In Paris New Year's Eve, known locally as Saint-Sylvestre, is usually celebrated with a feast, le Reveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. Second only to the Bastille Day fireworks and parade on the 14 July, or Quatorze Juillet to the locals, New Years in Paris is a huge celebration. Fireworks and events tend to be concentrated around the iconic Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees areas of the city, although the more traditional fireworks have in recent years been replaced by a spectacular light show.
I have been in Paris for new year in the past and can confirm it is a fabulous, if slightly manic and bewildering event (especially if your French isn't brilliant and you are somewhat protective of your personal space!) One thing that's for sure it's a pricey venue, and anywhere decent will be booked up months in advance, so decide on your plan of new years eve things to do and get your tickets and travel plans made asap!
They do promise a light show at midnight but don't rely on that to make the evening, make sure you have your own plans as feedback from previous years suggest it can be somewhat underwhelming - see the section below for more details, there's always a chance they may pick up their game this year - fingers crossed!
Latest: 22nd Dec: It has been confirmed there WILL be a new year 2016 party on the Champs Elysees but this will be a more low-key affair than usual and certainly no fireworks. Instead midnight will be marked by images projected onto the Arc de Triomphe, starting from 11.50pm.
4 Dec 2015: There is some doubt as to whether the large public party on the Champs Elysees will take place this year, as a response to the terror attacks that recently blighted the city. The Paris deputy mayor has advised that they will sensibly defer to police advice on this issue and make an announcement nearer the time.
We will of course provide updates as they become available. It would be a real shame if the terrorists can claim this as a victory but public safety must always be the prime concern, esepcially for an event where over half a million people gather in such a small area.
Paris is renowned as being one of the top New Year's tourist destinations anywhere in the world. Popular destinations across the city include The Moulin Rouge (see show details below), Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Trocadero and Sacre Coeur, and the crowds in these areas will very much reflect that popularity, so our top new year recommendation for Paris has to be to make sure you plan for the evening in plenty of time and make sure you have the time and means to get where you need to be, plus of course any tickets that may be required for particular venues.
The Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza in Montmartre is a popular viewing spot, giving a panoramic view across the city skyline, where you can see any smaller fireworks displays that may be taking place and are only a short walk away from being able to see the Eiffel Tower in the distance too - try the Rue St-Eleuthere for an excellent vantage point.
There isn't an official municipal fireworks show these days, instead there's a light show at the Eiffel Tower at midnight. There are however smaller, unofficial fireworks across the city and indeed the wider Paris district throughout the evening. New Year's Eve is also the feast day of Saint Sylvester in France.
We'll provide more details as new years eve 2015-2016 gets closer, but be aware that last year feedback from the light show was that is was an exceptionally disappointing experience so it's probably best not to centre your evening's plans around it!
One of the most popular ways to see in the New Year is on the Seine where the boat parties and extravagant dinners on offer make for an incredible end to a year. If you want something more raucous you can head to the fantastic blues and jazz bars along the river banks or to one of the city's many clubs.
For those keen on partying hard as the clock strikes 12am, there's no better place to celebrate than the famous Champs-Elysees. On New Years Eve people will generally start to gather at around 9pm, armed of course with the requisite champagne bottles, plastic flute glasses and picnic bags. Popular bars in Paris for New Years Eve include Wake Up Paris, Flute l'Etoile, Cafe Cheri, Cantine de Belleville, le Mansart, Nouveau Casino, The WAGG, Rex, Point Ephemere and Mix Club.
There is an exclusive Gala dinner and show at the world famous Moulin Rouge, which for new years eve 2016 features the famous dancers in their fabulous costumes along with exquisite food and a bottle of champagne per person! It is quite a pricey event, but does promise to be a once in a lifetime experience - ticket details to follow.
For your new year dining options, then Paris is one city where the phrase spoiled for choice doesn't seem adequate, with over 10,000 eateries in the metropolitan area. With such a range it seems faintly ridiculous to pick our just a few choices, but we're going to give it a go anyway, so recommendations are Epicure, Bistrotters, La Tour d'Argent and Le Cinq.
Top vegan choice goes to Vegebowl, although for such a big city the options for us herbivores are quite limited, so catering for yourself is always an option. One good tip for city skyline and fireworks views is Ciel, which offers great views from the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse. See the full, vast, range of Paris Restaurants here.
Places to watch live online, including live Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees streams:
Paris has some of the best hotels in the world, which means that over the New Year the whole city is exceptionally popular as you might expect, so if you're planning on staying here then making an early reservation is very strongly recommended - click here for the best Paris hotel deals.
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