New Year’s Eve in Europe: Five alternative destinations to party and countdown on the last day of December
Skip the obvious NYE hotspots in Europe (London, Berlin), and spend the last/first day of the year partying in Lisbon, Vienna, Geneva, Zagreb, or Valletta
There are plenty of ways to spend the New Year in Europe, from dancing to electro beats in Berlin, clubbing in Glasgow or taking in the fireworks from the London Eye. But why not try something different this New Year’s Eve? If you’re in Europe and haven’t quite decided where to go to celebrate, here’s a selection of alternative European destinations for partying the night away on December 31:
Revelers head to the Praça do Comercio (picture above) for the annual ritual of eating 12 raisins as the clock strikes midnight. Festivities usually include a light and sound show as well as a fireworks display. Traditionally, a fireworks display is also held in the Bélem neighborhood, home to the Torre de Bélem tower and the famous Pastéis de Belem shop, selling Portugal‘s tasty “pastéis de nata” custard tarts. Celebrations start in the morning, with a 10km running race called “El Corte Inglès São Silvestre,” starting 10:30am from Avenida da Libertade.
Visitors to Vienna can stroll through the Silvesterpfad (New Year’s Eve Trail), the city’s annual street party, sampling various specialties. The Vienna New Year’s Eve Ball is another internationally renowned event, where dancing takes center stage. Vienna’s dance schools even offer open-air waltz lessons to help revelers brush up on their skills. The Austrian capital has a magical atmosphere through the whole holiday season. New Year’s celebrations start in the afternoon of December 31 in the old town. Head to Rathausplatz and the Prater. A fireworks display is held at the Rathaus (city hall). The party carries on into the next day, with a concert from Vienna philharmonic shown on a big screen while revelers tuck into a well-earned breakfast.
Three stages will be set up for partygoers on the Quai du Mont-Blanc, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Music will start at 7pm and there’ll be something for everyone, with jazz, funk and disco. The main stage stars DJ Tim Paris, playing a set from 10pm. Electro fans can head to the Bains des Pâquis, where a lounge area will offer a more chilled-out vibe. Festivities will continue until 3am. Visitors who don’t fear the cold can return to Lake Geneva the following day for the traditional New Year’s Day swim.
The Croatian capital isn’t just a hotspot for summer sunshine. Visitors can see in the New Year with a trip to the ice rink at King Tomislav Square, skating around to the sound of live music. Ban Jelacic Square, the biggest public square in the Croatian capital, is a meeting point for revelers looking to party through the night.
Visitors to Southern Europe can enjoy a musical New Year’s Eve in Malta’s capital, Valletta. This European Capital of Culture for 2018 is once again holding a free concert in St George’s Square, with 10 local and international acts taking to the stage. Celebrations will be held on the seafront, where a fireworks and confetti display will add to the festive atmosphere.