Budapest
Why go Hungary’s capital sparkles in winter and likes to get together, so it’s an important place to see within the new yr. There’s festive cheer on faucet, with fairylight-strewn streets, chestnut sellers and ice-skating in Metropolis Park (the most important rink in Europe), to a backdrop of Vajdahunyad Citadel. The Christmas markets on Vorosmarty Sq. and on the Basilica run till 1 January, with concert events, people dancing and stalls promoting mulled wine or pálinka (fruit brandy) and conventional chimney cake (cinnamon and sugar-coated dough). New 12 months’s Eve (Szilveszter) is widely known with fireworks over the Danube, and it’s value reserving one of many many river cruises with dinner and DJs. Fisherman’s Bastion at Buda Citadel gives a near-perfect panorama over town (free and open 24/7, however more likely to be crowded).
Historic thermal baths provide respite from the winter chilly (and assist for hangovers). Some, like Széchenyi Baths, host hedonistic spa events – on 30 December there’s a giant bash with DJs and lightweight reveals (first wave of tickets offered out, however premium tickets from €75).
With its combination of artwork nouveau, baroque and neoclassical buildings, this can be a metropolis that rewards an aimless wander, with pit stops at grand cafes such because the 19th-century Művész Kavehaz. The infinite selection of nice consuming spots embody “destroy pubs” in deserted buildings: strive the Additional in District VII for a energetic evening out.E-book it A four-night journey with Journey Republic prices from £449pp, departing Stansted on 28 December with Ryanair, with B&B lodging on the central Atrium Budapest Lodge.
Madeira

Why go Madeira’s New 12 months’s Eve fireworks received the Guinness World File for the largest show in 2006, and they’re nonetheless the largest in Europe. They’re set off from a number of factors within the capital, Funchal, together with town centre and the waterfront. There are nice vantage factors all around the metropolis, however Santa Catarina park has significantly good views. Watching from the ocean is enjoyable: there are many booze-fuelled boat journeys from the harbour (corresponding to VMT Madeira, €120 for 3 hours, reserving important).
Vacationers can blow away the cobwebs together with locals on New 12 months’s Day by taking the Madeira Plunge, a charity sea swim at midday. With January temperatures in Madeira averaging 17C, it’s much more interesting than an outside dip within the UK. That delicate climate makes Madeira an important year-round strolling vacation spot, too – a hike alongside a levada (water channel) will get 2019 off to a wholesome begin.
Guests staying for every week can spherical off the festivities with a free Twelfth Evening live performance within the municipal gardens: Cantar os Reis relies on the energetic songs historically sung by troupes going from door to door (8pm, 5 January). These staying longer can head to Santa Cruz, Madeira’s second metropolis, for the Santo Amaro competition, marking the top of the Christmas holidays, with stalls, music, meals and a candlelit procession (15 January).E-book it Tui has seven nights B&B in Funchal from £320pp, together with flights from Birmingham on 31 December, staying on the three-star Dorisol Buganvilia, a five-minute bus trip from the centre.
Stockholm

{Photograph}: Alamy
Why go For a barely extra cerebral New 12 months’s Eve, Stockholm is a brilliant selection. The principle celebration is at Skansen (skansen.se), Sweden’s oldest open-air museum, on the island of Djurgården. Leisure begins at 8pm with singing and dancing, and culminates with a recitation of the poem Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The custom started in 1897; lately the poem is all the time learn by a well-known Swede and broadcast dwell on TV.
Skansen has implausible views over town for the midnight fireworks, and a restaurant (open till 1am) and restaurant (reserving important). Night tickets are £14 for adults (youngsters go free), or there are new day and night mixture tickets (£17 grownup/£5 baby). These give guests the prospect to go to the historic buildings adorned for Christmas, meet the reindeer and different animals, tour the gardens and fill up on Swedish textiles and ceramics on the museum store.
On New 12 months’s Day, early birds can strive an introduction to ice skating (8am every day, £139, iceguide.se). This six-hour expertise for learners (or rusty skaters) features a Nordic skating lesson, adopted by a tour on the frozen Baltic Sea or a frozen lake, plus lunch round an open fireplace. For a much less energetic morning, take a stroll across the unusually abandoned metropolis, then pattern Sweden’s favorite hangover remedy: kebab pizza.
E-book it Ryanair, Norwegian and SAS fly to Stockholm from a number of UK airports. Keep on the Archipelago Hostel in a 17th-century constructing within the outdated city (twin rooms from £80 over New 12 months, archipelagohostel.com).
Vienna

{Photograph}: Alamy
Why go The get together begins early on New 12 months’s Eve with a city-wide path from 2pm (till 2am, occasions.wien.information). Town centre is a huge road get together, with dwell music zones enjoying kinds from rock to operetta; festive foods and drinks stalls; and cubicles promoting Bleigießen kits – conventional kits for telling fortunes with molten metallic. Dance faculties present free out of doors waltz classes within the afternoon and, at midnight, the principle procuring road, Graben, turns into an open-air ballroom. There are firework shows within the city corridor sq., Rathausplatz, and Prater park.
Vienna is understood for its Christmas markets, however there are a number of over New 12 months, too. They’re discovered on Maria-Theresien-Platz (27 -31 Dec), Schönbrunn Palace, with jazz concert events on daily basis (27 Dec to six Jan), Riesenradplatz (till 6 Jan), with rides and a circus. There’s additionally the Imperial and Royal Christmas Market on Michaelerplatz (till 1 Jan); and the lined Introduction Pleasure Market on the Opera Home, which sells meals by Austrian producers (till 31 Dec).
Pop-up punch terraces are a Viennese pattern this winter: Klyo by the Danube Canal serves mulled wine, sausages and toasted almonds (till 6 Jan); there’s additionally the Punch Deck on the Pool Boat (all winter), and the rooftop bar on the Lamée resort (all winter). For extra out of doors enjoyable, Little Ice World is open till 6 Jan in Rathausplatz, and has a 3,000 sq metre ice rink. It reopens as Vienna Ice World on 18 Jan with a good larger “ice panorama”, together with skating paths and curling lanes (till Three March).E-book it Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and Austrian fly to Vienna from a number of UK cities. Resorts are nearly all booked up however strive the 25hours Lodge Vienna, a cool circus-themed resort within the museum district (doubles from £156 an evening, minimal four-night keep over New 12 months.
Dubrovnik

Why go Dubrovnik is magical (and fewer crowded) in winter. Guests began to cotton on to this after the launch of its winter competition 5 years in the past. This yr’s programme consists of free guided excursions of the outdated city (10am, Saturdays in Dec and Jan) and free open-air concert events on Stradun, the principle road. Cubicles across the metropolis streets serve festive foods and drinks, and all buses are free after 5pm (till 6 Jan). And regardless of the climate, on Saturdays and Sundays it’s assured to be snowing in entrance of the Pile gate at midday.
Lapad, the peninsula north-west of city, has tons for households. The North Pole Station gives storytelling, dancing, crafts and cookery (to 13 Jan). There may be additionally an ice rink and a free Introduction prepare (till 6 Jan).
New 12 months celebrations begin on 29 December with a gig by the Gipsy Kings; there’s additionally a youngsters’s live performance, conventional Croatian vocals, and a New 12 months’s Day classical and well-liked live performance, accompanied by oysters and glowing wine. On New 12 months’s Eve, there are carols in entrance of St Blaise’s Church at midday, then the get together will get occurring Stradun at 9pm, with fireworks at midnight and bar-hopping into the early hours.E-book it British Airways, easyJet and Jet2 fly to Dubrovnik from a number of UK airports. Keep in Dubrovnik Outdated City Hostel, a boutique hostel in a 400-year-old constructing simply off Stradun (twin rooms from £30, dorm beds from £15 B&B).
Copenhagen

{Photograph}: Getty Photographs
Why go Kickstart 2019 in considered one of Europe’s coolest capitals. Copenhagen marries the historic (medieval centre, cobbled streets and spectacular palaces) with the perfect of up to date Scandi stylish (critically fashionable retailers, a scorching bar and restaurant scene and nice galleries) – and it’s simply navigated on foot or by bike.
Come winter town ramps up the fairytale vibe, significantly in Tivoli Gardens, a 19th-century amusement park, which glitters with Christmas lights and stalls promoting festive doughnuts and mulled wine.
On New 12 months’s Eve, there’s a firework show right here at 11pm (watch from the open-air stage space), whereas different fireworks motion throughout city is finest spied from Queen Louise’s Bridge over the oblong lakes between the centre and Nørrebro.
At midnight, folks collect in Metropolis Corridor Sq. to listen to the clock tower chime within the new yr. Eating places and bars might be buzzing – strive lobster rolls at Hooked in Nørrebro (gethooked.dk) or road meals corresponding to scorching canines at Dǿp on Kobmagergade road. It’s a good suggestion to eat early; the Queen’s New 12 months’s Eve speech is at 6pm, and streets are quiet earlier than the mayhem.
Outdoors town centre, the previous shipyard space of Refshaleøen island is alive with cafes, eating places and bars – and has winter scorching tubs at CopenHot for a warming post-party soak overlooking the water (cheaper on Wednesday and Sunday “scorching days”, £24, copenhot.com).
E-book it Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian, British Airways and SAS fly to Copenhagen from a number of UK airports. A&O Copenhagen Nørrebro is a hostel with dorms and double rooms, with beds over New 12 months from £31 (aohostels.com).
Reykjavik

{Photograph}: Alamy
Why go The land of fireside and ice lives as much as its identify on New 12 months’s Eve, when about 90 bonfires are lit throughout the nation. There are 15 or so in Reykjavik alone; one of many greatest and most central is on Ægissíða road, by the ocean. Some bonfires are accompanied by Icelandic singing; most begin about 8pm and end by 10pm, which generally is a good time to see the northern lights.
After the fires, everybody goes residence to look at Áramótaskaup (Skaupið for brief), a satirical TV sketch present that has been working on 31 December since 1966. However that doesn’t imply the get together is over – simply earlier than midnight, all of them come again out to let off an astonishing quantity of fireworks, with earnings going to Icelandic Search and Rescue Affiliation, which does life-saving work, is run by volunteers and is a trigger near most Icelanders’ hearts.
One of the crucial well-liked spots for lighting and watching fireworks is in entrance of Hallgrímskirkja church – which can be near loads of bars. Different good websites embody the Pearl at Öskjuhlíð; the Solar Voyager sculpture or Harpa live performance corridor on the waterfront; or mirrored in Tjörnin, town lake. There are organised bonfire and fireworks excursions (corresponding to £94), however Reykjavik is a small metropolis and straightforward to discover independently. After the fireworks, most locals go to accommodate events, however bars within the centre keep open till at the very least 5am.
Winter is an effective time to take a self-drive tour of Iceland’s ice caves, glaciers and waterfalls, with the prospect to see the northern lights. See the Information to Iceland web site for itineraries.E-book it Wow Air and Wizz Air, easyJet and Icelandair fly to Reykjavik from a number of UK cities. Keep in Kex, a hip hostel in an outdated biscuit manufacturing unit in central Reykjavik (dorms from £32 over New 12 months).
Lausanne

{Photograph}: Roman Babakin/Alamy
Why go On the shore of Lac Léman (the French identify for Lake Geneva), the Swiss metropolis of Lausanne gives a picturesque New 12 months escape, with its medieval centre and backdrop of snow-capped mountains. New 12 months’s Eve is the final day of Lausanne Lumières, the annual competition of lights, with installations by 12 artists, from projections to sculptures, round city (see festivallausannelumieres.ch for a map). The “burning of the cathedral” – a dramatic mild show held yearly since 1904 in reminiscence of fires that devastated town in 1368 and 1405 – is on the coronary heart of the festivities, with crowds gathering for champagne and mulled wine.
There’s a live performance on the cathedral earlier than the present, starring the $6m Boston-made organ, and midnight fireworks over the lake. Count on nice foods and drinks, too: the close by Lavaux vineyards produce the perfect wines within the nation.
In addition to lakeside walks, the Olympic Museum is a must-do (Lausanne is residence to the Worldwide Olympic Committee), as is making an attempt fondue at Pinte Besson, the oldest restaurant on the town. Don’t miss out on the free transport card for anybody who books an evening in a metropolis resort – it additionally brings reductions on boat journeys and museum entry.
E-book it Geneva is the closest airport, a brief prepare trip away. Easyjet, British Airways and Swiss fly there from a number of UK airports. Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium, and its companion resort Aquatis has doubles from £100, or the Swiss Wine Lodge & Bar reverse the cathedral, with a well-liked wine bar, has rooms from £122 room-only.
Palma de Mallorca

Pajarita Bomboneria {Photograph}: Artesia Wells/Getty Photographs
Why go The Mallorcan capital gives extra laid-back Spanish New 12 months celebrations than party-hard Madrid or Barcelona – and barely hotter climate. There are festive vibes aplenty, with light-strewn timber, market stalls promoting candy treats corresponding to almond nougat, and the maze of streets within the outdated city takes on a magical air.
Begin the night snacking at tapas bars corresponding to cavernous Cellar Sa Premsa or busy however relaxed La 5a Puñeta , whose bar is laden with implausible pinchos. Revelry focuses on Passeig del Born, with dwell music, mild reveals and dancing, and across the city corridor on Plaça de Cort, the place crowds collect to listen to the clock strike midnight. New 12 months is welcomed with the consuming of 1 grape for every stroke – a practice stated to convey luck and prosperity – and fireworks mild up the sky above the 13th-century cathedral.
The enjoyable continues till 6 Jan, when the smart males arrive by ship and lead a vibrant procession by way of the streets, with extra fireworks and partying into the early hours (and extra presents for the children). Between festivities there are nice bars, galleries and boutique retailers to discover within the metropolis and in pretty villages and seashores with out the summer time crowds.
E-book it Love Holidays has three nights on the Palma Bellver by Melia on the seafront from £427pp room-only together with flights from Gatwick on 29 Dec.
Cologne

{Photograph}: Michael Abid/Alamy
Why go Berlin could also be a extra apparent selection for New 12 months frolics, however Cologne, the cultural hub of north-west Germany, is a energetic under-the-radar get together metropolis. The pubs and beer halls (Cologne has extra per head than any German metropolis) might be buzzing with revellers – strive Peters Brauhaus for schnitzel and Kölsch.
Younger get together animals head to energetic Zulpicher Strasse, whereas bars corresponding to Roxy and Subway within the picturesque Belgian Quarter enchantment to a barely older crowd. There are over 70 nightclubs too. Odonien is likely one of the best-known, a many-storey junkyard and artists’ workshop-turned-clubbing mecca that includes Berlin-based home DJ Niko Schwind on New 12 months’s Eve (tickets €20).
For the perfect views of midnight fireworks over the Rhine, strive the redeveloped Rheinaufhafen waterfront advanced, Frankenwerft within the outdated city, or Deutz on the suitable financial institution for a quieter spot. By day there’s the putting twin-spired cathedral to discover, fashionable artwork at Museum Ludwig or spectacular Roman artefacts on the Romano-Germanic Museum . Look out, too, for artist-designed nativity scenes at 110 websites round city, from store home windows to inside church buildings, till 6 Jan (excursions can be found too by way of koelner-krippenweg.de)
E-book it Ryanair, Eurowings, Flybe and British Airways fly to Cologne from a number of UK airports. 25hours Lodge The Circle has doubles from £110 room-only. There’s a New 12 months’s Eve get together in its Monkey Bar, which has superb rooftop views, however it should set you again €100 a head (with three drinks and a midnight snack).
This text accommodates affiliate hyperlinks, which suggests we might earn a small fee if a reader clicks by way of and makes a purchase order. All our journalism is impartial and is under no circumstances influenced by any advertiser or business initiative. The hyperlinks are powered by Skimlinks. By clicking on an affiliate hyperlink, you settle for that Skimlinks cookies might be set. Extra data.