Where should I celebrate New Year's Eve?

It’s not too late to make fun plans to see 2018 in somewhere exciting. Here are some top destinations for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Waltz into 2018 in Vienna

In many European countries, 31st December is St Sylvester’s Day – or Silvester – the feast day of Pope Sylvester I. In Vienna, 31st December is marked with a New Year’s Eve (NYE) grand ball at the Imperial Palace. It’s custom to waltz into the New Year in the Austrian capital. You could opt for tickets to the swish ball at the Hofburg on join the world’s largest outdoor ballroom on Graben Street. Other sights include the winter markets and NYE fireworks. You’ll be too late to get tickets to the famous Vienna Philharmonic concert at Musikverein on 1st January, so grab a mulled wine and join the crowds to watch it on a big screen in City Hall Square or in front of the Vienna State Opera.

Watch the sky light up in Reykjavík

The ‘land of ice and fire’ has some of the most otherworldly sights on Earth – many of which are tricky to see in winter due to the almost interminable darkness. However, the long nights increase the chances of catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. You can also bathe in the Blue Lagoon spa as snow falls – and join the nation in a giant NYE party. As the big night begins you can take a tour around the Icelandic capital to see the huge neighbourhood bonfires. Come midnight and the sky is alight with firework displays. Head to Öskjuhlíð Hill for the best view, then join the locals in a citywide celebration – although most bars don’t open until after midnight, so a pre-celebration nap is advised. 

Sip cocktails in New Orleans

In a Travel + Leisure survey, it was New Orleans rather than New York that was crowned the best US destination to celebrate NYE. “As the No.1 champ for cocktails, the singles scene, and friendly neighbourhood joints, the Crescent City is a natural winner for a memorable NYE,” Celebrations in NOLA (as it’s known locally) centre in the bars and restaurants around Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, the oldest part of the city and its cultural hub. As midnight draws near, you’ll want to join the locals in Jackson Square for the countdown to 2018. Or take to the river for a cruise on the Mississippi river.

Join a three-day party in Edinburgh

Listed in the Discovery Channel’s top 25 world travel experiences, Hogmanay in Edinburgh actually lasts three days – and is recommended for party lovers. A torchlight procession kicks off the event; buy tickets or watch the lights arrive at Holyrood Park accompanied by pipers and drummers. The NYE street party (over-12s only) starts at 7pm, and is a ticketed event with live music, DJs, entertainment and fireworks from Edinburgh Castle. Other options include Bairns Afore (a children’s concert) and Ceilidh Under the Castle. Then, on 1st January it’s dog sledging across Holyrood Park, the Loony Dook – where brave souls swim in the icy waters of the River Forth – and then Scot:Lands, a multi-venue music and arts festival. You’ll need a year to recover!

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