As the capital city of the most visited country in the world, Paris is a hot destination for travellers looking to celebrate the New Year (or Nouvel An) in style. In France, New Year’s Eve is traditionally celebrated with a simple but lavish meal consisting of champagne, oysters and foie gras shared with family or friends, while New Year’s Day – in true French style – is spent exchanging kisses and resolutions. At night, many people take to the streets armed with champagne and papillottes (chocolate popping candy) to check out the perfect spot to ring in the 1st of January. Popular NYE destinations include Trocadéro (for the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower), the Champs Élysées, and the steps of the Sacré-Cœur cathedral in Montmartre, which boasts panoramic views of the city of Paris. The Champs Élysées is certainly the party-goer’s choice of celebration spot, with many nearby restaurants, bars and clubs remaining open throughout the night, while Montmartre offers a more chilled-out vibe. For visitors (and residents) on a budget, these are certainly the final destinations (or at least halfway houses) for the Eve, most likely preceded by the previously-mentioned slap-up meal at home, or an evening spent in a higher-end crêperie.
For those with the disposable income to explore the higher end of the New Year market, the Moulin Rouge is a clear chart-topper. At 680€ a head, you’ll dine on caviar, foie gras and lobster ravioli, washed down with a bottle of Cristal Roederer champagne in front of the famous Moulin Rouge dancers in their special New Year show, before each receiving a special gift at the end of the night. Other cabaret venues, such as Lido or Crazy Horse, will be open on a similar dinner-dance basis, should you have the funds and desire to spend your NYE this way. Personally, I’ll be grabbing my champers and friends and heading over to the Champ de Mars to drink and mingle and await the Eiffel Tower light show at midnight (there are no longer official fireworks), before hunting down a club that plays something other than europop or trance…
Public transport in Paris will be FREE during the New Year festivities from 5pm on 31st December until 12pm on 1st January. Some metro lines and stations will be open and running all night, while others will close between 2.15am and 5.30am. For full information (in French) visit ratp.fr.
For more information on visiting Paris for New Year’s Eve 2014 check out the Hostel Bookers blog.