One of my bucket list cities was Paris for New Year’s so when the stars aligned, I jumped on the chance to bring in the New Year under the magical Eiffel Tower. I normally don’t plan winter vacations but Paris was EVERYTHING and so much more. Currently saving coins for a return trip for the summer/fall.
Where I Stayed:
i chose this hotel for a few reasons. It was walking distance to the the Eiffel Tower and I didn’t want to have to deal with traffic or the metro for New Year’s night. The metro was only a block away and easy to navigate to places such as the Louvre, shopping districts, and a host of museums. This hotel also had rooms with a view of the Eiffel Tower and that sold me. When I go back for the summer, I will probably say close to the Louvre/shopping district as that is where i spent most of the time.
travel tip: take 5 mins to learn the metro system. It’s easy to learn and if you’re in doubt, Google Maps will guide you along the way. Easier on the wallet to pay 1.50 Euro for a metro trip than 15-17 Euro for a Uber/taxi
What to Do
There was a lot to see in the 5 days we were there. I started to feel a little anxious in wanting to see all the museums and landmarks but slowly realized there was no way i was going to see the entire city. i listed 5-6 museums and landmarks i wanted to visit and between that and the ample amounts of shopping, i was in heaven. It is indeed true that Louis Vuitton is cheaper there than in the states but in order to benefit from all the savings, you’ll need your passport to avoid paying taxes. I didn’t feel comfortable carrying it with me while we were out but the CDG airport has stores from Louis Vuitton to Gucci to Chanel that allow you to shop tax free.
travel tip: check the opening times & days for museums. Some are closed on certain days and most are all closed on New Year’s Day. Only the Notre Dame cathedral was open and the line to get in was around the corner. i didn’t want to spend 2 hours waiting on line so i snapped pics and found the best falafel a block away.
i ate everything from pizza and pasta to crepes and it was all delicious. i didn’t have a list of certain restaurants to eat but rather let my nose do the guiding when i was hungry. A couple of things you have to try: cappuccino (even if you’re not a fan, the coffee here is indescribable), crepes (forget the typical restaurant and grab one from a street vendor), macaroons, and pasta (of course)
travel tip: credit cards are the preferred method at many places but make sure to have Euros on hand for street food.
travel tip: no need to leave a tip at restaurants, they aren’t paid the ridiculous low rate like most waiters are here in the US and it’s built into the tab
it’s cold in December…not regular cold but freezing cold (especially for someone born and raised in the South). Layers are necessary
should go without saying, but wear comfortable shoes. With all the walking and sightseeing, the last thing you need to worry about is how uncomfortable your shoes are (chic sneakers are the way to go!)
most of the city shuts down on New Year’s day. Many restaurants will be open but all museums and shopping malls are closed
From mid November til end of December, there are dozens of Christmas markets all over the city. i checked out the one by the Louvre and enjoyed much needed hot chocolate while enjoying a view of the city via an observation wheel
the architecture here is amazing. take plenty of pictures to reminisce
you are in the heart of wine country, try a glass….or several
i had Paris on my bucket list for over 7 years. It was a city that gave me culture and food and an experience i will carry with me for decades.