The Arc de Triomphe on New Year's Eve in Paris at the end of the light show. Click here for everything you need to know about celebrating New Year's in Paris.

Spending New Year’s in Paris 2020 – 2021: Everything You Need to Know

Paris is beautiful on an average day. Being in Paris for New Year’s takes it to a whole new level. From fireworks at the Arc de Triomphe to checking out the Christmas decorations throughout the city, spending New Year’s in Paris needs to be on your bucket list.

When visiting Paris at New Year’s, there are a few things to be aware of such as the crowds and the holiday hours of popular attractions. Here you can find the special holiday hours as well as tips for your best New Year’s in Paris, where to stay for New Year’s in Paris and where to find fireworks in Paris at New Year’s.

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Table of Contents

WHAT TO EXPECT FOR NEW YEAR’S IN PARIS

New Year’s in Paris is amazing, but it is also busy and crowded. Whether it is your first time in Paris or you’ve been many times before, spending the holidays in Paris is different than any other time of year. People from throughout France, Europe, and the world come to experience the holidays in Paris.

Many places have special holiday hours or are closed for the holidays, making those attractions that are open even more busy. Even with the hustle and bustle of the city, Paris at New Year’s is a special experience.

Because of holiday closures (see below), many places that are open on the holidays have longer lines and bigger crowds. Everyone ends up in the same places at the same times with the holiday hours. The busiest days seem to be the last day before the holiday closures and the first day the attraction or museum reopens after the holidays.

If there is somewhere you really want to see, make sure to get there early. If it is possible to book it in advance, book it as soon as you can to make sure you get in. Anywhere with reservations is likely to fill up in advance, so make sure you don’t miss out if it is something near the top of your list.

Otherwise, be patient. Plan your schedule in advance around the open hours of the places you want to see. However, be aware that it may take longer to see things than usual because of lines to get in.

For example, if you only have four days in Paris, don’t wait until the last day of your trip to see something important to you. The holiday hours may mean it is closed then or there is too long of a line, making you miss out.

One of many beautiful buildings in Paris in winter. Click here for everything you need to know about New Year's in Paris.

WHERE TO SPEND NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PARIS

There are plenty of options for things to do on New Year’s Eve in Paris. From a dinner cruise on the Seine to a show or concert to the laser show at the Arc de Triomphe, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the best options whether you prefer a quiet corner in a restaurant or the crowds on Champs-Élysées.

Keep in mind that transportation at the end of the night will be tricky. Public transportation will be crowded, and taxis will be difficult to find. Uber typically puts a premium on busy hours, and you can expect that to last until the demand dies down on New Year’s Eve.

If you can walk from where you celebrate to where you are staying, that is probably your best option on New Year’s Eve. We chose to stay within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe for this reason.

The Arc de Triomphe on New Year's Eve in Paris is the best place to celebrate. Find everything you need to know about spending New Year's in Paris here.
Arc de Triomphe

ARC DE TRIOMPHE: WHERE TO FIND FIREWORKS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PARIS

Most websites we found told us there would be no fireworks in Paris on New Year’s Eve. That is not true. There are fireworks at the Arc de Triomphe at midnight following a light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe.

While there are fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on special years according to locals, there are fireworks at the Arc de Triomphe every year since at least 2015. The light show and fireworks at the Arc de Triomphe combine for a special way to celebrate New Year’s in Paris.

If you have to pick one place to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris in your lifetime, choose the Champs-Élysées. On New Year’s Eve, the Champs-Élysées is shut down to cars and open to pedestrian traffic.

The streets around the Arc de Triomphe, especially the Champs-Élysées, fill with hundreds of thousands of people. In 2019, over 400,000 people filled the area to watch the light show and fireworks.

If you plan to go to the Champs-Élysées for New Year’s Eve, get there early. We arrived around 9 p.m. We were happy with how close we got, but the street was already crowded as far as we could see.

Because there were just two of us, we found a spot not too far from the Arc de Triomphe to watch the light show and fireworks. If you attend with a bigger group, plan to get to the area earlier to get a good spot.

Starting around 11:30 p.m., a light show is projected onto the Arc de Triomphe. Starting at 11:50 p.m., a countdown shows on the Arc de Triomphe. With each minute ticking down, a new image or video appeared.

When the clock strikes midnight, the light show projects 2021 on the Arc de Triomphe. Then fireworks fill the night sky around the Arc de Triomphe to ring in the new year. The fireworks last for a few minutes before the area quickly begins to clear.

Once the fireworks are over, plan for it to take a while to get out of the area. We stuck around for a while to move up closer to the Arc de Triomphe for pictures and then walked over to the Eiffel Tower for the light show that takes place every hour. From there we walked back to our Airbnb since it was nearby.

If you need transportation back to your hotel or accommodations, plan it ahead of time. Otherwise, plan to wait a while and to pay a premium if you take an Uber. Taxis will be hard to find on New Year’s Eve as everyone heads home from their celebrations and public transportation will be crowded.

Watching the light show and fireworks at Arc de Triomphe on New Year's Eve in Paris. Get a full guide to New Year's in Paris here.
New Year’s Eve in Paris at the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe fireworks on New Year's Eve in Paris on the Champs Elysees. Get a full guide to New Year's in Paris here.
Celebrating New Year’s with fireworks in Paris at the Arc de Triomphe

A ROMANTIC NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PARIS ON THE SEINE

If you plan to take a New Year’s Eve dinner cruise on the Seine, make sure to book it as soon as possible. These dinner cruises are popular on New Year’s Eve, and they sell out in advance. If you’re looking for a romantic New Year’s Eve in Paris, enjoying dinner while cruising past the most famous landmarks in Paris is tough to beat.

The dinner cruises on the Seine are a popular option for New Year’s Eve in Paris, so book as early as possible. Some of the special options such as tables by the windows or private tables sell out months in advance. The best cruises are often fully booked well before New Year’s Eve.

When booking a dinner cruise, make sure that transportation is included to and from your hotel. This solves the problem of getting back to your hotel after the cruise ends.

The dinner cruises typically begin around 8:30, so plan to be picked up in time to be at the boat by then. The cruises often stay out until way after midnight with most ending the party at around 2 a.m.

Dinner and a New Year’s Eve party on the Seine comes with a premium price. The price typically covers transportation to and from the hotel, the cruise, your meal, and your drinks. Make sure to look at exactly what is included though as it varies.

Expect to pay €200 ($219) or more per person. Most dinner cruises start closer to €300 ($329) per person. If you want a private dinner, window table or other special add-on, expect to pay anywhere from €400 – €600 ($439 – $658) per person or more.

Sunset in Paris with the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. Find the best views of the Eiffel tower and how to celebrate New Year's in Paris here.
Sunset in Paris on the Pont de l’Alma

EATING DINNER IN PARIS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

Depending on your preferences, the variety of restaurants in Paris means you can find something in every price range. However, if you want a special New Year’s Eve dinner, expect to pay premium prices.

Some restaurants in Paris offer a set menu while others offer a special menu. At some of the restaurants, you can still order from the full menu. Some offer a party following dinner while others only include dinner.

If you plan to eat out on New Year’s Eve somewhere special, make reservations in advance if at all possible. Many of the popular restaurants book up in advance.

Depending on the menu and the restaurant, expect those with set or special menus to charge anywhere from under €100 ($110) to more than €250 ($275) per person. Many restaurants with lower prices stay open late even without a special event.

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES IN PARIS

Paris is full of New Year’s Eve parties lasting long into the night. Some start with dinner and end with a party; others are just parties. You can find parties in every night club, but get there early if you want make sure to get into one in particular.

Each party charges a different amount with some charges covering some dinner and/or drinks while others only cover entry into the party. Prices start at around €30 ($33) and range upwards of €150 ($165) per person with most between €40 ($44) and €60 ($66).

NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERTS IN PARIS

If Classical music is more your style, you are in luck. Many of the churches throughout Paris put on a concert on New Year’s Eve. As with other holiday ticketed events in Paris, get tickets early if possible. Tickets are mostly affordable, starting at €2 ($2.20) with most under €30 ($33). Find all of the concert options and ticket information here.

A flower shop in Paris on New Year's Eve. Find the best photo spots in Paris and a full guide to New Year's in Paris here.

THINGS TO DO IN PARIS IN WINTER + HOLIDAY HOURS

Most of the year, there are plenty of things to do in Paris to keep you busy. Around Christmas and New Year’s, many places close for the holidays for at least a day or two. Along with the special holiday closings, some places are closed certain days of the week.

This can make it tricky for planning your time in Paris. Make sure to note when the places you want to go are closed. You may need to move things around on your schedule to fit everything in based on the closures.

In addition to the special hours, know that some places will have long lines. This is partially due to everyone wanting to get in while those places are open. On days when many things are closed, the places that are open are typically more crowded and busy than usual. Be patient and build some extra time into your schedule if possible.

The Eiffel Tower peeks out over a building in Paris. Find the best Eiffel Tower views, Eiffel Tower hotel views, and a guide to New Year's in Paris

VISITING THE EIFFEL TOWER AT NEW YEAR’S

Open: Every day
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for the stairs)

Some years, the Eiffel Tower does a big light and firework show for New Year’s Eve. Do not plan on this being the case though. It only happens on special years according to locals. Most of the time, the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower only take place on Bastille Day (July 14).

The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year. During the Christmas and New Year holidays, the lift is open from 9:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. with the last ascent at 10:30 p.m. The stairs are open from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. with the last ascent allowed at 6 p.m. If you plan to go to the top, try to get tickets ahead of time.

If you plan to eat in the restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, get reservations ahead of time. This is especially true for New Year’s Eve. The seated restaurants need a reservation even if it isn’t New Year’s Eve as they are popular and fill up fast.

The Eiffel Tower at night from below. Find the best views of the Eiffel Tower and a guide to New Year's in Paris here.
Eiffel Tower at night from below

ENJOY THE BEST VIEWS OF THE EIFFEL TOWER FOR FREE

Open: Every day
Hours: Open 24 hours a day

Whether you plan to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower or just enjoy the views of it from the ground, make sure to check out the light show. Every night, starting at sunset and ending at 1 a.m., the light show plays for 5 minute at the start of every hour. The entire Eiffel Tower sparkles with lights covering the tower. I lost track of how many times I stopped to watch the show because I loved it so much.

TROCADERO: PERFECT FOR PHOTOS

Also open 24 hours a day is Trocadero, my favorite place for pictures of the Eiffel Tower. If you want this area to yourself, get there for sunrise. Not only will you miss the crowds, you are treated to an Eiffel Tower sunrise as the sun comes up behind the Eiffel Tower.

This is a popular spot for photo shoots including engagements and wedding photos. Thanks to the rain when we were there and a clogged drain, I took some of my favorite photos ever with the reflection of the Eiffel Tower in the resulting puddle.

Trocadero view of Eiffel Tower at sunrise with a reflection in a puddle. Get all the best Eiffel Tower views and a guide to New Year's in Paris here.
The Eiffel Tower view from Trocadero after a rainstorm
Trocadero view of the Eiffel Tower in the morning. Get the best viewpoints of the Eiffel Tower and a guide to New Year's in Paris, France here.
View of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero

RUE DE L’UNIVERSITE: UP CLOSE VIEWS

The famous little road that leads between buildings to the Eiffel Tower is Rue de l’Universite. You can visit this street any time of day. It is a shorter street and popular for a quick stop for photos. Because people do not stay here long, even if others are there taking pictures, just give it a minute and they will clear out.

The view of the Eiffel Tower from Rue de l'Universite. Get the best photo spots for the Eiffel Tower and a guide to New Year's in Paris here.
The Eiffel Tower from Rue de l’Universite in Paris

PONT D’LENA: THE BRIDGE & THE CAROUSEL

If you have seen a picture of a carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower, it is between the Eiffel Tower and the Seine, right at the end of Pont D’lena. After visiting Trocadero, simply walk across the bridge right up to the Eiffel Tower. Near Christmas and New Year’s, a Christmas market lines the sidewalks opposite the carousel.

The Eiffel Tower and the carousel across the street by the Pont D'lena in Paris. Get a guide to the best photo spots in Paris at New Year's here.
The carousel by the Eiffel Tower

PONT DE L’ALMA: THE PERFECT PARIS SUNSET

If I’m being honest, most of the bridges near the Eiffel Tower have a great view. If you want one of the best sunset spots to watch the sunset in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in view, go to Pont de l’Alma. The sun sets over the river with the Eiffel Tower off to your left. It makes for beautiful sunset pictures with the Eiffel Tower.

The best sunset in Paris is at the Pont de l'Alma with the Eiffel Tower view. Get a full guide to New Year's in Paris here.
The perfect Paris sunset from Pont de l’Alma

PLACE DE MEXICO: POPPING UP BETWEEN BUILDINGS

One of my favorite things about the Eiffel Tower is how it pops up between buildings as you walk around Paris. Place de Mexico is one of those spots. If you stand near Rue de Longchamp and Rue des Belles Feuilles, the Eiffel Tower stands in your view down the Avenue d’Eylau. Walk down Avenue d’Eylau to get to Trocadero in just a few minutes.

The Eiffel Tower from Place de Mexico in Paris. Click here for the best views of the Eiffel Tower and a guide to Paris at New Year's.
The Eiffel Tower from Place de Mexico
The Eiffel Tower from Place de Mexico in Paris. Find the best Eiffel Tower photo spots and a guide to New Year's in Paris here.
The view of the Eiffel Tower from Place de Mexico

CHAMP-DE-MARS: THE PARK AND THE CHRISTMAS MARKET

There were fences up around the Champ-de-Mars when we went for New Year’s, but apparently that was from damage to the park the summer before during events. If the park is open, it is one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower and the best place to relax in the evening.

People fill the park each evening when the weather is good to relax in the evening with friends and family. Bring a blanket and enjoy the light show up close if it is open.

Along the Champ de Mars, there is also a Christmas market to walk through. There are stalls selling food, drinks, and gifts, all with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. There was even a skating rink where you can skate next to the Eiffel Tower. The skating rink is only there certain years and not a guarantee though.

PONT DE BIR-HAKEIM: THE POPULAR MOVIE LOCATION

The Pont de Bir-Hakeim makes an appearance in several movies. It is also a popular spot to enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower. The upper level is used by the Metro, but the lower level is for cars, bikes, and pedestrians. Through the steel columns, the Eiffel Tower stands above the city, making it a perfect spot for pictures.

Taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night from the Seine river. Find the best Eiffel Tower photo spots and the best ways to celebrate New Year's in Paris here.
The Eiffel Tower at night from the banks of the Seine River.

CHECK OUT THE ART & ARCHITECTURE AT THE LOUVRE

OPEN: Every day except Tuesdays and January 1
HOURS: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Mon/Thurs/Sat/Sun; 9 a.m. – 9:45 p.m on Wed/Fri and the first Sunday of the month; rooms begin closing at 5:30 p.m. or at 9:30 p.m. depending on the closing time that day

The Louvre is a popular place in Paris, and the museum recommends buying your tickets in advance. With New Year’s in 2021 being on a Friday, the Louvre will be closed on both Tuesday and Friday that week.

Be aware that because it is on Tuesday and Friday, it will be especially busy on that Wednesday and Thursday (December 30 and 31). Everyone who wants to see it and is only in town for a few days will be there on those days.

Even if you don’t go in the Louvre (it is worth it to go in!), at least go wander around to check out the architecture and the famous pyramid. This area is perfect for photos, so enjoy the opportunity in the mornings or when the museum is closed to get pictures with less people around.

The Louvre in Paris. Click here for a full guide to New Year's in Paris including holiday hours for popular Paris attractions.
The Louvre

EXPLORE THE JARDIN DES TUILERIES

OPEN: Open every day
HOURS: 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (possible reduced hours on January 1)

While the gardens in Paris are generally more beautiful in the summer, they are still beautiful in the winter as well. When you finish visiting the Louvre, take time to walk through the Jardin des Tuileries, especially if the weather is good that day.

In the summer, the park benches are filled with people enjoying the day and the gardens. Winter finds the gardens more empty, but still an enjoyable place to walk around. Another great garden is the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th Arrondissement in Paris, one of the best arrondissements to visit in Paris.

PONT ALEXANDRE III

This might be the prettiest bridge in all of Paris. The Pont Alexander III is a popular spot for photos in Paris. Located between the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, stop by to enjoy the views of Paris from this beautiful bridge.

TAKE IN THE VIEW FROM THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE & CHAMPS ELYSEES

OPEN: Arc de Triomphe is open every day except New Year’s Day
HOURS: 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. with last admission 45 minutes before closing

Since the Champs Elyssees is shut down to vehicles from New Year’s Eve until 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day, this is the perfect time to get pictures of the Arc de Triomphe. However, keep in mind that everyone else has the same idea.

On days when the Champs is open, people crowd out into the street, sometimes risking their lives for a picture. Because each person wants a photo with no one behind them, the line continually extends into the roundabout.

While the street is closed down, it becomes much easier to get pictures of the Eiffel Tower without risking your life. However, go early in the morning on New Year’s Day to beat the crowds or be prepared to have lots of people around, especially on New Year’s Eve.

When the street is open, do not run across the roundabout to get to the Arc de Triomphe. There is a tunnel under the street to get to the Arc de Triomphe safely. Follow the Metro signs to find the tunnel.

While the Arc de Triomphe claims to be open regular hours on New Year’s Eve, be aware that the area is popular that evening. The ticket desk closes early sometimes during peak times and admission is refused if that happens.

Personally, I would not try to go in the afternoon or evening on New Year’s Eve. When we went the morning of New Year’s Eve, the entire Arc de Triomphe was fenced off to prepare for the festivities.

If you have a chance, make sure to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The view is one of my favorite views of Paris. You have a clear view of the Eiffel Tower standing above the city and can enjoy the beauty of Paris from above. Tickets for most adults are €12 ($13) with reduced tickets at €9 ($10) for foreign teachers, young people ages 18 – 25 from non-EU countries and tourism professionals.

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris from the other side of the roundabout. Find all the best Paris photo spots and a guide to New Year's in Paris here.
Arc de Triomphe
The Champs Elysees in Paris in winter with Christmas lights. Get a full guide to Paris in winter and celebrating New Year's in Paris here.
Champs Elysees in the evening

VISITING NOTRE DAME & GETTING ICE CREAM AT BERTHILLON

Due to the recent fire in Notre Dame, the cathedral itself is closed right now. The reopening date has not been set yet. However, still make the time to go see the exterior of this beautiful church.

Don’t just take time to see the front of the cathedral which is where the crowds are for pictures. Wander around to the back of the cathedral as well. The back is just as beautiful and has very few people most of the time.

While you are in the area, if you are looking for the best ice cream in Paris, check out Berthillon. There is likely to be a line to get in, but you can also get the ice cream to go. I know ice cream in the winter may not be appealing to everyone, but if you love ice cream, it is a must in Paris.

Don’t make the mistake I did though. I love ice cream and get it in every country we visit. Of course I had to try the best ice cream in Paris. Years ago, I did it right and just ordered the ice cream.

This time we ate lunch in the restaurant and enjoyed the food. For the ice cream, I ordered a sundae with chocolate topping and whipped cream. In a large glass, I got one tiny scoop of ice cream and the rest of the glass filled with the chocolate topping. I couldn’t even taste the ice cream through all of the chocolate syrup covering it.

A gargoyle at the top of Notre Dame with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Find all the best photo spots in Paris in winter with a guide to New Year's in Paris here.
The view from the top of Notre Dame (currently closed)
The back of Notre Dame features the flying buttresses. Get all the best Paris winter travel tip in this guide to New Year's in Paris.
The back of Notre Dame
The front of Notre Dame in Paris. Get travel tips for winter in Paris with this guide to New Year's in Paris.
The front of Notre Dame

TAKE IN THE ART AT THE MUSEE D’ORSAY

OPEN: Every day except Mondays
HOURS: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. (9:45 p.m. on Thursdays); last ticket sold at 5 p.m. (9 p.m. on Thursdays)

The Musee d’Orsay is another popular museum in Paris. The inside of it is beautiful, and the famous clocks on the 5th floor make for a great photo. However, there is often a long line to get into the Musee d’Orsay, especially at the holidays.

In general, the busiest days for the Musee d’Orsay are Tuesdays and Sundays since the museum is closed on Mondays. Thursdays and Saturdays are the next busiest days with Wednesdays and Fridays having the least number of people. The Musee d’Orsay website shows it is open on New Year’s Day. 

ENJOY THE VIEW FROM SACRE-COEUR

OPEN: Every day
HOURS: 6 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. for the inside of the Basilica; 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. for the Dome (weather dependent)

Even if you don’t go in the Sacre-Coeur, the view from the steps of the city of Paris make it worth a visit. Entry into the Basilica is free, but there is a cost if you choose to climb the 300 steps to the dome.

For less crowds and beautiful pictures, walk around the Sacre-Coeur instead of sticking to the front. In our three visits to Paris, we have yet to make it up to the Sacre-Coeur, but it is definitely on our list for next time!

WANDER AROUND MONTMARTRE

Montmarte is known for being full of photo opportunities. While visiting Sacre-Coeur, stay in the area and wander the streets of Montmartre for a while. There are plenty of full guides to just this area if you want to find all the best photo spots there. This area has some of the best hidden gems in Paris, but here are a few of the most popular photo spots in Montmartre:

Le Consulat: This cute cafe is a popular spot, especially in the afternoons. Go early to avoid the crowds in the background.

La Maison Rose: Another cute cafe that is perfect for photos. Again, visit early in the morning if you don’t want people dining in the background.

The Sinking House of Montmartre: As you make your way up the steps to the Sacre-Coeur, make sure to glance to the right. The red brick building makes for an optical allusion of a sinking building (just turn your camera a little).

Rue l’Abreuvoir: This pretty street features beautiful architecture.

Place Dalida: This square is perfect for photos as it is one of the prettiest in Paris.

Le Mur des Je T’aime: The Wall of Love is covered in the words “I love you” in over 250 languages.

One of many beautiful buildings in Paris. Find the best photo spots in Paris in this guide to visiting Paris at New Year's.

MODERN ART AT CENTRE POMPIDOU

OPEN: Every day except Tuesdays
HOURS: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (exhibition areas close at 9 p.m.)

If you enjoy modern and contemporary art, Centre Pompidou is the place for you. Because it is closed on Tuesdays, expect more crowds than usual on New Year’s Day and on December 30.

The exterior of the building is popular for photos with the exterior escalators and colorful tubes surrounding them. If art isn’t really your thing, it may be worth it to walk by, but you probably won’t enjoy this museum so much.

PALAIS GARNIER: THE BEAUTIFUL OPERA HOUSE

OPEN: Every day except January 1
HOURS: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Guided tours and more are available at the gorgeous Palais Garnier, but you can also take a self-guided tour of the public areas. However, access may be restricted to the auditorium due to preparation for upcoming concerts.

If you plan to take a tour, make sure to book it in advance, especially at the holidays. If you plan to do the self-guided tour, you can also get tickets in advance to guarantee your entry.

STAINED GLASS AT THE SAINT-CHAPELLE

OPEN: Every day except January 1
HOURS: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

To see the beautiful interior of Saint-Chapelle at the holidays, plan for long lines. Purchase a skip-the-line pass in advance to get in ahead of the crowds. Get an audio guide or wander around on your own and take in the beauty of the chapel.

Saint-Chapelle is known for the stained class windows that depict Biblical scenes. There is also a concert here on New Year’s Eve.

A reflection photo of the Arc de Triomphe in a puddle. Find travel tips for winter in Paris in this guide to New Year's in Paris.
Arc de Triomphe

PANTHEON & THE VIEW FROM THE DOME

OPEN: Every day except January 1
HOURS: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

If you have time, check out the beautiful interior of the Pantheon. Plus, you can climb to the dome for an incredible view of the city. Due to its location, the dome offers great views of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Because it is closed on New Year’s Day, expect more people to visit on New Year’s Eve and January 2.

VISITING THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS

OPEN: Tuesday – Sunday; closed January 1
HOURS: 10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. (ticket window closes at 7:30 p.m.)

If skeletons freak you out, skip the Catacombs. Otherwise, plan to enjoy a visit of the Catacombs of Paris. Try to get a ticket ahead of time if at all possible. Otherwise, plan to spend up to a few hours in line.

We tried to visit the catacombs on our first visit to Paris, but we gave up after waiting in line for over an hour without moving much. Make sure to read the rules and other information about visiting the catacombs before you go. While we never made it inside, here is a guide visiting the catacombs in Paris with everything you need to know before you go.

VISITING VERSAILLES IN THE WINTER

OPEN: Open every day except Mondays and January 1 (Gardens are open every day)
HOURS: Palace is open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Gardens are open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

If you plan to visit Versailles around New Year’s, plan for long lines. We arrived around 10 a.m. on January 2 to find a line expected to take 2 hours to enter the palace. If you didn’t have a ticket already, the line for tickets was already an additional hour long. We did not have tickets and decided to just visit the gardens instead.

Because it is closed on Monday and New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve will probably have the most crowds. However, it will also be busy the weekend before New Year’s and the day after New Year’s. Plan in extra time, get your ticket early and get there early to beat the crowds.

If you have been to Versailles in the summer, visiting the gardens in the winter is a little disappointing. The plants are mostly dead and many of the statues are covered or removed. The gardens are also extremely crowded at the holidays, so getting pictures of Versailles without people in the background requires creativity.

If this is the only time you can visit Versailles, it is still an impressive property. When we visited in the summer, we had the gardens to ourselves, so it was a whole different experience at the holidays.

The gardens at Versailles in winter. Get travel tips for Paris in winter in this guide to Paris at New Year's.
The garden side of Versailles
Looking through the gates at Versailles Palace in Paris, France. Find Paris travel tips in this guide to New Year's in Paris.
Looking through the gates at the Palace of Versailles

BEST ACCOMMODATIONS & HOTELS IN PARIS FOR NEW YEAR’S

The best places to stay in Paris at New Year’s are places with a good view of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe. Of course, these are always the best places to stay in Paris, but they are not cheap.

This is especially true at New Year’s. Hotel prices soar as people pour into the city to celebrate the holiday. Many of the rooms with a view sell out months in advance.

Because we waited to decide to go to Paris for New Year’s, many of the rooms we wanted to book were already sold out. The rooms that were left were priced outside of our budget even expecting to splurge a little.

We opted for an Airbnb with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower, and we loved it. There are quite a few Airbnb options that offer a beautiful view of Paris. We also found quite a few options available for reasonable prices within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.

If you are planning to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris, here are some of the best hotel options for every budget from hostels to 5-star hotels. The link to our Airbnb is also included but may already be booked.

STAYING IN AN AIRBNB WITH AN EIFFEL TOWER VIEW

Hotels and Airbnbs all seem to charge more for the holidays. We opted for an Airbnb when we could not find a hotel with a view in our price range. We also waited until only a few weeks before New Year’s to book a place to stay.

Our Airbnb was perfect for us. It had a large room that acted as a bedroom, living room, and kitchen with a bathroom and shower. Both the bathroom and the main living area had windows looking out over the city with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

We also loved the location. We could easily walk to Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe (1 mile or 1.6 km). This was especially important to us because we did not want to have to worry about transportation on New Year’s Eve.

There were plenty of restaurants nearby, and the view made it easy to watch the light show at the Eiffel Tower from the warmth and comfort of our living room. We would love to stay there again on a return trip to Paris in the future.

The view of the Eiffel Tower from our Airbnb in Paris. Find the best hotels in Paris with a view in this guide to New Year's in Paris.
View of the Eiffel Tower from our Airbnb

BEST HOTELS WITH AN EIFFEL TOWER VIEW OR ARC DE TRIOMPHE VIEW

When booking a hotel and wanting a particular view, remember that not every room in the hotel is likely to have a view you want. If you want to make sure you get the view of the Eiffel Tower, ask questions before you book.

I spent a week or so emailing hotels to ask about availability of rooms with the view I wanted. Most responded within 24 hours. For the most part, the rooms with the best views sell out months in advance.

A few of the hotels had rooms still available, but most are extremely expensive around New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Plan to spend a few hundred dollars a night, especially those two nights, for a room with a view. If you are looking for some cheaper options, here are some of the best hostels in Paris.

Because we are from Florida and not made for the cold, our initial plan was to have a place to stay with a view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks. This gave us an option to stay warm and watch the celebration. We ended up with a view of the Eiffel Tower, but there were no fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. We went out to celebrate at the Arc de Triomphe to see the fireworks instead.

BEST HOTELS WITH ARC DE TRIOMPHE VIEWS:

Hotel Splendid Etoile: This hotel has views directly overlooking the Arc de Triomphe. You can watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Paris without ever leaving the comfort of your room. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Hotel Elysees Ceramic: Located on one of the streets leading to the Arc de Triomphe, this hotel also offers Arc de Triomphe views. However, not all of the rooms have this view. Try to get a room on the top floor for the best view. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Hotel Royal Elysees: Request a room with a view of Avenue Victor Hugo for a room overlooking the Arc de Triomphe. Then enjoy the celebration from the warmth of your room. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

An old car drives past the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Find lots of Paris travel tips in this guide to Paris at New Year's.
The Arc de Triomphe

BEST HOTELS WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEWS:

Peninsula Paris HotelOffering views of the Eiffel Tower from the rooms and the private terraces and rooftop gardens, the Peninsula Paris may be worth a splurge. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel: Located just 300 meters from the Eiffel Tower, you can’t get much closer or much better views of the Eiffel Tower. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile: Located a few miles from the city center, the Hyatt Regency offers a lower price option for an Eiffel Tower view. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

La Clef Tour EiffelFor opulence and luxury with a view of the Eiffel Tower, La Clef Tour Eiffel is your hotel. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Mercure Paris Center Tour EiffelThe Mercure Paris Center Tour Eiffel is just a 5 minute walk from the Seine and one of the more reasonably priced hotels with an Eiffel Tower view. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Ibis Paris Tour EiffelWith a 15 minute walk to the Eiffel Tour, the Ibis is another of the more affordable hotels with a view. As always, make sure to request or book a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Hotel Plaza AtheneeAnother of the top luxury hotels in Paris, Plaza Athenee features gorgeous Eiffel Tower views. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

Shangri-La Hotel ParisThe name Shangri-La is synonymous with luxury throughout the world, but this location features Eiffel Tower views on top of the luxury amenities. Check prices and availability on Agoda.com or on Booking.com.

The Eiffel Tower peeking above a building in Paris. Find the best places to stay in Paris at New Year's here.

WHY VISIT PARIS AT NEW YEAR’S?

Some major cities celebrate New Year’s like no other. Paris is one of those cities. Paris puts on an impressive laser light show and firework show at the Arc de Triomphe that makes a beautiful city a bucket list New Year’s Eve destination. Spending New Year’s in Paris deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list.

Looking for more European holiday travel advice? Check out this post on the best Christmas lights in London and find all of our Europe travel advice here.

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62 Comments

    1. New years in Paris sounds very cool and such a great idea for this new years! I have never thought about it. I really like your tips, especially about the eifell tower view

      1. Thank you so much! I hope you can go to Paris for New Year’s one year!

      1. Thank you! It’s a beautiful city any time of year really 🙂

    1. I love Paris! Although I’ve never visited for New Years. We don’t tend to travel for New Years but Paris is looking tempting now!

      1. We tend to be home for the holidays too with family, but we had family living in Europe that year and took advantage of it to go for the holidays 🙂

    1. I never thought about visiting Paris for New Year’s but now I’m considering it! Also love that photo of the Arc de Triomphe – it’s stunning!

      1. Thank you so much! Love the Arc de Triomphe, and definitely put Paris at New Year’s on your list!

    1. My husband and I just booked a trip to Paris for New Years! I’m so happy I stumbled upon your blog- it is so helpful. Thanks for giving me a jump-start on my research =)

      1. Thank you so much! I hope you have a great time in Paris for New Year’s – it’s such a special time to be there!

    1. […] I did this trip in early December and I did have a few reservations about visiting in the winter. Even though you do need to bundle up with a winter jacket, it’s still a great time to visit Paris and Strasbourg. Because December isn’t peak tourist season in France, there were way fewer crowds at popular sites, especially in Paris. If you go in late December you may encounter crowds as it is popular to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris. […]

      1. Thank you so much! We were going to be in Europe then anyways and decided Paris would be a fun place for New Year’s. So glad we picked Paris for New Year’s – one of my favorite travel memories!

    1. Thanks for the tips on New Years Eve in Paris. Based on your tips I decided to get a hotel within walking distance of the Arc. Getting out of there after midnight does not sound fun. Thanks!

      1. I’m so glad it helped! We did not regret being in walking distance of the Arc de Triomph. Made it so much easier to get back that night and not fight traffic and lines or pay a bunch for an Uber. Hope you have an amazing time in Paris for New Year’s!

    1. Ah love this post! Such good tips for visiting over New Years, it’s still a magical place despite that many places are closed! The only time I’ve been was for my birthday in August 🙂 xx

      1. Paris is amazing any time of year, and it would be a great place for a birthday trip!

      1. I love Paris all times of the year, but I haven’t seen it with snow yet. Even in winter we just got rain. I was hoping it would be cold enough for snow, but it wasn’t that week.

    1. I love how you broke down everything so that it’s extra helpful and easy! Great post!

    1. I think spending New Years in Paris needs to be added to my bucket list!! What a perfect place to start a new year. Love your photos!!

    1. Paris in the winter is amazing. I really love visiting famous cities in the off season because they have such a different feeling – more relaxed I think. Thanks for this in depth post, super informative! Will keep in mind for my next trip to Paris.

      1. Yes! I completely agree. Paris at New Year’s is special, but Paris in winter is still beautiful with less crowds.

    1. Paris looks so beautiful during the winter. I have never been here around New Year but from your post, it seems like there are som exciting things to see and do at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive post!

      1. It really is. I don’t think Paris has a bad season to visit. Thank you!

    1. We love how thorough this guide is – we went to Paris for our first wedding anniversary but haven’t been back since. How cool it would be to spend NYE here!

      1. Thank you so much! Sounds like it might be time for another anniversary trip in 2020 😉

    1. Paris is amazing for New Year. I did spend one New Year’s Eve in Monte Carlo. This year it will be in Melbourne, Australia. But Ill be thinking of you in Paris!

      1. You have such a great variety of places for New Years! We have only done New Year’s in Paris and in Florida. Maybe we need to start branching out even more.

    1. Stunning photos & great recommendations! Now I feel like I HAVE to spend at least one NYE in Paris! Added to bucket list ????????❤️

    1. This has absolutely made me want to visit Paris for New Years this year… hmmm… it’s very tempting!! Thanks for this great guide.

      1. Thank you! If you can find a way to make it happen, I don’t think you will regret it 🙂

      1. Thank you – it really was amazing! I hope you can spend New Year’s in Paris sometime!

    1. It must be so magical to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle at midnight on new years! What an epic way to begin a new decade.

      1. Paris is always beautiful, but I did love watching the Eiffel Tower lights after ringing in the New Year.

    1. Wow, beautiful pictures. I don’t think I’ll spend New Year’s in Paris but this is a city I want to revisit.

    1. Thank you for the festive inspiration! It’s so helpful to know of these holiday hours – especially with minimal days to spare in Paris.

      1. I’m glad it helped! I hope you have a wonderful time in Paris for New Year’s!

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