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Where to celebrate Bastille Day in France

PUBLISHED: 16:14 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:58 12 July 2017

A spectacular firework display at the Eiffel Tower © Feliz Catana, iStockphoto

A spectacular firework display at the Eiffel Tower © Feliz Catana, iStockphoto


Are you going to be in France on 14 July? Here is our pick of the places to go to celebrate France’s most important national holiday, Bastille Day

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Military parade, Champs-Élysées, Paris

One of the best places to celebrate France’s national holiday is on the tree-lined Champs Élysées in central Paris. The two-kilometre-long thoroughfare is covered in blue, white and red decorations, and hosts a huge military parade. A march, led by the French president, runs from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde, while fighter jets fly past in formation. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the USA entering World War One, and it has been confirmed that US President Donald Trump will be in attendance.

Fireworks display, Eiffel Tower, Paris

The area in front of the Eiffel Tower known as the Champs de Mars is the setting for a spectacular 30-minute-long fireworks display every year on 14 July. Get down there to bag yourself a prime position for a dazzling spectacle of choreographed fireworks against the backdrop of the Parisian night sky.


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Firemen’s balls, across Paris

After a stunning firework show, what is better than dancing the night away with a group of fire fighters? Fire stations across the capital open their doors until the early hours for traditional firemen’s balls where young and old can enjoy a good old boogie.

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Fireworks display over Lake Annecy

This stunning alpine town nestled on the pristine lake of the same name offers visitors a Bastille Day to remember. The celebrations take place in the centre of town on Le Pâquier promenade, with evening concerts, picnics and the all-important fireworks display where the colours all reflect beautifully off the lake.


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Fireworks display, Lyon

France’s foodie capital holds everything from fire station balls to gourmet get-togethers, but the real highlight here is the fireworks display. The best place to watch the pyrotechnics show is from the top of Fourvière hill, a UNESCO World Heritage site just west of Lyon’s vieille ville.

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Fireworks display, Carcassonne

This medieval walled city in the south-west of France is the setting for the Festival de la Cité throughout July, with many different musical and theatrical performances held among the ramparts. But, on the 14 July, the city focuses its attention on an incredible fireworks display – which has been billed as one of the best in the whole country. The 25-minute show is set against the spectacular backdrop of the Cité, and culminates in some 1200 charges detonated over the 600-metre-high walls in just six seconds.


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Concert and fireworks display, Toulouse

The Pink City is the setting for a spectacular free concert on the 14 July with some of the biggest names in the business including David Guetta there to help music lovers get their groove on. And once everyone is all tuned out, they can end the evening in style by watching the impressive firework display.

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Parade and grand ball, Bordeaux

This wine-making city has plenty going on to celebrate Bastille Day. Highlights include the military parade which passes through the city centre to the tune of La Marseillaise and the Grand Ball, where you can dance until it hurts to the sweet sounds of jazz.

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