As we approach December I'm always shocked at how fast the year flew by. October and November are always gone in the blink of an eye, then Christmas appears out of nowhere, and before I know it it's December 31st! Somehow my plans for New Year's Eve always end up on the back burner, and in recent years I've left my New Year's party planning until the absolute last minute.
Don't be like me!
This is your reminder to start thinking about how you'll be spending New Year's Eve this year. Do you plan to have a quiet one at home? Are you thinking about travelling somewhere? It's time to start planning!
Today I've invited some fellow bloggers to join me and share some of their favorite places to spend New Year's. In addition to recommending their favorites, they'll share some tips and tricks to navigating the New Year celebrations in a number of destinations around the world, to ensure you have a hassle free New Year's Eve. Some of these locations may already be well-known to you, but I can guarantee some of these will definitely surprise you!
If you like these suggestions, I've dropped a link for each and every blogger below their contribution, so be sure to show them some love on their blog or via socials.
Orlando Florida, USA
One of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve is in Orlando, Florida. Orlando tends to have warmer weather pretty much all year around, definitely no snow storms here! I love visiting the theme parks for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In my opinion, Walt Disney World and Universal put on the best fireworks show in town. If you are planning to watch the fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom or EPCOT theme parks, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets well in advance as parks reach capacity with no further admittance allowed. Click here for more information on tickets.
You can also view the fireworks from other parts of town, if you are not able to make it to the parks. Disney Springs and Icon Park are some other great spots. Oh did I mention, there are no entry fees to these two spots but parking might be a challenge so get there early and enjoy a nice dinner before the fireworks show!
Photos provided by My Footprints Around the Globe
Another great way to spend your New Year’s eve is by heading to one of the nearby beaches in Florida. You might get lucky with some warmer water, especially on the Gulf of Mexico side and get to enjoy your vacation to the fullest! Dancing at the beach with some of your closest friends or family while ringing in a new year, it doesn’t get better than this! Most of the restaurants and bars remain open late into the night and have special menu items for the occasion.
So get your party dress on and head to Orlando for an unforgettable and magical New Year’s celebration as it is one of the best places to spend NYE.
Contributed by Maninder from the blog My Footprints Around the Globe. If you're planning on visiting Orlando, Maninder has an easy to follow five day itinerary for Orlando that will help you make the most of your time in the area.
If you are looking for a pretty special and unique spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve in, then
Venice is the right choice. I visited Venice for New Year’s Eve a while ago with my
husband and it was the most magical experience ever.
Not only are the fireworks at midnight absolutely delightful, but the entire setting of
historical buildings, picturesque small alleys and the lagoon in the background make the
experience extra special.
There are many great things to do on New Year’s Eve in Venice. Many restaurants offer
special gala dinners on New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a delightful Italian dinner in a super romantic
setting before heading out on the famous San Marco Square for the party. Make sure to get
your dinner reservations far in advance, since it can be pretty busy.
The city of Venice transforms it’s beautiful San Marco Square into a giant party area with a couple of stages, where you can see artists perform all evening. At twelve o’clock it is time to enjoy the magnificent firework on the square and to kiss your loved one. Both of these traditions are supposed to bring you good luck in the next year.
If partying is not your thing, you can book a special private gondola ride after the fireworks. Let yourself be taken on a magical trip through the lagoons of Venice and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
Since it can get pretty cold around New Year’s Eve, you could also book a hotel with a view of the fireworks and just watch them from your room, like we did. I can recommend staying at the Lido di Venezia for that reason.
Contributed by Sabrina, owner of the Shades of Summr blog which focuses on luxury travel. Sabrina goes into more detail about spending New Year's Eve in Venice over on her blog, so make sure you take a look!
If you’re looking to ring in the New Year in a unique way surrounded by epic beauty, consider heading to Vik. Located along Iceland’s southern coast, Vik is majestically beautiful, allowing you to close out your year with a bang.
During New Year’s Eve day, be sure to carve out some time to visit Vik’s main attraction, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. The beach is jaw-droppingly beautiful, with inky black sand, jagged sea stacks jutting out of the pounding Atlantic’s waters, and otherworldly cliffs of columnar basalt. The scenery here looks like something from another planet- so much so that it was actually used as a filming location for the beloved Game of Thrones!
Iceland is known for its long, cold nights, so, before the sun sets for the last time of the year, head to one of the hot springs nearby, like Seljavallalaug Pool, to soak in the warm waters under the golden light. Before long, the stars will twinkle above and, if you’re lucky, you may even get to see the Northern Lights dance overhead. In fact, December is one of the best months to spot the Aurora Borealis, thanks to the prolonged dark nights.
To combat the darkness, Icelanders have adopted the Nordic tradition of having enormous community bonfires throughout the winter. On New Years Eve, over 100 bonfires light up the night across the country. So find one near Vik, to ring in the New Year with the warm glow of the fire and amongst new friends. Just be sure to include a warm jacket and hat on your Iceland packing list- it gets quite chilly at night here, even with a massive fire!
Contributed by Jess from Uprooted Traveler. The Uprooted Traveler blog focuses on outdoor travel, such as hiking, camping and RVing. This blog is a fantastic resource for any outdoorsy types!
Spending New Year’s Eve (NYE) in Sydney is one of my all-time favourite experiences ever, and one that over a million people try to experience every year.
There are over 50 official vantage points to choose from, each with varying rules. And if you do not fancy any of those, there is 46+ events happening too, from the NYE music festival and boat parties to the iconic Luna Park, you are more than spoilt for choice. You really must book in advance, as both events and ticketed viewing areas sell out very quickly.
They key part of surviving NYE in Sydney, is organisation. Public transport will be more rammed than usual, as many major roads will be shut to prepare for the celebrations. Thousands of additional services will be running, and three train stations will have different arrangements, so planning in advance is a must. See up-to-date public transport information at https://transportnsw.info nearer to the day.
I chose Benelong Point, the iconic Sydney Opera House. Arriving at Circular Quay at around 7am, we piled into the queue for the vantage point which was opening at 7:30am. There were already a few hundred people waiting, so if you want to get an incredible view, you have to get there early.
We were extremely lucky to be about 3rd row from the front, with a perfect view of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Capacity soon filled (6,000), and the gate closed at around midday. We waited in all-kinds of weather, getting absolutely hammered on, but also ending up sun burnt. But it was so worth it.
The schedule for the fireworks changes every year, but usually includes some pre-show entertainment, following with the Family Fireworks display, then the Harbour of Light Parade, and finishing on a bang with the Midnight Fireworks. You can find this year’s schedule here.
Contributed by Lana from the ever informative and helpful blog Wallflower in Wanderland. Lana's blog focuses on mental health, lifestyle and travel.
A unique and fun place to spend New Years Eve is Dublin, Ireland, where the entire city seems to file into the pubs for a great time and a chance to ring in the new year.
Each pub in Ireland is a little different, so there’s something for everyone; you could listen to traditional Irish music (usually called “trad music”) or go to a nightclub to dance the night away. Nearly every pub will be full of people, so I prefer to stay put once I pick a pub and avoid the lines to get in. In Ireland, one of the best ways to figure out the best place to go is to ask a local, many of whom will be friendly and happy to help.
Photos provided by Amber Everywhere
Before you go out in Dublin, visit the famous sites like Grafton Street, St Stephen’s Green, and Temple Bar. For the best Irish coffee I’ve had in Ireland, go to Bar 1661. All of the cocktails are fabulous, but my favorite is their signature drink, the Belfast Coffee. It’s made with cold brew and poitín, a traditional Irish spirit, then topped with nutmeg and cream. Bar 1661 may host a New Year’s Eve party, which is sure to be a fun and classy affair.
If you want a really unique experience, you can go for a “sea dip” in the frigid Irish Sea - it’s a local tradition. Typically, swimmers of all ages will jump into the Sandycove Harbor in Dublin, en masse. I haven’t done this because I am weary of the ocean and hate being cold, but I’d be remiss to leave it out. If you are feeling brave enough to try a late night (or midday) sea dip, be sure to research local conditions and go with a group so that you can stay safe.
Contributed by Amber, from the amazing blog Amber Everywhere. If you plan on visiting Ireland soon, I suggest checking out Amber's helpful posts about Ireland, where she covers things like where to find the best coffee shops, and the best places to stay (plus so much more!)
Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland. It's also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. If you're looking for a place to spend New Year's Eve, Krakow is definitely a great choice.
The city centre is full of restaurants, bars and clubs that will be hosting New Year's Eve parties. There are also plenty of things to do in Krakow during New Year, including sightseeing, shopping and visiting some of the city's famous attractions.
You should try to book a ticket to your New Year's Eve party early if you want to go because places tend to fill up quickly. Attending a new years party or ball is one of the most popular things to do and is so worth it!
Your ticket usually includes a meal, drinks and plenty of local entertainment. If you are looking for one of the best parties, try Przegorzały Castle, just outside of the City.
But even if you don’t want to attend a New Year's Party, there are so many other things to do. This is a great time to be in the city to experience such an amazing atmosphere. You will find the streets are filled with people from all over Poland and around the world who have come to celebrate.
The main celebrations in Krakow you will find on the main square. Here you will find live music, tasty food and drinks flowing.
If you want to spend your New Year sightseeing, you are in the right place. With plenty of museums and historical buildings, you will endless options. Regardless of when you visit Krakow, one of the most popular things to do is book a tour of Auschwitz.
Contributed by Lowri, from the blog Many Other Roads. Be sure to take a peek at her blog if you're looking for European travel content. Lowri has been all over Europe and shares some great content over on her blog!
Goa is a tropical state, known for its sunny beaches and good vibes in India. The state is a former Portuguese colony, which still reflects today in the architecture and culture. Located about 600 kilometers south of Mumbai, it is well-connected by air and train, making it easy for you to get there as it is a popular hotspot where people from all over the world meet up.
The biggest time of the year to be in Goa is New Year's. Beach events, electronic music festivals and night markets are just some of the reasons why Goa should be on your bucket list for New Year's Eve. Spend your morning at the beach in Goa or join a yoga class or Indian cooking class to make new friends and connections.
Some of the most exciting beaches in Goa are located in Ashwem, Anjuna, Baga, Arambol and Palolem. My all-time favorite New Year's hangout is Palolem beach in South Goa. We love to take a late evening dip in the bay while the sun is setting in vibrant red colors. A cocktail soon follows suit at our favorite beach bar, Cozy Nook, where we always get to know interesting new people.
At last, we celebrate the new year barefoot at the beach with spectacular fireworks. The best part is, that you can stay at the beach in one of the coco huts with all the tropical flair, close to nature, making this a unique experience.
Contributed by Paul D'Souza from the blog Paulmarina. Paul's blog has some informative posts about travel throughout Europe and Asia, so be sure to take a look before planning your next trip.
Taipei hosts one of the biggest and best New Year's celebrations around the world.
On New Year's Eve, local and international celebrities gather to welcome in the new year with an outdoor event open for all to attend. As the clock approaches midnight, get ready for a countdown and a brief but beautiful fireworks display. You should be able to enjoy the fireworks from most parts of the city, provided you have a good view of Taipei 101 - the fireworks will be shooting off this building!
There are plenty of free places to enjoy the fireworks, such as parks or even city streets, many of which are closed to traffic on December 31st. If you're not interested in dealing with the huge crowds (literally hundreds of thousands of people), I suggest planning well in advance. Many people book hotels and buy tickets to events months in advance to ensure they can watch the fireworks in comfort. If you plan to attend a New Year's event with an unobstructed view, you'll need to book early!
Many bars will also hold events on this night, so call ahead or check their socials to find out whether you'll need a reservation.
There are lots of things to see and do in Taipei, and as a bonus - using public transport is a breeze. Be sure to venture out of the city to explore the nature of Taiwan if you have time. I can't recommend it enough!
Contributed by Lisa from Lisa Eats the World (that's me!)
Porto is a beautiful place to spend New Year’s Eve and probably one of the more underrated cities in Europe to celebrate the end of the year.
Located right next to the Douro River, there are plenty of little waterfront restaurants to try. There are plenty of things to do in Porto on any day but on New Year’s Eve you’ll find even more special events. Enjoy fireworks over the river or public concerts and music performances along the waterfront.
The Ribeira area is especially popular and you should take some time to walk around and explore. Make sure to have dinner reservations though since most popular restaurants will of course be packed. Many offer set menus and will be booked months in advance so come prepared.
A great choice is to stay in a hotel with a view of the Luis I Bridge which is where the main fireworks show usually takes place. That way you can avoid the crowded streets and enjoy the view from the comfort of your own accommodation. But don’t stay in all night - be sure to join the parties happening in the streets, and watch live music as you sip port wine and try delicious local Portuguese specialties.
Contributed by Victoria from the wonderful blog Guide Your Travel. Victoria's a great photographer and active on social media, so go give her a follow! You can find her socials over on her blog.
Disneyland Paris is a magical place to visit at any time of the year but it is especially special to visit on New Year's Eve. The park stays open late on NYE and is beautifully decorated in festive lights. You can enjoy the rides and attractions until well into the night and then watch all your favourite Disney characters in the New Years Eve parade, whilst enjoying a glass of champagne (or two!)
At midnight there is a spectacular fireworks display over the iconic Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I can honestly say that it is one of the most incredible firework shows that I have ever seen! The fireworks are timed to go off in time to the music of all your favourite Disney songs and the castle is illuminated to match, creating a fully immersive feeling. The whole experience is truly magical.
Photos provided by Travel Across the Borderline
I combined my Disney New Years Eve experience with a trip to Paris for an unforgettable NYE. I recommend spending the morning exploring Paris, which is considerably less crowded by tourists at this time of year, and then heading over to the park in the afternoon to get your fill of rollercoasters and other rides before the New Year celebrations kick off in the evening.
This year the Disneyland Paris park is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary so it’s a perfect time to go, as there will be even more fun decorations and festive cheer than usual!
Contributed by JJ from the blog Travel Across the Borderline. In addition to her great blog, JJ offers a travel planning service through her website - super helpful if you're someone who tends to get overwhelmed with trip planning.
If you enjoy miles of white sands, glistening turquoise waters, and endless New Year's Eve celebrations, head to Aruba! This Caribbean Island knows how to celebrate! The island is covered in a sea of festive lights and sounds leading up to New Year's Eve!
You will often hear chaotic bursts of activity (sounds like popcorn popping) from residents and businesses lighting pagara, which are long strings of Chinese firecrackers. The fun firecrackers are meant to celebrate success (it is said that the length of the firecracker is related to how successful the business or individual was that year) and ward off evil spirits before moving into the New Year.
On New Year's Eve, the entire island participates in a nationwide fireworks display — it will seem as though everyone has fireworks! It's safe to say that you shouldn't plan to get much sleep in Aruba on New Year's Eve.
No matter where you are on the island, you will be able to see the spectacular fireworks display, but for the best vantage point, grab a chair and relax on Eagle Beach or go up high to the California Lighthouse for 360-degree views!
Many restaurants and resorts will also offer special parties and dinner menus on New Year's Eve, including a few that are vegan-friendly.
Contributed by Rebecca from Veggies Abroad. Rebecca's blog focuses on vegan-friendly travel around the world. Her blog is a great resource for any vegan or vegetarian.
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