New Year’s Eve in Paris

December 16, 2013 by

Festivals & Events, Local Recommendations, Things To Do

See the sparkling lights of Paris on New Year's Eve

See the sparkling lights of Paris on New Year’s Eve. Photo courtesy of Max Braun via Flickr.

Paris is one of the world’s top 5 favorite places in which to welcome in the new year. Not really surprising – it’s gorgeous, it’s romantic, and it has wonderful Champagne. This is a city of hopes and dreams and that’s what New Year’s Eve in Paris is all about, right?

At midnight we make those resolutions, dream those dreams and welcome in a year that is going to be the best we’ve ever had. If it starts in Paris, it might just fulfill all those expectations.

Paris is too classy and unique to go with the extravagant firework displays that other cities use to celebrate. Instead, the Eiffel Tower has its light show. If you want to be at the epicenter of this, get there early, take a picnic, a blanket and a very, very warm coat, perhaps even an extra blanket – this is winter, not exactly the season for dining outdoors, but you’ll need to stake out your piece of ground early.

Or you can join the street party on the Champs-Elysées after around 9pm. From here you’ll get good views of the Eiffel Tower lights and also have the chance to clink champagne flutes with thousands of strangers, welcoming in the new year with people from the rest of the world!

If crowded street festivities are not your thing, head up the hill in Montmartre to Basilique du Sacré Coeur (or Basilica of the Sacred Heart). There will still be many people to toast in the new year with, but it will be a little less crowded and the views of the city are fabulous. After midnight has passed, you can head back down the hill into the cafés and streets of Montmartre, which are sure to be full of life.

Paris transport will run for free until 2:15 am so there’s no problem getting around the city. Do keep alert to the pickpockets who love to roam the city, especially the Metro, and especially on nights like this when so many people are cramming onto the trains.

Paris is a great city for walking, so if you can stroll home. Standing on one of the many bridges over the River Seine is also a good midnight option, as many have good views of the Eiffel Tower and it will be less crowded than by the tower itself – but still very cold.

Ring in the new year with a Paris New Year’s Eve Illuminations and Dinner Tour!

Philippa Burne

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