New Year’s Eve 2020 will mark the turn of a new century, so what better time than to jet off on a mini-break? According to ABTA between four and seven million people jet off on holiday between the Christmas and New Year period alone last year. Meanwhile, European mini-breaks are alluring thanks to their short flight times and festive offering.
According to lastminute.com flight bookings departing between 29 and 31 December are up 12 percent this year, with some locations proving more popular than others.
In fact, European hotspot Krakow comes out on top, with bookings to the Polish city up 133 percent.
Meanwhile, travel to Vienna, Dublin, Paris, Prague and Amsterdam have all seen an increase in holiday bookings.
What does each of these locations have to offer over the New Year period?
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New Year 2020: These are the most popular European city breaks
New Year 2020: A European mini-break is a popular way to ring in the new year
Located in the southern part of Poland, Krakow is one of the most popular cities for tourists looking to jet off on a European city break year-round. At New Year, though, the fun is amped up with a whole host of activities taking place throughout the metropolis.
The main New Year’s event happens in the Main Market Square, boasting an array of live performances from musicians, accompanied by stunning fireworks.
The city is also home to an array of restaurants, bars and nightclubs which will be open into the evening for tourists wanting to celebrate the occasion. Whether you want to mark the end of the year with a delicious meal or by dancing the night away, Krakow offers something for everyone.
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Austria’s capital Vienna is a popular destination for travellers looking for a festive getaway, with bookings up a whopping 67 percent this year. New Year’s Eve is known as Silvester in Austria and is a night celebrated by locals. While many global traditions of the evening will be in full swing, Austrians also have their own unique way of making the occasion.
At the stroke of midnight, the giant Pummerin bell of Vienna’s St Stephen’s cathedral will ring in the New Year, before a smattering of sparkling fireworks will take over the skies.
The fireworks can be seen across the city, though locations along the Danube are the ultimate spot for celebrations. The Danube Tower and Das Loft restaurants are both famous for their views on this evening, as well as the Vienna hills, though they are further out of the city.
The city also hosts its “New Year’s Eve trail”- a series of events around the city centre that begin at 2pm on December 21 and run through until 2am the next day. Last year alone 750,000 people celebrated along with it.
Just a short journey away, Dublin is the perfect spot for a merry celebration. The Irish city is famed for its party atmosphere and its no difference on 31 December.
There are a number of events including food, drinks, family fun and dancing across the city spanning New Year’s Eve right through to 1 January.
The Custom House arch will be transformed into a giant abstract painting by the Independent arts organisation as part of its “The School of Looking Display”.
Meanwhile, the Docklands will boast entertainment from a range of young bands and local performers.
A countdown event for children and adults alike will take place at the Lifey Lights Midnight Moment Matinee, celebrating with an impressive light show.
Meanwhile, the cities lively bars and clubs will be opening well into the night for late-night party goers.
Bookings so far this year to Dublin are up by 37 percent.
New Year 2020: Paris boasts bustling night life to ring in the New Year
Paris is known as the city of love, but the French capital is an ideal spot for those hoping to welcome in the New Year in style.
Travellers jetting off to the French capital are spoiled for choice, with a mix of global and traditional Parisian traditions across the city.
Unsurprisingly, the Eiffel Tower sparkles as the focal point for the New Years Eve Celebrations. The Champs de Mrs acts as an unofficial gathering point for those planning on spending the evening outside and the Tower itself will be lit up in style.
Meanwhile, the elegant Champs-Élysées becomes the site of the official Parisian New Year’s Eve street party, which hosts a magnificent midnight lights show and carries on well past midnight.
Elsewhere in the city, there are loads of clubs and bars which open their doors to keep partying continuing well into the new year.
Other traditional hotspots include the Moulin Rouge, boasting its enthralling cabarets show, as well as a calmer celebration near to the Sacré-Coeur.
Bookings to Prague are up 13 percent this year, with holidaymakers keen to take in the festive sight of the Czech Republic capital.
Already a hot spot for winter destinations thanks to its gorgeous Christmas markets and seasonal food offering, New Year’s eve encapsulates a little extra magic.
Prague is well known for its Prague Pub Crawl, boasting a special New Years Eve crawl perfect for wild holidaymakers.
The crawl boasts unlimited drinks for the first hours, as well as welcome shots at every other venue along the way.
For travellers less keen on a wild party, but still hoping for entertainment, the city fireworks will fill the night sky from midnight. Some of the best spots to see the display are from Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and on the banks of the river facing Letna Park.
The riverbank is a great spot to celebrate the turn of the century, with a number of cruises and boat parties sailing into the evening.
Just a short flight from the UK, bookings to the Dutch city are up 10 percent.
Already a tourist haven year-round, New Year’s eve offers food, drink and dancing, as well as traditional fireworks.
A local tradition is to spend the evening indulging on oliebollen – a delicacy of deep-fried dough balls – and a good supply of Champagne.
Travellers will find them dotted about at street vendors throughout the evening. Tradition says the delicious treats will wad off evil spirits. Meanwhile, tourists can also fill them stomachs at countless restaurants across the city.
Take in the city by food and enjoy some of Amsterdam’s stunning canals, lit up by the Amsterdam Light Festival which is in full swing until January. Be cautious though, with fireworks only on sale for a few days a year, locals take full advantage and DIY displays are a common sight.