Updated On: November 08, 2023 by Esraa Mahmoud
Whether you like an elegant New Year’s dinner or an exuberant New Year’s Eve party, the fireworks remain one of the best activities to celebrate the turn of the year properly! In all cities around the globe, the new year is ushered in with lively celebrations, masked balls, and, of course, fireworks.
The bigger the city, the more bombastic the New Year’s Eve and the fireworks that go with it! Helping you plan your next New Year vacation, here is our list of best places to enjoy outstanding New Year’s fireworks.
Who hasn’t always dreamed of spending New Year’s Eve in New York? New Year’s Eve in New York is first and foremost; of course, the ball drops at midnight in Times Square. We can never forget those New Year’s scenes from films and TV shows where thousands of people are seen standing tightly packed on the most famous of all squares in Manhattan, eagerly awaiting the “Ball Drop.”
This “ball” is actually a 10-foot sphere made up of some 2,500 crystals, which in turn are illuminated by more than 30,000 LED lights. When this five-ton crystal ball has counted down the last seconds of the year and reached the end of the pole; that’s when all the people in the square and front of the TVs joyfully wish each other a “Happy New Year,” and you get to enjoy the famous lights and confetti fireworks in Time Square.
However, the Big Apple still offers plenty of tempting alternatives for partying than that taking place in Times Square; there are cool boat tours including a DJ, unlimited drinks, and the best view of the fireworks over the Hudson River. In addition to that, there is also the well-known midnight Run, AKA NYRR Midnight Run, in Central Park.
Central Park is the green lung of the Big Apple, and it is where the NYRR Midnight Run is regularly held. Music and dancing begin at 10 pm, and at 11:59 pm, the countdown starts, and at midnight the run begins directly with a view of the fireworks.
The eponymous midnight run goes in crisp cold weather with imaginative costumes or short running clothes over four miles through the vast city park, a very special experience. If you like, you can run with them – just register with the New York Road Runners in advance and get your running shoes on!
London is the number one destination for many New Year’s Eve visitors, and there is no wonder why! From Big Ben, the famous nearly 100-meter-high tower at the Houses of Parliament in London, thousands of colored sparks rain down on New Year’s Eve.
The fireworks at midnight here are among the largest in the world and are not called the “Big Bang” for nothing. The best view of the spectacle is from the banks of the Thames at the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.
However, viewing areas set up for the occasion may only be entered with a pre-purchased ticket. Fortunately, the celebrations are not only on the Thames but almost everywhere in the city. For example, in Trafalgar Square, where the fireworks are shown on a big screen.
Tip: Don’t sleep too long because, on January 1st, the London New Year’s Day Parade continues at noon, where thousands of musicians and acrobats present their skills at this extremely colorful event.
All those who like it colorful and loud on New Year’s Eve should not miss the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Berlin. It doesn’t get much bigger than this: hundreds of thousands of people wanting to celebrate, various stages with elaborate laser and light shows, and a first-class gastronomic offer – New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate is something you should experience at least once in your life.
At the Brandenburg Gate, one of the largest New Year’s Eve parties in Europe takes place every year with an incomparable fireworks display at midnight. The party mile stretches for about two kilometers, from the Brandenburg Gate to the Siegessäule.
Another massive New Year’s Eve fireworks in Berlin awaits you at the Europa Center in front of the Memorial Church. Four times, namely at 18, 20, 22, and 24 o’clock, fireworks get shot directly into the sky on New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year. Since the rockets are well visible over all of Charlottenburg, you also have a great view of the brightly lit sky from Charlottenburg Palace. Whether Berlin has the best New Year’s Eve fireworks in the world, we will let you decide, but we can tell you this; it is definitely worth the visit.
Sydney is the first city with over a million inhabitants who jump to midnight on December 31st. If you’re celebrating in Sydney, you’ll not only slide into the New Year a few hours earlier than your friends in other countries, but you’ll also experience a New Year’s Eve show that packs a punch.
As early as 6 pm, aerobatic pilots show off their skills in the sky, boats conjure up magical fire patterns on the water, and the harbor area is ceremonially prepared for the turn of the year by the Aborigines. At 9 pm, the first official big fireworks display follows, best suited for children and families.
Afterward, illuminated ships glide through the harbor during the Harbor of Light Parade. The crowning finale is the second official fireworks display at the Sydney Harbor Bridge at midnight. The massive New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Sydney get broadcasted live around the world, marking the official start to the new year.
The best places to enjoy Australia’s only official New Year’s Eve fireworks are Mrs Macquaries Point, Dawes Point Reserve under the Harbor Bridge, or Beulah Street Wharf in the Kirribilli district. Most of the viewpoints are accessible for free with picnic blankets or camping chairs – with 20 to 25°C the perfect setting for New Year’s Eve in Sydney!
In Thailand’s capital, the New Year is welcomed threefold. In April, Thais celebrate their traditional Songkran, the New Year festival according to the Thai lunar calendar. Also, mainly in February (the date changes from year to year), the strong Chinese minority celebrates the turn of the year. Finally, there is a huge party in the country’s largest city on December 31st.
Acting as the Thai equivalent of New York’s Times Square, you can experience the spectacular midnight fireworks on Central World Square together with 200,000 other guests. The Asiatique market on the Chao Phraya River is also a hive of activity. Good live music is played, and you can catch a glimpse or two of Thai stars and starlets and have the best seats to enjoy the big pyro show in all its beauty.
You can get an even better panorama from the many rooftop bars in the city. If you can get tickets to one of the parties up there, Bangkok at night on New Year’s Eve will offer you an unforgettable sight.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in the Austrian capital means a lot of fun, big New Year’s Eve fireworks and waltzing. Every year, Vienna offers a New Year’s Eve trail that stretches from Rathausplatz to Graben. There, amidst the crowds at midnight, you can get a good look at the New Year’s Eve fireworks that light up over Vienna almost everywhere.
The capital of Austria spins into the new year, waltzing. If you have always wanted to learn Viennese waltz, around New Year is the time, because in the afternoon waltz lessons are held in the open air on the Graben, in the famous shopping street in downtown Vienna.
Then, as darkness slowly falls, the Vienna New Year’s Eve Trail comes to life. The annual party mile connects more than 70 show stages, punch stands, and pubs and is also the perfect sightseeing tour through Vienna’s magnificent city center. Punctually at midnight, things get loud once again.
Then the Pummerin at St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the enormous New Year’s Eve fireworks over the City Hall and at the Giant Ferris Wheel announce the turn of the year.
Sliding into the new year with pasta and red wine, that is how thousands of New Year’s Eve tourists celebrate the turn of the year in the Eternal City of Rome. New Year’s Eve highlights in Rome include the free evening concert at Circus Maximus, live music at Piazza del Popolo, and various street parties on Via dei Fori Imperiali.
At midnight, the night sky is lit up by countless fireworks, the most spectacular of which is probably fired over the Roman Forum. For special luck in the new year, toss a coin into the famous Trevi Fountain afterward as the locals do.
Tip: For the best view of the Roman fireworks, go to the Gianicolo Hill or the Pincio Hill near the Piazza del Popolo.
The City of Love is one of the best places to enjoy a memorable New Year’s Eve. Paris preserves some Christmas spirit in its air around New Years’ time, as many Christmas markets stay open until January 1st! In Paris, as you would imagine, there is an élégante ambiance in the air where you can enjoy mulled wine, champagne, and sparkling wine while waiting for the fireworks.
There are a plethora of spots with the most beautiful fireworks in Paris, such as the Champs-Élysses, the Eiffel Tower, or the snow-white church Sacré-Cœur. Also, the Montmartre offers a sensational view over the city from its hill, which is an ideal vantage point for midnight!
Freezing cold while watching New Year’s fireworks? Well, not in Dubai! It’s a balmy 25 °C here in December, with plenty of sunshine and therefore bathing weather. On December 31st, Dubai is the place to be! When it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations and fireworks, the Gulf Tiger city plays on a league of its own! Bigger, more spectacular, more breathtaking …. That’s New Year’s Eve in Dubai!
The city’s famous Burj Khalifa is not only the tallest building in the world, but also has the most phenomenal New Year’s Eve fireworks you will ever see! The city offers its visitors a spectacle of the first-class fireworks that will blow your mind.
The largest fireworks display takes place directly at or rather on top of the Burj Khalifa. Pyrotechnics are installed on all floors of the mega-building and ignited in a sophisticated choreography. A sea of lights illuminates the city and is guaranteed to leave you in awe.
At the turn of the year 2013/2014, this show, which was broadcasted on television and via live stream, broke all records and has since been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks display of all time. In subsequent years, the fireworks were no less spectacular so that you can get ready for the New Year’s Eve fireworks of your life!
Speaking of warmer weather to celebrate the turn of the year, New Year celebration in the hot-blooded metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana, is the second-biggest party of the year after Carnival. The highlight for many is the Yemanjá celebration on the summer-temperature Copacabana. Dressed all in white, people party to hot samba rhythms until the early hours of the morning.
The midnight fireworks display on Rio’s famous beach is also one of the most spectacular ones. For good luck in the new year, the locals offer gifts to the water goddess by raft on the sea, which is one of the many New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world.
In Budapest, a total of nine bridges span over the Danube between the twin cities of Buda and Pest, offering you the best viewpoints at the turn of the year! You can gaze at the New Year’s Eve fireworks from the Chain Bridge and also from the banks of the Danube or from a ship.
The big parties of the city take place in Váci utca, Ráday street, and at the Danube parade. If you like it especially stylish, then you should consider the New Year’s Eve gala, including a ball in the city’s State Opera House.
There are two special things to look out for in Budapest on New Year’s Eve: Firstly, there are many small organized pyrotechnic shows here. Secondly, you should buy one of the many chocolate pigs that are offered in many stores in Budapest. It is said that the pig can track down luck with its good nose for the New Year.
While the city may not have those large New Year’s Eve parties, but of course, there are plenty of celebrations that worth the trip in Cape Town. The biggest public bash is at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the restored wharf district around the two historic basins of Cape Town’s harbor. In addition, to live music, special New Year’s Eve menus are offered, along with some extraordinary fireworks.
From a distance, but with a first-class view, you can also watch the New Year’s Eve spectacle from Table Mountain. The last cable car goes up shortly before midnight, but at 1 o’clock you have to go down again. The live concerts in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are also fun, the music and the wide lawns provide an excellent setting for the turn of the year.
The Swedish capital Stockholm is one of the top places where you can experience big New Year’s Eve fireworks at the turn of the year. One of the most popular places to admire the New Year’s Eve fireworks is the harbor promenade in front of the Grand Hotel. From here, you can watch the spectacle above the Royal Palace. Thanks to the elevated position from Södermalm, you have a unique panoramic view of the most beautiful New Year’s Eve fireworks in the city.
Also, Stockholm’s famous district, Mosebacke, offers the best New Year’s Eve parties. If you prefer quieter options, you can enjoy the view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Stockholm from Monteliusvägen. Tip: From the park Erstabranten, which is a little less visited, you can watch in a romantic atmosphere when the colorful lights and sparks light up the sky.
The New Year’s Eve fireworks show in downtown Brussels is one of the most beautiful New Year’s Eve fireworks displays. The traditional New Year’s Eve party with big New Year’s Eve fireworks takes place between the Stock Exchange Square and De Brouckére Square, in the area of the pedestrian zone. So, you have the possibility to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks all over the city center.
At the famous Atomium, many people gather on New Year’s Eve to watch the most beautiful New Year’s Eve fireworks in the city. If you stroll through the alleys of the old town to the “Mont des Arts,” you will have a great view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Amsterdam is always a hive of activity, and on New Year’s Eve, the city is basically bursting with fun. If you like hustle and bustle, good vibes, and people in a party mood, the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Amsterdam are just the thing for you! There are plenty of choices to celebrate the new year; you can celebrate it at the Dam Square, Rembrandtplein, or Nieuwmarkt because spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks are set off everywhere in here.
You also have a good view of the Amsterdam New Year’s Eve fireworks on the bridges between the Prinsengracht and the Bloemengracht. There, the atmosphere on the water is quite distinguished. You can also watch the fireworks from the wooden bridge, Magere Brug.
A unique way to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Amsterdam is from a boat. Rent a boat on New Year’s Eve to sail comfortably along the canals and enjoy the brightly lit sky.
Hong Kong is another place to add to your bucket list for an exceptional New Year’s Eve celebration. There is nothing as remarkable as starting your year after making a wish with all the shooting stars over Victoria Harbour at Hong Kong’s glittering New Year’s Eve show.
You can enjoy the night from a restaurant in one of the skyscrapers as the city’s rooftops shine with brilliance starting at 11 pm. When the clock strikes midnight, the entire harbor lights up in a symphony of magical balls of light. Enjoy the spectacle from the shore or – even better – from a traditional junk boat in the middle of Victoria Harbour! A New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong is not to be missed!
One of the best ways to start a new year is by having a grand farewell to the previous year while feasting your eyes on magnificent fireworks. From the west to the east, there are many great places to enjoy spectacular fireworks!