Best destinations in Europe to celebrate New Year's Eve
These European cities are perfect for a weekend trip on New Year's Eve.
Fireworks, bubbles and parties – 2022 is drawing to a close and there are endless possibilities for celebrating New Year's Eve, from a cosy night at home or dancing the night away in a club to an exciting short trip abroad. For those who prefer to be further afield when the clock strikes midnight, we present some fabulous destinations that will definitely fuel your wanderlust.
A mountain New Year's in Innsbruck
Where better to get into a winter mood than in the heart of the Alps? With its small alleys in the old town and breathtaking panorama of the Alps, the capital of Tyrol attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition to its famous Christmas market, Innsbruck also has a lot to offer on New Year's Eve. Sports enthusiasts can end the year on an athletic note at the Innsbruck New Year's Eve Run on Dec. 31, while children can choose from fun activities such as handicraft stations, a participatory circus or a Punch and Judy show at the Zwergerlsilvester on 30 December. But the Innsbruck Mountain New Year's Eve is rounded off above all by its spectacular fireworks, which are ignited at a height of 1,905 metres on the Seegrube, transforming the entire Nordkette into a colourful sea of lights. Those who want to continue partying afterwards can choose from a wide range of bars and clubs that have something for every taste and are all within easy walking distance of Innsbruck's city centre.
More info: tyrol.com
Nochevieja in Seville
Mediterranean summer flair over New Year's Eve? This is what the Andalusian capital of Seville has to offer. Seville is known internationally as the city of flamenco, and with magnificent buildings like the Royal Alcázar palace and cathedral with the Giralda tower, it combines the most diverse architectural trends. Crossed by the Guadalquivir River, the historic old town invites you to discover and linger, and on New Year's Eve, called 'Nochevieja' in Spain, it turns into an epicentre for joie de vivre and festivities. The best way to ring in New Year with the locals is with a bottle of chilled Cava or cider in Plaza Nueva. You should definitely have twelve grapes with you: in Spain, these are traditionally eaten at midnight to the 12 chimes of the tower clock and are said to bring good luck for the coming year. Those in the mood for something unusual on 31 December can also choose between various flamenco dinner shows or a boat trip on the Guadalquivir.
More info: visitasevilla.es
New Year’s Eve in London
London is arguably one of the most popular travel destinations and is the perfect place for a city party atmosphere on New Year's Eve. With its diverse culinary offerings, visitors to the British capital are literally spoilt for choice on 31 December – from simple fish & chips in a pub to a multi-course menu in one of no less than 69 Michelin-starred restaurants. A variety of special parties are also waiting to be discovered on New Year's Eve. Fancy celebating alongside dinosaurs or in a silent disco? Head for the New Year's Eve Jurassic Party at the Natural History Museum, where you can party prehistoric-style.
While there are countless ways to celebrate indoors in London, the city is once again hosting its spectacular fireworks display near the London Eye, which is traditionally heralded by Mayor Sadiq Khan and the sound of Big Ben at midnight. Those wishing to secure a very special place for the fireworks can purchase tickets for one of the many boat dinners on offer on New Year's Eve on the Thames.
More info: visitlondon.com
Northern Lights in Iceland
Who needs fireworks when nature can conjure up a dazzling display of colours in the sky all by itself? The Northern Lights are probably one of the most fascinating natural spectacles in the world, captivating observers with their blue-green or even orange-pink shimmering light dances. While you can wait in vain in Central Europe to discover the lights, also known as 'Aurora Borealis', Iceland is the ideal place to observe the phenomenon between September and April. Since the best viewing is in remote places with little light pollution and cloud cover, a trip to the countryside is a good idea, for example to Thingvellir National Park in the Golden Circle, about an hour's drive from the capital Reykjavík. In small cottage houses, you can experience a natural and relaxed New Year's Eve weekend alongside the Northern Lights, geysers and waterfalls.
More info: visiticeland.com
Wellness weekend in Slovenia
Its sustainable focus on energy, water resource management and biodiversity, Slovenia was named the first green country in the world by the international organisation Green Destinations in 2016. The colour green is not just reflected in the government's future goals: Slovenia is known for its breathtakingly beautiful nature, dotted with numerous green meadows, unique rock formations and crystal-clear lakes. With its numerous thermal and mineral springs, Slovenia is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city on New Year's Eve and indulge in a soothing wellness weekend. There are many thermal spas and health resorts in Slovenia that have special offers for the New Year, including gala dinners and beauty treatments A list of all spas and health resorts can be found on the country's official tourism site and has something for every taste.
More info: slovenia.info
Rogo del Vecchione in Bologna
Few cities are more steeped in history than the capital of the Emilia Romagna region. Bologna is home not only to the oldest university in the western world, but also to many other magnificent historical buildings such as the Basilica of San Petronio from the 14th century and the two landmark leaning towers, Torre Asinelli and Torre Garisenda, from the 12th century. Bologna also has a lot to offer in terms of cuisine. In addition to the famous Bolognese, which locals call 'Ragù', there are also numerous cafés, bistros and bars under the 38km of archways in the city centre, which offer classic Italian dishes and elaborate pâtisserie creations. On 31 December, the city's numerous eateries are transformed into party venues where you can celebrate the New Year in style. On New Year's Eve, however, one tradition in particular should not be overlooked: the so-called Rogo del Vecchione, which is the most important spectacle of the night and takes place in the main square, Piazza Maggiore. This is a giant puppet made of straw, wood and cardboard, which is lit at midnight. Created by local artists, this tradition dates back to the 19th century and is a must-see for visitors.
More info: bolognawelcome.com
Countdown in Paris
It is impossible to leave this city out of any list of the most beautiful destinations for New Year's Eve. The City of Love is of course perfect for couples who want to spend a romantic weekend together and be enchanted by the impressive sights such as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. But Paris also offers an incomparable repertoire of New Year's Eve activities, parties and attractions for everyone. In addition to a chic multi-course dinner in one of its countless restaurants, a river cruise with dinner on the Seine, offers a unique view of classic Parisian monuments such as the Orsay Museum and Notre Dame. On the Champs-Elysées, the French capital also hosts its world-famous New Year's Eve show, with a fascinating video projected onto the Arc de Triomphe and rounded off with a spectacular fireworks display including a countdown. Following the spectacle, countless events and parties await locals and tourists alike, from parties in warehouses to hip design bars, there is something for everyone.
More info: parisinfo.com
Madeira harbour New Year
Madeira is called the 'flower island' because of its year-round blossoms and attracts numerous visitors every year thanks to its constant spring-like temperatures. With its tropical forests and gardens and breathtaking landscape, the Portuguese island is a true oasis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, just waiting to be discovered. On New Year's Eve, Madeira is transformed into a colourful place, as fireworks are lit at various points around the capital Funchal, illuminating the entire island. The best place to watch the impressive fireworks is from one of the many cruise ships or boats that moor off the coast just in time for New Year.
More info: visitmadeira.com
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