5 Fantastic Destinations to Watch New Year’s Eve Fireworks
The year is almost over and 2024 is almost upon us! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with new year’s resolutions — first we need to party like it’s… well, 2023!
And surely one of the best ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve is with a spectacular fireworks show! Well, yes, sure, you can watch them from Marina Bay, but why not travel to a nearby country to experience New Year’s Eve fireworks in a way that’s larger than life?
From Sydney to Dubai, we list five fantastic destinations where the fireworks display is simply going to ignite your senses and blow your mind. So read on, and start booking for your travel!
1. Sydney, Australia
For an unparalleled celebration, you absolutely must head down under and experience the world-class fireworks display against the stunning backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Although the most iconic fireworks finale takes place at midnight to officially herald in the beginning of 2024, New Year’s Eve in Sydney is a full happening party along the harbour beginning as early as 7.30pm AEST.
The celebrations begin with an Aboriginal purification ritual, followed by lighting projections across the Harbour Bridge, a smaller fireworks display alongside cultural music and dance, and a light-up display of boats floating along the harbour.
The main highlight, of course, is none other than the Midnight Fireworks display, with pyrotechnics being launched from the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and some other iconic landmarks. You can even tune in to KIIS 1065 for the synchronised simulcast and soundtrack experience, no matter where you’re viewing the fireworks show from.
While some of the ticketed vantage points have already been sold out, here are some free entry vantage points that are worthy of checking out:
- Mrs Macquarie’s Point, on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens, is always one of the best places to view the harbour, fireworks or not. Expect people camping out overnight to secure the best views!
- West Circular Quay, the area outside the Museum of Contemporary Art and First Fleet Park
- Tarpeian Lawn sits above the Opera House, so while you won’t see it, you’ll have fantastic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Observatory Hill Park, Millers Point, where you can sit on steep grassy terrain for a good view of the Harbour Bridge
- Robertson Park, Watsons Bay, is a little way out, and better known as a great spot for whale watching in Sydney, but also offers beautiful views of the NYE fireworks against the city skyline on the horizon without the bustling crowds
Do note, though, that access is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so take note of the opening times and prepare to make an entire picnic day of it — bring board games, card games, and other forms of entertainment while you wait for the show to begin.
The good thing about New Year’s Eve in Australia is that it’s summer time, and the weather is lovely for sitting outside and having a wonderful time with your family.
Having a “Plan B” vantage point is also a good idea as popular areas fill up quickly and close to the public once they reach capacity. Click here for the full list of vantage points.
Of course, if you’re willing to shell out more Aussie dollars, then there may be hope yet to witness this amazing extravaganza with a lot less waiting.
Some options include front-row seats to the fireworks from Cruise Bar at Circular Quay (from A$169), a fireworks-unlimited amusement park rides-DJ event at Luna Park (from A$299 at time of writing), a variety of NYE harbour cruises (we’re talking hundreds here), or if you really want an experience of a lifetime, a lavish gala dinner-Italian opera-and-midnight party combo in the Sydney Opera House itself (A$1,429).
Whichever option you choose, you can be sure of an unforgettable experience ringing in the new year in Sydney, Australia.
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
How can we talk about amazing fireworks against a stunning backdrop without mentioning Dubai? After all, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is where they beat their own Guinness World Record for the longest fireworks show at over 4.7km.
In this year’s New Year’s Eve 2024 show in Downtown Dubai, expect the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 828m, to be doused in a magnificent spectacle of lights and glory.
We’re talking 325 strategic firing positions, more than 2,800 shooting directions, and an unprecedented 15,682 pyrotechnic elements. If those staggering numbers aren’t enough to convince you of the visual spectacle that will take place at the Burj Khalifa, then let’s throw in even more numbers: The Dubai Fountain will also feature breathtaking choreography in synchronisation with Burj Khalifa’s display — the water will be illuminated by over 6,600 lights, and shot up to 150 metres high in the sky, surrounded by an ethereal atmosphere created by 6,700 fog nozzles.
Tickets to view this out-of-this-world spectacular from the downtown Burj Park are all sold out, but there are still options to front-row seats on the water. For a price tag of S$250-$600, you could secure a spot aboard one of Dubai’s many boat cruises, for the perfect vantage point of the Burj Khalifa fireworks when midnight strikes.
Some cruise options include:
- NYE Dubai Harbour Cruise, mostly with a sumptuous 5-course gala dinner buffet and live entertainment
- NYE Dinner Dhow Cruise, also with a 5-course gala dinner and showtime, but aboard a traditional Arabian wooden boat
- NYE Yacht Cruise, with a prime route that will give you a great view of not just the Burj Khalifa fireworks but also those around Atlantis and Burj Al Arab
If you’d still prefer to stay on land, here are three other options to choose from:
- Time Out Market Dubai, a family-friendly event with circus performances, live music, culinary delights on offer, and exclusive view of the Burj Khalifa fireworks
- Overnight Desert Safari Tour, where you can have the best dune-bashing, sandboarding, camel-riding, shisha-smoking, Gahwa-drinking (Arabian coffee) time of your life ever. Stay in a Bedouin tent in the Lahbab desert, watch the Dubai fireworks brighten up the desert night sky, and wake up to witness the sunrise on the first day of 2024.
- Atlantis The Palm is the place to go if you want to enjoy a gala dinner, free-flowing champagne, their very own stunning fireworks show, and STING in concert.
If you’re looking to celebrate the passing of the baton from 2023 to 2024 in a big way, then Dubai is definitely the place to go.
3. Taipei, Taiwan
Carrying on the theme of spectacular fireworks from scintillating skyscrapers, Taiwan has got to enter the conversation at this point.
The iconic Taipei 101 fireworks are fired from all four sides and from different levels of the building, and towering at 508m tall, you’ll be able to see the fireworks show from virtually anywhere in Taipei.
Some great vantage points include:
- Streets around Taipei 101: Xinyi Road, Keelung Road, Songzhi Road
- Views around the city: Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, Zhongshan Park, 44 South Village (四四南村)
- Riverside park views: Rainbow, Guanshan, Meiti, and Yinfeng riverside parks
- Mountain views: Any of the “4 beast” mountains (四獸山 or Sishoushan) which consists of Elephant Mountain, Lion Mountain, Leopard Mountain and Tiger Mountain
For a detailed list of Taipei 101 fireworks vantage points, check out this blog.
You can view the fireworks and enjoy being in the heart of Taiwanese music at the Taipei City Hall Square on New Year’s Eve. This year, expect to see performances by popular Taiwanese artistes Lala Hsu (徐佳瑩), Hush, Matzka, 831 (八三夭), Accusefive (告五人), WeiBird (韋禮安), Crowd Lu (盧廣仲), and Mixer (麋先生).
As a grand finale to usher in the New Year with maximum power, be prepared to welcome to the stage the old but gold duo of Power Station (動力火車). It’s going to be electrifying!
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Of course, our next door neighbours are not to be outdone by this stellar cast of towering fireworks displays. The iconic Petronas Towers in KL serves as the stunning backdrop for the capital’s breathtaking fireworks show at midnight on NYE.
In an act of solidarity alongside their fellow citizens struggling with flood devastation, the NYE fireworks were cancelled last year, so it is with great heart and sentimentality that we are able to welcome their fireworks show back this year.
Best NYE vantage points:
- KLCC Park is the main place to be, with its live music and entertainment and grassy front-row park space that offers the ultimate view of the fireworks.
- Jalan Alor Food Street is the place to go to welcome the new year with a tummy full of the yummiest street food.
- Merdeka Square offers a more chill NYE; think picnic mat, grass lawn, traditional cultural dances, marching bands, and F&B stalls.
- You’ll also get great views of the fireworks from the many rooftop bars in KL.
- If you’d rather party your last night of 2023 away, then head to Bukit Bintang for the best bars and clubs, and an annual street party. There’s usually a countdown happening in front of Pavilion Mall, so expect it to be packed!
- Finally, if a street party isn’t big enough of a bang for you, welcome 2024 with a huge DJ party on the beach with the Pinkfish Countdown happening on Surf Beach of Sunway Lagoon.
5. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul wraps up this list of New Year’s Eve fireworks being shot off the top of a skyscraper with their spectacular countdown and fireworks show from the Lotte World Tower, which, at about 555m, is still Top 10 of the tallest buildings in the world.
The countdown is especially cool since the numbers are actually projected against the tower before launching the shower of fireworks which creates a stunning visual as it's beautifully mirrored by the tower’s vast glass surface.
Essentially the extensive fireworks show — a few years ago they used more than 30,000 pyrotechnics and they’ve only gotten more ambitious since then — can be seen from everywhere in Seoul city, however some locals do recommend Namsan Tower observatory deck, and a lovely spot by Seokchon Lake away from the city centre.
The fireworks are not just limited to Jamsil where Lotte World is, however — the Starfield COEX Mall in Gangnam also puts on a dazzling fireworks display, lighting up the sky with brilliant colours.
Celebrations in Seoul go beyond fireworks as well, with a highly-anticipated K-pop concert taking place in Seoul City Hall every year on this date, and a luxurious celebration at Seoul’s renowned Floating Island amid the Han River, which promises an upscale experience of free-flow champagne and live performances.
But what makes New Year’s Eve celebrations in this South Korean capital especially unique and heartwarming is how many locals choose to watch the countdown at the Bosingak Belfry bell-ringing ceremony instead. Cultural performances culminate in a traditional ceremony where the bell is rung 33 times at midnight, a tradition that dates back to the Joseon Dynasty, the last Confucian dynasty of Korea.
Thereafter, many Koreans will drive to the coast to watch the first sunrise of the year, as they believe that wishes made at this time are the most powerful. If you have any wishes that you sincerely hope will come true, perhaps celebrating New Year’s Eve in Korea is your best bet!
Whichever country you choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve in, expect a huge festive atmosphere, high adrenaline and joyous cheer. Amidst the rush of wanting to ring in the new year, don’t forget to get your travel insurance ahead of time. After all, the best way to start the new year is being well-protected!