Are you ready for partying during the holiday season? Do you want to celebrate New Year’s Eve differently from the past years? From whimsical local traditions to epic New Year parties, here are the world’s 14 best places for New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. Let’s pick a place, and have a new and special celebration for your next brilliant year!

Tokyo, Japan

Japanese people go to a shrine in the New Year
Japanese people go to a shrine in the New Year.

When welcoming the new year, Japan has special traditions, from enjoying a meal of Toshi Koshi soba, which is a special type of New Year’s Eve noodles, to listening to the temple bells ring 108 times until midnight. Indeed, it’s the very unique ways of the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

Read more: Sensō-ji Temple at Asakusa, Tokyo

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A lot of lanterns in the night sky of Chiang Mai on New Year's Eve
A lot of lanterns in the night sky of Chiang Mai on New Year’s Eve. Image source: John Shedrick on Flickr.

Every December, the city of Chiang Mai becomes the most magnificent cultural city, with daytime temperatures up to 29oC. Especially, there is a New Year’s Eve tradition with the scene of thousands of paper lanterns lit up and released into the night sky on December 31st. The release of lanterns symbolizes new beginnings. People also believe that activities bring good luck to them in the new year.

Read more: 15 Interesting Thailand Facts You Need to Know Before Traveling to the Country

Copenhagen, Denmark

People jump in a canal to celebrate New Year in Copenhagen
People jump in a canal to celebrate New Year in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen is truly one of the places for New Year’s Eve celebrations with traditional activities to do. Denmark is home to a tradition of celebrating the New Year by smashing plates and crockery in front of a neighbor’s door. The more dishes you break, the more luck you will have in the coming year, they believe. Besides that, in the city’s canal parts, the locals jump into the water to celebrate the new year.

London, England

People gather at the London Eye to celebrate New Year's Eve
People gather at the London Eye to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Source of image: Kevin Hackert on Flickr.

There aren’t many quirky traditions on New Year’s Eve in London. It’s simply a wholesome event with breathtaking views to behold. In the last moment of the old year, people gathered in line along the banks of the Thames with skyline views before the countdown at Big Ben and fireworks around the London Eye.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik locals buy and do fireworks to celebrate New Year's Eve
Reykjavik locals buy and do fireworks to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Image source: Börkur Sigurbjörnsson on Flickr.

Reykjavik doesn’t have an official fireworks display. However, that doesn’t stop the Icelandic capital from having one of the world’s brightest fireworks displays every New Year’s Eve. Almost every city resident buys fireworks from ICE-SAR (Icelandic Search and Rescue) and fires them at midnight. That brilliant image will surely make Reykjavik one of the best places for a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Naples, Italy

fireworks across the city of Naples on New Year's Eve
The fireworks that you can see across the city of Naples on New Year’s Eve. Image credit to visitnaples.eu.

Italy’s third-largest city has a tradition of throwing household items out the window on New Year’s Eve such as pots, pans, and pillows. Additionally, you shouldn’t miss the spectacular fireworks display across the city, with the best views from the high hills.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Thousands of people are doing the Torchlight Procession in an Edinburgh Hogmanay
Thousands of people are doing the Torchlight Procession in an Edinburgh Hogmanay. Image credit to Edinburgh on Flickr.

The New Year’s Eve celebration here is Edinburgh’s legendary Hogmanay festival with dancing, drinking, and fireworks lasting all 3 days. The event opens with a Torch Relay on December 30th, where 20,000 torchbearers marched through Edinburgh’s city center. On December 31st, the city becomes more vibrant with a huge party where street artists, DJs, bands, and big music stars participate in performances. Furthermore, the spectacular fireworks display over Edinburgh Castle is the start of a new year. Definitely, Edinburgh is one of the best places for New Year’s Eve celebration that brings to you a special experience.

Madrid, Spain

People gather at Puerta del Sol to celebrate New Year's Eve
People gather at Puerta del Sol to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Image source: madridurbanvibes.com.

Like any other buzzing capital in Europe, Madrid boasts the biggest fireworks display and partying of the holiday season. Gathered in Puerta del Sol Square, the countdown party was broadcast to Spaniards across the country on all national channels. Particularly, if you want the full Spanish New Year experience, join the unique local custom – the Twelve Grapes. It’s the Spanish tradition that you eat 12 grapes in your mouth at midnight, one by one with each of the Puerta del Sol bells strike.

Boise, USA

The giant potato for "Idaho Potato Drop" in the New Year
The giant potato for “Idaho Potato Drop” in the New Year. Image credit to KTVB.com.

As the “potato capital” of America and of the world, Idaho is home to a unique New Year’s Eve tradition with the custom of “Idaho Potato Drop”. When the clock strikes midnight and fireworks light up the sky, a large potato “falls down” Idaho’s capital, Boise. With live music, ski shows, and delicious food stalls, this is something you definitely won’t find anywhere else.

New York, USA

New York Times Square on the New Year's Eve
It’s New York Times Square on the New Year’s Eve.

New Year events from small to large in New York are present in every nook and cranny of the city. Moreover, you can enjoy the classic ball drop in Times Square, the fireworks display in Central Park, South Street Seaport, and Prospect Park.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

People wearing all-white clothes to enjoy the New Year's Eve celebration on the beach of Rio de Janeiro
People wearing all-white clothes to enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebration on the beach of Rio de Janeiro.

The annual Copacabana beach New Year party is a legendary Rio tradition with unique local customs. You need to wear all-white clothes, jump over 7 waves at midnight, walk barefoot on a sandy beach, and swim in warm water as fireworks shoot overhead.

Quito, Ecuador

Quito people burn scarecrow
The custom of burning the scarecrow of Quito locals. Source of image: Lizi on Location.

Also joining the trend of “destroying things to welcome the new year”, the city of Quito organizes the burning of paper scarecrow-like dolls at midnight. Aimed at warding off evil and bad luck from the past year, the fires – combined with numerous fireworks displays – make the capital Quito one of the best places for the New Year’s Eve celebration in the world.

Mexico

Fireworks in Mexico City to celebrate the New Year
Fireworks in Mexico City to celebrate the New Year.

A traditional and special Mexican New Year celebration is wearing colorful underwear. The color depends on what you want for the coming year. Commonly, red means love, yellow means money or luck, and white means peace.

Sydney, Australia

Amazing view in Harbor Bridge and Opera House with the fireworks in New Year's Eve
Amazing view of Harbor Bridge and Opera House with the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Sydney has a significant advantage over other major New Year celebrations around the world. Thanks to the eastern time zone, this is one of the first places for New Year’s Eve parties. Millions of attendees gather on boats or on the shore, ready to admire the light show on the Harbor Bridge and Opera House. In particular, the time of the celebration is during the height of summer in Australia. Hence, the weather is less chilly than most New Year’s parties in the northern hemisphere.

Enjoy, and have another great journey in the new year!

The Broad Life Khoi Nguyen wishes Happy New Year to readers

The Broad Life introduces to you great, inspirational books for your wanderlust. They aren't just simple travel, each book recounts the author's journey to discover and learn many awesome things from new civilizations and places.

> READ MORE: THE BEST TRAVEL BOOKS OF ALL TIME


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14 best places for new year eve celebration - the broad life pinterest board
14 best places to celebrate new year eve - the broad life pinterest board

20 COMMENTS

  1. Oh man. If I had all the money in the world I’d visit one of these each year. I’d be down to just watch people in Denmark though 🙂

  2. Wow! These are amazing places to be for the New Year’s eve celebration! And to choose from these places, I would love Japan and NYC.

  3. Sydney Australia has always been a lovely sight to admire, during this time of the year, for me! Will definitely take a peak at it this year.

  4. These all sound like really festive places to spend New Year’s Eve. I would love to be part of one of these celebrations!

  5. I don’t feel as excited as before but its fun to watch the new year’s eve. I would love to visit each country.

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