Magazine

Celebrate 2015 somewhere new: Our top 5 picks

Travel Inspiration

Ring in the New Year somewhere different: from Berlin to Miami Beach, celebrate the end of the old year and the coming of the new somewhere exciting and unexpected. By Trisha Andres

1. Berlin

Celebrations begin in the daytime with the annual pancake race, Berliner Silvesterlauf. Runners garbed in fancy dress flip flapjacks from the arty Grunewald neighbourhood down to the finish line. In the evening, head to the "party mile" which extends to Brandenburg Tor (Brandenburg Gate) - the epicentre of Berlin's New Year's Eve festivities - where food and drinks tents serving local specialities like hot mulled wine and currywurst, music performances and light shows compete with the spectacular fireworks display.

2. Vienna

Vienna is the city of glamorous New Year's Eve galas and balls. But Silvesterpfad in the city centre, is where most revellers congregate. The celebrations last well after midnight, when the Pummerin bell tolls in the north tower of St Stephen's Cathedral and fireworks set the sky over Prater Park ablaze. Alternatively, hop on board the Majestic Imperator train, a "palace on wheels," for a stylish black tie dinner. Later in the evening, it pulls up on a Danube bridge from where the firework extravaganza playing overhead at midnight is on full display.

3. Rome

The Eternal City is as romantic on New Year's Eve as it is any other time of the year. Piazza del Popolo is where all the action is. The requisite fireworks display is in order, as well as a concert featuring a mix of Italian music and street performers. Need a break from all the excitement? Amble down to the church of Santa Maria del Popolo and visit the exhibition of nativity scenes from nearly 100 regions in Italy.

Less hectic but just as exciting are celebrations on the square in front of the Quirinale, off Via Nazionale where at around 11pm a classical music concert ensues, followed by fireworks at midnight. Toast to the New Year with a glass of the region's finest spumante or prosecco.

4. Cape Town

Ring in the New Year on top of one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders, the Table Mountain. Hike to the flat-topped mountain and picnic until the wee hours, with the Mother City in full view below. This is arguably the best base from which to admire the dazzling V&A Waterfront fireworks. But the festivities don't end here. On New Year's day, head to one of the local beaches and soak in the sun before wending your way downtown to see the Kaapse Klopse or Minstrel Carnival parade, with a bevy of costumed minstrel troupes singing and dancing. Rooted in slave culture, the tradition is a modern take on the celebrations held when the slaves in Cape Town were given a holiday on January 2, a date known as Tweede Nuwejaar (second new year).

5. Miami Beach, Florida

Stay warm as you ring in the New Year in the Sunshine state. First off, head to the beach near Ocean Drive and 8th Street in Miami Beach at 9pm to see live musical performances and finally sizzling fireworks at midnight against a tropical backdrop. A block from Ocean Drive is Collins Avenue, home to Miami's top clubs and bars where you can continue celebrations till dawn.

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