Top 5 Places to Spend New Years Eve At

English: New Year fireworks at the London Eye
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New Years Eve is more or less an international holiday, celebrated on a global level irrespective of religion and nationality. Some people like to spend it at home with family and friends while others may like to travel to exotic foreign cities for the celebration. There is no denying the fact the best high-key celebrations for New Year’s Eve all over the world are typically in large metropolises. Below are the top 5 places in the world where you could have an experience of a lifetime if you spend the New Year’s Eve:


Since Australia’s time zone is ahead of most countries of the world, celebrating New Year’s in Sydney can grant you the honor of being the first one to start the New Year’s countdown. Every year, scores of people witness an absolutely marvelous fireworks show along with stunning lighting and music at the Sydney’s Harbor Bridge. A great number of people from other cities of Australia as well as from other countries join Sydney dwellers for those magnificent midnight fireworks and the countdown.

A boat ride along the harbor will provide the best view of the fireworks, although several spots around the harbor and the opera house offer a nice view as well.


Every year, the Mayor of London organizes a display of fireworks launched from the 442-feet London Eye, which project beautiful lights and colors all over the city. Since London Eye’s fireworks are very popular throughout the Europe, the entire surrounding area gets really crowded; in fact you may not even be allowed to enter the area once it is packed. If you are unable to make an entry, keep in mind that the best viewpoints are Westminster, Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge and the Southbank.

The countdown lasts for about 15 minutes, after which people start dispersing around to nearby restaurants and pubs, which stay open throughout the night.


In Tokyo, the New Year, or Oshogatsu celebrations start ahead of time, mostly from 29th December onwards. The best part is that the celebration is prolonged up to January 4th, which gives plenty of time to enjoy partying and relaxing. The majority of the tourist destinations are closed down during this period, while the clubs, restaurants and pubs are jam-packed with people from all over the world.

Even though the Japanese have progressed a lot in the past few decades, they still celebrate the New Year’s in a very traditional way. The New Year’s Eve morning starts with a tradition called “Ousouji,” which basically refers to the process of cleaning the entire house from both inside and outside to “purify” it for the coming year.

During the day, a number of special dishes are cooked such as “Osechi,” a dish consisting of egg, beans and fish. They also cook “Omochi,” which is basically steamed rice molded into cakes. The most special dish of the New Year’s Eve is “toshikoshi soba,” which are basically very long and fine buckwheat noodles. This dish in particular symbolizes longevity (hence the long noodles).


The two most popular places on New Year’s Eve are Champs Elysees and Montmartre. The former is appropriate for those who like to party hard, while the latter is rather laid-back and low-key. Parisian streets are jam-packed with groups of people going to clubs and bars that stay open till late. Those interested in seeing the fireworks and the countdown must head to the Champs Elysees as early as possible before the crowd gets larger.

Audrey, pychics reader and medium reading form London

The Packing List For Backpacking Europe

For me, personally, first thing on the list is always some clean underpants. You can say I’m not a ‘real traveler’ if you like (what IS a real traveler anyway?) – but clean jocks are the first thing to go in! Other then that, I’m pretty easy going with my packing – couple of t-shirts, a pair of jeans and some comfortable shoes. You know, the usual.

English: Slim-fit pants, skinny jeans, pegs, d...
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So what about Europe specifically, what is it that you need to make sure is packed in solid to that big backpack of yours for that upcoming gap year or summer trip away? Well let me run through some things that worked for me, and hopefully you can get some solid advice out of it.

Make sure you have a comfortable pair of pants for those really long trips on the bus or train. If your favorite jeans are tight and uncomfortable for long periods of time, then you won’t want to wear them on the bus for 16 hours, right? So bring along a pair of sweatpants or I even have a pair of fisherman’s pants. Should I get embarrassed wearing my fisherman’s pants around Europe? Probably, but there is more important things to do then be embarrassed all the time!

I also like to bring along the ‘backpacker’s staple item’ known as the money belt. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, and look, I will admit I don’t wear mine ALL OF THE TIME. I find it mildly constricting, and will normally put my valuables in the hostel lockers when I go out for the day. But money belts do prove invaluable for those long trips where it’s possible you might fall asleep and not be watching your bags.
There are a few other items I always bring along, I love having a small torch with me. Sure you could use your mobile phone, but I enjoy having a REAL torch that isn’t reliant on plugging into the wall just to keep it going every night.

I also normally bring along some anti fungal cream – you shouldn’t travel without it in my opinion!

A water bottle (preferably BPA free) is always handy, it’s nice to have a sturdy one that isn’t a plastic one you are reusing over and over again.

You might also like to bring along a journal. It’s nice to note down the things you’ve seen, tips you’ve learnt and all other manner of things that may come to mind. If you make a habit of it, it will pay its dividends!

At the end of the day, Europe is not exactly stuck in the past or a third world country, so forgetting something is not the end of the world – you can always buy it new over there.

So there is a bit of food for thought for packing your backpack, have fun backpacking through Europe!

Tom is the proud editor of Active Backpacker – a site all about backpacking and traveling.

Top Ten Things to See in Berlin

Berlin became the capital of the German Empire...
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Berlin is one of the sixteen states, the capital and the largest city of Germany.  It is adored for its rich natural landscape as seen through its parks, forests, rivers, lakes and gardens. It also houses renowned museums, orchestras, universities, research institutes and it houses various sporting events. Tourists specifically love its diverse architecture, festivities, contemporary arts and nightlife. It is also one of the world’s top three convention cities. Having an estimated 135 million visitors a year, Berlin has become the European Union’s 3rd most visited destination, partly because of the attractions it offers visitors, but also because of the heritage of this old city that has seen hundreds of years of history, good and bad:

(1) The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was famously constructed after WWII when Germany’s defeat lead to its division into four parts, namely; the British, American, Soviet and French occupation zones. Even today, the wall is still one of the most visited sites in the city, thanks to its famous role in history – though most sections of the wall have long since been dismantled over the years, there are still parts of it that stand to this day.

(2) The Holocaust Memorial

This Memorial is officially known as the Monument to the Murdered Jews in Europe. It is a tribute to the Jews who died during WWII and though harrowing, offers an exceptional and important information center that details the stories of individuals and families who suffered unspeakable horrors during the war.

(3) Potsdamer Platz

This used to be one of Europe’s liveliest squares during the 1920s and 1930s. It was a popular entertainment district and a major public transport hub at the time. However, with the construction of the Berlin Wall, it got completely flattened – nevertheless it has recently been redeveloped into a large underground station, entertainment center and shopping arcade.

(4) The Pergamon Museum

This Museum was designed by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffman. It is divided into three sections, namely; the Islamic Art Museum, the Antiquity Collection and the Near East Museum and it is one of Europe’s finest museums.

(5) The Monument to Soviet Soldiers

This monument lies in the center of the largest public park in Berlin the Tiergarten. It is also close to the Brandenburg Gate. The Memorial was constructed amidst the ruins of the park after it had been destroyed by bombs.

(6) The Palace Bridge

This attractive bridge is situated at the eastern section of Unter den Linden and is adored for its elegant and stylish artwork. It was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the foremost architect of Berlin during the early 19th century.

(7) Bellevue Palace

This Palace is located near the River Spree by the northern edge of Tiergarten Park. It was built for the younger brother of Prussiaís King Frederick II. Since then, it served as the summer residence of Prince August Ferdinand.

(8) Rotes Rathaus (or The Red Town Hall)

This large red brick building is adored for its impressive tower. It lies on the southeast section of Alexanderplatz. The Neptunbrunnen, a large baroque fountain, sits serenely in front of this building.

(9) The Altes Museum

This is the pride of Museum Island. It was Berlin’s first dedicated museum building and it houses a vast collection of Ancient Greek as well as Roman decorative art.

(10) Museum Island

This Island houses five museums standing next to each other. The last museum built was the Pergamon Museum which opened in the year 1930. Another important building you can find on this island is the Protestant Cathedral of Berlin, Dom and it is well worth visiting.

Alex is a travel writer and blogger. He dreams of writing about faraway places and exotic destinations but for the moment is stuck writing about cheap travel and where to find the latest discount code .

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