Planning a trip to France in July? If so, you’ll definitely want to learn how to say “Happy Bastille Day” in French so that you can sound like a Parisian. Numerous phrases such as “la fete nationale” and “le quatorze julliet” are used by the locals to describe this premier holiday.
Bastille Day is one of France’s national holidays, commemorating key events in the French Revolution. Celebrations take place throughout the country and several cities (Paris, Tours, and Saumur) are noted for their impressive parades and fireworks displays.
All of the festivities draw large crowds, so it’s important to make arrangements with your trusted tour company well in advance. In order to navigate this holiday with ease, remember:
● Traffic surrounding the cities on the holiday will be snarled. If you’re driving in for the day, remember to anticipate the congestion and allow plenty of time in your schedule for travel.
● Parking will be at a premium. Lots of other families and tourists will also be headed out to enjoy the activities, making parking spaces sparse. Investigate where you can park ahead of time in order to save yourself a headache on Bastille Day.
● Public transit might be a bit unreliable. With some areas being blocked by the parade route or other festivities, it’s a good idea to verify your route prior to setting out for the day.
● Wear comfortable shoes. Regardless of whether you park, use public transit, or walk, the hike to your final destination will likely be a long one.
● Enjoy the celebration. While the hassles might seem daunting, it’ll be worth the effort. Surprise a local by saying, “Happy Bastille Day” in French or joining in an impromptu performance of the national anthem. Many locals plan a picnic or dine on the delicious local fare while spending a leisurely day with family and friends. As the sun goes down, gather with the crowd to experience the wonderful fireworks displays that mark the historical significance of this premier holiday.
Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!
Are you ready to join in the La Bastille Paris celebration? Here are nine reasons to love this French holiday.
1. The stunning military parade. The route of this Paris parade leads down the Champs-Elysées from l’Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. You’ll be able to see military vehicles, troops, and marching bands. Keep an eye on the skies above – there will be numerous fly-overs in addition to the land show.
2. Delicious French food. Pack a picnic and scope your spot for the evening fireworks. Or, make a reservation at a café with a beautiful view of the city. Either way, enjoy wine, French cheeses, baguettes, croissants, and other delightful regional cuisine.
3. A time for history. La Bastille Paris marks an important turning point in the French Revolution. Very similar to Independence Day in the United States, this holiday celebrates an important shift in power for the rulers of France.
4. Family-friendly. While there are plenty of events happening during La Bastille Paris, most celebrate this holiday as a family – picnicking in a park, enjoying a leisurely afternoon, and watching fireworks together in the evening.
5. Fantastic fireworks. Late in the evening, a fabulous fireworks show happens right in front of the Eiffel Tower. Find a spot in the Champ de Mars or along one of the bridges of the Sienne River near the Eiffel Tower to be up close to this impressive display.
6. Spontaneous singing. Expect to hear the national anthem, La Marseillaise, throughout the evening. Join into the revelry by singing along.
7. Street dances/fire station balls. The night before La Bastille Paris, enjoy live bands and dancing in the streets as the firemen host balls throughout the city.
8. Paper lamps. A souvenir option for the evening that serves as reminder that the only light available for the citizens of the 18th century were torches and candles.
9. Free museum entry. Many museums open their doors free of charge on La Bastille Paris. Make the most of over 200 choices and take the whole family.
Bastille Day in France is filled with festivities, parades, and fireworks. Make the most of your Paris celebration with these seven holiday secrets.
1. Plan in advance. Find the information on activities that interest you most by doing some online research or consulting with our expert Bastille Day Travel team to plan the perfect day. You’ll be better prepared for navigating the city and have a better expectation how much your adventures will cost. (Keep in mind rates for venues near the festivities will be considerably higher than normal.)
2. Make reservations. If you want to get into a particular restaurant with a view or cruise along the Seine during the fireworks, make sure to call Bastille Day Tours well in advance. Your favorite spots are guaranteed to be busy during Bastille Day in France.
3. Consider alternatives to joining the crowd. If the thought of crowded mass transit and public parks doesn’t interest you, look into alternate ways to enjoy the festivities of Bastille Day in France. Options include: spending a night in a city hotel with a balcony, making reservations for the rooftop of a nearby museum, or taking a river cruise along the Seine. These are exactly the types of things that we can help with, so contact our Paris travel consultants to find the best solution for you.
4. Get to tourist attractions early. The city will fill with people quickly, so make sure to arrive early whether you’re visiting one of the free museums, watching fireworks in Champ de Mars or lining the parade route along the Champs-Elysees. Enjoy the wait at your prime viewing location by bringing along a picnic and a good book.
5. Be prepared to walk. Wear comfortable shoes and take in the sights of Bastille Day in France via foot. Taxis are scarce and the metro will be packed. Plus, the Boulevard along the Seine will be a pedestrian only route.
6. Allow yourself plenty of time. Various metro stops are closed on Bastille Day in France. If you’re driving, traffic will be heavy, making it more complicated than normal to get into the city. Add extra time to your travel plans to avoid the frustration of missing your plans.
Stay safe. While Paris is considered to be relatively safe for tourists, make sure to take reasonable precautions. Considering talking to your bank ahead of time to find out local spots to exchange money without out-of-network fees. This can help reduce the need to carry large amounts of cash. Also, keep an eye on your personal possessions. Never leave items unattended and keep valuables close to avoid pickpockets.