15 Best Places In The World To Celebrate New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve has been collectively celebrated across the world for thousands of years. People have been getting wild when the clock strikes midnight since the ancient Babylon civilization 4,000 years ago (via History). Back then, ceremonies commemorating the new year would go on for 11 days. Think about what those parties looked like!

These days, we've developed a lot of different ways to celebrate the occasion depending on where you go around the globe (via CNN). From watching the ball drop in New York with a million-person crowd to partying the night away on the beach in Rio de Janeiro and watching fireworks fill the sky, everyone makes a little time to appreciate the past year and get ready to ring in the new one.

As the countdown to 2023 begins, why not learn a little about the best places to celebrate the holiday from Times Square to Tokyo? You may even find your dream destination to ring in the new year.

New York City, New York (USA)

Every year on December 31, an average of 1 million annual participants flood Times Square to watch the notorious ball drop (via Ball Drop). As that distinctive "5-4-3-2-1" rings loudly through the streets of NYC, the bubbling anticipation for the screams of "Happy New Year!" grows. Not just for New Yorkers, but for the billion people who watch the event on television or online (via 6sqft).

NYC's ball drop countdown in Times Square is one of the most well-known celebrations of the new year. The 115-year tradition is appreciated by people all over the world. But there is even more to the celebration than just the final countdown to the ball drop. According to Times Square NYC, there are musical performances, sponsored dance parties, and other fun activities. 

If you're not in New York City, you can still be a part of the famous event in spirit by submitting a wish to the NYE wishing wall. Your digital wish will be added to a piece of confetti that falls upon Times Square at midnight. After the ball drops, the party doesn't die down in New York City. There will be tons of New Year's Eve parties that continue the celebration well into the night.

Las Vegas, Nevada (USA)

Most people know if you're looking for a wild night, you can find it in Las Vegas. The Vegas Strip is America's nightlife central year-round. This party atmosphere is only turned up a couple of notches on New Year's Eve, with hundreds of thousands of parties turning the streets into a raging celebration (via Vegas.com). 

Similarly to New York and many other places in the world, Las Vegas sets off an insane fireworks show as the new year turns.  There are lots of incredible spots to watch the colorful show explode, such as SkyPod at the STRAT and Paris Las Vegas (via Gamboool). There is so much more to New Year's Eve in Las Vegas than just the fireworks, though.  

Musicians and DJs flock to Las Vegas to perform on the fan-favorite holiday, so you're bound to find a NYE show you like. According to Las Vegas Events, there will be chances to catch New Year's performances with Bruno Mars, Adele, and The Killers as 2023 begins. Of course, there are also an endless number of parties at the city's nightclubs that go into the morning of January 1.

New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)

Another one of the best places to party in the United States also happens to be one of the best places to celebrate New Year's Eve — New Orleans. That's right, it's not just for Mardi Gras, people! Bringing in the new year in New Orleans is sure to be a memorable experience with lots of drinks, laughs, and buzzing live music. The famous Bourbon Street, that's already crawling with eager party-goers on any regular day, is extra spirited on December 31.

If you want to be a part of the biggest celebration in the entire city (maybe even the whole state), spend the big night at Jackson Square (via New Orleans). There are tons of people celebrating the occasion in true New Orleans fashion here, featuring plenty of drinks and the New Year's Eve Parade complete with marching bands and beaded necklaces (via French Quarter).

While the city has a reputation for being a wild and crowded party hotspot, there is stuff to do on New Year's Eve for introverts, too. New Orleans.com recommends getting a reservation at one of the local restaurants that are open on New Year's Eve, since many of them offer a special, one-time-only New Year's menu to start off your year on a tasty note.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (South America)

Let's take this party international, shall we? All the way over to Brazil in South America, one of the largest New Year's celebrations on the planet takes place on the shores of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

According to Rio Exclusive, the city welcomes almost 3 million people to the beach on New Year's Eve, including both locals and visitors from around the globe (Via Rio de Janeiro by Cariocas). It's not just the largest New Year's party — it's one of the biggest parties in the world, period.

In Rio de Janeiro, the first moments of your year will take place on a gorgeous beach in the warm Brazilian air. Imagine being surrounded by the sounds of the waves, music playing in the background, and millions of other excited people all around you. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type of New Year's event that everyone should throw on their NYE bucket list.

Buenos Aires, Argentina (South America)

Holidays are the perfect time to splurge a little. Spend a bit extra on your outfit, dinner, and maybe a fancy cocktail or two. If that sounds like your style of bringing in the new year, you would love New Year's Eve in Buenos Aires.

In this Argentinian city, the occasion brings with it an air of luxury. The locals in Buenos Aires put on the pedigree of events that attracts the rich and famous (Via DayTours4U). There are alluring, highly exclusive parties at the city's top hotels and specialty dinners are prepared at the local restaurants. Just make sure you get a reservation in advance because absolutely everyone wants a table on New Year's Eve.

Plus, Buenos Aires has some of the most mesmerizing tango performances you'll ever see on New Year's Eve. There are tango houses with traditional productions like Tango Porteño, or more modern spins on the beloved dance like Señor Tango. According to Signature Tours, once the shows wrap up, most tango venues keep the party going and the attendees can dance their way into the new year.

Berlin, Germany (Europe)

The underground party scene in Berlin comes above the surface for New Year's Eve. Berlin has some of the top clubs in the entire world (looking at you, Berghain!). These places stay open all day and night, so the party never has to come to a halt. It makes sense why so many people view Berlin as one of the best places in the world to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Besides the club scene, the city hosts memorable cabaret shows that take place every New Year's Eve (via Visit Berlin). These lively performances are the perfect way to kick off NYE before indulging in a night of living it up.

As midnight nears, the crowds make their way to the street party at Brandenburg Gate. As Welcome2Berlin puts it, this is the star of the show when it comes to partying in Berlin on New Year's Eve. When the moment everyone has been waiting for happens, the night sky comes alive with millions of fireworks. There are so many fireworks on New Year's in Berlin that you can see the show from just about any rooftop in the city. So, even if you don't want to go out into the chaos, you can still see the celebrations from afar.

Barcelona, Spain (Europe)

New Year's Eve, also known as Nochevieja in Spanish, fills the city of Barcelona, Spain with the elation that's felt around the world on this holiday (Via IR Barcelona). This isn't one of the obvious high-traffic destinations for New Year's Eve events, like New York or Rio de Janeiro. However, Barcelona brings something different to the table. December 31 falls right smack dab in the middle of the city's low season, so there are fewer crowds and a less hectic environment. Despite that, there is still that infamous, phenomenal energy buzzing through the streets of Barcelona.

Chow down on a traditional Catalan-style dinner followed by an evening of perusing the city's nightclubs and seeing the fireworks at Plaça d'Espanya, La Sagrada Familia, or Park Güell. Take part in the local Spanish NYE traditions, like eating 12 grapes as soon as midnight hits or wearing red underwear, which will allegedly spice up your love life in the next year (Via Barcelona Tickets). According to SH Barcelona, another tradition in Spain that could impact your next year for the better is writing down your desires on a piece of paper and then burning them to make them all come true. 

Barcelona is a fantastic New Year's Eve destination for people who don't want to be in the most crowded NYE event in the world, but they still want some action.

Paris, France (Europe)

The City of Light is aglow with fireworks, gourmet meals, and chic soirees on New Year's Eve, or La Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre, as it's called in Paris (via Paris Insider). There is an abundance of shows that can fit any taste, including the famous Paradis Latin New Year's Eve Dinner Show. However, these types of highly anticipated events sell out fast, so book your seat well in advance, possibly even the year before.

Then, there is the food, of course. The dining establishments in Paris are extravagant and divine. On New Year's, these restaurants roll out an exceptionally mouthwatering assortment for the special occasion. According to Still In Paris, visitors can feast on the gourmet delicacies firsthand and get a unique perspective on the city at the same time by joining a dinner cruise, such as the La Marina dinner cruise for 2023, which includes regional food, champagne, and dancing until 2 a.m.

For those who prefer to be on solid ground, fireworks blast off at midnight around the city's most famous attraction, the Eiffel Tower, and other spots like the Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe (via The Paris Pass).

London, England (Europe)

London is a city that entices visitors with elegant cruises to celebrate the new year in style. Gliding along the River Thames is one of the best views in the entire city to see the display of fireworks at the stroke of midnight (via Visit London). Watching the entire city burst with lights and excitement from afar is a very unique way to spend your New Year's Eve.

Alternatively, an evening spent dancing at Southbank Center's New Year's Eve Spectacular is just as mesmerizing. As South Bank Centre explains, this lavish party is long-awaited throughout the entire year. There's a variety of food and entertainment, and visitors even have access to a front-row perspective of the fireworks show.

At exactly midnight, Big Ben will chime letting everyone in London know that another year has begun. When that happens, you'll feel it no matter where you are. London is a city with endless options on New Year's Eve, which is why it's one of the best places to spend the holiday.

Bali, Indonesia (Asia)

Anyone who has traveled to Bali can tell you that the parties and nightclubs on this Southeast Asian island are out of this world. The beach clubs and bars in Bali are next level, and they're filled to the brim on New Year's Eve. Trust us, you won't be lonely on this holiday if you're in Bali. According to Girl Eat World, Bali is so popular on New Year's Eve that it's almost impossible to find accommodations for December 31-January 1 unless you book in advance. So don't wait around when it comes to your hotel reservations!

With all its spots for partying the night away, Bali is one of the best places for young people and groups of friends to celebrate New Year's Eve. From the beautiful beaches around the island to up in the rooftop bars, there will be events all over the place. The public beaches are the ideal solution for people who want to appreciate the new year but don't want to get caught up in a night of intense partying. Places like Petitenget Beach offer visitors a stunning view of the year's final sunset (via Holidify).

Tokyo, Japan (Asia)

Travelers that are searching for new traditions to travelerblog on New Year's Eve will have a tough time saying no to Tokyo. Yes, there are still the standard countdown parties going on throughout the city, but there are also things you've probably never heard of, like Bonenkai Parties.

According to Japan Wonder Travel, during these "forget the year" parties, everyone comes together to enjoy as much delicious food and drinks as they can as a reward for a year of hard work. It's an opportunity to let all the stress of the previous year go and take a break before the new one gets going again. Now, that's a tradition we can get behind.

There are lots of other fun customs for New Year's, too. Like eating Soba noodles to steer away bad luck in the coming year (via Japan Wonder Travel). In Tokyo, the parties on the last night of the year are equally as important as the first sunrise of the year, known as hatsuhinode (via Tokyo Cheapo). There are lots of places across the city to get a beautiful glimpse of the sunrise after a night of celebration, such as the Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which each hold sunrise viewing events.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Asia)

There are fireworks shows all over the world on New Year's Eve. But, they're not all next to Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the tallest building on the planet. Dubai's New Year's Eve fireworks show is one of the biggest and most impressive in the entire world (via Visit Dubai). It's an awe-inspiring experience in itself.

Dubai has lots of epic ways to celebrate New Year's Eve. Headout says the best way to end the year is by taking a helicopter tour over the city to and the holiday madness. Or, you could embark on a desert safari with a BBQ dinner and a Tanoura dancing show. That's the thing about New Year's Eve in Dubai — it's bound to be a noteworthy event wherever you go.

The city's fancy restaurants roll out all the stops on NYE to ensure that everyone in the city finishes the year deliciously. For dinner and a show, Eat App recommends grabbing a table at Prime68 for its first-rate views of the whole city.

Bangkok, Thailand (Asia)

Most people think big cities have the best New Year's Eve celebrations in the world. Bangkok definitely proves that hypothesis true. In Thailand's capital city, the most popular way to countdown the end of the year is at the rooftop bars.

Not only are these bars high above the city streets the best places to find New Year's Eve parties, but they also provide the clearest possible view of the fireworks. Like many places around the globe, Bangkok's annual NYE tradition is shooting off thousands of fireworks into the night sky. New Year Eve Bangkok recommends welcoming in the new year at Vertigo Rooftop Bar or Mahanakhon Bangkok Sky Bar, the highest restaurant in the country.

Alternatively, visitors who want a super wild night on ground level can head to Khao San Road. The infamous party street really comes alive during big events like New Year's Eve (via Asia Highlights). Here, travelers can find everything they need for a rowdy celebration, from eclectic Thai street food to endless nightclubs.

Sydney, Australia (Oceania)

The New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia are anticipated all year long. According to Sydney New Year's Eve, from 7:30 p.m. until the intense grand finale at midnight, there are events happening throughout the city. The whole shindig is very well organized, too.

The event starts with a sacred smoking ceremony meant to cleanse the space for the new year. Then, there is several different light and pylon protection shows every couple of hours leading up to the main event. Finally, the night finishes with fireworks launched from some of the city's biggest attractions, including Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House (via Sydney New Year's Eve). It's a magical moment to see these Sydney staples. The official Sydney New Year's Eve website even provides visitors with a map of the best vantage points to watch the powerful fireworks show.

Sydney is an exciting city to celebrate the new year for anyone from solo travelers to families with children. There are plenty of clubs and concerts blasting music through the evening. However, there are also family-friendly events, like the Fantasea Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve Family Parade of Lights Cruise. There is something for everyone on New Year's Eve in Sydney, which is likely why over a million people choose it as the setting for their NYE extravaganza every year.

Queenstown, New Zealand (Oceania)

Queenstown is a stunning city every day of the year, but on New Year's Eve, it cultivates this simultaneously lively and laidback celebration that's ideal for a more relaxed crowd. It's perpetually entertaining without crossing the boundary into being overwhelming.

There are a few reasons why Queenstown is such an attractive NYE option. Firstly, while most of the other top New Year's destinations are frigid in late December, Queenstown's heavenly warm weather endures through the winter. Second, due to its geographical location, Queenstown is one of the first places in the world to officially start the new year (via Try Wandering More). Finally, the cherry on top is that the town's surroundings are just hands-down so beautiful.

Even though Queenstown is a bit tamer than some of the places to spend NYE, they're still partying big time over there. According to Stay At Base, there are all types of events and bar crawls to honor the new year across New Zealand's capital city.