A new year calls for new experiences, so to start 2018, we suggest traveling to one of the most popular New Year’s Eve destinations (especially if there's one you've never been to before). Travel website Kayak released this list of cities with the biggest jump in searches compared to last year, so grab your champagne and party favors, and go get on that plane.
New Year’s Eve doesn't always have to be synonymous with shivering and huddling together for warmth. Shed those layers and head to Guadalajara for a warmer start to the year. Wander the city’s festively decorated markets, and stop for some 'bacalao' along the way. This traditional New Year’s dish features a stew of rehydrated codfish, chiles, and olives. Markets will also be serving up plenty of tamales — as they should in this part of the world. As you celebrate, you’ll probably drink plenty of ponche, a spiked rum punch, and tequila. Partygoers can also catch parades and spectacular fireworks displays.
Ocean Boulevard will be the center of Kingston’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Wander through food stalls and take in the live entertainment, or if you want to sit down to a full meal before partying all night, try Tango Nuevo for tapas and a great wine selection. Party like you are 007 at the GoldenEye New Year’s Eve party. The glamorous hotel and resort is the former home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. You can also opt to spend the night out on the waters of the Caribbean Sea, since Kingston has plenty of boating options.
Mexico City, Mexico
Ah, Mexico City. For the best view in town, just trust us and book a table at Bellini. This rotating restaurant will give you a panoramic view of the city and any fireworks displays that are going off. The restaurant’s New Year’s Eve package is well worth the price with a six-course meal. Alternatively, you can party for free in the Centro Histórico area of the city. Watch the city’s main fireworks displays and dance to live music in the streets.
Amsterdam has it all: sugary snacks, parties aplenty, and fantastic fireworks. The traditional Dutch New Year’s treat is “oliebollen,” a type of doughnut. While you sate your sweet tooth, you also have your pick of fabulous parties. Find a club that suits your taste, or opt for a quieter celebration with reservations at a delicious restaurant. Come midnight, everyone will come pouring out into the streets to watch as fireworks go off around the city. You will be able to catch fireworks just about anywhere, but Amsterdam’s official fireworks show and celebration will take place at the Oosterdock.
Head to Praça do Comércio, a big waterfront city square in Lisbon, for a big New Year’s Eve celebration complete with music and fireworks. Prepare yourself for crowds of people dancing and celebrating in the square. You can also party the night away at Lux Fragil, one of the most popular nightclubs in town. For those who prefer to skip the crowds, book a table at a restaurant that also offers performances of fado, traditional Portuguese song.
Nochevieja, Spanish for New Year’s Eve, is a big deal in Barcelona. The city hosts an official party that starts at 11 p.m., which includes live performances and, of course, fireworks. If you want to join in on local tradition, make sure to have a bunch of grapes handy. The people of Barcelona and other Spanish cities will eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of the clock that leads up to midnight on New Year’s Eve. A lot of people in Barcelona eat meals with family and then go out to celebrate after midnight, so you might find that parties go into full swing after the fireworks die down.
Who wouldn’t want to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris? Take a dinner cruise down the Seine, or combine the best of both worlds with dinner and dancing at Le Duplex. If you want the ultimate view, you can reserve a table at 58 Tour Eiffel, the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Naturally, the City of Light will have no shortage of gorgeous fireworks displays you can watch on the street or catch on your way to the next party.
Toast to 2018 with a class of cava, sparkling Spanish wine, in Madrid. The city’s main plaza, Puerta del Sol, will be packed with people watching the clock tower and waiting for the stroke of midnight. Dance the night away at clubs like Ocho y Medio or Kapital. If your holiday celebrations center more on the food, never fear. Madrid has plenty of options. Sit down to a traditional seafood meal, or grab tapas and take in a live flamenco show at Las Tablas.
You definitely don't want to miss the opportunity to have a delicious multi-course meal while you're in Montreal, and tons of the city’s delicious restaurants have New Year’s Eve menus. Book a table at Le Diplomate or Flyjin. Go traditional with oysters and champagne, or order whatever meal you most want to the last of 2017. After dinner, head to Old Port to see dazzling fireworks and live music.
Plenty of hotels and bars in Athens have rooftops, and what better place to catch the perfect view? See if you can spot the Parthenon or the Acropolis, then settle in and stare at the stars before the fireworks begin. Also in Athens — prepare to stay up all night. The celebrations usually go until the sun starts to rise on the first day of the New Year.