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The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris

July 02, 2022
2022-07-02
July is a special month for France. Not only is it the peak of summer, making the country one of the best summer destinations out there, but it's also the month of Bastille Day. Celebrated every July 14th, it's regarded as the national day of France. It's one of, if not the most important holiday in France. And at the center of it all is, of course, Paris! It's no secret that the French know how to have a good time so you can expect their capital city to turn into quite the party during Bastille Day. From partying at the Firemen’s Balls to visiting Versailles, here are the best ways to celebrate Bastille Day in Paris!

The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris


Party at The Firemen's Balls

Why start this list with the parties? Simple! Because the Firemen's Balls start a day early! These annual street parties are held in the fire stations of every neighborhood in Paris and begin on the eve of July 13, around 9:00 (21:00) pm, and end at around 4:00 am in the morning the next day. Then on July 14, right after the famous fireworks displays, the party begins again at the same time! These are outdoor raves you won't want to miss! There's live music, plenty of refreshments, and dancing until your legs turn to jelly! Who wouldn't want to join in on the fun?
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Watch The Military Parade at The Arc de Triomphe

Arguably the highlight of Bastille Day in Paris is the military parade on the Champs Elysées, which starts from the iconic Arc de Triomphe. From 10:00 am onwards, you get to see the French armed forces march down the famous avenue, all while trumpets are blown and drums are beating. They even roll out the tanks for all of Paris to see! It's a glorious reminder of France's power and independence—the true essence of this holiday. Now, if you want to get a good seat to watch the parade, you'll want to head to the Champs Elysées as early as 8:00 am in the morning!
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Visit The Palaces of Versailles

For those who don't know, Bastille Day marks the historic occasion when the French citizens stormed the Bastille prison in 1787, turning the tide in history and eventually paving the way for the French Revolution. At the time, Louis XVI served as the King of France and lived in the glorious palaces of Versaille, which still stand today. And there's no better time to visit them than on this holiday. On a day that commemorates France's transformation into a republic, it's fascinating to see the well-reserved relics of its bygone era. These were the gilded symbols that pushed the French over the edge and sparked a revolution.
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Cool Off in The Paris Plages

Though Bastille Day is all about French patriotism, for many locals, it's also a great day to bond with family. As well as enjoy some free time during the country's hottest month of the year, no less! So what better way to spend the holiday than cooling off? If you feel like watching the military parade amidst a big crowd may be too hot for you, you can always sneak off to the Paris plages and enjoy the warm sunshine. And if you go to the one by Bassin de la Villette, you can swim in the man-made lake there!
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Go On a Picnic at The Park

Not up for going to the Paris plages? Then go on a picnic at the park instead! Truth be told, the parks in Paris may be the best place to spend Bastille Day. At least, if you want to relax and enjoy your free day. Every year, during this national holiday, many of the city's most famous attractions are completely filled up. Crowded to the brim, you'll easily feel suffocated. That's why going on a picnic in a park is a good idea. No matter how crowded it can get here, you'll still find a spot that's all your own. Also, it's a great way to enjoy French dishes and desserts on this national holiday!
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Eat Cake!

Let them eat cake!“ If there's one quote that truly represents what pushed the French citizens over the edge to spark the French Revolution, it's this one! Allegedly uttered by Marie Antoinette, the infamous queen of France at the time who was notorious for her frivolity, the line showed her complete disregard for the people's plight. And what better way to 'stick it to the man' (or in this case, woman), than to actually eat cake on Bastille Day? Now that France, particularly Paris, has become a place where more people can enjoy the finer things in life, enjoying a slice of cake ought to be at the top of your list, right?
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Enjoy a Dinner Cruise on The Seine River

Even when it's a national holiday, the cruises on the Seine River don't stop. In fact, going on one is a great way to end Bastille Day! Though it's a touristy thing to do, sure, it's also a great spot to watch the big fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower. Since the river is near the iconic landmark, you can enjoy this stunning show as you dine on fine French food on the cruise. If you want, you can even toast with champagne as the fireworks go off! Now that sounds like a great way to end the holiday!
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Watch The Fireworks at The Eiffel Tower

Speaking of the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, you really won't want to miss it! Even if you've already relocated to Paris and have lived here for a couple of years now, it never gets old! Whether you're French or not, seeing all those lights, colors, and sparkles, especially as the backdrop of what has become the symbol of France—the Eiffel Tower—will make you feel some sort of way. Paris wouldn't be what it is now if not for what happened on Bastille Day in 1789 and the historic revolution that followed.
The Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons

There's no better place to celebrate Bastille Day than in Paris, the capital city of France. On this special holiday, the entire city livens up unlike any other! From parties to parades and stunning fireworks to end the day, what more could you want?




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