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15 Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve

Here are the best places to ring in the new year around the world.

Sloan Mountain 2015 Las Vegas New Years fireworks
Photo: Mark Whitt/Getty Images

Here are the best places to ring in the new year around the world.

When it comes to holiday celebrations, New Year’s Eve stands out as one of the most exciting and unifying. The annual countdown to a fresh start brings together people from all walks of life, with everyone sharing the joy and anticipation of a new beginning.

This year, we’ve curated a list of big-city destinations hosting fireworks and parties, as well as quieter places for more intimate experiences, nature, and wellness. From metropolises with massive celebrations to charming mountain towns, these are the best places to go for New Year’s Eve.

Fireworks over the Edinburgh skyline, as seen from Calton Hill.
George Clerk/Getty Images


New Year’s Eve in Scotland is also known as Hogmanay, a celebration featuring street parties, fireworks, concerts, and Scottish traditions like ceilidh dancing and singing “Auld Lang Syne.” While the holiday takes place on December 31, the festivities often extend beyond that — especially in the country’s capital of Edinburgh. The city’s two main ticketed events are Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Partyand the Torchlight Procession through the Old Town. Between all the revelry, you’ll want to participate in some of Scotland’s cherished New Year’s traditions including “first footing,” a belief that the first person to enter someone’s home in the new year brings good luck.


One of the first major cities in the world to welcome the new year, Sydney hosts the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in Australia — its spectacular fireworks display draws more than a million people to Sydney Harbour and surrounding areas. The big event starts around 7:30 p.m. with various ceremonies, projections, and a parade of illuminated boats before the grand finale. The best vantage points, including Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House, fill up quickly, so aim to arrive by 5 p.m. at the latest if you want to snag a good spot.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming 

Begin the new year by hitting the slopes and crossing off two of the country’s best national parks during one epic trip. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers a number of wintry events leading up to New Year’s Eve, when visitors can watch fireworks in Teton Village. You can choose from more than 130 ski and snowboard trails and take lessons if your resolution is to improve your skills. Opt for a luxurious stay at Amangani or Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, and take day trips to nearby Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Meteor streaks through the Milky Way above Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona.
Getty Images

Sedona, Arizona 

Not in the mood to party? Start the year refreshed and rejuvenated with a relaxing wellness vacation in Sedona, Arizona. The region is famous for its stunning red rock formations and vortexes — centers of energy believed to support healing and self-reflection — making it a perfect place for a transformative getaway in nature. Many of the area’s spa and wellness centers, like L’Auberge de Sedona, offer packages that include everything from reiki to sound healing. And the weather never gets too cold, even in December and January, so you can also get active outdoors between yoga classes and meditation sessions. On January 1, consider joining one of the First Day Hikes led by rangers and volunteers from Arizona State Parks and Trails.


Japanese New Year, Shōgatsu, is one of the country’s most important holidays, with celebrations often beginning as early as December 30 and lasting until January 3. But unlike other cities that host massive parties, the atmosphere in Tokyo is more reflective and spiritual when the clock strikes midnight. Many temples open their doors on New Year’s Eve to allow people to visit, pray, and listen to the ringing of the bells. As part of the annual ritual, the monks ring the bells 108 times (eight times to bid farewell to the old and 100 times to welcome the new) from around 10:30 p.m. to just after midnight. Those looking for a more rowdy scene can head to Shibuya, which typically hosts a countdown celebration and street party with live entertainment.


It’s not difficult to find a good party in London, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. The United Kingdom’s capital city is known for its elaborate fireworks display near the London Eye (keep in mind that this is a ticketed event and tends to be very crowded). Prefer to stay cozy inside? Depending on your preferences, you can find everything from pubs with live music to flashy dance clubs that keep the fun going all night. For a different view of the city’s landmarks and fireworks, hop on a River Thames cruise, where you can eat, drink, and dance the night away while Big Ben chimes in the background.

Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Paris
Firas Abdullah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Say bonjour to the new year in the City of Light. Head to the Champs-Elysées, which typically hosts a light and sound show near the Arc de Triomphe, or take in the view of the city (including any fireworks) from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Other popular places to celebrate include the banks of the Seine, Disneyland Paris, and cabaret and burlesque theaters like Crazy Horse and The Moulin Rouge. In France, New Year’s Eve is known as Réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre and typically includes a feast — so you also can’t go wrong with a delicious meal and some champagne.

Park City, Utah 

Step into a real-life snow globe at Park City Mountain Resort, which boasts over 7,300 skiable acres and trails for beginners and experts. The resort often hosts New Year’s Eve après-ski celebrations, including fireworks and live music, and the fun continues at the bars and restaurants on Park City’s Main Street. Stick around in January to visit the Ice Castles — frozen structures with ice tunnels, sculptures, and more — in nearby Midway and check out the historic old town. Deer Valley, about a five-minute drive south of Park City, is home to several luxury hotels, including MontageStein Eriksen Lodge, and The St. Regis. Each of these properties has a spa and plenty of places to cozy up after a day on the slopes.

The Palm Beaches, Florida 

Pack your swimsuit and welcome the new year in Florida’s sunny Palm Beaches. The Square in West Palm Beach offers shopping, dining, and nightly light shows. And on New Year’s Eve, guests can usually catch live music by the Wishing Tree, a 32-foot banyan tree illuminated with 10,000 LEDs. Many of the area’s big resorts, like The Boca Raton and The Breakers, host their own New Year’s Eve bashes, but you can also find smaller shindigs at rooftop bars and restaurants in downtown West Palm Beach. Before and after New Year’s Day, get a dose of culture at The Norton Museum of Art, which hosts Art After Dark events on Friday nights, or enjoy a moment of zen at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

View of the Roman forum with snow in Rome, Italy
Getty Images


Why not ring in the new year in the Eternal City? Rome has an undeniably festive atmosphere on New Year’s Eve — simply head to one of the city’s magnificent piazzas to join in on the fun. Consider arriving earlier in the month to take in the last of the holiday markets. (Note that many museums, shops, and restaurants are closed on New Year’s Day, but there will still be plenty to do.) Hotel de RussieRome Cavalieri, and The St. Regis Rome are all solid places to stay.

Rio de Janeiro 

Samba into January on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach, where an open-air New Year’s Eve party draws millions to the beautiful Brazilian city. You’ll want to wear white for good luck and arrive a few hours before the countdown to secure a spot on the sand. After the fireworks, head to some of the bars in Ipanema, where the party continues until the morning. Looking for a glamorous hotel to view the action from afar? Stay at Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, which overlooks the beach and often hosts its own chic soirees.

Telluride, Colorado 

For a small-town experience with great skiing, head to Telluride. The town typically displays fireworks over the slopes on New Year’s Eve, and visitors can partake in winter sports (fat biking, sledding, ice climbing, snowmobiling, and more) during the day and cozy up by the fire at night. Luxury accommodations include Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodgeand the Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, but travelers on a budget can enjoy the privacy of an Airbnb cabin or condo.

Mount Kirkjufell Iceland during northern lights
Canvas Images


Grab your heaviest coat and head to Iceland for a New Year’s Eve celebration packed with fireworks in a stunning, snow-covered setting. Enjoy a night of partying in the capital city of Reykjavik, and spend the next day recovering in one of the country’s famous hot springs, like the Blue Lagoon. Of course, you’ll want to extend your stay to check out Iceland’s famous attractions — the Golden Circle looks especially beautiful in the winter — and stay up to catch a glimpse of the northern lights before heading home.

Las Vegas 

Culinary enthusiasts may want to spend their New Year’s Eve exploring the foodie side of Las Vegas. Many of the city’s best restaurants offer special NYE packages. Plus, people who visit Vegas at the end of December will still have the chance to see some of the Strip’s best holiday decorations. Go to a rooftop bar to get a good view of the fireworks, which are launched from different casinos around midnight. Can’t decide where to stay? The WynnWaldorf AstoriaFour Seasons Hotel, and The Venetian Resort are some of the best hotels in Sin City.

New York City 

The Big Apple attracts attention year-round, but it’s even more dazzling on New Year’s Eve. All eyes are on Times Square when the ball drops at midnight, and those willing to brave the cold and the crowds are rewarded with a joyful atmosphere. Even if you don’t attend the main event, you’ll find no shortage of parties, fireworks, and alternative ways to mark the occasion. Go on a New Year’s Eve walking tour across the Brooklyn Bridge with NYC Walks, catch a concert, or party on a boat cruise around New York Harbor.

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