As we take the leap from 2018 to 2019, we ought to know where from we’re jumping and where we land. Don’t worry, we’re not asking existential questions. We’re here to suggest a few places that make for rad destinations to begin the very first day of the New Year. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Berlin, Germany:
It isn’t for no reason that Berlin is on every 20-something’s bucket list! With 31st December spent at Berlin’s TV Tower, dancing the night away, how about starting the first day of the year with an escape to the snowy ranges of this dreamy place? We’re talking skiing in the cotton-white Harz Mountains or the Szklarska Lorena. If you’re not willing to brave the extreme temperatures (it gets REALLY cold), then we suggest some retail therapy at the Mauerpark Flea Market for vintage items at jaw-dropping prices. P.S. If you’re an unapologetic shopaholic, we suggest carrying a big bag for you will have difficulties choosing between just this, or that.
2. Paris, France:
We admit, we don’t need any more reasons to wake up in Paris on any day of the year, but there’s something to Paris when it wakes up after witnessing the spectacle of the fireworks from none other than the Eiffel Tower. If you’re hung over from the night’s celebrations, take it slow and go for a walk along the paths of Pere Lachaise Cemetery where Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust and Honore de Balzac rest in peace. Not to mention the Notre Dame Cathedral, the dome of gothic art, which deserves a day’s time to be admired.
3. London, England:
Does one ever run out of things to do in the glorious city of London? You’re in the New Year and must start it on a note as exciting and memorable as the 31st night. If your legs haven’t given in after the New Year’s Day Parade held on 1st Jan, why not grab your bags and go souvenir shopping? The January sales will be on and Leicester square will be beaming with amazing stuff to buy! Potterheads, the Great Hall at the Warner Bros. Studio, where the Harry Potter movies were filmed, will be opening its doors to visitors on very limited tickets. So, make sure you grab one for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
4. Sydney, Australia:
Sydney seems to take its New Year celebrations a notch higher. Just after the New Year celebrations are over (not really, though), the Sydney Festival starts across various locations in the city. If you aren’t up for more music and dance, then we suggest you take to the beaches for some time away from all the New Year party galore. You can catch The Wizard of Oz musical at Capitol Theatre in Haymarket or get your boogie on with a line up of local and international hip-hop, house, indie and electronic artists who perform on multiple stages at the Domain, a park adjacent to the Royal Botanic Garden and the Art Gallery of NSW in the city centre.
5. Cape Town, South Africa:
Cape Town hosts a crazy number of themed parties ranging from Ibiza-themed parties to winter wonderland parties. After the extravaganza of fireworks on the 31st, the first day of January begins with watching the sun rise while surfing at Muizenberg or swimming at the many tidal pools in Cape Town. You can chill at the Harbour while gorging on sumptuous seafood platters with the sound of live music in the air, or try Japanese braai in the city! Are you packing for Cape Town already?
6. Chaing Mai, Thailand:
How does anything compete with the night of thousand lanterns that Chiang Mai’s New Year’s celebration is known for? A visit to the Muizenberg Doi Suthep or hugging an elephant at the Elephant Retirement Park? Perhaps, a drive down the ‘Handicraft Highway’ for its 10-km long stretch of outlets that are known for their pottery, silverware, lacquerware, sculpting, wood carving and silk products? Whatever it is that you choose, make sure you follow that up with a filling bowl of Khao Sui and shopping at the Waroro Market. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?
7. Rome, Italy:
Take your time to recover from the awe of the ‘concertone’ in Circo Massimo and Fori Imperiali where various Italian singers perform to commemorate the beginning of a new year. The Vatican Museum, The Pantheon, Palatine Hill, Baths of Caracalla and Ostia Antica are open to tourists who like their culture trip. Besides, a number of musical concerts are performed throughout Rome. If you have the ‘no plan’ plan, explore the city by foot and you will be left amazed at what it has to offer to every single visitor.
8. Puducherry, India:
Puducherry’s perfect weather and its French architecture make for the most offbeat yet ideal backdrop for any celebration! If it’s New Years’, what better way to start the day than sipping on some steaming macchiato and enjoying an authentic French spread at one of the iconic Auroville bakeries and cafes. Visit the Matri Mandir and cycle around Auroville before heading back to Puducherry for a walk along the coastline. You can thank us later.