If you have the opportunity to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris, you will see that the City of Lights truly lives up to its name. In addition to the beautiful holiday lights that adorn Parisian streets during the holidays, on New Year’s Eve, at midnight, the Eiffel tower bursts into a glittering sight, and fireworks light up the entire city.
• Take a dinner cruise. Everyone has to eat on New Year’s Eve, right? Why not do it in style? Two boat lines on the Seine, Yachts de Paris and Bateaux Parisians, offer gourmet New Year’s Eve dinner cruises. This is also a great way to see the city by night. Advance reservations are required.
• Head to the Champs-Elysées. The Champs-Elysées is “party central” on New Year’s Eve. Bars and restaurants are packed with tourists and locals looking to have a few (or a lot of) drinks before the clock strikes twelve. Between the music, lights, and revelers, you’re sure to get caught up in the energy of the Champs-Elysées on New Year’s Eve.
• Explore Montmartre. Montmartre (near Sacre Coeur Cathedral) is also a popular party spot on New Year’s Eve. However, the vibe is decidedly calmer than on the Champs-Elysées. Stop by a few cozy bars and then grab a spot on the Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza for great views of the city lights, including the sparkling Eiffel Tower and fireworks at midnight.
• Dine in a traditional restaurant. For a calmer New Year’s Eve experience, tuck into a traditional French restaurant for a leisurely meal. I recommend Au Petit Marguery (9 boulevard de Port Royal, Metro: Gobelins, Web: http://petitmarguery.com/en/) for its quintessentially Parisian ambiance and expertly prepared game dishes (partridge, grouse, rabbit, to name a few). Reservations recommended on New Year’s Eve.
• Take a stroll in a historic neighborhood. Few things are more romantic than strolling Paris, arm-in-arm, with your sweetheart. The romance is heightened when it’s New Year’s Eve and the holiday lights are sparkling overhead. Choose a historic neighborhood like Saint-Germain-des-Près or Le Marais, take in the beauty of the surroundings, and steal a kiss at the stroke of midnight.
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