Festivities kick off on 30 December with thousands of revellers carrying torches from Parliament Square to Calton Hill, where fireworks set the sky ablaze. On 31 December, even more revellers will take to the streets to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ (the biggest and loudest rendition in the world) and to party.  Celebrations continue on New Year‘s Day with ceilidhs, live music and theatre  all over town.


Spending New Year‘s Eve in the sunshine is an appealing idea. Sydney Harbour fills up with boatfuls of revellers, out to watch the firework extravaganza playing overhead at midnight. You can hire out a boat, bring your own bubbles and start the countdown early. Alternatively, motor out to Cockatoo Island and set up a moonlit picnic in preparation for the show; you can even camp there for the night, as long as you book a spot in advance.

Landlubbers might prefer to book an outside table at one of the waterfront restaurants by Sydney Harbour Bridge for a front-row seat for the world‘s biggest firework display.
On New Year‘s Day, if the hangover isn‘t too severe, strap on a rope and climb the Harbour Bridge from where the fireworks were set off.


It‘s hard to beat dancing on the beach, with the sand between your toes and fairy lights strung on every palm tree, sequinned sari skirts twirling under the stars. And New Year‘s Eve is the best time of year to party in Goa, with fireworks and celebrations all along the coast of India‘s good-time state.

Inevitably, the biggest and loudest tend to be around Anjuna, while Palolem in the south has more intimate parties.  In the New Year, head north to Agonda for yoga and reiki and some healthy living.

Hong Kong

Take in spectacular views during the final moments of the year in intense, frenetic Hong Kong. Watch the countdown fireworks over Victoria Harbour from a traditional junk, along the shoreline or from one of the city‘s many world-class rooftop bars. Here‘s our pick of Hong Kong‘s best sky-high drinking spots.

If you really want to get as high as you can, head to  Ozone  on the 118th  floor of The Ritz-Carlton, formerly the highest bar in the world (until Dubai opened At.Mosphere on the 165th  floor of the Burj Khalifa in 2010, that is). If you‘d prefer to stick around the 32nd-floor level,  Sugar  bar in the East hotel, which featured on our Hot List for its slick design, has a Mediterranean, beachy vibe as well as views of both the harbour and the mountains from its location slightly outside Central.  Felix  at  The Peninsula, meanwhile, was designed by Philippe Starck and, boy, can‘t you tell. As you walk up the spiral staircase towards the hip little circular bar, the lights even dim and the music fades in anticipation.

Rio De Janeiro

Join the two million visitors on the beach to watch the incredible fireworks display.Copacabana Beach  is the epicentre of action, where celebrations officially start at around 8pm when live music shows from Brazilian samba to rock bands get the crowd in the mood. It is customary to wear white in Rio on New Year‘s Eve – said to bring you luck for the New Year. But perhaps leave your favourite clothes at home, unless you don‘t mind getting doused with champagne, sprayed F1-style by rapturous crowds.

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