Ring in the Rainbow: 5 Unmissable LGBTQ+ New Year's Eve Celebrations

Are your New Year's Eve plans still a bit up in the air? You’ve got the world’s biggest parties at your fingertips! We’re talking iconic ball drops in cool capitals, raucous street parties along timeless canals, and sipping champagne at sexy soirees. Or how about raving till dawn with your feet on the sand?

Join us as we countdown the world's most epic NYE destinations…

5. Reykjavik


Icelanders go big for New Year’s Eve, with traditions rich in history and lore. Hit the streets between 8-10:30 pm and you’ll see bonfires ablaze all over the city. The government lifts the ban on fireworks for one night only, so the locals really go for it - setting off no less than 500 tonnes into the night.

Best firework viewpoints: Head to Öskjuhlíð hill for the most impressive views over the skyline. Or, soak up the downtown buzz outside the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church. Feeling fancy? You could always indulge in a Champagne cruise along Faxaflói Bay.

Where to party: Iceland is one of the most queer-friendly countries in the world. The mayor even painted an entire street with the colours of the rainbow. Follow the dazzling brick road to Kiki Queer Bar for lively New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Winter activities: The end of December is prime time for hunting down the Northern Lights. What a way to start the new year!

Where to stay:
Alda Hotel
- 4 stars
- An LGBTQ favourite
- Luxe pampering facilities

4. Amsterdam


This compact city epitomises impromptu street parties, and New Year’s Eve doesn’t disappoint! Revellers are spoilt for choice, with hundreds of club nights, black-tie affairs, and warehouse raves spilling out over the main squares (Dam, Rembrandtplein, Nieuwmarkt and Leidseplein).

Best firework viewpoints: Locals don’t hold back, setting up firework displays from every bridge.Soak up the madness along the canals with a bag of oliebollen (deep-fried balls), or seek out a quiet spot on Magere Brug to watch the sky glow over the River Amstel.

Where to party: Everyone heads to the unpronounceable Reguliersdwarsstraat street to party until daybreak. Start the night at Club NYX, where you’ll be under a constant torrent of confetti, with live DJs over four dancefloors!

Winter activities: Amsterdam and wintertime are a match made in heaven. You’ve got ice rinks, light installations and cosy cafes galore!

Where to stay:
Sofitel Legend
- 5 stars
- Member of IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel)
- Walking distance to best LGBTQ+ bars

3. Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta

A city that rarely sleeps, you can expect the beach town of Puerto Vallarta to pull out all the stops for New Year! Head to the gayborhood, Zona Romantica, where Mexican street parties spill out onto the Malecon boardwalk - margaritas, here we come!

Best firework viewpoints: All eyes will be on Banderas Bay as the city sets off its official display. So grab your sombrero and hit the beach! For the most exclusive view, book a private cruise aboard a catamaran, and sail into the New Year!

Where to party: NYE PVR by Will Gorges is the biggest circuit event of the season. With four days of dancing, fabulous drag shows and an unrivalled vantage point over the city’s official fireworks.

Winter activities: December is the best time of year to catch a glimpse of the humpback whales as they migrate to warmer waters.

Where to stay:
Marriott Puerto Vallarta
- 5 stars
- Gold Global Partner of IGLTA
- Adult-only swim-up rooms


2. Berlin



Famed for its liberal attitude and bombastic nightlife, Germany’s capital shows the rest of Europe how it’s really done! Nearly one million party goers gather at the open air festival between Brandenburg Gate and the Victor Column for live performances, snazzy light shows and spectacular fireworks.

Best firework viewpoints: You could keep it central in Oberbaumbrücke, climb to the top of Müggelberger hill, dine with a riverside view on the Spreeterrassen, or head to the heart of it all under Brandenburg Gate.

Where to party: You can expect diversity and debauchery wherever you choose to party! But head to the flamboyant Club OST on December 30th for world class techno-dance DJs and B:East’s anything-goes energy.

Winter activities: Marvel at the Botanical Garden’s glittering installations, bar hop your way around the craft beer watering holes, and tour the sights from Reichstag to the Berlin Wall.

Where to stay:
The Weinmeister Berlin Mitte
- 4 stars
- Adult-only
- Located by the gay village in the west


1. New York


New York

Winter in New York City is irresistable. And the Big Apple holds the crown for THE biggest New Year’s Eve bash worldwide. A million revellers pack into Time Square to witness the famous ball drop, as confetti cannons launch over a teary-eyed chorus of “New York, New York”.

Best firework viewpoints: You’ve got so many choices, from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, or any downtown rooftop bar. You could even raise a glass aboard a Hudson River cruise, and watch the fireworks rain down behind the Statue of Liberty. Imagine the selfies!

Where to party: The hottest LGBTQ+ party of the year has to be Unite, as DJs, dancers and legendary guests take over the rooftop at Hell’s Kitchen. Although anywhere along the East Village won’t disappoint!

Winter activities: Skate around the ice rink at Central Park, warm up with a hot chocolate from Chelsea Market and tick off the major landmarks around the city.

Where to stay:
Kimpton Hotel Eventi
- 5 stars
- Spoke out for LGBTQ+ rights
- Remarkable views over the city

Lydia Davis

About the author

A thrill-seeking globetrotter, Lydia is passionate about trying out new experiences. From rushing down the slopes of Savoie to quad biking over the dunes in Cape Verde, she wants to help holidaymakers get the most out of their next adventure.