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Ring in the New: the Best Places to Be in Europe on New Year’s Eve

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Fancy spending New Year’s Eve somewhere a bit more adventurous than the pub? We’ve scoured the continent for some of the hottest spots to get down as the big moment approaches. Get your train tickets (including European Rail) through and save on the party of the year!

London: Primrose Hill

Those in the know will tell you that Primrose Hill is the spot to watch the New Year’s celebrations. Not only will you see all of London’s firework displays from the chicest vantage point in the capital – you also get to spend the warm-up having a picnic on the hill, or quaffing mulled cider in the Queen’s pub just over the road. Plus there’s a chance you’ll run into someone famous. Ring in the new year with writers, actors, artists and North London legends. You won’t regret it.


Scotland: Edinburgh

In Scotland, the festivities start a day early. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay begins on December 30, with squillions of partygoers marching up Calton Hill bearing flaming torches: and finishes with a citywide street party on the night itself. Highlights include actual live bands (and some pretty famous ones at that: this year you get Django Django for the trendy and The Pet Shop Boys for the terminally happy) and the world’s biggest Auld Lang Syne. If you want to sing along with nearly 100,000 others, you know where to go. And can get you there for less, with cheap train tickets and bargain hotels when you reserve in advance.


Holland: Amsterdam

The Dam’s always known how to party – and on New Year’s Eve all the stops are well and truly pulled out! Before midnight, it’s strictly a street affair, with many of the bars not even bothering to open until the hour has come and gone. Once you’ve toasted friends and strangers alike, snogged the nearest person and tried to phone your mum, it’s off for a late night and early morning of revelry as only the Dutch know how to do it. Expect banging techno DJs lighting up the streets, super-late club licensing and a massive gig in Dam Square. Gezellig.


Germany: Berlin

Europe’s artiest city is hard to beat on New Year’s Eve. During daylight hours, thousands of mad joggers don their fanciest dress and take to the streets bearing frying pans and pancakes. If you’ve never tried running 15k in a clown costume whilst flipping a pancake, now’s the time to start. As night falls, the Berliner’s attention turns to partying – and as it’s Berlin, that means late, loud and heavy. Head to the Brandenburg Gate for the dance event of your life: multiple DJs, the most dramatic backdrop on earth, and of course thousands of crazy Germans raving their faces off. Fantastische.


France: Paris

The French do two things better than anyone else: champagne and a peck on the cheek. New Year’s Eve is the perfect excuse for both. Grab a bottle, grab a stranger and get into the spirit of things. Most of the city is out and about, with fireworks flying over some of the most famous monuments and buildings in Europe – and of course all the clubs and bars are open until very late indeed. Also, you get exploding chocolates and a laser show over the Eiffel Tower. Très bien.

New Year’s Eve comes but once a year – so get out there and get involved! Book your train tickets, hotels and European Rail from and you’ll get the best deals. Early rail tickets get the biggest discounts.

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