Top 10 New Years Eve Destinations
It’s official: 2010 is coming to an end, and it deserves to go out in style. Grab a bottle of champagne and your appetite for travel and head to one of these happening New Year’s Eve celebrations around the globe.
Known for partying hard all year round, it’s obvious that Las Vegas brings its a-game when it comes to New Year’s Eve. A mash-up of live performances, concerts, bar and club promotions and special dinner menus make this night even more extreme than usual. Celebrations are set all over town: On Fremont Street, revelers can attend the Tribute Palooza party for $20 at 6 PM, or head to the Strip, where you can see fireworks from the roofs of the MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian and the Stratosphere.
Rio de Janeiro
Partying is Rio’s specialty, but this year, New Year’s Eve takes on a special meaning. Second only to Carnival, New Year’s Eve (or Reveillion) will be an unforgettable bash due to the unveiling of the 2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro logo, which will be revealed at the Copacabana celebration. Eleven barges with 1,200 fireworks each, 40 sound towers, 30 police towers, four screens, four stages will light up Copacabana Beach and give travelers and party-goers a satisfying start to the New Year.
Dropping a glittery ball is far too conventional for New Orleans. Instead, the city prefers to drop a (fake) Baby Bacchus from the top of the Jax Brewery. Immediately following, are fireworks over the Mississippi, and much more rowdy festivities in clubs and bars along Bourbon Street. NOLA is also well-known for its live music, so be sure to check out any live shows at Tipitina’s or the House of Blues. Bringing the kids? The Louisiana Children’s Museum has a countdown to noon – equipped with games, balloons, confetti and a soda toast.
Often characterized by its relentless nightlife, Prague allows New Year’s Eve partiers a complete free-for-all with fireworks. The official midnight display reigns over the Prague Castle and the Vltava River. That day, Christmas Markets are still open and active, and hot food and drinks are available from stalls in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Music lovers can watch the Czech Philharmonic in the afternoon, and upscale celebrators are welcome to board fancy river cruises with dinner and dancing.
Forget winter. Cape Town celebrates New Year’s in the heart of its summer with surfing and suntans. Music and the waterfront seem to go hand in hand here. Hear live music at Kirstenbsch Gardens and the Rezonance New Year’s Eve Festival. The Victoria and Albert Waterfront are filled with energetic bars and street performers with Table Mountain as its backdrop for fireworks.
Some know it the largest open-air street party in the world. It’s easy to see why the New Year’s Eve party at Bradenburg Gate in Berlin is so grand – it boasts its own fireworks, laser light shows, food vendors and street dancers, along with live music stages and tents that spring from Pariser Platz Square.
New York City
The traditional American New Year’s Eve extravaganza hails from Times Square in New York. Since 1907, the Ball Drop has rallied viewers both in person and on television to gaze up into the sky and watch the glittery (six-ton, 12-foot) sphere float toward the earth, and a ton of confetti goes along with it. This year for the first time ever, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum will be open for the public during the New Year’s Eve party and the New York Philharmonic will perform that evening.
Just because most people relate London to being a classical Christmas city doesn’t mean it loses its stance as a great place for New Year’s Eve. After Big Ben chimes midnight, the fireworks display at the London Eye draws spectators from all over, and other unique attractions include luxury cruises on the Thames and the Medieval Banquet at St. Katherine’s Dock.
In Tokyo, you can celebrate in two extremes. Rowdy folks can celebrate at the Universal Studios countdown event – one of the best-attended, filled with live music, special attractions and celebrity appearances. On the other end of the spectrum, the Zojoji Temple countdown honors the New Year in a more reflective way, when 3,000 balloons are released with good wishes and prayers for the upcoming year. (Note about dinner: Most restaurants are closed on New Year’s Eve, but food stands are open for business.)
Say bonne annee in Paris this year, Champs-Elysees goes from fashion to fireworks. It’s the best viewing point in the city of an enormous public display of fireworks (and not to mention a great view of the Eiffel Tower as well). For an upscale evening, hit the gourmet restaurants for French cuisine or try a dinner cruise along the Seine, and for a more laid-back time, celebrate in Montmartre.