New Years in Paris

I cannot think of a better place to ring in the New Year than Paris.  The Eiffel Tower on a regular day is spectacular so you can imagine how beautiful the light show is on New Year’s Eve.

The colorful and exciting City of Lights offers plenty of ways to say Bonne annee (happy new year)!  Take your pick of clubbing, celebrating over a delicious meal, wandering the Champs-Elysees or the Sacre Coeur Plaza or laying low on your hotel balcony that views the Tower. 
Sacre Coeur Plaza
 These two places are the major celebration areas.  As you can tell from the picture Champs-Elysees is one massive party on the street and if that is what you looking for head there around 9 to meet the other party goers.  Pretty much anywhere along Champs you will have a good view of the Eiffel Tower which will display their light show at the stroke of midnight.  So while you are waiting for that you can entertain yourself by dancing or dining at one of the many establishments in the area.  
A general rule of this area on New Years Eve is this: be constantly aware of your personal belongings as this is a large group of people numbering in the thousands and so pickpocketers will be everywhere!  Also, you will not be allowed to drink while walking around and will be fined if caught doing so.  It is best to pick a restaurant, club or lounge to relax in before heading into the crowds.

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If I were to be in Paris for New Years I would take a river boat dinner cruise along the Seine and take in all the festivities from the comfort of a boat.

Try these companies:
On New Years they will offer musical entertainment, a bottle of Pommery champagne and other treats.  You will need to reserve at least 24 hours in advance!
These cruises last two hours and include aperitif, dessert, and coffee while taking you past the Notre Dame Cathedral, Tuileries Gardens and Concorde.
This company offers two boats with two different options:
A three hour relaxing cruise or a six hour dancing cruise – which every you want you will be out on the water when the light show starts!
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And you may be thinking that just the accommodations alone will break the bank but trust me when I say it is affordable!
Come on, ya’ll know me – budget traveler!!

I found on Homeaway multiple studio apartments that range from $150/night to $300/night.  It really all depends on what kind of view you want, proximity to certain things, and the experience you want to have.
If you want to stay in a more young, local, less touristy area of Paris you can research the specific area and then search for it on Homeaway.  
Or if you have to have a view of the Eiffel Tower you can have that too but it comes with a price – especially this time of year.
Personally, I like to stay away from the main thorough fares but no more than a 20 minute commute.  That 20 minutes really takes you away from the hustle bustle and lets you explore the real community minus the tourist traps.
Check out this apartment:
Sleeps 2 at $113/night with a 3 night minimum stay and only 5 minutes away from Metro
Lets talk about hotels….

First, European hotels are very different American ones.  They are smaller and older but if you are willing to pay more money you will get a larger more recently built hotel.  Also, just because they have an elevator does not mean you should or could use it everything.  Why?  Because they are tiny!
As long as you realize those two things you will be fine….besides part of the charm of Paris are the small, quaint and historic hotels and buildings.  
I cannot stress to you the importance of reading reviews: the general public will tell you all the nitty gritty information you need to know before you book.  And you can inquire too for a reference!
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I found a fantastic reference from a fellow blogger, Ma Nouvelle Mode, on the different districts of Paris and which are the best: Check them out!

What areas are best?

where to stay in Paris
These are the areas that Paris is generally divided into and where you can look to book via Let me breakdown the areas on where to stay in Paris for ya here:
  1. Alesia – Orleans – Quite removed the downtown, I would check review for how the area is.
  2. Bastille – Bercy – The hotel I stayed here was close to the Hippodrome and was absolutely awful. Thank goodness it was only for one night. The bathrooms smelled like pee, I could hardly stand it. I think it was due to plumbing, not to uncleanliness, but still, awful. The area isn’t so bad though. It’s removed from Paris central, but like I said, with the subways, it’s not hard to get into the center. I would not recommend driving in Paris.
  3. Batignolles – Clichy – Don’t know much about this area except that it’s removed from the center. I would make sure to check the subway system before booking here.
  4. Buttes Chaumont – La Villette Area – Same thing as #3 – it’s rather removed. Not a problem if you can book close to a metro station and you’re looking to save money.
  5. Champs Elysees – Arc de Triomphe – The richest part of Paris! I’ve never stayed here, you can probably guess why.
  6. Champs Elysees Etoile – Avenue Monceau – A little removed from the richest part of Paris. Never stayed here either, you can probably guess why…
  7. Eiffel Tower – Even though it’s the most famous landmark in Paris, it’s not central. But as you can imagine, it’s easy to get to! You could very well wake up with a pretty amazing view! You can also find some good deals in this area.
  8. Gare Du Nord – Gare De l’est – Gare means train station in French, so as you can imagine, this is in the train station area. Never stayed in this area but honestly, my first thought is that there are so many better options than staying close to a ‘gare.’
  9. La Defense – Neuilly – I have actually stayed here, with a friend one year. It’s completely outside of Paris in the ‘business district.’ The hotels are nicer and newer and we had a lovely time. There is a train/metro that goes into the center so it’s easy to get to. BUT I feel like you miss the whole feeling of Paris by staying out there. If it’s your first time, I wouldn’t do it.
  10. Latin Quarter – Ever heard of the Sorbonne? Shakespeare and Company? The left bank? These are all here. It’s just across the street/river from Notre Dame. There can be some shady areas though – do your research!
  11. Republique –  I have stayed here the most. The Crown Plaza here is really nice and I found some good deals. It’s not super central but there’s a big metro station and you can get anywhere you want to go from here.
  12. Montmarte – Sacre Coeur – Pigalle – Sacre Coeur, another huge landmark of Paris and the Montmarte district. Last time I was there I took the bus and driving through I wasn’t too sure about the area surrounding it. It wouldn’t be my first choice.
  13. Montparnasse – This is another train area where there is a big ‘gare.’ Once again, wouldn’t be my first choice.
  14. Opera Quarter East – Louvre Museum – Kinda self explanatory, close to the Louvre on the right bank of the Seine. It seems like a lovely area, although it could be kinda expensive.
  15. Opera Quarter West – Jardin des Tuileries – Similar to #14, it would be absolutely lovely to stay close to the Jardin des Tuileries which stretches out in front of the Louvre. It makes for a nice, long, beautiful walk.
  16. Place D’Italie – I have stayed in this area and it’s been a favorite. It’s less expensive and close to a larger metro station. It’s also oh so pretty.
  17. Porte de Versailles – The reason this is called “the door to Versailles” is because it’s on the outskirts of the city. You have to take a train to Versailles from Paris, so I suppose it would be closer from here. But still not in Versailles. I’ve never stayed in this part but visited, it didn’t seem very nice to me.
  18. Porte de Montreuil – Another one on the outskirts, this would be a little too far for me. Remember the farther away you get from Paris the less ‘Parisian’ it feels. Just a thought.
  19. St Germain – This is close to the Latin Quarter and would be an absolutely lovely place to stay! Right in the center and close to a lot of great landmarks. Probably a little more on the expensive side.

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Ok so once you decide on Paris for New Years you need to pick which area you want to be in.  That basically tells you what your budget needs to be!  Then from there start planning your activities…

And of course United Military Travel can book everything….I mean everything for you!
Hotel, car rental, flights, river boat cruise, museum tickets….you name it they can do it!

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