The end of the decade is fast approaching, and you should be sending it off in style. Here are four of our favorite places to ring in the New Year around the world.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the nearby Sydney Opera House together make a stunning backdrop for a fireworks display. But this destination has an added bonus: it is summer in Australia! This means no mittens, no overcoats, no standing in the crowd as your toes freeze off. In fact, at the time of writing, weather forecasts for December 31 are pointing to temperature highs in the upper 30s.
In addition to some spectacular fireworks displays (one at 9pm and one at midnight), Sydney’s New Year’s Eve festivities also feature aerial shows, lighted boat parades, music performances from the Sydney Opera House, and a traditional indigenous Gadigal smoking ceremony as a ritual of purification and unity.
While there, don’t miss BridgeClimb Sydney. For over two decades, this has been a bucket-list attraction in the city. BridgeClimb offers regular guided climbs to the apex of this architectural masterpiece, where you can marvel at the panoramic 360-degree views of one of Australia’s most picturesque cities and, of course, snap plenty of selfies.
The city of Tokyo no longer holds large-scale fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve. The city is actually comparatively quiet as many prefer to visit temples and shrines to ensure good fortune in the coming year. Zojoji and Sensoji are great places to witness these customs. They toll their bells 108 times (symbolizing the number of desires that keep us from enlightenment) as part of a ritual called Joya no Kane.
If you’re determined to see some fireworks, Disneyland Tokyo, not surprisingly, does displays at the cost of admission into the park. Get there early, ride the rides, see the attractions, stick around for the show. If it’s a raucous party you seek, the famed intersection at Shibuya does for Tokyo what Times Square does for New York, minus the standing in place for 10 hours in bone-chilling weather. The intersection is blocked from automobile traffic, the crowds come in before midnight, countdown to the New Year, and disperse shortly thereafter to the many surrounding bars to continue the festivities indoors.
What could be better than celebrating the arrival of the New Year in the Eternal City? On New Year’s Eve, Rome lights up with fireworks and other festivities. The city puts on an official fireworks show that can be viewed from the Circus Maximus.
In addition to the fireworks, there will live aerial dance performances by Andalusian troupe Aerial Jockey Strada and live music and DJs on into the night. Rome is full of atmospheric plazas where you’ll be able to get a good view of the fireworks elsewhere in town as well. Spots like Gianicolo Hill, the Piazza del Popolo offer high vantage points with good visibility. Arrive early to secure a spot with a good view.
You thought we’d forgotten about our home city. Of course not! The Bund side of the Huangpu will be the place to be for the countdown, because, of course, that’s where you can get the best views of the electrifying Pudong skyline. There is no shortage of high perches where you can catch an unobstructed view. Recently opened lounge and restaurant CÉ LA VI, for instance is throwing a party with spectacular views from its terrace. Likewise, The Peninsula Shanghai will be throwing a party to celebrate not only the New Year but its 10-year anniversary. In keeping with its gorgeous Art Deco revivalist design, the theme will be jazz-age chic.