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The 9 Best New Year’s Eve Parties on the Planet

By: Natalie Austin, TWIP

New Year’s Eve is arguably one of the most anticipated nights of the year and New York isn’t the only city that knows how to do it right. Cities around the globe offer experiences unique to their location and can provide for some of the year’s most unforgettable moments. Here are the top New Year’s celebrations around the globe.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor

Photo Courtesy of imgcluster.com

Situated on a gorgeous harbor, Sydney offers a New Year’s Eve for those who are looking to spend it nautically. As one of the first capital cities to ring in the New Year, Sydney does this holiday the best. Complete with waterfront restaurants for lavish dinners, lighted boat parades, and yacht parties, to view a most spectacular fireworks show.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Slovakia

Photo Courtesy of travelandleisure.com

If you’re looking for an unpretentious and quaint affair, Bratislava, Slovakia is the perfect party destination for New Year’s. The soiree hosts around 10,000 people each year with open air dance parties, a fireworks show over the Danube River, and local bands and dance groups to entertain. Old Town is divided into a “concert zone” and a “party zone” so goers can choose their desired atmosphere, or get a taste of both.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio

Photo Courtesy of aboutbrasil.com

Bringing the Carnival flavor with traditional costumes and dance performances, New Year’s Eve comes in as a close second in Brazil’s most vibrant city. Each year the Copacabana Beach is lined with music installations and drum spectaculars, with patrons decked out in white, symbolizing luck in the coming year. At the end of the evening, it is traditional for locals to cleanse themselves in the ocean and cast flowers into the water with the belief that if they don’t return, your wishes for the new year will be granted.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin

Photo Courtesy of porumavidasemrotina.com

With the reputation as one best nightlife cities in Europe, it is no wonder why Berlin makes this list. Countless clubs throughout the city host parties lasting through the night, some lasting for over 12 hours. Over one million people flock to Berlin to fill “party mile” through the city, lined with food and drink tents, music stages and of course a breathtaking fireworks show.

Hong Kong, China  

Hong Kong

Photo Courtesy of hongkongnewyearseve.com

China is famous for some of the most unique and bizarre New Year’s traditions, which is why it is a perfect place to welcome the new year. With extravagant parties along the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon or bars in the Lan Kwai Fong district, Hong Kong knows just how to throw a NYE blowout. You can even watch a replica Times Square Ball Drop in the city center. Just like other New Year’s traditions, the firework show is a must-see and can be watched by boat in the Victoria Harbor.

Valparaiso, Chile

Chile

Photo Courtesy ofajansalperen.com

One of the most extravagant New Year’s celebrations on the planet is no other than the cultural capital of Chile, Valparaiso. This three-day festival hosts a world renowned fireworks show, with fireworks launched from 17 different points along the coast.  Parties are hosted along the beach to take in the show and most of them go until the sun comes up.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland

Photo Courtesy of www.traveller.com.au

Another smaller scale NYE can be celebrated in the exotic Reykjavik, a large community party thrown by locals. Beginning at 6pm, bonfires are held throughout the city to symbolize the burning away of the year’s troubles. Gatherings a complete with heaving drinking, folk songs and people dressed as elves and trolls. The party goes through 5am, when locals line up for hotdogs and then head to the hot springs to warm up from an evening outside.  Despite being a frigid location, Reykjavik is the perfect destination to really party like a local this holiday.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland

Photo Courtesy of planeteu.com

Edinburgh is hands down one of New Year Eve’s best destination as it is home to a remarkable three-day festival. The event kicks off with a torchlight procession, followed by city-wide festivities like outdoor concerts and a traditional Celtic party. While fireworks show is a standard NYE tradition, this display takes place with the magnificent Edinburgh Castle as its backdrop. On New Year’s day, Holyrood Park hosts a competitive dog sledding race and the River Forth hosts an ice-cold water plunge.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna

Photo Courtesy of event-carnival.com

Vienna is home to both sophisticated events and smaller scale parties, providing a little something for everything on NYE. Those who love the finer things can attend one of its many balls where guests are dressed to the nines. For those who prefer a more local experience, head to the city center, Silvesterpfad for traditional hot mulled wine and toffee apples. Visitors can also opt for a dinner party cruise along the Danube River.

Twipper of the Month – October 2017

Twipper of the Month – October 2017: Gareth Leonard from Tourist 2 Townie!

Like many travelers featured on TWIP, Gareth realized he wasn’t living the authentic life he always dreamed about. After graduation, he became the Director of Marketing for a startup and helped the business grow into a multimillion dollar company. In October 2009, after many long hours and living someone else’s dream, Gareth found himself at a crossroads between a career in business or pursuing something he truly loved to do. Since his study abroad in London during his junior year of college, Gareth realized he wanted to travel differently by moving away from guided tour groups and get to know foreign communities on a more authentic and intimate level. He decided to drop everything and booked a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he learned Spanish and bartended at a local brewery. From there Gareth created a five-year plan and a list of goals for each country he visits along the way. From learning, how to salsa dance in Colombia to living with monkeys in Ecuador, Gareth is on a mission to get out of his comfort zone and be more than just a tourist. Why? Gareth wants to be that local who has their own seat at the bar and has unlimited knowledgeable about where he lives. Through his videos and blog posts, he not only educates his followers but travels deeper and truly understands a place through the people and their culture. It’s because of this passion that we named Gareth as our Twipper of the Month for October!

TWIPPER OF THE WEEK

Twipper of the Week: Gareth Leonard from Tourist 2 Townie

Current city: Tokyo, Japan

Age: 33

Total countries visited: 45

What makes you interesting:  My passion to “Travel Deeper” and truly understand a place through the people and culture that define it.

What brands do you love: Anyone with an appreciation for “micro influencers” haha!

What’s your favorite passport stamp and why: Bhutan, because very few people have even heard of this incredible country.

#1 thing you must do when traveling: Make friends.

What are your travel pet peeves: People that don’t respect local culture / expect the same environment as home.

If your personality was a city or country, which one would it be and why: Rio de Janeiro – On the surface I seem a certain way, but if you look closer there are many different layers and stories.

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: The Philippines, India, Ghana, Mars.

Describe your first travel experience and at what age: I studied abroad in London when I was a Junior in college. It shaped the way I travel now because I didn’t leave my comfort zone and have regretted it ever since. I stuck with the other Americans in the program and didn’t make an effort to meet or interact with locals. It’s safe to say that, that has all changed.

Next travel destination: Trekking the Dolomites in Northern Italy.

Twippers of the Month – August 2017

Twippers of the Month – August 2017: Charlotte and Josh from The Spindrifters!

Many travelers explore new locations is search for the most beautiful beach, the latest food trend or the adrenaline rush of skydiving in an exotic location. What makes Charlotte and Josh interesting is they travel to help others. From working at Nongovernmental Organization on a tropical Island in Borneo, to teaching in the slums of Mumbai,  to working  in countless hostels, these Alturists don’t just explore the world, but create new ones along their way. This world they are creating started in 2015 when they decided the London life has taken its toll and it was time to “just go.”  After months of planning and a name for their blog, Charlotte and Josh left London behind them and started their journey. What they discovered was so much more than what London could show them. From watching the sunrise at the Taj Mahal to volunteering in Borneo, travel continuously motivates them “to learn more about the world we live in and the amazing people that occupy it,” says the Spindrifters. It’s their willingness to learn and to help others along the way that has named Charlotte and John our Twippers of the Month for August.

TWIPPERS OF THE WEEK

Twippers of the Week: Charlotte and Josh from The Spindrifters!

 Current city: Gili Islands, Lombok

Age: Charlotte is 27 and Josh is 28

Total countries visited: In total, we have visited 30 countries between the both of us.

What makes you interesting: We’re a travel couple who volunteer all over the world. We have worked for an NGO on a tropical Island in Borneo, been teachers in the slums of Mumbai and worked in countless hostels in India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

What brands do you love: We love brands that associate themselves with developing communities and promoting responsible tourism. We think it’s important while traveling to recognize how brands and tourism can impact the local community and help to support them while promoting specific brands.

What motivates you to travel: An insatiable thirst for experiencing and discovering new and exciting places. We travel relatively slowly so that we can delve deeper into how people in that country/community live and learn as much about different cultures as possible. We think that you learn so much more from traveling the world than anything else. Traveling challenges you every day in a completely different way and you should constantly be ready for the unexpected. We also think it’s incredibly exciting to learn more about the world we live in and the amazing people that occupy it!

What is the best part about having a travel partner: The best part about being a couple on the road is that you get to share all of the best, and worst, moments with someone! We have both traveled independently before but now traveling together we realize how special it is being able to have incredible shared experiences and being able to push each other’s travel boundaries to the max!

What was your best and worst travel experience: Our best travel moment is tough as there has honestly been so many but we can narrow it down to a couple of standout experiences:

  1. Sunrise at the Taj Mahal – Something we had both always wanted to experience and it didn’t disappoint! We were lucky that there weren’t many people and there was an amazing low fog surrounding the base of the Taj that faded as the orange sun rose above it. It was special.
  2. While volunteering in Borneo we were having a bonfire on the beach on an incredibly clear night. We were sitting with some guests and while gazing up at the perfectly clear Milky Way above us, luminescent plankton started lighting up on the shore of the sea. Magical!

Our fist worst travel moment was when we traveled the length of India from Jaipur to Goa in two days flat and ended up spending one very uncomfortable night sleeping amongst the rats and cockroaches on the floor of one of Mumbai’s very busy train stations. Safe to say we didn’t sleep for almost three days.

It’s 2050, list all the places you are most proud to have visited: China, Japan, Galapagos Islands, Tanzania, Nepal and Iran.

What is your favorite app to use during your travels: Hands down our favorite and most used app is Maps.me.  It’s an absolute life saver and safe to say we use it every day without fail.

Best travel advice: First, always be open minded, go out of your comfort zone and push your limits to the max.  You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve! Second, just smile. This is the easiest piece of advice to give and sometimes the most important.  What a smile can bring is truly amazing. A smile can cross language, cultural barriers and turn an awkward situation into a friendship.

Next travel destination: We will be heading to New Zealand after a brief stint back at home in London catching up with friends and family!

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