Spending New Year’s Eve in another country is one of the most memorable ways you can ring in the coming year. The combination of unfamiliar traditions, crowds of locals mixed with visitors, and counting down the seconds to midnight sure beats another year spent in your high school friends’ parents’ basement. That being said, rarely do these incredible nights just happen to you. You need to make it happen.
For those interested in spending New Year’s Eve in London, here are some things you need to know in order to have an incredible night before crossing the pond:
London is huge and taxis can be very expensive. Luckily, London has an incredible public transportation system affectionately called “The Tube”. During the peak holiday season, public transport might have off-hours from the normal schedule. In years past, it has been free to the public between the hours of 11:45pm and 4:30am. Double-check the schedule before you go out, and get updates via Twitter by following each line individually here.
London has some of Europe’s best nightlife, but it takes some planning that you should start looking into now. Even if you buy entrance tickets to a club or bar, there’s no guarantee you won’t wait in line before getting in. Look for tickets with a drink included to try saving some cash, but expect to pay a premium that night. Typically, the bigger the party, the more expensive the night. You can often get discounted tickets if you buy early, so rally the troops and figure out your plans before it’s too late.
Over the River Thames (pronounced “Tems”) in front of Big Ben and the London Eye, you can feast your own eyes on some of the most spectacular fireworks in the Western Hemisphere. The caveat? You’ll be enjoying the show with over one-hundred-thousand of your closest friends! This year to control crowds in the best viewing areas, you won’t be able to enter Central London without a ticket, so plan accordingly. You can find more information on where to order your fireworks tickets here.
Guys and girls alike want to dress to the nines on New Year’s Eve, but keep in mind the average temperature is in the 40’s, and London is notoriously rainy. Prepare yourselves for the elements and dress accordingly, particularly in the footwear category. Like we mentioned, even if you pre-purchase tickets for a club, you’ll likely have to wait in line, so our advice for the ladies is to forego the stilettos and opt for a more tactical option…trust us, this way, you’ll be able to dance all night and not break an ankle.
The Next Day:
After you’ve had the night of your life (that may or may not be a bit fuzzy), have showered and hunted down a Gatorade (if you’re so lucky), it’s time to hit the town – after all, you’re traveling, you can sleep when you’re home. Put on your sunglasses and Carpe Diem, YOLO, and all of those other cliches. Some popular tourist attractions may have limited entrances or may be closed for the holiday, so do your research ahead of time. Try ice skating at the Natural History Museum, check out the New Year’s Day Parade through Central London, or post up for some fish and chips at a local pub. Regardless, you’ll have an incredible time in this great city.