The champagne bubbles tingle much sweeter on unfamiliar ground. 2012 is already a bit different (happy birthday to all you leap year freaks) and just about every country in the world has super special plans for New Year's Eve. OTP tracked down 2012's most unique spots for sending off that old bag of a year and ringing in the new. Plan now to party hard later.
The shut down of Germany's Love (less) Parade left anxious party people roaming the land for festivities and has contributed to the popularity of Zurich as a celebration destination. Avoid the crowds by grazing the green pastures of Basel instead. The explosive part of the celebration happens at the Basel Münster, a huge, architecturally impressive cathedral that booms with madness come NYE.
With the excitement of the summer Olympics setting in, London will be bloody grand this year. The Big Ben will be bigger, the pints frothier and those messed up English teeth more rickety. Gather your mates and park ye' old selves along the River Thames early to feel the heat of the fireworks display.
All year long, Danes collect their chipped dishes. On December 31st, they do a drive-by dish-throwing against their friends' front doors. The people with the most friends are left with the biggest, most dangerously jagged pile of ceramic on their porch. Aside from tossing back a few plates, Copenhagen is huge on nightlife, nudity, bar hopping, club crawling and erotica. Shut the front door Copenhagen, we've got a family pack of dinnerware comin' your way.
OTP Tip: This place is also great for gays. The New Year's Pan Dance is a same-sex couple extravaganza ball. If you're single, Denmark has a wide array of gay bars, the oldest of which is Centralhjørnet.
If you've stood in line for whatever new gadget Apple pumps out, this one's for you. This Pacific island nation is comprised of 33 atolls, some entirely made of coral. In 1995, these guys had the balls to move the international date line enough east to piss people off. Claiming to be the first to see the sun rise on January 1st, Kiribati rocks New Year's like they invented it.
Why limit your celebrations to just one day when you can party across the faiths for months? The diverse population of Jakarta follows three separate calendars. Start by dipping into the familiar Gregorian NYE on the streets. Wipe the shitfaced from your grin and hang in there for the 15 day celebration of the Chinese New Year starting January 23rd. Then, just when you've had enough New for the Year, pop into the Islamic celebration for another week, starting November 15th.
Trying to avoid frostbite by attending warm indoor parties? Might as well call it a night at 11:00. The Poles are all about freezing their asses off for the sake of a good time. As such, they gather on the frigid St. Sylvester's Eve (Polish for New Year's) at Market Square and start looking for body heat. The 5 degree chill factor is no match for the dancing, drinking, fun-loving crowds that later spill into nearby clubs.
This place has all the usual suspects: fireworks, food, music, entertainment and drunken street hook ups. Oh and also this little wine thing nobody really knows about. Wine, where? Just an underground cellar, with 3 km of street-like tunnels, housing over 200,000 bottles of wine, some of which date back to your great-grandma's carefree childhood. Since it was named Europe's Capital of Culture for 2012 (we're sure wine bribery was involved), expect everything to rev up tenfold.
Belize-B is for Breathing
Hanging out in a jungle lodge should be on your NYE agenda. A spectacular light show and fancy party places are sparse in Belize. Sure fireworks are cool (for the first 3 minutes or so) but the colorful wildlife in the trees, reefs and footpaths of Belize blow any pyro show to shame. San Pedro is the most touristy (and locally populated) city and at the very least, Belize will be a great place to relax away your raging hangover.
There is a fancy cruise that people take on the Danube come December 31st. Also, luxury hotels have champagne dinners and small plates of delicious, festive food. You can't afford either of these. Drown your broke ass tears in three free, ridiculously fun, parties instead. Sprawl out for 3 days at Vörösmarty Square for a musical celebration, check out Hungarian pop bands at Nyugati Square or boogie down to Oktogon for disco dancin' till dawn. Befriend a Hungarian and follow them home. Chances are, they'll be having after parties way more poppin' than the hotel lobby.
This spot has the fireworks, drinking, eating and drinking, singing, then drinking in raging holiday celebratory style. On New Year's Day, while the rest of the world is passed out, drooling on the face of some dirty stranger, covered in confetti and still wearing last night's sparkle outfit, the people of Innsbruck go skiing. Home to the Alpine Skiing World Cup, Innsbruck's New Year's powder and slopes are just right to keep you skuking (ski puking) all day.
According to the shittiest movie in history, the world is probably going to end in 2012. For you this should mean one thing: people can easily be swayed into boning one last time, given the impeding apocalypse and all. So wherever you end up at midnight, make sure you pack some extra rubbers and wear a helmet.