Big Ben, London Eye and the New Year

There are some well-known places for fireworks on New Year’s Eve: Paris, France and the Champs-Élysées; Sydney, Australia and its world-famous opera house or the ball drop at the Times Square in New York, United States. And one very traditional is the vast firework in front of Big Ben and the London Eye in London, United Kingdom.

It is so famous that in 2013 around half a million of people tried to see the fireworks close to the river Thames. Therefore in the following years the riverbanks were divided into different zones and you now need to buy tickets in advance via Internet. The mayor of London in fact recommends to view the fireworks on BBC television.

If you plan to buy tickets, get some in best case directly opposite to the ferris wheel – that gives you the best views. You can then access the selected area until 10:30 pm – make sure to bring some drinks with you as there is nothing sold inside. For thousands of people we found three small food trucks – but at least enough toilets were available.

The last 60 seconds before midnight a countdown is projected onto a skyscraper. Then you hear the deep sounds of Big Ben and the firework starts – in 2016 it lasted for about twelve minutes. Afterwards the 110.000 people from about 100 different countries started the flashlights at their mobile phones and traditionally started to sing “Auld Lang Syne” together – a great experience.

Afterwards the next challenge started: thousands of people tried to leave the area and they did so quietly and safe. The subway stations were crowded and we were wondering how to get back to our hotel. In the end we fetched a bus to Hyde Park Corner and switched over to the subway – which wasn’t as full as expected. New Year’s Eve in London, absolutely remarkable and fun.

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