Countdown to 2016… live coverage as the world celebrates

Sydney Harbour NYE 2012/13: image credit

Sydney Harbour NYE 2012/13: image credit

With December 31 fast approaching, it seems Brits are burying their heads in the fading embers of 2015 when it comes to planning festivities to welcome the new year. Beat the panic with our last-minute guide to celebrating in style…

Join the global party here…

Follow the dawning of 2016 around the world with this live video stream right here. We’ll keep you updated on Facebook and Twitter as the big moment approaches in key locations… Expect to see live footage from New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, Russia, Germany, Brazil and New York. Coverage commences as 2016 strikes at the selected locations.

Turn on BBC1 or watch iPlayer here for the London celebrations at midnight.

Your countdown to panic…

Many of us might just be getting over the stress of scouring high streets and cyber highways for last-minute Christmas gifts, but now it’s time to hit the panic button again as we scramble to organise New Year’s Eve celebrations.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone – with around 30% of us leaving it to the big day itself before making a decision. Research from hotel booking site LateRooms.com also reveals that nearly a third of those who book on the day leave hotel reservations until after 4pm.

Top 10 worldwide destinations

Join us from Sydney to Hawaii as 2015 races around the globe: image credit

Celebrate around the world: image credit

If you’re lucky enough to be abroad as the clock strikes 2016, here are the top 10 destinations around the world. We’ve also included a little local knowledge covering the best places to welcome the in the new year…

1. Dubai
Celebrations and fireworks over the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building

2. Amsterdam
Rijksmuseum on Museumplein. The free event starts at 21:30 and continues until after midnight. Expect big crowds so arrive early for the best vantage points

3. Paris
Recent events dictate that this year’s celebrations will be more low-key than normal with a respectful light show at the Arc de Triumph planned as a focal point for the city and visitors to show solidarity and hope as a new year dawns.

4. Bangkok
Head for the Central World shopping plaza where the crowds gather from early evening in anticipation of the fireworks at midnight. The event also offers a large screen which shows countdowns from other locations around the globe.

5. Berlin
Head for the famous Strasse de 17 Juni running from the Brandeburg Gate to the Victory Column. Expect live music and a light show before the evening culminates in a spectacular firework display. With more than a million party-goers expected to attend, you’ll need to arrive early.

6. Prague
A spectacular firework display will mark the arrival of 2016, so make sure you head for a spot that offers a good view of the river. Top tips include securing early vantage points at or near the Charles Bridge, Petrin Hill or Prague Castle.

7. Phuket
Head to Patong Beach for the biggest and best NYE celebrations on Phuket

8. Sydney
It’s Sydney Harbour, of course,  with the spectacular Opera House as a back drop and canvas. The theme for the 2016 fireworks display is “City of Colour”.

9. Rome
When in Rome… follow the crowds to the Piazza del Popolo where locals and visitors alike welcome in the New Year with live music, dancing and fireworks at midnight.

10. Tokyo
Head to the Shibuya and Shinjuku areas are to find a party.

Where to watch in the UK

image credit

London: image credit

If you aren’t lucky enough to be abroad for New Year’s Eve, here’s where to celebrate in the UK’s major cities…

London: Fireworks on the River Thames are sold out; meaning only ticket-holders will be able to access viewing areas in Central London. If you’re not one of the lucky ones, head for high ground such as Hampstead Heath.

Edinburgh: Tickets to the Edinburgh ‘street party’ can still be purchased

Manchester: The New Year fireworks display will be held in the city’s Albert Square.

Cardiff: Head to the City Hall at midnight for a free firework display. Free buses will also be on hand.

Birmingham: Make your way to Centenary Square to watch the city’s five-minute official firework display.

Newcastle: The winter carnival parade will take place in the centre of Newcastle between 5pm and 6pm, with fireworks on the Quayside at midnight.

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