With New Year’s Eve fast approaching the big question is - what are your plans? Will you be chilling at home in your joggers or chanting down the last seconds of 2021 in a foreign land, miles and miles from your living room sofa? If you are determined to mix things up this year - we’ve put together a list of European cities that are hosting some epic parties.
What about COVID-19? 🦠
If you're inspired to party abroad this New Year’s, you'll probably be questioning how current regulations will impact any plans.
The destinations we've selected are places where celebrations are still scheduled to go ahead.
In many places, proof of vaccination is required to enter bars, clubs and crowded places (and/or a negative PCR test or lateral flow test no older than 72 hours). Just make sure to triple check everything and consult country specific (and party specific!) guidelines.
Check out the Skratch Map to see the latest updates where you can currently travel.
The Destinations 🥂
Whether you want to swish about in 17th century palaces, or kick-back in cosy canal-side bars, Venice is an enchanting place to ring in the New Years.
From the fancy to the understated, a number of amazing sounding parties are taking place. But if you’re not seduced by any of the ticketed events, just being in Venice on New Year’s Eve is enough. With fairy lights strung about everywhere and lagoon waters lapping against the thoroughfares, wandering around and seeing what festivities you stumble across will make for a magical night.
And then there are the fireworks! For a prime vantage point - seek out a panoramic rooftop terrace to watch the city sparkle under the display rising up from St. Mark’s Square. Or if you are feeling extra fancy, book a 6 hour lagoon cruise (complete with cocktails and a 5-course gourmet dinner) and admire the pyrotechnics from the water.
Finding a good party in Barcelona is never difficult and Nochevieja (New Years in Spanish) is no exception.
An array of fabulous parties are taking place across the city, ranging from the pricey (especially when booking things pretty last-minute) to the less expensive. Some party spots to have on your radar are the Eclipse Bar at W Hotel or Razzmatazz.
At the stroke of midnight, the city is illuminated by the fireworks display from Plaça Espanya. Many locals and younger crowds head to Montjuic to watch the fireworks from there, but wherever you end up, just make sure to go armed with your 12 grapes to partake in the quirky Spanish tradition of eating them in tune to the 12 chimes of midnight.
Note: On December 31 groups are limited to 10 people and there is 1am a curfew in the city (so start your celebrations early!)
Edinburgh is famed for throwing a stellar Hogmanay party (Hogmanay being the Scot’s name for the celebrations that take place on December 31st).
This year, the biggest organised event in the city is a street party (Party at the Bells) where Basement Jaxx will be blasting out tunes and street-theatre performers will keep attendees entertained with spectacular optics. At midnight there will be the dependably impressive fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle which seems to get better every year.
Tickets to the street party cost £27.00 and are still available, but if you are planning a more budget friendly night - Edinburgh's city centre will be filled with Hogmanay spirit so simply heading to a pub and joining in with the general merriment will make a fun night.
Tbilisi is a fantastic city to see in the New Year. It’s more low key but no less lively than some of the bigger European capitals.
All New Year’s celebrations in Tbilisi begin with a feast. Find a local tavern or upscale restaurant and indulge in a traditional Georgian New Years Eve “supra”. Sitting around a table laden with Satsivi, Gozinaki, Basila, and Chacha - you’ll soon be fueled for the forthcoming festivities.
The city's official celebration consists of a big outdoor concert where national song and dance fill the streets. We recommend soaking in the atmosphere in Freedom Square (Tbilisi's main square), Median Square and Rustaveli.
At some point, crowds will carry you along to Shardeni Street - a beautiful promenade lined with bars and clubs (perfect for bar hopping). And if you’re able to stick around and explore Georgia for a couple more weeks - you’ll be able to enjoy New Years celebrations part two, since Georgians celebrate the Old New Year on January 14.
Budapest has become one of the most popular party cities in Europe and really upped its New Year's Eve game.
Boat parties along the Danube river are a popular way for locals and visitors to party into the New Year. Or if pub crawls are your thing, there are plenty taking place around Budapest's famous ruins bar (although of course you can always organise your own bar-hopping exploration).
What also makes Budapest a wonderful backdrop for New Year's Eve celebrations are the magnificent castles which offer ideal vistas for watching the fireworks (Fisherman’s Bastion near Buda Castle is our recommendation).
And for anyone with festive stamina, a thermal pool party is happening on New Years Day at Szechenyi Baths.
Note: All information in this article is correct as of 20/12/21 and will not be updated.