NYE Wanderlust

Think back to your most epic New Year’s Eve. Was it the big party with live music, the stunning fireworks show, or the people you shared the countdown with that made it such a standout? In truth, any destination can be your next amazing New Year’s Eve if you’ve brought your favourite people with you. So, to spark ideas for your next adventure, big or small, here is our list of the top 10 best places to spend New Year’s Eve. 🎉

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  1. London, England: Enjoy fireworks, live music, and delicious food this NYE!
  2. Hong Kong, China: Delight in the unforgettable symphony of lights and musical fireworks.
  3. Sydney, Australia: Feel the summer vibes and welcome the new year!
  4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Don’t miss the bash at Copacabana Beach.
  5. Cape Town, South Africa: Join in the spectacular NYE Joy and Magic 2023 celebration!
  6. Quebec City, Canada: Be charmed by the festive displays and dazzling lights of this snowy city.
  7. Prague, Czech Republic: Catch a spectacular fireworks and light show on New Year’s Day!
  8. Dublin, Ireland: Cozy up in an iconic Irish pub for live music and cheer.
  9. New York City, USA: Imagine watching the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball drop in person!
  10. Reykjavik, Iceland: Be enchanted by the magical northern lights glowing over the city.

Photo: Elisa in Quebec City for Flytographer. Jessica and family capture memories in Quebec City with a vacation photoshoot at Quartier Petit Champlain.

1. London, England

With the River Thames and London Eye Ferris wheel 🎡, this British city is an iconic destination for any New Year’s Eve celebration. The evening’s over-the-top fireworks and live entertainment are so popular that this has been a ticketed event since 2014. But there are plenty of other ways to join in on the fun. An evening cruise is one fantastic option: you’re right on the water with the fireworks above you, close enough to see the live entertainment and hear Big Ben’s famous chimes at midnight, and yet away from the big crowds. Champagne-toasting party-seekers might want to score a spot at the London Sky Bar (purported to have the best view in London), or you could always sit back and enjoy the view over a late dessert at one of these London restaurants with spectacular fireworks views. 🎆

Photo: Jimmy in London for Flytographer. Chloe and partner capture memories in London with a photoshoot at Covent Garden & Piccadilly.

2. Hong Kong, China

Victoria Harbour, nestled in the heart of downtown Hong Kong, remains a major attraction year-round, but it’s especially amazing leading up to the New Year with the dazzling Symphony of Lights spectacle—a signature evening extravaganza. ✨ Even though Lunar New Year isn’t until February, Hong Kong still does a special countdown on December 31st. A shooting stars display kicks off at 11 p.m., repeating at intervals until the musical New Year’s Eve fireworks show starts at midnight. The best viewing points to welcome the new year are the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, Hong Kong Island, or Golden Bauhinia Square. This city is by far one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve! 

📍 Top Tip: The weather in Hong Kong ranges from 10°C to 26°C, so standing outside at night won’t be a miserable affair!

Photo: Chris in Hong Kong for Flytographer. Emily and partner capture memories in Hong Kong with a couples photoshoot in Central Hong Kong.

3. Sydney, Australia

Embrace sun-kissed vibes and swimsuits because December 31st marks the peak of summer in Sydney! ☀️ And when it comes to New Year’s Eve, Sydney doesn’t hold back on the festivities. In Sydney Harbour, the pre-show excitement starts at 6 p.m. with a flying ace aerial display and a dazzling tugboat water showcase. At 7:30 p.m., Gadigal Elders extend a warm welcome to Gadigal land, presenting a unique cultural ritual. Then at 9 p.m., the first fireworks display lights up the sky, allowing little ones to join the countdown celebration. As the clock ticks closer to midnight, the entire harbour glimmers with a spectacular showcase of illuminated ship choreography. 🚢 And when the new year strikes, the main fireworks extravaganza launches from spots all around the harbour (including the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, the majestic Sydney Opera House, and strategically positioned barges), painting the sky with a breathtaking display of sparkling colours and marking the pinnacle of the night’s festivities. 🥳

Photo: Jeff in Sydney for Flytographer. Lyndsey and family capture memories in Sydney with a family photoshoot at Sydney Harbour Walk.

4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

If a colossal beach bash is what you seek, look no further. Rio de Janeiro hosts a gathering of millions to celebrate life and ring in the New Year—an event even bigger than Brazil’s renowned carnival! 🎠 Boarding the metro bound for Copacabana Beach places you right in the heart of the festivities around Copacabana Palace. Arriving early (around 10 p.m. according to locals) secures you a prime spot amidst the vibrant celebration. While there’s no official dress code, many Brazilians dress in white to symbolize peace. 🤍 Stretching across four miles, a colossal stage becomes the epicentre of nightlife! Dance and music performances follow a spectacular display of fireworks that lights up the sky. The energy and rhythm of the night take over, ensuring an unforgettable start to the new year against the backdrop of the stunning waterfront. 🏝️

Photo: Ana in Rio de Janeiro for Flytographer. Ishaan and partner capture memories in Rio de Janeiro with a honeymoon photoshoot on Vermelha Beach.

5. Cape Town, South Africa

For a memorable New Year’s Eve in Cape Town, we’re setting our sights on the V&A Waterfront. Hosting an array of cruise boats, museums, an impressive variety of restaurants (80 plus), and boutique shopping nestled among 22 historical landmarks, it’s one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve. 🎊 On December 31st, you can indulge in an incredible lineup of DJs and other artists. Delight in the grand fireworks display as you take in the evening’s nightlife and entertainment. Click here to explore more details of Cape Town’s vibrant nightlife, restaurant packages, and events to ensure a celebration that perfectly suits your New Year’s Eve in South Africa! 🇿🇦

Photo: Nadine in Cape Town for Flytographer. Danielle and partner capture memories in Cape Town with a honeymoon photoshoot on Clifton 4th Beach.

6. Quebec City, Canada

Once you’re cozily layered up, whisk your beloved away for a frosty fairy-tale adventure to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Quebec City! ❄️ Adorned with delightful holiday decorations, this charming city boasts a postcard-perfect winter scene complete with twinkling lights and festive displays. ☃️ Here, a multitude of top-notch gourmet restaurants and bars have ingeniously fashioned heated outdoor patio spaces, featuring fire pits, robust industrial heaters, and cozy blankets—ideal spots for revellers to savour the ambiance. And true to Quebec’s spirit, delectable treats abound, from maple syrup candy sticks to DIY marshmallow roasting at Place Georges V. Spend New Year’s Eve tobogganing, snowshoeing, or ice skating before joining the convivial camaraderie of fellow New Year’s Eve celebrants come nightfall. ⛸️

Photo: Flytographer in Quebec City. Tiare and partner capture memories in Quebec City with an engagement photoshoot at Quartier Petit Champlain.

7. Prague, Czech Republic

With the majestic Vltava River running through the middle of the city, Prague boasts a mesmerizing tapestry of architectural wonders (a fusion of Romanesque, Gothic, and Rococo styles) that crown it as one of Europe’s most breathtaking cities with some of the most incredible views. Not to mention, it’s one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve! A night spent in Prague’s public squares, gazing upon spectacular fireworks illuminating the river, promises to be an unforgettable spectacle. 🎇 Now, here’s the intriguing twist: Prague reserves its fireworks for New Year’s Day at 6 p.m. This thoughtful timing ensures that your New Year’s Eve revelries (like the iconic New Year’s Eve performance of a Mozart opera at the Estates Theatre or a lavish hotel soirée) won’t clash with the long-awaited fireworks spectacular.

Photo: Eliška in Prague for Flytographer. Scott and partner capture memories in Prague with a proposal photoshoot at Charles Bridge.

8. Dublin, Ireland

The cobblestone streets of Dublin, adorned with cozy pubs and exuding charm even on the rainiest days, transform into something truly magical when the entire city joins in the New Year’s Eve festivities. 🍻 Enter Custom House, one of Dublin’s iconic landmarks, which becomes the centre of the celebration. At 11:30 p.m., this 18th-century gem becomes the canvas for a free light show extravaganza. Picture this: the stone walls ablaze with a mesmerizing display of lasers and aqua beams, accompanied by live music—a spectacle to dazzle the senses. 🎉 And families with little ones need not worry about bedtime, as there’s a special earlier version at 6 p.m.!

Photo: Inés in Dublin for Flytographer. Holly and partner capture memories in Dublin with a photoshoot at Ha’penny Bridge & the Temple Bar District.

9. New York City, USA

The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball serves as the iconic focal point for countless celebrations in America and worldwide, so imagine having the opportunity to witness the ball drop in person this year! 🪩 The ball ascends to the top of its flagpole at One Times Square by 6 p.m., but if you aim to secure a spot, plan to arrive in Times Square around noon. The live music commences at 8 p.m. Be ready to blow noisemakers and cheer exuberantly until the ball drops and the crowd goes wild! 🎊 🎶

Seeking a more family-friendly, relaxed vibe? Head to Prospect Park to catch the free fireworks. Or, for a more spirited venture, consider joining the annual four-mile New Year’s Eve Midnight Run for the sheer thrill of it. Whether you’re in the heart of the bustling Times Square festivities, spending time with family in the park, or trying out a late-night road race for your celebration, New York City is one of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve! 🌃

Photo: Amanda in New York City for Flytographer. Sarah captures memories in New York City with a photoshoot in Times Square.

10. Reykjavik, Iceland

If the idea of partying until dawn isn’t your scene, fear not—there’s a New Year’s Eve destination tailored just for you. If you’re seeking an intimate and serene getaway, may we present the allure of a secluded Icelandic cabin? 🌲 Picture yourself nestled indoors, cocooned under alpaca wool blankets, surrounded by board games, and sipping hot cocoa ☕️, all while marvelling at the amazing views of the northern lights. Toast the New Year with a close-knit group of friends, dressed either in your most elegant party attire or in snug pjs and fuzzy slippers—after all, it’s your New Year’s Eve party, and you set the vibe. There’s an array of charming Airbnb options in Iceland offering tucked-away havens. We particularly adore this cabin near the Blue Lagoon, promising a cozy retreat for a memorable and intimately enchanting New Year’s Eve. ❄️

Photo: Rakel in Reykjavik for Flytographer. Amy and partner capture memories in Reykjavik with an engagement photoshoot at Red Hills.

Capturing Memories Over New Year’s Eve

As the countdown begins, and the world anticipates the arrival of the new year, the options for an unforgettable celebration are endless! 🎉 Whether you seek the energy of an American city like New York or the charm of a European gem like Prague, the anticipation of the new year is palpable.

Honourable mentions for celebrating New Year’s Eve span the globe, from the dazzling countdowns in Bangkok and Tokyo to the vibrant energy of Las Vegas and Los Angeles and the captivating festivities in Paris. No matter where you choose to embrace this momentous occasion, we wish you a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration! 🍾 We can’t wait to capture your memories, so you can look back on them for years to come. 📸