New Year’s Eve in London can be an unforgettable experience and one of the best ways to welcome the New Year in style. Choose from New Year´s Eve dinner at one of London´s top restaurants to a River Cruise with views of the Fireworks, or celebrate at one of London´s most exquisite New Year´s Eve Parties.
Many people travel to London to celebrate New Year´s Eve in the city, and not only does this mean that you´ll be spoilt for options to celebrate the arrival of 2024, but it also means that you´ll be able to experience London at Christmas. See the wonderful Christmas lights in central London and enjoy the Christmas markets and fairs. Christmas, in my opinion, is one of the best times of the year to visit London.
How is New Year’s Eve celebrated in London?
London celebrates New Year’s Eve on December 31st with some of the most famous fireworks in the world. These New Year’s Eve fireworks take place at the London Eye after Big Ben’s 12 chimes at midnight.
You can buy tickets to see the NYE fireworks in London, but there are other ways to enjoy the fireworks, such as restaurants or party venues with views of the river or river cruises.
Here, you will find a guide with everything you need to know if you plan to spend New Year’s Eve in London this year. We have included a list of a few of our favourite restaurants offering special New Year´s Eve Menus and the best New Year’s Eve River Cruises.
New Year’s Eve Thames River Cruises in London
One of the best ways to celebrate New Year´s Eve in London in style is on a Thames River Cruise with first-row views of London´s New Year´s Eve fireworks and breathtaking views.
Several New Year´s Eve Cruises are planned for this year, and you can choose from a chilled-out live Jazz Cruise with champagne to the ultimate New Year´s Eve Party aboard a cruise ship. There are also New Year’s Eve River Cruises available for families with children, so it’s simply a matter of choosing the river cruise that best suits your needs.
Prices for New Year’s Eve cruises in London vary depending on the length of the cruise and the type of food offered and normally range from £150 to £370 per person.
Recommended New Year’s Eve Cruises in London
The Gala Dinner Cruise is a 5-hour family river cruise suitable for families with children over five years old. It includes a glass of champagne on arrival, a 4-course dinner plus tea or coffee, half a bottle of wine per person and a small bottle of mineral water per person.
There will be live music and a dance floor. Glass of champagne at midnight, and a bar on board if you want to buy more drinks. This cruise requires formal attire. It departs from Tower Pier (next to the Tower of London) at 8 pm and returns to the Tower of London at approximately 1 am. Find out more: NYE Gala Dinner Cruise.
The Galaxy Plus Cruise is a 3.5-hour cruise, only available for over-18s. It includes a glass of champagne on arrival and another one at midnight. Canapes will be served during the cruise, and two bars on board where you can purchase alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
There will be a DJ and a dance floor to dance the night away. This river cruise departs from Tower Pier (next to the Tower of London) at 9.15 pm, cruises down the Thames and returns to the Tower of London at approximately 00.45 am. Find out more: Galaxy Plus Cruise.
Where to dine on New Year’s Eve in London
As you can imagine, there are thousands of fantastic restaurants in London, and choosing where to book for New Year’s Eve in London can be difficult with so many choices.
One of the most popular options is to celebrate NYE at one of London’s restaurants with views of the fireworks. But the truth is that not many restaurants in London have views of the London Eye, so you must book in advance!
London does have some fantastic restaurants and venues where NYE can be magical. So even if you can’t book one of the restaurants with views of the London Eye, don’t worry, as there are many options. Some of the best restaurants with fantastic views in London are Aqua Shard, Madison, Sky Bar, Duck and Waffle or Sushisamba.
You may not be able to see the London Eye NYE’s Fireworks from these restaurants, but you will have excellent views and be able to see loads of fireworks from all over London at midnight.
New Year’s Eve Parties in London
Hundreds of New Year’s Eve parties are held in London, of all kinds! Some of these parties take place in skyscrapers with mouth-opening views; there are also themed parties or boat parties…
One of London’s most spectacular New Year’s Eve parties is the London New Year´s Eve Ball, which offers a complete themed party dinner package.
Public Transport on New Year’s Eve in London
Millions of people celebrate the arrival of the New Year in London, making this one of the most important nights of the year. Many people are expected to use London’s public transport this night. On certain lines, there will be an all-night tube service in central London to make the journey home easier.
Until 2 a.m., there are normally underground trains every 4-5 minutes, and from 2 a.m., every 10-20 minutes, depending on the stop/line.
New Year’s Eve fireworks in London
London’s famous New Year’s Eve fireworks take place on the London Eye after Big Ben announces that January 1st has arrived. Every year, the New Year’s Eve fireworks light up the London Eye and London’s sky to the rhythm of music. This music can be heard all along the banks of the river through the loudspeakers. It’s no wonder that every year, the thousands of people who plan to spend New Year’s Eve in London do so with the intention of seeing the famous fireworks live.
» Tickets to see London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks
The New Year’s Eve fireworks event in London was free for many years. You simply needed patience, to get there in time and stand for several hours in the crowds. For security reasons and due to the large number of people who attended the event each year, they created a ticketing system to make the event safer.
For this reason, it has been necessary to buy tickets for the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London for the last few years to see them live from the banks of the Thames. As you can imagine, tickets tend to sell out very quickly.
Tickets to see the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in London 2023 will go on sale on Friday 3rd November at 12 pm.
Areas to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London
Tickets can be purchased for five different areas to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London:
- Blue Area: Area located between Westminster Bridge and the Embankment tube station, on the sidewalk in front of the London Eye. In my opinion, the blue zone is the best area to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks. This area can be accessed from 8 pm to 10.30 pm, and can be reached from Victoria and Green Park tube stations.
- Red Area: Area located between Embankment and Temple stations, on the sidewalk in front of the London Eye. This area will open from 8pm to 10.30pm, and can be reached from Holborn and Blackfriars tube stations.
- White Area: On Westminster Bridge. It is only accessible from the south bank of the river from Waterloo and will not be accessible from Westminster tube station. The view of the London Eye from here, in my opinion, is possibly not the best, but still definitely worth it. This area will be open from 8 pm to 10.30 pm.
- Green Area: area located behind the London Eye. This area can be reached easily from Southwark Station. This area will be open from 8 pm to 10.30 pm.
- Pink Area: Waterloo Bridge. This area can be reached from Holborn Station and Waterloo. This area only offers partial views of London Eye. This area will be open from 8 pm to 10.30 pm.
- Orange Area: Disabled Area. It runs from the Albert Embankment to St. Thomas Hospital and will be accessible from Waterloo Station.
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» How to see London New Year’s Eve Fireworks without tickets
As the New Year’s Eve fireworks are huge, they can be seen from other places in London. So you could dine in a nice restaurant and then watch the fireworks elsewhere.
It is possible to see the fireworks for free from the highest points of London. Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath offer great views of London’s skyline, and you can see the fireworks from here, even though they are a bit far. Some restaurants in London will also have great views of the London Eye, a perfect plan if you want to dine in one of the best restaurants in London and see the fireworks live.
Watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London from a park
> Primrose Hill: We have watched London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks from Primrose Hill for a couple of years, and this is a very popular place chosen by Londoners. There are a few restaurants nearby, so an option is to book a sit-down meal somewhere nearby and climb up Primrose Hill for the views. Nearest Tube Stations: Chalk Farm/Swiss Cottage.
> Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath: We went to see the fireworks from here in 2013, and the truth is that it was quite an interesting experience as it rained a lot! This is probably the highest and farthest point from which you can see the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London. We recommend having dinner at one of the many restaurants in Hampstead or Belsize Park and then going up Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. Even though London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are quite far away, I loved seeing how suddenly, at midnight, the entire horizon lights up with fireworks all over London. The nearest tube station is Hampstead.
> Alexandra Palace: This is one of the highest points in London. From here, you will also see loads of fireworks from different neighbourhoods, with the London Eye’s fireworks in the background. Many people choose this area because it is outside the hustle and bustle of central London, but it is even further than Parliament Hill. The nearest tube stop is Wood Green.
See the New Year’s Eve fireworks in London from a bridge:
Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge are the closest to the London Eye, and these bridges are part of the ticketed areas, so you need to buy tickets if you want to watch the fireworks from any of these bridges.
Vauxhall Bridge is a bit further away, but you can see the fireworks from here and don’t need a ticket.
> Vauxhall Bridge: From this bridge, you can partially see the London Eye and, therefore, a large part of the New Year’s Eve fireworks. Although it is not usually one of the most popular, the advantage is that you can see the fireworks for free. We watched the fireworks from Vauxhall Bridge one year, and only arrived 10 minutes before midnight and could see them with no problems! The nearest tube stations are Vauxhall and Pimlico on the Victoria Line.
New Year’s Day in London
One of the many questions we receive is what to do on January 1st in London. Many people think that as it’s a bank holiday, everything in London will be closed and that you won’t be able to do any sightseeing if you are visiting London. The truth is that even though most shops will be closed, there are still a few things to do in London on New Year’s Day.
London’s New Year Day parade is one of London’s most anticipated events, and I’d highly recommend watching it if you are in London. There is also a New Year’s concert, and some London museums will be open to the public.
Planning a trip to London for Christmas
Christmas in London is magical. In addition to celebrating an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in London, visiting London during Christmas will allow you to enjoy the city at it’s best, even if you arrive in London after Christmas Day. The Christmas markets in London will be open until the beginning of January, and the Christmas lights are normally on until the 5th of January. The ice skating rinks will remain open, and the wonderful Winter Wonderland will still be in Hyde Park.
If you are planning a trip to London, don’t forget to take a look at our itineraries so you make the most of your trip to London, whether you come as a couple, as a group of friends or if you come as a family with children and you want the trip to be unforgettable for the little ones. Our passion for London inspires us to write articles with useful information so that you can plan the perfect trip to London, and if you have any questions, simply leave us a comment, and we will reply as soon as possible.