Not sure where you’ll be when the clock strikes twelve? These 7 firework-filled cities are all great places to ring in the New Year.

London, UK

What a sight! Fireworks light up the London Eye. © Natesh Ramasamy

When it comes to New Year celebrations in London, there’s really only one master of ceremonies. His name is Ben, and he is BIG! Around 2.5 million people will look up to the reliable clock and bell tower to ring in the start of 2016 and the 8-minute fireworks show.

If you don’t want to join the 250,000 people squeezed in front of the London Eye on the South Bank, head just north of the river to the Victoria Embankment, or walk through the twinkling grounds of the Palace of Westminster. Either way, the show is so stupendous that you’ll see it light up the night sky wherever you are in the city.

Extra tip: Go on a joy ride! There’s free travel on all Transport for London (TfL) services between 11:45 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

What to say: ‘Happy New Year!’

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Fireworks fire out of the Burj Khalifa tower.

A famously flashy Emirates destination, it’s no surprise to hear that Dubai loves a firework or two, or, maybe even 479,651, to be precise…

Dubai launched itself into the Guinness World Records in 2014 with the biggest firework display of all time! It was all designed by American pyrotechnic artist Phil Grucci, who committed ten months of planning to the six-minute show, which lit-up the showy 160-storey Burj Khalifa skyscraper and 36 miles of the pearly white seafront.

That was then, but you can be sure to expect equally big and bombastic things for this year’s countdown.

Extra tip: These rockets cause a racket, so don’t forget the earplugs!

What to say: ‘Kul ‘am wa antum bi khayr!’

Vilnius, Lithuania

A colourful New Year dawns in Vilnius’ Old Town. © erephas

It’s tough to find a more romantic place to kick off the year than cheap-and-cheerful Vilnius. Sure, the Lithuanian capital’s fireworks displays aren’t as flamboyant as the rest, but you get just as much bang at a half of the budget, plus the rare chance to soak up some of this overlooked city’s intrinsic sense of charm and romance in full, fiery bloom.

When it comes to the big night itself, we could recommend many of the Baroque Old Town’s superb restaurant, nightclub and bar offerings but, for an authentic Lithuanian New Year’s, it’s best to take to the streets and make friends with the locals celebrating on packed street corners, before heading over to Cathedral Square downtown for the midnight fireworks display and partying until sunrise.

What to say: ‘Laimingų Naujųjų Metų!’

Hong Kong, China

Riverside fireworks in Hong Kong. © Charles Luk

With the light and sound show – A Symphony of Lights – already offering visitors and locals a skyline spectacle on a daily basis, it’s as if Hong Kong is a sparkling wonder all-year-round. Show up on New Year’s Eve and you get all that, and so much more! In just the seven short years since Hong Kong started officially celebrating the New Year Countdown, the Pearl of the Orient has quickly become one of the best places to launch into a new year.

Fireworks were invented in 7th century China, so it’s no surprise that you’ll find thousands flying through the sky on the big night. For the best vantage point, you’ll have to show up early to Wan Chai’s Golden Bauhinia Square. If heaving crowds aren’t your thing, Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade just north of the Victoria Harbour is equally great. Head here for street-side Cantonese opera performances, China’s answer to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the Avenue of Stars, and the show-stopping fusion street-food that highlights the diversity of Asia’s culinary capital.

Extra tip: Craving a bit more show-stopping fun? Head back to Hong Kong on February 8th, 2016, for the Chinese New Year and do it all again!

What to say: ‘Gong Hey Fat Choy!’

Rome, Italy

The Collosseum showered in midnight fireworks during New Year’s Eve.

If your idea of a good time is a bit of song and dance, then classy Rome is your go-to New Year’s spot. The Medieval Trastevere neighbourhood hosts legendary NYE street parties where guests share pleasantries, street sip complimentary Prosecco and dance to the street performances and flashing fireworks when the clock strikes twelve.

Another big hit is the Circo Maximus, the ancient Roman chariot racing stadium, which hosts a free concert every year featuring Italy’s biggest pop stars. For fans of the classics, the church besides the Castel Sant’Angelo hosts an evening of orchestral performances dedicated to Italian composers throughout the ages, such as Vivaldi and Verdi.

But the biggest spectacle you can find here on New Year’s Eve isn’t anything that goes bang in the sky. Before the night party begins, head to the St Peter’s Square inside the Vatican City enclave at 5 p.m. to see Pope Francis presiding over the nativity scene.

Extra tip: Don’t forget to wear red underwear – the emblem of New Year luck in Italy.

What to say: ‘Buon anno!’

Reykjavik, Iceland

Out on the streets in icy, fiery Reykjavik. © Natesh Ramasamy

New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik always offers up something a little bit different. It’s the land of fire and ice, so expect harsh snowy conditions tempered by warm bonfires and, when the sun sets around 4 p.m., the very likely opportunity of the Northern Lights illuminating the pitch-black night sky.

You don’t really need fireworks when you have the Aurora Borealis, but this is the one time of the year that fireworks are made legal in Iceland, so the neighbourhood takes great delight in putting on a panoramic light party.

Despite the near twenty hours of daily darkness, Reykjavik is a city that never sleeps! Once the fireworks’ sparkle settles, head into town to share your first 2016 drink. We recommend a shot glass (or two!) of Brennivín, Iceland’s signature schnapps. Be merry and worry about the New Year’s resolutions later…

What to say: ‘Gleðilegt nýtt ár!’

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Want a happy new year? Head for a Rio beach! © experience Madeira, Algarve, Brazil !!

If you’ve tried the rest and now want the best, there’s only one place to go: Copacabana Beach. Two million people flock to this Rio landmark every year for the party – with bassy dance music, all-you-can-drink kiosks and a seashore fireworks display that lights up the horizon.

New Year’s fashion is important on this beach, with people showing up wearing the symbolic colours of white (suggesting peace), green (good health), purple (inspiration), yellow (prosperity) and – for the those seeking a night of Rio romance – red.

And, if you’re super superstitious, the local folklore says that you should make seven New Year’s wishes while attempting to hop over seven sea waves. Sure, you might get a little wet but, when the beach party is this wild – and the weather this warm – you really won’t care.

What to say: Feliz ano novo!’