New Year's Eve celebrations around the world: Best cities

It's almost time to kiss goodbye to 2015, so get ready to rev up to celebrate. Here are 10 perfect places to ring in 2016, from over-the-top glitz to zen reflection.

1. FIREWORKS DUBAI

If there was a Fireworks Olympics, Dubai would be dripping in gold medals. It's no surprise that recent New Year's Eve firework displays in Dubai have broken world records, so if you want your New Year's Eve to be an extravaganza with a capital E, aim your party shoes at Dubai, with jaw-dropping displays happening at Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis The Palm and The Palm Jumeirah – that incredible man-made luxury archipelago created in the shape of a palm leaf. See visitdubai.com/en/visiting/at-a-glance/events-calendar/new-years-eve-2016.

2. ONCE IN A LIFETIME NEW YORK CITY

Sure, it's an obvious one, but who wouldn't want to be a part of that party just once in their lives? Head to One Times Square where that famous New Year's Eve Ball, weighing in at 11,875 pounds (5386 kilograms), is lit at 6pm to kick off festivities, televised to more than a billion people worldwide, which include fabulous live performances (this year – Nick Jonas). The ball starts its descent at 11.59pm and, at the stroke of midnight, 2016 fires up in lights above Times Square, confetti showers down from the rooftops and fireworks decorate the brand new year. See timessquarenyc.org/new-years-eve/index.aspx#.Vndl8fl97IU.

3. HARBOUR HONG KONG

Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour puts on a charming light show every night of the year, so you can just imagine the scale of the lightshow on New Year's Eve. Head to the waterfront (or to the water – you can cruise the harbour for an immersive experience) for a massive pyromusical display, culminating in a wild display of fireworks as the hour ticks over. You can also go online to write a message to your loved ones which will be broadcast live on Hong Kong's YouTube channel.

See discoverhongkong.com/au/see-do/events-festivals/highlight-events/countdown.jsp.

4. CITY OF LIGHT PARIS

The City of Light is a lushly romantic spot to ring in the new year. If you're looking to celebrate with the crowds, head to the Champs-Elysees for a thriving street party and fireworks over L'Arc de Triomphe. For a more low-key version, arm yourself with good champagne and a handful of papillotes (chocolates that pop like a Christmas cracker when you unwrap them) and head to Montmarte, which still affords good views of the fireworks. See francetourisme.fr/new-years-eve-paris.html?gclid=COKpnfvy68kCFQoQvQodV3IE0A.

5. GO NATURAL BYRON BAY

Eschewing the pyrotechnics in favour of more natural wonders, be among the first to greet the new year with stunning sunrise views at Byron Bay. There are no fireworks or beachfront activities here, just lovely family-friendly, alcohol-free events including the Soul Street New Year's Eve, featuring street stalls, face painters, local bands, buskers and fire twirlers. There's also First Sun New Year's Day 2016 at Cape Byron Lighthouse and the Falls Music & Arts Festival at North Byron Parklands. See byron.nsw.gov.au/new-years-eve.

6. THEATRICS EDINBURGH

Edinburgh is known for its phenomenal festivals and arts scene, so it's no surprise that Hogmanay, its three-day New Year festival, is a bonanza of incredible music, art and theatre, as well as a renowned firework display, best viewed from Princes Street Gardens. Plus, at midnight, you can be part of the world's most epic version of Auld Lang Syne. See edinburghshogmanay.com/.

7. GET BEACHED HONOLULU

If you're one of the cool kids who likes to turn up late to the party, celebrate New Year in Honolulu, one of the last ones to tick over on the world clock. Take in the Honolulu Harbour fireworks from one of the many beachfronts, and, for a campy version of New York's illuminated ball, Honolulu has its own "Pineapple Drop" – a large, lit-up pineapple. See hawaii-nye.com/.

8. PARTY REYKJAVIK

If you want to dance like nobody's watching, head to Reykjavik, the northernmost capital of the world, where the party spirit burns bright like the symbolic community bonfires that people gather around to dance and sing. Midnight features multiple firework displays peppering the dark sky before the party spirit ramps back up into overdrive. New Year hot springs, anyone? See visitreykjavik.is/new-years-eve-reykjavik.

9. CHARM DUBROVNIK

If a scenic, historic setting is a must for you, Dubrovnik, with its cinematic Old Town and a hypercoloured Adriatic Sea at its fringe, is calling. Cultural celebrations centre around Stradun, the main thoroughfare through the walled Old Town, and feature major Croatian music stars, choirs, carols and brass bands. New Year's Day features a performance from the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. See tzdubrovnik.hr/eng/dogadjanja_novost.php?id=6233.

10. REFLECTION KYOTO

Escape the fevered madness and head to Japan for New Year. Most stores are closed over this period so there's a quiet that will come as a relief after a busy year. Kyoto is famous for its plethora of preserved shrines and temples so join the locals at a temple for joya-no-kane, where you ring temple bells for good fortune in the coming year. From the temple, head to a shrine and say a prayer for a good New Year. Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine, with its wending paths, is particularly stunning. See kyotoguide.com/ver2/event/event%20currentevent-.htm.

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