Skip to main content.
Guides

A Bastille Day in Paris travel guide – military pomp, popping fireworks and dancing firemen

Find a place to stay

Clink champagne glasses on a Bastille Day holiday as fireworks erupt over Paris’ Eiffel Tower. A military parade and flypast signal the start of the celebrations. Throughout the capital, fire stations are thrown open for partygoers to dance till they drop. Bastille Day hotels get snapped up quickly so book early to celebrate Paris’ finest hour.

Dance the night away

On the night of 13th July Paris becomes one big dance floor. Waltzing couples spin around the Place de la Bastille square. For something livelier, dance with Paris’ pompiers firefighters at Bastille Day fire station balls.

Patriotic parade

Leave your Paris hotels early on the 14th for the spectacular patriotic sight of red, white and blue flags lining Paris’ Champs-Elysées boulevard. France’s top military brass and troops march from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde. The president leads the parade with Paris’ fire brigade bringing up the rear.

Evening entertainment

After dark on the 14th thousands come together at the Champ-de-Mars park below the Eiffel Tower to watch fireworks bursting from Paris’ most famous sight. Most bars and clubs throw their own party for Bastille Day. Hotels in the Trocadero region, over the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower, are the best option at the end of a late night.

A revolutionary rebellion

Bastille Day is a public holiday all over France and is the country’s biggest party. Known as the Fête du 14 Juillet in French, it commemorates the 14th July 1789 when demonstrators stormed Paris’ Bastille prison. The attack signalled the start of the French Revolution.

Practical information

When: From 10 a.m. 14th July.

Cost: P flypast ebridge from the Notre Dame cathedral to enjoy the quiet streets, smare Centrearade and fireworks free, some balls and parties charge.

Transport: The Concorde, George V, Charles de Gaulle- Étoile and Champs-Élysées- Clemenceau Metro stations are closed during the Bastille Day parade..er the festive period the following Metro stations are closed: Concorde, George V, Charles Etoile and Clement