Best Cities for New Year’s Eve Celebrations

New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that often disappoint. If you want to make sure you’ll have a good time, it’s best to change the scenery, take a short trip and celebrate New Year abroad. 

Luckily some of the most fun cities to visit and explore also have the best New Year celebrations, usually ending with a big fireworks display on a public square. If you have the time, you could take a week and continue your stay after the celebration as well.


Iceland is the country on everyone’s bucket list. It’s small, charming, and beautiful and you should definitely take your time to learn about beyond the New Year’s Eve Celebration there. The countdown itself is an event you want to prepare for. It’s held at the landmark Hallgrímskirkja Church and naturally ends with fireworks.

What’s especially interesting about it is that it’s not organized by the city. Everyone buys and organizes their own fireworks. This may seem chaotic but it makes for an amazing display, especially when the ships in the harbour join in by playing their horns. Reykjavik has hotels that can accommodate everyone’s needs during the stay, from the most luxurious ones to budget options.

Madeira Islands

If the fireworks are the yardstick used to measure the quality of the New Year’s Eve, there’s no place better than Madeira Islands. Their fireworks display was declared to be the biggest one in the world in 2006 by the Guinness World Records.

What makes it so stunning is that it’s best enjoyed from the deck of the cruise ship and the thousands of multicoloured lamps decorating the port are used to set the stage for the display. When the celebration is over, the rest of Portugal is there to enjoy it as well.

sydney, New Year


Due to the time-zone difference, Sydney is the first major city to greet the New Year, and its public celebration is often the most flamboyant one. It’s best to purchase Sydney New Year’s Eve 2019 tickets a bit earlier before it’s sold out, and to start planning your holiday in advance. The famous fireworks right above the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House can be observed from one of the many local parks or from a boat ride if you want.

Have in mind that the New Year’s Eve in Sidney takes place in the middle of summer so you can take advantage of the beaches and surfing season as well.

Koh Phangan

For those who want to enter into the New Year with a party, Thailand is probably the best place to visit. The wildest of them is probably the beach party on Koh Phangan.  The party starts as it gets dark end doesn’t end until tomorrow afternoon.

Koh Phangan is also home to luxury resorts if you want to spoil yourself during this vacation before and after the New Year’s Eve. 

Thailand, New Year

Rio de Janeiro

It’s the middle of the summer in Brazil on New Year’s Eve and most visitors abandon the club scene and head to the beach parties instead. As much 2 million people welcome the New Year on the Copacabana for a party filled with samba and Champagne. It’s customary to wear white on the New Year’s Eve in Rio.

Hotels in Rio range from the most luxurious ones such as Belmond Copacabana Palace to the more affordable ones like Mama Ruisa that’s within a budget but still offers all the luxuries you’re going to need for a trip.


Which one of these cities will you visit to start the New Year on the right foot?