6 New Year’s Eve Parties from Around the World


New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and that means party-goers around the world are making preparations. Most of these are small gatherings of close friends and family. However, for the serious celebrators, there are some celebrations that can’t be missed.

As the clock nears midnight, these six cities will push the limit on celebrations. Ringing in the new year in one of these places would be a great experience, but if you can’t make it than you can use New Years as an opportunity. Just make a resolution to make it to one of these places next year.

1. Sydney, Australia

Every year since 1996, Sydney has hosted a huge fireworks display over Sydney Harbour. There are actually two shows, one called the Family Fireworks and the other the Midnight Fireworks. It is one of the most watched fireworks displays in the world with over 1 million people watching it last year.

Each year also has a theme. The theme for 2010-2011 will be “Make Your Mark” to reflect on actions of the past decade and on how to make contributions toward the decade coming up.

2. Las Vegas, NV

Imagine celebrating New Year’s Eve with 300,000 revelers in the self-proclaimed party capital of the world. There are dozens of hotels, clubs, casinos and bars to help ring in the new year. The city blocks off the four mile long strip to traffic. That way you can do all of your celebrating in the middle of the street and not miss any of the fireworks.

Meanwhile, Fremont Street brings in the new year with its annual music festival TributePalooza. Here you can see cover bands such as Fan Halen and Red Not Chili Peppers. Plus, a huge screen is suspended to display a light and sound show.

3. Valparaiso, Chile

About 72 miles Northwest of Santiago lies Valparaiso, the second biggest city in Chile and a World Heritage Site. This city stages its “New Year’s Eve by the Sea” festival over three days culminating with a huge fireworks show on New Year’s Eve. The show is the biggest of its kind in Latin America.

One million people camp out along the coastline to get a good view of the bay where the fireworks will explode. Some people even camped out overnight for good seats until 2009 when camping out overnight was banned. All this for 25 minutes of fireworks and partying in the streets of a beautiful city.

4. London, England

New Year celebrations in London focus around the London Eye. Once Big Ben strikes midnight, a big fireworks display starts from the eye that can be seen throughout the capital. Since 2005, fireworks are launched from the wheel itself.

Last year, about 700,000 people attended the fireworks display and an additional 10 million viewers watched it on television. Afterwards, pubs and bars can easily be found. However, these places become more expensive than normal due to the massive influx of people.

5. New York, NY

For most Americans and many other people, the party in Times Square is what comes to mind when they think about New Year’s Eve. The highlight of the event is watching a time ball descend 77 feet over the course of one minute. The ball reaches the bottom at exactly midnight.

Every year, up to one million people watch the ball drop live with another estimated one billion people watching a video of the event. Because of the number of people attending the event, New York’s police department has taken some interesting steps to maintain peace. Times Square is divided into “pens” and people are divided into them as they arrive. If someone leaves a pen, they are not allowed to reenter. In addition, alcohol is not allowed due to open container laws.

6. Edinburgh, Scotland

In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay and Edinburgh has its biggest celebration centered around Princes Street. Many traditions are associated with Hogmanay including “first-footing”.

This is when the first person crosses the threshold of a home for the first time. Often it is a friend of the household who brings a gift such as a lump of coal or whisky. Unlike some of these other New Year’s celebrations, this one lasts for four days and can even last until January 2nd.

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  1. I love the names of the tribute bands in Las Vegas. I’ve got a great post about my experience with NYE in NYC; I think you’ll like it.

  2. I’m not one for New Years anymore. It has never lived up to the hype. However, maybe I need to go to one of these events in order to fully experience it!

  3. One of the goals on my list is to spend NYE in a foreign country. I wrote a post about it earlier this month. I have Sydney and Edinburgh on my list as well but the rest are quite different.


    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. Best wishes!

    • Either Sydney or Edinburgh would be great places to spend NYE. I hope you get to check them out one year.

      I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s Eve too.

  4. I’m glad Paris isn’t listed in there. I was there for 2009 NYE and it sucked!

    Edinburgh certainly seems like the place to be. I know that even a few days before Christmas, the town was lively and particularly enjoyable.

    But NYC is a classic you-gotta-do-it-once kind of experience. My friend is going this year, I can’t wait for her recap.

    Great post!

    • I read about NYE in Paris and I got the impression it wasn’t all that great too. It surprised me that it isn’t a great place for celebrations.

      NYC really is a you have to do it once thing. It’s so iconic for NYE celebrations.

  5. Rats! I’ll miss the Sydney one by a few days only. I will be there for the Xmas eve fireworks though!

  6. Nice list, Steve. It’s terrible – I lived outside New York City for 15 years and never went down to Times Square for New Year’s Eve. I think I got too old 😉 Seriously.

  7. One year I will celebrate new year in Sydney! I am not sure when but…. I will! :-)

  8. I will prefer New York city to celebrate New Year’s Eve party…Because its my personal favorite city….I love to be there..

  9. New years eve in New York was absolute chaos for myself in the early part of this decade. We were staying in a hotel that was right in the middle of the festivities, and the pens as you describe above made it all but impossible for us to get back to the hotel room before dinner. When I look back, with the amount of people waiting for the ball to drop, the pens actually worked as there was not the massive crush of people you would expect. Another great place to celebrate new year is on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Over a million people on the streets all dressed in white, partying the night away.

    • I’ve heard so many people say that celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York is difficult. I think it takes a lot of patience, planning and determination to really make it work there.

      I bet Rio would be a good place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I can just imagine the partying that would go on there. Thanks for sharing that.

  10. Hey! Valparaíso’s New Year’s Eve is simply overwhelming. First, you have the fireworks which reflect in the sea and after that, the best parties in disco and pubs all around the city. Here you can find more info about <a href="http://www.visitchile.com/eng/tours.asp&quot; Chile vacations to discover Valparaiso and enjoy of the summer that is just beginning in the country.

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