The best places for spending New Year’s Eve abroad
We don’t know about you, but it’s been a long year for us. Spending your holiday in a new location can be the perfect way to reward yourself for a successful year and find some time to relax. As the New Year approaches, we’ve been researching the best places for spending New Year’s Eve abroad.
Let summer usher you into the new year by celebrating in Sydney. The combination of sunshine and celebrations puts everyone in a good mood.
On New Year’s Eve itself, the city is filled with a sense of anticipation as it moves into party mode. The biggest New Year event is the fireworks in the harbour, beside the iconic Opera House. To get up and close to this, you’ll need to book in advance to secure a place – but there are other vantage points around the city to view this from. There are also other fireworks.
Events run throughout the whole city, including parades and carnivalesque markets. For those moving to Australia, a New Year in Sydney really is a must-do – you don’t have any excuses. Visit the official New Year website to see the full catalogue of a official events.
Either side of New Year’s Eve, you’ll be able to make the most of the good weather. Go for walks, spend time swimming, and relax in the sun. There are also museums, theme parks, cafes, art galleries, and plenty of cultural entertainment. This makes it a great place to relax with family.
Escape from the city by heading into one of the suburbs, or even going further afield. Australia is known for having a great outdoorsy culture. Caravan parks offer camping and caravan sites, and there are plenty of hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts.
For impressive parades, celebrations, and a unique cultural mix, Beijing is a great New Year destination. Chinese and Western culture mix together as the city celebrates good fortune for the upcoming year.
Although January 1 is a holiday, the Gregorian calendar’s New Year is not a major festival in China. This makes it something of the perfect escape for those who want to usher in the New Year in a unique way. You can explore this vibrant city in your own terms. Visit local markets, explore temples, discover the streets.
This being said, a significant expat population and Western influences mean there’s plenty to do on New Year. You’ll be able to find festivities and fireworks around the city centre. If you’re moving to Hong Kong, Shanghai, or any other city in or around China, it’s worth the trip to Bejing.
It’s also worth experiencing Chinese Lunar New Year. This festival is also known as Chunjie or the Spring Festival. It’s the biggest holiday of the year.
In 2019 the festival period doesn’t start until 4 February. To celebrate, the city will be festooned in red decorations that signify power and happiness and keep the ghosts at bay. There are special temple ceremonies, feasts, parades, and – of course – fireworks.
New York City, USA
We mentioned it as a top Christmas destination, and we’re also recommending it for New Years. New York City is the USA’s ultimate New Year city experience.
Times Square is where the iconic action takes place. Its infamous ball drop has been running since 1907. About one million people gather in the square for the countdown to midnight.
New York really knows how to put on a show – literally. There are hundreds of live acts, including theatre, music, concerts, and comedy, on and around New Year. You can also dance the night away in the city’s range of bars and clubs. Some venues have ticket entry that includes everything, including food and a glass of champagne to toast in the New Year.
While there are parties a-plenty, there are also quieter places. You could watch the ball drop from a hotel room, go for a walk in the park, or enjoy a nice meal at one of the city’s excellent restaurants.
This city island state puts on a good show for New Year. Marina Bay provides the most iconic New Year’s show, with fireworks and a carnival to entertain everyone in the family. You can find food trucks serving traditional foods, enjoy the spectacle of performances and parades, and pose by the Merlion lit up at night.
Because the weather is warm enough to be outdoors, you might like to go to a beach party in Sentosa, or visit a rooftop bar. Or try something a bit different with a visit to Singapore’s famous night zoo – fantastic whether you’re a family, couple, or travelling solo.
Places like Raffles Bar pay homage to the city’s colonial history, and can provide a unique experience for expats. There’s also ample chance to experience Singapore’s own local culture. Find a nice quiet area in a suburb and you might just be able to evade the extravaganza of New Year.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Manchester is a city on the cultural rise. Lower key than London, it can have a more welcoming vibe while feeling just as lively. You’ll be able to take your pick from a quiet, relaxing celebration or throwing yourself into the wild parties and nightlife.
Manchester has a reputation for its music scene. A lot of good English bands have emerged from this city. It’s bringing in 2019 with music and celebration for all tastes. Big gigs at venues like The Refuge and the Warehouse Project will be great events to herald in the new year. However, there are hundreds of events of all sizes and types throughout the city.
This city is also surrounded by some beautiful English countryside. It’s easy to balance excitement with relaxation here. If you’re after an escape from the wildness of New Year, you can achieve that here. It’s one of the reasons Manchester can be a good choice for families.
Family events abound in the city, and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities in the region. The UK is also very dog friendly, so you could consider for your holiday which will let you keep the whole family together. If you’re thinking about moving to the UK, this city may entice you over.
Love impressive? Head to Dubai? The Burj Khalifa is a stunning and iconic skyscraper, currently the world’s tallest building. On New Year’s Eve it bursts to life with fireworks. If you’re after the buzz and excitement of a big crowd, you can join thousands of others at the building’s steps. For something a little quieter and family-friendly, there’s the Burj Plaza.
Dubai has a certain glamour and elegance mixed in with party life. It has everything from high-class restaurants to music events to clamouring night clubs. You can check out the broad range of New Year parties on the official website.
Or – just wing it. You may miss out on exclusive events this way, but wandering down the streets around the holiday season can be a fun and rewarding experience. Dubai is another city on our list that has a mix of cultures. Tradition and modernity come together in their own unique way. It’s also warm enough to wander the streets!
Break away from a traditional city New Year and spend it on the beach in Goa. One of India’s popular destinations for Western tourists, it provides a great mix of local culture and familiarity for those from the West.
Goa has a reputation as a party destination, and it’s shown off well for New Year’s Eve. The streets and beaches will be buzzing with life and light. Major dance festivals run over the holiday season, many of which are on the beach. There are also lower-key bars that offer a classy, sophisticated experience.
Once New Year is over, things tend to quiet down. You can experience some of the natural beauty the area is known for. While not “untouched,” its beaches are stunning and local fishermen still store their outriggers along the water’s edge at night. Accommodation on the beach can be basic, but it’s also quite sufficient and provides a unique experience.
Speaking of unique experiences, make sure to try the food. Indian cuisine is popular for a reason!