Bastille day is celebrated with much pomp, splendour and gusto in Paris and the Paris Bastille Day fireworks are an institution – a major event to see at least once in your life. The famous fireworks show attracts hundreds of thousands of people, and for good reason.
Here are our tips for the best place to watch Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris:
14 July from 11:00 p.m. to 11:35 p.m – Free.
This year the theme is “War and Peace” in honour of the commemoration of the centenary of the Great War.
The evening will begin at 21.30 with a concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in the Champ de Mars. A celebration of classical music with 250 musicians and a choir on stage. The concert, under the direction of Daniele Gatti, music director of the Orchestre National de France, will end with a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise” endorsed by the public.
At 23.00, the fireworks show will take over: The fireworks will be shot from the Eiffel Tower – the first time since 2000. Twenty-four specialist firework technicians will officiate, assisted by 25 light and sound engineers. Hundreds and hundreds of spotlights will be used for an awesome fireworks display that will last around thirty-five minutes, watched by millions on TV.
Many people flock to the Eiffel Tower to see fireworks, if that’s where you want to be, you must get there by 20.30 at the latest to secure a good spot and earlier still if you want to be able to see the free classical music concert in the Champs de Mars.
Where to see the Bastille Day Fireworks in Paris
Under the Eiffel Tower and on the Champ-de-Mars are the most popular and crowded places.
To ensure that you get a front circle view of the Bastille Day fireworks without spending a euro, the best thing to do is to get early to one of the Parisian parks offering an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower. The Parc de Belleville (Metro: Couronnes, Pyrénées) offers a fabulous view over the entire city from the top of the hill. This option gets you away from the centre of Paris and the crowds and you are able to enjoy a panoramic view of the sky and the city. The Champ de Mars is the major gathering place to enjoy the fireworks display and the musical atmosphere that accompanies it all evening. The Trocadero is another favourite spot for spectators with the view from across the river as are all the areas between the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower. Montparnasse Tower and the area of Montmartre offer stunning views though no sound effects.
For a romantic and slightly pricey view you could book a dinner boat trip on the Seine and watch from the deck (all the major tour boat operators will have offers – see the Paris Info website below for details).
Note: The ticket office for the Eiffel Tower will close exceptionally at 12.30 on 14 July.
Transport: Metro , RER (trains) and walking are your best options as many roads around the Trocadero will be closed to traffic from 17.00 on 14 July.
Kids: The crowds will be big so make sure your children are with you at all times. Plan for lots of walking and waiting around for the fireworks to start; take snacks and drinks and something to distract them from getting bored.
Official Paris Tourism website: Parisinfo.com