More than a million people make the journey to Sydney to welcome the new year. Picture: Trent Szmolnik.
More than a million people make the journey to Sydney to welcome the new year. Picture: Trent Szmolnik.

6 of the best places to celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world

By Jenna Berndt Time of article published Dec 28, 2019

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The New Year, or should we say a new decade, is upon us. Here are six places you should plan to visit during New Year's: 


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Think New Year's Eve parties are overrated? Take to the streets of Edinburgh for one of the world's biggest street parties.Thousands of travellers join locals in the hilly Scottish capital to celebrate the arrival of a new year. Revellers spill out of the pubs onto the streets, watch the fireworks light up the night's sky and dance along to Auld Lang Syne. 

On the 1st, don your quirkiest fancy dress outfit for a traditional dip in the freezing River Forth. For the best and most stylish seats to watch the fireworks against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, head up to the swanky SkyBAR Edinburgh, located on the top floor of DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh. The bar is usually open to non-hotel guests on the first Thursday of every month, although for special events, such as Hogmanay, this can change. 

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The city that never sleeps must be one of the best places to ring in a new decade. Get there early to watch the famous ball drop in Times Square or book a dinner, show and drinks combo for a night on the town. If you're in the Big Apple this year, be sure to snap a selfie with the '2020' New Year's Eve sign in Times Square.

For a vibrant atmosphere, minus the tourist crowds, check in at the boutique Shelburne Hotel by Affinia, in trendy Murray Hill.Teresa Richardson, Managing Director of the Travel Corporation in South Africa, shares her hidden New Year's Eve gem: “Not only is it just a few steps from the Grand Central Station and other NYC attractions, its rooftop bar, RARE VIEW, must be one of the most amazing places to toast to a new year,” she said. With 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, you can watch the celebration in style. 


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Happy New Year! #happynewyear #2019 #fireworks

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More than a million people make the journey to Sydney to welcome the new year. The city gets a head start on the festivities, as the first major city that gets to celebrate it.

Marvel at the iconic fireworks display at Sydney Harbour with the Opera House in the background. Or find a spot in the harbour, surrounding parks or other recommended vantage points that offer excellent views.

Rio de Janeiro

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Rio boasts yet another epic New Year's Eve celebration. 

Sue Garrett, General Manager of Marketing and Product at the Flight Centre Travel Group, recommended Copacabana Beach. 

"The most famous and fun party takes place on Copacabana Beach, although other celebrations in places like Barra, Flamengo or São Conrado are also gaining in popularity. 

"As you can imagine, traffic is chaotic on the day. The best way to get around is to take the metro to avoid missing the party and being stuck in a traffic jam,” she said. 


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Closer to home, for a New Year's Eve celebration in paradise. Just an hour's flight from Johannesburg, Mozambique combines the best of beach and bush, city and quiet beaches. 

It's a hotspot for millennials, bursting at the seams with culture, art, music and mouth-watering food. Join a popular food tour or spend day one of a new decade recuperating as you tour Santa Maria, Inhaca Island and Portuguese Island. 

Much, much closer to home, you could choose instead to embrace a staycation or local holiday by heading to the Mother City for the mother of all parties. Do as much or as little as you please. 

Fuel up with long and leisurely brunches at a trendy city-centre eatery, top up the tan on Clifton Beach or splash out and hire a catamaran to host your own "living it big" party at sea, as the sun sets on 2019.

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