There seems to be a lull at the end of every December. After Christmas passes, there’s a strange week before January that feels like a bit of a no-man’s-land in time. But as odd as the week can feel, it allows time to make last-minute plans for New Year’s Eve. And if you’re still looking for somewhere to spend it (or inspiration for next year!), here are A Lady in London’s five best places to spend New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh is such a big deal that it has its own name: Hogmanay. The celebration lasts for three days, with everything from a torchlight parade through the city to a big fireworks display over the castle and a New Year’s Day tradition of swimming in the Firth of Forth in crazy costumes. The Hogmanay festivities are so famous they’re known throughout the world.
I went up to Edinburgh a few years ago to spend Hogmanay with a big group of travel bloggers, and had an amazing time. I loved the fireworks on the 31st, but the torchlight parade was one of the most awe-inspiring things I’ve ever taken part in. It was lovely to see all the flames lighting up the night sky!
If you want to spend New Year’s Eve in the most bizarre place on Earth, head to San Francisco. No, it’s not because the city itself is strange. It’s because due to the time zone, it’s one of the last places in the world to ring in the new year.
I spent New Year’s Eve in San Francisco a few years ago, and was struck by the fact that from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I counted down to midnight, everyone else on the planet was ringing in the new year ahead of me. It’s a bit surreal to feel like time has slowed down, but it’s worth it for the great street party and fireworks along the Embarcadero waterfront.
Naturally, London has to feature in my list of the best places for New Year’s Eve. But it’s not just because I’m biased. The fireworks over the Thames are up there with any big city’s display, and have the added bonus of having the London Eye and Big Ben as a backdrop.
I’ve been in London for New Year’s Eve a few times over the years, and experiencing the fireworks show is amazing. It’s something everyone should do at least once, even jaded Londoners that feel like they’re above rubbing elbows with tourists.
Another of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve is in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka. I know, it sounds random. But one of the best New Year’s Eve parties I’ve ever been to was at a bar called the Happy Banana on a big beach on the coast.
From a DJ on the sand to fireworks at midnight, it’s a great place to ring in the new year with a distinctly island vibe. And who wouldn’t want that?
New York City
New York City is the only place on my list of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve that I haven’t actually experienced myself. But after years of watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV as a child and hearing stories from friends that have spent New Year’s Eve in New York, I’ve always wanted to go. Hopefully one of these years I will get there. In the meantime, I will be enjoying New Year’s Eve in Scotland this year. Not bad!
How about you? Where’s the best place you’ve ever spent New Year’s Eve?