Last updated on January 7th, 2019 at 07:02 pm
This New Years, skip Times Square, say no to Sydney and save Hong Kong for a later date because Rio de Janeiro is the best New Years destination for celebration you’ve been looking for.
Year after year, international travelers flock to Rio de Janeiro for New Year’s Eve or Reveillon as the locals refer to this massive celebration. From the countdown to the firework show, to the after-hours night scene, Rio de Janeiro offers its guests the greatest party to finish one year and head into the next.
Here’s everything you need to know about Why Rio de Janeiro is the New Years Eve 2018/2019 Destination!
It is the world’s biggest beach party.
Unlike upscale clubs and rooftop bars, there are no crazy entrance fees required to attend Rio’s iconic beach celebration. Instead, it’s free for all tourists and Cariocas (Rio natives) to set up a spot in the white-sand to enjoy the amazing firework display.
Set up early.
If you’re headed to the beach, keep in mind that locals and tourists arrive early to partake in beach activities and set up their stay for the rest of the day and night. Therefore, we recommend getting to Copacabana early to secure a spot. However, the firework display will be so grand, you’ll be able to see it from any part of Copacabana.
Insider’s Tip: We’re not kidding when we say that more than 2.5 million people flock to Copacabana for this celebration. So if crowds are not your cup of tea, we recommend watching the fireworks from a rooftop bar or from a hotel rooftop such as the Windsor Leme. Also, be wary of pickpockets.
On New Year’s, Brazilians wear white.
Have you ever worried about showing up to a party in the same outfit as another guest? Well, you can pretty much put a ka-bosh on that. It’s tradition for Brazilians to wear white on New Year’s Eve. The color symbolizes peace for the new year. Since 99.9% of people will be wearing white, you’re bound to be dressed in similar attire and instead of that being a bad thing, it’s all a part of the fun!
Avenida Atlantica is closed.
While you wait for the firework display, consider strolling along Avenida Atlantica. At this time, this main boulevard is closed due to the high amount of traffic. This makes getting around easy for pedestrians! Consider walking to one of the dozens of restaurants close to Copacabana Beach. Many of the local restaurants will offer an exclusive “prix fixe” menu. There are beachfront restaurants as well. These venues can include tickets to stay on the terrace and enjoy the New Year’s celebrations from your table or their bar.
Fireworks start at midnight.
By nightfall, close to 3 million people are situated on the beach, ready to ring in the new year. The pre-game to the fireworks? The live music! Live music plays a huge part in Rio’s New Year’s celebration. Around 8 pm, several stages set up along the length of Copacabana will strum alive with local and international hits. Listen for the famous Brazilian samba, pop music and even some international rock and pop star covers.
Then, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the beginning of the firework extravaganza! At midnight, fireworks fire from several boats and barges anchored in the Copacabana harbor. View the show from the beach, from a rooftop bar or from the “Forte de Copacabana”, a giant Ferris wheel that is set up for New Years.
Insider Tip: The firework show usually lasts about 20 minutes. Also, the hotels in Copa offer a better view of the show than others, as they are closer to the heart of the action. Consider watching from the rooftop terrace at Belmond Copacabana Palace, Miramar by Windsor or the Windsor California.
Don’t forget about Ipanema.
With all this talk about Copacabana, you may have forgotten that Rio hosts another popular beach, Ipanema. While the fireworks are best seen from Copacabana, Ipanema is less crowded and has an assortment of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Compare New Years Eve Ipanema with Copacabana with the help of an expert travel consultant. They will be able to give you the best perspective of both experiences.
Pop Champagne, not Caipirinhas.
While Caipirinhas are Rio’s traditional cocktail, Champagne is the drink of choice. Locals bring their own bottles to the beach and pop them at midnight. Some party-goers may even spray some of the bubbly into the crowd, so watch out!
There’s no party like the after party.
You’d think that after an all-day celebration, Brazilians would call it a night after the firework show. And yet, there are plenty of after parties! Check out the options below and decide what the best New Years Eve party in Rio de Janeiro looks like to you.
- You can stay on the beach and continue the party even after the firework show is over. Keep dancing until the live music ends!
- There are New Year’s parties you can attend. These include all you can drink, all you can eat, etc. Of course, these will cost a cover or an entrance fee, but the parties tend to last hours and hours after midnight.
- Some hotels offer New Years Eve packages. Contact a Travel Consultant for details.
Insider’s Tip: While all-inclusive party packages are nice, you may miss the fireworks if you’re cooped up inside. It really depends on your vision for the evening.
You need to plan in advance.
You can never book too early, but you can book too late. We recommend planning Rio de Janeiro New Years Eve packages no later than October of the party year. After October, hotel rates and airline tickets soar! To avoid expensive last-minute holiday flights and limited hotel availability, contact one of our expert travel consultants today.