Travel the world for the best New Year’s experiences

On November 19, 2010 at 07:00 AM

Expedia lists the world’s best destinations for New Year’s

New Year’s and more specifically, New Year’s Eve, is perhaps the most hedonistic of holidays on the year’s calendar and a perfect excuse for a great party. All around the world, there is music, dancing and breathtaking displays of fireworks as cities celebrate the passing of one year to the next.

For party-goers looking for a celebration to remember, Expedia.com.au, operated by Expedia, Inc., the world’s largest online travel company has scoured the globe to find the world’s best destinations - from Cape Town to Bangkok - to ring in the New Year.

Louise Crompton, Marketing Manager for Expedia.com.au, says: “New Year’s has always been an extremely popular time for travel and this year will certainly be no exception, especially given the strength of the Australian Dollar. However, with so many options to choose from, where you book matters. Australian holidaymakers can use Expedia’s easy-to-use, one-stop-shop website to help them find the best value for a fabulous New Year’s experience.”

Expedia.com.au’s Top New Year’s destinations:

Prague, Czech Republic

Pragueis without a doubt an extremely popular destination for New Year’s Eve. Celebrations run wild and there are entertainment options to cater for everyone. Travellers can choose to spend the night cruising through the city along the Vltava River, on one of the ever popular Jazz Cruise and Party Boats while enjoying good food with excellent music. For those looking to burn up some dance floors, be sure to visit Karlovy LáznÄ›, the largest dance club in Central Europe, with five different dance styles on five floors. As midnight approaches, Old Town Square is where the crowds gather to watch the fireworks display.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4* Hotel Union located in the historical district close to the Vysehrad Castle. Rooms start from $214* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Hotel Union.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

In Amsterdam the biggest party is where the locals are, and you won’t miss it because it’s in the streets! The fun doesn’t start until the clock strikes twelve, when Amsterdam literally erupts with light and sound, as firework displays are set off all over the city. Travellers can join in the celebrations at Dam Square where there are beer tents and live shows, and if that doesn’t satisfy the appetite, then hit up the red light district, try a sip of absinthe and visit on of their infamous nightclubs such as Lux or Bitterzoet.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4* NH Museum Quarter located near the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Experience. Rooms start from $200* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the NH Museum Quarter.

New York, USA

New York is home to the most famous New Year’s Eve celebration in the United States and one that is recognised all over the world. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people gather to witness the famous ball drop at the One Times Square building, a tradition since 1907. The city offers a remarkable night of entertainment, featuring star-studded musical performances, pom-poms, confetti and an impressive lineup of New Year’s Eve parties to satisfy even the wildest of party animals.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4* Empire Hotel located in the Upper West Side and just one block from Central Park. Rooms start from $283* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Empire Hotel.

Goa, India

Goa’s New Year’s Eve celebration is what keeps its free-living reputation alive. This exotic beach destination of India is packed with thousands of visitors each year, all gathering to welcome in the New Year. Backpackers flock here for psychedelic trance raves in the open air and the beachside locale is also a favourite amongst Bollywood stars. If travellers are looking for a dose of culture, then head to the local villages where you can try a glass of fenny, a regional brew made by guava, coconuts or cashew nuts.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3* Estrela Do Mar Beach Resort located near both Calangute and Baga Beach. Rooms start from $183* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Estrela Do Mar Beach Resort.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazilians know how to party, and the New Years Eve celebration on Copacabana Beach is sure to never disappoint. Every year, close to a million people meet on the beach, dressed in white to participate in the celebrations, dancing to the beat of the Samba while sharing champagne and partying. There is an impressive firework display as well as a star-studded concert.  Travellers who are seeking good luck and fortune can join the locals on the beach after the clock strikes twelve, when thousands gather to jump seven waves and throw flowers into the sea while making a wish.

Expedia recommends staying at the 3* Windsor Guanabara Hotel located near the Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria. Rooms start from $207* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Windsor Guanabara Hotel.

Tokyo, Japan

If one night of New Year’s celebrations is not enough to satisfy your appetite, then head to Tokyo, where festivities begin on the 29th December and last until January 4th. Like any other large city, there are clubs and fireworks to see, but for travellers wanting to welcome the coming of the New Year like the locals do, then gather some friends for Toshikoshi Soba (New Year’s Eve noodles) while listening to Juya No Kane (The Watch-Night Bell). The noodles symbolise longevity while the bell, which sounds 108 times, rings for prosperity and fortune. Visit the Imperial Palace on January 1st, one of only two days on which it is open to the public.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4* Dai-Ichi Hotel which is located within walking distance to the Ginza shopping district and Imperial Palace. Rooms start from $314* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Dai-Ichi Hotel.

Barcelona, Spain

Welcome in the New Year 'Spanish style by participating in Noche Vieja in Barcelona. Expect to find music, dancing and partying all over the city, with festivities lasting for as long as a week. From ballroom dancing to salsa, flamenco and rock band performances, there really is something for everyone. At the stroke of midnight, travellers can experience the old Spanish tradition of eating twelve grapes, one following each of the bell chimes. The custom dates back to the Roman Empire and symbolises the passing of the sweet flavours into the New Year. On January 5, families have the opportunity to participate in the traditional Three Kings Parade, in which the Three Kings (or Three Wise Men from the Bible’s New Testament) proceed through the city throwing barley sugar sweets to children.

Expedia recommends staying at the 5* Eurostars Grand Marina which is adjacent to the World Trade Centre and within walking distance to the old city centre. Rooms start from $272* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Eurostars Grand Marina.

Bangkok, Thailand

You know you can’t go wrong spending New Year’s Eve in a country that celebrates the festival three times annually – Western, Chinese and Thai. Bangkok hosts its New Year’s Eve celebrations across three official venues with the biggest of them all in Central World Square. The night promises non-stop action with spectacular lights, sound, beer gardens and star–studded performances while a similarly impressive line-up can also be found at the National Stadium. For those seeking a more traditional countdown, head to the Sanam Luang, located opposite the Grand Palace, where travellers can get a taste of an authentic Thai experience filled with traditional food, music and performances.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4.5* The Westin Grande located in the shopping and dining district. Rooms start from $146* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the The Westin Grande.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Billed as being the largest New Year celebration in the world, Edinburgh’s four-day long Hogmanay offers festivities that feature everything including theatre, music, a street party and massive crowds. Celebrations kick off on December 29 with a torchlight parade through the city led by Vikings and on December 31, then rug up andjoin over 100,000 people  dancing under the stars at the world famous Hogmanay street party. As midnight approaches, travellers can choose to listen to live music , DJs, head to one of the outdoor bars to toast the New Year, or be dazzled by a tremendous display of fireworks at the Concert in the Gardens. For the ambitious ones keen on tackling tradition, there’s also the option of learning Scottish Ceilidh Dancing.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4* Barcelo Edinburgh Carlton which is located on the Royal Mile and close to the National Museum. Rooms start from $242* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Barcelo Edinburgh Carlton.

Cape Town, South Africa

Bring in the New Year South African style with hot summer weather and festive celebrations in Cape Town. Travellers can catch a cable car to the top of Table Mountain and welcome the New Year from atop this definitive global icon. Alternatively, the V&A Waterfront is alive with food, bands and of course, a view of the best fireworks display in the city. Celebrations do not end there with a second New Year’s celebration or “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” to enjoy. Held on January 2, the festival of music and dancing features minstrel bands, painted faces and singing and marching that attracts crowds in the tens of thousands.

Expedia recommends staying at the 4* Harbour Bridge Hotel & Suites located near the Artscape Theatre and Cape Town Stadium. Rooms start from $279* per room per night. Visit Expedia.com.au to book a stay at the Harbour Bridge Hotel & Suites.

*Hotel rates are based on travel between December, 29th 2010 – January, 3rd 2011. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. 

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