Funchal the capital of the Region of Madeira hosts one of the biggest firework displays in the world, even bigger than London’s, Sydney’s & New York’s, seriously who would have expected that? Funchal is closer to Africa than to Europe, a 1 hour and 45 minutes flight from the Portuguese capital Lisbon. Famous for its all year round beach parties, seafood extravaganza, and unforgettable celebrations of New Year’s.
Photo by Porto Bay Events
Cape Town, South Africa (loudest)
Some people hate cold winters, therefore Cape Town could be the perfect escape, with temperatures varying between 20 to 25C. Aside from fireworks shows and usual New Year’s bing bang happening on December 31st, on January the 2nd of each year a parade known as Cape Minstrel Carnival “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” (second new year) runs throughout the day with up to 13000 musical troupes dressed in colorful costumes marching & performing around the city. Cape Town homes a variety of outdoors activities & extreme sports such as -but not limited to- shark cage diving, the highest bungee jumping in the world, hiking, skydiving, abseiling and much more.
Photo by Damien du Toit
Edinbrugh, Scotland (most traditional)
“Hogmanay” as weird as it sounds, that’s the way Scots celebrate the last day of the year. One of the most unique longstanding traditions, during that day a famous people book well in advance to be dressed as Vikings and roam around the city carrying torchlights to illuminate the city, some others compete at the Loony Dook, this is where people compete to plunge into freezing waters, in addition to fireworks shows.
Photo by Katherine
Niagara Falls, Canada
Be ready for a very cold night at Queen Victoria Park, this is actually the busiest time for Niagra Falls, party-goers gather around to watch two sets of fireworks, one that fires at 9 pm so kids can watch, and another at midnight with around 30000 spectator, with live music & ice rinks. Clifton Hill Amusement Park is another option for a different set of activities; Niagra Skywheel, Glow in the Dark Mini Golf, and Dinosaur Park. Those who cannot stand cold can always stay indoors to enjoy their night at one of Niagra’s Casinos, namely Casino Niagra & Niagra Fallsview Casino Resort.
Madrid, Spain (for the active ones)
That’s an event that is only suitable & entertaining to the active ones, those who want to send the year off with a 5KM run. People dressed in costumes gather at the city center to start their running competition from San Silvestre, and the spectacle cheers for them. Afterwards runners refill their tanks with tapas, paella, cocktails, and all sorts of Spanish delicacies.
Photo by hoteldephil
Koh Phangan Island, Thailand (moonlight party)
Take off your heavy coat, your pair of boots and pack your hippiest set of swim-suits and flip flops, and get yourself ready for a beach party New Year’s celebration. Koh Phangan island is famous for full moon parties and festive year round atmosphere, loaded with beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and palm trees. Haad Rin is the party center, however you’ll find a party on each and every beach, just make sure to book ahead of time as it’s difficult to get in or around without booking well in advance.
Photo by Matteo Pieroni
Hong Kong, China
Celebrates New Year’s at the Chinese version of Times Square 13 hours before New York with a replica ball drop at midnight, fireworks shooting off from almost every skyscraper in a certain harmony, the biggest party is at Victoria Harbour, and the best way to watch fireworks is from a boat. Make sure to party hard in one of the bars or clubs at Lan Kwai Fong district.
Photo by Colin Tsoi
St. Petersburg, Russia
Literally freezing, but totally worth freezing for, so make sure to be equipped. Celebrating New Year’s at St. Petersburg is like a fairytale, bridges and boulevards are all covered in snow, and illuminated by holiday lights. The “happening” is at Hermitage museum area, fireworks are shot over partially frozen Neva River, and paper lanterns are sent up into the sky as the clock ticks 12.
Photo by Jonas Forth
Staying festive over the course of 24 hours straight, Sydney is the first major city to celebrate New Year’s, exactly like Niagra falls, two stunning sets of fireworks are shot one at 9 pm and the second at midnight, with more than a million attendees, air and water shows, and the Harbour of Light Parade.
Photo by Christopher Chan
Berlin has a worldwide reputation as a “Party City”, New Year’s known as Silvester in German is celebrated with live music performances, food and drinks all along the “Party Mile”. Stunning fireworks are also shot at midnight & best views are offered over the top of one of their famous dance clubs.
Photo by Spreng Ben
Another escape from freezing winters, Dubai is fast becoming a top travel destination. On New Year’s eve the city of Dubai displays an amazing fireworks show coming out from each of Burj Khalifa’s 160 stores, with over 2 million people watching, but that’s not it, laser, fire, water and music shows take place for 4 hours straight around the Dubai Fountain.
Burj Khalifa’s fireworks by nthy ramanujam
Las Vegas, U.S.A.
Sin city as widely known, and the party capital of the world. Festive all year round, however New Year’s Eve is a totally different story. The Las Vegas Strip -Boulevard- is where all casinos and hotels are is closed for traffic on that day. Mind-boggling street parties, shows and concerts are taking place everywhere. Fireworks are shot off from the roofs of seven different hotels and casinos, and are better watched from any of the club’s rooftop. Needless to say how important it is to book way in advance, to guarantee yourself a place in a club or a bar that are usually closed right after midnight for pre-reservations only.
Sin city at night by Photo Dean
London is the perfect destination for sightseeing, shopping, spending Christmas, & above all celebrating New Year’s. Celebration starts around 9 pm around River Thames with loud music playing and people dancing their hearts out. The countdown starts, at the count of 1 fireworks are come out of Big Ben & London Eye, make sure to arrive as early as you can to get the best views, and for after hours partying book ahead.
Fireworks coming out of London Eye by Lynda