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New Year in Paris: How To

A guide to fully enjoy New Years in Paris, the City of Light

The City of Light is just begging you to visit for New Year’s Eve. Paris is the most romantic place on earth and the perfect place to ring in the New Year. This magnificent city offers something for everyone, from the party animal to the quiet wallflower.

Here are a few ways to ring in the New Year and get the full French experience:

Restaurants

Most French celebrate the New Year with Réveillon de St. Sylvestre (the Feast of St. Sylvester) by eating a fabulous meal at home or at a fancy restaurant. Most Parisian restaurants do big meals for the occasion and fill up quickly, so make your choice and book a reservation early. A popular choice for dining is Ciel, located on the 56th floor with amazing views of the city. Enjoy delicious French cuisine in a modern environment as you watch the firework and light shows dotting the city.

New Years is also a great time to watch a traditional Cabaret show to get the full French experience. Make sure to ask the locals so you know just what kind of show you’re in for before you sit down.

If you want a nice meal and a chance to really see the city, book a dinner cruise down the Seine. Again, these fill up quickly so act fast. Yachts de Paris offers a two-hour dinner cruise with some fabulous French delicacies and views of the city’s top attractions.

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Party

As in most places in the world, you have your choice of new years parties in Paris. Head to the Champs-Elysées to be at the center of a pretty rowdy party. Alcohol will be flowing, but for the most part Parisian crowds don’t get too out of control. After all, their New Years drink of choice is champagne or white wine. Take your pick of parties and dances starting around 9pm and lasting well after midnight. Dress to impress and plan for a crowd—this is a hot and popular area of the city to ring in the New Year.

If you want a party atmosphere but a little calmer, head to Sacre Coeur plaza in Montmartre. It’s still popular and provides lots of dancing and music options, but has a more laid-back attitude. Plus, the view of the Paris skyline can’t be beat.

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Fireworks

The big fireworks show, just like you would expect, is at the Eiffel Tower. But in a tricky planning quirk, there isn’t a firework show there every year. Plan ahead so you don’t end up waiting hours for a non-event. If you are in Paris on a fireworks year, then plan to get there early and enjoy a fantastic show. You would expect nothing less from the City of Light.

A few things to remember about new years in France—get ready to pucker up, because tradition states that everyone gives everyone else kisses on the cheek at the stroke of midnight. Dress up and get ready to have a very memorable New Year celebration.

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