New Year’s Eve celebrations are on a whole other level when you head to Europe. With people crowding the streets to take part in the community’s NYE traditions, it’s hard not to want to immerse yourself in their festivities.  

Take the chance to spend the end of 2019 this year in a whole new way. Here are 7 of the best places to spend the New Year in ETIAS countries with celebrations like no other.

7 Best Places to Spend New Year's in Europe When Traveling to ETIAS Countries


7 Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Europe


Whether you want to stay up past midnight having some New year fun or want to spend the New Year’s with family, these destinations surely have what you’re looking for.

1. Madeira, Portugal

Watch one of the most spectacular fireworks shows on the isolated island of Madeira. The amazing 10-minute pyrotechnical show shoots from the sea, so you can enjoy the show in a boat or witness it from the bay of Funchal or the hills around it.  

2. Madrid, Spain

Nochevieja, or New Year’s Eve, is a giant and lively event with people flocking to Puerta del Sol to watch the countdown, the biggest broadcast event of Spain. The real fun starts after midnight when the pubs open up to locals and tourists looking for some fun.

Try this out: Take part in the fun Spanish NYE tradition to put on lucky red underwear, grab a bottle of cava, and eat 12 grapes of luck that you have to finish at midnight and finish before the bell stops ringing. 

3. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland can be pretty cold this time of year, which explains why there are the traditional bonfires around the city on New Year’s Eve. These bonfires aren’t your typical campfires. They’re gigantic and there are 10 of them you can check out around the city! 

Try this out: Watch the enamoring fireworks show from Hallgrímskirkja church, which not only provides a good view but is also relatively close to a lot of bars for a post-new-year celebration.

4. Vienna, Austria

Vienna celebrates the new year in one of the most classy and elegant ways, hosting extravagant gala dinners and grand balls on NYE. But if you’re looking for a less formal (and free) event, the streets are filled with live music of different genres for you to enjoy.  

5. Dresden, Germany

If you’re planning a fun family New Year’s Eve, then skip Berlin and head on over to Dresden, Germany, where there’s live music in the streets to dance to, warm mugs of glühwein for the adults to enjoy, and piping hot sausages served in Theaterplatz Square. 

Try this out: If you’re traveling with young children, go to the square early to watch the kiddie fireworks display, which they’d surely enjoy.

6. Dubrovnik, Croatia

This destination is less crowded at this time of year compared to the famous NYE cities in Europe. Still, the streets are filled with music from Croatian musicians and a taste of great food and wine.

Try this out: Oysters and sparkling wine are on the menu for a Croatian New Year’s celebration, so save some room for this before midnight comes.  

7. Tornio, Finland and Haparanda, Sweden

Experience New Year’s twice in a row by counting down the first NYE in Tornio then crossing the Torne River Railway Bridge to Haparanda to do it all over again! These two countries have slightly different time zones, which makes for a double midnight celebration.


What to Expect in a European New Year’s 


Different places in Europe have so much to offer. Here is a glimpse of what you could experience this NYE celebration.

Amazing Fireworks Displays

The pyrotechnics in Europe are absolutely insane, filling the night skies with bright colors and impressive forms and movements. When it comes to fireworks, these European countries never fail to put on a really good show.  

Heartfelt Entertainment

The communities in most European countries love to come together with singing and dancing parading in public spaces. You would see the passion that people have for the performing arts just by heading out on the streets. 

Mouth Watering Food

The best European eats come out at New Year’s Eve, which you wouldn’t want to miss out on even if you’d skip the alcohol. But for the love of NYE, try not to miss out on European’s finest alcoholic drinks.

Fun and Inviting Locals

People know how to throw an awesome NYE party in these European countries. There’s never a dull moment here when the clock strikes midnight, so don’t miss out on the celebrations.

Traveling to any European country this year will be something worth your time, no matter where you choose to celebrate it. Just make sure to start off the year right by welcoming it with the right people and the right mindset to prepare yourself for the next decade ahead.


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This new year brings things closer to 2021, the year when the European Travel Information and Authorization System or ETIAS will come into effect for non-Schengen visa-exempt countries such as the US. is an independent platform that keeps you updated with the latest information and updates on this visa waiver. We also provide visa assistance on the current travel system to Schengen countries. Contact us now and let us help you get your trip to Europe ready.

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