Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.
When? Friday July 14, 2017 (including the evening before and into the small hours)
What? Street parties, parades and fireworks celebreate the most iconic date of the French Revolution.
Where? Place de la Bastille, the Champs Elysées, Champ de Mars and city fire stations.
France’s famous summer national holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. This year, the festival falls on Friday July 14, 2015. The evening before the holiday, Parisians dance at Place de la Bastille. At 10am on the 14th, crowds line up along the Champs-Elysées as the President reviews a full military parade. By night, the Champ de Mars fills for the firework display.
- The fireworks normally start when it's dark enough (around 11pm), and last 35 minutes. This year's theme is 'Paris and the Olymipc Games'.
- Be prepared for leaving afterwards. Around the Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower, metro stations start to close from the early evening. Here are some details on closures:
Dupleix, Passy, and Ecole Militaire - closed from 7pm.
Iéna and Trocadéro - closed from 9pm.
La Motte-Piquet-Grenelle - closed from 9pm.
Generally, things get very crowded so it's best to walk (you won't be alone) to the next nearest metro station that is open. All Vélib stations around Champ de Mars will also be closed.
If you want to pick a prime spot to enjoy the city-wide Bastille Day fireworks displays, check out our list of recommendations below – but be sure to book well in advance. As if you needed persuading but here are the highlights from last year, so you get a flavour:
Bal des Pompiers
An unmissable Bastille Day tradition, the Bal des Pompiers (Fireman’s Ball) is the time to crack out your best summery dresses and red lipstick. Accordion music, tombola and men in uniform await on the nights of July 13 and 14 – more than a little kitsch, perhaps, but guaranteed good fun. Parties are held at fire stations throughout Paris from around 9pm until the small hours.