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Top 8 Places to Welcome New Year

Best places to send away 2023, and welcome 2024!

· 7 min read

As we enter the last few months of the year, are you already planning how to bid goodbye to 2023 and welcome 2024? New Year's Eve is a special time of year when people from all over the world come together to celebrate the start of a new chapter. If you're looking for the perfect destination to ring in the New Year 2024, we've got you covered. In this article, we'll explore the top 8 places to go for an unforgettable New Year's experience. From vibrant city celebrations to unique cultural traditions, these destinations offer something for everyone. So grab your party hat and get ready for a whirlwind tour of the best places to go for New Year 2024!

1. Sydney, Australia

Sydney New Year

Be one of the first few people to welcome 2024 in Sydney, Australia! Sydney's iconic New Year's Eve fireworks display is a globally renowned event that draws thousands of visitors each year. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House serve as stunning backdrops for this spectacular show. Whether you choose to watch the fireworks from a cruise on the harbor or a vantage point in the city, Sydney's celebrations are a surefire way to kickstart the new year in style.

Beyond the fireworks, the entire city comes alive with festivities. Crowds gather at vantage points like Circular Quay, Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, and Bondi Beach, creating an electric atmosphere of joy and celebration. From lively street parties to chic rooftop soirées, there's an array of events and venues to suit every taste. As the clock counts to the new year, the spirit of unity is palpable, as Sydneysiders and visitors from around the world join in the collective excitement and anticipation of a fresh start.

2. New York City, USA

NYC New Year
Source: NYC Tourism

The iconic New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square is an event that needs no introduction. It is an iconic experience that encapsulates the spirit of excitement, tradition, and renewal. Join the millions of people who gather in the heart of Manhattan to watch the dazzling descent of the glittering ball and enjoy performances by world-famous artists.

Beyond Times Square, New York City offers a multitude of celebrations and experiences. From rooftop parties with stunning city skyline views to elegant galas and themed events, there is a New Year's Eve option to suit every taste and budget. Many visitors opt to view the fireworks over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge or enjoy a dinner cruise on the Hudson River, providing a unique perspective on the city's beauty as it transforms into a shimmering canvas of celebration.

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro New Year

Known for its vibrant and energetic culture, Rio de Janeiro is a top choice for those who want to ring in the new year with a samba beat. The city's Copacabana Beach hosts one of the wildest New Year's parties in the world. It is a massive celebration featuring live music, dance performances, and a breathtaking fireworks show. Join in as millions of people gather in a sea of white clothing to welcome the new year with traditional Carioca energy.

If you're looking for an authentic Brazilian experience, join the locals in their tradition of jumping seven waves in the sea at midnight, making a wish with each wave for good luck in the coming year. The atmosphere in Rio de Janeiro is electric, and the sense of camaraderie among the revelers is infectious, making it one of the most exhilarating and vibrant places to celebrate New Year's in the world.

4. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh New Year

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a magical and time-honored tradition known as "Hogmanay." This world-renowned festival spans several days, offering an immersive cultural experience unlike any other. The festivities kick off with a torchlight procession through the historic streets of Edinburgh, where thousands of people carry flaming torches to create a stunning river of light. This enchanting procession winds its way to Holyrood Park, where a spectacular fireworks display illuminates the night sky and marks the beginning of the celebration.

The heart of Edinburgh's Hogmanay festivities lies in the famous street party, held in the city center. Princes Street, with its stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, becomes a lively stage for live music, dance performances, and a jubilant atmosphere that lasts well into the early hours of the new year. The traditional "Auld Lang Syne" is sung with gusto by the crowd, creating a sense of unity and friendship among revelers from all over the world. For those seeking a more intimate experience, Edinburgh offers various ticketed events, including concerts and galas, and the opportunity to join the "Loony Dook" — a plunge into the icy waters of the Firth of Forth on New Year's Day.

5. Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto New Year Temple Bells
Source: Sharing Kyoto

Celebrating New Year's in Kyoto, Japan is a serene and spiritually enriching experience that invites visitors to embrace the traditions and customs of this ancient city. The Japanese New Year, known as "Oshogatsu," is a time of deep reflection and family bonding. One of the most cherished traditions is the ringing of temple bells, which takes place at midnight on New Year's Eve. Many temples throughout Kyoto, including Kiyomizu-Dera and Chion-in, open their doors to the public for this occasion, allowing visitors to join the locals in the joyous act of ringing the massive temple bells 108 times, symbolizing the 108 earthly desires that people must overcome to attain enlightenment. The resonant sound of the bells fills the air, imparting a sense of renewal and spiritual awakening.

In addition to temple ceremonies, Kyoto residents observe other customs during the New Year. Visiting a shrine to pray for good fortune, health, and happiness in the coming year is a common practice. Yasaka Shrine, with its charming lantern-lined pathways, and Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, are popular destinations for this purpose. Traditional foods like "osechi ryori" (New Year's dishes) and "zoni" (a hearty soup with rice cakes) are shared among families and friends.

6. Alishan, Taiwan

When celebrating New Year's in Taiwan, most people would immediately think of the many countdown parties and fireworks displays, especially the parties at the iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper. However, if you were looking for something different, consider heading up to Alishan for the New Year!

Alishan New Year

Compared to what you can expect to find in the major metropolitan cities in Taiwan, the celebrations there are of a much smaller scale — but it sure is a cozy experience! One of the main highlights of celebrating New Year's at Alishan is not so much the countdown to the New Year, but rather, the opportunity to catch the first sunrise of the year. Be sure to wake up early at the break of dawn to catch the beautiful sunrise from the mountains and start your year well! If you are planning to head up to Alishan for the countdown, remember to book your accommodation early, as accommodation is limited and they tend to be fully booked really early on.

7. Madrid, Spain

Madrid New Year

New Year's Eve in Madrid, Spain, is a spirited and lively affair that captivates visitors with its combination of tradition and modernity. The city's iconic celebration takes place in Puerta del Sol, where thousands of people gather to witness the striking of the clock on the Royal House of the Post Office. As the clock's hands reach midnight, Madrileños partake in the tradition of eating twelve grapes, one for each chime of the clock, to secure good luck in the coming year. The streets come alive with joyful cheers, as confetti fills the air and the sky is illuminated by a dazzling display of fireworks. The atmosphere is infectious, and locals often take to the streets to celebrate with family and friends, making it a heartwarming and inclusive way to usher in the new year.

For those seeking a more upscale New Year's experience, Madrid offers a wide range of elegant restaurants, hotels, and clubs that host lavish parties and special dining events. The city's thriving nightlife comes to the forefront as people dance, toast with cava (Spanish sparkling wine), and indulge in traditional Spanish dishes. With a backdrop of stunning architecture, historic landmarks, and a vibrant atmosphere, Madrid's New Year's Eve celebration provides a delightful combination of old-world charm and contemporary revelry, making it a fantastic destination for an unforgettable start to the new year.

8. London, United Kingdom

Celebrating New Year in London is an exciting and vibrant experience with a multitude of iconic locations to explore. To kick off your evening, we suggest heading to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament where the iconic bell chimes in the new year, and the night sky ignites with fireworks, offering a picturesque backdrop to your celebration. For a lively atmosphere, make your way to the South Bank along the Thames, teeming with lively bars, restaurants, and street performances. It’s an excellent spot to soak in the festivities and enjoy a prime view of the fireworks, but remember to make reservations in advance if you plan to dine at a riverside restaurant.

London New Year
Source: City Countdown

Trafalgar Square is another spirited destination, where you can revel in music, dancing, and the chimes of Big Ben projected on a large screen, joining the lively crowd of locals and tourists alike. Secure a spot for the breathtaking London New Year’s Eve fireworks display by purchasing tickets in advance. These fireworks usually illuminate the London Eye, creating a dazzling spectacle.

If you prefer a more organized celebration, you can book tickets for countdown parties at various bars, clubs, and venues across the city. While reveling in the festivities, don’t forget to take part in local traditions such as singing “Auld Lang Syne” as the clock strikes midnight and sharing New Year’s resolutions with fellow celebrants.

Get a Nomad travel eSIM to stay connected as you welcome the New Year

No matter where you decide to spend your New Year's Eve and welcome 2024, it is important for you to stay connected with your loved ones back at home. Nomad offers travel eSIMs in more than 165 destinations worldwide, with prices at affordable near-local rates. With a Nomad data eSIM, you can easily get on a call or video call with your loved ones, and countdown together with them as you bid goodbye to 2023 and welcome 2024!

Simply create an account with Nomad, search for the plans that suits your needs best, and check out your eSIM plan. Upon successful purchase, you will receive an email consisting installation and activation instructions (not to worry, it is easy to install a Nomad eSIM). Just take note that you will need a stable internet connection to purchase and install your eSIM, so it is recommended that you do it before you depart!