New Year’s Eve is one of the most magical times of the year. As Brad Paisley has said, “The New Year is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” You may not know what 2016 will bring to you, but you can decide where to start it off. Here are some of Europe’s hippest New Year’s party cities that airBaltic can take you to.
London remains aglow with the holiday spirit on New Year’s Eve, when the city’s three hour extravaganza along the River Thames draws 250,000 people and 10,000 performers, complete with a fireworks show at the London Eye, a midnight countdown to the chimes of Big Ben and a massive group sing-along to Auld Lang Syne. Take in the sights during the festivities on a Thames dinner cruise. For land-based viewing, grab a spot along the Victoria Embankment or the Waterloo or Westminster bridges, but don’t stay out too late, as the New Year’s Day parade is one of London’s major events.
Paris certainly lives up to its City of Light nickname when it comes to New Year’s Eve. The Eiffel Tower in the heart of the city forms the centerpiece for a spectacular lightshow and fireworks display, while the surrounding ChampsElysées area comes alive with a massive street party. For a more bohemian feel, visit the artistic Montmartre area, where bars and cafés recall the Années Folles of Hemingway and Picasso. Expect to see loads of popping papillotes (chocolates that set off like firecrackers when opened), lots of cheek kissing and gallons of France’s most popular export – champagne – flowing freely as everyone wishes each other a ‘Bonne année!’
New Year’s in Riga is crispy, beautiful and exhilarating. With magnificent buildings, churches, splendid New Year’s decorations, winter markets, inspiring street music and delicious food and drinks, Riga will make your New Year’s Eve unforgettable. Many locals gather at the Freedom Monument and Doms Square to count down the seconds until midnight and watch the New Year’s fireworks. Afterwards, the romantic city offers lots of special parties, concerts and balls. Don’t forget to pack a warm coat for those cold Northern European nights.
Berlin has a worldwide reputation as a party city. On New Year’s Eve, or Silvester, as it’s called in Germany, Berlin hosts one of the largest parties in Europe. Near the Brandenburg Gate, more than a million revellers form the Party Mile, which is lined up with music stages and tents serving beer, mulled wine and local specialties like Currywurst. The culmination is a fireworks and laser show at midnight, after which the party moves to the city’s many clubs. If you’re still standing the next day, then sweat out the previous night’s excesses at the annual New Year’s Run, which loops from the Brandenburg Gate to the Berliner Dom and back.