Many of us like to get away for a city break at New Year. Nearly all cities around Europe have celebrations. Here are a list of five that you want to consider if you’re planning a last minute break.
Many events within the towns are entry by ticket. So it would be worth checking availability for the events of your choice prior to booking. See below our list of some of the best places to celebrate New Year.
Edinburgh’s hogmanay festival is world famous and very historic. Although its exact original date is unclear. It is thought the traditional singing around the world of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ originated in Edinburgh.
The day before New Years Eve you will find a firework display on Carlton Hill preceded by a torchlight procession which leads to the area of the display.
On New Years Eve there are concerts around the city, with a different flavour. For a traditional concert there is a Candlelit Concert in St. Giles Cathedral. You will find a number of popular bands at the ‘Concert in the Gardens’.
You can also visit the street party with which culminates with a firework display in front of the Castle.
Edinburgh is definitely a traditional city in which to spend New Year!
Lisbon is somewhere you may not have thought about for a New Year’s celebration, but the largest city in Portugal has a great atmosphere and therefore definitely one to look at.
Like all the major cities there are large firework displays to be found. These include at the Terreiro do Paco, at the Parque das Nações and Belém.
For a great view of the fireworks at the Terreiro do Paco aim for St Georges Castle in the hills over Lisbon. The Terreiro do Paco is one of the main squares in the city. It is also the place to head for the party, where you will be able to take in views of the River Tagus.
If you’re looking for something a little different, you will be able to find many places to listen to fado (Portuguese singing) at restaurants in Alfama and Bairro Alto.
If you fancy a more rustic feel to your New Year celebration, Prague is a great option. Fireworks are set off around the city, not always in a safe manner, although for the more organised displays, head to Letna Gardens. You will be able to view this from landmarks around the city especially along the river, where Charles Bridge is a popular choice. Other options are to head to Kampa Park or Manes Bridge. These also provide stunning views.
You could also book one of the popular river cruises, if boat trips are more your thing.
There is then another firework display on Vitkov Hill on New Years day that begins at about 5pm. It is best to head back to Letna Park for the best views.
Prague gets very busy at new year so you will need to book now not to miss out on the hotels at great prices.
On New Years Eve in Reykjavic you will find numerous firework displays. These are presented by private citizens as there is no official display from the city itself. Therefore you will often find them beginning before midnight. For one of the best places to view the fireworks and city, head to Öskjuhlíð hill, Perlan or Landakotskirkja church.
You may find that the city goes a little quiet later in the evening, as many Icelanders then tune in to a satirical TV show called ‘Áramótaskaupið’. If you don’t speak Icelandic you could use this opportunity to catch in the atmosphere of the city when it’s calmer.
A mass takes place at Reykjavik’s Cathedral, and then it’s time for neighbourhoods in all corners of the city to start bonfires.
Why not book a longer trip, and you may be lucky enough to catch the natural light display that is the northern lights!
In Vienna New Year’s is celebrated in a traditional manner. Vienna is a city of concerts and so it is of no surprise this is one of the most popular ways they welcome in the New Year!
On the 31st December you can find the Vienna Hofburg Orchestra playing the music from a variety of composers at Hofburg palace. On the morning of 1st January the famous New Year’s day concert takes place where you can hear the music of the Strauss family from the Golden Hall in the Musikverein. You will not get tickets for the concert, but you can still catch it on the big screens outside the City Hall Square and in front of the Vienna State Opera!
On 31st December head to the Old City where the Christmas market is turned into a fair for New Year’s Eve. The ‘New Years Eve Path’ is a grand street party in the historic old town, with several open air concerts, which have a variety of music styles including folk music, pop and waltz. This all leads to the firework display at the Wiener Prater fair at midnight.
If there are any of these cities you are thinking of visiting or have previously visited, feel free to let us know what they are in the comments below, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!