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Bringing in the New Year in Paris

Toronto, Canada
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Bringing in the New Year in Paris

Hello fellow travellers. I will be in Paris with my two kids (age 20 and 17) for New Year's Eve and New Year's day. I am hearing all kinds of contradictory things.

We thought touring the city on foot on new year's eve, taking in a river tour, dinner and then being at the Eiffel Tower for the count down would be a lovely day. But some people are telling me there won't be any fireworks and nothing is really organized and chances are good we'll be harassed in some way. Is that true? Is there an outdoor concert or something we can attend to bring in the new year?

Since everything is closed on New Year's day, we thought we would go to Montmatre, walk around and seeing the cathedral would make a good day trip. Is there anything else that might be open for visitors on that day? Also, how easy is it to get to? Should we hire a tour guide?

Finally, what's the weather like at time of year? We will need our winter gear?

Any recommendations for two fantastic days in Paris would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks fellow travellers

Architectural Buildings, Churches & Cathedrals, Historic Sites
Notre Dame Cathedral
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Churches & Cathedrals
Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre
Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Churches & Cathedrals, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

There is no organized celebration with fireworks. The one year we went to the Eiffel Tower there were a lot of people with amateur fireworks and grabbing women and kissing them. My son and I had to fend them off of my not thrilled teenage daughter.

There are all sorts of special evening celebrations with special menus in restaurants.

The Cathedral is in the center of Paris not Montmartre

Edited: 25 November 2013, 02:41
Le Bugue, France
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2. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

There's no count-down at the Tour Eiffel, and no fireworks. I don't know about harassment. There will likely be a lot of people sharing champagne and such, some of them probably drunk like anywhere else on NYE and possibly bothering you (that's possible anywhere there's a crowd, anytime). You might prefer to wander around the Champs Elysées where there wil also be a lot of people, or the steps of Sacré Coeur, or at Trocadéro.

Leiden, The...
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3. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

I assume when you say "cathedral" at Montmatre, you are talking about Sacre Coeur. I really don't think you would need a tour guide - a good map and guide book should be sufficient.

I would recommend booking a restaurant for NYE - maybe you could do a dinner cruise?

Paris, France
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4. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

There are no fireworks, no organized event, no concert, no countdown -- except that I think that Fouquet's on the Champs Elysées finally installed a countdown clock about 3 years ago. The only harrassement that can occur is that which might happen in any huge group of people who have had a lot of alcohol, anywhere in the world. I have always found the crowd 'cheerful.'

Once again I will add; all public transportation (metro, bus, RER) is free from 5 pm on December 31st until noon on January 1st.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 13:34
Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

Thank you for this information.

Much appreciated!

6. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

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Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

Thank you for this. It's our first time in Paris and none of us speak the language, nor do we know the city. Someone did suggest that I hire a personal tour guide - just to efficiently move about the city and see as much as we can without getting lost or wandering around.

I thought about a dinner cruse, but someone told me it's very cold in December.

Thanks for your input.

Much appreciated.

Nashville, TN
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8. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

No need to hire a tour guide. Get a good guidebook and you can easily find your way around.

You might want to reconsider the dinner cruise, we've taken one in December and really loved it. The meals are served inside so there's no need to worry about the outside temperature. The meals are not 5 star, but to us, it was well worth it. Others can advise as to who offers the best dinner cruises at this time.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

I will reconsider it Vegas-guide. I had the impression from my friend that the boats were open. If anyone could recommend a specific tour they enjoyed, a name would be appreciated.

As for a Paris guide book - can I pick that up at the airport?


Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Bringing in the New Year in Paris

Also, should I book now? On-line?

We booked a hotel and I have sent them many emails, but they are not responding. It's making me nervous because we arrive at 6 am with a lot of luggage and we would like to drop it off at the hotel, and then check in at the usual time. I don't expect this will be a problem, but things I take for granted in North America, are not typical in other parts of the world.

Any thoughts about a large amount of luggage?

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