• 25 November 2022

New Year’s Eve is a night of untold revelry the world over, and Europe is certainly no exception. Having travelled all around the continent, Expat Explore has come across quite a few cities that really know how to throw down when the ball drops on the 31st of December.  Even though New Year’s Eve and Christmas celebrations are smack in the middle of Europe’s winter,  the Europeans never shy away from a party!

Here are our top 5 picks for making magical New Year’s Eve memories in Europe:

1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Dutch capital is all about grandiose celebration and the list of  New Year’s Eve parties in Amsterdam is almost as long as the Prinsengracht (Prince’s Canal)! Visitors can look forward to everything from fireworks, dancing and music on the Oosterdok to trance parties, masquerade balls, Gatsby-themed banquets and luxurious cruises along the city’s canals!

This is also the perfect time to see the Amsterdam Light Festival which usually takes place from December through January. Amsterdam’s charming canals and streets are illuminated with enchanting light displays designed by local and international artists!

Amsterdam Canals, the Netherlands, New Year
Admire the gorgeous fireworks and light displays from the Amsterdam canals!

Related: Find out where to see the best Christmas lights around the world!

2. Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The beautiful capital of Scotland simultaneously embraces ancient rituals and partying up a storm as the year rushes to a close. It is, after all ,the home of Hogmanay – Scotland’s famous NYE festival. Those who celebrate Hogmanay can look forward to three days of festivities! Expect a wide range of live performances from local and international bands, parties and events that are sure to entertain.

If  Hogmanay seems a tad too energetic for your liking, you could always join in Scottish heritage pursuits. The torchlight procession up Calton Hill is a beautiful way to bid farewell to the year. Or, partake in the annual candlelit concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral. No matter where your tastes may lie, there is something for everyone to enjoy on New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh!

Edinburgh, Scotland, New Year
The Edinburgh Castle is a spellbinding backdrop for the epic Hogmanay fireworks!

Related: Join our Great Britain New Year tour and experience Hogmanay on New Year’s Eve!

3. Florence, Italy

New Year’s Eve in Florence is a festive affair that sees most locals and visitors flocking to various piazzas throughout the city to enjoy free entertainment. Traditionally, there is one big concert at the historical centre, with many more dotted throughout the city. Offerings range from electronic music and international DJ sets, to gospel and swing! There are also classical music concerts by the city’s renowned symphony orchestra to enjoy. For those who want to work up a sweat, ice skating and snow tubing are entertaining activities to enjoy in the lead-up to the ball drop.

Normally the areas that host NYE concerts are completely closed to traffic, which means partygoers are free to get around on foot, take the tram or make use of shuttles in the city’s outer quadrants. All in all, Florence is a great option for NYE if you want to partake in outdoor festivities that won’t break the bank!

Florence, Italy, new year
The cityscape of Florence looks even more breathtaking with fireworks.

Related: Ring in the New Year in Florence when you embark on our Taste of Italy New Year tour!

4. Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Slovenian capital may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of New Year’s Eve celebrations. However, it certainly should be! Considered a true hidden gem of Europe, what Ljubljana lacks in size it makes up for in charm. Open air celebrations are held in public spaces all over this magical city. Locals love to celebrate in parks, streets and squares with their family and friends. Many streets host stalls selling food and drinks including local wine, beer and schnapps! Street performers and live concerts will provide plenty of entertainment.

The fireworks displays in Ljubljana is truly a sight to behold. The most impressive fireworks can be seen on Castle Hill which is right in the centre of the city. Ljubljana castle offers the most spectacular backdrop to admire while ringing in the New Year!

Ljubljana New Year
Experience the fairytale magic of Ljubljana on New Year’s Eve!

Related: Discover the allure of Eastern Europe during the festive season and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Ljubljana!

5. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is well-known amongst partygoers as one of the world’s top nightlife and live music destinations! New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to experience one the German capital’s many exciting nightlife destinations. Many clubs host special events and parties featuring top DJs and live bands. There is even a massive celebration at the Brandenberg Gate for those who wish to celebrate outdoors while taking in the architecture.

If the party scene isn’t for you, have no fear! Berlin is also teeming with cultural activities to indulge in on New Year’s Eve. Why not watch a classical music concert with a full orchestra? Or, see a musical or theatre performance? The choice is yours. No matter how you choose to spend your New Year’s Eve in Berlin, it will certainly be a night to remember!

Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany, New Year
The Brandenberg Gate is the site of Berlin’s most popular New Year’s Eve party.

Related: Enjoy an after-hours tour of Berlin on New Year’s Eve during our Northern Explorer Christmas & New Year tour!

To ring in the New Year in style, have a look at our exciting Christmas & New Year tours! Each New Year tour features included experiences as well as free time in the evening to celebrate as you wish!

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