14 July, the Storming of the Bastille

On 14 July, the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille: a day of military parades, fireworks, events and free concerts throughout the city.
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On 14 July, the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille, which took place in 1789 and is considered the first real step by Parisians towards liberation from the oppression of the Old Regime.

As the French national holiday, the whole country comes to a halt and all work activities are interrupted: it is a day that includes many festivities.

The celebrations in Paris

The military parade

The heart of the national holiday is undoubtedly the great military parade that parades along the Champs-Élysées in the presence of the President of the Republic and all the constituted corps.

The route winds its way from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde and is followed by thousands of people who crowd along the avenue to see the armies and large motorised vehicles up close as arrows of the French tricolour fly through the sky.

Finding a good vantage point is often difficult and you are advised to set up well in advance.

The fireworks

This is perhaps the moment everyone waits for with the most trepidation.

Above the Eiffel Tower, the magnificent fireworks display that changes theme every year is lit. The spectacle is truly breathtaking, but needless to say, the entire surrounding area is taken by storm by locals and tourists alike – finding a quiet corner to admire the fireworks is a difficult task.

The Firemen’s Ball

14 July is known the world over for the fires and the parade but few people know about this exquisitely Parisian custom, the firemen’s ball.

Fire stations, which are local heroes, open to the public and organise small or medium-sized open-air parties where people dance, eat and have fun together.

They are somewhere between a dance hall, a village festival and a local feast: there are stands, small live concerts, dancing and communal dinners.

An experience not to be missed to experience 14 July like a real Parisian!

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days
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