It’s no surprise that the grandest of all celebrations takes place in the nation’s capital. From the extravagant displays to the more laidback activities, here’s what Paris has on offer for Bastille Day.
An institution of French celebration for Bastille Day is the bal des pompiers or the Firemen’s Ball. Fire stations across Paris open their doors to visitors for an all-night event. Entertainment includes food stalls, music and dancing, and even small fireworks displays.
Champs-Élysées Military Parade
Military parades take place all over France to mark the occasion but none are quite like the famous parade down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Paris comes alive with shades of blue, white, and red, flyovers, floats, and the booming sounds of La Marseillaise. Make sure you get there early to secure a spot with a good view of the festivities.
Eiffel Tower Fireworks
One of the most beautiful spots to celebrate Bastille Day is under the Eiffel Tower, where you can end the night watching the incredible fireworks display. The tower itself lights up in the French Tricolore while bold and beautiful colours dance across the night sky. The fireworks start at 11 pm but the celebrations kick off two hours earlier with a massive free concert at the Champ de Mars - the place where the first Bastille Day celebrations took place in 1790.
If you’re after some celebrations of the laid-back variety, there are plenty of options to choose from. People who prefer to steer clear of the crowds opt for a picnic with friends and family, basking in the sunshine and enjoying cheese, bread, pastries, and a glass or two of champagne.
For those of you more interested in the culture and arts scene, Bastille Day is the perfect day to visit the major museums and galleries of Paris. The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Chateau de Versailles - among others - offer free admission on July 14 every year.