Best Places to Ring in the New Year


Dreaming of a once-in-a-lifetime celebration you will never forget? Wondering what it would be like to party with the locals like there is no tomorrow? There are plenty of places across the globe to usher in the New Year with style and for this special occasion, Lonely Planet has chosen six world-renowned cities from its new pocket city guidebook Encounter series to help travellers discover the ultimate city experience.

Tokyo, Japan
“There is a traditional side to this hyperurban cosmopolis, which may not be immediately evident.” says Wendy Yanagihara, author of Lonely Planet’s Tokyo Encounter. For a glimpse of its cultural core, visit Meiji-jingū – one of Japan’s most splendid shrines. Soak in the atmosphere at New Year’s and the few days thereafter with thousands of others to celebrate in Shintō style.

Sydney, Australia
It is an undeniable fact that Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse city has one of the world’s most breath-taking natural harbours. Sydney Encounter suggests you find someone with a penthouse or a yacht to watch the fireworks displays at Sydney harbour.

London, England
Marvel at the kaleidoscope of lights from the heights of the London Eye – one of the city’s most recognisable symbols. If the queue to the world’s largest observation wheel proves to be too challenging, Lonely Planet’s London Encounter guidebook recommends you stand on Waterloo Bridge for the best city view.

Hong Kong, China
For a dazzling view of the fireworks, make your way to the Peak – the highest point on the island. “Not only is the view from the summit one of the most spectacular cityscapes in the world, it’s also a good way to get Hong Kong into perspective” says Steve Fallon, author of Hong Kong Encounter. If you can’t make it to the top, watch them from the Kowloon side and see the wall of flashes coming from the Peak every time a firework goes up.

Paris, France
Catherine Le Nevez, author of Lonely Planet’s Paris Encounter believes that no trip to Paris is complete without strolling down the Champs-Élysées On the last day of the year, this Parisian cityscape transforms into a scene of one massive celebration. Climb to the top of the Arc De Triomphe for the pyrotechnic bedazzlement and views swooping down the Champs-Élysées.  

New York, USA 
Times Square, the city’s most famous intersection is a maelstrom of human activity and flashing neon lights. Ginger Adams Otis, author of the New York Encounter guidebook describes it as “the brashest, boldest piece of in-your-face infotainment the world’s ever seen.” In 1904, the infamous New York Times newspaper threw itself a party on December 31, which has now become the annual New Year’s Eve ball-dropping bacchanalia. 

About the Lonely Planet Encounter series:

Written for travellers who want to rapidly immerse themselves in the city, the new Encounter guides are researched and written by locals who have lived in each city. The guides feature unique itineraries and highlights that help you make the most of a short trip, plus insider tips from locals in the know and a full-colour pull-out map for easy navigation.

For review copies, interviews or further information, please contact:

Lynnette Foo, tel: +61 3 8379 8000