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New Year's Eve 2022: 20 best destinations to celebrate

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(CNN) – From world-famous cities to lesser-known locations, these are the best places on earth to ring in the New Year, offering everything from dazzling fireworks and nightly parties to stunning views and traditional festivals.

For many countries, this year will mark a return to the wild celebrations of the pre-Covid years – so raise a glass and start 2023 off with a bang!

dubai

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, lit up for New Year's Eve 2017 celebrations.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, lit up for New Year’s Eve 2017 celebrations.

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Last year, billions of people tuned in to watch the spectacular fireworks and light show on the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, according to its developer Emaar. This year, organizers plan to break new records and the building will feature the world’s largest laser display, accompanied by fireworks and a synchronized water show from the nearby Dubai Fountain.

Taipei, Taiwan

NYE sees Taipei 101, the 10th tallest building in the world, illuminated with one of the most spectacular fireworks displays on the planet. This year’s theme is “Taipei is the future”, and there will be 16,000 fireworks over the course of five minutes. The show will be backed by laser lights and music, with an A-list of celebrities and local artists leading up to the countdown.

barcelona

New Year's Eve fireworks light up in Barcelona, ​​Spain on December 31, 2016.

New Year’s Eve fireworks light up in Barcelona, ​​Spain on December 31, 2016.

PAU BARRENA/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

A city that boasts some of the best nights and festivals in Europe is a surefire destination for New Year’s Eve. Crowds gather in Plaça d’Espanya to watch the main fireworks display, and to experience a local tradition that’s not for the faint of heart, head to Plaça Catalunya, where people gather to drink Cava before throwing the bottles away. empty in the middle of the square.

cape town

After two years in which Covid restrictions put a damper on New Year’s celebrations, the city’s V&A Waterfront will light up on December 31 with pyrotechnics and parties. Live entertainment begins at 7pm with Table Mountain making a fantastic backdrop for the festivities. The Cape Malay Choirs Parade features music and dancing and begins at 9:30 pm on Darling Street on the Grand Parade.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh

Riyadh’s “Winter Wonderland” is seen in November 2021.

Wang Haizhou/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

With its “Riyadh Season” winter entertainment initiative, the Saudi capital is emerging as a New Year’s Eve destination. This year, it offers 15 entertainment zones, which include the largest man-made lake in the world, several fireworks displays and a Winter Wonderland that runs until December 31st. Arabic music stars will perform on New Year’s Eve at Mohammed Abdo Arena Boulevard Riyadh City and Noor Riyadh city festival of light and art also takes place during winter.

New York City

The quintessential New Year’s Eve venue, Times Square in New York is seriously packed with people on the day, and the event is streamed online for anyone to watch. The main event is the traditional Ball Drop. Since 1907, a large, crystal-covered ball atop One Times Square has descended from a pole during the last minute of the year, sending crowds into a frenzy.

Kiribati

An aerial view of Tarawa, the capital of exotic Kiribati.

An aerial view of Tarawa, the capital of exotic Kiribati.

Raimon Kataotao/EyeEm/Getty Images

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati is among the first inhabited places in the world to be seen on New Years because it is located so close to the International Date Line. Some of its islands span the longest time zone on Earth: UTC+14. Traditional celebrations and events are held across the islands, with the biggest party likely taking place on Kiritimati, the largest of Kiribati’s islands.

american samoa

This unincorporated US territory, about 3,000 miles northeast of New Zealand, is among the last inhabited places on Earth to enter the New Year. If you have the stamina and find a way to make the trip on January 1st, you could first celebrate the New Year in Samoa – an independent country just over 80 kilometers to the west – and then travel here and do it all over again. the next day.

Rio de Janeiro

Despite Covid restrictions limiting the celebrations, some revelers still watched the fireworks on Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, last year.

Despite Covid restrictions limiting the celebrations, some revelers still watched the fireworks on Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, last year.

Wagner Meier/Getty Images South America/Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine a more lively outdoor New Year’s Eve party than the one that takes place annually on Copacabana Beach, in Rio. Millions of people, many dressed in white, descend on the 2.5-mile waterfront to soak up the summer weather and enjoy music and food. Then, at midnight, all eyes lift to watch a grand fireworks display – but in a city famous for partying, that just signals the beginning of the celebrations.

Reykjavik

The Icelandic capital’s fireworks display is truly unique: instead of the city having an official display, citizens are encouraged to purchase their own from local search and rescue teams in their biggest fundraising effort of the year. Then, before midnight, the city lights up with thousands of microshows – collectively, a sight to behold.

Paris

The Arc de Triomphe was illuminated by a laser display that read Happy New Year 2017.

The Arc de Triomphe was illuminated by a laser display that read Happy New Year 2017.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

The central event in the aptly named “City of Light” takes place on the Champs-Élysées. This year’s show returns after a two-year hiatus and will see the Arc de Triomphe once again covered in 3D projections, starting at 11pm.

sydney

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are among the most famous in the world, beautifully framed by the harbor and set against the backdrop of the Opera House. This year, there’s a double dose of fireworks: the first show starts at 9 pm, inspired by the sea, land and sky and a celebration of indigenous culture, while the main event kicks off around midnight, with pyrotechnics launched from the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Opera House and from barges.

Lagos, Nigeria

Motorists drive through Victoria Island, Lagos, on New Year's Eve 2016.

Motorists drive through Victoria Island, Lagos, on New Year’s Eve 2016.

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/AFP via Getty Images

Lagos is the centerpiece of Nigeria’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, which are marked in a variety of cultural and religious ways. This year’s New Year’s Eve will see the city’s skies come to life with midnight fireworks shows and all-night parties at venues on the city’s Victoria Island. At the NOK by Alara restaurant on the island, you can enjoy a three-course dinner followed by festivities starting at 11 pm, under the theme “African Opulence”.

Istanbul

People celebrated New Year's Eve in Istanbul, Turkey on December 31, 2021.

People celebrated New Year’s Eve in Istanbul, Turkey on December 31, 2021.

Erhan Demirtas/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

On New Year’s Eve, fireworks light up the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul’s 30-kilometer waterway, and can be seen on an evening cruise on the river or coast. However, most people gather around the tourist hotspot and nightlife of Taksim Square, and many of the city’s neighborhoods host their own street parties and fireworks displays.

Edinburgh

Fireworks light up the sky above Edinburgh Castle as part of Hogmanay celebrations on December 31, 2015.

Fireworks light up the sky above Edinburgh Castle as part of Hogmanay celebrations on December 31, 2015.

Ross Gilmore/Getty Images Europe

New Year’s Eve in the Scottish capital is synonymous with Hogmanay, a three-day event featuring live music, street parties and, of course, spectacular fireworks. Most events are paid, but anyone can see the fireworks lighting up Edinburgh Castle and then live the experience of singing “Auld Lang Syne” in the home country of its writer, the poet Robert Burns.

London

The iconic fireworks show on the London Eye marks its return this year after a two-year break because of the pandemic. Only those who managed to win one of the 100,000 tickets will be in attendance, but many more will be watching from all over the world. The display starts at midnight and will of course be aided by Big Ben, marking the beginning of 2023.

Venice

Fireworks explode over the waters and canals of Venice in 2016.

Fireworks explode over the waters and canals of Venice in 2016.

Claudia Manzo/Corbis/Getty Images

San Marco Basin offers an enchanting fireworks show – but if you want to watch it, don’t go to St. Mark’s Square, as they cannot be seen from there, according to the city’s official website. Limited space is a factor here, which is why the main party, with music and concerts, takes place far from the waterfront in Mestre, the mainland part of the city.

las vegas

You’ll be spoiled for choice if you decide to spend New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip, with many resorts putting on their own fireworks in addition to their regular shows. Some 400,000 revelers are expected on the Strip to watch eight minutes of fireworks, while the Fremont Time of Your Life festival, featuring the likes of The Wailers and DJ Skribble, will take the party to the countdown and beyond.

Koh Phangan, Thailand

For the chill crowd: a relaxing sunset on Koh Phangan beach.

For the chill crowd: a relaxing sunset on Koh Phangan beach.

LenSoMy/iStockphoto/Getty Images

This island in the Gulf of Thailand is famous for its monthly Full Moon parties, and New Year’s Eve offers an unrestricted supercharged version. Hat Rin beach is lit up with fireworks and traditional fire shows, with music playing non-stop from early afternoon until the next day. But a number of clubs in the area will be more than happy to keep the party going longer.

Tokyo

The world-famous Shibuya crossing is often Tokyo’s equivalent of Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but the 2022 celebrations have been cancelled; Instead, you can opt for a more spiritual approach, visiting a shrine to pray for an auspicious new year or participating in a bell ringing ritual at a temple. And if you want to mingle with the locals, go watch the sunrise on New Year’s Day from the waterfront along Tokyo Bay.

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