10 great places to spend New Year's Eve
Some of the details may change, but year in and year out, these destinations around the world have a well-deserved reputation for traditionally throwing a great New Year's Eve shindig.
So let the countdown begin. Here are 10 great places where you can travel for a New Year's Eve you'll never forget:
Islands in the harbor or family-friendly parks on either side offer great views.
A bonus for Sydney: Summer's just started there, and you can also take advantage of the city's beaches, including Manly, Bondi and Bronte.
2. Hong Kong
You might catch the dazzling display from one of Hong Kong's many hotels with great views, including Hotel Icon and Park Lane. Crowds gather a couple of hours early at Star Ferry Pier (Tsim Sha Tsui) for some theater, dance and circus performances.
While you're in Hong Kong, you may also want to take in Ocean Park, a favorite amusement area.
Bangkok's answer to Times Square, CentralWorld Plaza is one of the main gathering spots for celebrations. Another popular gathering spot is the Asiatique shopping and entertainment area along the Chao Phraya River.
You may want to continue the celebration at one of Bangkok's stunning bars such as Red Sky or a sky-high restaurant such as Sirocco.
Dubai is building a reputation as a major food destination, so you may wish to indulge in top-tier restaurants such as Cavalli Club Dubai while you're there.
And if you have shopping in mind, check out Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest.
While you're there, you may want to see one of the world's most visited tombs, that of communist leader Vladimir Lenin, or take a tour of Cold War relics from the Soviet era.
If you want to celebrate in truly grand style with Russian flair, the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow may be for you. It's centrally located and has a rooftop bar.
6. Cape Town
If you're looking for a place with delicious food and a view of the festivities, check out MAReSOL, which specializes in Portuguese cuisine. If you're in the mood for a party, Cape Point Vineyards is one of many places to consider.
Make the most of your trip by visiting South Africa's renowned vineyards around Cape Town. (Like Sydney, Cape Town is just entering summer).
One great vantage point is a river cruise on the Monsoon Clipper or other boats.
A perfect way to greet the prospect of a new year is to settle down in one of London's oldest pubs, such as the Old Bell Tavern, serving up adult beverages since 1670.
While there, fans of British royalty may want to visit sites such as Kensington Palace, where Queen Victoria was born.
8. Rio de Janeiro
The main gathering at Copacabana Beach traditionally features a variety of musical acts and fireworks.
If you want to party in classic Rio style, pay a visit to Jobi Bar. It's a social institution in the city, having been open since the 1950s. For samba and choro music, head to Carioca da Gema.
Looking for a great view? Swing over to the Vista Chinesa, a small Chinese pagoda perched to provide a fantastic panorama.
9. New York
If you don't feel like jamming into Times Square with around 1 million other folks, here are some other options:
-- Head to Grand Army Plaza, which is just off Prospect Park in Brooklyn, for fireworks and fun. You need to arrive early for the best views.
-- If you're 21 or older, try your luck at Resorts World Casino, the only casino in the city. Near JFK Airport, it traditionally throws a blow-out NYE party.
10. Las Vegas
The Strip is closed off to vehicles, and pedestrians take over for an unforgettable festival. At midnight, various casinos launch an impressive barrage of fireworks off the roofs of their buildings. You can watch the show from atop the Stratosphere Tower.
Visitors are advised to book hotel rooms early, as prices in Vegas shoot up for the holiday. They're also cautioned to dress warmly -- the desert cools off a lot at night, especially in winter.
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