Where to go over New Years??

Old Oct 12th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Where to go over New Years??

My husband and I just decided that instead of Christmas gifts, we'd go to Europe instead. We are tenatively planning on leaving on the 25th (early investigation shows cheaper tix for traveling then) and coming back on Jan 2nd.

What's important to us?
- Ease of transporation (we'll be coming from Washington DC )with "cheap" tickets...right now for example Dublin is $440, Spain/UK in the mid-$550s.
- Food
- Ability to find housing... I imagine spluring maybe on a couple of nights and finding something adequate the rest
- Fun New Year's Eve;...we like to go out, drink (we are mid-30s) and especially people watch. We are not scared off by craziness, we usually are in the midst.
- I want to do some sighseeing, exploring, but am not in a major rush to exhaust anywhere. We travel enough to not stress out about doing it all.

We expect weather to be iffy anywhere, but as long as I can get coffee - I think we can manage.

If you were going abroad for New Years, where would you like to go?

(Inital thoughts were UK, Dublin,Spain...but open to other ideas)
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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My husband and I do the same every year. We went to Barcelona last new years--the city shuts mostly down on NYE from 5 or 6-midnight, after that all the bars reopen. It is a relaxing holiday and the weather is fairly mild. Lots of bars, cafes (coffee) and nightlife.

We are the same age as you and from what is sounds like, travel the same--no running around, mostly wandering, bars and cafes.

We stayed in the Hotel Principal, on the Raval side of the Ramblas near tons of bars and such and super close to Born, Gottic, etc.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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With Ryan Air, you can get cheap prices from Dublin. I don't like cold weather, so I would head down to Spain, the Canary Islands, or Italy.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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A lot of hotels are really expensive during Christmas to NY's holidays, so just be prepared. In Paris, I think that is the period of the very highest rates. I sure wouldn't go to Dublin in late December. Probably Italy or Spain. I have no desire to go to a place with cold, dark and wet weather and pay for it, and take vacation days when I don't have that many, so I wouldn't go to northern Europe. On the other hand, in a very big city, the weather may not matter too much if there is enough to do -- like London. It would have to be a really interesting city for me to be willing to do that, though.

They are supposed to have a big NY's eve thing in Prague, and I do love that city, so I might go there.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Why go all the way over there when the very best place around Cristmas and of course New years is right there in Manhattan. You are aware that Times Square is not the dungeon of years ago, it's safe, clean, and exciting now.
If Europe is a definite, though Paris without a doubt for New Years.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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New York City is a nightmare on NYE -- not particularly relaxing and overpriced to go out compared to Europe. It is amateur night for drinkers and good luck getting a cab when going from place to place. That is why I get out of town over NYE.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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We'll be in Vienna for NYE. It sounds like they have a huge street party that night.

One year we went to Southern Spain, which was wonderful at that time of year.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Booked for Tromso, Norway 29th Dec to 2nd Jan (very cheap with low cost Norweigan Air) - its way above the Artic Cirle but gets the gulf stream so is around -2oc when by rights according to its LAT it should be --20oC.

So far booked to see the reindeer, going dog sledding, snow mobiling and hoping to snorkel with 600 orcas.

Also hoping to see the northern lights.

Downside - its bloody well dark for 21 hours a day!
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Wow - Norway sounds great. We are booked to go to London. (We wanted spain, but tickets went up by the time I go to booking). I am not sure if we'll spend all the time in London or also do some side trips. I've been there several times; however, my husband has never been...so I look forward to sharing it with him. I am thinking about going to Scotland for a couple days (pre-New years Eve), but then I also kinda like the idea of renting an apartment in London for the the whole 7 days.

As for New York, we live in DC and make it to NYC almost every two months. NYE, while I'm sure fun, isn't very "exciting" for us in NYC just based upon our frequency of travel there.

I was so tempted by Prague, one of my most favorite places...but wanted to take my husband somewhere new this year.

Thanks for your suggestions...
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 05:36 AM
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for another year consider Amsterdam. I know folks who go yearly. It is apparently a great celebraation-lots of fireworks, etc. Enjoy London!
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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New Year Eve in Madrid.
Get ready to celebrate Nochevieja on December 31 as night falls and be prepared to stop until daylight on January 1.
Uncork the champagne and ring in the New Year in cities and towns across Spain. Once the sun goes down, follow the hoards of festive españoles to the city's main squares - especially the plazas that have a clock - for the genuinely unique Nochevieja experience. Madrid's Plaza del Sol is the most famous spot to be, serving as the Spanish equivalent of New York's Times Square.
If you're planning to be in Spain for its Nochevieja fiestas, it's always helpful to know what the Spanish do and especially what you're in for. First, to say adios to the ending year Spanish relatives typically get together for a holiday meal, after which they either gather around the television for the big countdown or hit the town to party with friends. At this point you should definitely gear up and do as the Spanish do, drink what the Spanish drink, and eat what the Spanish eat.
Before you hop on the party train heading towards the city's main square, make sure not to forget your Nochevieja essentials. Item one of your shopping list, especially if you're in Madrid, is the costume; almost everyone has brightly colored wigs, satirical masks, costumes, or all of the above. Part two is the champagne. Uncork your bottle of champagne or cava after the midnight chimes of the clock and toast everybody you see. The third and most important item is the twelve grapes. When midnight strikes, you have to rapidly pop those twelve grapes - one for each chime of the clock - in your mouth. If you successfully complete the feat, twelve months of prosperity and good luck await you. Plus, imagine how entertaining it is to look around and see thousands of people laughing and with their mouths full of grapes.
While most of the Nochevieja traditions seems pretty typical, the twelve grapes deal probably has you raising your eyebrows and asking "Why?" Deviating from the norm, Las doce uvas de la suerte (twelve good luck grapes) is an economic-based rather than religious-based Spanish tradition. It began in 1909, when grape growers in Alicante found themselves with an extremely large grape surplus and scrambled to come up with a way to sell them all. Cans containing twelve peeled grapes for Nochevieja are sold in supermarkets.
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Edinburgh has a massive Hogmany street party - you have to REALLY like crowds.

At the other extreme, a quiet hotel in the Lake District or Peak District would be a lovely way to welcome the New Year.
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Old Oct 18th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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If you don't mind one million people celebrating with you, Berlin throws one of the biggest parties on the planet at Brandenburg Gate.

You can find some impressions on the 2006/2007 website:
http://www.silvester-berlin.de/English/start.html
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Old Oct 20th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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I like to drink a lot, too. I usually get gassed for about five days, pass out in a central location (eg. along the esplanade in Barcelona) and watch a lot of people walking by. It amazes me each time, because I find that people are pretty much the same the world over; some (few) offer assistance, most either ignore you as if your were invisible or shout at you, like, say, "Hey! you bum, what the hell are you doing here?"

Once I've been recognized enough I usually decide to hop back on a plane and head back home to work. It's kind of reassuring.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 07:32 AM
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I am trying to decide where to go this year from My home in Dublin. I did london before and got soaked and had an "ok" time but Barcelona sounds kinda nice...Paris is FREEZING and too expensive for NYE in My opinion. Hmmm Maybe germany!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Edinburgh, Siobhan. no brainer.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:53 PM
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I think you can take good guess at where the good places to go in Europe are for New Years based on what the prices are like. If the prices are cheap, it probably means no one wants to go there, and mostly likely for decent reasons.
I am going to Dublin for New Years, but its mostly a coincidence...cheap ticket to get to Europe.
If you want to get a unique experience, how about go to a nice Eastern European city - like Budapest, Bucharest, Krakow, or Prague - where you wouldn't see many tourists but have a great party?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:53 PM
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I think you can take good guess at where the good places to go in Europe are for New Years based on what the prices are like. If the prices are cheap, it probably means no one wants to go there, and mostly likely for decent reasons.
I am going to Dublin for New Years, but its mostly a coincidence...cheap ticket to get to Europe.
If you want to get a unique experience, how about go to a nice Eastern European city - like Budapest, Bucharest, Krakow, or Prague - where you wouldn't see many tourists but have a great party?

Check out my blog, if you'd like: http://thinkandtravel.blogspot.com/
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:39 PM
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We were in Vienna on NYE 2005/2006, and it's quite crowded. There are tons of outdoor stages in the different city squares, with different types of music at each. You can get a program that shows where everything is. It was quite festive, with lots of people, fireworks, etc.

markrosy, my husband was in Tromso last January for business and fell in love with it (he actually has to go back there at the end of this week). There isn't a ton of daylight, but everyone up there is apparently very outdoors oriented, so your activities sound great. When my husband was supposed to leave to come home, there was a blizzard and the airport closed for the first time in 20-something years, so you should be safe!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:52 PM
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mark, you are bloody daft. I hope your bollocks freeze off and your snapper throws her wet nappy at you in disgust.

Hogmanay? There's another bloody daft idea. Stand in the middle of Princes Street and have some geezer take a slash on your Ferragamo loafers because he is too pissed to find the bog. Add the damp and all the slags in rhinestone tiaras and its Happy Birthday at Castle Dracula, sweetie darling.

I am booking into Betty Ford for NYE.

Cheers,
Thingorjus
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