New Year Celebrations across Europe

December 29, 2014

New Year’s Eve is just about the biggest party of the year, so naturally you’ll want to make sure you have a good one and get the New Year off to the best possible start. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the best places in Europe to celebrate New Year’s Eve, with absolutely no mention of Jools Holland’s Hootenanny in sight!


If there’s one thing that Amsterdam knows better than most other European cities then it’s how to throw a party, and New Year’s Eve is no different. Taking place in one of the city’s squares or plazas, the free New Year’s party includes everything from live music to street vendors selling traditional Dutch delicacies and desserts such as Vlamse Frites or Oliebollen doughnuts for you to enjoy. Head to Magere Bruge for the best views of the fireworks across the river Amstel, and look out for groups of locals partying in their canal boats, throwing back glasses of Heineken for fun.

Plenty of studies have shown that the Dutch are among the happiest people in the world, so it’s no surprise to see that New Year’s is a joyous, euphoric time for Holland.


In Belgium, New Years is traditionally celebrated with family parties, while a stand-up comedian recounts a satirical take on the year on television, however there is plenty to do in the city for tourists too. Most cities have a fireworks display, but the display at Mont des Arts in Brussels is the most famous one. After enjoying the fireworks and heading to one of the packed cafes and bars, you can head home with one of the free buses or cheap taxis from the Responsible Young Drivers service.


Berlin is another city which famously loves a party, the German capital comes alive with a feast of fireworks and festivities each year on 31 December for the traditional NYE party. Centred on the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s New Year’s firework display is one of the biggest in Europe and is attended by up to a million people. Not only is there a huge organised firework display, but you’ll see locals setting off their own fireworks from their balconies or windows. If you can’t get near the Brandenburg Gate, try heading up to the Teufelsberg at the northern tip of Grunewald or the Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg and watching the fireworks across the city.

For a more unique experience, try the Silvesterlauf (New Year’s Run, or “Pancake Run”), a 10km run up and down Teufelsberg, which ominously translates to “Devil’s Hill”.


The French capital is often called the City of Light, and at midnight the Eiffel Tower is lit up magnificently as jubilant crowds gather around the Champs Elysees to enjoy the views. There isn’t an official fireworks display for New Year’s in Paris, but that’s not to say that the skies aren’t lit up in technicolour as the clock counts down to the end of the year. Head to the nearby areas of Montmartre and Pigalle for stunning views across the French capital on 31 December, and on New Year’s Day the traditional Grande Parade de Paris brings floats, parades, bands and dancers through the city.

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