Looking for something cool to do in your city this New Year’s Eve? Look no further.
Almost every city in the world is going to be hosting some kind of celebration to usher in 2018.
We’ve had a look at some of the biggest cities on Earth to lift the lid on what they’re all doing for New Year’s Eve. If you’re going out on the 31st December in one of these cities, here are the events you should check out.
As you might expect, the majority of these events are huge public countdowns. These are usually followed by fireworks displays.
Starting the list off with, as we mentioned, a New Year’s Eve countdown. In Tokyo, this event will take place at Shibuya crossing, one of the most famous street intersections in the world – sort of Tokyo’s equivalent to Times Square.
The event starts at 9pm and goes on until 2am. Like most of the events on this list, it’ll be incredibly busy so get there early and stay hydrated! Afterwards why not queue to visit the local Meiji shrine for the for the hatsumode ritual – the first shrine visit of the year.
New York City, USA
Arguably the most famous New Year’s Eve celebration of all is the New York City Ball Drop. This huge party takes place in Times Square with a cavalcade of celebrity guests.
If you want a prime viewing spot, it’s best to get to Times Square around noon. As in midday. Yes, it will be absolutely packed. Technically it all kicks off at 6pm when the ball itself is hoisted onto a pole.
There’s also the sanitation crew who give out party favours including hats, glasses, and noisemakers to the crowd around the same time.
So far the entire line-up hasn’t been revealed. However, the person dropping the ball itself has TIME’s person of the yearbeen confirmed. That person is Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement which was in 2017.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Known as Réveillon in Brazil, New Year’s Eve is the second biggest party in Sao Paulo (after Carnival, of course!) Many Brazilians head to the coasts for New Year’s Eve, but for those in Sao Paulo, Avenida Paulista is the place to go.
Famous musicians and DJs play at the party and there’s also a huge fireworks display. Around 2m people attend the party per year. Most people dress in white — the traditional Brazilian dress code for Réveillon.
There isn’t really a standard time for the event to start, but get down early if you want to make sure to see everything.
Seoul, South Korea
Unlike many of the locations on this list, Seoul doesn’t really do a big New Year’s Eve countdown. There’s not even a firework display.
Instead, the most popular thing to do is the Bosingak Bell-Ringing Ceremony. It is super touristy, and gets busy quickly. Events start at 11.30pm but it’s best to get their significantly earlier if you want to actually see the bell itself.
The city of Manila celebrates New Year across town. However, the biggest party is the official countdown at Baywalk, across Rajah Sulayman Park along Roxas Boulevard.
When the clock chimes for midnight, a half hour firework display begins, showing the thousands of viewers in colours and light.
There are dozens of official fireworks displays for New Year’s Eve all over Jakarta. These can be found at Ancol, Taman Mini, the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout (Bunderan HI), the Monas (National Monument) and Kota Tua (Taman Fatahillah.)
As you might expect, dense crowds are expected at each of the events. Get there early to get a good spot.
Los Angeles, USA
The biggest communal New Year’s Eve celebration in L.A is NYELA — guess what that stands for.
A countdown clock is projected onto the outside of City Hall and there’s plenty of music and dancing with celebrity guests to enjoy. The event starts at 8pm at Grand Park and is free to attend.
The place to go for a big Moscow New Year’s Eve is the Red Square.
The location provides a great view of the fireworks around the city. You can see the displays at St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin from the square. Plus, tonnes of people turn out to enjoy the festivities, so there’ll be a real atmosphere.
The main New Year’s events in Paris take place on the Champs-Elysées. This year the Arc De Triomphe will be lit up and there’s been some rumours that a fireworks display will take place.
In addition, visitors will be able to see the Eiffel Tower from this location which also promises to be lit up. The festivities start to heat up later in the evening so head down at about 9pm. The main event will start at 11pm.
In addition, on New Year’s Day itself a special parade will take place at 1pm. This parade will travel up the Champs-Elysées.
If you’re in Chicago for New Year’s Eve, the place to be is Navy Pier. There’s a fireworks display, rides, and other attractions. Chicago Resolution Gala is the “it” New Year’s Eve event at Navy Pier.
It really is the place to be with buffets, drinks, and DJ sets. However, tickets for the gala cost $125, more for VIP tickets. With that in mind, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap New Year’s Eve, maybe just stick to Navy Pier itself.
London, United Kingdom
If you’re in London, the best event to go to is the New Year’s Eve countdown on the South Bank. The event is hosted by Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, and is home to the UK’s largest fireworks display.
Unfortunately, due to crowds the event has been ticketed since 2014. It has already sold out this year, but you can at least watch it on television. Fireworks begin at midnight, and Big Ben will be bonging especially for the occasion too.
If you’re close enough, you shouldn’t need tickets to see and hear the event. Things start at 8pm but be there early to get a good spot on the riverside!
The entirety of Sydney Harbour is lit up with fireworks to ring in the New Year. There are ticketed events all around the harbour as well as free-to-visit vantage points. Pre-show entertainment starts at 6pm.
This includes an aerial display with planes, a water display, and another aerial display. There’s one fireworks display at 9pm then illuminated ships will sail across the harbour for a dazzling show.
Finally, at midnight, fireworks will start up once again!