So, by now you all know that I am absolutely OBSESSED with Paris! I’ve been countless times, but every time, it’s been during the summer. In 2019, my boyfriend and I decided to make Paris our NYE destination. I was a little nervous about the weather, but it ended up being absolutely perfect! I’ve already done a post on Paris, but it seems like I learn a little something new every time I go. So without further ado, here’s how to have the best NYE in Paris!
Tips and Tricks:
*Paris in the winter was surprisingly not as cold as I thought it would be. Pack one peacoat, a scarf, and gloves and you should be good
*If you plan on driving, there are apps to have people come to you to fill up your gas tank. We spent probably an hour driving around the city trying to find a gas station that had the right gas, just to end up finding out not only is it cheaper, but it is more convenient to use the delivery gas services.
*Stay in a less touristy part of town for a more authentic Parisian experience. We stayed in the 9th and it was absolutely perfect!
*There is so much to do in Paris you won’t be able to fit it all in one trip. Pick out a couple things that are a must-do and be sure to buy tickets ahead of time.
*Be sure to have your NYE plans scheduled in advance. Events do sell out. And try to stay close to wherever your NYE party is. Traffic on this day was worse than I’ve ever seen anywhere before.
Staying in the 9th
This trip to Paris consisted of me, my boyfriend, and my mom, dad, and sister. We wanted to stay in a place where we could all have our privacy, yet have a common area where we could all hang out. Airbnb trumped hotel for our needs in this situation. Shockingly, large Airbnbs with normal bathrooms are VERY hard to find in Paris. But, we lucked out and found this gem. This Airbnb had a couple rooms in the main house where my parents and sister slept, then it had a private courtyard with a mother-in-law style studio across the courtyard which is where my boyfriend and I stayed. It was easy to all get-together and drink wine, yet we also had our privacy. Our host, Patrice was phenomenal. He not only had a whole guide to Paris put together for us, but he was available for every need. We rented a car for a couple days and every time we needed to leave Patrice would come and block traffic so we could back out, and whenever we got home, Patrice parked the car for us because the space was a little tricky. There are not enough good things I could say about this Airbnb and Patrice, and I look forward to staying here again!
I also loved the area of our Airbnb. When I’ve been to Paris before, I usually stay in the Vendome area (1st/2nd). While it’s beautiful and luxurious, it doesn’t always feel like authentic Paris. Staying in the 9th let us get out of the touristy area a little while still being walking distance to many areas we wanted to visit. Unfortunately, there was a transportation strike during our visit, so the metros were not running. Had it not been for that, we would have been able to get anywhere in the city within a few minutes.
We rented a car for two days and thus planned two day trips during our trip. The first was Versailles. I feel like I’m equally as impressed by Versailles every time I go as I was my very first time. We planned ahead and bought tickets ahead of time which is a MUST! Buying timed tickets essentially allows you to skip a very very long line. The tickets can be bought right from the Versailles website. We didn’t want to spend all day at Versailles so we mapped out a few key things we wanted to see like Marie Antoinette’s bedroom and the Hall of Mirrors. I actually wasn’t too keen on seeing the gardens because I thought everything would be dead during the winter. But my boyfriend convinced me to go and I’m so happy he did. While the flowers weren’t there, the grounds were still breathtaking.
After Versailles, we went into the village across town. We walked around a bit and finally found a place to eat called Aux Delices De Katy. This was one of our best random finds during our trip. The restaurant is veryyyy tiny inside with a patio outside. We chose to sit inside, where the menu was written on the wall in French. There were two tables inside, one table spoke Spanish, one table spoke French, and both spoke broken English. Between the three tables, we were able to decipher what was on the menu and tell Katy what we wanted to eat. Katy not only cooks the food, but she cleans, serves, and owns the restaurant. A true one-woman shop. When I think of authentic Paris, this restaurant is it! If you do visit Versailles, try to work Aux Delices De Katy into your trip. You won’t regret it.
Reims is an absolute must if you’re a champagne lover like myself! Last time we did Veuve Clicquot. This time, we visited Tattinger. The tours are so worth it if you appreciate the history of the champagne you’re drinking. We learned all about the Tattinger family, how the wine is made and stored, got to see the family’s own private collection, and ended with a tasting. Naturally, my family ended up buying a case of Tattinger to bring home with us.
After visiting Reims, if you’re a shopper, you have to stop at La Vallee Village! It’s an outdoor mall with all designer outlets. Particularly if you are visiting during the summer or winter, all the stores will be having their seasonal sales. I picked up a Max Mara coat, and my boyfriend found a really nice coat as well. Look ahead of time to see what stores are here and it’s worth checking out before you do any designer shopping in the city.
New Year’s Eve
Surprisingly, it was a little difficult to find something that would fit my whole family’s needs for NYE. Many celebrations were either over the top nice dinners with no party, or a party but in a club. We were hoping for something with a nice dinner and lounge afterparty to accommodate all the ages we were traveling with. Fortunately, I stumbled across the Beau Marly group. They own a host of restaurants, clubs, and lounges across Paris. They had various NYE events where you could pick a restaurant to dine at, and an afterparty, and they provided transportation between the two. We chose to dine at Germain and went to the afterparty at Le Georges.
While we had a phenomenal time, what we didn’t count on was the traffic. It took us over an hour to go what should have taken 20 minutes. We ended up being VERY late for our dinner reservation. While the food was phenomenal, we rushed through dinner hoping we could make it to Georges for the countdown. However, there was an issue with the chauffeur service and we ended up realizing we’d celebrate the countdown in the car if we tried to make it. We decided to celebrate at Germain, ended up with a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and went to Georges after the countdown. Georges had a very luxe artsy vibe and I LOVED it! All in all, it was a great NYE!
We did all the normal stuff you have to do in Paris. We visited the Lourve. Again, be sure to buy tickets ahead of time and have a few key pieces picked out, otherwise, you’ll spend an entire day there. We walked from the Lourve through the gardens where we had lunch, and down the Champs Elysses. We grabbed a drink at Experimental which is one of my favorite cocktail clubs along with the sister club, Prescription. We visited the Trocadero for pictures with the Eiffel Tower. While we didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower, I felt the pictures from the Trocadero were way prettier! We went during the afternoon, took pictures, then sat in a cafe for a couple hours until we could see it at night. The Eiffel Tower is more than likely a bit of a trek from wherever you’re staying. Planning so you can see it during the day and at night on the same day can save you a lot of back and forth.
We also visited the catacombs. It was a bit of a last-minute decision which was a bad idea. We waited in line about 2-2.5 hours because we didn’t buy tickets beforehand which was a big mistake. However, it was an amazing experience and I’m glad we did it. Be sure to pay the extra couple euros for a self-guided tour. Learning the history of the catacombs makes them so much more interesting.
Some people may feel strongly against this because it’s either too touristy or too inappropriate. However, I think the Moulin Rouge is an absolute must! While I’ve heard that the dinner isn’t worth it, buying a ticket for the show was one of the best things we did while in Paris. We ate at Girafe on the Trocadero prior to our show which was one of the best meals we had in Paris (more on that here). But, we ended up getting to the show shortly before it started. By the time we got there, there was already a HUGE line. I was a little nervous because the tickets don’t come with assigned seats. However, fortunately, because we were dressed nice, we ended up being seated in what I considered the best seat in the house with the best view. Moral of the story, dress nice and you’ll be treated like a VIP even though you didn’t buy VIP tickets.
Disclaimer: the show is all topless which is something my boyfriend did not realize until it began. For this reason, you may not want to go with your parents or kids (which is why we made this night a date night). However, with the elaborate costumes and phenomenal show, I felt everything was done very tastefully. I absolutely loved the caberet and can’t wait to come again when we’re back in Paris.
My parents have made it one of their life goals to visit every Buddah Bar in the world. So, when we found out Paris had a Buddah Bar we had to go! While the food was good, it wasn’t great, and definitely not for the price. But it is a vibe so I’m happy we did it. But what made this restaurant really neat is the hidden speakeasy called Secret 8. My boyfriend and I were scrambling on Instagram trying to figure out the answer to the riddle the Speakeasy had posted so we could get in. Fortunately, we figured it out. When we arrived for our reservation at Secret 8, there was another family who didn’t know the password trying to sneak in behind us. Secret 8 was NOT about to let that happen. It had a true speakeasy vibe with craft cocktails and very strict rules about entering.
Of course, I saved the most eventful for last. I’m a sucker for shopping at a bargain, but I’m also a sucker for designer goods. There’s just something about the quality that makes me sooooo happy. And of course, one of my favorite purse designers, Louis Vuitton, doesn’t believe in sales. Therefore, the only way I can get my LV purses at a discounted price is by buying in Europe. Not only is the VAT refunded, but the base price is cheaper, especially with the strength of the dollar. So I knew going into this trip that I wanted to buy the coveted Pochette Metis. I just didn’t know what color I would end up getting.
Every time I’ve bought a purse in the past, I simply walk into LV and let them know what I’m looking for and they bring it out. Idk what happened this time around but not only was there a line over an hour at every store we visited, but they were sold out of everything! The first day we went from the Champs store, to Galleries, Lafayette, to Printemps, back to Galleries Lafayette, and back to Champs. *LADIES: if your man isn’t willing to run around Paris all day trying to find the purse you want, get rid of him. Because doing that is true love* But real talk, I thought my boyfriend was going to pass out but he was SUCH a trooper. Fortunately, I got a business card of a sales associate at the Galleries Lafayette store and she allowed me to make an appointment so I could just walk in the next day. Fortunately, they had the purses my sister and I wanted and it was all worth it. So, moral of the story, if there is a specific purse you want, particularly from LV, plan to stand in a long line one day to at least be able to talk to an associate and make the earliest appointment for the next morning so you’re the first to see what’s in the new shipment. If you wait until the evening, everything may already be sold out. However, buying in Paris saved me hundreds of dollars so it’s worth it if you have your eye on something specific.
Also, Galleries Lafayette is an absolute must-visit if you’re in Paris during the holidays! Everything is decorated and there is a HUGE Christmas tree in the middle of the mall.
So there you have it! Paris for New Years was better than anything I could have imagined. I laughed non-stop, got to spend time in my favorite city, and made so many new memories that I’ll never forget with the people I love.
“Paris is always a good idea”