It doesn’t seem like five minutes since we were ringing in the New Year of 2000 with the biggest party the world had ever seen. Move on 20 years and it seems we still want to see in January 1st in a similar vein, with extravagant firework displays witnessed by thousands of people celebrating together. If you want to take part in something different, perhaps in another country, consider spending a few days in one of Europe’s popular cities, mixing with new people and taking part in local traditions.
We have put together some ideas to give you a taste of where the best celebrations take place, all only a few hours flight away.
Famous the world over for its Hogmanay celebrations, Edinburgh has to be high on everyone’s list for the go to New Year’s Eve destination. The celebrations in this city last for 3 days (at least!), starting on 30th December with a torchlight procession, live concerts and of course the famous fireworks display lighting up the city. You can even take a dip in the river on New Year’s Day, if you need to wake yourself up! The people of Edinburgh can certainly show the rest of the world how to party.
The city of Reykjavík has become a very special destination for visitors wishing to get a chance to spot the famous Northern Lights. Why not take this trip over New Year and experience a cultural time with the people of this North Atlantic Territory? Wherever you happen to be in Iceland this celebration takes on a familiar pattern with more fireworks on display than you are likely to see anywhere else. Bonfires light up the sky and if you prefer to watch from a distance take yourself to surrounding hills. After midnight the party starts with many households taking part, and, if you’re lucky, you may bag an invite. Alternatively, bars and clubs are open until the very early hours. Wrap up warm for this one; you will need waterproof footwear for the snowy ground!
In 2006 Funchal was recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest firework show in the world. It strives each year to live up to this accolade and does not disappoint. Thousands of lights illuminate the city and an orchestra performs in front of the pier. This spectacular show can be viewed from several vantage points, above the city, on the waterfront or even from the sea! Combine this fabulous display with a week in the sun to get your new year off to a great start.
Here is a city worthy of a visit any time of year, but particularly special at New Year. You can head to the main square for a firework display, preceded by a free concert. Alternatively head to one of the viewpoints above the city and mingle with the locals for a fabulous spectacle, or book yourself a spot on the water, eat dinner, and toast in the New Year in style. Don’t forget the fizz and your 12 raisins, one to bring you luck for each of the coming 12 months. Blue underwear is also a requirement of the evening! You will sample the true hospitality of the Portuguese people in this special place.
We couldn’t blog about New Year without a mention of the Emerald Isle! You will get a welcome like nowhere else in this friendly city, where you will feel like one of their own. The streets come alive with musicians and on this occasion, you may wish to ring in the New Year with a glass of the black stuff rather than the usual sparkling fayre. Thousands turn out for the Procession of Light from St Stephen’s Green up to Dublin Castle and this is a great event for the kids. Top all this with a spectacle of light on the Liffey at midnight that follows an earlier show for the children.
Finally, book your flights and Airport Parking as early as possible to get the best deals. As it’s New Year, why not push the boat out and book an Airport Lounge where you can toast your trip and get off to a great start!