New Year's Eve is the one night of the year for which you need to plan ahead. The question is, where to go? We've selected destinations from all over the world on the basis of their awesome firework displays, dramatic countdowns and stellar views. Here are our top five that have made the all-important cut:
Rio de Janeiro: The Ultimate Beach Party
You can't beat Rio de Janeiro to set the New Year off with a bang. Famous for its sun, samba and soul, what better place to celebrate? Nearly two million visitors head to the Copacabana beach each year on December 31st to witness Brazil's world-renowned fireworks display. To look the part, wear white on the night. White is supposed to bring a prosperous year ahead with plenty of luck and Brazilians take this tradition very seriously.
Watch the festivities unfold and celebrate in ultimate opulence and style, by staying at the Copacabana Palace, Rio's legendary luxury hotel, acclaimed for its annual réveillon party. Enjoy outstanding food, excellent live music and a real fiesta.
Extend: Highlights of Brazil Tour
Hong Kong: A New York-Inspired Celebration
Hong Kong is a great choice for New Year's Eve. This energetic and cosmopolitan city puts on a real show. To immerse yourself in the city's celebrations, embark on a Victoria Harbour cruise, where you can watch the city light up as the impressive fireworks take to the sky. If you'd rather stay on land, Times Square is the place to go. Be part of the buzz and countdown to the New Year, just like they do in New York.
For a more intimate and refined experience of a typical Hong Kong New Year, stay and celebrate at one of our hand-picked luxury hotels on the island. The superb hotel restaurants have prime views over the city and many hold memorable dining events on the night.
Extend: Luxury Grand Tour of Indochina
Valparaiso: Latin America's Biggest & Best
New Year's Eve in Valparaiso, Chile, is one of the biggest parties in Latin America. Considered to be the sister of Rio in terms of sheer celebration size, Chile's cultural capital and colorful port town is a an electric place to welcome in the New Year. Lights are switched off across the city and fireworks are set off from about 15 different points along the coast when the clock strikes midnight: a truly magical scene. But the party doesn't stop here. Musical performances take place at Plaza Sotomayor where locals and tourists alike, decked in New Year regalia, are known to celebrate into the early hours of the morning.
Check into the stunning Palacio Astoreca, set atop a hill, for tumbling views of the bustling Valparaiso Bay in full swing on the night.
Extend: Classic Chile Tour
Bangkok: Rooftop Countdown
Picture a warm, balmy evening of glitz and glamour in the Thai capital on New Year's Eve. You're spoilt for choice in this eclectic city, with plenty of cool places to celebrate. Choose from a number of quirky bars, busy nightclubs and fancy restaurants, all of which get into the spirit. Our particular favorite is the Sky Bar at Lebua. This spectacular rooftop bar managed to break the world record in 2013 for the highest ball drop in the world, conquering New York's famous event. The New Year officially starts with the drop and is followed by fireworks all over Bangkok. The 'Central World Shopping Plaza' also hosts a popular and festive countdown.
Another option is to take a riverside cruise down the Chao Phraya River, at the heart of the action, or stay at a central hotel like the sumptuous riverside Siam Hotel and cheers to the New Year overlooking the city.
Cape Town: Maritime Magic
Cape Town is a city that knows how to hold an incredible New Year's Eve bash. Groups gather at the magnificent V&A Waterfront for a host of concerts, performances and fireworks on the bay. Others head to some of the trendiest clubs to party their way into the New Year, as Cape Town attracts world-renowned DJs. If you wanted something particularly special and dreamy, take the cable-car up to Table Mountain (last one leaving at 11pm) with a picnic and a bottle of fizz to toast the New Year. The panoramic view of Cape Town will never look so good.
The great thing about New Year's celebrations in Cape Town is that they don't seem to stop. Stay in the city for a couple of days to be part of the traditional South African festivities and attend the colorful Cape Minstrel carnival which is usually celebrated on the 2nd of January and is not to be missed.
Extend: Southern Africa Luxe
- Mexico City: for the tradition (expect grapes, empty suitcases and red underwear)
- Bali: for the beach parties
- Ho Chi Minh: for a less mainstream place to celebrate
- Ecuador: for burning scarecrows
- Mount Kilimanjaro: for the accomplishment to round off the year
Book with us as soon as possible: September-October is the latest you should be making plans for New Year's Eve. When booking in the busy holiday season, it is worth getting in contact because we can often secure your reservations when hotels seem fully booked, due to being notified of cancellations before the availability appears online.