Stay calm, plan ahead and be prepared. No, that’s not the motto of the Boy Scouts it’s our advice for getting the most out of your upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration. But don’t worry; from the first hint of 2015 in Sydney to the never-ending “fireworks” of the Northern Lights in Iceland, our goal is to help you plan your best Out-With-the-Old party yet. Raucous, ribald or relaxing whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find a celebration to suit your mood, along with the best spots to drink, dine, dance and crash on GAYOT’s list of the Top 10 New Year’s Eve Destinations in the World.
New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas
Enjoy dancing (and drinking) in the streets with more than 300,000 fellow partiers. Take your pick: the free-for-all, nightclub-strewn Strip or the 21-and-over Fremont Street Experience with three stages and nine hours of live bands; both are closed to traffic. Listen to the crowds roar at midnight when fireworks erupt from casino roofs around the city.
New Year’s Eve in Berlin
One million-plus hedonists and hipsters can’t be wrong. The 1.2 mile stretch between the Victory Column and Brandenburg Gate is the place to celebrate Silvester German for New Year’s Eve. Live bands and fireworks highlight this notorious outdoor party. For those ready to start their resolutions early, here’s our alternative pick: the 39th annual New Year’s Eve Run through the idyllic Grünewald forest.
New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles
We love Hollywood’s exclusive club scene, rowdy pub crawls and over-the-top Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball, but this year downtown’s new Grand Park features live music, art installations, food trucks and a digital video show on the walls of City Hall. Post midnight, head to Pasadena to watch floats being assembled for the legendary New Year’s Day Tournament of Roses Parade.
New Year’s Eve in Iceland
When the sun sets around 4 p.m., visitors in Reykjavik bide their time while locals enjoy mass, neighborhood bonfires and an annual comedy show on T.V. Come midnight, though, Iceland’s capital explodes with 500 tons of fireworks. If you’re lucky, the Northern Lights will blaze above the city, too. Making up for the late start, bars and clubs beckon until five in the morning.
New Year’s Eve in Sydney
A breathtaking light parade on Sydney Harbour? Check. Spectacular fireworks? Check. More than a million people gathered to be among the first to usher in 2015? Double check. For an unforgettable front row seat, grab tickets for one of the city’s best events with a view — we suggest the Royal Botanic Gardens or the La Bohème gala at the Opera House.
New Year’s Eve in New Orleans
No slouch when it comes to throwing a party, the Big Easy rings in the New Year with vigor and verve. The place to be: Jackson Square, where Baby New Year drops from the top of Jax Brewery at midnight while fireworks scatter over the Mississippi River book a steamboat cruise for prime viewing. Afterward, let the good times roll with all-night revelry on Bourbon Street.
New Year’s Eve in London
London lights up as fireworks shoot from rafts on the Thames and the foot of the London Eye. Best spots for watching: Victoria Embankment and the South Bank. Many areas require tickets, so check ahead. Better yet, hire a barge for exclusive views, then head for the pubs to sing Auld Lang Syne. But don’t stay out too late; the New Year’s Day parade is one of London’s major events.
New Year’s Eve in New York City
Blinding neon, world-class performers and that famous ball drop. Times Square is a given for merrymakers who want to go the classic route. As for those who prefer their festivities with an edge, there’s only one choice. Purchase an Official All-Access Meatpacking District Party Pass and you’ll glide past the velvet ropes at the neighborhood’s top bars and clubs premium open bars included and bragging rights guaranteed.
New Year’s Eve in Miami
The biggest fireworks show south of Times Square. Where? Bayfront Park, home to The Big Orange — live bands, family-friendly festivities, fireworks over Biscayne Bay and a midnight countdown as a 35-foot neon orange descends from the top of the InterContinental Miami.
New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro
Grab yourself a Caipirinha and sink into the massive crowd of over two million in one of the most stimulating cities around the globe. Set dramatically between jungle-covered mountains, famous beaches and Guanabara Bay, Rio seemingly has it all: gorgeous views from Sugarloaf Mountain, some of the world’s sexiest people and to-die-for restaurants for reveling.