The Best Cities On Earth To Celebrate New Year’s Eve


New Year’s Eve is a night of liquid courage, hope but also pressure to have the greatest night of your life and Junkie’s here to help you tick all those boxes.

You could easily stay at home scrunching up on the sofa watching Christmas movies but you feel more adventurous this year. Maybe the end of lockdown has inspired you to live a little. Perhaps you’ve learned the value of travelling. Maybe you’ve even managed to save a little during isolation and now want to enjoy yourself. There’s even a chance you’re just here for the photos. Who knows?

In any case, you can have a memorable night by hitting up one of the best cities on Earth to celebrate New Year’s Eve. From a viking street party in Edinburgh that climaxes into a hungover fancy-dressed river dip to the friendliest people on the planet and sumptuous beaches with fireworks, there are many ways to rejoice at the end of this horrific year of 2020.

Lisbon, Portugal

If you know no other reason to visit Lisbon, you should go for the sun and the friendly people. The food is also phenomenal with fresh seafood as a centrepiece in the Portuguese cuisine, not to mention the fado music, the gorgeous historical landmarks, the fact that many people speak English and that the city is not expensive at all. Shall I continue?

Yes, I shall as there is much much more reserved for your New Year’s eve. If you’re not a planner, you can just wander around the bars in the artistic neighbourhood of Bairro Alto, and you are certain to make friends and influence people.

Also, there are at least two promising New Year’s parties booked this year that will jiggle your dusty ol’ lockdown bones.

The traditional Royal Palace party at the Pavilhão Carlos Lopes welcomes 2022 with local musicians Nonstop and Sambinha Bom. The Coliseu dos Recreios receives Resolution Revolution 2022 with Brazilian funk music and fireworks. Lisbon is not just cool. It’s the coolest.

25th of April Bridge. Credit: Svetlana Gumerova via Unsplash

Sydney, Australia

A trip to Australia will offer you kangaroos, terrifying spiders and the ozone hole, yes. But it will also give you a New Year’s Eve firework extravaganza in Sydney Harbour. The event has normally more than a million people attending although with the pandemic things will look slightly different this year.

You can come in early with your own booze and take the last swim of the year. Or you can reserve a table at one of the many waterfront restaurants by Sydney Harbour Bridge for the countdown. If you like camping – or, if you’re glam, glamping – Cockatoo Island is a great place if you book in advance.

If you are glam but not of the glamping kind, you can watch the fireworks from the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney which overlooks the Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Fireworks at the Sydney Opera House. Credit: Belle Co via Pexels

New York, USA

We’ve all seen Times Square NYE in films and we’re also are familiar with the fuss that it creates. NYE at Times Square seems to be simultaneously traditional and innovative. Posh and working class. Millennial and Boomer. Times Square seems to be the archetype of NYE. The patient zero of the turn-of-the year virus. The artery of our hearts, even if we’ve never visited it.

The windows at The Renaissance Hotel’s  R Lounge give you an unobstructed view of the One Times Square building right where the ball drops.

Whether you want to confirm if Brooklyn is actually as gentrified as they say, or if you’re more interested in celebrating the new year, you can check out the fireworks from the Brooklyn Bridge at Prospect Park where there is also live music.

Times Square. Credit: Jorge Fernández Salas via Unsplash

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland has the famous Hogmanay party kicking off on December 30 and lasting for three days! Hogmanay is the Scots’ New Year’s Eve and it marks the important night preceding the arrival of the new year. This was originally a Viking party where they celebrated the winter solstice in late December.

Celebrations include a Viking-style torchlight procession along the Royal Mile. On the 31st, live Scottish music plays just until it’s time for you to catch the midnight fireworks over Edinburgh Castle.

The party continues on New Year’s Day with Loony Dook, when thousands of hungover people in fancy dress get soaked in the Firth of Forth river just because.

Edinburgh Castle. Credit: Alexandr Podvalny via Pexels

Since you are here, you must like travel – I can see it in your face – so head on to What’s On In London this Christmas – a guide including free events!

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