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What a year it has been! Paris is bustling visitors, but even if you didn’t make it to the City of Light this season, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate New Year’s Eve, Gallic style, even if at home. Here are some tips to help show you how to celebrate New Year’s Eve like the French, wherever you are.

Left: A couple toasts with their champagne glass, with a champagne bottle in between them; Right: 2 champagne glasses on a table with a champagne bottle in between them.
Top: Mat Reding Above: Dayso / Maria Velniceriu


You can’t celebrate New Year’s Eve without popping a bottle of Champagne. The number one top-selling Champagne in France—and number three worldwide—is Nicolas Feuillatte. And it’s easy to see why. They have great special edition bottles and are also on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

Then there’s the Champagne of choice of Marie Antoinette and Marilyn Monroe: Piper-Heidsieck. Marie Antoinette was their first brand ambassador and Marilyn Monroe once said: “I go to bed with a few drops of a very famous perfume and I wake up with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck.”

If you like your Champagne pink, you can’t go wrong with my personal favorite: Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé. And last but certainly not least, Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque is a bottle of Champagne that looks as good as it tastes. 

For more info on how to choose and serve Champagne on the big day, we have compiled expert tips to help you celebrate in style.

Left: A charcuterie platter full of cheese, bread, nuts, fruits, and dips; Right: An appetizer plate with foie gras.
Anto Meneghini / Min Che


Like Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve is a night for indulging in the best gourmet delicacies that France has to offer. Peruse our guide on how to host an apéritif and go all out. Think oysters, smoked salmon, caviar (budget allowing), and foie gras. For mains, duck or turkey. Follow it up with a cheese platter, bien sûr. 

French Music

Set the mood with some French music. If you want to dance and like electronic music, there’s Daft Punk, Justice, M83, and Yelle. On the more indie/pop side of things, you have Christine and the Queens, Julien Doré, The Pirouettes, and Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains. If you’re into rock, Phoenix, or genre-defying La Femme. Zaz and Brigitte are great for indie/folk lovers, and for some Latin reggae check out Manu Chao.


On New Year’s Eve, French people often watch the presidential address, or les vœux présidentiels which you can catch online on the President’s youtube channel.

The festive show near the Arc de Triomphe is back! The City of Paris invites Parisians and tourists to the Champs Elysées from 7PM to hear live music from, Marine Neuilly, Piu Piu, Barbara Butch Slimane, and more, hosted by Laury Thilleman and Laurent Luyat. Fireworks will bring the evening to a close and you catch them live on Youtube if you can’t make it in person.

The Champs Elysees during the holidays as the Arc de Triomphe prepares for its fireworks display.
Mat Napo


Unlike us Anglophones who associate mistletoe (gui in French) with Christmas, the French actually kiss under the mistletoe on New Year’s Eve. So make sure you string up a bunch somewhere strategic for your midnight kiss!

Cards and Gifts

French people don’t send Christmas cards, they send New Year’s cards instead to wish their family and friends a bonne année. The French also often give monetary gifts called étrennes to thank those who work for them, such as their guardian/guardienne, cleaner, postal worker, garbage collectors, the police, and pompiers (firefighters). In fact, New Year’s Day is popularly called Jour des Étrennes.

Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.


Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at Monash and The University of Melbourn. She has worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she has a particular interest French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Ali has lived in Paris since 2016 and has written extensively on art, food, beauty and more. Her work has in publications including BW Confidential, Oh My Mag, and HIP Paris.

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