Tired of the same old New Year’s Eve parties? I know I am… Here’s my handy list of 5 great reasons we should all escape to Europe this winter – plus 5 great destinations to do it all in – and celebrate the start of 2016 in style!
Reason #1 – Everyone deserves a good Winter Break…
Perhaps the best reason for a New Year’s getaway is simply that it’s good to escape it all. Lounging on a Caribbean beach is but a distant dream for most, but a short break on the continent is relatively easy to afford and achieve. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but with all the effort that goes into it you deserve a decent holiday – they’re not just for summer y’know!
Best Place to Visit: Prague. A fairy-tale like city when winter rolls around, the city’s gorgeously gothic architecture never looks better than when covered in a layer of crisp white snow. The Czech capital knows how to party; the fireworks display over the iconic Charles Bridge is up there with the best in Europe. It’s great for families too – don’t forget to catch the city’s 6pm fireworks on New Year’s Day.
Reason #2 – Fireworks are great, but they’re not the most impressive light show…
That title belongs to the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights are never quite as beautiful as in the darkest of winter skies. Be the envy of all your friends by wrapping up in your favourite chunky knitwear and catching Mother Nature’s own light display in Europe’s northernmost countries.
Best Place to Visit: Reykjavik. Iceland’s capital is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights all year round, but with a very good firework display just in case the lights don’t show and some of the best nightlife in Europe, this unique city should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list for 2016!
Reason #3 – London is so 2012. The life and soul of the party has moved on…
When it comes to New Year, London is a wonderful place for families to congregate and watch the breath-taking firework display. For an out-and-out party however, you’re better off looking elsewhere. If you crave the company of large crowds of revellers and fancy a New Year’s street party, European cities just do it a bit better…
Best Place to Visit: Amsterdam. The party capital of Western Europe, and officially home to some of the happiest people in the world, where could be better than the Dutch capital to let your hair down whilst seeing in the New Year? Go see the Amstel River lit up in the pastel colours of a gorgeous fireworks display.
Reason #4 – Continental gastronomy beats a finger buffet every day of the year…
Some places are better than most at catering for the tastes and appetites of families and tourists alike; Barcelona, Bruges and Paris to name just a few. Keen to enjoy a slap-up meal instead of the usual mix of party nibbles or having to slave over the stove all day? Make New Year the time to discover some of Europe’s best gastronomic cities.
Best Place to Visit: Barcelona. The Spanish have a great tradition on New Year’s Eve: take twelve grapes, and eat one on every chime of the clock on the stroke of midnight – if you can, expect a year’s worth of good luck! It’s not much of a dinner though, so treat yourself to some delicious tapas beforehand!
Reason #5 – Dance like no-one is watching – because they’re not watching, they’re all dancing too!
British New Year celebrations are all a bit staid; other than joining hands for a traditionally patchy version of Auld Lang Syne come the end of the night, it can all be a bit boring before it even gets to 11.30pm. With that in mind, why not take a trip on the Eurostar to somewhere that’s a little less inhibited.
Best Place to Visit: Brussels. The Belgian capital’s pretty Grand Place makes a beautiful backdrop for some of the continent’s jolliest festivities. Aside from the spectacular fireworks in Parc de Bruxelles, the magic of the city’s New Year celebrations happens in the square when the music starts playing and everyone starts dancing. It’s the perfect place to get your groove on and party like it’s 2016.
Heading on getaway this New Year? Tell us all about it in our comments section below!