Christmas 2018 is behind us, which means that the countdown to New Year’s Eve has begun in earnest. Some prefer to celebrate the new year away from the crowds of the city, perhaps under a blanket of stars or with the company of loved ones. But most prefer to ring in the new year with parties, fireworks, food, drinks and dance. And that’s exactly how some of the biggest cities in the world do it. In the spirit of New Year’s Eve 2018, we look at some cities from around the world where you can catch the countdown. ALSO READ: 2018 Holiday Calendar: List of Long Weekends and Where to Go in The Upcoming New Year

New York City, USA

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at Times Square on December 31, 2015 in New York City

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve at Times Square on December 31, 2015 in New York City

Let’s talk about the city that pretty much defines a New Year countdown. New York’s Time Square is the venue for the most famous countdown in the world, with hundreds of millions thronging the venue or catching it live on television. There’s nothing like watching the Waterford LED ball drop from the New York Times building and witnessing the madness with a million others at Broadway and Seventh Avenue. It has been happening for over a century, and will continue for many more.

Hong Kong, China

Night view and fireworks at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Night view and fireworks at Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Dazzling Hong Kong is promising its ‘most spectacular’ New Year celebration ever, and that’s quite a boast considering how impressive its December 31 fireworks are. Head to Victoria Harbour on New Year’s Eve, because that is where the big 2018 New Year countdown celebration is happening. There will be a clock ticking down the time to midnight, a musical fireworks show above the Hong Kong skyline and a shower of light above the harbour to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fireworks at new years eve party at Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fireworks at new years eve party at Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s capital city, has its own soul and beat. And sure enough, it’s New Year celebrations are unique too. The celebration is called Réveillon, and it considered one of the grandest in the world. Millions come to the beaches that line the city, dressed in splendid white like Candomblé priestesses. At midnight, they throw flowers into the ocean waves as an offering to the sea goddess Yemanjá. What follows is music, dancing and partying at a scale you can only find in Rio.

Sydney, Australia

Multi colour light balls during new year fireworks in Sydney city CBD elevated view over blurred harbour waters towards Harbour bridge and Sydney Landmarks

Multi colour light balls during New Year fireworks in Sydney Harbour

Down under, in the city of Sydney, a million or more visitors and locals will come to the famous waterfront to ring in the new year. And when the clock strikes midnight, the Sydney Harbour bridge, opera house and iconic buildings around the bay will light up in celebration, while the night sky will shine with spectacular fireworks. NOW READ: Best Places to Celebrate New Year 2018 in India

Madrid, Spain

Puerta del Sol crowded with tourists on December 31 in Madrid

Puerta del Sol crowded with tourists on December 31 in Madrid

The sprightly capital of Spain, Madrid is blessed with boulevards and porticos and a very unusual New Year’s Eve tradition that you mustn’t miss. It may not have the intensity of New York City, but Madrid’s New Year 2018 celebration promises to be a unique experience. Locals ring in the new year by swalling 12 grape at midnight, one for every stroke of the midnight hour. If you finish on time, the next year will be filled with fortune for you. Catch the ritual at the Puerta del Sol plaza, and the fireworks at Gran Via.