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Top 5 Places to Celebrate the New Year!

With the Holiday season just around the corner, most of you are probably wondering how you’ll be celebrating New Years Eve. Stay home with family? Go to a night club? Go to a fancy party? Party on a beach? All of these choices are good.. but how about spending New Year’s Eve someplace crazy?! Here are my Top 5 places to celebrate the New Year in the world:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Now, now, now, don’t get jealous! I will fortunetely be there to welcome 2010. And I am very excited about it indeed! So how do Brazilians celebrate the Reveillon anyways? It’s simple, about 2 million people dressed in white head towards the most popular beaches of Rio, such as Copabacana and Ipanema close to 10pm to watch candles float the sea. The beachsides are surrounded by stages offering locals and tourists some live entertainment throughout the evening. And then at the stroke of midnight, the sky is illuminated with fireworks. Needless to say that the city goes wild after midnight on the many beaches of Rio and in the various night clubs!

Sydney, Australia

 Want to know why they are special in Sydney? They are one of the first in the world to celebrate the New Year! And even better, it’s summer there! It’s funny how we in the North avoid going outside while they enjoy partying on beaches in a little bikini. So jealous! So as millions of people gather in the Darling Harbour, the night starts off with some family-oriented fireworks, then come the Harbor of Light parade where over 50 boats do a round-trip around the Harbour. And then of course, at the strike of midnight, the fireworks begin sparkling the Harbour for 12 minutes. But wait, the party isn’t over. Families head home and those who don’t have kids to tuck into bed hit town and party in various clubs in the city.

Cape Town, South Africa

Spending New Year’s Eve in Cape Town means partying on rooftops, restaurants, pubs and lounges with the most popular and international DJ’s. Throughout the evening, costumed dancers, banjo players and marches take over the city. As Cape Town is already a vibrant city without the celebration of the New Year, the city really goes wild when you add the two together!  And then obviously at midnight, fireworks go crazy by the V&A Waterfront. It must be an incredible experience!  

Barcelona, Spain

So let’s admit how the Spagnards love their fiestas! You can go to Barcelona at any time of the year and I can guarantee that you’ll be drinking and partying along Las Ramblas. But how exactly do they welcome the New Year in Barcelona? Their tradition is to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds as they are counting down the last few seconds to the New Year. The 12 grapes represent the 12 months of the Year- a tradition that began with the King of Spain back in the day. From rock bands and salsa performers who take over the city, be ready for countless suprises while in Barcelona for the New Year.

The Maldives

The Maldives is a beautiful place memesmerized by it’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. On any given day, you are most likely to fall in love with it. So what happens when you combine The Maldives and New Year’s Eve? Locals and tourists fill the streets to enjoy the live music, dancers and the illuminated decoration that fills the city. Bars and restaurants are open all night and offer the crowd some local food such as Gula, kuli boakiba and foni boakiba. Ending the year and starting the New Year on some remote island can only be a memorable experience.

Although these are my top personal top picks, there are countless other places I’d enjoy celebrating the New Year. Or must I say, anywhere but home is an awesome place to be for New Year’s!! And of course, if I could have all my friends ans family by my side, that would be even better :)

Personal Experiences in Celebrating New Year’s Eve Away

On a personal note, on Dec 31st 2006, I had the opportunity of being in Bangkok, Thailand at the strike of midnight. Khaosan road is definitely the place to be in Bangkok! Great food, great parties, great people… what more would someone need to start off the year on the right foot?!

In 2007, I was in the random place of El Calafate (Patagonia), Argentina for New Year’s Eve. Although it wasn’t as glamorous as Bangkok, the hostel turned it into a great experience! We all cooked a dish from our country and shared the food with everyone in the hostel for dinner. After drinking lots of Argentinian wine, we head out for the fireworks at midnight and then I wandered the streets with my new Isralie friends! Very memorable moment!

And to this personal list, I’ll be adding Rio de Janeiro! Only 3 weeks away, stay tuned for more detail on this location.  

About The Author

Tanya is an adventurous person who most enjoys the cultural aspect of traveling. She traveled to North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Europe. When she's not hiking mountains, she spends her time visiting local schools or families. It's a nice break from the 9-5 corporate life.

Number of Entries : 243

Comments (5)

  • JC

    hey… just had to say how great you are doing with the site. The content is awesome, its almost like you where born to do this!

  • Jorge Oliveira

    Hey Tanya,

    Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it … but you should definitely consider to put Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (how the call they call new years celebration). It is a big street party that has countless attraction besides the charm of this city (and the whole country actually).
    Nice post!!!

  • offtrackbackpacking

    Hi Jorge, it’s funny that you mention that because I was debating whether to add it in my Top 5. Didn’t quite make the cut.. but it’s def in my Top 10!

    Thanks JC! We are putting lots of effort into it :)

  • Phil Noel

    Well at least I celebrated new year’s eve in Barcelona! Maybe Rio next year…

  • BackpackingTravelGuide

    I’ll take your advice, I’ll be in Rio de Janeiro for New Years, got my ticket last night! :-)


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