10 Cities Around The World Where You Can Celebrate New Year

10 Cities with The Most Exciting New Year’s Eve Celebrations — Aside from NYC!

It’s time to countdown to 2021!

Don’t you just wish you could celebrate New Year while travelling overseas? Same here! But with travel bans still implemented in several parts of the globe, some overseas holiday nostalgia is all we could do for now. 

Of course, you don’t have to head to New York City to have a blast on New Year’s Eve — pandemic or not! While counting down and waiting for the ball to drop at Times Square is exciting, there are many more destinations that promise a lively party and a great vibe, too. That said, here are ten fantastic cities that we wish we were ringing in 2021… or perhaps future New Year’s celebrations!

Note: For the latest information, always check the official tourism websites of each city before making plans.

1. Las Vegas

Image credit: InSapphoWeTrust

Glitzy and flashy at any time of the year, Las Vegas really pulls out the stops for New Year. The famous Las Vegas Strip becomes pedestrianised for a huge street party and many of the lavish casinos have special parties and deals to entice revellers. Gala dinners, discos, and dancing galore can be found all around the city. At midnight, many hotels and casinos set off impressive firework displays from their roofs, illuminating the inky sky with a boom.

2. Rio de Janeiro

For a sexy countdown on the sands, it’s tough to beat sultry Rio de Janeiro. There are many clubs and bars if you prefer to stay indoors, but most people choose to celebrate on the beach in the open air. Some two million people party on Copacabana Beach, while Ipanema Beach is where cool cats go for a fabulous afterparty. As midnight chimes, expect an energetic buzz with lots of fireworks, Champagne sprayed over the crowds, and a palpable sense of excitement for the new year ahead.

3. Cape Town

Image credit: Vaughan Leiberum

Cape Town is one the best places in Africa to welcome the new year. Dress up to party hard in one of the sleek beach clubs, where trendy people gyrate to all the best tunes, or make your way to the V&A Waterfront for a fun night filled with dancing, fireworks, and concerts.

Alternatively, pack a picnic and enjoy great views from Table Mountain. The fun’s not over when the clock strikes 12 — Cape Town celebrates New Year for three days! Don’t miss the vibrant carnival that takes place after New Year’s Eve, with thousands of performers singing, making music, dancing, and strutting through the streets.

4. London

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Dress up warmly and take to London’s streets for an enormous street party. Get your tickets early if you plan to mingle with the masses in front of the Houses of Parliament, though you can still see the incredible New Year firework displays from other parts of the city. Call into traditional pubs for a warming beverage or two or show off your best moves in one of the city’s super clubs. Before midnight, head outside to wait in anticipation for the booming chimes of Big Ben followed by the city erupting in a riot of colour and lights.

Several major landmarks have excellent firework displays, including the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and modern architectural gem The Shard. Don’t sleep in on New Year’s Day or you’ll miss the hypnotic parade winding through the city’s streets. With dancers, amazing costumes, musicians, floats, and royal horses, it’s a great way to start the new year.

5. Paris

Image credit: Falcon® Photography

Celebrate New Year in style! Another great place in Europe to see in the new year, Paris offers chic and classy fun. Celebrate on a boat ride along the River Seine, book a table in a high-class restaurant, sip cocktails in a swanky bar, or get down with stylish locals at the huge street party on the elegant Champs Elysees. At midnight, watch in awe as the iconic Eiffel Tower springs to life with lasers, lights, and fireworks.

6. Dubai

Image credit: Bengin Ahmad

A playground for the wealthy and well-heeled, Dubai promises heaps of fun on New Year’s Eve. As an Islamic nation, drinking isn’t at the fore when it comes to waiting for the turn of midnight. Foodies, however, can book for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure at one of the city’s many fine restaurants and, of course, the glamorous malls have many events and promotions to help people part with their cash.

Start the new year by watching the mesmerising fireworks display from the world’s tallest building, the statuesque Burj Khalifa. Many people gather in front of the behemoth for the dazzling midnight show as well.

7. Singapore

Image credit: HUSO

Singapore knows how to ring in the New Year with style! The biggest countdown party takes place at Marina Bay, with lots of fireworks and frivolity to usher in the new year. If you don’t want to be right in the thick of the action but still want to witness the excitement, grab your mates and take a picnic and drinks to a quieter spot, like Mount Faber. Alternatively, sip a drink in a sky bar as you look down across the city in full swing.

8. Bangkok

Image credit: Andrew Smith

Bangkok is a fun place to see in the new year with a variety of events to suit diverse tastes. The biggest outdoor celebrations take place at Central World shopping mall, with an energetic countdown, fireworks, music, dancing, and family-friendly activities to keep little ones happy.

For a youthful street party to (not!) remember, head to the backpacker favourite, Khao San Road. If dressing up in your glad rags for a hip and trendy night of revelry is more your thing, the designated nightlife zone of RCA knows how to impress. Book into a fancy restaurant or score tickets for a sky bar, cruise along the Chao Phraya River, or join in the fun at Asiatique; there are many options to choose from!

9. Hong Kong

Image credit: Michael Elleray

Hong Kong’s New Year fireworks are nothing short of incredible. Take your place at the water’s edge to watch an awesome show full of loud bangs, colours, lights, and music, all erupting in glory over one of the most impressive skylines on the planet. You can watch the famous ball drop (mimicking that in New York) at the appropriately named Times Square shopping centre. There are tons of cool events at Victoria Harbour, too.  

10. Sydney

Image credit: Raj Singh

Welcoming in the new year some 16 hours before New York, Sydney is the first major city in the world to start a new year. The pulsating Australian city also hosts not one but two incredible firework displays, with one at 9pm to really get you in a jolly mood and then another at the stroke of midnight. Indeed, Sydney’s New Year fireworks are the biggest across the globe! Seeing the sky dramatically light up over Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge is really out of this world! Boats bob peacefully in the harbour and there are parades, traditional celebrations, concerts, and more.

Also read: It’s Official: Singapore Is One of the World’s Best Cities for 2021

There are many terrific cities to spend New Year’s Eve in. Where do you wish you were ringing 2021?

About Author

Sarah W
Sarah W

Sarah W is a travelling cat-lover who enjoys exploring places that are a little bit quirky or away from headline attractions. Favourite things include delicious falafel, snuggling under a thick duvet, (badly) belting out karaoke at the top of her lungs, and, of course, her family, friends, and furry pets.

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