Burning Man in Ibiza? A grand ball in one of the most imperial cities in the world? Snow in the desert? A beach on a mountain? Anything is possible. There are some epic parties happening this New Year’s Eve, both near and far from home. And you know, it’s not too late to hop on a plane and hightail it out of here to celebrate the New Year.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Event: The Hofburg Silvesterball and Silvesterpfad
For one of the grandest black-tie celebrations in the world, Vienna marks the spot. There are over 400 galas each ball season, and the most lavish of them all may just be the Silvester. Held on New Year’s Eve, guests at the Vienna’s Rathaus don their best black tie to ring in the New Year. The festivities include a formal multi-course sit-down dinner, champagne and, in Viennese style, dancing. If there’s ever a time to take lessons, it’s here, as guests waltz to welcome the New Year. It’s one of the most beautiful and elegant sights you’ll see at any celebration, and it’s a bucket list item for sure.
For those who aren’t planning to waltz on the dance floor, there’s the Silvesterpfad (New Year’s Eve Trail). Vienna is an outdoor New Year’s Eve party for music lovers. You can follow the trail from City Hall Square to the Prater, and catch an opera performance or get your fortune told along the way. Huge crowds dance to the Blue Danube Waltz under the midnight fireworks.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Event: Midnight Fireworks at Sydney Harbor
It’s special to be in Australia, as Sydney is one of the first in the world to celebrate the New Year. The Australians take this distinction seriously, with a massive pyrotechnic show against one of the world’s most iconic skylines. This is when it’s especially helpful to have friends with boats, as the view from on the water can’t be beat. Otherwise, private yacht charters are available starting around $20,000. Alternatively, if you’re not rolling deep with entourage, the Sydney Opera House has a party right on the harbor.
Location: Ibiza, Spain
Event: The Six Senses New Year’s Eve Party, and Music On at Pacha
If you thought Ibiza was just for the summer, think again. Discover a whole new side of winter in Ibiza. For New Year’s eve, Pacha reopens so you can dance until dawn to “Music On” at the island’s most legendary nightclub. Otherwise, book your room and spot at the Six Senses New Year’s Eve party, where you will costume up like Burning Man. The crowd is as attractive and as international as it gets. You’ll have everyone from locals who live in Ibiza all year round to an easy-on-the-eyes Israeli contingent.
Location: Courchevel, French Alps
Event: New Year’s Eve at L’Apogee Courchevel
We like to think of a ski trip as one of the most balanced options to bring in the New Year. First, you get your activity on, as skiing burns those calories so you earn that pot of fondue you have for lunch. Second, if you do it right, you’re among the beautiful people to ring in the New Year. Courchevel ticks those boxes, and is one of the most epic and glamorous places to celebrate New Years. As part of Les Trois Vallées, it offers more ski trails than any other place in the world. The top of the European food chain descends upon Courchevel, and is pretty much guaranteed to be a good time.
There is plenty of competition for best hotels in Courchevel, and L’Apogee Courchevel, part of the Oetker Collection is one of the top. Their New Year’s party is both glamorous but good old-fashioned fun. Think disco balls and their promise to turn Courchevel into a winter “boogie land.” It’s so European it hurts.
Location: New York City
Event: Times Square Ball Drop
NYC on NYE at Times Square is another bucket-list experience, for pretty much anyone who doesn’t live in New York. But yet, over a million people stake their spots in Times Square, to catch a glimpse at the ball drop. And of course Ryan Seacrest, hosting the festivities. This year, they’re kicking it old school, with performances by Duran Duran and New Edition. For those who want to have a civilized option to see the ball drop, there are private experiences that are above Times Square. But yes, you pay up, at around a cool $70,000–$100,000.
Among the locals, 99% avoid Times Square, but that doesn’t mean they’re not partying. This year, find a friend with a private-club membership. The Ned is hosting a disco party, where you’re guaranteed to ring in 2023 with a very attractive crowd. Otherwise, put on your black tie and evening gown, and pray for a reservation at Polo Bar — a throwback to the days of glamour.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
This street party Hogmanay combines Scottish warmth with Viking vigor. Join throngs of merrymakers at the outdoor bars along Princes Street. This culminates in a midnight cannon blast and fireworks from Edinburgh Castle. You haven’t sung “Auld Lang Syne” until you’ve sung it hand in hand with Scots you just met.
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Event: New Year’s Eve at the Belmond Copacabana, and the Copacabana Beach Party
Like Sydney and Times Square, the largest party in the country is at the Copa, Copacabana. But if you still want a luxury experience, the Belmond Copacabana is where to be. The Réveillon de Copa is the Belmond’s New Year’s Eve celebration, where you get the most prime view of the fireworks celebration. With a lavish buffet, overflowing drinks, and of course dancing, it’s the epitome of the Brazilian free spirit. Yes, plan to spend the night at the hotel, but don’t plan to sleep much, if at all.
If you want to be among the crowds, the Copacabana Beach Party is a wild 14-hour bash of mind-blowing scale. There’s live music and DJs along all 2.5 miles of the beach, with millions of people dressed in white from head to toe. At midnight, when the fireworks ignite, everyone tosses flowers in the water. This tradition is for the goddess of the sea; revelers jump seven waves to make seven wishes for the year.
Location: Hong Kong, China
Event: New Year’s Eve at the Opposite House and the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbor
Could Victoria Harbor get more beautiful? That’s a yes when you add the lavish light-and-sound display that stretches across dozens of skyscrapers during New Year’s Eve. This unique show merges pyrotechnics and LEDs choreographed to an orchestral score. You can join the countdown aboard one of the city’s iconic ferries, or head to the Opposite House, with a prime view of the harbor. The celebration includes 4–6 course meals, and an elegant party in the Green Room that lasts well beyond the New Year’s fireworks display.