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BlogTravel tips9 lively cities around the world where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve
fireworks over the skyline in sydney australia at night
Travel tips

9 lively cities around the world where you can celebrate New Year’s Eve

Dec 19, 2022 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

Ready to shake up your New Year’s Eve? Ring in the new year in a new country. You’ll learn new cultural traditions (rubbing a bronze boar’s nose in Florence), enjoy new kinds of cuisine (New Year’s Eve noodles in Tokyo), and make new friends as the clock strikes midnight. To get you started on making your plans, we’ve rounded up 9 of the best places to go on tour for New Year’s Eve.

London England NYE

1. London

Take a trip to London, and you’ll see why it’s one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s. This historic city does it in style, ringing in the new year with a spectacular fireworks display launched from the nearly 450-foot-high London Eye. The show starts after Big Ben chimes midnight, and it lasts for about 15 minutes. For a more romantic option, take a river cruise along the Thames.

Where to watch the fireworks

Catch the best views from Westminster Bridge and the north embankment of the River Thames.

What to do after

After the fireworks sizzle out, London’s pubs, clubs, and restaurants are open well into the night.

Toast to the new year with Champagne on our New Year’s Eve in London tour

Venice Italy NYE

2. Venice

Take a new year’s tour of Venice and see it like never before. In preparation for New Year’s Eve, the city reinvents itself in holiday colors for one of its biggest events of the year. Party central is Piazza San Marco, where the masses gather starting around 9pm for live music and entertainment. In the birthplace of Casanova, it’s appropriate that Venetians celebrate with a passionate kiss when the bell of St. Mark’s Campanile tolls midnight.

Where to watch the fireworks

Head to the waterfront for a dazzling display that you won’t soon forget.

What to do after

Once the fireworks finish, it’s off to the trattorias to keep the party going, or perhaps a romantic gondola ride to cap a perfect evening.

Make plans for a New Year’s Eve tour of Venice

Madrid Spain

3. Madrid

Madrid’s streets spring to life each December 31, when hoards of revelers make their way to Puerta del Sol. As a popular New Year’s Eve destination, this central square sets the ideal backdrop for the celebrations—but it’s best to arrive early to get a good spot. When the clock strikes midnight, do as the locals do: Quickly pop 12 grapes in your mouth and munch on them for luck (pro tip: seedless grapes go down easier).

Where to watch the fireworks

Stay in Puerta del Sol and see them illuminate the sky behind the 18th-century clock tower of the Real Casa de Correos.

What to do after

Grab a delicious churro con chocolate at Chocolateria San Ginés—the city’s oldest chocolate and churros factory—on the way back to your hotel to end your guided tour of Madrid on a sweet note.

Watch the fireworks light up the sky on our New Year’s Eve in Madrid tour


4. Rome

Rome is one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve if you’re a romantic. Always buzzing with activity, the Eternal City bursts to life in the hours leading up to midnight. Romans usually eat at home before hitting the streets to participate in the festivities, and on our New Year’s tour of Rome, you’ll enjoy a special multi-course dinner before joining them. If you’re with the one you love, do like the Italians and kiss under the mistletoe at midnight. And if you want to do it right, wear red underwear to bring luck in the new year.

Where to watch the fireworks

Fireworks are the night’s highlight, and you can follow the crowds to the best viewpoints in the city. (There are plenty of them.)

What to do after

Make sure to get to Circus Maximus for the city’s big party.

Fall in love all over again in Rome on New Year’s Eve

Paris France NYE

5. Paris

A trip to Paris is always fun, and the city offers plenty of ways for you to wish bonne année. Stroll the Champs-Élysées and join Parisians for the countdown to midnight at the Arc de Triomphe, along with the spectacular fireworks that follow. Enjoy the views on a magical ferris wheel ride at the Jardin des Tuileries and discover just why Paris is one of the best places to visit on New Year’s Eve.

Where to watch the fireworks

Ring in the new year from high atop Montmartre, watching as the entire city lights up around you.

What to do after

Head to the Ice Kube Bar—the coolest place in Paris, where even the seats are made of ice.

Join the festive celebration on our New Year’s Eve in Paris tour →

Florence Italy

6. Florence

Buon anno! Kick off the new year in the birthplace of the Renaissance. The city that gave us the world’s greatest artists glitters festively during the holidays. The Florence Light Festival magically illuminates the city’s streets and most famous landmarks, making a guided tour of Florence absolutely fairytale-like. Get a birds-eye view of this New Year’s Eve destination in all its sparkling splendor from the Ferris wheel in the Christmas Village of Fortezza da Basso.

Where to watch the fireworks

Toast the stroke of midnight on the Ponte Vecchio and enjoy a proper fireworks show.

What to do after

Make a wish at the Fontana del Porcellino, located at the Mercato Nuove, by rubbing the bronze boar’s nose or inserting a coin in its mouth.

Explore our magical New Year’s Eve tour of Florence →

Lucerne Switzerland

7. Lucerne

There's much more to the Swiss Alps in winter than fantastic skiing: Take a trip to Lucerne, and you’ll discover why it’s one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. You’ll tap your feet to music and breathe in brisk Alpine air as you watch the night sky light up with stunning fireworks. While private fireworks displays are set off around the city on New Year’s Eve, illuminating the city’s spires, the big event is held the evening of January 1.

Where to watch the fireworks

Choose any spot along the waterfront for breathtaking views—they’re launched from the center of Lake Lucerne.

What to do after

Walk with visitors and locals alike down the Old Town’s quaint cobbled streets

Spend New Year’s Eve in the Alps on our Lucerne tour →

8. Tokyo

Want to start celebrating the new year early? Take a trip to Tokyo, one of the best places to go for New Year’s Eve. The celebration begins on December 29 and runs through January 4. Even though most of the major sites close down for that week, the streets of Tokyo are packed with people, and the city celebrates with fireworks, dancing, and singing.

Where to watch the fireworks

Join the crowd at Shibuya Crossing for a countdown celebration, complete with live music.

What to do after

Enter the new year in the traditional Japanese way: Eat toshikoshi soba (a traditional New Year’s Eve noodle dish) and listen to the tolls of the Juya No Kane (the Watch-Night Bell). The long noodles symbolize a long and healthy life, while the Watch-Night Bell rings 108 times in temples all over Japan in an attempt to get rid of the 108 worldly desires.

Make plans for a New Year’s Eve tour of Tokyo →

Sydney Australia NYE

9. Sydney

Want to be one of the first to ring in the new year? Plan a trip to Sydney. The city’s one of the best places to go for New Year’s Eve, thanks to its world-famous celebration. Every year, more than a million people gather around Sydney Harbor for the countdown, midnight fireworks, and party.

Where to watch the fireworks

The absolute best views of the fireworks are from the water, but be prepared—boats are in high demand on New Year’s Eve, so book your place on board well in advance.

What to do after

Catch one of the various events put on by the city as part of its Sydney New Year’s Eve celebration.

Check out our New Year’s Eve in Sydney tour →

Ready to welcome the new year somewhere new? Explore our New Year’s Eve tours →

About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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