As the year comes to a close, take a moment to look back on your 2017 in travel. Where did you go and what did you do? Most importantly: Can you fit one last trip in before the year is out? If you’re hoping to celebrate New Year’s Eve abroad, there are some seriously cool NYE events happening around the globe that deserve your attention and your presence. Where in the world would you like to start 2018?
New Year’s Eve in Hawaii: A Secret Fireworks Show
Hawaii is a hot spot for a scorching New Year’s Eve party. There are several great options this year. On Oahu, Honolulu’s biggest rager is the Party of the Year, a two-day event that goes down at the Aloha Tower at Honolulu Harbor. The Grammy-winning duo Chainsmokers headline the December 30th event before Walshy Fire of Major Lazer performs on the 31st.
On Maui, a ritzy benefit bash with the long name New Year’s Eve Maui Foodbank Benefit Concert with The Stars affords the chance for rooftop mingling and cocktails with the likes of Alice Cooper and Steven Tyler. But ringing in the New Year in Hawaii should always revolve around fireworks and that’s why our top pick on Maui is in Wailea. Hawaii is not short on New Year’s Eve fireworks, and the Wailea Resort Association typically hosts the biggest show. The details are still a secret, but—hot tip alert!— the website Go Visit Hawaii is reporting that boat companies are promoting their firework cruises to Wailea for that night, which suggests it will happen. When it does, you couldn’t be better positioned to watch the show than at a private villa in town.
Pro Tip: How to say Happy New Year in Hawaiian: Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
New Year’s Eve in Italy: A Venetian Boat Cruise
Close your eyes and think about the most romantic way to spend an evening—are you picturing you and your loved one on a boat in Venice? Us too!Did you know, you can celebrate New Year’s that way too? Many companies offer picturesque river cruises that are an unforgettable way to spend the final moments of 2017.
Riviera del Brenta offers river cruises on the Giudecca Canal where they serve dinner and drinks while passengers sit back and admire landmarks like St. Giorgio Maggiore Church and the Madonna della Salute Basilica. Boarding at the Zattere Banks, you’ll be welcomed with an aperitif and a fruity cocktail or Prosecco wine. During your slow ride down the lagoon, you’ll enjoy a traditional Venetian dinner and dessert while reminiscing on the year that was. When all is said and done, you’ll arrive at the iconic Piazza San Marco to count down the final seconds of the year and toast to midnight in style. Don’t forget to wish the locals well for the new year by saying “good luck” in Italian with this phrase: In bocca al lupo.
Pro Tip: How to say Happy New Year in Italian: Felice Anno Nuovo!
New Year’s Eve in France: Dinner at the Eiffel Tower
Spending New Year’s Eve in Paris is a spectacular idea no matter what you do, but dinner in the Eiffel Tower is next-level for le Nouvel an this year. The first-floor, newly-redesigned 58 Tour Eiffel impresses not only with Chef Alain Soulard’s gourmet French cuisine, but also with its magical views of Paris at night. Soulard’s special four-course New Year’s Eve menu begins with a fraîcheur of crab and mi-cuit foie gras, followed by scallops, lamb, and truffled Brie de Meaux, before finishing with a Guanaja chocolate crisp cake. Champagne is unlimited, and as the clock strikes midnight, you’ll raise a glass to the sounds of the Live Aurore Quartet orchestra and a night well-spent.
The restaurant’s name refers to its height 58 meters above the ground, and its large bay windows peer out over the Seine river and the Trocadéro, while passersby will surely be posing for glamorous pictures in front of the Parisian landmark. Unlike most major cities, Paris doesn’t have an official fireworks show on New Year’s eve—but they do have an amazing light show which can be seen from the Eiffel Tower.
Pro Tip: How to say Happy New Year in French: Bonne Année!
New Year’s Eve in Australia: A Rainbow Waterfall in Sydney
Sydney is a home run New Year’s Eve choice any year, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers a perfect vantage point for a view of Sydney’s landscape and its world-famous fireworks. The 2017-18 celebration will be particularly special; this year’s event is 15 months in the making. It will be the 40th-anniversary celebration of Sydney’s inaugural Mardi Gras in 1978, a now-annual LGBT celebration, and also a celebration of Australia’s 2017 vote in favor of marriage equality. To commemorate the anniversary and this year’s vote, a midnight rainbow waterfall will cascade from the bridge along with 28,000 fireworks totaling eight tonnes.
Ringing in the New Year Down Under brings with it a summer vibe. The historical average temperature in Sydney on December 31 is a low of 64℉ and a high of 77℉, so you can plan to spend New Year’s Day lazing on the beach.
Pro Tip: Sydney is 16 hours ahead of Standard Eastern Time—so text your friends and family at 4 pm on January 1!