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How to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

New York City has Times Square. London gets to celebrate the New Year before the rest of Europe. But New Year’s Eve in Paris remains an unforgettable night for those lucky enough to experience it.

Whether you are an avid clubber looking for the best party on town on the biggest party night of the year or a more subdued reveller seeking the best way to ring in 2010, Paris has something to offer everyone. (Just remember to book your hotel room and dinner reservations well in advance!)

1. Fireworks at the Champs-Elysees

Fireworks at the Champs-Elysees are perhaps the most traditional way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris (and a must for all first time visitors.) Parisians and tourists alike begin arriving on the Champs-Elysees around 9pm on New Year’s Eve to get the best view of the Eiffel Tower. The metro is usually free on New Year’s Eve but leave relatively early to avoid counting down to midnight in a metro car! Once 12:00 am strikes, the Eiffel Tower lights up with fireworks. Bring your own champagne and be prepared to get to know your neighbours in the crowd.

Top Paris hotel near the Champs Elysées: Hotel Pavillon Montaigne

2. Celebrate at Montmartre

If you want to see the fireworks but can’t stand the crowds, make your way to Montmarte and the Sacre Coeur. Although it’s a popular destination, there are still smaller crowds and an unbeatable night view of Paris lit up by fireworks.

Top Paris hotel in Montmartre: Hotel Le Relais Montmartre

3. New Year’s à la Francaise….

When in Paris, celebrate like a Parisian! New Year’s Eve, or St. Sylvestre, is traditionally celebrated by kissing at midnight and toasting with glasses of champagne or white wine. Hot wine (vin chaud) and hard cider are also popular beverages. Foie gras, oysters, and pâtés often make an appearance at both Christmas and New Year’s meals, along with papillotes, popular chocolate treats that open like firecrackers.

4. A Romantic New Year’s Eve

A dinner cruise on the Seine on New Year’s Eve promises the ultimate in romance (albeit a relatively expensive evening at 320-600 Euros). Other romantic possibilities include taking in one of Paris’ renowned cabaret shows at the Moulin Rouge, the Lido, or the Folies Bergère, all of which traditionally offer a decadent New Year’s dinner and show special which for 500 plus Euros offers caviar, lobster, champagne…. However, if your budget doesn’t allow for Paris’ finest cabarets, consider one of the city’s many restaurants who offer similar New Year’s Eve menus at more reasonable prices. The perfect end to a special night like this? Staying in one of the many romantic hotels in Paris, of course!

Top Paris hotel in Pigalle: Hotel Villa Royale

5. Party like it’s 2010!

Paris is full of bars and clubs that will stay open until the wee hours of New Year’s Eve. Start your night with fireworks at the Champs-Elysees or Montmarte and work your way to nearby Pigalle for a guaranteed party. Another great clubbing spot is the Latin Quarter. Many clubs will have special New Year’s Eve events going on but this may mean higher door covers. Wherever you end up, you can rest assured of a great night and a New Year’s to remember!

Top Paris Hotel in the Latin Quarter: Hotel de la Sorbonne

Photo of Moulin Rouge, Paris, France, by Bibemdum84

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer lara bensenia

Lara Bensenia is a freelance writer and perpetual student living in Lyon, France. Lara calls both the United States and Tunisia home and hopes to achieve EU citizenship to top it all off. In the meantime, she enjoys playing up French clichés, especially fancy chocolate, berets, and French men.

9 responses to “How to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris”

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  1. fleuriste montreal says:
    August 28th, 2010 at 18:49

    I think that the dinner cruise on the Seine on New Year’s Eve is the best celebration. Really romantic!

  2. Heather says:
    November 3rd, 2011 at 05:22

    We are Americans in our 30s and will be in Paris for NYE. We want to make dinner reservations near the Champs-Elysees for around $60-100 a person. Any suggestions?

  3. Ashley says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 05:46

    Heather if you don’t mind me asking, where are y’all staying. We are American as well and my husband I are going next new years eve and are also in our 30′s? Thanks!

  4. Steve Molloy says:
    December 19th, 2011 at 18:58

    Hi Guys and Gals,

    Did you all find some answers for New Years eve in Paris? We are going as well and not sure where to go (everything I read simply says Champs-Elysees around 9pm). This is our first time to Paris.

    Thanks for any input!

  5. Heather says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 16:05

    We are staying at the Hotel Les Hauts De Passy, I will post a review when we return. I called several places to make NYE reservations and the cheapest place was 90 E a person. We were told my friends in Europe to find a small restaurant on a side street and try to make reservations on Friday.

  6. Wanda says:
    December 28th, 2011 at 23:51

    My family and I are heading to Paris for the New Year’s also. Any suggestions about where to go for New Year’s Eve??

  7. Ashley says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 20:39

    So how did NYE in Paris go? Give me the do’s and dont’s for next year :) thanks!

  8. Heather says:
    January 10th, 2012 at 14:07

    Well – there are NO fireworks. There have not been fireworks at midnight at the Eiffel Tower since 2000. We did go to the Champs-Elysees, but you cannot see the Eiffel Tower on the Champs-Elysees until you get to the river – so if there were fire works somewhere near the Arch, you could not see them if you were situated to see the Eiffel Tower. Either way – the crowds were thick, but fun. Lots of booze sold on the street by the river at the end of the Champs-Elysees. Be careful of broken bottles at the end of the night – I was in Uggs, so really had to be careful where I stepped. Our parents celebrated at the Trocadéro, but the police were really strict in that area and allowed NO alcohol and dumped it out left and right.

    If you want dinner, you must make reservations ahead of time. We could not find a place to eat anywhere and ate at a street vendor (which was still good, but not romantic).

    We ended up staying at the Hotel Windsor Home – which was super romantic, comfortable, clean, and really close to the Trocadéro and metro stops. We were suppose to stay at Les Hauts de Passy, but Cheaptickets did not send the reservation so we showed up and the hotel was booked. After the hotel proved to Cheaptickets that no reservation was ever received, The receptionist at Hauts de Passy was great and found us another hotel. The Passy’s location was awesome- sournded by great shops, food, markets. Cheaptickets finally paid for us to stay at a different hotel. But it took two hours of fighting with them to do so!

  9. AAA says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 02:26

    Sorry to disappoint you but fireworks by the Eiffel Tower only occur on July 14th (they happened only once for NYE in 2000).

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