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5 Jul

How to best enjoy the festivities of July 14 in Paris?

Each year, thousands of people come to the capital to celebrate July 14 in Paris. The Raspail Montparnasse hotel presents the three main activities of these festivities: The firefighters’ balls, the military parade, the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower … And the best places to admire it!

The firefighters’ ball to start the festivities

Ahh… July 14th, French national holiday, Bastille day, military parade on the Champs-Elysees, fireworks at the Iron Lady… And the firefighters!

Do you know where this tradition comes from? The story goes back to 1937, with the Montmartre fire station. After the parade, firefighters came back walking and then met with a small crowd wanting to visit their fire station. Exceptionally, the superior accepted to open the doors of the barracks so that the public could discover the place. The event was a great success, and spread throughout France! Demonstrations of gymnastics, fire starts, then refreshments, dance floors and Bengal fires … 82 years later, the traditional firefighters’ balls are still very famous and festive.

If the entrance is sometimes to pay for, many firestations still respect the tradition and place at the entrance a barrel to collect the donations of the party-goers. And to be able to enjoy it even longer, many barracks organize it on the evening of the 13th! Find here the dates of celebration.

The firefighters’ balls surely are strongly recommended to fully experience the 13th and 14th of July in Paris.

The military parade on the Champs-Élysées

Highly prized, the 14th July  parade on the Champs-Elysees attracts thousands of people every year. And it is better to be present early on the famous Parisian artery if you want to have a good spot.

Key moment of the July 14th festivities in Paris, the military procession is an opportunity for many French regiments to parade in front of the President of the Republic.

At 10:10 am, trumpets and bugles sound the arrival of the President of the Republic. Then, from 10:30 to 11:45 am, the drums sound chilly as the French army’s elite is walking in rhythm through Paris. For the public, the parade is an exceptional show, synchronized to the millisecond for everyone to marvel!

The fireworks of July 14 at the foot of the Eiffel Tower

Having attended the military parade in the morning, and perhaps enjoyed the free museums – including the Louvre – during the afternoon, you’ll have to approach the Champ de Mars to attend the highlight of the festivities of July 14 in Paris: the fireworks.

Embracing every year the most emblematic Parisian monument, the fireworks of the Eiffel Tower is simply grandiose. If you want to fully enjoy it, try to be in place very early, as indeed the crowd is gathering very quickly to attend the show!

From 9:15 pm, you can attend the lyrical concert given by the national Orchestra of France on the Champ-de-Mars (broadcast live on France 2 and France Inter). Then, from 11 pm, the mythical fireworks of July 14th begins!


Real pyrotechnic show, several options are available for you to contemplate it from a strategic place … Indeed, if the crowd of the Champ de Mars seems too much for you, here are several spots from where the sight on Paris and the Eiffel Tower is breathtaking:

  •  Le Ciel de Paris restaurant;
  • Montparnasse Tower Observatory
  • The roof of the Grande Arche
  • The forecourt of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre
  • A cruise on the Seine, to be in first row!


We wish you all a great celebration, and a happy Bastille day in Paris!