Happy New Year Celebration 2020
Happy New Year Celebration 2020 I’ve never liked New Year’s Eve anyway! A common statement made by many friends. The solution? A New Year’s Eve getaway. What better way to ring in the bells of the new year than exploring how another culture does it, visiting friends in faraway lands or even celebrating in another city in your home country? I (Gemma) have asked travel experts to spill the best places to spend New Years to help you decide where and how to celebrate the 31st of December (or Hogmanay as we call it in Scotland).
NYC is my hometown and we’ve got a New Year’s Eve that rocks. The iconic crystal ball has been counting down the minutes and dropping into 42nd street, Times Square every year since December 31st 1907. People start gathering in the streets around 6 pm.
Many bring foldable seats and snacks to keep them going for the long night ahead. Despite the freezing weather, about one million people congregate in the streets by the time 12 o’clock rolls around.
The TV programs cover the event for hours showing people stomping their feet to stay warm and yelling “Happy New Year” into the TV cameras.
The excitement is palpable. Emotions run high fed by the flashing neon lights and live bands playing in the cold night. The anticipation of the countdown grows as the clock ticks towards midnight. At 11:59 the countdown starts…
10…9…8. The crystal ball begins its descent…3…2…1!…until midnight when the flashing lights spell out “Happy New Year!” in unison.
It is an electrifying experience. After midnight, people head home via the crowded subways, many stops for one last nightcap at the bars that remain open late.
I highly recommend Times Square’s New Year’s Eve experience. Everyone should try it at least once.
San Francisco is a great option for New Year celebrations. San Francisco has a gorgeous New Year’s Eve fireworks display over the waterfront near both the Ferry Building and the SF Bay Bridge.
The display kicks off at 11:59 pm and lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes. It’s one of the most attended displays every year with hundreds of thousands of people taking part. On a clear night, it’s definitely worth the time and effort to get there and see this amazing display as you ring in the new year.
Plan to arrive early for the best seats and grab a spot somewhere along the waterfront to the south of the Ferry Building.
You can watch the fireworks display anywhere along the eastern side of San Francisco by the waterfront. The fireworks are on a boat that sits in the water between the Ferry Building and the SF Bay Bridge. You can also hop aboard a fireworks cruise for dinner, dancing, and a little drinking before the display starts.
If you would rather pass on the fireworks and just want to chill with friends head to Proper Hotel San Francisco’s rooftop bar. Unlike New York or Chicago San Francisco isn’t exactly known for its rooftop scene – but Charmaine’s is changing that.
With amazing 360-degree view complimented with cozy fire pits and craft cocktails – at night it is a hot spot to mingle and a perfect place to ring in the New Year in SFO.
Celebrating New Years in Seattle is an experience everyone should have at least once in their life.
The Emerald City is full of adventures to fill your days and nights, so it is recommended that you book a few days in Seattle to get the full experience.
Whatever you may have heard about Seattle’s weather, don’t let the potential of rain stop you from heading outside to experience the city during the day or the spectacular fireworks that shoot off the Space Needle at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
There are a few places you can go to see the fireworks, depending on how adventurous you are.
Head to the Seattle Center if you want to a front-row seat of the choreographed to music light show.
Those who fancy a bit more activity can view the show from the water.
Many vendors will rent kayaks or canoes for your enjoyment on Lake Union. Paddle to the middle of the lake and enjoy the show, you’ll likely be surrounded by local Seattleites.
For an easier commute ‘home’ after the fireworks show, try booking a hotel within walking distance to Seattle Center or better yet, find an Airbnb.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Toronto is without a doubt a classic Canadian experience. While the weather might be a tad on the cold side, there is plenty to do – whatever your style – to ring in the New Year. For revellers wanting to stay warm, the largest city in Canada is stocked full of bars, restaurants, and clubs all ready to celebrate.
For the thousands willing to bear the cold, however, the highlight of a classic Toronto New Year’s celebration is the festival at Nathan Phillips Square.
Located right in the heart of downtown, the square is shared with Toronto City Hall, the illuminated “Toronto” sign, and the ice skating rink – which is also free if you bring your own skates!
The Square itself is converted into a giant festival with lots to do for everyone. It’s free to enter, and the main stage features top Canadian and international performers in the hours leading up to midnight. At midnight, the host takes over the stage and the countdown begins. With the crowd huddled together as the clock strikes down, fireworks shoot from City Hall in a fantastic display. The fireworks last for the duration of ”Auld Lang Syne”!
Since it is the beginning of January in Canada, it’s always a good idea to dress warmly when planning to be outside. We were able to make it through the cold evening just fine with the help of a warm winter coat, a winter hat (called a ‘toque’ in Canada), a thick scarf, and gloves for our hands. Of course, we couldn’t forget the tacky New Year’s glasses – but we certainly weren’t alone in wearing them!
With so many places to choose from to spend New Year’s Eve 2020, you may want to experience something different this year.
Visiting Cali in Colombia is a great choice as it’s not only one of the liveliest times of year to be in the city, but the weather is also very favorable for those wanting to escape the cold weather.
You can easily arrive in Cali by plane from most major US cities.
December in Cali attracts people from all over the world for its annual Salsa Festival named the Feria de Cali and the celebrations don’t stop there.
The party continues right into the New Year so it’s recommended that you get there for the last night of the festival and just in time for New Year’s Eve.
Since Cali is famous for some of the best salsa dancing in the world you may want to brush up on your salsa dance moves, you can find some impromptu classes in the city. Look for accommodation in Barrio Granada which is a highly recommended spot for the nightlife, including many of the best restaurants, clubs, and bars the city has to offer.
You can even stay at the Four Points Sheraton which located close by and makes the perfect place to be for the countdown into the new year.
Last but not least, get yourself down the Canchas Panamericanas to try a Cholado, which is a typical desert found in Cali which the locals recommend all its visitors try.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties on Earth, and the epicenter of the Brazilian celebration is the famous Copacabana Beach at night.
At this white sand beach, thousands of people gather in the warm summer night, waiting for the stroke of midnight. There is music, beach volleyball and plenty of partying.
Before you head to Copacabana, start your evening at Ipanema Beach for the traditional candlelight ceremony of building a simple offering to the ocean.
Follow it up with a concert at the beach.
Then, head to Copacabana for the big party with your bottle of champagne. The horseshoe-shaped beach is the perfect setting to watch the huge fireworks at the stroke of midnight.
The fireworks launch from several vessels in the center of the harbor.
Before you go to Rio for New Year’s Eve, take a moment to learn a few Brazilian New Year’s Eve traditions – like wearing white clothing to help ring in a peaceful new year.
For the best experience, consider splurging and stay in one of Copacabana’s beach hotels. Some of these hotel rooms face the ocean, giving you the option to enjoy the celebration privately.
Halef and Michael | The Round The World Guys
For an incredible cultural experience, you should consider spending New Year’s Eve in Salinas, Ecuador. The horseshoe bay fills with thousands of people, all looking to celebrate.
Every restaurant and bar is packed full and street vendors can be found all along the Malecon, or promenade, selling cheap and delicious food. People sell fireworks, balloons, lanterns and all manner of ‘party’ objects to add to the atmosphere.
Throughout the day, people begin their celebrations and the occasional marching band works its way down the street, dancing along while collecting tips. The free beachfront concert provides entertainment as people wait for midnight to strike. Ecuadorians ring in the new year by burning elaborate effigies in huge bonfires.
Unlike other cities where these fires are dotted around town, in Salinas, the beach provides the perfect setting for a long line of bright orange focal points. As the fires burn, fireworks begin exploding from every direction. Our heads were on a swivel as we jumped and gasped at each unexpected bang.
The festivities continue well into the early hours of the morning as the fireworks give way to music. For locals, this is a family celebration and many children join in the fun but it’s definitely an incredible party for adults too! It was by far the most fun we have had on New Year’s Eve and we can’t wait to experience another one in Salinas!
For people who like fireworks and crowds and noise, Amsterdam is the place to be on New Year’s Eve. The official fireworks show, organized by the city, will start at midnight, but don’t be surprised if you see and hear lots of fireworks all evening. People shoot them off anywhere and everywhere. In other words, be prepared for a crazy, loud, crowded night. If you’re skittish about loud noises, this is definitely NOT the place to be!
The official fireworks show, organized by the city, was at Java island, on the IJ river, last year. This year’s location hasn’t been announced yet, and it may be different. Your hotel should be able to tell you what’s been decided and how to get there.
If you don’t want the biggest crowds, don’t worry. Stand pretty much anywhere in the city and, at midnight, you’ll see fireworks in every direction. Your best bet for a great view would probably be on one of the many bridges over a canal in the old part of the city.
Both before and after the fireworks, street celebrations take place on the public squares like the Leidseplein and Nieuwmarkt. Tip: try an oliebol, a traditional fried dough ball, with or without raisins. You’ll find the oliebol kiosks by following the smell. And, of course, most pubs and clubs will have special New Year’s Eve celebrations that extend to the early morning.
On New Year’s Day, if you have any energy left, many of Amsterdam’s museums are open, though with shorter hours. For the big famous ones like the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum or the Anne Frank House, make sure to book your tickets ahead of time.
Berlin is definitely the place you want to be for New Year’s Eve.
While winters in Germany’s capital can be harsh, Berlin puts on a festive display for travelers who come for the holidays.
The atmosphere is incomparable to anything you have ever seen. As midnight fireworks are about to light the sky the visitors and locals gather between Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column.
Germans sure know how to serve up great food, drinks, music. You’ll find a broad assortment of food to try, German gifts, quirky presents, as well as stands serving delicacies from all over the world.
There is a myriad of entertainment options you can choose from for every type of traveler’s taste.
With a few of its Christmas Markets extending into NYE markets and streets glowing with twinkling lights and joyful decorations, Berlin offers endless possibilities for fun night.
Sophisticated bars and clubs are plentiful in Berlin and they usually time their entertainment programmes in a way so you can watch the fireworks.
They often provide you with Sekt (sparkling wine) or Champagne to celebrate with.
However, it’s still a good idea to book a table in advance for the special programs at restaurants and clubs during Christmas.
Still in doubt why you should celebrate New Year’s Eve in Berlin? If you’re traveling on a shoestring budget you will be pleased to know that tickets for New Year’s Eve street parties can be found as cheap as 10 Euro.
Last but not least, the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and Tramlines in Berlin will run all night long so getting around Berlin’s should not be a problem.
Dublin New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve celebrations, in Dublin, are like most major celebrations in the city – loud and entertaining.
The Dublin New Year’s Eve festival is now entering its seventh year and it looks like things are only getting bigger. Using the Custom House as the backdrop to the festival, revellers enjoy live music light show across the river Liffey and an incredible firework show as the clock strike midnight.
The organisers are aiming to make this Ireland’s largest New Year’s Eve event.
Traditionally, it is the smaller pub affair which is most popular in Dublin and you won’t be surprised to hear that Temple Bar always draws the largest crowd of partiers. The bars and streets in this popular neighbourhood become packed with people waiting for the countdown to begin.
For the most part, each bar will have their own live entertainment which goes silent for the countdown and then it is back to business as usual.
If visiting from afar get into the bars early so you can have yourself a comfortable seat. The pubs and bars tend to start filling up around 8.00pm. as they are bound to fill up by the end of the night.
Edinburgh is renowned for hosting the best New Year’s Eve party in the world! You know the feeling: it’s reaching 31st December and everyone is talking about plans for the evening, it might be a house party, paying extortionate prices for club entry that you’re not really up for, or staying in to watch the telly.
Once the fireworks end, it all feels hugely anticlimactic. But New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh? It won’t disappoint in the slightest. In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is known as Hogmanay and the celebrations last for at least three days. Effectively, it’s a winter festival complete with fireworks, street parties, live music and flaming torches. It’s fantastic and the perfect way to say goodbye to the year.
On Hogmanay Eve you can join the Vikings as they march flaming torches through the city centre and all the way up to Calton Hill before an impressive fireworks display to warm you up for the main event. Then, on Hogmanay, there’s a huge street party complete with several stages playing everything from chart-toppers to Ceilidh. Dance the night away while keeping warm on whisky. January 1st sees the crazy (like myself) head down to South Queensbury and the Forth bridges to cure their hangovers. Turns out the best cure for a New Year’s Day hangover is to dress up and run into the freezing Scottish waters.