Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ guide to the best New Year’s Eve parties across Europe for 2018/2019 (updated)

What a year it’s been, huh? It’s almost New Year’s Eve and Brexit may or may not be actually settled. Angela Merkel is stepping down as leader of her party after 18 years. Russia is ready to relive the Cold War if U.S. president Donald Trump tweets that all treaties are null and void.

Oh, and several of the big New Year’s Eve parties from last year including the Gypsy King party in Amsterdam seem to be missing at this late date.

Not to say there wasn’t any good in 2018. Crete gave the boot to far-right party Golden Dawn. Luxembourg is the first country to offer free public transportation. And we brought American investors and Dutch startups closer together.

Either way, this calls for a party to celebrate the end of one year and beginning of a new year to come. We’ve put together a handy guide to where in Europe you can bid farewell to 2018 and welcome 2019.

And of course, if there’s a party we should know about, send us an email:

Amsterdam – New Year’s Eve at Shelter: Amsterdam’s new art space/music club has a hot international lineup for NYE.

American veteran DJ Bone will be there with Scotland’s hottest artists, Jasper James, and fellow Shelter residents and Amsterdam favourites William Djoko and Carlos Valdes.

You can get tickets here for  37 euros. (The third release is up, so we wouldn’t dilly dally.)

Amsterdam – Awakenings: Join 3,500 of your closest friends inside Gashouder at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek park for a big rave featuring the likes of Mirella Kroes, Jeff Mills, and Amelie Lens.

A total of six DJs will take you through the first night of 2019 straight into the morning, all for the low, low price of 49.75 euros. (See below for what we mean!)

Amsterdam – The Grand Ball: Vienna can’t have all the fun, right? If you’re a fan of Viennese balls and happen to be in Amsterdam for New Year’s, then head over to Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam for the 2018/19 edition of The Grand Ball.

The theme this year is the Great Gatsby and suggested dress is “the Roaring Twenties.” Which considering the stock market these days is a little worrying.

For 175 euros per person (up from 130 last year!) you can enjoy a champagne toast at midnight, lots of beers and wines, and “luxury canapés” while waltzing in your finest black ties and silver, white and light blue gowns.

Dress code: Black tie.

Barcelona – La Noche Vieja: Want to ring in the new year with a few thousand of your newest friends? Head over to Barcelona’s Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina and Font Mágica de Montjuïc to experience the magic in Spain known as La Noche Vieja (New Year’s Eve en español).

The festivities begin with projections and firework displays from celebrations of the past, followed by a majestic display of fireworks overhead and the fountain playing along. This is accompanied by eating a grape every time the bell rings at the stroke of midnight.

And speaking of grapes, the fruit is the centerpiece of the festivities, from structures built to resemble them, to the overall celebration of 2018’s arrival at midnight. The grape was chosen for its shape — the circle — “with its symbolism of a never-ending line with no beginning or end, evoking repeating cycles and, consequently, the passage of time.”

And best of all, it’s free to attend.

Barcelona –The Rowmuda Triangle: After you’ve pocketed your winnings from Spain’s famous El Gordo lottery, hit the showers, and throw on your freshest threads, get back to raving from the late morning into the late evening of the first day of 2019 at Barcelona’s Elrow. DJs including Adam Beyer, Toni Varga, Eddy M, Gadi, and others will keep the party spirit going.

This sells out every year, but the third ticket release is on sale now for 66 euros. Elrow is Barcelona’s most popular club, famous for its New Year’s Day party, which starts at 11 a.m. and runs till …. The main operation is Elrow, Row 14, a 4,500-capacity venue just outside Barcelona.

Elrow is also an international promotional brand that stages dance parties in 52 cities, famous for production values and props. And it all started in Barcelona.

Basel – Bizarre Surrealist Dinner Show at Cabaret Bizarre/Parterre-One: Basel is no Barcelona. Basel and Barcelona have nothing in common with one exception: Salvadore Dalí. Dalí, who created Surrealism in Barcelona, is not only popular in this Swiss industrial center, he’s the inspiration for this New Year’s Eve Party in Basel at Parterre-One, a combination bistro and nightclub on four floors, and with two dance floors.

In the Surrealist tradition, expect men who are women and women who are men and a lot of creative people somewhere in between.

Here’s the dress code from the website:

Explore your dreams and challenge reality.
Be elegant, strange, bizarre and surreal!
André Breton, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Hans Bellmer, Luis Buñuel, Joan Miró, René Magritte and Méret Oppenheim, Georges Bataille, Le chien Andalu, Histoire de l’œil…
and then…dada, futurism, cubism, constructivsm
and of course dark cabaret, occultist, aleister crowley, rubber, fetish, clowns, weimar berlin, the golden age, venus in furs, boudoir, gothic, weird dreams, militia, black magic, 1920’s, 1930’s, fate….

Tickets for the four-course dinner and show are 136.85 Swiss francs, or about 121 euros.

You can get them here.

Belgrade – Klub 20/44: As our Beth Hoke found out, Belgrade is famous for partying. All night. Into the next day. On the Sava River, Klub 20/44 is one of Belgrade’s most celebrated destinations.

For New Year’s Eve, they’re hosting French DJ Sacha Mambo along with locals Ivan Troskot (Trole) and Vladimir Kostic (Vlada Russ).

The Klub 20/44 website doesn’t work, but there’s a lot of info on the club’s Facebook page here.

Berlin – Silvester Klubnacht: If you can get into Berghain, the most exclusive club in all of Berlin, on New Year’s Day, you’ll have a grand time for sure. Berghain welcomes 2019 with a long party from 1:00 on 1 January to 6:00 on 3 January. Scheduled acts include: Answer Code Request, Kobosil, Cormac, Tornado Wallace, Chris Cruise, I-F, Barker, and Felix K.

If you can get in.

There’s the feared doorman Sven Marquard and his crew of bouncers who spend their time arbitrarily selecting who gets in from the line that generally starts forming in the afternoon.Tips on how to get in:• Speak German• Convince the bouncers you’re there to see a specific DJ rather than to gawk at clubbers – knowing your Ben Klocks from your Marcel Dettmanns helps

• Don’t dress formally – Berlin is a casual city and the only people you’ll see in Berghain in heels and fake nails are transvestites

• Be yourself, especially if your self is over 25 years old

Also, if you just fell off the turnip truck from Des Moines, Berghain is the famously the most debauched club in Berlin, and that’s saying something.

Berlin – Berlin New Year’s Eve Party: Berlin has thousands of NYE parties at every club, bar and pilsstube. However, the city also has a huge official New Year’s Eve Party that’s free and features big-name artists, both live bands and DJs.

Weirdly, for 2018, no acts have been announced yet. How un-German. But of course, 2018 will be ushered in with a giant fireworks show.

Did we mention this is free?

There is one catch: As you can imagine, this is pretty popular and Politzei shut off the area once it reaches capacity. Berlin New Year’s Eve Party is literally in the middle of the city on a two-kilometer-long stretch of Straße des 17. Juni between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column.

The “official” party doesn’t start till 19:00, but the area is open during the day and you can stroll down the Straße des 17. Juni and watch rehearsals.

Brussels – NYE at Fuse: We’re not sure if any of the DJs on tap at Fuse will drop a few New Beat jams in their mixes, but we can guarantee you’ll have a wonderful time well into the first morning of 2019 with legendary Dave Clarke, Lunar Convoy, and Molly working the wheels of steel. Tickets are 22.50 euros.

You can also buy a Happy Brussels ticket here for 58 euros, which will get you into all the city’s major clubs on New Year’s Eve.

Copenhagen – Culture Box: For the dance/EDM/Techno/House connoisseurs of this fabulous (and fabulously expensive) city, the Culture Box is the club, which hosts top DJs including Jamie XX of Annie Mac/BBC 1 fame.

So it figures the club is where to head on New Year’s Eve.

BANG! has been the annual New Year’s Eve event since 2006.

This NYE, the lineup is impressive with:

• Producer/DJ Martinez from Sweden (not to be confused with the Martinez Bros. from New York)

• Ohm from Iceland

• Daniel Savi from Copenhagen’s underground posse.

and a bunch more.

You’ll never get in unless you get your ticket early, which you can do here. Entrance is 200 Danish krone, or about 27 euros.

Copenhagen – Spectacle Extraordinaire: What’s with all the 20s-themed New Year’s Eve parties this year? Do they know something we don’t know? Anyway, this is a big one in Copenhagen, part of a network of NYE parties put on by Party Like Gatsby across the globe.

Spectacle Extraordinaire in Copenhagen is at Vega, a music venue with three stages. This is really for those of us who love the glamour and style from a time that really changed the world in terms of fashion, women’s rights and even how we imbibe today. (Cocktails weren’t really a thing until the Gatsby Age.)

Spectacle Extraordinaire is billed as an “immersive experience” putting partygoers in the middle of a cabaret with live bands and entertainment. Entry in Copenhagen is 42 euros, and you can get tickets here. On the website, there’s a lot of emphasis on the dress code, so don’t show up in your Levys and Metallica teeshirt expecting to get in.

There are also parties by the same company in Finland, Germany, Canada, the UK and the U.S. in case you’re celebrating the arrival of 2019 on the road. You can see them all here.

Dublin – NYE at Wigwam: Outside of Brexitland in Dublin, Ireland, the basement ping pong tables will be put away to ring in the first night of 2019 with dinner, DJs, and live music from Brazilian bossa nova/jazz duo Brazilica. You can reserve a table via email at

Edinburgh – Hogmanay 19: The best New Year’s Eve Party ever? Well, the longest, at any rate starting 30 December and running three full days to 1 January. What exactly is “Hogmanay”? It’s the Scottish word for the last day of the year. Translated into urban slang, it means, “Yo, par-TAY!” This year Franz Ferdinand is the headliner at the Concerts in the Gardens event. But we count at least 12 more big events including several for families.

You can get package deals for accommodations through the festival.

Also, London-based Stoke Travel has a Hogmanay travel package for 190 pounds per person and includes:

• a direct, private party train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh and back, with no one else on the train except Stoke’s 574-person group.

• entrance to the Hogmanay street party festival.

• 4 music stages to dance the night away.

• a private venue for an after-Hogmanay street party.

• pre-party brunch pack.

You can get those tickets here.

Ibiza – New Year’s Eve at Pacha: Pacha is this party island’s most famous club, and the only one that stays open year-round. On New Year’s Eve, Pacha turns into a dance-and-dine destination/cabaret. This being Ibiza and this being NYE, the party ain’t cheap: For 300 euros, you get lobster salad, sea bass and other delicacies. You can see the full menu here.

Or you can pay 40 euros and get access to the deck. In case you’re wondering, the weather forecast for New Year’s Eve in the islands is sunny and warm, with a sea breeze and high temps topping 15 degrees/60 degrees Fahrenheit. Or you could party in Helsinki.

London – The Pickle Factory x Oval Space: Forget for a moment that this will be the last New Year’s Eve the United Kingdom will be a part of the European Union by dancing the Brexit malaise away at London’s The Pickle Factory and Oval Space.

“UK icon and perennial tastemaker Gilles Peterson” will bring his fusion of jazz, disco, house, and all the things to the DJ booth, and “peerless German artist Move D,” will keep the grooves moving for six hours.

Tickets are 35 British pounds (40 euros) for entry before 20:00, 45 British pounds (51 euros) for final release.

London – Fabric: New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day both promise to be memorable at one of London’s most famous (infamous) clubs, one with Patrick Topping headling, the other with Daniel Avery.

For NYE, Fabric has two rooms of fun:

Patrick Topping
Acid Mondays
Alex Virgo

Daniel Avery
Anastasia Kristensen
Jay Clarke

For New Year’s Day, American producer Maceo Plex plays a 6-hour set.

There are still a few tickets left for each day. You can get them via the Fabric website here.

Final release tickets for NYE are 50 pounds, and you can get them here.

Lisbon – NYE at Lux Frágil: Party with a polar bear under the stairs at Lisbon’s Lux Frágil on New Year’s Eve. While ticket prices haven’t been announced yet, the scheduled acts have been, including Dexter Lux, Pinkboy, and Switchdance.

Madeira – Watching fireworks on the bay: This island in the Atlantic (part of Portugal) is renowned for its New Year’s Eve Fireworks display. Locals like to say the display in the capital city of Funchal was the biggest in the world, recognized by the Guinness Book of World records.

The best way to see it is from Funchal Bay on an excursion boat. And there are lots to choose from.

Madeira Wind Birds has a cruise for 105 euros on a catamaran that hold 100 people. That price includes wines and snacks and a sightseeing tour. Wind Birds, unlike its competition, actually has a website with info. But it looks like there are dozens of other options.

You can read more about Madeira here from Dispatches.

Paris – International Dream Party New Year Event: Bid farewell to 2018 and say hello to 2019 in the City of Lights at Nouveau Casino on New Year’s Eve, where invited artist Joanne Togati’s discography will be mixed by the likes of Franco-Haitian duo Juicy’s Empire, Italy’s Kevin Moncado, and Germany’s DJ Olde.

Admission to the party is 45 euros presale, 60 euros at the door. Whatever you pay, you’ll receive two complimentary drinks, and there will be a buffet from 22:00 to 23:00. The party starts at 22:00 in 2018, and ends just before the first sunrise of 2019 at 6:00.

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