Best New Year Holiday Destinations

Sometimes, New Year’s Eve feels underwhelming. Ending up in the same pubs and clubs each year, in the very same place you grew up in... so why not take the opportunity this year to try something totally different? With our pick of the best places to go for New Year's, you could wake up on 1 January in a brand new city after a night (and maybe morning!) of celebrations.

Picture yourself sailing through the canals of Amsterdam on a midnight cruise, joining an Irish parade or strolling the sparkling Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Take a look at our best holidays for New Year and have your pick: you’ll be spoilt for choice.

1) Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the best holiday destinations for New Year

Amsterdam might not come to mind straight away when choosing New Year's Eve destinations. But Amsterdam does mean fireworks and legendary parties! And who doesn’t love those? There are dozens of free parties in the city's public squares; head to Leidseplein, Dam Square and Rembrandtplein where you can celebrate into the early hours of the morning. Looking for something more unique? There are special boat trips, where you can sail down Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and watch all the firework displays, while dining and drinking in comfort. There are also plenty of parties in bars and clubs all over, with top DJs choosing to start the New Year right.


2) Prague, Czech Republic

Celebrate on beautiful Charles Bridge on your New Year holiday to Prague

Prague has got to be one of the most incredible cities to visit for New Year, albeit a touch on the chilly side! But hey, that just adds to the festive vibes. Weather aside, there’s such an incredible atmosphere in the city, with so many magical places to celebrate the turn of a new year. Head to the picturesque Old Town Square and join the other partygoers enjoying the live entertainment and buzzing Christmas market stalls. Or make your way to Charles Bridge and find the perfect spot to watch the numerous firework displays going off around the castle and river. Who knows, maybe it will even snow as the clock strikes midnight!


3) Krakow, Poland

Experience the buzz of Krakow Old Town, one of the top New Year holiday destinations

New Year’s Eve has its very own name in Poland: 'Sylwester'. Head to Krakow for a celebration like no other as this city has a reputation for hosting one of Europe’s biggest open-air parties. Rynek Glowny, Krakow’s beautiful medieval square, usually has a huge light and laser show with live pop acts to dance along to. People gather at the free New Year celebrations both in the square and around the city to wait for the clock to strike 12. Don’t forget that you’ll need to dress up warmly, as it gets chilly in December but among the crowds, you’ll soon warm up.


4) Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is among the best holiday destinations for New Year

When it comes to New Year holiday destinations, nothing quite compares to hitting the streets of Barcelona. The Catalans sure know how to party, and from super clubs to avenues, the celebrations continue early into the morning. Greet January in a traditional way on Plaça d’Espanya, where you’ll find a stunning light show filled with music and special effects. All the excitement is centred around the Magic Fountain. If you've been to the fountain on a summer evening, you'll know it's simply amazing – imagine how incredible it’ll be on such a special occasion! If you’re looking for something a little more lively, clubs like Pacha and Razzmatazz always host incredible events to see in the new year.


5) Rome, Italy

Rome is a must-do New Year's destination

If you want to welcome in the New Year with some Italian spirit, head to Rome. Start your evening with ‘cenone’, a big dinner that’s always held on 31 December. This can either be round a friend’s house or at a restaurant, but if you’re just visiting, the piazzas (squares) are a lively place to take part in this tradition. New Year’s Eve is also the perfect time to see the biggest show in the city at Circus Maximus. If you want to head where the party’s really at, the Piazza del Popolo, found just beyond the Spanish Steps, is the first centre of all the action. And when the clock strikes midnight there’s a stunning firework display too.


6) Venice, Italy

Romance is in the air in Venice, one of our top New Year's Eve holiday destinations

As one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice makes the perfect New Year's Eve destination. One of the best things to do is bundle up warm and jump on a gondola; at this time of year you’re likely to see fog floating in on top of the canals, which is just as beautiful as it is eerie and will make the perfect photo opportunity. Gather in Piazza San Marco to join in the celebrations with crowds of excited locals and visitors, and count down to the basilica bells ringing in the new year. Unforgettable!


7) Paris, France

Get an eyeful of the Eiffel in Paris on New Year's Eve!

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway with that someone special and a celebration that you’ll never forget, then Paris is one of the best places to go for New Year's. Dine at a boutique restaurant before sipping cocktails at a chic bar and then finding a late-night club to party into the early hours of the new year. Or for the ultimate New Year’s Eve experience, book a luxurious river cruise with dinner along the Seine, with beautiful bridges, colourful fireworks and the unmistakable illuminations of the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop. Now, not to put any ideas in people’s heads, but if there’s ever a time and a place to pop ‘the question’…


8) Berlin, Germany

Make Brandenburg Gate in Berlin the focus of your New Year holiday

Known and loved for its world-famous techno scene, Berlin is a city that definitely won’t be getting a good night’s sleep on New Year’s Eve. Kick off your evening at a rooftop bar, taking in stunning firework displays and iconic buildings such as the Fernsehturm that towers high above the skyline. If you’re looking to welcome the new year in serious style, buy a ticket to Kulturbrauerei where you can experience 13 floors of entertainment and 30 DJs in just one place. As Berlin’s biggest indoor party, you can keep out of the cold too – though by day you’ll want to be out and about experiencing the city’s cool street art scene.


9) Reykjavik, Iceland

Will you see the Northern Lights in Iceland on your New Years holiday?

Looking for New Year's destinations where you can experience the great outdoors? Reykjavik is the perfect place for you! Whether it’s treating yourself to a relaxing dip in the soothing Blue Lagoon, or visiting one of the bonfires that burn through the night (it’s tradition here!) there’s so much to see and do around New Year’s Eve. You might even be able to catch the Northern Lights while you’re here: the aural activity is at its highest around January, and what a way to start a new year! It’s also the ideal time to discover Reykjavik’s stunning Diamond Beach, a black sand coast covered in shimmering glaciers. If you want to do something in the city itself, Iceland’s incredible club scene will have you dancing into the early hours, so make sure you pack something sparkly.


10) Dublin, Ireland

Dublin's Temple Bar district helps make the city one of the best holiday destinations for new year

If you’re looking for New Year city breaks closer to home, the Irish sure do know how to party! So, head to Dublin and the iconic Temple Bar pub, which is a must-visit for anyone’s first time in the city. It’s especially magical on New Year’s Eve, where you’ll find the celebrations spilling out into the lively streets. You could also choose to catch the Dublin Castle Countdown Concert with big name artists guaranteed to get the party started. As one of the ‘friendliest cities in the world’, Dublin’s locals are always there to make sure you have a great time too. Think quirky performances, dancing in the street and sharing a pint of Guinness with strangers-turned-friends; it’s all waiting for you this New Year’s Eve!


Adele Grant

About the author

Post reviewed and updated by Adele, the perfect person for the job! She's worked in travel for a number of years now, which has taken her to some amazing places. When she’s not at home cuddling her dog, she loves to explore new places. From Mexico to Croatia and Iceland, she has some great insider tips.