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  • Worldwide Scott | December 29, 2015 3:00 AM ET

    6 of the Best Places to Spend New Year's Eve

    6 of the Best Places to Spend New Year's Eve

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    You know what makes me really sad this time of year? When someone says "I hate New Year's Eve." And trust me, there are plenty of people out there saying it. Unlike Christmas, you can pretty much get away with slamming New Year's Eve with impunity, especially if you chide the holiday as being an “amateur night.”

    Well, I love New Year's Eve. For my money, you just can't beat the combination of sentimental calendar-turning and cocktails that New Year's Eve brings to the table, and you know what goes really well with New Year's Eve? A trip. Yes, there are some truly fantastic places around the world to spend the last night of the year, and here are some of the best.

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    hotel PORTO BAY RIO INTERNACIONAL | Copacabana Beach;

    Photo via Flickr/Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts

    There's no question that Rio knows how to throw a party all year round, but when it comes to New Year's the celebrations get cranked up a notch. Wearing white is the custom on New Year's Eve in Brazil, with the color meant to symbolize a fresh slate for the start of the new year, and in Rio de Janeiro, the beaches fill with white-clad revelers at raucous beach parties. These parties are full of entertainment that keeps the crowds dancing until midnight when a massive fireworks display then takes over the night sky.

    Madrid, Spain

    Madrid-Fin de año 2012

    Photo via Flickr/alma-81

    Do you like eating grapes? Do you like chiming clocks? How about fiestas - do you like those? Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions, then you will love New Year's Eve in Madrid. The Puerto Del Sol Square in Madrid is the epicenter of the fun in Spain, featuring a party broadcast all over the nation. When its historic clock strikes midnight, the bell chimes twelve times, and as the bell is chiming the entire nation tries to eat twelve grapes - one for every chime - to ensure good luck and a prosperous new year. When the grapes are eaten and the bells have ceased ringing, the party revs up and goes on to the wee hours of the morning.

    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Fireworks over Edinburgh

    Photo via Flickr/Robbie Shade

    Scotland is to New Year's Eve what the North Pole is to Christmas and the country goes all out for the special night, as it is part of a larger signature Scottish festival called Hogmanay. Looked forward to more than Christmas by many in these parts, New Year's Eve is about celebrating and first-footing. First-footing is the tradition of trying to be the very first to come over to a friend or relative's home after midnight, and it's serious business. Scots will wait for the clock to turn midnight and then bring gifts of cakes or whisky over to friends' homes. If you are in Edinburgh, though, you'll be treated to firelight processions, concerts, and plenty of warming libations.

    Sydney, Australia

    NYE Fireworks, Sydney AU

    Photo via Flickr/Sarah Ackerman

    With the iconic Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House in the background, Sydney throws the first big party of the year anywhere on earth each year, and seeing it here once is bucket list material for many. The parties start during the warm sunny day of New Year's Eve - remember it's summer here in December - with barbecues and beer a-plenty, all building up to a colorful laser and fireworks display overheard at midnight.

    Both Sydney, Australia and Honolulu, Hawaii

    Believe it or not, there are people out there that ring in the new year in Sydney then in the wee hours of New Year's Day, hop on a plane and fly directly to somewhere in the Pacific which lies across the international date line. This way, if you time things right, you can celebrate the night twice. I have no evidence that anybody has really done this, but it is technically possible according to airline schedules for this year and there has to be someone out there who loves New Year's as much as me who is up for giving it a try.


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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