The classic location for the Quatorze Juillet fireworks in Paris is the Champ de Mars next to the Eiffel Tower. But if you prefer not to share a park with 300,000 revellers, we can suggest more intimate venues that still provide a good view
On a Seine dinner cruise
Floating by the Eiffel Tower with a glass of champagne in your hand, watching the lights from a bateau has to be one of the most indulgent ways to enjoy the festivities.A Quatorze Juillet Special Dinner Cruise costs €104pp, including 2hr 45min cruise, dinner with champagne, music, dancing and a stop to watch the fireworks, which start at about 11pm. Book online at www.francetourisme.fr.
At the top of a tall building
Europe’s fastest lift takes you up to the 56th floor of the Tour Montparnasse for a panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower and almost an eye-level view of the fireworks. €14.50 (€9 for 7-15), www.tourmontparnasse56.com.
From a hotel room
For sheer luxury and a ringside seat, you can’t beat the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Avenue Montaigne, although the breathtaking view of the tower does come at a price. Two of the Eiffel Suites are decorated in art deco style, two in a classic French style. Rooms €1,144, tel: (Fr) 1 53 67 66 67, www.dorchestercollection.com/en/paris/hotel-plaza-athenee.
Staying at the Duquesne Eiffel Hotel in Avenue Duquesne, at the end of the Champ de Mars, is a great place to watch the fireworks in comfort. However, you’ll need a Superior room with views of the tower if you want to be able to lie in bed and enjoy the show. Doubles €237, tel: (Fr) 1 44 42 09 09, www.hotel-duquesne-eiffel-paris.com.
If it’s a warm night, you can stand on your balcony at the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower hotel and watch people enjoying a slightly more crowded view of the spectacle down below. Again, you need to ask for a Superior room overlooking the tower.
Doubles £270, www.pullmanhotels.com (book online).
At street level
From the Place de Breteuil in the 7th arrondissement, you can look down the tree-lined Avenue de Saxe to a perfectly framed Eiffel Tower. You can have a meal beforehand in the square and venture on to the pavement in time for the fireworks. Le Grand Bistro Breteuil, 3 Place de Breteuil, Menu Signature €44 including a bottle of wine, tel: (Fr) 1 45 67 07 27, www.legrandbistro.fr.
From the park
When all’s said and done, the Quatorze Juillet fireworks have been designed to be seen from the Champs de Mars so to get really close-up views, pick a spot nice and early, take a picnic and something to while away the time and just wait for the spectacle to begin. Wear comfortable shoes as walking back to your accommodation or at least as far as an uncrowded metro station, will probably be your only options.