Countries around the world will be ringing in the new year soon with fireworks, festivals, parties, and, of course, kisses. It is an exciting time and a holiday that knows no nationality. For those still looking for some place to go and want the best of the best, here are the top ten places to go on New Year’s Eve.
New York City
Times Square has been a focal point of New Year’s activity for more than a hundred years. Millions come in the square to watch the famed ball drop. Millions more around the world hold their breath watching Times Square on New Years Eve as New Year’s Eve Ball drops. If you want to be at Times Square, dress warm and arrive early – people start gathering around 3pm on New Years Eve. The festivities continue after midnight with remarkable fireworks around the city and lots of late night drinking at the bars and clubs.
Sydney is the first major city in the world to greet a new year (sorry New Zealand, you aren’t as big!), and they know how to do it right with the largest firework celebrations in the world. The fireworks end at 12:15, but the celebrations last until dawn. You can witness absolutely stunning firework over the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge from many vantage points around the harbor, but the best views come from a boat in the harbor. After the celebrations, the city stays up until late.
London has astonishing fireworks launched into the sky from the London Eye. The fireworks can be seen from rooftops and balconies all across London, but best views are from Westminster Bridge and the north embankment of the River Thames, opposite the London Eye. The show starts after Big Ben chimes midnight and lasts for 15 minutes. Endless numbers of London pubs, clubs, and restaurant are open well into New Years night, as would be expected since the British love any excuse to have a pint.
Paris has great festivities- from high class dining to clubbing to fantastic fireworks to Champagne on the Champs-Elysees. The place to be is the Champs-Elysees. Around 9pm, people gather at the famous street and start to count down to the new year. Around midnight here, you can watch the Eiffel Tower’s light show. Montmartre is another fantastic place to ring in the New Year as its elevated and has spectacular views of the entire Paris skyline. While Paris doesn’t typically have a fireworks show, there are till great parties and many people light them off from the Champs-Elysees.
Ko Phanagn, Thailand
Over twenty thousand young people cram on Haat Rin beach to celebrate the new year. People from around the world dance, paint themselves up, and drink buckets until the sun rises. It may not be as large as New York or Sydney or Tokyo, but for those who want to spend their new year on the beach, this place in Thailand is the only destination that should be on your mind.
What better way to ring in the new year than be the first people to do it? This spot in the Pacific is officially the first place in the world to see 2011. Tourism here has picked up in recent years as the locals have tried to capitalize on that interesting fact. And regardless of this fact, what better way to spend the New Year than on an island in the South Pacific?
If you want to start celebrating early, head to Tokyo, where the celebration starts on the 29th of December. Here, you also have a chance to prolong your New Years celebration up to January 4th. Even though most of the major tourist sites are closed, the streets of Tokyo, as well as all restaurants and clubs, are packed with people. The city is jumping with loads of fireworks, dancing, and singing. On January 1st, the Imperial Palace opens to the public.
The city that parties every night throughout the year certainly knows how to throw a New Year’s Eve bash to remember. There are so many clubs, hotels, bars, and casinos to choose from in Las Vegas, Nevada, that it’s almost impossible to not celebrate in style. Outdoors, the Strip is closed to traffic so everyone can watch the grand fireworks displays high above the city’s neon lights. If you can wade through the crowds, make your way downtown to the Fremont Street Experience and join the massive block party, complete with confetti, a massive wine toast, concerts by big-name rockers, and a five-block-long illuminated canopy 90 feet overhead, on which state-of-the-art sound and light shows are shown.
Boston’s First Night celebrations are very famous for its fireworks and ice sculptures. The fireworks take place around midnight over the river, but festivities begin days before. First Night Boston is the country’s oldest and largest New Year’s arts celebration. From 1pm to midnight, First Night presents a day-long festival of art, music, dance, ice sculpture, and fireworks. First Night is an alcohol-free event that welcomes children, families, and revelers of all ages.
Anywhere your friends are
No matter where you are, this holiday is about celebrating with friends and family. Wherever they are will be a great place to celebrate. Celebrate the end of one year and a set of new beginnings. Paris, London, New York- it doesn’t matter. As long as you are with those you like and love, it will be the best New Year’s party in the world.