The holiday season has you feeling restless and eager to travel. You can’t help but daydream about leaving the traditional festivities behind and embarking on a bold New Year’s Eve adventure. However, with so many exciting destinations, picking the perfect trip for a memorable experience can be overwhelming. It’s like trying to find your way through a complicated maze made of gingerbread while blindfolded.
We have been working hard to create the best travel bucket list for your Christmas Eve to New Year’s getaway. Our inventory includes destinations for all types of travellers, whether you prefer cosy snowbound wonderlands, sunny beach paradises, or vibrant cultural experiences. We want to ensure that your holiday wishes come true and that you have a memorable vacation.
Whether looking for sparkling European Christmas markets or pulsating New Year’s Eve parties on sun-drenched beaches, our curated bucket list can be your compass to an unforgettable adventure. So pack your sense of wonder, grab your travel-sized tin of eggnog if you must, and prepare to create memories that sparkle brighter than any New Year’s fireworks. Globetrotters, the countdown is on!
The Philippines is famous for its lively Christmas and New Year celebrations. You can enjoy the legendary Noche Buena, which is a Christmas Eve feast with an abundance of traditional Filipino dishes like roasted pig (lechon), rice cake (bibingka), purple sticky rice (puto bumbong), cheese ball (queso de bola) and much more. You can also immerse yourself in the spiritual serenity of Simbang Gabi, a series of nine pre-dawn Masses leading up to Christmas. In Pampanga, you can witness the awe-inspiring Giant Lantern Festivals, where intricate and massive lanterns illuminate the night sky. If you like to party, you can dance at lively New Year’s Eve parties in bars, clubs, and beaches! Filipino revelry is infectious, so get ready to let loose and have fun!
Christmas in Iceland, known as “jól,” is a 26-day-long celebration steeped in tradition. The streets of Reykjavík are beautifully decorated, and instead of Santa Claus, 13 Yule Lads visit children, leaving gifts in their shoes. The celebration is like no other, where you can indulge in a traditional Christmas Eve feast called “Nochebuena” featuring smoked lamb (hangikjöt), thin rye bread (laufabrauð), and twisted doughnuts (Kleiner). Do not miss the Christmas bonfires that light up the night sky, or attend a heartwarming Christmas Mass in a cosy Icelandic church. When it comes to ringing in the New Year, Reykjavík goes all out with fireworks exploding from every corner, accompanied by lively music and the infectious joy of Icelanders celebrating. Get ready for an unforgettable Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve escape that will leave you breathless!
During the festive season, Singapore is a magical place, with a perfect blend of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. You can experience the breathtaking wonders of Orchard Road, Singapore’s famous shopping district. The street is beautifully decorated with festive lights, towering Christmas trees, and enchanting light shows. They offer special shows, festive decorations, and even snowfall in Hollywood! At Marina Bay, you can celebrate the New Year with vibrant countdown celebrations featuring a spectacular fireworks display and live music performances. You can also experience local traditions, such as visiting Sentosa Island for good luck or watching the year’s first sunrise at Marina Bay.
Experience the warmth of a traditional German Christmas Eve by gathering with loved ones for a festive feast featuring roast goose, potato salad, and stollen (fruit bread). Attend a candlelit Christmas Eve service in a historic cathedral or join locals carolling around Christmas trees. Enjoy the aroma of mulled wine, the sparkle of hand-blown ornaments, and the enchanting melodies of Christmas carols in the beautiful atmosphere of Germany’s world-renowned Christmas markets. Ring in the New Year with German customs like Bleigießen (fortune-telling with molten lead) and Silvesterfeuerwerk (spectacular fireworks displays). Raise a glass of Sekt (sparkling wine) at midnight and join the joyous crowds in celebrating a fresh start.
Germany offers a magical escape!
Experience the festive atmosphere of Hong Kong during the holiday season with dazzling light displays illuminating iconic landmarks like Victoria Peak and exciting events and activities across the city. Don’t miss the nightly Symphony of Lights show, where the skyscrapers of Victoria Harbour come alive with synchronized music and mesmerizing laser beams. Count down to the New Year with vibrant celebrations at Victoria Harbour and dance the night away at lively parties across the city, from rooftop bars to clubs and even on cruise ships. Experience local traditions, such as visiting Po Lin Monastery for good luck or watching the first sunrise of the year at Victoria Peak. Adventure awaits as Hong Kong is ready to sprinkle its magic dust on your holiday spirit!
You can explore the city’s enchanting winter illuminations at places like Roppongi Hills, which transforms into a sparkling wonderland with its Keyakizaka Illumination, or Tokyo Midtown’s Midtown Starlight Garden. You can also check out charming Christmas markets like the one at Tokyo Tower, where you’ll find unique handcrafted ornaments, festive treats inspired by mochi and matcha, and live music with a distinctly Japanese twist. If you’re looking for celebrations, you can join the vibrant countdown festivities at Shibuya Crossing, the world’s busiest intersection, or visit Meiji Jingu Shrine for a serene New Year’s Eve prayer and bell-ringing ceremony. You can also dance the night away at lively New Year’s Eve parties in bars, clubs, and even karaoke joints across the city.
Enjoy the traditional “Réveillon de Noël” feast- delicious dishes like roast goose, foie gras, bûche de Noël (yule log), and champagne toasts. Don’t miss out on the 13 desserts, which symbolize good luck and prosperity in the new year. Attend the Christmas Eve Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral or any other historic church. Stroll along the Champs-Élysées and marvel at the breathtaking Christmas window displays of iconic department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Celebrate the New Year by watching the Eiffel Tower’s dazzling light show, or join the vibrant crowd at the Champs-Élysées for a spectacular fireworks display. Welcome the new year. Dance the night away at Parisian clubs and bars, many of which host special New Year’s Eve soirées with DJs, live music, and flowing champagne.
Experience a unique Christmas Eve feast in Goa featuring a variety of local delicacies such as recheado (stuffed sausages), vindaloo (spicy pork curry), and bebinca (layered coconut cake). Don’t miss the midnight Mass at historic churches like Se Cathedral or Bom Jesus Basilica, adorned with festive decorations that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Explore the charming Christmas markets on the beaches or in quaint villages such as Anjuna and Vagator. Here, you can find handcrafted souvenirs, festive trinkets, and local artwork, all illuminated by the warm glow of fairy lights. Goa’s legendary beach parties come alive as the New Year approaches, featuring pulsating music from renowned DJs, cocktails under twinkling starry skies, and electrifying fireworks displays along the coastline.
Rio de Janeiro erupts in a carnival of festive fervour from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, transforming into a sun-drenched paradise where vibrant celebrations meet laid-back charm. Ditch the roast turkey and savour a traditional “Ceia de Natal” featuring tender “Peru assado” (roast turkey), “farofa” (toasted manioc flour), and “rabanada” (French toast soaked in egg and coconut milk). Don’t miss the “bolo rei” (King cake), a sweet bread symbolizing good luck for the new year. Enjoy the soulful melodies of a traditional “Missa do Galo” (Rooster Mass) at a historic church like the Candelária Church. The blend of Portuguese carols with samba rhythms will uplift you spiritually. Copacabana Beach becomes a pulsating dance floor on New Year’s Eve, with renowned DJs spinning electrifying sets and revellers swaying under the starlit sky.
Discover the enchanting Christmas markets of London, such as Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Leicester Square Christmas Market, and Southbank Centre Winter Market. Experience the peacefulness of a traditional Christmas Eve service at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral. Here, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of choral music and candlelight while connecting with the religious significance of the season. Join the vibrant crowds at Westminster Bridge or along the South Bank to watch the iconic midnight fireworks display over the River Thames. If you love dancing, you can dance the night away at lively New Year’s Eve parties in nightclubs, rooftop bars, or glamorous galas. London offers a party scene for every taste, from burlesque shows in Soho to electronic music festivals in East London.
Jingle bells jingle all the way to…? Anywhere but home!
World travel, your name is 2024! Swap snow angels for sun salutes, carols for samba, and mistletoe for midnight margaritas. Let’s celebrate from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve with adventures that shimmer brighter than any firework!
Buckle up, explorers, because the ultimate Christmas Eve to New Year’s adventure awaits!