The Getaway
Enjoy Peak New Year’s Eve Vibes This Year

When the year draws to a close, you may be one of the millions of people worldwide who want to celebrate with gusto, either because you're happy to see the end of a tough 365 days, or because you had one of the best 12-month periods ever.

If you've come by a little extra dinero and haven't splurged on yourself in ages, why not spend the dough on a trip? You could hightail it to a city that pulls out all the stops on the most raucous night of the year, New Year's Eve.

There are many cities for NYE revelers to choose from, and we'll have you drawing up a shortlist in 3,2,1...


01 Tarawa

Young multi-ethnic hipster friends on summer holidays celebrating with sparklers at night beach festival wundervisuals / Getty Images

Lying in the most advanced timezone on earth, far to the east and in the middle of the mighty Pacific Ocean, the tiny island nation of Kiribati rings in the New Year before everyone else.

NYE is Kiribati's claim to fame, which is remarkable considering it's the only country to exist in all four hemispheres. You can welcome your next trip around the sun ahead of the pack—picture yourself with arms outstretched symbolically like Elon Musk on Mars.

Tarawa is one of Kiribati's many atolls sprinkled over a vast swathe of Life of Pi territory. It's where you're most likely to find a decent party.


02 Madeira

High Angle View Of Firework Display At Madeira Island During New Year Eve José Gouveia / EyeEm / Getty Images

Madeira has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and it's not even on the continent—it's on a much warmer island closer to Africa than it is to Portugal.

The capital, Funchal, also offers Guinness Book of World Records levels of New Year's Eve pyrotechnics, and you'll get the primo views at Santa Catarina Park or from a boat.

The fun doesn't stop on the last night of the year — there's a New Year's Day tradition where people take a dip in the ocean for a good cause. Combine all this with the vineyards and Levada hikes, and this archipelago will skyrocket to the top of your year-end bucket list plans. There are events right until mid-Jan.


03 Sydney

people watching fireworks display Photo by Padraig Treanor on Unsplash

Switch on the TV the morning before the New Year, and you'll be greeted with live images beaming in from midsummer Sydney, where the fireworks over Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House light up the midnight sky in sublime fashion. Finally, opera gets its due credit!

Sydney, often mistaken for being Australia's capital is further east than all other major cities, excluding New Zealand's, of course, and takes its big shot vanguard role very seriously with a 15-minute long display when the clock strikes 12.


04 Dubai

New year's eve Dubai Photo by Mo on Unsplash

The Burj al Khalifa almost looks like the biggest Christmas tree of all on New Year's Eve when the tallest skyscraper on the globe is the focal point for a jaw-dropping fireworks display.

The fireworks at the iconic Burj al Arab and Atlantis hotels don't disappoint either. You'll have your pick of bustling beach parties and sophisticated rooftop bars to shout the countdown from if you want to give the families a skip.


05 New York City

Crowds Celebrating New Year On Times Square Nicolas Schild / EyeEm / Getty Images

You don't need us to tell you about the Ball Drop in Times Square, but we'd be remiss not to mention the quintessential NYE celebration in NYC.

Crowds gather en masse with their winter hats, puffer jackets, and gloves to continue a tradition that began as far back as 1907. There's a reason The Avengers always predict an alien attack in this part of the world on occasions like this.

There are so many people, the air fizzes with anticipation and then glitters with confetti when 23:59 ticks over to 00:00. Many locals head for Brooklyn Bridge instead.


06 Las Vegas

Vegas is like Dubai—plonked in the middle of a desert and trying, always trying, to make you forget about its bone-dry surroundings.

Both cities succeed; Sin City's just been doing it for longer.

Vegas is all about 24/7 revelry, so it's naturally where loads of Americans and foreigners choose to go for the party of the year.

The Fremont Street block party is a vibe and The Strip becomes a pedestrian-only zone. Or you can get down with celebrity DJs at one of the numerous world-class nightlife spots.


07 Rio de Janeiro

Fireworks at the New Year celebration at Copacabana Beach welcoming the new year. Photo by Leonardo Martins / Getty Images

There are dozens of clubs named Copacabana in cosmopolitan metropolises, but you can spend New Year's Eve in the place that inspired all of them.

Warm and welcoming Copacabana Beach is the perfect location to say adeus to the old year. You can cheer with the waves lapping at your feet, samba the night away, and let the atmosphere at Reveillon lift you up with its buoyancy.

The weather forecast indicates champagne showers, and there's a casual white dress code with hints of red, green, and yellow. Leave all your black accessories at home—they don't bode well.


08 Berlin

Silhouette People Watching Firework Display At New Year Eve Yang Cao / EyeEm / Getty Images

Berlin's another New Year's Eve location you'll see popping up on news feeds. The fireworks near Brandenburg Gate are pretty spectacular, and the good times keep rolling at the huge outdoor event.

There's food, live music, a laser show, and non-stop fun until at least 3 am. Germany's capital is known for its pleasure-seeking, and the clubs are some of the best you'll encounter anywhere on the planet.


09 Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Princes street, lined with attractions during Edinburgh's Christmas. Next to the Scott Monument there is a 30 metre high spinning swing and, behind, a ferris wheel. Christopher Ames / Getty Images

Between the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh Fringe, Christmas, and New Year's, the second half of the calendar is absolutely stacked in the Scottish capital. The three-day Hogmanay celebration at the end of December is a particular fav.

Folks dressed as Vikings march the Royal Mile with fiery torches, and bonfires are lit. There's ceilidh dancing and much drunken merriment, and the best fireworks views can be found on Carlton Hill.

The next day, you can enjoy the sight of people in fancy dress taking a polar-style plunge in the Firth of Forth, or join the loons.


10 Cape Town

At the foot of South Africa in Cape Town, you can head to the V&A Waterfront or take in the city from Signal Hill.

There's often a New Year's Eve concert at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens that's hard to beat as far as majestic settings go—this one kisses Table Mountain's eastern slope.


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