4 Exciting Things to do on Bastille Day in Paris!


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What to do in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day

Now that the European Football Championship has come to a close, Paris can finally get in gear to celebrate their national holiday – Bastille Day! Known to Parisians as simply the 14th of July – Quatorze Juillet – this year is going to be jam packed with all the best activities, including classic highlights like the military parade and fireworks show! You can always simply view the fireworks at a distance if you’re not fond of crowds – from a restaurant, river cruise or private balcony – but for those of you who want to be part of the action, check out some of the events and activities below:

Watch the Military Procession

What to do in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day

On the morning of July 14th, at 10:00am, the Champs Élysées will play host to a 2-hour long military procession in a display of national pride. Near the beginning of the event, the President himself will  make an appearance, followed by fighter jets in the sky, troops marching on-foot, helicopters and even horse-mounted troops! To the sound of trumpets and drums, they will march between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, so find a place anywhere along the Avenue des Champs Élysées to witness this solemn yet incredible event! Get there early for the best views.

Where: l’Avenue des Champs Elysées, Metro Franklin D. Roosevelt (lines 1 & 9)
When: July 14th from 10:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: Free

Enjoy Classical Music at the Eiffel Tower

What to do in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day

Concert de Paris de l’ONF – Photo : C. Abramowitz / RF

Later on in the day, the Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower prepares itself for a night full of breathtaking spectacle. First up, from 9:30 – 11:00pm, there will be a free classical concert to the theme of “Welcome to Paris.” A full orchestra and choir will perform great works from Bizet, Mendelssohn, Berlioz and Beethoven, leading up to the crowning event of the night, the fireworks show!

Where: Champs de Mars, in front of the Eiffel Tower – Metro Bir Hakeim (line 6) or Champs de Mars Tour Eiffel (RER C)
When: July 14th from 9:30pm – 11:00pm
Cost: Free

Marvel at the Fireworks Show

What to do in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day

Get ready for one of the most incredible fireworks shows in the world! With the Eiffel Tower as the main centerpiece, stand in awe as the sky is illuminated with sparkling color. We advise you to claim a spot on the grassy Champs de Mars well before the concert begins to get the best views, but the actual fireworks begin at 11:00pm. This year, the show will run for 35 minutes to the theme of “Paris Welcomes the World.”

It will be impossible to avoid crowds around the Eiffel Tower this evening, so don’t come expecting to find a quiet pocket all to yourself. Try to avoid using the metro immediately after the show – it’ll be much more peaceful (and safer) to walk back to your apartment, if you can, or take a taxi. If you’re one of our current guests staying in the 7th arrondissement, where many of our apartments are located, the Champs de Mars is within walking distance, but if you’re lucky enough to have an Eiffel Tower view from your apartment, you won’t even have to leave your home base to see the show!

Where: Champs de Mars, in front of the Eiffel Tower – Metro Bir Hakeim (line 6) or Champs de Mars Tour Eiffel (RER C)
When: July 14th from 11:00pm – 11:35pm
Cost: Free

Celebrate in Style on a Dinner Cruise

What to do in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day

If you really can’t handle large crowds, consider booking a Bastille Day Dinner Cruise on the Seine! There’s still some time to book a luxurious dining experience to celebrate the holiday in style. Guests will be able to escape the celebratory crowds that gather ashore, and have an unbeatable view of the Eiffel Tower fireworks show from the privacy of their own dinner table on the river. For more info contact our Travel Design Team at [email protected].

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Whether you decide to brave the crowds or have a quieter night indoors, you’ll feel the celebratory spirit vibrating all throughout the city. If you do nothing else, be sure to at least raise a glass of champagne in solidarity with the proud people of France!

(Image Credits: Images by Paris Perfect and Bateaux Parisiens, unless otherwise noted.)

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