New Year's Eve abroad: Tips from the US, Europe and South America

The turn of the year is a rite of passage, right? And who has never dreamed of spending New Year's Eve abroad, cast the first stone! There are so many options that you can choose from tropical landscapes to freezing scenarios with the certainty that you will live indescribable experiences.

Fact is that with the coronavirus, travel withdrawal was felt on the skin along with many other emotions, but now as post-pandemic tourism begins to heat up, many people are looking for a way to make up for lost time by booking domestic and international travel, and travelling abroad has been a popular choice!

Any international trip by itself is worth it, after all it is an intercultural experience that everyone should have one day! On a special date like New Year's Eve, of course!

Why travel on New Year's Eve?

Because it's a holiday, because it's the end of the year, because it's close to Christmas, because for many it means a new beginning not only of the year, but of goals, dreams, achievements and promises. And because you want it!

Between us, Brazilians are already used to New Year's Eve parties on the beach, jumping on waves and making requests to Yemanjá (although this is not their belief, all help is always welcome when it comes to a new challenge like the year that's about to arrive) and so they want to live experiences other than just walking on the sand and drinking caipirinha.

"Where to go then?", the question arises. Happy Tours will give you some tips, stay tuned!

People toasting during the new year

New Year's Eve abroad: where to go?

As mentioned, New Year's Eve celebrations outside of Brazil are, for sure, different. Local, regional and family cultures shape these celebrations, but one thing is universal: the joy of watching the clock strike midnight is magical, and for some reason we wholeheartedly believe that a new world has arrived and that what was not so good is in the past.

And can we improve on this emotion? Absolutely! These few hours can be imprinted in your mind, and if you trust that New Year's Eve and the first day of the year dictate how the next year will be, how about living this experience internationally?

Do you want heat or cold? Busy city life or more contact with nature? South America, Europe or North America? Why not get to know the most popular destinations in all three and then choose?

Destinations in South America

Well, the Brazilians are already in South America, and for those who prefer not so long plane trips they can choose cities in this continent. In fact, you can even invest in a road trip across the country from here to one of the destination countries!

1. New Year in Uruguay

To begin the tips for the continent we live in we chose to start right away with the city of Montevideo.

In the new year, this destination has a very hot climate, ok? Mainly because it is a coastal city. New Year's Eve can be enjoyed in many ways:

  • On the Rambla seafront: very close to what you know in Brazil, but in Uruguay, New Year's Eve on the seafront brings together many people to enjoy, listen to music and wait for the fireworks to start at midnight to toast;
  • in a luxurious dinner at the Mercado del Puerto: Montevideo's restaurants are incredible, believe me!
  • in the centre or in the ciudad vieja (neighbourhoods), celebrate by tearing up agendas: these neighbourhoods are where the city offices are located, and on the 31st it is customary for employees to punch in around midnight and tear up their agendas and throw the sheets out the window. Trust me, it's pretty cool!
  • how about a tango? Every New Year's Eve in Montevideo there is a great and free open-air tango party.

Still in Uruguay you can go to Punta del Este, if you are looking for a somewhat more refined and luxurious New Year! Make a reservation in a good restaurant or in some end-of-year party in the hotels and enjoy!

2. New Year in Argentina

For those who like to toast the arrival of the New Year with a drink other than water - and preferably a good wine or sparkling wine - how about going to Argentina on New Year's Eve?

Take the opportunity to try the typical Argentinean drink on New Year's Eve: Lemoncello! Lemon sorbet + sparkling wine or champagne and the drink is ready!

In Buenos Aires, there's a firework display at Puerto Madeiro and balloons (like Saint John's!) lighting up the sky. And don't worry, the city never sleeps: after supper you'll find parties in every neighbourhood, especially in Palermo, the most bohemian part of the capital!

Are you looking for a radical change of scenery? Then go to Ushuaia, in the Argentine Patagonia. It may not snow on 31 December, but the cold of the southernmost city on earth is constant (average of 10º in the summer months). Mountains, lakes and glaciers are what await you!

3. New Year in Chile

In the Chilean New Year nobody cares about the colours of their clothes, in fact their New Year's Eve is very similar to the Brazilian carnival, full of costumes, props and masks. In the beach cities of Valpraíso and Viña del Mar New Year's Eve is usually very lively.

If you want to party, the best time to do it is New Year's Eve in the capital Santiago!

4. New Year in Colombia

For those who want to spend New Year's Eve in Colombia, our recommendation is Cartagena: even the streets are taken by the party, imagine the nightclubs!

Make a note of these locations:

  • Mister Babila: the street;
  • Santa Clara Hotel: more sophisticated;
  • Café del Mar: uncluttered and open-air.

Destinations in Europe

Man in an open landscape with fireworks going on in the background

If there's one thing Brazilians know how to do, it's party, so for New Year's Eve in Europe to be lively you'll need to put your finger on it. Most Europeans consider this holiday as any other, since for them "the last day of December is always the same as the first day of January".

Even if it's not a continent with such lively New Year's Eve parties, it's Europe, right? Also, at this time of the year it's winter, so be prepared for the cold!

5. Berlin, Germany

Have you ever thought of seeing the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate lit up by fireworks on New Year's Eve? This is one of Berlin's typical New Year's Eve celebrations, and believe me, it will be well worth it.

If having the opportunity to observe these monuments on a normal day, imagine on New Year's Eve when everything gets a little more magical?!

You can be very elegant at New Year's in Germany!

6. Venice - Italy

This destination is always recommended for honeymoons or other romantic trips, but we want to break that pattern! Venice is amazing on New Year's Eve, even if you want to take a road trip around the city!

Venice, like most places in the world, offers in its territory from private parties in hotels to public and open-air parties, and it is about this last one that we have an indication: Have you ever thought of attending a masquerade event in Piazza San Marco? Well, that's exactly how the Venetian New Year's Eve is, and the name of this dinner is "White Venice Capodanno a Venezia".

The fireworks display is just nearby, on the Riva degli Schiavoni.

7. Edinburgh - Scotland

The Edinburgh Hogmanay (Scottish term for New Year's Eve) is a 3-day festival of art and music that takes place in the historic streets and gardens of the Scottish capital on New Year's Eve. It starts on the 30th December and the celebrations last all night long!

This is one of the liveliest in the world and definitely worth getting on your European itinerary if you're looking for a lot of fun in the European cold!

Destinations in North America

Visiting Uncle Sam's land is a dream of many Brazilians, and if you can combine it with New Year's Eve in North America, even better!

To begin with, the United States is the most visited country in North America, and the second important piece of information is that there the turn of the year is called "New Year's Eve". We have tips three places to celebrate the arrival of the year:

7. Times Square - United States

The most traditional fireworks display in the United States is in New York, in Times Square, with the famous ball drop!

The Avenue is crowded with people waiting for the luminous ball to descend over 40 metres in 60 seconds representing the beginning of a new cycle. The light show is incredible!

8. Disney Orlando - United States

It's no secret that the most popular week at Disney is the one with New Year's Eve and Christmas, and the magic of that time of the year is combined with the atmosphere and makes everything even more impressive!

But be prepared: you must arrive early to be able to stay until the time of the fireworks. Pay attention to the Times Guide (Disney programming) of each park, since they are done separately.

The parks that do the best turn of the year programming are, in this order:

  • Magic Kingdom;
  • Epcot;
  • Hollywood Studios;
  • Animal Kingdom.

So, have you decided where in the world you want to enjoy your New Year's Eve? Count on Happy Tours to make your trip as comfortable as you deserve!

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