True to its reputation as Turkey’s most cosmopolitan and eclectic city, Istanbul certainly knows how to party, effortlessly blending the traditional with the modern for one enormous New Year’s Eve street bash.
Festivities center around the city’s main Taksim Square and nearby İstiklal Caddesi, where lightshows, thumping music and crowds of colorfully dressed hipsters will be counting down the seconds to 2014. Last year’s event even rained artificial snow as the party goers danced the Halay – a traditional Turkish dance – in the street. The party will heat up around 11pm, so book into one of the nearby restaurants for a celebratory dinner beforehand, then head down to the riverfront or secure a seat on a rooftop terrace for a prime view of the city’s fireworks, set off at midnight along the Bosphorus.
Of course, you don’t have to freeze on the streets to celebrate the New Year in Istanbul – hotels, restaurants and nightclubs around the city will be hosting special New Year’s Eve events, many of them featuring live performances by big names in Turkish entertainment (just make sure you book your tickets in advance). Or why not take a New Year’s cruise along the Bosphorus, where you’ll get a great view of the fireworks and can see in the New Year to a backdrop of the city skyline?