Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I don’t like New Years, I always feel pressured to party and it’s usually boring…”? If this old yule sounds true, then you’ve got to do something about it! Take a trip and discover the 5 hottest places to ring in the new year this January without breaking the bank.
The best of the best seem to take Germany’s capital by storm every year. New Year’s Eve in Berlin hosts some of the biggest parties in Europe. Each year since the wall fell, nearly a million people have gathered at Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the new year. After the countdown the crowds disperse but many head for Straße des 17. Juni where a huge outdoor party unfolds featuring big-name DJs. You’ll have to brave the cold but it’s fairly easy to warm up with a glass of bubbly and some dancing.
- Flights to Berlin from £89 (depart 29/12)
- Hotel: £35/night at Sperlingshof or for something closer to the city centre, try Pankow for £42/night
- Party: Free, except drinks
Let’s start with the most important part of the evening: the party. When it comes to celebrating New Year’s in Budapest you don’t have to dish out to get into the hottest parties, pay for over-priced drinks or dress to the nines. Dress casual with your closest friends in arm and head to one of the city’s fantastic bars, Szimpla and A38 come highly recommended. Drinks are cheap so make sure you splurge on dinner. Try something Hungarian like goulash. Don’t miss the last day of Budapest’s Christmas market, December 29th.
- Flights to Budapest from £167 (depart 28/12) with Lufthansa
- Hotel: £13.50/night at All-Central Hostel in the city centre or £16.87/night at the Dominik Panzió Hotel near City Park
- Party: Count on spending from £15-20 on dinner and drinks
In Amsterdam there is nothing but craziness when December 31st rolls around! You will find the streets filled with locals and foreigners alike along the canals and in Museumplein. Crawl from coffee shop to coffee shop (which close at 3am) and toot your horn when the clock strikes 12! Then spend the rest of your night in one of the big clubs (Escape, Club Home…). If you’re a real party animal, Christmas Eve is also a hoot.
- Flights to Amsterdam from £80 (for travel 27/12-03/01)
- Hotels: Sleep right in the middle of it all at La Boheme for £66/night, just steps from Leidse Plein
- Party: budget around £35 for the evening
The sister city to Budapest in Central Europe is another good bet for a cheap (in price, not quality) New Year is Prague. For the countdown, make sure you’re at Karlov Most to share a pint of beer with everyone else in Prague. Don’t miss the fireworks, one of the best displays in Europe along the banks of the Vltava River. Book tickets in advance to a club, Roxy or Lavka SaSaZu for example. If you have a small budget, forget dining by candlelight, it will cost around £80 a person on a night like New Year’s Eve. Eat in the street, the local grub is cheap, delicious and hot!
- Flights London-Prague for £154 (depart 26/12, return 06/01)
- Hotel: youth hostel or holiday apartment for rent (starting from £40 for 6 people)
- Party: £25 should get you by
Dublin’s reputation for great parties come midnight on the 31st is just the start of reasons why Ireland is a great spot to celebrate the New Year. Whether it’s in an Irish pub with a crowd of rowdy locals or at Temple Bar (the city’s most vibrant cultural centre) with the twenty-somethings. If you plan to eat out, make sure you have restaurant reservations well in advance.
- Flights to Dublin from £29 with Ryanair (for travel 29/12-05/01)
- Hotel: backpackers hostels go for £20/night in the city centre, sleep in a quiet (key on New Year’s Eve) hotel for £40/night
- Party: £30 is plenty
Imgs: Flickr cc. Champagne: rogerss1 / Berlin: admiralspalast / Budapest: davidmarkerickson / Amsterdam: katielips / Prague: luckytom / Dublin: albertthebollix
Rates found at the time of writing the article. Validity not guaranteed.