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8 off beat ideas to celebrate New Year's Eve in style across Europe

New Year is at our doorstep, and you might be planning parties and celebrations with family and friends. But if you’re looking for a different New Year, in new environments, new landscapes, and new cultures, these are some of the best destinations to kick off the new year!


Ireland - Cork City

Cork City by night, Ireland

The Irish city of Cork is known for its nightlife and music scene. And there are plenty of pubs and clubs around town that celebrate New Year’s Eve in style. If you’re looking for something more refined, then head out to the charming countryside in county Cork in South Ireland where you will find several top-class hotels that are perfect for a luxurious New Year’s Eve.

Those who are in for an Irish adventure week must include New Years day in their stay. In many counties in Ireland, annual New Years swims are held for those who dare to make a dip in the cold ocean waters. Probably the busiest (and most famous) spot is at Forty Foot in Dublin, but if you like something calmer, head to the picturesque cove Myrtleville, south of Cork city.

Sicily

Sweet treats Sicily, Italy

New Year's Eve in Sicily is full of rituals. So if you are interested in authentic local experiences, put Sicily on your travel list. New Year's Eve - just like Christmas - Sicilians spend at the table with friends and family to savor many traditional dishes, one of which is lentils. Lentils are considered to bring good fortune as they resemble coins… As well you will find on the table Caponata and Sicilian fish specialties. The long dinner ends with a wide choice of sweets from cassata and torroni to cannoli and dried almond pastries. So prepare yourself for a night full of delicacies!


Iceland - Reykjavik

New years fireworks Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland's capital Reykjavík is an amazing town to spend New Year. During the day you can explore the incredible winter landscapes and enjoy amazing outdoor adventures from glacier tours and husky rides to snowmobiling and lava cave excursions.

Then, eat early and wrap up to look for one of the city’s bonfires where (new) friends and families gather to celebrate the last day of the year at the glowing fire. Keep yourself warm and stay awake for the glorious firework at midnight. Even Iceland’s Northern Lights are on New Year's Eve outdone.

Bonfires (called Áramótabrennur) are part of a long Icelandic tradition and were seen as a way to “clean the year” (or burned away) and start a new year afresh.


Norway

Lightning sparklers, new years eve, Norway

New Year celebrations in Norway are an important part of their rich traditions and heritage, which are followed by the Norwegians for hundreds of years.

Celebrations traditionally start with the Norwegian King addressing the nation before dugging into a hearty meal of Turkey or fish.

Besides, the celebrations in Norway are stylish! It is common to see families and friends dressed at best to celebrate this special evening, whether for dinner or for a drink waiting for the countdown for the fireworks which start at midnight.


Portugal - Porto

For a lively New Year, Northern Portugal's city of Porto is to put on your list.

The town gathers at the riverbanks to listen to live music, and concerts or celebrate in the bars, restaurants, and nightclubs downtown. Many people join the countdown in front of the city hall and watch the amazing firework show at midnight and enjoy the street parties afterward.

New years, fireworks over Porto city center, Portugal

Celebrating New Year in Porto is as well a great way to taste various traditional dishes and learn about local traditions. Portugal has many New Year’s traditions, so you might see the locals do one of the following at midnight:

  • With a glass of champagne in one hand, jump 3 times with one leg at the 12 strokes