Best New Year’s Fireworks in Europe?

I’m sure everyone will have their vote for the best New Year’s fireworks in Europe.  Some may vote Edinburgh, with their huge Hogmanay festival (complete with excessive drinking and also-excessive cold temperatures).  Others might say London, who’s fireworks display is a big and impressive as the city’s skyline.

But my vote has to go for Amsterdam.  Here’s why.

Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities, in general.  During New Year’s, many locals host fantastic parties in their home, complete with endless buffets and a bar that looks like it is an entire aisle of the liquor store.  (Ok, I’m exaggerating, but just slightly.)

The food and drink starts mid-afternoon, but during the day you’ll notice a boom, a whizz, and a bang now and then.  The uninitiated might assume it’s just all some fun and games before a bigger celebration happens in the evening.

The thing is, though, Amsterdam doesn’t really have one big massive fireworks display.  People run amok in the streets lighting their own fireworks.  As you can see from the photo above, I’m not talking about sparklers or a small firecracker.  I’m talking about a hot flame that goes screaming by your face as you dive to the ground, since not everyone has very good aim.

Things turn in to pandemonium come midnight, as fireworks are launched from nearly every direction, and the sound competes for the dazzling lights display that seems to show up the next direction.

It is crazy.  It is perhaps slightly scary.  But it is Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve, and it has to be the best new year’s eve in Europe.  Ever.

The Next Morning

It’s worth battling a hangover to go for a wee stroll on January 1st, early in the AM.  That’s because you can see the aftermath – the city is silent, and covered from one end to the other with leftover firework.  It’s interesting.

Also very interesting – look at the cars.  You’ll notice all the fogged up windows – people are sleeping in them!  I’ve been in Amsterdam for several New Year’s, and every time this was the same, and I can’t say I explain it – it’s mostly French and Germans looking to save money on a hotel for the night.  But I can’t explain why there are so many – they’re everywhere.  Must be a rough drive home the next day.

What’s your favourite New Year’s event in Europe?

Photo Credit: jayembee