YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND THE BIG BUCKS TO ENTER THE NEW YEAR IN STYLE
Everyone wants the last day of the year to go out with a bang. And if you’re one of those lucky backpackers spending New Year’s Eve in a European city, you may be wondering how to celebrate without breaking the bank. If you’re yet to make plans or struggling for ideas, don’t stress. We’ve got you covered whether you’re in London, Barcelona, Bruges, Amsterdam, Paris or Berlin. Round up your friends, break all of your New Year’s resolutions in one night (your clean slate can wait one more day, right?) and have an epic time at these 5 best places to spend NYE on a budget.
Where better to drunkenly chant the countdown to midnight than Belushi’s? Great burgers, delicious cocktails and music that’s guaranteed to get your most reserved friend up off their seat. This year, several of the Belushi’s chains around Europe are hosting their very own New Year’s Eve events - and you don’t want to miss out. To name just a few, Belushi’s Amsterdam is throwing a Full Moon Party - and yes, expect to get covered in fluropaint. Then there’s Belushi’s Barcelona, kicking off a pre-NYE party with 2-4-1 cocktails and cheap bottles of Cava. Or perhaps play some beer pong and immerse yourself under champagne sprays at some of our London venues. Wild right? Some venues offer free-entry, others just a small fee.
2 BARCELONA’S NEW YEAR CHIMES SHOW
Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Pl Carles Buïgas, 1, Barcelona
Barcelona boasts some of Europe’s best nightlife, so you’ll find entry to clubs will be sky high on NYE. However, one unforgettable and cost-free thing to do is make a stop at the spectacular New Year Chimes firework show. Located at the Magic Fountain near Plaza Espanya (around the corner from Belushi’s), this event attracts locals and tourists from all over the world to join the New Year countdown. The show consists of a wildly colourful water and light display, fireworks and music that creates an electric atmosphere. Be prepared to encounter some Spanish New Year’s traditions while you’re there too - such as stuffing your mouth with 12 grapes on the 12 clock gongs leading up to midnight.
3 STOLLY’S, PARIS
16 rue Cloche-Perce, 4e, Paris | Open: 4.30pm-2am daily
If you’re looking for a fun, easy-going place to drink and be merry - after you’ve watched the Champs-Élysées fireworks of course - head to the Irish pub Stolly’s. Sure, it’s not the most Parisian joint in the city, but it was voted one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris for a reason. Located in Marais, Paris’ historic district, Stolly’s serves affordable beer in humongous 1.5 litre pitchers, plays a thumping rock n’ roll playlist and boasts a fantastic atmosphere where you’ll find everyone socialising. Not a beer fan? No problem - it also serves up an amazing range of cocktails and whiskey. This place is a unique, rough-around-the-edges spot unlike anywhere else in Paris. Its slogan? ‘Hangovers installed and serviced here’. Kicking off the New Year the way the Irish do it sounds pretty great to us.
4 BRANDENBURG GATE OPEN-AIR PARTY, BERLIN
Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s biggest street party on New Year’s Eve takes place at Brandenburg Gate, one of the city’s greatest landmarks. Watch the fireworks explode and sparkle high above the Brandenburg’s giant pillars when the clock strikes 12. Its central location means you can head to local pubs or clubs afterwards. You may not want to however, since the open-air party hosts live DJ sets, laser shows, food stands and fantastic live performances that go on until early hours of the morning. This year, artists on the main stage include Jermaine Jackson, Bonnie Tyler and more. Plus entry is completely free. Entertainment starts at 7pm and the fireworks are set off at 12am. There is no official closing time so enjoy - the city’s public transport runs all night long...
5 PLLEK, AMSTERDAM
Tt. Neveritaweg 59, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
So you’ve had your New Year’s Eve dinner and now you’re looking for somewhere cool and quirky to head to next. Pllek in Amsterdam is a great choice - and a pretty unique venue. The restaurant/bar is constructed out of metal shipping containers and the best part is it’s located on the beach (the perfect place to watch fireworks pop). Pllek is throwing a New Year’s Eve bash where the drinks will be flowing until 3am. Dance under the glistening disco ball all night and feast on Oliebollen, delicious Dutch donuts that are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve all across the Netherlands. To get to Pllek, take the free ferry from Centraal Station to NDSM Wharf. Plus entry is free if you’re not dining.
6 KARAOKE ON T’ZAND, BRUGES
Het Zand 1, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Karaoke your way into the New Year if you’re in Bruges this winter. One place you can guarantee will attract the party-goers is the giant sing-a-long and fireworks on ‘t Zand. Grab some lyrics from local bars and tourism offices all over town, then head to the city’s monumental copper red concert building for the event. The music comes to an end at around 1.30am, and if you’re not quite ready to go home hit one of the bustling bars lining the square.