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It's December 30thand you are enjoying your vacation in Paris, but still unsure what the plan is for New Year's Eve? Many travelers book a winter holiday trip to the city of love with hopes of grand celebrations to ring in the New Year, but often find themselves scrambling for something to do at the last minute. While Paris is magical any time of the year, the celebrations on New Year’s Eve tend to be more subdued than other spots around the globe.
Rather than be disappointed, and as you’ve likely already heard extravagant fireworks displays off the Eiffel Tower have been absent in recent years, look to join one of the many New Year's Eve celebrations Paris is known for.
New Year’s Eve in Paris is all about gatherings – from decadent feasts and river cruises to lavish parties and all night clubbing. January 1st kicks off a month long New Year celebration called “St. Sylvestre” as people start extending well-wishes and exchanging small kisses on the cheek as the stroke of midnight on January 1. This continues until February 1 so do not be surprised if someone wishes you Happy New Year, or bonne année,in the middle of January!
Here’s a look at a few of the many places you can celebrate New Year's Eve in Paris.
Head to the Champs-Elysées by 9pm and get your spot to view the Eiffel Tower, which generally does a beautiful light display at midnight. No fireworks, but the lights are well worth braving the crowds on the Champs-Elysées for. If you plan to raise a glass to toast the arrival of the New Year, be sure to bring plastic as glass bottles have been banned in recent years.
This is another popular gathering spot for New Year's Eve in Paris. It tends to be a bit more subdued versus the celebration on the Champs-Elysées. Provided Mother Nature cooperates, this is the ideal spot to look out over the entire Paris skyline and toast the arrival of the New Year. There are plenty of bars and clubs in the region to continue the celebration after midnight.
Hotels and restaurants roll out the red carpet for New Year’s Eve and host lavish dinners and celebrations. One of the most revered is dinner at L’Opera Restaurant. The signature restaurant designed by Odile Decq will showcase a special New Year’s Eve menu designed by Chef Stéphane Bidi. Accompanying the dinner will be music that will slowly get louder as the evening goes on, starting off with classical sounds that will transition into pop music to get guests in the mood to dance the night away.
Look for gala style dinners and shows at many of the most popular venues around Paris. Spots like Moulin Rouge are hosting upscale dinners with caviar and Champagne, a special viewing of their regular shows and, if that is not enough, dancing until dawn. Many of these events sell out weeks in advance, but it’s worth checking to see what is still available as there are sometimes last minute cancellations.
Hop on one of the many boats that cruise the Seine for a special New Year's Eve dinner and opportunity to dance the night away on the water. Most boats are set up to host a special gala type “New Year's Eve Menus” and will toast to the new year while cruising before returning to the quay where you will have the opportunity to party for a couple more hours.
Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver, as your RoamRight policy does not cover loss resulting from or caused by being under the influence of alcohol.
Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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