Are you bored of the same old New Year plans? Why not make a change this year and do something different? Celebrate the New Year in lesser-known destinations, which are unique and distinctive.
Be adventurous and even mark the end of the year in two different countries on the same night. See below ten great places to spend New Year’s Eve this year.
1. On the Aurora Winter Train in Alaska, USA
If you would go for an unusual thing to do on New Year’s Eve, the Aurora Winter Train in Alaska is an option to consider. You can book the trip for December 31st when you depart from Anchorage, heading to Fairbanks.
In Fairbanks, you can spend one night and experience one of the most beautiful sights in the world, the Aurora Borealis. While there, you can do aerial sightseeing of the Arctic Circle. Costs-wise, when making the Aurora Winter Train arrangements, if you book it for December 31st from Anchorage to Fairbanks, the price for a one-way ticket is $216.
Plan to book at least one night in Fairbanks, before returning to Anchorage.
2. Mount Takao, Japan
Another exciting place to celebrate New Year’s Eve and a place for the ones who like the outdoors and nature is Mount Takao. In Japan, for some, it has become a tradition to watch the sunrise of the new year at the top of Mount Takao.
It’s not as scary as it sounds. You can take a lift and cable car from the foothill to the middle (operating 24 hours on December 31st and January 1st). From here, you have only 40 minutes walking to the top.
This cable car is the steepest in the world and the trip lasts for 15-20 minutes. A one-way trip is around $5, and a round trip is about $8.50. It’s not a demanding mountain, with only 599 meters above sea level the reward when you get there is priceless.
You will enjoy a beautiful sunrise, and if it’s a clear day, you will get a glance at the breathtaking Mount Fiji.
On your way back, make sure to enter the temple Yakuo-in where it is believed that if you pray for good fortune, you are sure to have a good year ahead of you.
Due to high interest, make sure to book it way in advance and your accommodation.
3. Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, USA
Save $20 when you buy a 3-day or longer ticket online and spend New Year’s at a theme park. Not any, but Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, where you will enjoy the world’s most amazing fireworks. Orlando is a perfect family-friendly vacation destination, with room prices starting at $200 per night for two.
See below a list of all the different types of fun you can have:
- Park attractions and rides
- See Disney characters and entertainment
- Laser light and firework show at Happily Ever After
4. Göhren, Germany (Rügen Island)
If you haven’t heard of Rugen Island, it is located on the Baltic Sea in Germany, and it is the perfect New Year’s Eve getaway. The way to spend the evening there is to sit on the beach and enjoy the fireworks that reflect on the sea horizon.
The island gets into full festive mode beginning with its Binz Christmas Market. Binz Kupark is the place where people gather and party in anticipation of the countdown and fireworks.
The next morning, you can join the hundreds of people at the beach for an ice bath in the sea. If you are an indoor person for this day, there’s plenty of hotels and restaurants that are the place for a more fancy party.
You can get to Rugen from Hamburg with a car or train, with the ride being between 2.30 and 3.30 hours.
5. Tongatapu Island, Tonga
Unlike Rugen Island in the Baltic Sea, Tongatapu Island in Tonga is precisely what you imagine: white sands and turquoise water. Located in the South Pacific, this island is the first place to welcome the New Year.
You might not see much fireworks, or at all, but there’s still plenty of things to do and see that will make this day as exciting. The local churches are open, and you can visit one and enjoy the Tongan singing, or if you would like different music, you can go to some of the bars in Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital. Or maybe you can relax in one of the resorts, go snorkeling and wait for the first sunrise in the New Year at Keitahi Beach in Vava’u.
Prices for accommodation vary from affordable to very high depending on the luxury you want to experience, though the island’s nature is giving you enough of luxury and beauty. If you’re going to be extra adventurous, book a charter flight from Tonga to Pago Pago to celebrate the new year twice.
6. Pago Pago, American Samoa
Pago Pago in American Samoa is the last inhabited place to celebrate and welcome the New Year. Accommodations are limited, but the scenic landscape is packed. If you plan a trip here to welcome the upcoming year, don’t miss taking a dive and snorkel at the National Park of American Samoa. Be sure to visit Dollar Beach for its underwater life and coral reefs.
7. Tornio, Finland and Haparanda, Sweden
“Happy New Twice” is the motto of the cities of Tornio in Finland and Haparanda in Sweden. Being bordered by the river Torne, but they are in different time zones with a 1 hour difference. It means you can first celebrate in Tornio and then walk for around 20 minutes, and you are in Haparanda, waiting for the countdown again.
Both places have an excellent program for the night that you can choose from, starting in the afternoon.
The main event is at Victoria Square, which is the border party, where the event starts at 11.30 pm. This party lasts for an hour, and then you can go for an afterparty at AfterParty Band Radio Luxemburg at Umpitunneli or Haparanda Stadshotell with the Band Tipsies.
The best part is that the border party discriminates no one, so the fireworks are shot off twice: once for the Finnish and once for the Swedish. River Motell & Vandarrhem has excellent value in the center of Haparanda, and room rates start at $100 in Torino.
8. Weymouth, United Kingdom
Being so welcoming and cheerful, Weymouth is counted among the ten best places to be for New Year’s. You can have fun for free starting at the Jubilee Clock and then party at “The Front Live” with some live music and DJs.
If you prefer to dress up, there’s plenty of hotels with a fancy atmosphere where you can go with your family and friends. Stay downtown at the Crown Hotel or the Bradle Farmhouse, for a more countryside feel – starting at $100.
The following day, there are plenty of events that will help you kick the hangover if you need it. You can race a rubber duck down the river Lym, dip in the sea, or even go ice skating. Small place but lots of things to do, so do not look further, Weymouth has it all.
9. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
It would be crazy to recommend Rio De Janeiro for the last day of the year only, and not all year long as a beach summer destination, it is easily a city that is exciting 365 days.
Even for New Year’s Eve, Copacabana is still the place that gathers everyone and offers all types of fun. Along the beach, there are different types of stages with music so that you can choose your groove. Copacabana is in high demand, so book your accommodation early.
As for New Year’s, ten platforms will be in the ocean water from where the fireworks will be fired from – lasting for a total of 14 minutes. There will also be seven big screens that will show footage of the event. Let there be light!
Be careful about the transport you choose to get to the beach, as you may end up stuck in traffic. Everyone is advised to use the metro, but for that, you will need to buy special passes for 31st December 31st and January 1st.
10. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is not only on the rise as one of the top cities in Africa for digital nomads, but it abounds with places where you can celebrate the most exciting night of the year. The city offers so much versatility to have fun on this night that you will have a tough decision to make. Check out the V&A waterfront for some delicious food, performances, light shows, and fireworks.
If you want to party the night away, the scared NYE festival, Kinky Summer, takes place each year at the La Paris Estate. Expect some disco music, celebrating with your loved ones, and looking forward to the future.
Don’t stick to one place, explore the city, and see as much as you can. With hotel rates starting at $150, book early to reserve your stay at a lower price.
Best Places To Spend New Year’s Eve – Bottom Line
All in all, you can have a fabulous New Year celebration this year. Just pick one of our top places to spend New Year’s Eve and pack your things. Go a step further and invite your friends too. Share a wonderful adventure that you’ll remember forever.
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