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London Now Charges £10 to Attend New Year's

New Year's Eve on Lambeth Bridge, London

Want to go to London to hear Big Ben bong in the new year and watch the fireworks? Pony up!

Last month, London mayor Boris Johnson surprised the city by announcing that from now on, if participants want to get near the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament for the momentous hour, they must pay £10 (US $16.25) for a ticket.

He gave Londoners 10 days' notice that tickets were about to go on sale.

Johnson said the crowds, which are reported to number as many as 500,000 a year, place an "untenable" strain on police and transportation. 

London isn't the only British city to charge for New Year's Eve—Edinburgh has charged for its celebration for many years. But of course, many other cities with massive, expensive celebrations, such as New York City and its Times Square mob, still welcome visitors for free. For them, the burden is offset by the burst of high-season tourist spending that accompanies the party.

If you plan to visit London for the holiday, you must book tickets ahead. Click here for the application form. There's a limit of four tickets per party.


Photo credit: Jason Cochran

You can follow Jason (@bastable) and Frommers (@Frommers) on Twitter.