Fancy a last minute trip away for New Year’s Eve this year and don’t know where to head? I asked some of my favourite travel bloggers to share their favourite NYE memories, to create a round-up of the best places to spend New Years Eve around the world.
For me, NYE has almost always been a let down. Most years, something has gone wrong or some disaster has come along to ruin my night – so until this year my best ever New Year’s experience involved a night in with a loved one and a bottle of wine. Hopefully, that’s about to change – as this year I’m delighted to announce that I’m headed back to Scotland with Festivals Edinburgh to ring in 2016 with a serious bang at the three day Hogmanay extravaganza. It’s less than two weeks until my trip now and I can’t wait – hopefully this is set to be my best ever New Year’s Eve! You’ll be able to follow the #Blogmanay celebrations and activities on all my social media channels, so don’t miss that.
In the meantime, check out these travel blogger recommendations for the best places to spend New Years Eve, and get daydreaming!
Gold Coast, Australia
Laura Cody – Travelling Weasels
We had one of the best New Year’s Eve ever at the Gold Coast in Australia. We went down to the beach and there was an immense sound system set up on the beach. Everyone was dancing and having a great time. We met lots of cool people and had a great party! There are plenty of awesome pubs and clubs near the beach, but we made sure that we were actually on the beach for the count down. At midnight an awesome firework display was set off. Whilst it wasn’t the best display in the world, the reflection on the sea looked wonderful and the atmosphere was really magical. We highly recommend the Gold Coast for NYE, definitely get there in the day, the weather will be hot and you can swim in the sea or even surf at Surfer’s Paradise!
Eileen Cotter – Crooked Flight
Last year, my husband and I were planning our cozy New Year’s Eve at home in Boston, Massachusetts. It was snowing, freezing and the perfect month to just hibernate indoors. A month before January 1st, we were having dinner with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They were planning a crazy trip to Miami to see the band Phish for three days and enjoy the hot Florida sun. After a while, my BIL turned to me and said, “Hey, if you guys wanted to come, I’d be happy to drive down instead!
Two weeks later him and I jumped into a Rav 4 and started a three-day road trip adventure down the east coast, from Boston to Miami. My husband and my BIL’s girlfriend sensibly took flights and met us down there. We stopped in Atlantic City for a night and tried our hand at the slot machines, then visited South Carolina the next evening to see my friend’s new baby girl. We met up with the rest of our group in Ft. Lauderdale for an night, then spent another four days in Miami in an incredible high-rise condo downtown. New Year Eve was filled with music and friends at at American Airlines Arena with 20,000 people. We rang in 2015 on the beach, sipping pina coladas and sailing along Key Biscayne. The whole experience was spontaneous and wild – one of the best NYE I ever had!
Edinburgh Hogmanay, Scotland
Gemma – Two Scots Abroad
No one does New Year’s Eve like us Scots. We do it so well, we have our own name for it – Hogmanay! Last Hogmanay was my ultimate favourite because it was my 30th birthday on New Year’s Day so we combined my 30th, Hogmanay, and our leaving party! Massive! Friends and family gathered at our local sailing club in Fife, Scotland which my parents had decorated in the mandatory embarrassing photos. We love fancy dress so it was expected that everyone came dressed in something to do with the Americas (since we were leaving for our 18 month career break to travel the Americas two months later). We had Mexicans, a NYPD officer, The Flintstones, dames from the Roaring Twenties, and Abraham Lincoln even made an appearance! Craig dusted off his old DJ Sexbomb kit and hired flashing lights and a smoke machine. At midnight, we watched Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fireworks from across the Firth of Forth, then danced our asses off to 90s rave music until we were thrown out.
St Petersburg, Russia
Norman – Années de Pélerinage
I probably spent my best New Year’s Eve(s) ever in St. Petersburg. At first glance, it is a very unlikely place to choose: Russia’s second-largest city is so far up north that there is little daylight during that time, plus it can freeze up to -30 degree Celsius. So definitely bring along extra warm clothing. Quite few people know, however, that New Year’s Eve is the most important holiday for the Russians (and not Christmas). It goes without saying that celebrations are truly spectacular, with tables sagging under unheard amounts of food, samovars and of course the infamous Russian vodka.
Moreover St. Petersburg has so many outstanding cultural highlights. The long list starts with the State Hermitage Museum, goes on with the Catherine Palace & its amber room, Peterhof Palace, the Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood, the St. Isaac’s Cathedral and ends with the recently opened Fabergé Museum. In winter, you will have all those highlights (almost) to yourself. And let’s not forget Russia’s famous ice rinks and saunas. I learned the hard way that these things matter much more than trying to find that mythical best New Year’s Party ever. So my heartfelt recommendation: Do give St. Petersburg a chance. You won’t regret it.
Las Vegas, USA
Janna Canlas – Janna on a Jaunt
My favorite place to spend New Year’s eve is Las Vegas, Nevada USA. Aside from Times Square, New York, Las Vegas is considered to be one of the top destinations for people to come and celebrate with their family and friends. There’s so many things for you to do. You can either dance the night away in one of the many parties hosted by celebrities, eat your heart out at one of the top restaurants in the world or enjoy the dozens of shows and performances happening that night. They close the famous 4-mile Las Vegas strip six hours before midnight and it becomes a pedestrian mall filled with thousands of people from all over the world waiting for the spectacular 80,000 fireworks display. I like spending New Year’s eve here because it’s fun and energetic! Everyone’s excited and having a great time. What makes it great is the people I’m with, my family. There’s nothing better than ushering in a new year with the people I love. This is my fourth year spending New Year’s eve in Las Vegas and it certainly won’t be my last.
Cassie Sereda – Cass Travels
Living in big cities has always meant that my New Year’s Eve plans have been completely over the top – glamourous parties, formal attire and open bars. Sounds great right? But in reality that means feet that hurt, wallet that hurts, long queues and an even longer trek home when the time comes.
Last year I decided I’d had enough and threw a party Chez Cass. I was lucky enough to be living right across from Primrose Hill at the time, which is one of the best spots to view the fireworks (as well as stunning city views!) in London. I’d heard rumours of people staking out spots early morning, which fortunately were totally unfounded. Instead, what we discovered was that our little party became one giant party.
At exactly quarter to twelve we lined everyone up with plastic champagne flutes, as we threw on coats and hats and gloves. We poured out onto the hill to await the fireworks. We sipped champagne, the gents smoked cigars, and we all danced on the hill on what I imagine was one of coldest nights all year. But it wasn’t just us – 1000s of revellers joined us and it’s one of my only memories of Londoners really engaging with strangers. Everyone laughed and chatted together; we even met our next door neighbours for the first time and they came over and joined in the party afterwards.
We were lucky to have a clear night and perfect views of the fireworks. As the lights flashed all around, surrounded by close friends, it’s not only my favourite New Year’s Eve memory, but one of my best moments in London.
Where in the world did you spend your best ever New Year’s Eve? Share your stories in the comments so we can here about more of the best places to spend New Years Eve in the world!