Thursday, 28 November 2013

Culture Vulture: Alternative Ideas for New Year’s Eve

From cosy seaside cottages to the enchanting northern lights, NICA have an array of New Year’s Eve ideas which are ideal for culture vultures or anyone with the desire to venture off the beaten track and experience unique, fun adventures this NYE. Whether you want to end the year gazing at the stars in Norway or sipping gin at a ruin bar in Budapest, read on!

Ruin Bars and Outdoor Spas in Budapest
Partying in Europe’s largest outdoor spa in sub-zero temperatures might not sound like a likely NYE scenario, but Budapest is utterly unique. You can drink and dance to future disco in a thermal (77°C) outdoor pool during the bitter cold month of December! 
Constructed over 100 years ago, the Széchenyi bath is steeped in history and statues of dolphins and water Gods surround the outdoor pools making this a stunning setting to see the New Year in.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll be pleased to hear that Budapest won't pull too hard upon the purse strings. With beer and spirit prices coming in at around £1 per serving and quirky hostels aplenty, those seeking a budget will be in their creative element. 

Head to Szimpla Kert, the city’s most hotly tipped ruin pub and the world’s third best bar as voted by Lonely Planet. Ruin pubs are unique to Budapest and feature the most remarkable, off-the-wall interiors coupled with an infectious ambience; Szimpla Kert for example has an open air cinema, and an innumerable amount of houseplants and mismatched lampshades while another ruin pub nearby boasts furniture hanging from the ceiling.

For a new year brimming with culture and energy, head to the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
Top tip: Stay at Lavender Circus Hostel for quirky, gorgeously furnished accommodation in the old town. Doubles with ensuite start at just £9 per night with free coffee and wine included!

See the Northern Lights in Tromsø

If it’s been a long-time dream of yours to see the northern lights, New Year 2013 could be the best time to try. According to NASA, the best light show in a decade is forecast for this December. In NASA’s recent report, Tromsø – the ‘Paris of the north’ is expected to be the best spot for Norwegian northern light sightings. 

Indulge in a voyage aboard a traditional steamer ship to try and catch a glimpse of the amazing lights along a fjord or chase the lights on an unconventional bus tour in the nearby village of Erfsfijorden.

Whilst in Tromsø check out The Polar Museum – a museum centered on North Pole explorers which is full of fascinating artefacts and exhibits. For those unfazed by heights, the Fjellheisen Cable Car is a must too as visitors are treated to panoramic views over the city at 420 metres above sea level, wow!

Coastal cottages and beautiful beaches in West Wales
If you've set your sights closer to home this New Year’s Eve and are in the mood for a spot of peace and quiet, the coast of West Wales is a really lovely place to getaway to for a few days. Explore an ample selection of sandy beaches, visit the vibrant seaside resort of Tenby and embark on a boat trip to Caldey Island – a tiny island inhabited by monks with a chocolate, shortbread and perfume shop all of which are homemade on site.

As for New Year’s Eve itself, The Druidstone Hotel in Pembrokeshire is situated overlooking a cliff with views over the beautiful Druidstone Haven beach. This off-the-wall hotel is bursting with character, always full to the brim. and holds regular feast nights with live music! The ideal seaside spot for those seeking a fun, casual-cool NYE vibe with like-minded people.

*This ‘Teletubby’ house can be viewed from Druidstone Haven and is a real talking point around the area as people are usually amazed by the design.

Are you off anywhere exciting this NYE? Let us know by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags. 

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