Issues to Do on Bastille Day in Paris, France (2023 Information & Ideas)

UPDATE FOR 2021: Bastille Day celebrations will resume this yr and are set to accommodate 25,000 viewers. The seated space won’t have formal spacing however social distancing and masks will probably be required. In the meantime, the standing space can have a 4-sqm spacing rule for each particular person. All in all, folks will probably be allowed to enter Champs-Elysées for the parade.

One of many European celebrations that it’s best to NOT miss out on can be the French Nationwide Day: ‘Bastille Day‘ in France!

Referred to as in lots of names: La Fête Nationale (The Nationwide Celebration), La Fête de la Bastille (Bastille Celebration), or Le Quatorze Juillet (the fourteenth of July), this wonderful affair is widely known yearly on the 14th of July. With French folks everywhere in the world celebrating this present day, naturally, it’s a HUGE celebration — extra so in Paris as they maintain festive occasions for all tastes and ages from the early hours of the morning until the wee hours of the evening.

That’s why this yr, I used to be extremely completely satisfied after I was invited to the ‘Metropolis of Love‘ to hitch the fête!

Come and take a look at this record of the prime issues to do in Paris which options the very best actions and excursions to do out and in of town!

About Bastille Day

  • Bastille Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille (a fortress and jail for individuals who opposed France’s kings) on July 14, 1789, thereby marking the French Revolution.
  • Bastille Day solely grew to become a nationwide vacation in 1880 and the French proceed to have a good time it right this moment as a approach of recognizing the importance of this occasion which ushered the finish of the royal monarchy and the start of its fashionable republic.
  • It is just on Paris’ Bastille Day that you just get to witness the oldest and largest common army parade in Europe! It occurs on the morning of July 14 on the Champs-Élysées.

So how was it for me? Effectively, I definitely had a swell time spending Bastille Day in Paris — it was memorable and I extremely counsel that you just make it a degree to attend this too!

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Issues to Do on Bastille Day

» 9AM: Witness the Army Parade (Défilé Militaire) at Champs-Élysées

As I’ve already talked about above, that is Europe’s oldest and largest common army parade; due to this fact, it’s fairly a sight to see!

All site visitors will normally be closed beginning at 7AM in Champs-Elysées and its surrounding streets, and it’s really round 10AM that this system begins from the Arc de Triomphe — nevertheless, I’ve talked about 9AM as a result of it’s at all times greatest to return early. Given the hype that surrounds this army parade, it may well get very crowded!

So throughout this parade, trumpets would usually first sign the arrival of the President of the French Republic, the Air Pressure will begin cruising low within the sky both doing stunts or spreading coloured smoke (after all within the colours of the French flag and it usually occurs round 10:45AM), after which the elite models of the French military will begin to parade down the picturesque avenue right down to Place de la Concorde on foot, on bikes, on horses, on tanks, on jeeps, and so on.

Not too long ago, it has even change into a customized for France to ask models from its shut allies to take part within the parade. For this yr, they’ve invited troops from Australia and New Zealand.


  • There will probably be a HUGE crowd. Tons of individuals will line up on either side of the avenue of Champs-Elysées and safety may also be fairly tight! Given this reality, it’s advisable that you just come early; or for those who can’t, convey a stool to face on (I’ve seen some folks doing this).
  • It’s greatest to keep away from standing beneath an enormous tree as a result of you’ll be able to miss seeing the aerial present throughout the parade. Among the finest spots to be in can be under George V avenue.
  • Another choice is to return round 8AM or earlier to order a seat in one of many open cafés or eating places in Champs-Elysées which can be on an higher stage of a constructing.
    • You too can e book an AirBnB or Paris lodge that has the required vantage level to look over the avenue (simply be certain that there aren’t any bushes in the best way of your view!)
  • A few of the metro stations close to Champs-Elysées will probably be closed from 8AM till 12PM. They’re not at all times the identical yearly, however more often than not it’s the stations of Concorde, George V, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Champs Elysees Clemenceau, and Tuileries that will probably be closed. That being mentioned, do be certain that to verify earlier than you go!
    • Earlier than and after the present, I took the Saint-Philippe du Roule metro cease and it was only a 5-minute stroll to get to the avenue space.
    • To verify which metro stations will probably be closed, go right here.
  • After the Bastille Day parade, you’ll be able to stroll on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées till 6PM because it transforms right into a pedestrian-only street in the interim so go mad snapping footage away on this spot!

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» Remainder of the Day: See Paris’ Sights or Watch a FREE Film Open air

Although it’s a nationwide vacation, a variety of Paris’ eating places, museums, and sights keep open — a few of them may even be entered for FREE. For that cause, it’s best to make use of this time to go to the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame de Paris, the Musée d’Orsay, the Chateâu de Versailles and a lot extra!

For concepts, go learn my information right here:

» READ: Prime 10 FREE Issues to Do in Paris

If nevertheless, you simply wish to chill with mates, you’ll be able to attend a FREE Open Air Cinema within the inexperienced lawns of Parc de la Villette that’s positioned within the nineteenth district within the northeastern a part of Paris. It runs from July to August as a part of its annual Open Air Movie Pageant — so it’s among the finest issues to do on Bastille Day.

You’ll be able to at all times lease chairs and blankets on web site if in case you didn’t get the prospect to convey one. However like I mentioned, it’s open for all! If you wish to entry the garden on different dates, you want to register on the La Villette web site. (Most movies, nevertheless, are in French however there are additionally international movies being performed however with French subtitles.)

For more information, you’ll be able to verify by right here.

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» 9PM: Catch the Stay Live performance and Fireworks Present at Champ de Mars

One more spotlight of this present day that’s nice to do with mates as you convey alongside a picnic blanket, some meals, and bottles of wine!

So before everything, the reside classical live performance will begin at 9:15PM on the foot of the Eiffel Tower that includes the Orchestre Nationwide de France and the Choir of Radio France — this could change within the coming years, however up to now they’ve been constantly doing it. They may carry out in style present tunes and soundtracks, and by the tip of the evening (throughout the fireworks present) they are going to play the French nationwide music: Le Marseillaise.

The Fireworks Present will begin at precisely 11PM and the dazzling lights will set off from the Eiffel Tower and the gardens of Trocadéro for about 35 minutes.


  • As per traditional, Parisians and guests alike will probably be flocking to this, so if you wish to have the very best view, reserve your picnic spot on Champ de Mars at round 5PM. (Some folks even begin marking their territory on the early hours of the morning!)
    • Relaxation assured, there are different spots in Paris which can be good for watching the fireworks (akin to that on a Seine river cruise). I didn’t handle to get a spot in Champ de Mars so I ended up within the bridge of Pont de l’Alma which nonetheless had nice views of all of it (as you’ll be able to see in my video and within the photograph above)! For the opposite greatest locations to view the fireworks show, you’ll be able to learn my put up under…

» READ: The Finest Spots to Watch Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris, France

  • Bear in mind that there are only a few public bathrooms and they’re going to find yourself being crowded too; so I counsel that you just put together some money beforehand for purchasing low-cost drinks in close by cafés or bars with a purpose to use their restroom.
  • Very similar to the Bastille Day Army Parade, metro stations inside the neighborhood will probably be closed earlier than and/or after the present.
    • Even when there are close by metro stations open after the Fireworks Present, they are going to be filled with folks so I counsel that you just put on comfy sneakers for strolling because you would possibly have to stroll a bit additional out from the Champs de Mars space to get to a metro station that’s open and fewer crowded.
    • After the present, I needed to stroll a bit to achieve the Iéna metro station (because it was the closest connection to my lodge positioned within the Bastille neighborhood). As soon as I used to be there, I needed to anticipate 10 minutes nonetheless till the gang thinned a bit extra.
    • To verify which metro stations will probably be closed, go right here.
    • Should you assume you may get a taxi or Uber — don’t. The encompassing space will probably be in a jam so that you’re actually higher off strolling.

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» Late Night time: Attend a Fireman’s Ball (Les Bals des Pompiers) 

One good strategy to keep away from the busy metro stations after the Fireworks Present: make a detour and attend a close-by Fireman’s Ball!

Because the title goes, this celebration takes place in fireplace stations (casernes) round Paris’ 20 arrondissements — so sure, you’ll be able to celebration with (sizzling) firemen and French people! *wink*

Whereas there are many decisions to go for Firemen’s Balls, it’s mentioned that the very best events are performed on the eve of Bastille Day (July 13). You’ll be able to see on this hyperlink a listing of the collaborating fireplace stations.

These aren’t just for leisure however for charity too since there’s at all times a small entrance price to be paid for and naturally, snacks and drinks to purchase. Should you’re up for it, the firemen may also be promoting raffle tickets and once more, all the proceeds will probably be given to charities or for the development of their very own services.

Should you keep in these locations up till late evening, most of them will rework right into a dance membership full of youthful folks, full with a DJ.


  • These all-night soirees begin at round 9PM till the early hours of the morning (however most would wind down round midnight)
  • These events don’t solely occur on the 14th of July but additionally on the thirteenth; however take word that metro stations are open till 2:15AM solely throughout nowadays.
  • If you need an entire record of Fireman’s Ball events going round in Paris, verify by this hyperlink.

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» Prime Paris Excursions «

Come and take a look at my record of the ‘Finest Resorts in Paris’ which options the highest really helpful decisions for affordable to luxurious lodging decisions.

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The month of July is really a time whereby the entire of France comes alive, and even for those who’re not a neighborhood, you’re at all times welcome to have a good time Bastille Day with the French folks!

If you wish to be on the heart of all of it, then for positive a visit to Paris on July 14 is a should. With tons of occasions and actions to select from, it’s now my hope that you just get probably the most out of this present day with the assistance of this information. Bonne Fête Nationale!

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