The sky above the Sydney city buildings light up with the 9pm fireworks display |on New Years Eve in 2010.
The sky above the Sydney city buildings light up with the 9pm fireworks display |on New Years Eve in 2010.
A laser fired from the north side of the River Thames in London's New Year's Eve celebrations.
A laser fired from the north side of the River Thames in London's New Year's Eve celebrations.

Johannesburg - For some, the run-up to New Year’s Eve isn’t that smooth and stress-free, as social pressure to celebrate this night in total extravagance can be high. Far in advance, friends and family may brag about their wild ideas for the night.

So choose one of the five most stunning places to celebrate New Year’s Eve for the night of your life and teach those who boast a lesson.

 

LONDON

One of the most famous fireworks displays light up next to the London Eye in the wintry capital. Be part of a legendary crowd to see the magnificent show of pyrotechnics and lights along the River Thames.

Find out before travelling where you want to witness the colourful fireworks.

Fancy splashing out? Who knows which celebrities you’ll meet at the upbeat champagne-in-hand party at the London Sky Bar, which guarantees you the best view of the fireworks, or at the Battersea Park party, which includes free food, drinks, funfair dodgems, fire eaters, trapeze artists, a casino and a disco.

Alternatively, book yourself on a river cruise, so you can whiz past London’s breath-taking landmarks and admire the fireworks from the water.

On New Year’s Day, dismiss any possible hangovers and venture out into London for the traditional New Year’s Day Parade, in which thousands of performers celebrate 2014 through dance, acrobatics, cheerleading and musical shows. Also, the arrival of January always brings the London sales. Advice to shoppers: abuse them well.

 

NEW YORK

If you can stomach standing squashed in a fun crowd in between frozen skyscrapers, then witness the famous ball drop at Times Square in New York at midnight, and thus earn full gloating rights upon coming home.

 

But you can top this. You can “sea” in the New Year aboard a 1920s-style yacht (in flapper dress?). Champagne, hors d’oeuvres, jazz band against a firework-lit Manhattan backdrop: top scores for originality.

Dressed elegantly, you can hop on land at 1am to grace one of the many parties with your presence, as Manhattan “never sleeps”.

 

RIO DE JANEIRO

Starting over? Then start in Rio. In the midst of their Brazilian summer, the party-crazed cariocas (locals) wear white, symbolising new beginnings, and throw flowers into the surf. If they don’t reappear, their wish is granted.

Brazilians know how to set the dark night alight. Bravely stick it out on Copacabana Beach like a happy herring in a tin, buy drinks with money kept in your shoe, watch the fireworks and enjoy being part of the festivity.

Or watch from your beach hotel balcony, or from one of the many parties organised by the beach hotels.

 

SYDNEY

MORE than 1.5 million people will flock to Sydney Harbour to experience the universal fireworks displays as they illuminate the famous Sydney Bridge, Sydney Opera House and the beautiful waters on New Year’s Eve.

This year, Sydney’s theme is “Shine”. There are multiple vantage points, each offering unique advantages (see website), but one of the most original ones must be Clark Island. A short boat ride will take you to the island off the tip of Darling Point, which renders excellent views of the harbour: a premium position from which to see the fireworks soar up at night. Lounge exclusively on Clark Island, and relax with food hampers, music and entertainment (ferry transfers also included in ticket).

 

DUBAI

Dubai is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, and it is especially magical on New Year’s Eve. In the heart of Dubai, where the daily fountain shows are held, the Burj Khalifa (the world’s highest building) towers over you. And at the foot of this tower, the city will present you with a firework show so dashing and glittering, it will light up both the Emirate and the surrounding desert.

As Dubai breathes skyscrapers, most hotels will provide brilliant vantage points for this magnificent spectacle. Afterwards, Dubai’s many posh hotels (Atlantis, The Palm) and clubs (Cavalli Club) will offer you the chance to celebrate the coming year in style and luxury.

Pick one of these destinations to herald the next year in your life and have the best New Year’s Eve ever with, of course, fabulous memories. - Saturday Star