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Top 10 Best Places in the World to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Let the countdown commence. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Places in the World to Celebrate New Year’s Eve. For this list, we’re taking a look at cities renowned for throwing the biggest bashes to ring in the New Year.
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Top 10 Best Places in the World to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Let the countdown commence. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Places in the World to Celebrate New Year’s Eve.

For this list, we’re taking a look at cities renowned for throwing the biggest bashes to ring in the New Year.

#10: Las Vegas, Nevada
Hey, every night in Vegas is an extravagant party, but the Entertainment Capital of the World cranks the festivities up a notch on New Year’s. There’s a good time to be had around every corner, although the Las Vegas Strip is the place to be on this triumphant night. With the entire strip being closed off to vehicles, 300,000 people are treated to a block party that stretches for over 4 miles. Just when you thought Vegas couldn’t get any brighter, casinos kick off the New Year with choreographed fireworks. Whether you’re celebrating atop the Stratosphere Hotel, the High Roller Ferris wheel, or Vegas’ version of the Eiffel Tower, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.


#9: London, England
Traditionally, we all like to be near a clock as the New Year approaches. This is just one of several reasons why London is an ideal spot to start the countdown. London puts on an annual firework display within the vicinity of Big Ben, which, naturally, begins the New Year on a high note with a majestic chime. The fireworks are only made more spectacular when paired with the London Eye Ferris Wheel on the River Thames. The musical soundtrack that accompanies each display makes attendees feel as if they’re at a concert of epic proportions. The fun continues through the night and then well into the day with London's New Year’s Day Parade.


#8: Valparaíso, Chile
If you’re looking to escape winter’s unrelenting cold as December dwindles down, there isn’t a better place to be than on a beach in Valparaíso. Where most New Year’s parties are regulated to one night, Valparaíso puts on a festival that persists throughout the final three days of the year. This city naturally saves the best for last with their New Year’s by the Sea show, which is the single largest firework display in Latin America. Annually attracting millions of tourists, the coastline and hillsides become flooded with people as all eyes are fixated on the bay. With the show extending from the coast to Viña del Mar to Concón, the fun seemingly never ends.


#7: Berlin, Germany
Berlin has no shortage of nightlife hot spots to party the night away on New Year’s, be it at the Haubentaucher, Ritter Butzke, or Kulturbrauerei. Of course, the city’s greatest celebration of all stretches from Victory Column to Brandenburg Gate. This quote unquote party mile is comprised of food stands, laser shows, bars, live music, dancing, and pretty much everything else required to celebrate the New Year, or “Silvester” as it’s called here. There’s even a pancake race in which participants flip flapjacks on their way to the finish line. At midnight, you’ll want a good view of Brandenburg Gate where the fireworks illuminate the night sky.

#6: Edinburgh, Scotland
In Scotland, the last day of the year is called “Hogmanay” and that’s not the only thing that distinguishes their New Year’s from others. Similar to Valparaíso, the citizens of Edinburgh like to take the party into overtime with festivals that can stretch from December 28 through January 2. Traditions include a gift-giving practice known as first-footing, torchlight marches, and the Stoats Loony Dook parade. The ceremony of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay notably lasts three days, with midnight on January 1 serving as the climax. Edinburgh Castle is the centerpiece of the celebration, as fireworks launch and people belt out the classic “Auld Lang Syne,” a Scottish poem that allows us to reflect on another year gone by.

#5: Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok has been credited as the most visited city in the world, drawing in roughly 22 million tourists by 2018. As you can imagine, the Big Mango knows how to throw a party, especially on New Year’s Eve. There are dozens of amazing vantage points for fireworks, including Suan Luang Rama IX, the Asiatique waterfront and the Wat Arun temple. If you want the ultimate New Year extravaganza Bangkok has to offer, though, you’ll want to gravitate towards the CentralWorld Plaza. Considered by some to be Thailand’s answer to Times Square, this massive shopping center is a favorite spot for thousands of people to count down to midnight with live entertainment, refreshments, and, of course, fireworks aplenty.

#4: Sydney, Australia
If you only get to visit Australia’s most populous city once if your life, December 31 is an idyllic time to drop in down under. New Year’s at the Sydney Harbour Bridge equals two firework displays for the price of one. For parents who want their little ones in bed before 12:00, there’s the 9pm Family Fireworks. The Midnight Fireworks show is the highlight of the evening, however, with the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and other buildings contributing to the grandiose backdrop, which looks almost like a giant birthday cake. In addition to the fireworks up above, approximately 1,100 candle fireworks are dropped from the bridge’s base to the water, creating a blazing waterfall.

#3: New York, New York
For those living in the U.S., New York is probably the first place that comes to mind when thinking about New Year’s celebrations. More specifically, Times Square is the primary stomping ground for partygoers as the year nears its conclusion. The ball that sits atop the roof of One Times Square in particular has become synonymous with the holiday. You haven’t truly experienced New Year’s until you’ve gathered around the flagpole with a million others, counting down the remaining seconds together. The years may change, but this tradition has been a mainstay since 1907. Even if you don’t live in New York, chances are you’ll tune in to watch the ball drop on television.

#2: Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Times Square also comes complete with a time ball to signify the beginning of a new year. This isn’t the only event worth attending, with live music being played in the Tsim Sha Tsui district and parties popping up all over Lan Kwai Fong. Since fireworks originated from medieval China, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hong Kong pulls out all the stops for this special occasion. The fireworks display at Victoria Harbour is unlike any other, whether you view it from a rooftop or a cruise ship. The excitement doesn’t end on December 31, as there are numerous festivities to look forward to for the Chinese New Year in February, including the annual parade.

#1: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Although there are mind-blowing New Year’s celebrations to be found all over the world, none can quite top the fireworks display in Rio. People have been assembling at Copacabana Beach since 1950, but it wasn’t until 1976 that fireworks entered the equation. Today, nearly two million spectators flock to the sandy beach for over two miles of fireworks, with the show lasting somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes. It’s also traditional to decorate the beach with candles and toss flowers into the ocean as a sign of good luck for the year ahead. For a city known for its parties, New Year’s Eve in Rio just might be wildest in terms of scale and spectacle.

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