New Year’s Eve is a spectacular celebration in Europe. The sky explodes with colours and lights as the great cities of Europe celebrate the new year with amazing street parties, great traditions, and lots and lots of joy. Everything shimmers with a festive glow as champagne flows and music fills the air.
These are my recommendations for the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in Europe.
Madeira – One of the Greatest Fireworks Displays in the World
Madeira is a great place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It boasts year-round sunshine, lush tropical foliage, and one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the world. This is the most remote and exotic island on the continent, celebrating the new year with a spectacular lights display over Funchal.
Madeira’s spectacular 10-minute pyrotechnic show can be seen best from the water. Many boat trips take you there. You can also enjoy excellent views from the hills and bay of Funchal.
Edinburgh – Street Parades and Fascinating Traditions
The Scotts know how to party, and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is proof of that. The 3-day festival is widely regarded as one of the most important New Year celebrations globally. It begins on December 30 with the Torchlight Procession and ends with the largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne, along with spectacular fireworks displays over the Edinburgh Castle.
The famous Hogmanay Street party in Edinburgh is held along Princess Street. It features live bands, giant screens and food stands, and lots of dancing. As part of the annual Loony Dook, you can also splash in the frozen waters of the Firth Of Forth at South Queensferry the morning after.
Berlin – Electrifying Atmosphere at Brandenburg Gate and Amazing NYE Countdown Show
Although Berlin’s winters can be quite cold, Germany’s creative capital offers a warm and festive atmosphere for those who visit for the holidays. Charming Christmas Markets are open all over the city. Streets glow with twinkling lights and festive decorations, and there are New Year’s Eve parties everywhere.
Over one million people gather at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the end of the year. One of Europe’s largest New Year’s Eve street parties takes place.
The festival area covers 2km between Brandenburg Gate & Victory Column. It features live music stages, party tents and a variety of food and beverage stands that serve delectables from around the globe.
The spectacular fireworks show starts at midnight. However, the fun continues until the early morning hours with live DJs and amazing light and laser shows.
London – Spectacular Fireworks, Ritzy Events
London’s New Year’s Eve is synonymous with expensive parties, spectacular pyrotechnics and beautiful views along the Thames. There’s plenty to do in London, including stand-up comedy, themed events, black-tie dinners, and extravagant burlesque performances. It is a good idea to book your tickets in advance.
For the best views of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, book a spot at Embankment and Westminster Bridge for PS10, make a reservation in one of the bars nearby, or have a boat party complete with drinks, DJs, and amazing views of London’s skyline explode in ablaze.
There are many areas where fireworks can be enjoyed for free such as Parliament Hill, Primrose Hill and Cannon Street.
The New Year’s Day Parade is a spectacular parade featuring dancers and acrobats and musicians, and performers that will be taking place in central London from Piccadilly to Parliament Square on January 1.
Reykjavik: Bonfires, Customs and a Chance To See The Northern Lights
Although New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik may not be as extravagant and sophisticated as in Europe’s capitals, it is still a unique and captivating experience.
First, there are not any fireworks displays in the city. However, the country has relaxed pyrotechnics regulations, and locals can shoot approximately 500 tons of fireworks into space, creating a spectacular light show.
It is also a common New Year’s Eve tradition for locals to gather around bonfires. There are 10 such events in the city. People come to dance, sing and burn everything negative from the previous year.
Another tradition to enjoy is Aramotaskaup, the national comedy show celebrating the New Year. Icelanders gather in bars and clubs after midnight to celebrate the end of the year with their friends.
If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to see the Northern Lights while you are on your New Year’s Eve trip to Reykjavik.