in search of a street party in Phuket, or a relaxing river cruise along the Thames, one thing is for certain: you won’t regret breaking with old traditions.
Just image sipping champagne atop the Eiffel Tower as the clock strikes 12, or being sprinkled in snow as you wait for the “ball drop” at Times Square. Wherever you choose to go, know that this will be a New Year’s Eve you will never forget!
Find the inspiration for your New Year’s Eve break 2018/19, below.
When you spend New Year’s Eve in London, you can expect an experience like no other. Located along the River Thames and positioned in front of two of the UK’s most iconic landmarks, the London Eye and Big Ben, London’s Southbank provides the perfect setting for a spectacular firework display.
As if this celebration needed to be any more sensational, guests can ring in London’s New Year’s Eve from the water. Every year, the Golden Rise boat sets sail down the River Thames, treating guests to up-close views of the spectacular firework display. To top it off, a free bar and DJ are on board to keep the party going into the early hours.
Of course, as the Golden Rise boat is hugely popular, you may need to keep your options open if you wish to spend London New Year’s Eve along the docks. The Star Clipper and Dixie Queen are two more boats which have a similar offering.
Alternatively, swap the water for the heady heights of the Shard this NYE in London. Here, guests are treated to uninterrupted views of London’s fireworks, along with top-notch cocktails.Book New Year Breaks in London, England →
The Scots really know how to celebrate New Year’s Eve. In fact, they are so proficient at partying that they have coined their own name for it – Hogmanay!
To many, Edinburgh is the home of Hogmanay, with many spectacular new year’s events taking place in the city’s Old Town. The headline event has to be Concert in the Park, at Princes Street Gardens. This star-studded event has featured many world-famous acts in recent years, such as Paolo Nutini.
Alternatively, visitors can ring in the new year at one of Edinburgh’s most magical buildings, Edinburgh Castle. Known locally as “Ceilidh in the Castle”; Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) derives from the Gaelic word for ‘party’, so expect plenty of dancing and a jovial atmosphere.
One of Scotland’s most loved Hogmanay street parties is the Torchlight Procession. Beginning at three different points (St Giles Street, North Bridge and South Bridge), party-goers make their way down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood House, before making the final stop at Edinburgh Castle.Book New Year Breaks in Edinburgh, Scotland →
When you think about some of the world’s best NYE celebrations, New Year’s Eve in Times Square is probably one of the first that comes to mind.
In the heart of the “City That Never Sleeps”, visitors can wave goodbye to 2018 at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. This cherished annual tradition is known the world over for its fireworks display and chart-topping performances. Each year, around one million people flock to the square to catch a glimpse of the spectacle, with an estimated 20 million people watching the spectacle from the comfort of their own homes. The party rocks for five hours, with global music artists and Broadway performers gracing the stage, all before the Times Square “ball drop” counts down the final seconds to the new year.
For a spectacular view of New York’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, why not jump aboard a boat and sail along the Hudson River? Those seeking luxury should join the Statue V Yacht; this boat provides premium views, along with the essential New Year’s Eve starter pack - an open bar, buffet and live DJ.
Alternatively, for a night of all-out partying, look no further than the Harbor Lights cruise ship. Known locally as one of the most sought-after boatsin the harbour, guests are treated to drinks and pulsating music, all before the pyrotechnics fire up at midnight!Book New Year Breaks in New York, U.S.A →
With bright lights twinkling in the capital’s canals, there are few places more picturesque than Amsterdam during New Year’s Eve.
The countdown begins in Oosterdok, a body of water surrounding the Maritime Museum and VOC ship, the Amsterdam. Here, you can expect to see the words Oud en Nieuw or Oudejaarsavond (“Old and New”) pointing you in the direction of Amsterdam’s NYE festivities.
Just before midnight, the neighbourhood’s monuments light up and a projection appears over the Scheepvaartmuseum’s (The National Maritime Museum) western façade. For the best seat in the house, head to Prins Hendrikkade - a long, canal-side road that runs parallel to Centraal Station.
Once the clock strikes midnight, grab your neighbour and shout “Gelukkig nieuwjaar!” (pronounced “huh-LOOK-uh NYOO-yar”), which translates to “Happy New Year” in Dutch.
For a calming New Year’s celebration spent with locals, try visiting Amsterdam’s main square, Nieuwmarkt.Visitors gather here to sip champagne and spread festive cheer. However, don’t be fooled by the square’s serene atmosphere; during the final minutes of New Year’s Eve, a huge pyrotechnic show showers guests with some of Amsterdam’s most mind-blowing fireworks.Book New Year Breaks in Amsterdam, Netherlands →
Say bonne année in style this New Year’s Eve when you visit the Champs-Elysées, in Paris.
The site of the official Parisian New Year’s street party, the Grande Parade comprises a festive procession of carnival floats and brass bands. However, wait patiently until the final minutes of midnight and the serenading street sounds are suddenly replaced with Paris’s thundering firework display.
Those seeking something quintessentially Parisian this New Year’s Eve can find it at the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant. Here guests can expect a decadent four-course Gallic dinner, along with some of the region’sfinest wine. Complimentary champagne is later proffered as the French capital glows in a kaleidoscope of colours.
For an extra special New Year’s Eve in Paris, spend it along the Seine. Here you can climb aboard one of the many glass-topped Bateaux Parisiens (“Parisian Boats”). On board, guests are treated to a top-class meal, bottle of Pommery champagne and music, all before the clock strikes 12.Book New Year Breaks in Paris, France →
Every year, on the 31st December, the world turns to Sydney Harbour, the home of Australia’s main fireworks display.
As soon as the clock strikes 12, fireworks catapult from Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and seven barges along the harbour. Together they create Sydney’s famous NYE ‘Bridge Effect’.
Last year’s theme was “SyndNYE”, where the city's name was ignited from the bridge's upper arch with never-before-seen effects, such as violet droplets, stars, quarter moons, Saturn-shaped shellsand candy-coloured fireworks. This year, the theme is “wonder”, so expect to be left aghast!
If you would prefer a low-key New Year’s Eve in Sydney, hop aboard one of the illuminated vessels parading along the Harbour. This is known as the “Harbour of Light Parade”; here, guests bob along the water, before coming to a stop in front of the official fireworks display – ideal if you wish to spend your time away from the city’s busy streets.Book New Year Breaks in Sydney, Australia →
With its enigmatic landscape, legendary nightlife and friendly locals, Iceland is an idealistic setting for seeing in the new year.
Reykjavik, the country’s capital, is the focal point come midnight, although many locals enjoy private parties all over the country. In fact, it is during these celebrations when Icelanders show why their country is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice”.
Bonfires are an Icelandic custom for New Year’s Eve, so expect to see locals and tourists sidling up to crackling fire pits pre-midnight. If the warming glow of the bonfire isn’t enough to get you in the mood, the high-spirited dancing and Brennivín (Iceland’s signature liquor) should do the trick!
For a bird’s-eye view of the celebrations, visitors needn’t join a helicopter cruise - the peaks of Öskjuhlíð and Skólavörðuholt are just a stone’s throw away from the main festivities. These ancient volcanoes are the perfect spots for firework gazing, and those who reach the top are treated to panoramic views of the capital city.
Before you run for your suitcase, remember to brr-ing along plenty of winter wear - average New Year’s Eve temperatures in Iceland can drop as low as -19 degrees Celsius!Book New Year Breaks in Reykjavik, Iceland →
Few places compare to the liveliness and light-heartedness of New Year’s Eve in Berlin.
The main street party for Silvester (“New Year’s Eve” in German) is along the Straße des 7. Juni – a lively street which locals proudly call the “party mile”.
Situated between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, locals know this as one of the best street parties in the country. Live music ripples across the city (last year included performances from international artists, such as Bonnie Tyler) and laser shows illuminate Berlin’s streets.
Those looking to stay toasty on NYE in Berlin should head to Spreepalais, in Alexanderplatz.Formerly the Mint, this building offers four floors of unique music, from electro to R&B.
You will be hard-pressed to find a better place to take in the city’s fireworks than on one of Spreepalais’s three rooftop terraces – these views are nothing short of sensational.And once you have toasted the New Year in with your neighbours, you can dash back down to the dance floor to continue partying!Book New Year Breaks in Berlin, Germany →
There are few places better equipped to host a New Year’s extravaganza than Las Vegas.
Every New Year’s Eve, Las Vegas’s epic casinos cast their light across the entire city, collectively drawing in crowds of more than 30,000 people. At midnight, the casinos launch a choreographed fireworks display, firing more than 80,000 rockets from the rooftops of seven monolithic resorts.
See in the new year in style by joining the Sundance “Helicopters Fireworks Spectacular Tour.” As fireworks are splayed across the Strip, guests can sit back with a glass of champagne and watch the show from the best seat in the house. A word of warning, however: if you wish to bag yourself a space aboard the Sundance, you need to move quick – the aircraft is limited to 72 spaces!
Those who prefer to keep their feet a little closer to terra firma can take advantage of the Las Vegas Monorail. On New Year’s Eve, this traditional rail service is transformed into the Third Rail Lounge, where parties get wild into the wee hours. When midnight approaches, the trains come to a standstill at the Las Vegas Convention Center – the best spot to catch the city’s majestic fireworks display.Book New Year Breaks in Las Vegas, U.S.A →
Warm weather, bags of culture and some of the world’s finest pyrotechnics make Thailand one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
While there are plenty of options for New Year’s Eve in Thailand, many people flock to CentralWorld Square in Bangkok. It’s here that visitors are treated to traditional Muay Thai, high-energy music and the capital’s official fireworks display.
Hedonistic party-goers should join one of Thailand’s world-famous Full Moon beach parties. The atmosphere here is electric, with thousands of travellers bringing summery vibes to the festivities: beach barbecues and bumping music give this New Year’s celebration an idiosyncratic ‘island feel’.
Those seeking something a little calmer can visit the Lanterns and Lights festival in Chiang Mai. Here, revellers light paper lanterns before releasing them into the stratosphere.
Alternatively, head to one of the city’s glamorous rooftop terraces. Sky Bar Rooftop at Lebua has a stunning view over the Chao Phraya River, while Banyan Tree, Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar, Above Eleven and Three Sixty are favourites amongst localsBook New Year Breaks in Bangkok, Thailand →