10 of the best bang-up places for New Year’s Eve fireworks, parties and more

CNNAre you ready to go big, bright and bold the last night of the year?

If so, these destinations around the world have a well-deserved reputation for throwing a great New Year’s Eve shindig. Music, nightlife, parties and New Year’s food traditions are definitely a part of it – but the fireworks are the scene stealers in these spots.

Be sure to plan early each year if you want to catch prime parties and claim the best viewing areas for fireworks. Some venues charge admission, and tickets sometimes sell out months ahead.

So let’s follow midnight around the globe – here are 10 great places where you can go for a New Year’s Eve you’ll never forget:



Sydney, Australia, is one of the first major international cities to greet the new year at midnight. The major fireworks display takes place at Sydney Harbour with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge providing a spectacular backdrop.

Islands in the harbor or family-friendly parks on either side offer great views. Prime viewing spots often book up early. Other events earlier in the evening include ceremonies by aboriginal peoples and a show of harbor boats adorned with lights.

A bonus for Sydney: Summer’s just starting up there, so you can also take advantage of the city’s beaches, including Manly, Bondi and Bronte.

Taipei, Taiwan


New Year’s Eve in Taipei, the capital city of the island of Taiwan, is a visual spectacle.

The city’s tallest building, Taipei 101, is the launching pad for a vibrant, vertical fireworks show. Prime spots to take in the event include Tiger Mountain (for distance viewing), National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (noted for some of the best views of Taipei 101) and the Xinyi Commercial District, which gets quite crowded early.

The city also sponsors musical performances at Taipei City Hall Plaza leading up to the big event.



Bangkok often comes to mind when travelers seek out Asia’s best nightlife cities. So it’s a natural place to ring in the new year if you like crowds, bright lights, noise and revelry.

Catch an amazing fireworks show at ICONSIAM, a major shopping and entertainment destination along the Chao Phraya River. You may want to continue the celebration at one of Bangkok’s stunning bars such as Sky Beach Bangkok, the city’s highest bar, or Sirocco, also set high above the bustling streets.

If the revelry becomes too much, take some down time on January 1 at a temple. Wat Pho is known for its reclining Buddha — but also its crowds. For an even calmer time, try nearby Wat Suthat.



The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is one of the most attention-grabbing skyscrapers in the world, and it’s only more so at New Year’s Eve.

As 2023 comes to a close, the Burj Khalifa holds the record for world’s tallest building (828 meters or 2,716.5 feet), and throngs gather at the footsteps to welcome a new year with an amazing fireworks show. Not too far away, Burj Plaza is a little quieter and popular with families.

Dubai is building a reputation as a major food destination, so you may want to indulge in restaurants such as Orfali Bros, founded by three brothers from Syria, or Baku Cafe for Azerbaijani fare. And if you have shopping in mind, check out Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest.

Cape Town


Cape Town is one of the most beautifully situated cities in Africa — and the world. New Year’s Eve fireworks in this South African city make it all the more spectacular.

If you’re looking for a place to dine, consider Pier, featuring a vegetarian menu. It’s on the Victoria & Albert waterfront, which is great spot to catch the fireworks. If you’re into music, there’s seven hours of the live and DJ variety at the waterfront amphitheater.

Make the most of your trip by visiting South Africa’s renowned vineyards around Cape Town such as Leeu Estates. Like Sydney, Cape Town is just entering summer, so it’s a great time to be outdoors.



The citizens of Rome know how throw a good bacchanal — they’ve been at it off and on for more than 2,000 years. For fireworks, head to Circus Maximus, the chariot-racing and entertainment venue from antiquity, for a visual show that would impress the ancient party-givers from the glory years of the Roman Empire.

New Year’s Eve is for the ears, too. Among the events: The Amore Festival, which focuses on electronic dance music and is celebrating its 20th anniversary. For the more classically minded people, there is the Three Tenors concert at Flaiano Theater among other selections.

If you don’t party too hard, you can enjoy the musically inclined Rome Parade, which features marching bands among many other acts on New Year’s Day. And don’t forget your red underwear!



Stately London always provides a remarkable backdrop for New Year’s Eve fireworks, which are staged at Westminster, near the London Eye and Big Ben.

Tickets for 2023 in the official staging area have already sold out (as usual), but you may be able to see the fireworks for free from hilltops such as Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park and Alexandra Palace. You can also try to find a spot on bridges such as Millennium Bridge and Southwark Bridge.

Another great vantage point is a river cruise, where you can enjoy the spectacle from the Thames.

A traditional way to greet the prospect of a new year is to settle down in one of London’s oldest pubs, such as the Old Bell Tavern, serving up adult beverages since 1670.

Rio de Janeiro


If you want to greet a new year with about 3 million other souls in a warm beach resort with strong Brazilian vibes, head to Rio de Janeiro.

The main gathering at Copacabana Beach, which starts even before darktraditionally features a variety of musical acts and fireworks. If you want to party in classic Rio style, pay a visit to Jobi Bar. It’s a social institution in the city, having been open since the 1950s.

Looking for a great view? Swing over to the Vista Chinesa, a small Chinese pagoda perched to provide a fantastic panorama.

New York City


Times Square in Manhattan – it’s synonymous with New Year’s Eve across the United States. Even if you haven’t been there in person for the 10-9-8 countdown, there’s a good chance you’ve watched the famous ball drop on television. (The ball made its debut in 1907 and has been dropped each year since then, except for two years during World War II).

If you don’t feel like jamming into Times Square with what must feel like half of all humanity, here are a couple of other options:

• Take in fireworks and fun at Grand Army Plaza, which is just off Prospect Park in Brooklyn. You may need to arrive early for the best views.

• New York is a river city, so you can celebrate out on the water with a Circle Line cruise and take in some great views.

Las Vegas


Las Vegas is bright lights year-round, but it goes all out for New Year’s Eve.

The Strip is closed off to vehicles, and pedestrians take over for a festival worthy of Vegas. At midnight, various casinos launch an impressive barrage of fireworks off the roofs of their buildings. Arrive early enough to stake out a good view.

Then there are all the Vegas shows you might want to catch first; add some magic to the night at David Blaine’s Impossible show.

Just like lucky streaks, Vegas ain’t always hot. Remember to check the weather forecast and dress warmly – the desert cools off a lot at night, especially in winter.