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New Year's Eve fireworks display at Sydney Harbour, Australia

New Year's Eve parties around the world

New Year's Eve is probably the closest thing to a global celebration there is, and we can't think of many better ways to mark the occasion than spending it in another country. But where is the best place to welcome in the new year?

The Northern Lights | Reykjavik, Iceland

The Northern Lights in Kirkjufell, Iceland

Fireworks displays are pretty impressive, but there's nothing quite like the handiwork of Mother Nature lighting up the sky with pinks, greens and yellows.

The Northern Lights are a huge attraction in Iceland on New Year's Eve, which is the prime time to view the natural phenomenon. Even though it's the middle of winter (and winter days in Iceland make London look like a tropical haven), the Mars-like landscape of Reykjavik creates an otherworldly backdrop for the lights.

Even if you don't see the Northern Lights, there is still an impressive fireworks display by the locals, as New Year's Eve is the one night of the year when fireworks are allowed.

Iceland Travel Guide

From whale watching and midnight sun to the Northern Lights, Iceland makes for an unforgettable adventure.

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Copacabana Beach | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach is one of the most outrageous and lively party destinations in the world on any night of the week, but on New Year's Eve you can expect fireworks – both literal and metaphorical.

Everyone comes dressed in white, the colour that represents good luck, for a hair-raising night of good times. Once the countdown to the new year is done, you'll find dancing, crazy outfits, mojitos and plenty of sore heads.

Street Party | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Canal in Amsterdam

The city of Amsterdam turns into a big street party on 31st December every year, as bars, clubs and restaurants fill up with people from around the world. Expect big crowds everywhere and remember to book as far in advance as possible if you want to go out for a meal.

Otherwise, merely cruising around the street from crowd to crowd is a perfectly acceptable way to spend the evening. As the night rolls in, people end up taking to the streets, lining the bridges and settling on park benches. At midnight a massive fireworks display lights up the sky and turns the black water on the Amstel river into a picture of pastel shades.

Amsterdam Travel Guide

The Dutch capital has something for everyone, from the hundreds of museums and galleries to the famous coffee shops and Red Light District.

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Race the Clock | Barcelona, Spain

Fountain display in Barcelona

There is a Spanish tradition on New Year's Eve, Nochevieja, where people eat twelve grapes at the stroke of midnight – one for each time the bell chimes. If you can put your grapes back in time, expect a year of good fortune. If not, at least you will have made a few of your friends laugh.

Barcelona is buzzing on New Year's Eve, as restaurants around the city have set menus that cater to families and tourists who celebrate the first half of the evening with a long meal that leads the way towards the countdown (book far in advance if you are there, otherwise you won't find an available table anywhere).

Once supper is over, the city congregates at the Plaza de Catalunya for Nochevieja and a fireworks display to kick off a street party that goes on all night.

Barcelona Travel Guide

From traditional pintxos to booming late-night bars, there's excitement around every corner in Barcelona.

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Sydney Harbour | Sydney, Australia

New Year's Eve fireworks display at Sydney Harbour, Australia

One of the most impressive cities in the world is responsible for one of the most impressive New Year's Eve shows. Sydney Harbour becomes the stage for a show of grand proportions that will suit everyone, from lively party goers to families with young kids.

Revellers start filling up restaurants, the Opera House forecourt and every inch of grass around the harbour from the early afternoon, in anticipation of the night's Big Show. It's mid-summer in Australia, so the weather is perfect.

The formalities officially kick off at 6pm, with an aerial show and a water display. At 9pm the family fireworks show will have kiddies looking up at the sky with stars in their eyes. The main attraction at midnight, the Harbour Light Parade, has made the city famous as a New Year's Eve destination.

For more information regarding accommodation, harbour tours and the best vantage points for the show, take a look at the Sydney New Year's Eve website.

Beach Party | Goa, India

Beach in Goa, India

Slap bang in the middle of peak tourism season in Goa, New Year's Eve is a fitting occasion to head over to India for one of the most outrageous beach parties anywhere (rivalled only by the Full Moon Party on this list). The make-shift shacks and bars dotted around the bamboo forests and the perfect beaches are packed out with travellers from around the world.

Extended New Year Celebrations | Tokyo, Japan

Street in Tokyo, Japan

With Japanese tourism booming again, Tokyo is going to be one of the best places to see in the new year. The capital city goes crazy at the occasion, starting festivities as early as 29th December, with spectacular fireworks displays every night until 4th January.

Tokyo Travel Guide

Read our guide and discover everything the Japanese capital has to offer.

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Sin City Skyline | Las Vegas, USA

Las Vegas skyline

It's only fitting that one of the most iconic party cities in the world finds its way onto this list. The famous strip in Las Vegas is brighter, livelier and more surreal on 31st December every year, as 'Sin City' counts down the hours leading to the new year.

You can bet your boots the Las Vagas skyline will be lit up by one of the most spectacular displays in the US.

Las Vegas Travel Guide

Fireworks are easy to find in Las Vegas. From the electric nightlife and casinos to the unforgettable shows, here's everything you need to know for your trip.

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Full Moon Party | Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

The famous Full Moon party in Koh Phangan needs little introduction. Expect to see thousands of travelling party-goers who are ready for the time of their lives on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Bring your glow sticks, your luminous face-paint and your dancing shoes (or flip flops, more than likely). The beach front becomes a virtual strip of night clubs, where things are certain to go on all night long.

Times Square | New York, USA

Theatre district at night, New York

There can't be many more iconic places to celebrate the new year than the Big Apple. You'll want to head straight to Times Square, where you can watch the famous New Year's Eve Ball Drop – a ritual that has been going since 1907.

The chilly streets are lit up with Christmas lights that make the already enchanted city even more magical. Just remember to wrap up warm!

New York Travel Guide

Hopping across the pond? Find out everything you need to know before you head to the Big Apple.

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