The best New Year’s Eve events across France

In France for the new year but not made any plans? The Local brings you the best events across the country, from the typical fireworks displays to more unusual celebrations.

The best New Year's Eve events across France
The traditional end of the year sea bath in Brittany. Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP

A ski resort

It's been a slow start to the season for several French ski resorts, particularly those in the mid and lower-Alps, but ringing in the new year on the slopes is still worth considering.

In Tignes, there'll be fireworks and a rock-pop party on what has been described as “the highest dancefloor in Europe”, while Courcheval is hosting a dance party, with fireworks being launched at midnight.

And many other ski resorts including Val d’Isère, Val Thorens and La Plagne also have lots in store to mark the end of the year.

A midnight grape harvest, Viella, south-western France

Tucked away in the Midi-Pyrénées region, the town of Viella celebrates the beginning of the New Year a little differently, with a festival called Les Vendanges du Pacherenc de la St-Sylvestre.

After an evening mass and torchlight procession, you can take part in the late night grape harvest, which has been a tradition in the town for several years. 

Cannes Dance Fire, Cannes

There will be plenty of fireworks shows taking place all over France, but one of the most exciting displays will be in Cannes on the French Riviera. The pyrotechnical show, Cannes Dance Fire, is famous across the country, and an added bonus is that in the south of France, you won't freeze while watching the outdoor display. 

Réveillon dinner, across France

Don’t worry if you haven’t got an invitation to a big Réveillon dinner – you'll still have the opportunity to indulge in the traditional mix of tasty treats including oysters, smoked salmon or foie gras.

Most restaurants serve up special menus on New Year’s Eve. Make sure to take a look around so you can find the best offer, and book early to secure a spot.

Want more info on classic French winter dishes? Click here

The top ten heartiest French winter dishes

Swim in the sea, Brittany

For a memorable celebration, join the brave men and women of Plérin in Brittany when they jump into the freezing cold sea on the last day of the year for what is known as 'Bain Saint Silvestre' (New Year's bath). The event takes place at 10:30 at the Grand Plage.

There will be music, food, and more importantly, hot drinks on offer to help you regain your strength and bring up your body temperature after the chilly dip.

New Year Concert, Lyon

Lyon's traditional New Year’s concert takes place again this year at the Opéra de Lyon, with performances of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehár and Jacques Offenbach from the opera's orchestra and soloists.

The concert is followed by a dinner composed of typical French New Year’s Eve treats like oysters, foie gras and, of course, champagne.  

Alternatively, head to Lyon's amphitheatre for a night of Russian-themed songs, ballet and other dancing.

Murder Mystery, Monteneuf, Brittany

Sherlock Holmes fans and wannabe detectives will definitely enjoy the concept behind a Soirée Cluedo. A troupe of actors will introduce the story to you, leaving you with the mission of unmasking the murderer before dawn.

The night might be a bit pricey (169€ per person) but it will give you access to over 800 board games till 5am and a gastronomic dinner. 


Paris regularly ranks as one of the best cities in the world to spend New Year’s Eve in, and with good reason. 

Click here to find out where the best celebrations and parties will be taking place across the city.

Low-key Paris New Year party gets the go-ahead

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