Where To Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Europe
If you’re travelling Europe over December and January, you're in for a treat. Celebrate the New Year with a diverse range of celebrations, from fireworks to family traditions. Have you ever been to the beach on New Year's Eve? Or had a street party? Here are 5 cities to consider if you’re spending New Year’s Eve in Europe – and you can reach them all easily with your Interrail Pass!
1. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is a reveller’s dream at any time of the year. But throw a big occasion like New Year’s Eve into the mix, and you’re in for an unbeatable party. Most bars and clubs organise some form of New Year’s Eve celebration, and chances are it will run well into the early hours of the morning. Want a breath of fresh air? Take a stroll down lively Las Ramblas to soak up the NYE atmosphere.
Insider tip: One of the best (and cheapest) places to ring in the New Year in Barcelona is at the beach. With sand between your toes, you might just be treated to a spectacular view of the fireworks...
How to get there by train: There are several trains to Barcelona from throughout Spain and the rest of Europe, including overnight trains from Paris and Zurich.
2. Paris, France
The City of Lights is a magical place to visit at the end of the year. The Eiffel Tower is worth seeing on its own, sparkling in excitement as midnight approaches. At 11:30pm, witness a spectacular light show, with music, effects and lights leading up to the fireworks. Alternatively, wander over to the iconic Avenue des Champs-Élysées, where you'll have front-row seats at the Arc de Triomphe counting in the New Year.
Insider tip: For a less touristy but equally enjoyable Paris NYE, head over to Montmartre. You’ll have stunning views over the city and a captivating atmosphere which you'll remember forever.
How to get there by train: There are several trains to Paris from throughout France, as well as overnight and high-speed trains to dozens cities beyond.
3. Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul has fast earned a reputation as one of the continent’s best destinations to ring in the New Year. Kick your night off with a classic Turkish meal in one of the city’s historic neighborhoods. Here celebrations are somewhat quieter, and then build up to a big celebration in the heart of the city. Taksim Square transforms into a hive of activity as residents throw unofficial street parties, and the atmosphere is thoroughly infectious.
Insider tip: Looking for a quieter Istanbul New Year’s Eve celebration with a view? Book a river cruise on the Bosphorus for an incredible perspective of the city as fireworks light up the skyline.
How to get there by train: Trains traditionally run to Istanbul via Bucharest or Sofia, Bulgaria, with replacement buses available when necessary.
4. Berlin, Germany
Berlin prides itself on being one of the world’s party capitals. If you’re after a full-on New Year’s Eve celebration, then this destination should be at the top of your list. The city lights up with fireworks at the stroke of midnight, and many people head to the clubs to celebrate. Each year, millions of tourists descend on the city to celebrate, soak up the atmosphere and see the iconic sights lit up at night. So if large crowds and parties are your thing, then Berlin should be high on your list.
Insider tip: Unsure where to head? The heart of the action on NYE is the Party Mile – a mile long stretch of road between the Victory Column and Brandenburg gate. There you’ll find bars, food, live music, laser shows, and a good view of the fireworks.
How to get there by train: Berlin is a busy rail hub in northern Germany. There are regular trains from throughout the country and to neighboring international cities.
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is another European city good for a serious party throughout the year, but come December 31st, you’ll see a new side to this popular destination. Unofficial parties spill out onto the streets and the city usually organizes several events in public squares. Fireworks light up the sky throughout the evening and hit their peak at midnight to match the growing celebrations.
Insider tip: Save money and get the best seat in the house by ringing in the New Year on one of Amsterdam’s many bridges. With a stroopwafel and beer in hand, there are few better vantage points from which to view the fireworks and soak up the atmosphere.
How to get there by train: There are several high-speed local and long-distance trains to and from Amsterdam, making it an easy city to reach by rail.
6. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm may be somewhat of a niche party destination throughout the year, which makes the end-of-year celebrations all the more special. NYE parties in the Swedish capital escalate quickly and typically end up on the city streets. When midnight hits, a famous Swede will read out the poem Ring Out, Wild Bells, which many see as an invitation to take the party to the city’s many clubs and bars.
Insider tip: Line your stomach with seafood before heading to your Stockholm New Year’s Eve party at Skansen. This open air museum has been the heart of celebrations since the late 1800s, and is the perfect place to celebrate the past, present and future.
How to get there by train: There are numerous domestic trains from throughout Sweden to the capital Stockholm, as well as long-distance trains from cities further afield.
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