Looking for Someplace Exciting to go on New Year's Eve?

(A guest editorial)

New Year’s Eve is a great time to be in a great city. You’ll have to put up with crowds, but it’s usually worth it for the scope of the celebration and the range of activity and attractions. Plus, each major city has its own special way of welcoming the New Year, sometimes with a central celebration that dominates the entire area, and sometimes with parties dotted all around different neighborhoods and venues.

For 2017 it’s almost getting too late to plan a destination New Year’s Eve. If you’re still considering looking for some last-minute flights, however, or if you’re planning ahead for future years, here are some excellent cities to keep on your radar.

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It goes without sayin that New York City has the most famous New Year’s celebration. The crowd that packs into Times Square is legendary, and virtually every major U.S. news channel (and some international networks) broadcasts from the area. If there’s a second most famous New Year’s destination in the world, however, it might just be Rio. According to a piece that ranked Rio’s as one of the best New Year’s celebrations, more than two million Brazilians congregate on the beach (the famous Cobacabana Beach, that is), wearing stark white attire and celebrating all together. Boats just offshore launch fireworks and the party goes deep into the night, on a beach that’s already legendary in general for its festive culture.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

As mentioned, New York City leads the way in the world’s New Year’s parties, and thus we don’t often think of other places when considering the U.S. However, it’s also true that New Orleans – arguably the second most notorious “party city” in the States after Las Vegas – makes a great occasion out of the holiday. Crowds gather to watch fireworks shot off over the Mississippi River, and then flock to Bourbon Street and its nearby neighbors for an all-night party that may as well be Mardi Gras (which in New Orleans is one of the most famous city celebrations on Earth).

3. London, England

As one of the world’s truly great cities, London understandably has a big celebration. Big Ben chimes to welcome in the New Year, fireworks explode over the Thames, and parties take place all over town. Because it can be quite cold at the end of December, however, London also has some major indoor parties. For instance, this year it sounds as if one of the biggest parties will take place at the Hippodrome. This is a Leicester Square casino and entertainment complex that has five floors and a little bit of everything. Indeed, one mini-review of the establishment even noted that it once had a 100,000-gallon tank for exotic animals to swim in. This venue will host a major New Year’s Eve party for 2017/18, and it’s just one example of the places all around town where Londoners and tourists alike will merrily welcome the New Year.

4. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is a beautiful city to visit anytime, and is a popular destination for Europeans as well as people from around the world. It’s perhaps no surprise that it’s considered to have one of the better New Year’s holidays on the continent. The main event is a rather exclusive ball at the Hofburg Palace, a sort of homage to the old world culture of Venice – but the larger crowds simply gather in the streets and city centre, essentially throwing a party throughout the entire day and night.

5. Sydney, Australia

There’s also Sydney, which is one of the very few cities that can perhaps challenge New York for its New Year’s reputation. This is in part because the city is viewed by many as being the first to start celebrating, as the New Year technically comes to Australia before most of the world. The Harbor Bridge – one of the city’s most popular attractions – closes its bridge climb during the day so that a fireworks display can be arranged, and at night the closure is well worth it. Travelers view gorgeous displays from all over the city, as fireworks shoot up from the bridge and the nearby Sydney Opera House out over the harbor. Naturally, the party lasts well into the night (or early morning), but the real thrill here is just in seeing the spectacle.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Barbara, Happy New Year to you and your family. I love your blog and have missed seeing your beautiful decked out for the Holidays. Will you be posting them soon??? Thanks so much.


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