TouriSpo Magazine

New Year's Eve in Europe

Stunning firework displays in the night sky, great shows and concerts and last but not least, legendary parties till the crack of dawn – the last day of the year is always supposed to be something special. To fulfill your expectations, we are going to present you the ten best New Year's Eve locations in European cities.

Crazy traditions in Barcelona

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Barcelona offers something for everyone's taste. The streets of the second largest city in Spain turn into one big party and the clubs welcome with amazing events. You can't miss the promenade 'Las Ramblas', that stretches from the city center to the harbor. This is a meeting point for people around the world and everyone celebrates the last night of the year together. If you prefer a more relaxed way to end your year, reserve a table at one of the small and charming restaurants in the harbor area. You also don't have to miss out on fireworks in this metropolis. However, it's definitively worth to make the trip up the mountain Tibidabo that features an altitude of 512 meters (1679 feet) above sea level and gives you a breathtaking view of the fireworks.

Join locals and enter the New Year in the traditional Spanish way: The media broadcasts the countdown and everyone listens as the Puerta de Sol's bell chimes. The drill is to eat 12 grapes, one grape following each bell sound and you have to make a wish. The second tradition is to wear red underwear in the night of New Year's Eve that they before received as a gift. The red panties promise love and passion for the following year.

An other plus that speaks for Barcelona as your destination for the 31st of December is the fact that it still has comparably mild temperatures. The amazing sightseeing points in the city leave you tempted for a tour on New Year's Day and it's for sure worth to get out of bed for it.

Dance into the new year with Viennese waltz

Fireworks in Vienna
CC BY-SA 2.0   © Andreas Perhab Fireworks in Vienna

The city center of Vienna invites with a New Year's trail every year and this for about 20 years now. The historic old town turns into a huge party mile. Small booths line up next to each other and in between are about ten stages with a wide range of music programs. Even before, in the afternoon, many people stroll through the alleys and find themselves spoiled with culinary treats. Warm up with punch, tea or champagne.

If you prefer to celebrate indoors, get a ticket for one of the fine galas or proms like the Silvester Gala in Vienna's city hall, the Kaiserball in the Vienna Hofburg or the New year's concert of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. At midnight sharp you won't hear the pop of corks or see a firework. You'll be stunned by seeing the whole Austrian capital dancing the waltz to the measures of the traditional Viennese waltz. The official starting signal is the stroke of the bell 'Pummerin', Austria's biggest bell, in the St. Stephen's cathedral. In the afternoon you even get free last minute waltz classes, so everyone can participate when the clock strokes at midnight.

Nevertheless you will also have a beautiful firework at the Riesenradplatz at the Prater. The only difference to most other cities is that it's a few minutes after midnight. Use the day time to explore the cultural highlights of the historic capital.

Happy New Year! New Year's Eve in London

New Year's eve is the craziest and wildest night in the vibrant British metropolis. Locals and tourists gather at the famous streets and celebrate in glamorous clubs until the sun rises.

Highlight of the last night is the gigantic firework over the Thamse right at London Eye, Europe's largest ferries wheel. The spectacle starts as soon as you hear the famous sound of the Big Ben. In the course of the evening everyone gathers together at prime vantage points like Thamse's West Bank, Victoria Embankment, Waterloo brigde, Westminster bridge and Jubilee bridge. If you don't feel like standing there all night and wait for the fireworks - no worries!You can also see it on big screens at places like Trafalgar Square or Piccadilly Circus.

Many clubs and pubs in Central London feature special events, where you unfortunately need to book the tickets in advance. The New Year's Day is perfect for a sightseeing tour or a visit in one of the countless musicals.

Berlin – huge New Year's Eve party at Brandenburger Tor

Colourful fireworks in Berlin
CC BY-SA 2.0   © Marcel Berkmann Colourful fireworks in Berlin

Berlin's landmark, the Brandenburger Tor, is host of one of the biggest New year's eve parties in the world. More than one million visitors meet on the the two kilometer (1,2 miles) long party mile that stretches from the Großer Stern, located underneath the Brandenburger Tor, to the Friedrichsstraße every year.

Famous singers and entertainer perform on the show stages and in festival tents. The biggest stage, by far, is the one right in front of the Brandenburger Tor. If you don't get close enough to see everything, just follow the program on the big screens that are everywhere along the party mile.

At midnight it's time for the impressive firework in the German's capital. Best view points are Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg or the Teufelsberg. Next to the huge party on the year's last day you can have a blast visiting all the sights in Berlin.

Spectacular firework and Italian flair in Rome

Rome is the ideal spot to celebrate the upcoming year by featuring an impressive setting and the perfect mix between modern and ancient times. Enjoy the magic of New Year's Eve from the hills located around the Italian capital. The Pincio hill is one of them and boasts the perfect view of the fireworks and the whole city. If you prefer to be right in the center of action, stroll around in the historic old town's center.

Overall you can say that the Romans use every inch of their city to welcome the new year. The hot spots are Piazza del Popolo, one of the oldest places in Rome, the Via Veneto that is home to first-class hotels and street cafes, the famous Spanish Steps and the Capitol square. The St. Peter's square offers a special atmosphere with thousands of people patiently waiting for the Pope's arrival for the New Year's Eve service.

Don't miss to pay a visit to the Trevi Fountain and to throw a coin over your right shoulder with your left hand by following the old tradition. According to the legend, this will bring you back to this beautiful city.

New year's eve in Prague, the golden city

New Year's Eve in Prague
CC BY-SA 2.0   © Jan Lakota New Year's Eve in Prague

In Prague you can expect a street party at its best by turning the Old town Square, Wenzel square and the countless alleys in old town into a party zone. Move from bar to bar or check out the great clubs that also boast special New Year's eve events. Especially the 'Club Duplex', located right at the Wenzel Square gets pretty lively. From the rooftop of the club you'll have a breathtaking view of the fantastic firework displays going up at midnight. You could also greet the New Year in the 'Club Mecca', 'Roxy Praha' and 'Radost FX'.

Thousands of people also gather together on the Charles Bridge, because from here and from Hradschin, the famous Czech castle, you'll have one of the best views of the awesome fireworks. The charming Vltava valley is the scenery for the most impressive firework display that goes up in Prague. The golden city is not only a diamond at night time but it's also worth to plan one or two days to visit all the popular sights during the day.

Pure nightlife fun in Amsterdam

Concerts at Dam square in Amsterdam
© Amsterdam Marketing Concerts at Dam square in Amsterdam

Experience the special flair of a New Year's eve in Amsterdam. The streets of the cosmopolitan metropolis are filled with fun-seeking party people. One of the hot spots is Nieuwmarkt, located in Chinatown of Amsterdam with its countless cafes and bars.

Enjoy dancing with thousands fellow partiers at Dam Square, the forecourt of the palace which is owned by the Dutch royal family. Or head to Rembrandtplein and Leidsplein where you'll guaranteed have a blast testing the various nightclubs. Listen to the crowds roar at midnight when fireworks erupt above the bridge between Prinsengracht and Bloemgracht. Visiting Amsterdam by the end of the year is always worthwhile and is for sure one of Europe's insiders tips.

Unforgettable end of the year in the official city of love

The best place to be for the countdown itself is probably Champs-Élysée, which turns into a mass of humanity at midnight and you'll probably hear 'Bonne année' more than once this night. The Eiffel tower generally displays a sparkling dance of light at the stroke of midnight. Around you'll find the center of the party. Show-acts and bands will keep you entertained all night long.

You can expect happy crowds from all over the world celebrating together in a street party at the Seine bank, Place de la Concorde and the bars around Place de la Bastille. All romantic hearted should book a Seine river boat tour to soak in the lights of the city and the beautiful views of the French's capital. Another favorite is the artists' quarter Montmatre and the square in front of the church Sacre-Coeur where fire-eaters and artists of all kinds have their big moment. From here you also have an unforgettable view of whole Paris.

At midnight a large firework display goes up above the Eiffel tower. Once you've raised your glass at midnight head over to the clubs, discos and bars that will keep things going until dawn.

Nordic charm and great parties in Kopenhagen

Firework festival in the Tivoli amusement park
CC BY 2.0   © Stig Nygaard Firework festival in the Tivoli amusement park

In Kopenhagen, the capital of Denmark, most people start celebrating the end of the current year in the afternoon. The tradition dictates that most Danes watch the New Year's speech by their queen on TV, in company of their friends. After, most of them have dinner at home. That doesn't mean there aren't any fantastic New Year's eve menus in the city's restaurants. Now it's time to get out on the squares and streets in Kopenhagen where's plenty to do.

Thanks to the smaller size of the city center, almost the whole area is part of the big party. Whether you head towards the historic town hall square, the Nyhavn or the river promenade – everywhere is something going on. At midnight, when the bells of the town hall rang for the twelfth time, Kopenhagen welcomes the new year with great fireworks that reflects in the many canals of the city. Remember to say 'Godt Nytår' when you wish Danes a happy new year. If you're bed is still not beckoning, continue the night in of the various clubs where you can dance until the crack of dawn.

If you're a firework fan you definitely have to spend at least one day in the Tivoli amusement park that has a firework festival from the 26th until the 31st December. You can admire an other theme show in the world's second oldest park every day.

Exotic New Year`s Eve in Istanbul

If you want to experience a special and above all a totally different New Year's Eve is Istanbul the right spot for you. The melting pot of European and Asian culture is an absolute highlight for the last day of the year. The city is full of festive decorations what makes it even more colorful than usually. Most households have a New Year's Eve tree and Father Noel comes to bring gifts. Buying lottery tickets is on almost everyone's to do list on this day. The city's finest restaurant usually put tons of effort into the New year's eve menus.

You could also take a cruise that includes dinner, Turkish music and belly dancers and you will make your way along Istanbul's night skyline. On your way you'll see many landmarks and sights like the mosques and venerable palaces. The combined offer of dinner and show in the restaurant Galata tower with 360 degrees overview of the vibrant city is always really popular among tourists. Have a great party night on the Taksim square, where fireworks, concerts and DJ appearances are on the program and Turks turn the night into a citywide street celebration. Just keep in mind that the atmosphere is kind of unpredictable and it can get super crazy there. Alternatively check out the independence road, Istiklal Caddesi, that invites you with bars and fancy clubs to have a good night in Istanbul as well. Experience pure luxury in Nişantaşı, the club Reina or the Suada club.

The nightlife on the Asian side of the city can't be forgotten and the Kadife Sokak (bar street) features one or the other bar in Kadıköy. Find yourself a rooftop terrace or get on the Galata brigde to have the best view on the huge firework display.

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