The New Year is supposed to come in with a bang to set it apart from all the others. To make yours memorable, we’ve compiled a list of the best New Year’s celebrations in Europe. So swap out your traditional plans, and welcome 2015 at one of these New Year’s Eve bashes.
Loving Apartments conveniently offers accommodation in each of the locations listed. So if any take your fancy, check out our apartments and make reservations to join in all the festivities.
Silvester (New Year’s Eve) in Berlin is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You’ll find Berliners tossing firecrackers and shooting small fireworks from windows, making a lively and dazzling celebration. A lot of the festivities take place at Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column with over one million visitors – both local and from all over the world. Many others venture to the top of Teufelsberg, Grunewald or Viktoria Park to get a spectacular view of the grand fireworks at the end of the evening. You can be certain that the party will continue well past midnight into the early morning hours.
‘Happy New Year': Prosit Neujah
The Dutch in Amsterdam start counting down their Oudejaarsavond (New Year’s) in the square in front of the Rijksmuseum on Museumsplein. Champagne will be flowing all night. Oliebollen (fried dough, apples and raisins) will be consumed. Sparkling fireworks will be launched in front of Scheepvaartmuseum, and merriment will be had by all until the crack of dawn. You’ll also want to check out Dam Square and Nieuwmarkt for free concerts, small firework displays, beer tents and countless food stands.
‘Happy New Year': Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
PragueNot only does Prague host an impressive display of fireworks for their Silvestr (New Year’s) over Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square at midnight, but they also have another glittery show at the Prague City Hall at 6 pm on New Year’s day, making it family-friendly as well. The New Year’s celebrations also continue the next day with a traditional lunch of lentils – thought to ensure family wealth. You won’t find any poultry offered for lunch New Year’s Day because it is believed to supposedly block good fortune. Prague’s castles and bridges are a magical back drop for your next New Year’s celebration.
‘Happy New Year': Šťastný Nový Rok
Budapest out-celebrates all other European cities with their three day New Year’s party at Vörösmarty Square from 30 December to 1 January. The square is full of music, live shows, drinks and kisses at midnight. The city runs public transport all night for convenience, and you’ll most likely stumble upon special events hosted by bars and restaurants throughout the entire city. On New Year’s Day, you can fight your hangover with kocsonya, a New Year’s traditional dish made with pig’s feet, and attend one of the many celebratory concerts hosted by the Palace of Arts and the Budapest Opera House.
‘Happy New Year': Boldog új évet
Paris doesn’t need to bother with a fireworks display when they are able to dazzle everyone with its light show at the Eiffel Tower. The Champs-Élysées provides an especially good view and ambiance on New Year’s Eve. The streets will be crowded with revellers; but if you are looking for an even more unique scene for your celebration, reserve a spot on a night boat cruise on the River Seine. And don’t forget, all the night clubs will be up and pulsing even more than normal to welcome the New Year. Some popular clubs to visit on the big night are Flûte l’Étoile, Mix Club and Point Éphémère.
‘Happy New Year': Bonne Année
The Puerta del Sol is Madrid‘s main hub for its jubilant crowds on Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve). There will be an endless supply of drinks, dancing, music and . . . grapes? The Spanish have a long-standing tradition of eating 12 grapes as the clock counts down to midnight. One grape per second, representing each month of the year. If you can get all of the grapes down by the time the clock strikes midnight, it is believed that you will have good luck and fortune for the entire year. So don’t be startled if you see thousands of people inhaling grapes at midnight. Then the night life of Madrid takes over until around 6 a.m. It will be a celebration of a lifetime . . . or at least until next year.
‘Happy New Year': Feliz Año Nuevo
> Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.