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Top Destinations to Ring in the New Year

  • At 12 midnight on December 31st, people all over the world will say goodbye to 2013 and hello to the New Year. Here we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to spend the final hours of this year and welcome in 2014...

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

    This year’s Hogmanay in Edinburgh is set to be a four-day extravaganza, ensuring its place as one of the world’s most popular New Year’s events. Huge numbers will head to the Scottish capital to join in the festivities. Starting with the Torchlight Procession, Hogmanay will also include street theatre, the Hogmanay carnival and live music provided by some of the world's top acts. And, of course, a fleet of fireworks will be let loose at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Overlooked by the imposing Edinburgh Castle, this city is hugely popular thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and eclectic mix of things to see and do. With its Old and New Town, Edinburgh has something to delight shopaholics, culture vultures and everyone in between.

    Book hostels in Edinburgh | Edinburgh videos, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Sydney, Australia

    Unquestionably the most famous destination to ring in the New Year in the Southern Hemisphere, a throng of thousands descends on Sydney’s famous Circular Quay each year for a day of festivities. The celebrations begin in the afternoon with a series of breathtaking aerial displays over the harbour. As not everyone can stay up past their bedtime for the main event at midnight, a more ‘moderate’ fireworks display takes place at 9pm, followed by the spellbinding ‘Harbour of Light Parade’. Then finally, after months of planning, Sydney’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display lights up the Australian city’s sky with fireworks firing from barges, skyscraper rooftops and more.

    Book hostels in Sydney | Sydney video, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Paris, France

    Say 'bonne année' to 2013 in style in Paris, alongside a multitude of people who flock to the Champs-Elysées for non-stop celebrations. From here, you’ll get a great view of the fireworks being set off all over Paris, but if you're looking for a bird's eye view of the dazzling light show put on at the Eiffel Tower when the clock strikes twelve, Place du Trocadero is where you need to be. The French capital, which is seen as the most romantic city in the world, also boasts numerous world-renowned attractions. These include the Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile, as well as Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre-Coeur Basilica and more.

    Book hostels in Paris | Paris videos, podcast and free pocket guide

  • New York, USA

    'Watching the ball drop' is one phrase that’s almost universally understood and it’s no surprise considering the popularity of the New Year’s Eve event that spawned it. The ball in question is the famous New Year’s Eve Ball that ‘drops’ from the flagpole on top of One Times Square in New York City. Around a million people crowd into the square to watch and ring in the New Year. Of course, this is just one of a huge number of New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place in NYC’s five boroughs. Each of these boroughs, from Manhattan Island to Brooklyn, has its own unique charms. With numerous neighbourhoods to explore, New York is a cultural melting pot, home to a hugely diverse population.

    Book hostels in New York | New York videos, podcasts and free pocket guide

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Rio de Janeiro’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are focused around Copacabana, the city’s famous beach. People gather here in droves to share champagne and party on the beach. There’s also a very impressive fireworks display which lasts for around 30 minutes. Free live music can be enjoyed too, while the beachside restaurants and kiosks provide snacks for the night. Watched over by the Christ the Redeemer statue sitting atop Corcovado Mountain, Rio is one of the world’s top party cities thanks to its legendary nightlife. The home of Samba, Rio is a city that dances to its own captivating beat.

    Book hostels in Rio de Janeiro | Rio de Janeiro online guide

  • London, England

    If you will be ringing in the New Year in London, then make plans to attend the Mayor’s midnight fireworks display along the banks of the Thames. New Year’s Eve sees over a quarter of a million in attendance along the banks of London’s main river to witness the skies light up in an array of colours just after Big Ben welcomes in 2014. Make sure you get there early to get a good viewing spot. Also, all across the capital there are bars and pubs open that will be packed full of entertainment for New Year’s Eve.

    Book hostels in London | London video, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Tokyo, Japan

    New Year is a hugely important time in Tokyo, and, traditionally, the people there visit a shrine or temple on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Meiji Shrine, which is Tokyo’s biggest shrine, attracts vast numbers of people. Once you’ve observed this Japanese tradition, you’ll find plenty of parties being held in clubs and bars throughout the city. A fascinating mix of tradition and modernity, Tokyo is a sprawling city with a variety of startlingly diverse neighbourhoods. See the famous Harajuku fashions, head to Akihabara to get your hands on all kinds of electronic gadgetry and check out Shibuya’s bright lights.

    Book hostels in Tokyo | Tokyo free pocket guide, video and podcast

  • Moscow, Russia

    Huge numbers of people gather in Moscow’s Red Square to watch an impressive fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, as well as setting off a firework or two of their own. In the city centre, you’ll also be able to enjoy live music and much more, with many bars, clubs and restaurants organising their own New Year’s Eve events. Both the capital and largest city in Russia, Moscow boasts an interesting mix of old and new, as historic buildings rub shoulders with towering skyscrapers.

    Book hostels in Moscow | Moscow online guide

  • Rome, Italy

    Piazza del Popolo is the site for a major New Year’s Eve party in Rome. Here, young and old mingle to enjoy live music, watch various performers and ring in the New Year while watching a volley of fireworks. The Italian capital, also known as the ‘Eternal City’, has long been one of the world’s most popular destinations. Huge numbers descend on the Vatican daily, while remnants of Ancient Rome like the stunning Coliseum are bound to impress. Whether you’re here to soak up the city’s history or to indulge yourself at some of the world’s top boutiques, make sure you head to the Trevi Fountain and throw in a coin, thus ensuring your return.

    Book hostels in Rome | Rome video, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Athens, Greece

    Free concerts and fireworks mark the dawn of the New Year in the Greek capital. Syntagma Square, which is turned into a winter wonderland for the Christmas period, is also the focal point of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. An ancient city, Athens is home to some of the world’s most important sites, including the Acropolis. But it’s not all about architecture and archaeology in this city. The nightlife in Athens is up there with Europe’s best. Many clubs feature internationally renowned DJs, plus there's a healthy live music scene and a plethora of pubs. Of course, there’s also the food, with local specialities like gyros and souvlaki to tempt the tastebuds.

    Book hostels in Athens | Athens podcast and free pocket guide

  • Auckland, New Zealand

    New Year’s Eve in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, sees parties taking place in a wide variety of venues across the city, along with live concerts and plenty of other events. Deemed the world’s 4th-best city to live in, Auckland is located on New Zealand’s North Island. Adventure seekers will revel in the opportunity to base jump from the 328-metre tall Sky Tower. Those preferring to keep their feet firmly on the ground will find plenty to do here too, including a visit to Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park.

    Book hostels in Auckland | Auckland podcast, video and free pocket guide

  • New Orleans, USA

    Infamously flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans has since regained much of its former population and is set to hold some of the most raucous New Year’s Eve celebrations in the US. The city’s biggest party will bring revellers to Jackson Square to watch a stunning display of fireworks streak through the sky over the Mississippi. Bourbon Street, home to some of the city’s most notorious nightspots, will also feature heavily in the celebrations. New Orleans prides itself on being the birthplace of jazz, while this Louisiana city is also famous for its delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine.

    Book hostels in New Orleans

  • Melbourne, Australia

    Spectacular fireworks are one of the main events of Melbourne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. These can be viewed from lots of locations around the city but some of the best are Federation Square, Waterfront City and Victoria Harbour Promenade. Along with the fireworks, you can enjoy a selection of acrobatic performances, live music, movies and more. Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and has a definite European feel to it. While here, try and check out an Aussie Rules Football game, wander through the city’s trendy neighbourhoods and immerse yourself in some of Australia’s coolest nightspots.

    Book hostels in Melbourne | Melbourne free pocket guide and podcast

  • Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

    Whistler, a really popular destination in Canada’s British Columbia province, rings in the New Year with its annual First Night celebration. This alcohol-free event takes place in the Whistler Village Square and features everything from story-telling to street theatre. Live music can be watched at different stages, while a fireworks display also takes place. This city, which was one of the host cities for the 2010 Winter Olympics, is located in the stunning Coast Mountains, a mere two hours north of Vancouver. A top-notch ski-resort town, Whistler Village is a pedestrian area with a great selection of shops and restaurants for you to check out.

    Book hostels in Whistler

  • Jakarta, Indonesia

    One of the first major cities in the world to welcome in the New Year, Jakarta’s celebrations see people partying on the street, outdoor concerts and a dazzling display of fireworks. Jakarta, a sprawling city on the Java Sea, is a hot and humid metropolis bustling with millions of inhabitants. The towering National Monument is one of the most iconic sights in a city filled with many top-notch attractions. Famous for its raucous nightlife, Jakarta is home to a great selection of bars and clubs ranging from swanky wine bars to more rough and ready backpacker pubs.

    Book hostels in Jakarta

  • At 12 midnight on December 31st, people all over the world will say goodbye to 2013 and hello to the New Year. Here we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to spend the final hours of this year and welcome in 2014...

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

    This year’s Hogmanay in Edinburgh is set to be a four-day extravaganza, ensuring its place as one of the world’s most popular New Year’s events. Huge numbers will head to the Scottish capital to join in the festivities. Starting with the Torchlight Procession, Hogmanay will also include street theatre, the Hogmanay carnival and live music provided by some of the world's top acts. And, of course, a fleet of fireworks will be let loose at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Overlooked by the imposing Edinburgh Castle, this city is hugely popular thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and eclectic mix of things to see and do. With its Old and New Town, Edinburgh has something to delight shopaholics, culture vultures and everyone in between.

    Book hostels in Edinburgh | Edinburgh videos, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Sydney, Australia

    Unquestionably the most famous destination to ring in the New Year in the Southern Hemisphere, a throng of thousands descends on Sydney’s famous Circular Quay each year for a day of festivities. The celebrations begin in the afternoon with a series of breathtaking aerial displays over the harbour. As not everyone can stay up past their bedtime for the main event at midnight, a more ‘moderate’ fireworks display takes place at 9pm, followed by the spellbinding ‘Harbour of Light Parade’. Then finally, after months of planning, Sydney’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks display lights up the Australian city’s sky with fireworks firing from barges, skyscraper rooftops and more.

    Book hostels in Sydney | Sydney video, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Paris, France

    Say 'bonne année' to 2013 in style in Paris, alongside a multitude of people who flock to the Champs-Elysées for non-stop celebrations. From here, you’ll get a great view of the fireworks being set off all over Paris, but if you're looking for a bird's eye view of the dazzling light show put on at the Eiffel Tower when the clock strikes twelve, Place du Trocadero is where you need to be. The French capital, which is seen as the most romantic city in the world, also boasts numerous world-renowned attractions. These include the Louvre, home to the Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile, as well as Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre-Coeur Basilica and more.

    Book hostels in Paris | Paris videos, podcast and free pocket guide

  • New York, USA

    'Watching the ball drop' is one phrase that’s almost universally understood and it’s no surprise considering the popularity of the New Year’s Eve event that spawned it. The ball in question is the famous New Year’s Eve Ball that ‘drops’ from the flagpole on top of One Times Square in New York City. Around a million people crowd into the square to watch and ring in the New Year. Of course, this is just one of a huge number of New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place in NYC’s five boroughs. Each of these boroughs, from Manhattan Island to Brooklyn, has its own unique charms. With numerous neighbourhoods to explore, New York is a cultural melting pot, home to a hugely diverse population.

    Book hostels in New York | New York videos, podcasts and free pocket guide

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Rio de Janeiro’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are focused around Copacabana, the city’s famous beach. People gather here in droves to share champagne and party on the beach. There’s also a very impressive fireworks display which lasts for around 30 minutes. Free live music can be enjoyed too, while the beachside restaurants and kiosks provide snacks for the night. Watched over by the Christ the Redeemer statue sitting atop Corcovado Mountain, Rio is one of the world’s top party cities thanks to its legendary nightlife. The home of Samba, Rio is a city that dances to its own captivating beat.

    Book hostels in Rio de Janeiro | Rio de Janeiro online guide

  • London, England

    If you will be ringing in the New Year in London, then make plans to attend the Mayor’s midnight fireworks display along the banks of the Thames. New Year’s Eve sees over a quarter of a million in attendance along the banks of London’s main river to witness the skies light up in an array of colours just after Big Ben welcomes in 2014. Make sure you get there early to get a good viewing spot. Also, all across the capital there are bars and pubs open that will be packed full of entertainment for New Year’s Eve.

    Book hostels in London | London video, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Tokyo, Japan

    New Year is a hugely important time in Tokyo, and, traditionally, the people there visit a shrine or temple on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Meiji Shrine, which is Tokyo’s biggest shrine, attracts vast numbers of people. Once you’ve observed this Japanese tradition, you’ll find plenty of parties being held in clubs and bars throughout the city. A fascinating mix of tradition and modernity, Tokyo is a sprawling city with a variety of startlingly diverse neighbourhoods. See the famous Harajuku fashions, head to Akihabara to get your hands on all kinds of electronic gadgetry and check out Shibuya’s bright lights.

    Book hostels in Tokyo | Tokyo free pocket guide, video and podcast

  • Moscow, Russia

    Huge numbers of people gather in Moscow’s Red Square to watch an impressive fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, as well as setting off a firework or two of their own. In the city centre, you’ll also be able to enjoy live music and much more, with many bars, clubs and restaurants organising their own New Year’s Eve events. Both the capital and largest city in Russia, Moscow boasts an interesting mix of old and new, as historic buildings rub shoulders with towering skyscrapers.

    Book hostels in Moscow | Moscow online guide

  • Rome, Italy

    Piazza del Popolo is the site for a major New Year’s Eve party in Rome. Here, young and old mingle to enjoy live music, watch various performers and ring in the New Year while watching a volley of fireworks. The Italian capital, also known as the ‘Eternal City’, has long been one of the world’s most popular destinations. Huge numbers descend on the Vatican daily, while remnants of Ancient Rome like the stunning Coliseum are bound to impress. Whether you’re here to soak up the city’s history or to indulge yourself at some of the world’s top boutiques, make sure you head to the Trevi Fountain and throw in a coin, thus ensuring your return.

    Book hostels in Rome | Rome video, podcast and free pocket guide

  • Athens, Greece

    Free concerts and fireworks mark the dawn of the New Year in the Greek capital. Syntagma Square, which is turned into a winter wonderland for the Christmas period, is also the focal point of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. An ancient city, Athens is home to some of the world’s most important sites, including the Acropolis. But it’s not all about architecture and archaeology in this city. The nightlife in Athens is up there with Europe’s best. Many clubs feature internationally renowned DJs, plus there's a healthy live music scene and a plethora of pubs. Of course, there’s also the food, with local specialities like gyros and souvlaki to tempt the tastebuds.

    Book hostels in Athens | Athens podcast and free pocket guide

  • Auckland, New Zealand

    New Year’s Eve in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, sees parties taking place in a wide variety of venues across the city, along with live concerts and plenty of other events. Deemed the world’s 4th-best city to live in, Auckland is located on New Zealand’s North Island. Adventure seekers will revel in the opportunity to base jump from the 328-metre tall Sky Tower. Those preferring to keep their feet firmly on the ground will find plenty to do here too, including a visit to Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park.

    Book hostels in Auckland | Auckland podcast, video and free pocket guide

  • New Orleans, USA

    Infamously flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans has since regained much of its former population and is set to hold some of the most raucous New Year’s Eve celebrations in the US. The city’s biggest party will bring revellers to Jackson Square to watch a stunning display of fireworks streak through the sky over the Mississippi. Bourbon Street, home to some of the city’s most notorious nightspots, will also feature heavily in the celebrations. New Orleans prides itself on being the birthplace of jazz, while this Louisiana city is also famous for its delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine.

    Book hostels in New Orleans

  • Melbourne, Australia

    Spectacular fireworks are one of the main events of Melbourne’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. These can be viewed from lots of locations around the city but some of the best are Federation Square, Waterfront City and Victoria Harbour Promenade. Along with the fireworks, you can enjoy a selection of acrobatic performances, live music, movies and more. Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and has a definite European feel to it. While here, try and check out an Aussie Rules Football game, wander through the city’s trendy neighbourhoods and immerse yourself in some of Australia’s coolest nightspots.

    Book hostels in Melbourne | Melbourne free pocket guide and podcast

  • Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

    Whistler, a really popular destination in Canada’s British Columbia province, rings in the New Year with its annual First Night celebration. This alcohol-free event takes place in the Whistler Village Square and features everything from story-telling to street theatre. Live music can be watched at different stages, while a fireworks display also takes place. This city, which was one of the host cities for the 2010 Winter Olympics, is located in the stunning Coast Mountains, a mere two hours north of Vancouver. A top-notch ski-resort town, Whistler Village is a pedestrian area with a great selection of shops and restaurants for you to check out.

    Book hostels in Whistler

  • Jakarta, Indonesia

    One of the first major cities in the world to welcome in the New Year, Jakarta’s celebrations see people partying on the street, outdoor concerts and a dazzling display of fireworks. Jakarta, a sprawling city on the Java Sea, is a hot and humid metropolis bustling with millions of inhabitants. The towering National Monument is one of the most iconic sights in a city filled with many top-notch attractions. Famous for its raucous nightlife, Jakarta is home to a great selection of bars and clubs ranging from swanky wine bars to more rough and ready backpacker pubs.

    Book hostels in Jakarta


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