Each year I try to work out what to do for New Years, yet the same options always come up, visit an overpriced local club, try a house party or just hang out with a few friends. The travel bug inside me often calls for something a bit more adventurous, so if you’re the same as me, you will probably enjoy some of my top destination recommendations for 2016 New Years parties I have listed below.
It is hard to think of somewhere that could offer more stunning views for a new year’s party than Reykjavik. You will have to embrace the cold, but the view of fireworks and the potential to spot the Northern Lights make this a must. One thing that surprises many is that, of all the fireworks on display, none of it are official. They are all set off by locals!
Image by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson
I have always had a massive love for Cologne, the party capital of Germany. Expect to see half the city in fancy dress, as they take the night in style. Get into the mood and party with some randomers, the way it should always be!
Image by Tobias Franz
You always hear how amazing New York is at Christmas, however you could say the exact same about New York at New Years. You can try some ice skating during the day, meet people in some bars and then head out for the fireworks and then the late night clubs.
Image by Paul Mannix
I never used to enjoy celebrating the big night in my home town, however since reaching the age of 18 I have realised it is better than I first thought. You really do have to be of an acceptable age to get into places. You will also have to accept clubs will be terrible on the night (they will over charge for entry, over charge for drinks and the queue will be giant), however the true beauty is celebrating outside, as you are surrounded by thousands of party goers. The firework show is also one of the biggest in the world.
Image by Boris Dzhingarov
Probably somewhere more suitable for couples, seeing the Coliseum lit up in the lights makes a picturesque view. Welcome to the eternal city of love (don’t even try to say Paris is the city of love, I won’t accept it).
Image by neigesdantan
Pretty much any bit city could make this list, but Sydney really does deserve to be here. With a combination of flyovers, light shows and the best party animals in the world, you can expect a night you will never forget, or possibly a night you won’t remember, depending on which way you look at it.
Image by Bodie Strain
Not just is this a great place to celebrate with amazingly friendly people, the drinks are also reasonably priced compared to almost everywhere on this list. You definitely have to spend some of the night in Letna park before hitting a club.
Image by Jan Fidler
Another cheap option, you can relax in a bath spa during the day before raiding a pub crawl and then partying the night away.
Image by kirandulo
Relax on Arthur’s seat (the hill, not a pub, something which often comes up in pub quiz’s), before hitting a pub to watch some live comedy. Head outside for the (you guessed it) firework display, then raid a club in town. Be prepared to wrap up warm as it will be incredibly bitter. You might be coated in snow, which could add to the atmosphere depending on how you handle the cold weather. You can also spot a dog sledding competition the next morning.
Image by Michele’s Photostream
This is probably the first place I have fallen in love with outside of my home country (England). The people are healthy and happy, the city is clean, it is a cosmopolitan area where people are forward thinking and have love for everyone. My mum visited San Fran 40 years before I did and said it was somewhere she would love to live in, I had the exact same feeling.
Image by Christopher Michel
The musical concert venues will be lit up beautifully, making a great view for couples, while also offering something a bit different for families. However, don’t worry, this is also a great spot for people who want to drink hard. You should try and see a show beforehand.
Image by Anna & Michal
You won’t see a bigger celebration in South America at this time of year than along the coast of Chile. Technically there isn’t just one point, as it stretches for miles, but they certainly know how to have a good time.
Image by Andrés Aguiluz
This is one of my favourite places in the world, a beautiful oasis in the desert. If you do decide to visit, then you should have a read through my list of things to do in Huacachina. Based on Peru, just of Ica, Huacachina is the place to party, with sand boarding and dune buggy rides during the day. The bar Huacafuckinchina is great for Pisco Sours, the number one drink in this area.
Image by Christopher Crouzet
Well, they say it will be gone in 20 years, I know if I had the budget then this is exactly where I would want to celebrate my new year’s party in 2016. You won’t be feeling the chilly breeze, with your pina colada in hand and towel in the other, this one is a definite relaxation option for the calmer audience.
Image by Elena N
A cheaper spot if you’re a bit tight on budget, Bratislava is growing in popularity among slightly younger groups, however it also offers something for people a little older with concerts going on throughout the city. There are many open-air dance celebrations that take place, allowing you to save money on getting into somewhere and allow you to chat to others close by.
Image by Kamil Rejczyk
Many people in South East Asia now actually had over to Hong Kong for the glorious celebrations that take place on the big night, with a ridiculous amount of pyrotechnics taking off. In 2011 it really took off, with a huge audience of tourists taking to Hong Kong for their winter holidays. Each year it seems to grow, with the 93 rooms at Butterfly selling out insanely quick nowadays (so book quick if you get tempted).
Image by K.rol2007
Crime is pretty high in this area, especially around big events such as this, so I say this with a slight word of caution, but South Africa is perhaps the greatest country in the world for various activities to try. From safaris and shark cage diving, to the night life and the picturesque landscapes, this would be a great alternative option from the normal listings.
Image by Mike
Oh come on, you don’t think this list would be complete without Las Vegas? I personally would recommend a pool party, as you can look up at the fireworks while drinking with the craziest people in the world. These are easy to book and will be taking place at most of the hotels on the strip, however many of them might overprice entry for the night if you aren’t staying there. Why not book a limo for the journey there?
Image by Ben Gillin
According to a close friend of mine who lives out there, in 2015 the entire falls were lit up in different colours, changing to the sound of the songs being played. As if the area wasn’t already gob smacking stunning, it is then turned into something you probably won’t ever see again (unless you live in Canada). They also apparently spend a fortune on fireworks, making it one of the biggest displays in the world.
Image by Nayu Kim
This is a slightly odd one, but that makes it even more crucial to add to the list. They actually start off by burning a massive effigy, which is designed by a local Italian artist. As the flames burn through the night, the drinking and cheering begins, with a family feel to the whole event. Supposedly it is burning away all the sins of the past year, bringing in a new year of hope and belief. I quite like that, as if you have had a good year you can look forward to another great year, but if you’ve had a bad one then it can feel like you’re saying goodbye to the misery of the past and embracing the future.
Image by Giorgio Galeotti
Sofia has made it onto the list due to its expansive range of live bands that play throughout the city on New Year’s Eve. Whether inside a small dainty pub or outside at Battenberg Square, you can enjoy local Bulgarian music till the cows come home…or till you get tired and wonder off into the night.
Image by Ann Wuyts
Since my mum moved to Bath, it has been amazing to visit every Christmas, with the snow settling on the hill tops. You couldn’t find politer people in the entire country, it is a very sweet and traditional city in England, while you will still have a Christmas feel when walking around town. There are also some great cottages which you can book out, great for a family holiday.
Image by Andrew Bone
A random tradition for you, everyone tends to eat 12 grapes for good luck in Salamanca, so give it a go! They do it in time to the clock chiming. Personally I would be more tempted by the student atmosphere, with plenty of young people taking to the streets for a heavy night out.
Image by keith ellwood
The place that truly celebrates Mardi Gras in the best way possible, partying on Bourbon street all year round is unbelievable. Seriously, I reckon the best party of my life took place in New Orleans. You HAVE to stay in the India hostel, they have a pool, it’s incredibly cheap and you won’t find a better party atmosphere, with the entire hostel coming out for the night. I can’t even imagine how amazing it would be for new year’s.
Image by PROMichael Bentley
You can spend the few days before or after doing the Machu Picchu trek, however New Years should be spent at any of the amazing clubs in Cusco, with pre drinks taking place in the massive party hostels. I seriously love Cusco, just make sure you arrive a few days beforehand so you can acclimatise to the altitude, as the alcohol will hit you a hell of a lot quicker.
Image by Dimitry B.
Do you think I’ve missed any out? Let me know in the comments below.