countdown to the new year
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Countdown to the New Year – Top 5 places

Time flies! We are in the last quarter of the year and how many ticks do you have on last year’s resolution list?  As the year comes to a close, are you thinking about your new year resolutions? Or should we be more practical and start looking for places to countdown to the new year?


Travel HANter

25 Dec 17

Countdown to the New Year

I love to countdown to the new year in another country. I get to experience the cultures of different places and admire the firework shows on display. Most importantly, everyone is happy on New Year’s Eve! Here are the top 5 places to countdown to the new year:

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

The Icelanders take their fireworks very seriously. The countdown to the new year with massive displays of fireworks that begin days before New Year and end a few days after. We were in Reykjavik on new year’s eve last year and have never seen so many fireworks over such a long period of time. The whole sky was constantly lit up by the fireworks. Definitely, a must go for firework enthusiasts.

  • Typical New Year’s Eve

Icelanders usually begin their celebrations with dinner with their family or friends. They then gather at a bonfire nearest to them to meet up with friends and shoot fireworks. The streets are usually empty by 22:30 as locals go back home to watch a comedy show that starts at 22:30. Just before midnight, the streets are filled with people to shoot more fireworks and the party begins after midnight.

countdown to the new year
image via Wake Up Reykjavik

Did you know?

Millions of Icelandic Króna are spent on the fireworks and the money from the sales are used to fund the Icelandic Search and Rescue Teams. Great way to celebrate and do charity at the same time!

2. New York City, USA

Probably one of the most famous city to countdown to the new year, visit New York City to watch the ball descend down the One Times Square as almost a million people gather at Times Square to countdown to the new year.

Be ready to brave the crowd and cold. The ball will start to descend 60 seconds before midnight, followed by firework displays when the clock strikes 00:00. The celebration also features performances by famous celebrities.

countdown to the new year
image via

Did you know?

The first ball drop took place on 31 December 1907 and has been a tradition ever since, only skipped twice in 1942 and 1943 during World War II. However, the idea of dropping a ball originated from England in 1892. Balls, covered in black or red canvas, would be hoisted up to the top and float down at the exact moment of noon, to help sea captains and mariners keep track of time.

3. Sydney, Australia

One of the first countries to countdown to the new year, watch fireworks light up Sydney Harbour. The average temperature of 26 °C also means you don’t have to countdown to the new year in the cold.

countdown to the new year

Aerial displays and performances in the evening, light parade later at night and firework displays at midnight.

4. London, England

Watch the London Eye and its sky light up with spectacular pyrotechnics. You can either buy a ticket to watch the display or catch it from the river on a New Year’s Eve cruise. The restaurants around the area are usually ticketed too. The main reason why you should countdown to the new year in London is actually for the parade on New Year’s day itself.

countdown to the new year
image via

On New Year’s Day, 8000 performers march through the streets of London from the Green Park Tube station to Parliament Square. Dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, marching bands and historic vehicles representing the London boroughs and other countries put up a 3 hours parade, filling the streets of London with joy and confetti.

countdown to the new year
image via

5. Singapore

Yeah yeah, you might be thinking that this is a bias suggestion since I am from Singapore. However, because I am from Singapore, I can assure you that Singaporeans take New Year’s Eve celebration very seriously too. There are usually celebrations all around but the main stages for the celebrations would be at Marina Bay’s floating platform and at Sentosa.

Catch the hourly showcase of building projection displays on the Fullerton Hotel, visit the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival for thrilling rides, games, musical performances and culinary delights. Catch spectacular firework displays against the most iconic buildings in Singapore.

countdown to the new year
image via

For the all the wild things, join the party at Sentosa’s Siloso Beach Party where you get to party in 50 000 liters of foamy water and of course, fireworks at midnight.

From the list, my personal favorite has gotta be Iceland. The endless fireworks were just too amazing. This year, where will you be to countdown to the new year?

Also, check out

9 Days Iceland Itinerary

How to spend 6 days in London


Full-time aspiring world traveller, most-of-the-night-time travel blogger. Always looking for the next vacation.

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