where to spend new years eve 2019

Where to Spend New Year’s Eve 2020

Looking for a great New Year’s Eve night out in an exciting world location? I’m not presuming that you have the money/time/resources to just pick any location to ring in 2019, but if you can make it to one of these locations, you’ll have a New Year celebration to remember for a long time.

The most popular thing to do for New Years is to party. Even if drinking and dancing is not your thing, most people will let their hair down at this time of year. But you also have other options. Chill-out New Year’s Eve destinations exist too. Make New Year special by trying something different this year. Here are some of the best New Year’s Eve destinations for an introduction to 2020 you’ll never forget.

Where to spend New Year’s Eve 2020 in style around the world (in no particular order)

Before anyone gets upset, these are not necessarily the best places but they are guaranteed to please even the most demanding of travellers.

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland New Zealand harbour from Mt Eden


One of the first cities in the world to receive the new year. Celebrate 2020 before almost everyone else in this beautiful waterfront city. It’s summer down under at the moment so you can enjoy a champagne on the beach and not freeze your ass off.

Check out the Highlife NYE party at the beautiful Auckland Wharf on 31 December. Expect DJ’s, live music and performers, dancers, gourmet local and international food, and best of all, great views of the fireworks. This is Auckland’s best waterfront location for partying this year.

For something a little more low key, try the New Year’s Eve Sunset Groove Cruise, which starts at 8 pm and finishes at 1 am. Auckland harbour will be lit up with fireworks and party revellers. The cruise includes a DJ, complimentary champagne, dinner, and some of the best seats in the house for watching the fireworks.

Yangon, Myanmar

fireworks Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar new years eve

Yangon probably won’t make the list of top 100 places to spend New Year’s, never mind the top 10. But that’s a shame as it’s a fantastic new year’s destination and you probably don’t know that the fireworks display alone is worth the trouble of getting there. Fireworks over the Shwedagon Pagoda start the celebrations on the 31st of December and you’ll want a camera handy to catch the very Instagram-friendly images.

This isn’t the Buddhist New Year’s celebrations but the Burmese love to join in and celebrate the western NYE celebrations.

Myanmar is becoming a hotspot for music festivals and last year’s EDM music festival at The One Entertainment Park by the river looked amazing.

Dublin, Ireland

The city that has more pubs and bars than people (or something like that) knows how to do New Year’s Eve in style. For style read “singing, dancing, and drinking like nobody else on earth”. Prepare to make friends, get very drunk, and laugh. A lot.

There are hundreds of places to choose from every year and there’s lots of cool things to do in Dublin. And there will be an official organized party to see in 2019 in the city centre. Head down to Dame St for all the action. More info on the Facebook page.

Don’t forget the spectacular fireworks display. Just pray for no rain!

Dublin is also a great place to spend time (when it’s not 31 st of December). Check out this Guide to the best things to do in Dublin. Doing Dublin on a budget? Check out this guide to saving money.

Samoa and Tonga

For a more chilled out experience head to the tropical islands of Tonga or Samoa. Impress your friends as you celebrate the new year before them. These will be the first places in the world to see in 2020. If you’ve got the money to do it, you can fly to the west coast of the US and party all over again as the New Year hits that part of the world.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Like the beach? Like to party in your board shorts? Enjoy dancing outside in the tropical heat? If so, head to Rio. You’ll love it. Brazilians know how to enjoy themselves. The whole country seems to be constantly dancing and living in the moment. So you can imagine what New Year’s Eve is like, right? Millions (yes, that’s millions) of people head to a small beach called Copacabana every year to ring in the new year. For a New Year Celebration you won’t forget too soon, Rio is a contender for top spot. The dance party destination for 2019.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok Thailand on New Year's Eve

The capital of Thailand has countless rooftop bars with spectacular views. These spots make for great vantage points for watching the fireworks display at midnight. If you are a party animal and a young backpacker, head to Khao San Road to experience a world of craziness. This is the party street of Bangkok and it can get wild here on New Year’s Eve.

London, England

It’s probably going to be cold and wet but that doesn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds of thousands of people that pack the streets of London around the centre of the city, near the river Thames, at on the 31st of December. Every year, a spectacular fireworks show lights up the sky. You won’t want to miss this so get out of the warmth of the bar/club/restaurant to catch the revelry in the streets. London is a city with endless entertainment options so once you’ve done the obligatory “happy new year” salutations, head to the bars and clubs that will be packed with jolly revellers.

Punta Del Este, Uruguay

South America’s supposedly best resort is nestled on the south coast of Uruguay and really comes alive in the summer months (November- January). Easily reachable from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Punta del Este is a great place to spend your New Year’s Eve on the beach, with a warm breeze on your face. Although it’s one of the most expensive places for South Americans to celebrate, if you arrive with Euros or Dollars you’ll have a bit more spending power.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Visiting an ancient network of Asian temples and ruins a few hours after toasting the New Year might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But watching the sunrise over the ruins of Angkor Wat is a romantic, exciting, and unusual way to see in the new year.  You can avoid the crowds by staying away from the celebrations in the tourist spots or you can head down to the party streets of Siem Reap, party like it’s 1999, and grab a few hours sleep before heading out to visit this Unesco World Heritage site in comparative isolation. There won’t be many people around so you’ll experience it like at no other time of the year.

A great New Year’s Eve idea for couples. And it’s not expensive to fly to Cambodia from the UK, Europe, US or Australasia. If you’re already in Asia then AirAsia is a great choice for a quick holiday.

Berlin, Germany

Probably the city that parties that hardest at New Year. Germans take their clubbing and bar-hopping seriously. Expect stalls of food, beer, and wine in the streets, fireworks at midnight, hard-partying locals and tourists, and an after-party scene that seems to last for a week.

If you’ve got the energy and are brave enough to face the cold, there’s a 40-hour rave happening.

New York City

New York City dancers

When it comes to travel destinations for the New Year, New York will simply not be left out of the list. As each year, millions of people gather in Times Square to watch the Ball Drop—an annual event that every New Yorker looks forward to. So why not join them? And perhaps bring along your significant other. Time for a last kiss of the year and a first kiss of the year in New York City?

Want to make your night even more special? Take a cruise around the New York Harbor as you savour the view of the Manhattan skyline. 

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

If you want to make your New Year’s celebration a truly unique ­­­experience, Vienna should be on your list. With a sprawl of holiday markets found on the streets, you’ll never run out of souvenirs (if you’re into that kind of thing). Shoppers (not me) will probably love the wooden toys, handcrafted decorations, and everything in between. But for the foodies (definitely me), spicy smoked sausages and other rich, heavy, and oh-so-Italian delicacies call out to you from street stalls. The Christmas market at Belvedere Palace is the largest and most popular as well.

The Austrian Parliament Building is also a top tourist spot and makes for a nice Instagram backdrop when snow is on the ground.

Moscow, Russia

For an epic New Year’s celebration head down to Moscow, Russia. Sure, it might be cold, but with all the vodka you’ll be drinking, you wouldn’t notice the chill in the air. In Moscow’s Red Square, thousands of people gather to watch the fireworks display over Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Gorky Park is also a popular place to visit. It sports one of the world’s largest artificial ice skating rinks, measuring about 20,510 square meters. Concerts and festivities held around the park will keep you entertained when you’re not skating and shotting vodka. 

Smart Travel Tips

If you’re heading to any of these destinations this year, check out my Top Smart Travel Tips to help you get the most out of your trip

Singapore

Singapore's Gardens by the bay

Singapore for the 31st of December is all about swanky hotels and partying. Kill your budget by visiting the HI-SO Countdown Party at So Sofitel’s Rooftop Bar (find it in the Central Business District). Sip draft beer, wine, and cocktails as you take a dip in the outdoor pool. It’s hot (really hot) in Singapore so the pool will be your friend. But remember kids, water and whiskey shots don’t mix!

The Siloso Beach Party is another hopping spot. It gets jam-packed (so they tell me). And it’s the party with the best beats to welcome the new year.

Reykjavík, Iceland

Icelandic new year celebrations are intense. In parts of the capital, community bonfires called Brenna light the night sky. Expect to see plenty of fireworks and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights, an unforgettable sight that sure beats watching Christmas movies at home.

New year's Eve Destinations 2019

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