New York City, Orlando, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco ranked as the top U.S. cities to ring in the New Year in a WalletHub comparison of 25 key indicators—cost, food, entertainment and safety were top considerations.
But if you could celebrate anywhere in the world, where will the absolute best parties be? Try on this list for size (or maybe for your 2018 resolutions), courtesy of Conde Nast Traveler.
1. Hong Kong
Few, if any, harbors are more spectacular than Victoria Harbor—and never more so than on New Year’s Eve, when fireworks caroom over the bustling waterway. Watch at ground zero from a traditional junk, or make your way to the 118th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong (formerly the highest bar in the world) for an eagle’s eye view.
You’ll need a ticket for the closest viewing of fireworks on the Thames, but you can watch them from Vauxhall or Lambeth Bridge for free. The Ritz London is renowned as the best place to go for traditional revelries. The august property hosts black-tie dinners that are crashed by a regimental marching band, and its own fireworks over the garden.
Hogmanay—the Scots word for the last day of the year—kicks off on Dec. 30 with a raucous, torch-lit parade through the streets, followed by fireworks. On New Year’s Eve, even more revelers emerge for the world’s biggest and loudest singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” followed by a night of street partying. New Year’s Day witnesses an unbridled outbreak of live music and theater.
It’s warm there on New Year’s Eve—what a concept! And perfect for watching what’s billed as the world’s biggest fireworks show. Sydney Harbor is where it happens, so watch by boat, on rustic Cockatoo Island or at one of the waterside restaurants near Sydney Harbor Bridge, from which the rockets red glare emanate.
This legendary beach party may not be as psychedelic as it once was, but dancing in the sand under the stars, with fairy lights in the palm trees, cannot help but make you feel young and free again. Fireworks and revelry up and down the coast of this Indian state go on all night. Those around Anjuna are the craziest.
6. Rio de Janeiro
Why not join the 2 million or so who gather on Copacabana Beach for fireworks? It will be tropical. But it will not be colorful. White is the traditional color for good luck in the New Year. The live music in the air could be samba, or it could be almost any other genre. For the ultimate experience, watch it all from Copacabana Palace, a high-society hotel overlooking the beach.
Those Germans know how to party. The day sees the annual running of Berliner Silvesterlauf, in which contestants dress up and jog on routes of up to 15k to collect their jelly donut at the finish line. At night, the big party is at the Brandenburg Gate.
8. Koh Phangan
Southern Thailand is famous for its full-moon parties, and this Thai island has the most famous of them all. Therefore, expect all-out revelry on New Year’s Eve, especially around Sunrise Beach in Had Rin. The party won’t stop till the following afternoon, at least, so old hands know to wait until just before midnight to begin.
Happy New Year!