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New Year's Eve in Paris

Discover festive traditions and celebrate the New Year's Eve in Paris with Eurotunnel. Plan your break in Paris and book your ticket online today.

What better way to celebrate the year coming to a close and launch yourself into the New Year in style than heading to France for New Year's Eve?

When it comes to celebrating in style the French do it best, so charge your glasses and let the countdown begin with our Eurotunnel Le Shuttle guide to the places to be, come midnight on December 31.

Tradition

New Year's Eve in France is known as la Saint-Sylvestre, in honour of 4th Century Pope Sylvester I, who was buried on December 31 335. However, that is where any religious connotations end and most French people see the day as an opportunity for some good food, fine wine and a cheery celebration with family and friends.

It really is nothing but the best to see out the year in France - the traditional food of choice is oysters and foie gras and raised glasses should be filled with wonderfully fizzy Champagne, or at the very least a sparkling wine of choice.

A toast should be made with one of France's most famous exports.
A toast should be made with one of France's most famous exports.

When the countdown reaches its climax get ready to know your neighbour that little bit better, as kisses are exchanged (on the cheek) and everybody wishes each other an enthusiastic 'bonne annee', or 'happy new year'. For the French the celebration period continues until January 6, so be prepared to receive (and return) happy New Year's wishes for several days following. 

New Year's Eve in Paris

With its iconic scenery and fun-loving populace Paris turns into one giant street party on New Year's Eve every year.

The city of light celebrates the New Year in style
The city of light celebrates the New Year in style

Before the celebrations begin in earnest ensure that you dine in style by booking a restaurant table. Paris has numerous seafood restaurants where you can enjoy the traditional oysters and Champagne as you wait for the midnight hour; some of the best can be found along the Rue de Montparnasse near the famous Montparnasse cemetery.

The French don't like to rush their food (or their service), so ensure you book early enough to be back outside before midnight, as the street is the place to be when the clock strikes. Street vendors will often sell cheap bottles of sparkling wine (be sure not to call it Champagne within earshot of any French people) and a chorus of popping corks can be heard across the city when the time comes.

The views from Montmartre are regarded as the best in Paris.
The views from Montmartre are regarded as the best in Paris.

One of the best places to get a great view of the festivities is the Esplanade du Trocadéro, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, this gives the classic view of the monument and its surrounding gardens and is the perfect spot to view the traditional fireworks. If you're looking for a wider view why not climb the steps to the Sacré-Cœur Cathedral plaza, in Montmatre? From here you can look out across all of Paris and watch the celebrations unfold beneath you.

Getting there Paris is a 3 hour drive from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal at Calais.

New Year's Eve in La Rochelle

If you're looking for a real New Year's Eve party then the faded seaside glamour of La Rochelle may be the place for you. Although traditionally quiet over the Christmas period, the town's bars and restaurants come alive on December 31, as residents and visitors gather together to raise a glass to the end of the year.

The historic port is quieter over the New Year period.
The historic port is quieter over the New Year period.

Head to the Vieux Port, or Old Harbour, to find the finest in fresh seafood and the liveliest bars, with an unrivalled view out across the bay.

Getting there: La Rochelle is 7 hours 10 minutes' drive from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle terminal at Calais.

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