You may be pumped to celebrate the New Year, but you’d be forgiven for watching the wallet after the holidays. Since no one should start the year off on the wrong foot, financially or otherwise, we’ve compiled our favorite celebrations in cities worldwide that won’t cost you anything.
There’s nowhere quite like Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve (or Oud en Nieuw, as they call it here). The whole city erupts into a gigantic, riotous street party, with crowds of revellers indulging in a massive DIY firework display—who knew so many Dutch people had pyrotechnic tendencies? Of course, you can spend a lot of money to go to an exclusive party, but New Year’s in Amsterdam is best enjoyed outside, on the street.
1. Get Walking
This is the perfect night to take a stroll along the canals. Later on, you’ll have little option other than to walk, anyway, as public transport stops at around 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
2. Pay a Visit to the “Skinny Bridge”
It’s best to view Amsterdam’s most romantic bridge, the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) at night, when it’s beautifully illuminated. Later on, it’s a prime firework-viewing location.
3. Selfie Time
It’s a bit of a cliché, but taking a photo on top of or in front of the giant “I Amsterdam” sign on Museumplein has become a real tourist must-do. And Museumplein is another good firework-viewing spot for after midnight.
4. Hit the Water
The free ferry from Amsterdam Central Station to Amsterdam Noord is like a micro-cruise, with expansive views twinkling with glittery lights by night. Come straight back with the next boat, or stay and explore the city’s up-and-coming north neighbourhood for a while—but don’t forget that service is reduced on New Year’s Eve.
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