New Year’s Eve fireworks in London 2019: ticket and travel information and where to watch for free
Thousands of people will gather on the Thames on Tuesday around the London Eye for the spectacular New Years fireworks display in London.
This year’s event is the fifth in a row on all tickets, but travel disruption and overcrowding will likely remain a problem in central parts of the capital.
The best places to view the dazzling exhibition curated by the Mayor of London are around Victoria Embankment, Westminster Bridge, South Bank and Waterloo Bridge.
And there are also other places in the city where you can capture a great view of the fireworks for free.
So if you’re heading to central London to hear Big Ben boom as we see it in 2020, here’s everything you need to know.
How to get tickets?
NYE Fireworks tickets in London are now sold out, unfortunately.
What time should I arrive?
There are six viewing areas – blue, red, pink, green, white and the accessible viewing area.
If you have a north shore ticket (blue and red zones), south shore (green, white or orange zones) you must arrive between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Waterloo Bridge ticket holders (pink zone) allow entry from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
At what time does it all start?
You can access your ticketing area between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. for most areas except the pink zone, which you can access between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Around 9 p.m. the DJ will start to get everyone in the party mood.
Obviously the fireworks display is at midnight and right before that there will be the big countdown to the Big Ben bongs and the fireworks display.
The 12-minute fireworks display will illuminate the area and be tuned to a specially created soundtrack.
But when it’s all over, the DJ will keep playing and won’t leave until you are gone, so there is no need to rush all at the same time.
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What if I don’t have a ticket?
Don’t panic, the fireworks can be seen for miles and there are plenty of places to enjoy the celebrations for less.
Here are some great places to watch the fireworks:
- Alexandra Palace – London N22 7AY
- Parliament Hill Viewpoint – Hampstead Heath London NW5 1QR
- The summit of Primrose Hill – NW3 3DE
- Hilly Fields – London SE4 1QA
- Greenwich Park – SE10 8QY
Traveling to and from London
There are changes to transport on New Years Eve, with many services operating all night long and free travel on TfL public transport from 11:45 p.m. on New Years Eve to 4.30 a.m. on New Years Day.
Also, from early afternoon you will not be able to walk, drive or cycle in parts of central London as roads and bridges close for New Years fireworks at London.
From 2 p.m. on New Years Eve, some central London bus lines are diverted or stop ahead of their destination due to road and bridge closures.
There will also be a reduced service on all metro lines although there will be a special all night service.
London Underground stations near the fireworks display and in high-traffic areas will sometimes be set aside for exits or interchanges to help manage crowds safely. The stations will reopen when it is safe.
Camden Town and Waterloo will use a queuing system.
Thames Clipper services end early with the last stop at the London Eye Pier at 3:19 PM.
Can I bring my own food and drinks, including alcohol, to the viewing areas?
Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food and drink.
You are allowed a reasonable amount of alcohol in viewing areas, and visitors are encouraged to check how much alcohol each person brings. Just bring alcohol for yourself, rather than on behalf of your group, or it could be confiscated.
Do not bring glass into viewing areas. All drinks should be in cans or plastic bottles. Please take all your waste away after the event.
Will there be a toilet?
There will be toilets including accessible toilets and they will all be signposted.
Can I watch the fireworks at home?
If traveling around central London on New Years Eve isn’t for you, then staying indoors may be the perfect way to see in 2020.
You can watch it in the warmth of your home on BBC1 at 11:55 pm to hear the live bangs of Big Ben and watch the fireworks display before singing Auld Lang Syne in the living room.