Top 10 Cities to Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2017

New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays where you really want to do something memorable. You want the first moments of the new year to be spent at a party in an exotic city surrounded by the enthusiasm of hundreds of people. For those looking for a new, extraordinary destination, one that really knows how to throw a New Year’s Eve bash, look no further. Find below a list of the best cities to ring in 2018, each offering their own unique set of festivities.

New York City
Of course, New York City is no stranger to welcoming thousands of people for NYE. Yes, they have the ball drop in Times Square, but unless you want to follow the tourist handbook page-by-page, maybe steer clear of that melee. Instead, look to boroughs like Brooklyn for their free fireworks show in Grand Army Plaza or hop on the free Staten Island Ferry to view sweeping views of fireworks from Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey, simultaneously. If you’re dead set on watching the iconic ball drop in Times Square. Look to one of the sky-high restaurants overlooking 7th Ave. The View at Marriot Marquis, for example, is currently accepting reservations for New Year’s Eve which includes a 5-course meal, open bar, a DJ and a 360-degree view rotating every hour.

Rio de Janeiro
Second only to Carnival, Rio’s New Year’s Eve celebration on Copacabana Beach is a massive party on the shores of this bustling city. It’s estimated that upwards of 2-million people pack the beach each year to watch the fireworks over the Atlantic. With a handful of stages setup featuring live music and dancing and the customary tossing of flowers into the sea to appease the gods, this annual Brazilian celebration mixes both tradition and contemporary revelry. Hotels like the seaside Marriot Rio de Janeiro directly on Avenida Atlantica offer special packages for NYE, allowing you a front row seat to all the festivities.

Shōgatsu – Japan’s NYE celebration – was once a time for quiet reflection, but recently many Western traditions have seeped into Japanese culture for the holiday. For instance, the countdown at Tokyo Tower in Minato, though void of fireworks, rings in the new year via colorful lights and balloons. The famous Shibuya Crossing, where the tower sits, is now pedestrianized during this time allowing easy access for crowds to gather. As one of the most popular neighborhoods for bars and clubs, Shibuya is rife with NYE countdown parties as well. If you’re looking for a more traditional Japanese-style celebration, look to grabbing a bowl of toshikoshi soba noodles, shop for a fukubukuro mystery bag before visiting a local temple for the first sunrise of the new year.

There’s absolutely no shortage of festivities to indulge in during NYE in London. Like New York, the main attraction is the fireworks display and countdown from the famous London Eye. Also like New York, you’ll most likely want to avoid the masses on the ground and vie for a more glamorous vantage point. The Shard, London’s most prized skyscrapers and the tallest in Western Europe, is hosting a party overlooking the show featuring a live DJ, complimentary champagne and a 360-degree view of the city.  If you’re more of the party-type, look to one of the cities many clubs for their NYE events such as Brixton’s The Blues Kitchen which will transform into Studio 54 for one-night only, or a masked ball/cabaret show at Century Club in Soho.

New Orleans
Last year, Nola’s NYE party was for the first time broadcast live from Times Square, helping to put it on the map for 2018. Before locals and travelers alike head to the Sugar Bowl, the semi-final playoff game for NCAA football on Jan. 1 each year, they’ll likely spend their NYE at Jackson Square in the French Quarter where the Crescent City Countdown is held. Live music from local bands will lead up to the fireworks show over the Mississippi River. In the true spirit of Nola, check out Jax Brewery Bar’s annual Baby Bacchus drop featuring a giant baby in lieu of a shiny ball.

From the streets to the opera houses, Vienna offers a plethora of both extravagant and down-to-earth ways to ring in the new year. The New Year’s Eve Trail, as it’s known, is the city’s main public attraction filling the downtown streets with stages for everything from waltzes to DJs, with restaurants along the way serving punch and other local foods alongside the Prater’s ferris wheel and accompanying fireworks display. Speaking of the waltz, Graben Street houses the world’s largest open-air ballroom where hundreds will gather to dance-in the new year, if you’re feeling particularly Viennese.

The cleverly named SydNYE fireworks show on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, which includes a choreographed display of illuminated ships as well, is basically a necessity when down under during NYE. But with an endless amount of vantage points, it’s important to choose the right one – i.e. the ones with alcohol. There are only a select few places with bars that also offer a good view. Mrs Macquaries Point is one of the best views which also serves alcohol and happens to be free to enter as well. Out in the suburbs, and up in the hills, you’ll find Dudley Page Reserve which features a licensed bar, food stalls and DJ’s overlooking the bridge and the skyline of Sydney itself.

Cape Town
Like Sydney, Cape Town is known for having a warm NYE filled with fireworks. The most unique aspect about Cape Town’s celebration is the opportunity to view the display from the top of a mountain, literally. Table Mountain overlooks the city, giving visitors the chance to look out over the actual fireworks show and public party at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront. Sneak a bottle of champagne in your bag and hop on the cable car before saying goodbye to 2017 in style.

Germany’s capitol hosts over a million people each year for their annual NYE street party. Stretching over a mile of downtown Berlin, this open-air event features international DJ’s, fireworks, food and drink. If you’re looking for more of an adult-party atmosphere, look to one of many famous Berlin clubs’ NYE parties like the Sylvester Party at Alexanderplatz for their colossal event featuring eight dance floors and up to 24 DJs. If you’d like to trade shots for classy cocktails try Spreepalais’s Deluxe event or the House of Hungary’s High Class party.

Hong Kong
If Hong Kong is known for anything, it’s that they don’t hold back when it comes to mind-blowing displays of light – their skyline speaks for itself. The city’s annual NYE fireworks show is a stunning achievement, and best viewed from one Hong Kong’s renowned high-rise bars. Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton is a solid option with it’s spectacularly modern interior with views from 118 floors in the sky. Cé La Vi’s  360-degree view sky-deck is another spot to not only grab a perfect spot for the show, but a damn good cocktail as well.