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The 14 best New Year’s destinations to celebrate around the world

From Times Square to Copacabana Beach, here's where you need to be to kick off 2018 with a bang.

Feel like you've exhausted your quota of New Year's Eve celebrations in your home city? Seen it all before and want a new perspective going into 2018? We hear you.

That's why we've collated this inspirational list of the best, most exciting and most inspirational New Year's Eve party destinations for you to ring in the new year.

You're welcome.

NewYork.NYImage: Times Square

1. New York City

What better place to ring in the new year than in the city that doesn’t sleep? Surrounded by the bright lights of Broadway, the biggest names in music and entertainment and over one million people, Times Square in New York City is the place to be on New Year’s Eve.

The line-up for the 2017/2018 event hasn’t been announced yet, but last year’s celebration saw the likes of Gavin DeGraw, Silento, and Mariah Carey wind up the crowd before the ball dropped at midnight.

That famous “ball” is made from 2,699 Waterford crystals and weighs in at about 5,400kg.

4-Day New Year's Package
Contiki
New Year's Eve Dinner Cruise in New York
Viator
Times Square and New Year's Eve Ball Drop at Hilton
Hilton Hotels


london_bye_shutterstock_238468597

2. London

For a splash of fireworks behind some of England’s most notable buildings, London is the place to be. More than half a million people attend the eight-minute fireworks display along the Thames each year.

That's a lot of people along one riverbank and because of the growing popularity of this vantage point, the city has now made its New Year's Eve fireworks a ticketed event.

On the positive, tickets will only set you back £10 each and guarantees you prime position on the riverbank. While some areas have sold out, others are still available to book a space in. See here for details.

Explore London's Attractions
London Pass
Hotel stays over Christmas and New Years
Travelodge (UK)
New Year's Cruises on The Thames
Viator


TourRadar-NYE---copacabana Image: TourRadar

3. Rio de Janeiro

In true Brazilian fashion, New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro is one big party on the beach.

Crowds dress in white to bring good luck to the new year and flock to Copacabana Beach for a massive waterfront party celebrating reveillon (New Year’s Eve).

The mid-summer festivities along the four kilometre stretch of sand are filled with samba music, sprays of champagne and a massive 20-minute fireworks display enjoyed by two-million revellers on the beach and on cruise ships.

Book a Flight
LATAM Airlines
New Years in Rio Fireworks and Party
Viator
Rio New Years Package
TourRadar


vienna-shutterstock_158506019-300

4. Vienna

Awash with culture and dressed in architectural wonders, the capital of Austria is beautiful to visit whatever time of year.

For New Year's Eve, the Old City transforms into a street party complete with gala events, dancing and, in true Viennese fashion, operas and operettas.

The entertainment runs from 2pm to 2am with the highlight being the fireworks at the City Hall Square as well as the Prater at the stroke of midnight.

Not only does the city know how to party by night, it also knows how to recover by day, featuring a brunch and performance by the Vienna Philharmonic on New Year's Day. This is displayed on a big screen in front of City Hall at the bleary-eyed time of 10am on 1 January.

Celebrate Along the Danube
CruiseAway
New Year's Eve Gala in Vienna City Hall's Grand B...
Viator
Vienna New Year's Concert with Dinner at Palais A...
Viator

kiribati_shutterstock_342932312

5. Kiribati

Kiribati is a tiny nation that consists of 33 atolls and islands. It's scattered across 3.5 million square kilometres of the South Pacific and is home to less than 100,000 people. Just west of the International Date Line, the Line Islands and Kiritimati are the first places in the world to celebrate the new year.

It’s not an easy place to get to, so don’t arrive expecting big-city parties. You’ll be spending the first day of the new year surrounded by sandy beaches, blue lagoons and swaying palms.

If you’d like somewhere a bit more on the beaten path, Samoa switched to the same time zone as Kiribati in 2011.

Find a Flight
Expedia.com.au
Packages to Kiribati
Wotif
South Pacific Guide Book
Lonely Planet


6. Edinburgh

Hogmanay is the name of Edinburgh's massive New Year's Eve celebration. It in, the Scottish capital hosts a three-day bender of traditional events and live entertainment.

On the bill is a torchlight procession where over 40,000 revellers carry torches through the Old Town creating a river of light toward a fireworks finale. That's just on the 30th.

Come 31 December there will be candlelight concerts, a traditional ceilidh of dancing and music and that midnight moment when the clock ticks over and the fireworks crack the night sky.

4-Day Edinburgh's Hogmanay New Year Break
Viator
Hogmanay New Year (4 Day Start Edinburgh)
Contiki
6 Night Hogmanay Package with Scotland Tour
TourRadar


Sydney.NYEImage: Sydney New Years Eve

7. Sydney

Broadcast around the world as one of the first places to ring in the new year, Sydney sets the bar high for New Year’s Eve parties with around $7 million worth of fireworks exploding off barges and the Harbour Bridge yearly.

Not only is it one of the first cities in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve, it’s also one of the largest. Last year, over one million lined the harbour foreshore for a view of the sparklers. Many people camp out the night before to ensure they get their place, and harbour cruises sell out months in advance.

The event has become so big that there’s now an app which shows you how full each vantage point is.

Harbour Cruises
AnyBoat
4-Day Sydney New Year's Package
Contiki
The Opera Gala New Years Eve at the Opera House
finder.com.au


AmericanSamoa.NYImage: Lonely Planet

8. American Samoa

Had a good year and want to savour every last moment? Then American Samoa is the place to do just that.

Not to be confused with Samoa, which is 80km away on the other side of the International Date Line, American Samoa is one of the last places to celebrate the new year, 23 hours after Samoa.

American Samoa has roughly half the population of Kiribati, and only about 3,500 people living in its capital Pago Pago. It’s not somewhere you come expecting a huge party and epic fireworks displays. Instead, start the new year on a peaceful, lush and tropical island.

Flights to American Samoa
Expedia.com.au
Hotels in Pago Pago
finder.com.au Hotels
American Samoa Guidebook
Lonely Planet


Reykjavik---visit-Reykjavik

9. Reykjavik

There are no official celebrations or fireworks displays for the new year in Reykjavik, but the locals don't care. On the eve of the new year, hundreds of thousands of revellers create their own explosion and light up over 500 tonnes of fireworks.

Don't expect to saunter out at 23:59 to catch them, either. Icelanders aren't too fussed about time and light up the night sky from 23:30 onward - so get out early to check them out. The best bit? You won't have to push through throngs of crowds to nab the best seat in the house.

Reykjavik Bonfire and Fireworks Display
Viator
New Year's and Northern Lights Adventure
TourRadar
New Year's Eve Cruise in Reykjavik
Viator


Bangkok-fireworks

10. Bangkok

Bangkok presents a more local celebration for those who wish to ring in the new year outside of Australia but don't wish to venture far or overspend during the holidays.

Each district offers a different atmosphere of live entertainment and street parties. The biggest is undeniably at Bangkok Central Square where musicians play all night alongside light shows, a beer garden and projection screens to help you keep and eye on the countdown.

New Year's Special Thailand
TourRadar
Christmas and New Years in Asia
CruiseAway
Flights to Bangkok
Flight Centre - International


LasVegas.NY.Caesars

11. Las Vegas

If you thought Vegas already had an anything-goes vibe, wait until New Year’s Eve.

The Strip is closed to traffic, hundreds of thousands of people party in the streets and fireworks make the sky shimmer from just about every angle. About half a dozen hotels host the shows that see about 80,000 fireworks light up the sky.

If partying in a club on New Year’s Eve is more your thing, Vegas has plenty of options. Most hotels along The Strip have venues that pump all night long, including Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace and the Palms.

Las Vegas New Year package
Contiki
Flights to Las Vegas
Flight Centre - International
Las Vegas New Year
TourRadar


vanuatu_shutterstock_445736128-450-300

12. New Caledonia and Vanuatu

Seeing the fireworks from the harbour is one thing, seeing them on the open ocean is another.

A number of cruise ships set sail for New Caledonia and Vanuatu over Christmas and New Year's enabling you to celebrate in style on the ocean bound for exotic lands.

While the islands themselves may not boast the largest celebrations, cruise ships aren't beyond throwing a celebration of their own with music, dancing, a countdown and drinks packages.

Exciting New Year Cruise from Sydney
CruiseAway
The Pacific Islands Melbourne Return
CruiseAway
Vienna New Year's Concert with Dinner at Palais A...
Viator


tokyo_shutterstock_224695279

13. Tokyo

Tokyo isn’t on this list because of its millions of residents, huge party scene and a knack for late nights.

The Japanese do New Year’s Eve a little bit different. Locals partake in hatsumode, which is the first visit of the new year to shrines and temples. Temple bells ring and food stalls are set up at the city’s most popular shrines, including Meiji Shrine and Sensoji Temple.

If it’s bright lights and the big city that you’re after, head to the Shibuya crossing for the midnight countdown or find a spot along Tokyo Bay for the annual fireworks display.

Temples and Palace Tour
City Discovery
Flights to Tokyo
Flight Centre - International
Tokyo Hotels
finder.com.au Hotels


Paris.NY

14. Paris

Contrary to its namesake, the city of lights isn’t known for its fireworks displays, although you will find those too.

In fact, up until a few years ago, it didn’t have any official New Year’s Eve events, but that didn't stop Paris from being a popular tourist spot.

The Champs Elysées is a magnet for crowds searching to celebrate on the famous Parisian street near the Arc de Triumph.

If you’re looking for more glitz, the Eiffel Tower dazzles in lights at the stroke of midnight. This can be seen close or from vantage points around the city.

Oh Cesar! New Dinner and Show by the Cesar Palace...
Viator
New Year's Eve Crazy Horse Cabaret Show
Viator
4-Day New Year's Package
Contiki

Top New Year's celebration deals

Store Discount Expiration Description Last verified Redeem
2-for-1 Christmas and New Years Tours

Deal expires

Valid on select tours in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Morocco and Russia. Solo travellers can get up to 45% off. Conditions Apply

Last verified

$300 off select Morocco tours

Coupon code expires

Valid on select December dates. Includes Christmas and New Years.

Last verified

Show code PP****

After the store tab opens, come back to copy the code

Spend New Years in Amsterdam with a 4-day package from $605 Includes accommodation, three breakfasts, one dinner and transport from London.

Last verified

Alex Keshen

Alex takes care of the travel section here at finder.com.au. If there's a new sale on tours or cruises, discounted flights or hotels, or anything else that can be on offer, she'll fill you in.

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