Where To Spend New Year’s Eve

While the build up in December focusses on Christmas, New Year provides the perfect excuse for a big blow out celebration! To go all out for New Year and party like it’s 1999, there are some fire-cracking parties going on across the world to welcome in the new year. So start as you mean to go on: living your best life, making memories to last the ages, and discovering some awesome places too.

From the biggest and best fireworks displays, to beach parties where crackling fires light the way and music plays into the night, there’s a memorable focus to a New Year’s Eve abroad. Plan your very own perfect end of year celebrations, with our guide on where to welcome in 2024.

New York, USA

When the famous ball drops at midnight in Times Square, being in that raucous crowd immediately brings the New Year’s atmosphere. But you can also watch the spectacle from a more sedate location. Many bars and restaurants nearby offer a premium view, though they don’t come cheap. Try Applebee’s 50th Street (where tickets cost £649) or the AMC Times Square ($599) for starters.

To do New York differently this New Year’s Eve, take a party boat cruise to watch the city celebrate from a different perspective. Or join one of the many festivities going on in hip bars around the city. Over in Brooklyn, there’s a free fireworks display and live music. It might not have the pizzaz of the big ball drop, but it’s a friendlier way to do New Year.

Venice, Italy

Brush past the fact that on New Year’s Eve, it’s going to be busier in Venice than usual (and that’s saying something), and you’ll find something magical about this city in the run up to the clock striking midnight. Go for a fancy Italian dinner earlier in the evening, then find yourself a good waterfront spot to watch the fireworks display as you usher in the New Year Venetian style. If you don’t like crowds, stay away from St Mark’s Square and head further along to Pieta or Cornoldi for a great view of the party.

Or if you prefer dancing to watching fireworks, there’s a huge New Year’s Eve bash in Piazza Ferretto Square in Mestre – it’s free to join, and there’s live music to keep the energy levels high. Make like a local and wear red underwear, which brings you good luck for the coming year, and eat lentils as part of your New Year’s Eve dinner for extra luck.

Cape Town, South Africa

New Year’s Eve in the Mother City is a sophisticated affair. The main party takes place at the plush V&A Waterfront, where there’s all-day live music, DJs, performers, and a laser show once the light fades. As the social hub of Cape Town, it’s also the place to grab drinks and dinner. But it’s not the only ticket in town: for a memorable New Year’s Eve, head up the iconic Table Mountain and view the fireworks and fun happening across the city. Or seek out one of the many chic beach clubs around the areas of Sea Point or Clifton, and dance the night away before ringing in the New Year with fellow partygoers.

Goa, India

For the ultimate beach party celebration, head to Goa and party with sand in between your toes. With temperatures averaging a perfect 28C, there’s an atmosphere of laidback fun in this popular winter sun destination.

As the evening rolls in, bonfires and barbecues pepper the beach, and fairy lights are strung from tree to tree, making the New Year’s Eve parties in Goa some of the most magical in the world. If you like it loud, make your way to the party hotspot of Anjuna. But if you like a more intimate experience, head south where the smaller bays have closer-knit parties with fireworks and DJs, offering just as much fun with a different vibe.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

On New Year’s Eve, there’s a celebration going on wherever you go in Amsterdam – and these individual festivities join up to create one big city-wide party. Amsterdam’s many bridges become a place for revellers to gather and watch the fireworks – especially Magere Brug, a premium spot to watch the countdown. The Amsterdam Light Festival continues throughout December and January, so as you party on the bridges you’ll see the canals and roads of the city bright with illuminated art.

Feeling brave? Head to Amstel River on New Year’s Day and join the thousands who run into the cold water to welcome in the new year with a jolt. That will blow the cobwebs away.


If you’re planning to head away to celebrate New Year’s Eve make sure to protect your travels with Switched On. Our feature packed policies provide a 24/7 emergency helpline as well as covering cancellation, medical expenses, baggage and much more. Get a quick quote via the travel page of our website.