5 Travel Destinations for New Years Eve

Fireworks, Melbourne, Australia, Dunheger Travel Blog


The turn of the New Year is more than just a party with champagne and brightly colored explosions contrasting the starry night sky, it is a tradition dedicated to celebrating the perseverance of humanity throughout the ages and a time when people across the nations can proudly unify in admiration of our spirit. From reflections on the year past to hopes and dreams for our future, New Years Eve is a tribute to human determination and a celebration of our strength and resolve. Regardless of where you were born or the country in which you reside, people around the world join in unity to express love, gratitude and great expectations for the year to come. And though millions will party on December 31st with noise makers and colorful confetti, many countries put a unique spin on the festivities, allowing a plethora of options for your New Years celebration destination.


Although cities like Perth and Melbourne, the second largest municipality in Australia, take to the streets with instruments and party decor, the real celebration can be found on the Sydney Harbour. As one of the first major cities in the world to experience twelve o’clock midnight, the Sydney Bridge opens up to a fantastic fireworks display while over a million people crowd the streets, pubs and local businesses of Sydney. If you want to be among the first people to bring in the New Year with a bang, Australia is the perfect continent with the right time-zone placement to do it!

Sydney Harbour Bridge New Year's Fireworks, Dunheger Travel Blog
Sydney Harbour New Year's Fireworks, Flickr © VirtualWolf


Known as Sint Sylvester Vooranvond (Saint Sylvester Eve)  New Years eve in Belgium is deeply rooted in tradition and an exciting experience for travelers. The laughter, kisses, good luck wishes and toasts to friends old, new and beyond the grave are among a few of the entertaining practices that many countries follow, but in Belgium the atmosphere is ecstatic and the people jollier than Old St. Nick. Also, Nieuwjaarsdag (New Years Day) is a time to focus on future generations, whereby the children save to buy ornate parchment to write greetings, wishes and thanks to their elders. The first day of the New Year is spent reading these letters to parents, grandparents and godparents.

Antwerp Belgium, Dunheger Travel Blog
Antwerp, Belgium, Flickr © Russ Bowling


There’s no doubt about it, Santiago, Chile is certainly a hotspot for New Years Eve celebrations that will get you excited about the coming year. Confections, cocktails and carnivals are just a few of the ways that the people of Chile party. More than just fireworks and ambiance, the beautiful warm climate makes Santiago a prime destination for New Years party people looking to escape the cold and ring in the year with style.

Santiago in winter, Chile, Dunheger Travel Blog
Santiago, Chile, Flickr © fahrenheit75


Not only does Iceland host a fantastic fireworks display, but even nature helps them ring in the New Year. If you are lucky enough to make it to this major New Years Eve destination for the end of the year, chances are you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful northern lights shooting through the night sky. The city of Reykjavik presents the traditional Brenna bonfires of the Middle Ages along with numerous vantage points to take in all that the city has to offer.

Reykjavik in winter, Iceland, Dunheger Travel Blog
Reykjavik, Iceland, Flickr © Gunna


If you have ever wondered what it would be like to party like a Viking, Hogmanay is the traditional New Years celebration in Scotland and lasts for days on end. Sing along to Auld Lang Syne and participate in “First Footing” where locals run from house to house greeting each other and bestowing blessings for the New Year. The excitement and festivities that surround Scotland make it one of the top destinations to watch the new year roll in with style.

Hogmanay Firelight, Scotland, Dunheger Travel Blog
Hogmanay Firelight, Scotland, Flickr © Peter Hunter

There are thousands of parties worldwide to help you celebrate New Years Eve, from champagne toasts to new years resolutions, greetings and blessings to holiday feasts, we all certainly appreciate a good party and the realization that we have made it, united as a whole, through another year and into the new. A few more places of honorable mention during this season are India, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria and the United States. While we all have our own traditions, these destinations go above and beyond typical celebration. If you want to experience ringing in the New Year while traveling abroad, try making an appearance in one of these major cities or countries and see what the unique culture has to offer you.