Best New Year’s Eve Parties Around the World

08 Jan Best New Year’s Eve Parties Around the World

With 2016 in full swing, you’ve probably put your New Year’s Eve party outfit back in the closet, washed the champagne flutes and begun (and hopefully not yet forgotten) your goals and resolutions for the year ahead.

Most likely travel is on your plans for the coming year – and why not start thinking about where you want to ring in the next New Year? Whether you want to celebrate among millions of other visitors in bustling New York City or watch one of the world’s most famous fireworks display on a warm Sydney summer night, here are 16 of the most vibrant and festive New Year’s celebrations around the globe.

Las VegasUnited States

You know that saying, “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”? Expect to get crazy with over 320,000 other partygoers who are fill every square inch of the casinos, nightclubs and restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip. At midnight, the city lets off a majestic, choreographed fireworks display – last year’s theme was “On Top of the World” and featured a special tribute to Frank Sinatra in the finale.

Las Vegas lit up

LondonUnited Kingdom

London offers a bewitching display of fireworks, with people gathering together at Trafalgar Square. One of London’s most renowned landmarks, Big Ben, beats in time with the fireworks, while the London Eye creates a swirling fireworks display in tune with British rock music that reverberates around the city.

Fireworks explode over Big Ben

Rio de JaneiroBrazil

This year Rio De Janeiro is hosting the summer Olympics, and you can expect Brazilians to keep on partying into the next year. Here you can witness Reveillon, where millions of people crowd along the city’s beaches dressed in white, looking like “Candomble” priestesses. Fireworks can be seen along the beachfront, while parties rage on through the next day.

NYE fireworks over Rio


Sydney is one of the first major cities to ring in the new year – and the city definitely knows how to put on a show for the rest of the world to see. Every year, millions of people watch the spectacular fireworks display at multiple vantage points in the city and eagerly anticipate what theme will appear on the Harbour Bridge to ring in the following year. As Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney hosts many beach and outdoor parties the next day.

The sky lights up over Sydney harbour

New York CityUnited States

No New Year’s Eve world party list would be complete without including New York City. It’s become an American – and even worldwide – tradition to celebrate the dropping of the Waterford LED ball from the former New York Times Building. Times Square continues to be the hottest and hippest place in New York for New Year celebrations, with people waiting in the cold hours ahead of midnight, while being entertained by star-studded musical performances, balloons, handouts, confetti, and a stunning pyrotechnic display.

Times Square is buzzing on NYE

EdinburghUnited Kingdom

In Edinburgh, New Year’s Eve celebrations, known as Hogmanay, include a torchlight parade through the city, concerts, and a massive street party on Princes Street. “Auld Lang Syne” was written by Scotsman Robert Burns, and the song takes on special significance when sung in the streets of Edinburgh. The Scottish practice the tradition of “first-footing” – when the first guest of the New Year brings gifts such as whisky or Scottish shortbread. On January 1, spectators gather at the River Forth to watch a group of brave souls splash into the freezing water in the annual Queensferry Loony Dook charity event.

Fireworks over Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve

DubaiUnited Arab Emirates

Some of the most elaborate and spectacular New Year’s Eve parties are organized in Dubai. The city that is known for its wealth and extravagance certainly goes all out for New Year’s, hosting millions of visitors every year. The celebrations in Dubai are grandiose, dazzling and amazing. Make sure to watch the fireworks display at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai fireworks

Hong Kong

Every New Year’s Eve, the radiant Victoria Harbor is the belle of the ball for Hong Kong’s spectacular countdown. Happy partygoers can watch a stunning pyro-musical display that lights up the skies. Whether you watch it along the shoreline, from a boat on the harbor or on high in a skyscraper, it’s definitely worth planning early to ensure a prime spot.

Hong Kong NYE fireworks


A popular New Year’s Eve event in Shanghai is the 3D laser and firework show. Make sure you have a good spot to watch the skies light up both sides of the Huangpu River. The laser show usually takes place about 15 minutes prior to the midnight countdown. If you’re up looking to dance the night away, Shanghai has some of the best nightclub events around. Think VIP bottle service and famous DJs.

Shanghai skyline


Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style in Berlin, with around one million visitors gathering at the Brandenburg Gate to welcome the coming year. Berlin has a spectacular fireworks display when the clock strikes midnight and you can hear the clinking of the glasses of locals and visitors alike toast for a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.

Fireworks over Brandenburg Gate in Berlin


Bahamians know how to throw an all-night party. Thousands of partygoers flock to the national Junkanoo celebrations across the country with the biggest held in the capital, Nassau. Local dance troupes parade down the main street from night till the sun rises the next day to the hypnotic beat. This is one heck of a way to get your groove on!

Rhinestones galore at the Junkanoo Parade

Vienna – Austria

At the City Hall Square and in the Prater in Vienna, you can witness a lot of partying and dancing every New Year’s Eve. The main highlight of the celebration is the New Year’s Eve Trail in the Old City. Tourists can also enjoy and marvel at gala dinners, festive balls, concerts, and opera – as well as check out the many nightclubs and fun-filled bars around.

New Year's Eve Ball

Paris – France

An amazing and captivating display of fireworks embrace the City of Light every New Year’s Eve. Flocks of people gather around the Champs-Elysees with champagne bottles to get a view of the beauteous and enchanting Eiffel Tower. Expect an exuberant showcase of colorful fireworks at midnight around the lovely tower where lovers, families or friends revel at the beauty of the lights with different, lovely hues illuminating the night.

Eiffel Tower fireworks

Valparaíso – Chile

The biggest New Year’s Eve show in Latin America takes place in the Valparaíso Harbor with a 20-minute fireworks show (launched from 17 different points along the coast between Valparaíso and Viña del Mar) and a dance party that lasts until the sun comes up. The festivities begin on the 28th, and by the 31st more than a million people have made their way to the city’s sandy shores for the beach party to end all beach parties. To ensure good luck in the New Year, do as the locals do and wear yellow underwear, eat a dozen grapes at midnight, and put a $1,000 peso bill in your shoe.

New Years in Valparaiso

Bangkok – Thailand

The beautiful and dynamic capital city of Thailand is considered as one of the most desirable New Year’s Eve destinations in Southeast Asia. People from across the globe visit this amazing place for its amazing weather, a wide variety of shopping centers, and a host to a number of entertainment venues, parties, restaurants, and nightclubs. Bangkok rocks New Year’s Eve with a stunning display of fireworks at the Central World Square where thousands of people gather for the biggest countdown event of the city. If you are someone who doesn’t like loud music or noise and would prefer a quiet time to welcome the coming year, you can opt to watch the fireworks display by the riverside.

Bangkok fireworks


Moscow, Russia’s beautiful capital city, is one of those destinations that truly makes the perfect winter holiday destination thanks to the snowy weather which guarantees a “winter wonderland” atmosphere. Join the countless others who will be celebrating New Year’s Eve in Moscow, enjoying the festive atmosphere, beautiful landscapes, traditions and rich, long history. There’s nothing quite like seeing the Red Square, blanketed in snow or the beautiful Moskova River flowing peacefully under a layer or ice to bring in the new year.

Thousands watching the fireworks at Red Square
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Michael Glass

Michael is the founder of Backpacker Travel. He also runs walking tours in San Francisco and is a freelance travel writer. Michael is extremely passionate about travel and loves to explore festivals around the world.

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