The struggle with New Year’s Eve plans – 8 insider ideas on what to do.

New Year’s Eve… It’s a night just like any other except for people making the biggest fuss around it and planning 5 months in advance. This year, for example, I still have no idea what I’m gonna do but I know it’ll be a fun night regardless. And if not, I still have around 364 nights left in 2018 to make up for it.

I’ve asked a few fellow travel bloggers about the coolest – or worst – NYEs they’ve had and put together a list for you. Maybe it’s an inspiration? I guess most of them are not feasible just a month in advance but you might put them on your bucket list for one of the coming NYEs. So let’s go.

#1 New York City, USA

New York City, where the ball drops at exactly 12am on January 1st – sounds like a dream right? It seems like a place where a lot of people spent NYE: Read about a few bloggers’ best nights.

ball drop NYE New York

Photo by Kiyoko from Footsteps of a Dreamer

“My best New Year’s experience was being in Times Square, New York City to watch the ball drop. I’d probably do it again (although probably not for a few years). It’s not for the faint of heart, but I feel like it’s something everybody should experience at least once in their lifetime!” – Kiyoko, Footsteps of a Dreamer.
Read more about her experience at Times Square, NYC here.

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NYC Skyline, Photo by Daniela from The Thought Card

“New York City is one of my favorite cities to celebrate New Year’s. Watch the ball drop at Times Square, head to a rooftop lounge like Lovage Rooftop or have dinner at a cozy restaurant. Nevertheless, a few years ago, I decided to do something a little different. I spent New Year’s at Madison Square Garden (MSG) where I jammed out to my favorite DJ, Skrillex. A ton of surprise guests graced the stage and over 18,000 people were in attendance that night.
I’m still trying to top that epic
night!” – Danielle, The Thought Card

#2 Moscow, Russia

Moscow.. I’ve never been but I always wanted to go. In the winter time though? Maybe not.. But Katie from What’s Katie Doing? did and she had a blast!


Did definitely look like they had fun, right? Photo by Katie from What’s Katie Doing?

“You might think that choosing a place known for its extreme Winter cold is not the best way to spend NYE, but it’s amazing to be in a crowd of locals and tourists watching the fireworks over the Kremlin! Don’t expect to be able to do this in the Red Sqaure – they close it due to security concerns. But you can easily find a spot by the river to watch the fireworks over the beautiful iconic St Basil’s cathedral and celebrate with some vodka* shared around the crowd!
*Appropriate clothing is required on top of the vodka coat! However we were lucky and it was just above freezing – positively hot for Russia at that time of year.”
– Katie, What’s Katie doing?
Read Katie’s reasons on why visiting Moscow in the winter time isn’t a bad idea at all here.

#3 Sri Lanka

New Year’s at the beach? Definitely always a good idea!

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Sri Lankan Beach. Not too bad for a NYE.

“Last year, my husband and I spent the New Year’s Eve in Sri Lanka. In Dodanduwa, to be more precise, a village close to Hikkaduwa. I was way too excited about it, imagining partying on the beach, having fun with cool people. But although Dodanduwa has a wonderful beach, it is also a quiet one. So no bars or restaurants. We decided to check Hikkaduwa and see if we can arrange something. But all the places were asking for ridiculous amounts of money! And when you are on a one year travelling adventure, you kinda think twice before throwing money on parties.
So we decided to give up and just go with the flow. Before midnight we hopped in our tuk-tukand headed to the beach at Hikkaduwa. We simply wanted to enjoy the beach and the fireworks. We weren’t expecting anything much but it turned out to be one sweet New Year’s Eve. We relaxed on the beach, laughed with the locals who were dancing around, and enjoyed the fireworks. And we didn’t regret not going to any party at all. Because from a distance they sure didn’t look that fun. So maybe sometimes it’s better to let go of your high expectations and enjoy the moment. And make sure to make a good wish on your next New Year’s Eve!” – Andra, Our World to Wander

#4 Istanbul, Turkey

I guess after what happened in Istanbul last year on NYE (and all the shit that happens in the world at the moment), people might think twice about going there. So maybe this will make you consider in case you are hesistant!


“Istanbul is a great city to spend New Year’s Eve, as the Turkish people really know about good hospitality. Most people stay around the popular Taksim Square and Istiklal Street to celebrate. But the more intimate experience happens in small side streets of Kadıköy or Nişantaşı where people hang out in bars and pubs and just celebrate the moment. Not to forget that Istanbul also offers some great fireworks that are launched from various areas around the city and enlighten the sky over the silhouettes of the big mosques.” – Clemens, Travellers Archive
Read more about Istanbul in Clemens’ Turkey Travel Guide

#5 Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is a crazy city either way. I can only imagine how wonderful it is on NYE! Dawn from Grey Traveller had the pleasure of experiencing it – without even having to be pushed around by the hundreds of people on the street.


Photo by Dawn from Grey Traveller

“My first visit to Asia was to Bangkok and my they know how to put on a great firework spread! We were lucky enough to be staying at The Shangri La Hotel with a balcony overlooking the river, best view in the city without the crowds!” – Dawn from Grey Traveller

#6 Nagoya, Japan

Japan. Also very high on my bucket list. Dinh-Long decided to not stay in Tokyo for NYE but try another city: Nagoys. And he had a very surprisingly good night!


Nagoy, Photo by Dinh-Long

“December 30th, I decided, on a whim, to take a night bus to Nagoya from Tokyo. Nagoya is mostly known not to be a crazy NYE city: as a matter of fact, it was a bit of a ghost city as most shops closed for the occasion. But I had one of the best NYE of my life! Strolling all day at Osu Shopping District buying random Japanese things and watching street artists, coming back to the Hostel’s New Year’s traditional Soba Soup & Sake party, before following the flow to a J-Pop concert in Nagoya Castle!” – Dinh-Long from DLPlayground

#7 Reykjavik, Iceland

Another cold destination I would love to go to. Maybe I should consider it for New Year’s one day?


“Icelanders celebrate New Years with community bonfires and a firework display that spreads far and wide across the city. It’s the most incredible experience, so head up somewhere high and take it all in. Every direction you look you will see fireworks and they’re not just let off in the countdown to midnight, it’s a 6 hour affair!” – Verity, Veritru

#8 Sydney, Australia

I love Sydney. It’s definitely one of my favourite cities around and I’m already excited to be back there one day. Maybe gor another NYE, who knows.

Fireworks over the Harbour Bridge, Sydney

“And now it’s my turn. In 2013 I spent NYE in Sydney. And it was definitely worth the experience! Because it was our first (and probably only NYE) we decided to do it the touristy way and watch the fireworks over the Harbour Bridge. We stood in line for a while to get into the Botanical Gardens, where we had to wait in the heat until the first Fireworks went off (there are three, at 10pm, 11pm and midnight). It was a great spectacle but not being able to bring any alcohol in and not really having any shade to sit in made the waiting a lot harder. So maybe I wouldn’t do it anymore. But in real life what I used to watch on TV multiple times was pretty cool after all.” – myself, Anywhere’s Perfect

The picture was taken by my Mum, who celebrated NYE in Sydney the same year I did but a bit more fancy: on a boat overlooking the harbour bridge and the opera house.