New Year’s Eve Street Parties Across The Globe
There's a watershed moment in everyone's life when they realise there are other ways to ring in the New Year than by paying copious amounts of cash to party in a cramped bar where most of the time is spent trying to get served.
If this is the point you’re at, or you’re just looking for a different way to celebrate the NYE countdown, a great option is to head abroad to experience how other places celebrate the closing of one year and the start of another.
So if it’s time to say laters to London and hasta la vista to Hogmanay, here are the Flexicover team's top tips on where to jet away to celebrate at these lively locations and make for an unfailingly memorable New Year's Eve.
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
As the party capital of Europe, it’s only right for Berlin to become a congregation point come New Year’s Eve. The focus of activity is the Brandenburg Gate, where a cool million Berliners and tourists gather to celebrate. The ‘Party Mile’ is a stretch extending from the gate right down to the Victory Monument, where marquees are pitched selling food and drink to replenish revellers, plus there are three stages of live music to keep the energy up until the fireworks provide a joyful climax. There’s no official end time for the free event and as Berlin is a 24-hour city there’s no shortage of ultra-hip clubs ready to keep the fun factor going well into New Year’s Day.
Auckland’s protestations fall on deaf ears: Sydney still maintains it’s the first major city to welcome in the New Year. It means they take the role seriously, putting on a full evening of non-stop entertainment along the waterfront by the Opera House. Taking place at the height of the Australian summer, the event attracts huge amounts of families so there’s aeroplane displays, cultural performances, light displays and an extra firework show at 9pm for those with an early bedtime. The main event at midnight is a full 12 minutes long, highlighting their no-expense-spared approach to the evening.
Times Square, New York
No street party is more iconic than Times Square’s. It’s the epicentre of New York’s activity on an ordinary day, but especially so at the end of the year when around a million partygoers take to the streets to wait for the countdown. At the stroke of midnight, the famous ball drops at the southern end of the square, ticker tape explodes decorating the whole area and fireworks illuminate the streets, its booms and bursts adding to the celebratory feel. To secure a good spot, get there before 3pm and bring supplies of food and water with you (do note; there are no public restrooms and alcohol is prohibited too).
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro
Rivalling Brazil’s carnival as the biggest event of the year, Copacabana beach comes alive with people, making it a New Year’s Eve beach party more than a street party. It’s a time when hardworking locals get a stretch of time off and schools are on holiday - and boy does the city make the most of it. If the budget allows, get a hotel with an oceanfront view to watch the action from the coolness and comfort of your room. Or if you prefer to get in the thick of it, head into the throng to party with the best of them; wearing white is a custom to show a clean start to the New Year. Drinks are sold on the beach so there’s no need to bring your own, but don’t bring too much with you as, with every major city, unfortunately it’s a merry time for pickpocketers too.
Waterfront, San Francisco
If 31 December was going to be a laidback affair anywhere, it would be in San Fran, a city known for its leftfield attitude. The street party here isn’t as raucous as others and the benches set out by the epicentre of the Ferry Building make it ideal for those who don’t fancy standing up for hours - just make sure you get there early to secure your seat. Otherwise, you’ll also get a perfect view at Rincon Park, further down the Waterfront. Take food, drinks and a picnic blanket if you need to sit, though it’s impossible to stay seated with a spectacular 30 minute firework display against the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge.
So if you’re planning to head abroad to see in the start of 2017 it's good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.|