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20 Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s

  • Fireworks In The Sky Above Rio De Janeiro In Brazil, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Skyrockets in Flight, 12 O’Clock Delight

    From the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to Edinburgh Castle, here’s where you’ll find epic fireworks displays, all-night dance parties, one-of-a-kind cultural traditions and more to ring in the New Year.

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  • Crowds Gather In Times Square In New York City For New Years Eve, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    New York City

    There’s no denying that New Year’s Eve in Times Square, where a million people gather to watch the ball drop, has an atmosphere all its own. But if the sardine scene is not for you, book a reservation at one of the bars or restaurants overlooking Times Square or consider a nighttime boat ride on New York Harbor to watch the midnight fireworks on Liberty Island.

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  • Fireworks In The Sky Above Rio De Janeiro In Brazil, New Year's Eve Destinations
    Leanne Vorrias / Shutterstock

    Rio de Janeiro

    Rio may be best known for its Carnival festivities, but its New Year’s Eve celebration comes in a close second. Iconic Copacabana Beach hosts the world’s largest, and arguably wildest, New Year’s Eve party. More than 2 million people cram onto the 2 1/2-mile stretch of sand for Réveillon, which blends religious, traditional and superstitious beliefs as well as live music, dance performances and fireworks.

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  • Crowds Gather With Candles In Edingburgh Scotland, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Edinburgh

    Hogmanay translates to “last day of the year,” but the annual festivities in Edinburgh last for three, beginning on Dec. 30 with a torchlight procession and fireworks. New Year’s Eve is all about massive street parties and outdoor concerts, more fireworks over Edinburgh Castle and streets filled with revelers singing “Auld Lang Syne.” New Year’s Day brings competitive dog sledding across Holyrood Park, brave souls jumping into the ice-cold waters of the Firth of Forth, and another parade, plus music and arts.

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  • Fireworks At Night Over Downton Hong Kong And Bay, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Hong Kong

    One of the world’s most dramatic skylines lights up every year with a display of fireworks that concludes with a pyrotechnic dragon that dances across the sky. For the best views, savvy locals party on boats in Victoria Harbour, on rooftop terraces or at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui.

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  • Night Time In Las Vegas Nevada, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Las Vegas

    On this night, the Las Vegas Strip becomes car-free and transforms into a giant street party with live bands, pyrotechnic displays and laser shows. The city also hosts a mind-boggling number of concerts, shows and parties in clubs, hotels and casinos — meaning there’s no shortage of evening entertainment options. Come midnight, fireworks are launched from seven rooftops along the Strip.

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  • A Man Dressed Up For The Parade In The Bahamas, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Bahamas

    New Year’s Day is as exciting as the night before in the Bahamas. On both days the locals follow Junkanoo street parades — a sort of Bahamian take on Mardi Gras, with processions featuring music, street performers and colorful costumes — that conclude with informal beach gatherings and fireworks displays around the islands. Big resorts such as the Atlantis and the Grand Lucayan offer their own parties, some of which are family-friendly.

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  • Downtown New Orleans Louisiana At Night, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    New Orleans

    It may not be Mardi Gras, but New Year’s Eve in New Orleans is just as memorable. The main event is a thrilling 15-minute fireworks show on the Mississippi River, where a giant fleur-de-lis drops from the roof of the Jax Brewery in Jackson Square. Of course, the night doesn’t end there, as visitors and locals flock to Bourbon Street and the Latin Quarter, where music booms from bars and nightclubs, and the streets remain bustling until the wee hours.

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  • Yachts  Moored At Beach In Jost Van Dyke In The British Virgin Islands, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

    It’s called Old Year’s Night here, and the festivities on this tiny British Virgin Island take place at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar and other nightlife spots in Great Harbour. Plan on 48 hours of live music, drinking and eating; the annual event attracts thousands of shirtless or bikini-clad partygoers who stay up late and sometimes sleep on the beach.

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  • A Giant Statue Of Mickey Mouse's Sorcerer's Hat In Disneyworld, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Walt Disney World

    New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World in Florida is a dream come true for families traveling over the holiday. (It’s less crowded, too.) Fun activities all day long — Cirque du Soleil performances, dance parties, live entertainers and confetti explosions — lead up to midnight fireworks. Epcot puts on an impressive lights and laser show just before midnight.

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  • Paris France In Front Of The Louvre Museum, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Paris

    The City of Light lives up to its nickname on New Year’s Eve, when the Eiffel Tower stands at the center of a spectacular light show and fireworks display. Parisians ring in the Nouvelle Année on the Champs-Élysées, which hosts a massive street party with Champagne and chocolates. Less-crowded Montmartre offers equally good views of the fireworks, or you can book a dinner cruise aboard a Bateau Mouche on the Seine.

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  • Main Square In Downtown Vienna Austria, New Years Eve Destinations
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    Vienna

    The city is famous for its New Year’s Eve Grand Ball, hosted at Hofburg Palace, but there’s more on offer than just throwback elegance. Vienna’s famous Christmas markets transform into New Year’s fairs, and hundreds of thousands of revelers crowd the Silvesterpfad (New Year’s Path) to drink mulled wine and ring in the New Year, when fireworks soar over the Wiener Prater fair. On New Year’s Day, a huge crowd gathers outside the Rathaus (City Hall) to watch the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert on a giant screen.

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  • View Of The Canal, Boats, Bridge And Buildings Of Amsterdam Netherlands, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Amsterdam

    Impromptu street parties are easy to find in the Dutch capital on New Year’s Eve, but there are organized parties in just about every large public space, including Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt, Museumplein and Dam Square. Fireworks displays are best viewed from the city's bridges; afterward, revelers head out to the clubs for drinks, live music and dancing until the sun comes up.

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  • View Of The Town Of Reykjavik Iceland With Mountains In Background, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Reykjavik

    With only four hours of daylight in late December, locals in the northernmost capital of the world are ready to party like no one else. New Year’s Eve kicks off with community bonfires (they symbolize burning away troubles from the past year) around which people sing, dance and play music. Fireworks light up every corner of the city as midnight approaches; after that, revelers head to bars and clubs. Come 5 a.m., you’ll see many staving off hangovers with hot dogs or a trip to the hot springs.

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  • Aerial View Of The Ocean, City, Beach And Inlet In Miami Florida, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Miami

    With its world-class nightlife scene, Miami is a no-brainer for New Year’s celebrations, and the city offers parties for all pocketbooks (along with 75-degree temperatures). The festivities in downtown’s Bayfront Park start at 8 p.m. and include dancing and fireworks at midnight; in South Beach, Lummus Park on Ocean Drive hosts a party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with live music and fireworks. For party people, Miami’s glitzy hotels host exclusive events with big-name acts, open bars and private fireworks to boot.

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  • The Bay With Buildings And Mountains In Background, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Cape Town

    Celebrations span three days in this vibrant South African city. On New Year’s Eve, the Victoria & Albert Waterfront hosts a concert and midnight fireworks (smart revelers picnic and party on Table Mountain for unobstructed views), and the Victoria Falls New Year’s Carnival includes a carnival-themed train and live music. On New Year’s Day and the day after, thousands head to local beaches, and the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival parades through downtown, with 10,000 performers dancing and singing in the streets — a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.

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  • Sunset In The Bay In Bangkok, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Bangkok

    Locals and expats numbering in the hundreds of thousands come together for festivities centered in CentralWorld Square. Entertainment includes a spectacular light show, a live concert and video screens projecting celebrations from around the world. At midnight, of course, a series of fireworks displays illuminate the riverside. Afterward, the party continues at nightclubs and the lively beer gardens lining the streets.

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  • Palm Trees By The Beach In Oahu Hawaii, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Oahu

    This Hawaiian island offers a variety of New Year’s Eve activities in a setting that’s hard to beat. In downtown Honolulu, the Aloha Tower Marketplace’s New Year’s Eve party begins at 7 p.m. and goes until 2 a.m., featuring live music, dancing and fireworks. You’ll find a decidedly laid-back affair at Waikiki Beach, and in West Oahu, the Wet ’n’ Wild Hawaii water park hosts a daytime celebration for families, with fireworks after sunset.

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  • A Concert At Night In Berlin Germany, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Berlin

    The centerpiece of the celebration, known as Silvester, is the “Party Mile,” a 2-kilometer stretch of bars, international food stalls, laser shows, video screens, party tents, music stages and more between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. After the midnight fireworks, crowds stay out dancing until dawn or later. To somewhat counteract the debauchery, locals partake in the Berliner Silvesterlauf (a pancake race on New Year’s Eve day in which runners flip flapjacks as they head toward the finish line) or participate in a 4-kilometer run on New Year’s Day.

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  • Fireworks Near Big Ben In London England, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    London

    Londoners ring in the New Year to the chiming of Big Ben. More than 250,000 people crowd the banks of the Thames and its numerous bridges to see the spectacular 10-minute light show and fireworks display, with the London Eye (Ferris wheel), the Houses of Parliament and the two-year-old Shard skyscraper among the highlights of urban scenery. On New Year’s Day, a parade features floats, marching bands, costumed dancers and a procession of Queen Elizabeth’s II’s horses.

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  • Nighttime Over The Sydney Australia Skyline, New Year's Eve Destinations
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    Sydney

    Because of its location, Sydney is the first major city on Earth where the clock strikes midnight; fireworks explode at 9 p.m. and again at midnight, with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House making for a striking setting. More than a million people attend the waterfront show, which also includes aerial acrobatics, an Aboriginal smoking ceremony that is said to cleanse bad spirits, and the Harbour of Light Parade, a mass flotilla of more than 40  illuminated boats.

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  • A Concert At Night In Berlin Germany, New Year's Eve Destinations
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