Wish you were ringing in the new year abroad? Ciara McDonnell has all the options for next year — direct from Cork.
City breaks offer all of the ingredients needed for a memorable New Year’s celebration.
From the buzz of a city centre, to the smell of just-exploded fireworks, there is something viscerally exciting about spending the end of one year and the start of another in the urban playground of a city.
With that in mind, we have come up with nine amazing European cities to visit this New Year, all of which boast direct flights from Cork.
We’ve found the best parties and located the ideal spots to stay… all that’s needed is to book your ticket. So, get planning for next year now.
Achingly cool, Amsterdam is the best place in Europe to let down your shackles and party like it’s… well 2017.
Accommodation in this city is not cheap and, while a wealth of Airbnb options may seem the most budget- friendly, there is a new wave of modern budget hotels popping up around the city.
Our favourite is CitizenM; a futuristic hotel boasting extremely large beds, soundproofed rooms, and an interior that looks like an IKEA catalogue on steroids.
It has a canteen-style restaurant for quick re-fuelling between New Year’s parties, of which there are serious amounts citywide.
Do not miss:
Osterdok, the city’s official celebration, where superstar DJs prevail as fireworks shoot across the sky. Celebrations start at 9.30pm at the edge of the Scheepvaartmuseum. Be sure to pack a jumper, as Amsterdam nights are extremely cold this time of year.
The undeniable party city of Wales, Cardiff has long hosted elaborate New Year’s’ celebrations that attract crowds from far and wide.
We suggest starting in the afternoon with a visit to the New Theatre, where none other than David Hasslehoff is starring in pantomime.
Follow on to the Chapter Arts Centre, which is hosting a David Bowie New Year’s, replete with Bowie-inspired cocktails and fancy dress.
Stay at The Big Sleep, which may sound suspect, but is in fact an old British Gas building, which converted offices into hotel rooms. It is decorated in Scandi-chic, has few bells and whistles, but is a stone’s throw from the main shopping thoroughfare and, crucially for New Year’s, operates a 24-hour bar.
Ah, Hogmanay. There is nothing that rivals the world-famous festival that rocks Edinburgh through to New Year.
From a candle-lit concert of classical music in the hallowed surrounds of St Giles Cathedral to a rip-roaring belter of a concert, headlined by Paulo Nutini, to a ceilidh in the Old Town, this is New Year’s on a citywide level.
They’ve even taken kids into account, with a Sprogmanay festival for nippers.
Book into Stay Central, a brilliantly imaginative budget hotel located just off the Royal Mile. Bedrooms are urban in the extreme (exposed walls and metal and rough wood) complemented by the necessary iPhone docks and flat screen televisions of today’s traveller.
They even gift each check in with a bottle of wine, which is a lovely touch.
Pack your snow gear, darling, you’re skiing into the New Year. The beauty of Geneva airport is that it is less than an hour away from some of the best ski resorts in Europe. Head towards Chamonix, which is an hour’s drive from Geneva airport and an ideal spot for a weekend getaway.
Check into Vallorcine Mont Blanc Residence & Spa; super fancy apartments with daily room service, an on-site spa with hammam and it’s very own ice rink. We recommend booking a table at Le Privilege to see how the other half lives for a night, before dancing the night away at Clubhouse.
The crowd here are fancy, so be sure to pack your (ski- appropriate) gladrags.
These days, Liverpool is one of northern England’s biggest party cities, making it an ideal destination for your end of year celebrations.
If we were going, we would book a ticket to District House, an über-fancy bar/cocktail/club/restaurant that seems as though it would house many a reality television star.
The night at District House includes dinner, dancing to samba, lots of cocktails and a DJ set by the Son of 8 and Drew Moreland, who we are assured are two of the city’s hottest tickets.
We would stay at Novotel, which, as well as having a city-centre location and a pool, has an extremely decent room rate.
There are so many things going on in London on New Year’s Eve, it can be quite the daunting task trying to figure out what to do.
First things first; if you want to watch the fireworks near the display, you will have to get a ticket and you will have to pay. To get a ticket, log onto www.london.gov.uk and sign up.
If money is no object, splash out on a ticket to the New Year Gala at The Ritz this year.
Their world-famous restaurant The Palm Court will transform into a beacon of revelry, departing from its usual incarnation, to stage a glamorous 1920s-themed black-tie event.
Delight in a delectable four-course dinner created by executive chef, John Williams, MBE, and toast the New Year with a glass of Dom Perignon Champagne.
With entertainment from vintage swing bands, bagpipes, and a 14-piece military marching band, tickets cost a mere £795 per person, and £300 per child.
New Year’s Eve is a big deal all over Spain, and Malaga is no exception.
Traditionally, locals eat a family meal together before taking to the streets for a night of dancing and music.
Malaga’s main square will come alive with an orchestra and the city hall distributes 2,000 bags of grapes, which revellers eat for luck in the New Year.
We recommend eating some amazing tapas in Gorki or Bodega Bar El Pimpi, before working your way down to the public celebrations.
Stay in Alcazaba Premium Hostel, a high-end budget hostel with accommodation ranging from dorms to doubles, all with private bathrooms and some with their own balcony.
It has a fantastic roof-top terrace with view across the city, and a delicious restaurant on site.
Get ready party people. Munich has its own name for New Year’s Eve, so seriously do they take it. On Silvesterabend, the whole city goes into full-on celebration mode. Restaurants offer lavish five- and six-course menus and bars and clubs host huge elaborate parties. Marienplatz is the city’s central square and is the perfect place to head to on the night, because it is right in the middle of the major bar and restaurant district.
The city will throw an elaborate firework display, but the real fun will be found in the wee hours in the city’s many nightclubs where parties will go on until the early morning.
There is lots of choice when it comes to accommodation in Munich, but Motel One – a hugely popular chain in Germany — offers six different hotels across the city, all for €69 per night. The rooms are no frills and don’t include breakfast, but there is no denying it’s good value.
If you are lucky enough to be in Paris on the cusp of the New Year, then you better make the most of it. The city of light offers something for everyone, whether it is a shared glass of vintage champagne overlooking the Seine or a massive rave in a disused warehouse.
Somewhere in between, the city offers a huge amount of New Year’s tourist packages; from a dinner and music at the famous Le Mere Catherine Montmartre, that promises to keep you singing until dawn, to a ticket to the world-renowned Moulin Rouge, this is a night to taste all that Paris has to offer.
To sleep, j’adore Hotel Le Relais Montmartre, whose rooms are pretty and clean and frou frou and morning coffee can be taken in the courtyard during the warmer months.
The hotel is like an old pension and is located just a few minutes from the Sacré-Coeur, but feels almost village-ish in atmosphere.
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