New Year’s Eve 2021 is just around the corner, and while pretty much every city in the world rings in the New Year in some way or another, there are a few places that are especially magical to visit.
But which cities are at the top of people’s lists to celebrate New Year 2021? We asked our social audience of 1.5 million people where they would love to celebrate NYE, also taking into account city festivities and previous awards for the final round-up.
From dazzling displays of bright, vibrant fireworks to thumping street parties and parades, you’ll find that travelling to a foreign city for New Year’s Eve events can be a fun, culturally delightful experience.
And, the best part is that each city infuses its own traditions into the festivities. From Uruguay to Australia and all the way back around to some of the biggest celebrations in Europe and the United States, we’ve rounded up the 50 best places to spend New Year’s Eve 2021. Get ready to barrel into the roaring 20s with a sense of cheerful exuberance.”
Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2021
Looking for a fun place to spend New Year’s Eve in Africa? Maputo, Mozambique is home to a funky, festive party. The famous White Pearl Resorts throws one heck of a beach bash. Sip on traditional Tipo Tinto rum as you enjoy live music, sparklers, and the balmy coastal beach that lines the shores of the city.
The entire Sacred Valley is a pretty magical place to visit any time of the year. However, when there’s a holiday buzz in the air, the city turns into an enchanting hub of hope, mysticism, and tradition. Spend New Year’s Eve in Cusco and you’ll find yourself bombarded with yellow-coloured hats, necklaces, and confetti, which are thought to bring good luck.
For warm weather to break up the winter months, there’s no place better than Grand Cayman. It’s an easy hop from the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta, and the Ritz-Carlton organises a wonderful time on Seven Mile Beach. Pick up a glass of champagne and cheers to the New Year while dancing the night away on the beach surrounded by friends and shimmering lights.
Performers and vendors flock to Hviezdoslavovo Námestie, Bratislava’s most popular square, to prepare for the evening festivities here. At what is one of Europe’s most accessible and popular New Year’s Eve celebrations, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the charming traditions that are unique to Slovakia. Toast to the New Year as you enjoy stunning views of the old town, but be sure to save room for cabbage soup.
Friendly locals, crazy parties, stunning seaside views, and outstanding fireworks? It’s easy to see why Colombians flock to the cobblestone streets of this historic city to ring in the New Year. Sit along the shore and watch the fireworks or try to wiggle your way into one of the city’s hottest nightclubs to salsa your way into 2020.
Those who love winter sports can embrace them from the top of some of Europe’s best peaks in Gstaad, Switzerland. The luxurious resorts throw posh parties and have wonderful spas to soak in and melt away all of the sore muscles and hangovers the next day. Post-celebration pampering? That’s what we’re looking for in a New Year’s Eve 2020 destination.
Is it really a surprise that Music City makes the list of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020? You’ll have your fair share of parties to attend, from the famous Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight to Gatsby’s House. Swap the champagne for some Tennessee sippin’ whiskey and roar into the 20s with some Southern flair and style.
The liveliest and largest of the sensational Bahamas Junkanoo party parades is in Nassau. Starting a 2 am on January 1st (they really don’t waste any time), large groups of dancers and performers parade down the streets with elaborate costumes. Rhythmic dancing, goatskin drums, horns, bells, and whistles all make this one of the best, and loudest, New Year’s Eve parties to attend.
Punta del Este is quickly gaining popularity as one of South America’s sexiest seaside cities, and that title holds true especially during New Year’s Eve festivities. You’ll likely do nothing but party, sleep, and repeat. If you’re not into the parties, then simply head to the shore to enjoy a truly marvellous fireworks show. It’ll be memorable either way.
Bangkok is home to Asia’s largest gay New Year’s Eve festival. The famous White Party draws thousands of visitors out each year, providing them with a multi-cultural, party-filled space to ring in the New Year. However, Bangkok’s so diverse that you’ll find parties anywhere from Khao San Road to the Chao Phraya River and all the way up to the city’s famous rooftop bars.
With all of the city’s ornate and exotic architecture, it comes as no surprise that Marrakech is one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020. Oriental parties and Italian masquerades will tempt even the shyest of visitors out of their hotels to celebrate the festivities. Head over to the Royal Mansour for an elegant affair or smoke shisha and jive to live music at Azar.
New Year’s Eve in Toronto is a fun-filled and festive affair that can take you high into the sky in the CN Tower or weaving in and out of pubs along the street. If you can snag an entry ticket, we suggest the former, as it’s the first time that the iconic CN Tower is hosting a blowout New Year’s bash in years.
Looking for special deals on trips to Chicago in order to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020? Many hotels in the Windy City offer package deals that entice travellers from all over the world to visit. Enjoy dazzling fireworks along the shores of Lake Michigan or put on your dancing shoes and spend the evening listening to live DJ sets and superb jazz performances.
The fireworks display that lights up the port of Funchal was officially recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2006 as the largest display of fireworks in the world. Thousands of multi-coloured lamps light up Funchal’s naturally-formed amphitheatre just as the clock strikes twelve and the sky lights up in a powerful display of colour, sound, and passion.
For another fair-weather night out, head to San Diego to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020. You’ll find the crowds are nothing compared to Los Angeles, and the restaurant and bar scene holds up as well. Make a reservation at one of the city’s hottest restaurants and settle in at a table to ring in midnight before moving on to a bar.
Sicily is a magical place to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020. And, there are few towns more festive than Palermo. Before marvelling at the nighttime fireworks in Politeama Square, indulge in the Cenone di Capodanno, or New Year’s Eve Dinner. The wine flows freely and food is fabulously prepared, ensuring you’ll be full as you head out to ring in the New Year.
This snowy winter sports destination makes for a wonderful place to celebrate New Years Eve 2020 in Japan. Check into your Kyoto hotel and then order a Togouchi, the equivalent of a hot toddy, but with eggnog and saki. It’s a great warming drink to toast with as opposed to champagne.
Catalonia has got some of the weirdest Christmas customs in the world, and they seem to carry over into New Years festivities as well. From eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight to wearing red undies, celebrating New Year’s Eve 2020 in Barcelona is a cultural experience brimming with a rich tradition and lots and lots of cava.
Taiwan is referred to as the Heart of Asia, and as the pumping, thumping core of Asia’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination for tourists eager to ring in the roaring 20s in style. Taipei’s famous 101 building lights up floor by floor from the bottom up for the New Year’s countdown, making Taipei 101 the biggest New Year’s Eve countdown clock in the world.
Strung fairy lights wave in the wind as the sea breeze makes the sand between your toes feel extra sticky and delightful. Yep, we’re talking about the famous Goa beach parties. New Year’s Eve is the best time to party in Goa, with fireworks and celebrations lighting up the entire coastline in a buzzing atmosphere that stays strong well into the night.
Every New Year’s Eve, the radiant Victoria Harbour is the spectacular stage upon which Hong Kong’s vibrant countdown takes place. It’s hard to think of a more stunning backdrop for the city’s pyromusical lights and poppin’ parties. Sit safely along the shore or ring in the New Year on-high in a skyscraper, it doesn’t matter, just make sure you snag a spot early.
The best place to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020 in Canada? Depends on who you ask, but numerous travellers tipped us off to the fact that Calgary puts on quite a show. Throw on some layers and start your evening off skating around Olympic Plaza. Then, grab a cup of Timmie’s and prepare to be amazed as the fireworks from the Calgary Tower set the sky ablaze.
Often deemed a Winter Wonderland, especially around New Year’s Eve, the entire city of Moscow feels like one snow-capped dreamland to explore. The Red Square and all of the city’s cathedrals are draped in lights, acting as an already magical backdrop for a fantastic fireworks show as soon as midnight rolls around.
Positioned on the Queenstown lakefront, this New Zealand city is slated to be one of the year’s hottest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. The city’s planning on bringing in the New Year with a great line-up of live music across two stages, entertainment, food and a spectacular fireworks display that’s so bright it can light up the entire waterfront city.
Berlin’s long been known on the tourist circuit as home to wild parties and a seemingly anything-goes attitude. On New Year’s Eve, you’ll find this to be especially true. The entire city is buzzing with undeniable energy even before the famous Brandenburg Gate party commences. The party’s free to enter, featuring food, fireworks, and impressive laser light shows.
Anchorage, Alaska is a great place for families to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020. Festivities kick off just after sunset, with a dance party at 5 pm and a kid-friendly fireworks spectacular that lights up the night sky just past 8 pm. However, what’s really attractive about this NYE destination city is the Torchlight Parade. Volunteer skiers and snowboarders whiz past in a wintery procession full of light and magic.
The Niagara Falls Tourism Board sure knows how to throw a party. They note that whether you’re looking for dinner and dance, to be dazzled by amazing fireworks, a free outdoor concert or anything in between, you can find it in Niagara Falls, Canada this New Years Eve. The chance to see the famous falls lit up in sparkling light is a sight you simply can’t miss.
There are more than a few ways to enjoy New Year’s Eve in London. Enjoy a smashing view of the city’s incredible fireworks from an elegant restaurant that overlooks the famous London Eye. Or, purchase tickets to embark on an enchanting New Year’s Eve cruise down the River Thames. Bars and clubs will be overflowing with fun festivities as per usual, leaving you with numerous choices for welcoming 2020.
Image: Greater London Authority
Interested in rockin’ New Years Eve? Head to Lake Tahoe, either the California or Nevada, where celebrations begin as early as 2 pm. Live DJ sets ring across the famous lake as the countdown begins. 3, 2, 1…and finally the gondola ball drops down and fireworks light up the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Magical doesn’t begin to describe New Year’s Eve here.
Budapest is ranked as one of the hottest European travel destinations for 2020, so go on ahead and plan a trip to be there right when the New Year begins. This Hungarian city is home to a vibrant nightlife that spills out onto the shores of the Danube River for New Year’s Eve. Delight in dazzling fireworks or check out the raging parties at the iconic Szechenyi Baths New Year Bath Party on the 30th.
Naturally, the City of Lights is an incredibly stylish and romantic place for kissing at midnight. Plan ahead and book an early dinner at a fabulous Parisian restaurant then settle into a cosy spot on the shores of the River Seine. Or, head over to the Eiffel Tower for magical fireworks that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Last year’s display showcased an incredibly impressive and enchanting projection mapping show.
The entire Las Vegas strip closes down in preparation for the festive party that occurs on New Year’s Eve. Around 300,000 people spill out into the streets for a big neon-lit block party. Then, at midnight the casinos launch fireworks that result in a somewhat overpowering show of vibrant colour and light. Cap off your evening at any one of Sin City’s famous clubs, which are sure to be packed with other partiers.
The Jameson Vic Falls Carnival is an impressive three-night extravaganza that draws some 6,000 visitors out to help ring in the New Year. Fire dancers, stilt walkers and the continent’s biggest waterfall all create a setting that’s cultural, crazy, and fabulously fun.
Looking for a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve destination? It’s no secret that Disney World is home to impressive fireworks displays that occur nightly year-round. However, the New Year’s Eve show is especially enchanting. Let the kids dance off their energy then call in a sitter as you prepare to head out to celebrate New Year’s Eve for free at ICON Park. There, you can countdown to 2020 in different time zones all around the world.
Glittering parties, confetti cannons, and a full-on flapper party all make Belfast one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2020. This year, the Irish city seems to be one-upping itself in terms of style and opulence, hosting numerous galas, balls, and parties for travellers of any kind. Plus, getting the chance to ring in the New Year at the famous Titanic Belfast is just too rich of an experience to pass up.
Beirut’s legendary party scene makes it a hot destination for visitors travelling through the Middle East on New Year’s Eve. Expect nothing short of something spectacular, whether you’re celebrating with other travellers at the Place de l’Etoile or partying until dawn at one of the city’s eclectic clubs.
Glamorous beachside parties, fantastic fireworks displays, and a stunning display of elegance and power make Dubai one of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve year after year. Zero Gravity’s Beach Festival is the place to be as you dance away the very last minutes of 2019. Or, plan a “quieter” evening as you indulge in the extravagant pyrotechnic shows at Burj Khalifa.
House parties and elegant dinner events are pretty standard in Stockholm on the evening of the 31st. However, as midnight draws near, you’ll notice hoards of locals and travellers heading out into the streets to enjoy champagne and the spectacular fireworks that light up the city’s skyline.
Home to some of the world’s hottest beach clubs, Bali offers a lot for eager tourists looking to enjoy New Year’s Eve in party mode. This is one of the most exciting times on the Island of the Gods. Fireworks cascade down the shores of all of the beaches in Bali as the music pumps through the speakers, ringing out in cheerful exuberance throughout the entire island.
Edinburgh is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for New Year’s Eve for quite a few reasons. The three-day Hogmanay festival ensures visitors don’t have to settle for just one evening of festive fun. Plan on arriving on the 30th to witness the Viking-style torchlight parade. Then, rest up to ensure you’ve got enough energy to head out the next night for midnight fireworks set against the Edinburgh Castle.
Recently ranked as one of the most festive cities in the world for Christmas, the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is brimming with magic and wonder well into the New Year. Visitors can enjoy live performances, fun characters and delicious food as they explore a wonderland of colour and light. It’s all set to an integrated soundtrack to tell a story that celebrates the community’s history.
Even though the entire city is gearing up to celebrate Carnaval in just under two months, Rio de Janeiro goes all out for New Year’s Eve, too. The city’s home to one of the largest New Year’s Eve parties in the entire world, but would you really expect anything less? Samba beats fill the streets as locals head out dressed in white, which is supposedly good luck.
Prague is regarded by many as an enchanting place to explore equal parts rich cultural history and modern nightlife. It’s the eclectic mix of old and new that makes Prague such a great place to enjoy New Year’s Eve. Whether you choose to go crazy on the Prague Pub Crawl or stick to viewing the fireworks light up the famous bridge, you’re sure to enjoy a quality evening.
End-of-year celebrations are a delightful event in San Juan, where Puerto Ricans and the tourists on the island head out to enjoy a marvellous even full of free-flowing drinks and thumping music. Fill up on the traditional dish of asopao stew then check into one of San Juan’s hottest hotel resort parties. The Illusions New Year Celebration is particularly sinful and indulgent.
Boat parties and speakeasies make Vancouver one of the hottest places to welcome 2020. New Year’s Eve party cruises are an especially great way to enjoy New Year’s Eve in Canada. Book a ticket, put on your party dress, and prepare to enjoy an entire evening full of fireworks, drinks, and party favours.
When it comes to the best New Year’s Eve fireworks, it’s hard to beat the show that Valparaíso puts on. An incredible display of lights, passion, and power lights up the entire shore of this coastal Chilean city. Festivities start on the 28th of December, which means you’ll be able to enjoy the fun for more than just one evening. Sip a pisco sour and put on your yellow underwear just for good luck and good measure.
Planning to ring in the arrival of 2020 with the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration? New York’s famous celebrations centre around the Times Square Ball Drop. Roughly one million people are packed into the square, waiting along with billions of TV viewers to watch the Waterford Crystal ball drop at midnight. Twinkling lights and cascading confetti make it an evening you have to experience at least once in your life.
The Sydney Harbour firework extravaganza is the Southern Hemisphere’s answer to New York City’s Ball Drop. It’s enjoyed by more than a million people who gather along the shore just to get a glimpse. Bring your own bottle of bubbles and enjoy the warm weather as you prepare for an enchanting New Year’s Eve that’s dazzling for visitors of any age.
Full moon parties have long been teasing and taunting wild backpackers to the island of Koh Phangan. They’re considered to be a rite of passage for young travellers. But, there’s nothing quite like the one on New Year’s Eve. From alcohol-filled buckets to flaming rings of fire, this is the absolute wildest New Year’s Eve party you’ll ever attend in your life.
Community bonfires kick of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Reykjavik. The bonfires allow you to burn away all your troubles as the spectacular fireworks display light up the star-soaked sky above you. Dazzle and delight in the unique cultural experience as the entire city is illuminated, ringing with the sounds of singing, dancing, and lots of celebration.