18th Nov 2012 11:26am | By Helen Elfer
Want to make next year your best yet? Start it as you mean to go on, with a night to remember in one of Europe’s top party spots
New Year’s Eve is always one of the most epic nights out of the year.
A blur of champagne and shots, dancing and party poppers and, of course, throwing your arms around your besties (or people you just met a few hours earlier) and telling them you love them.
So how about going one better this year and taking the party overseas?
All across Europe there are seriously banging celebrations going on to usher in 2013, so make this your best NYE yet and choose from one of these fabulous bashes.
The scene: In Germany, the end of year festivities are called Saint Sylvester’s Day. Berliners hold what might just be the biggest outdoor bash in the world – the ‘party mile’ stretches from the famous Brandenburg Gate to the Victory Column.
Stay along this route and it’s guaranteed you’ll never be more than a few feet away from your next drink.
Midnight: Berlin really goes for hi-tech light shows as well as fireworks at the stroke of midnight.
As the hour approaches, find a place to party in a spot where you can see the Brandenburg Gate, as it will be illuminated with brightly coloured laser beams.
Then all you need to do is make sure you have a glass of Sekt, Germany’s top sparkling wine, in your hand to see in 2013.
After hours: You’ll be spoiled for choice if you want to spend the rest of the night dancing, as Berlin is still Europe’s clubbing capital.
Get your techno head on and pile into one of the huge nightclubs such as Tresor (tresorberlin.com) and, if you think you can take on the infamously tough bouncer, Berghain (berghain.de), until it’s light outside.
The scene: Celebrations in Paris start early in the evening, usually with an enormous dinner with family and friends. Then everyone heads out for the night and central Paris turns into one giant street party.
Do as the Parisians do – wrap up warm, grab plastic flutes and a few bottles of the nicest bubbles your budget will allow and find yourself somewhere scenic to settle in.
Midnight: Big crowds gather around the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and Montmatre, where there are spectacular fireworks displays.
Smooching is big in Paris all year round, obviously, but on NYE the French take it to a whole new level. Grab a stranger, a loved one, or whoever takes your fancy, and pucker up. Bonne année!
After hours: A long night out in clubs is likely to be pretty expensive, so try and get the bulk of your boozing done before you hit the afterparties.
Lots of the biggest clubs around the Champs-Elysees area will have gigantic queues, so make sure you book tickets in advance.
The scene: The biggest “oud en nieuw” (old and new) party in the city in the the Oosterdok area of Amsterdam, with the VOC Ship, Science Center NEMO and Scheepvaartmuseum forming the backdrop for the celebrations. Featuring performances and a spectacular fireworks display, the event kicks off at 23:15 and ends shortly after midnight.
Amsterdammers tend to go in for traditional New Year’s Eve snacks of oliebollen (sugar-coated doughnuts) and appelflappen (apple fritters), and this is the time to get stuck into them – before the serious drinking begins.
Midnight: The best place to watch the official fireworks display over the Amstel River is from the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge), but there are also big, wilder displays around Niewmarket, Amsterdam’s Chinatown, where firecrackers are let off in gardens and up and down the streets with reckless abandon.
After hours: It’s all about seeing the night through here, so carry on the celebrations in one of the city’s megaclubs, such as the ever-pumping Paradiso ( paradiso.nl).
Bear in mind you’ll need to book party tickets well in advance – and be prepared to shell out as club entrance fees go through the roof.