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What do you need to make a perfect transition into the New Year? Champagne and fireworks, of course. But perhaps even more important is: the right location. Because at New Year’s, everybody will be on their feet.
If you do want to be outside and enjoy some of the official (and many of the un-official) fireworks, you should choose between Elbe and Alster – as we do so often in this city. The biggest fireworks are in the Harbour. It is great to watch and to hear (all the ships will give their salutes) but the crowds can be a bit too much. Avoid the waterfront places, like the Landungsbrücken and Fischmarkt. If you aren’t afraid of the cold conditions, it is always a smart move to book a Harbour boat tour and spend midnight far from the masses but with that very special feeling of being in-the-middle-of-it.
There are numerous New Year’s Eve special offers, most trips last around two hours and they will serve champagne, food and warm blankets. A rather cosy alternative is to book a table at one of the hotels around the Harbour and watch the fireworks and boats from behind a window. The Hotel Hafen Hamburg is the classic choice, they have the best views, a great bar and offer special packages.
The fireworks over the Alster are magnificent as well. But there are less crowds and the overall atmosphere is much more relaxed. If you want to stand outside to watch the skies, both bridges (Lombardsbrücke & Kennedybrücke) are a very good spot. You can see everything; the setting is nice and you are close to the city with all the warm restaurants!
The two traditional first class Hotels along the Alster are the natural choice to enjoy a nice set-menu and the views. The Hotel Atlantic offers a classy Party with all the culinary glitz and lots of champagne. The other top choice is the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten at the inner Alster. They offer packages at each of their three extraordinary restaurants. A seat at the Nikkei Nine would guarantee that you are in a superb location with one of the most exciting dishes in town and an actual PARTY. The DJs at the Nikkei Nine are notoriously good. Even if you do not get a table here, you have a chance to dance here, the party will be “open” starting at 11:00 pm.
On the next day or, rather, in the next year it is time to take a long walk. Traditionally, most people here just take a stroll around the Alster and enjoy the fresh air and maybe a brunch in one of the many cafés on the waterfront. Here, people come on this special day to say Happy New Year to each other or rather “Frohes Neues Jahr”.
If you want to get a culture infusion in the New Year, there is no better way than to start things off with the always-superb New Year’s Concert / Neujahrskonzert. At Laeiszhalle, Hamburg’s other prime concert location, the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra will treat the audience to Beethoven’s Ninth – that should wake you up! Tickets are still available.