Champs Elysees with France flag
Be in the middle of the action by spending Bastille Day in Paris.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Vive la France!: 4 of the Best Places in France to Celebrate Bastille Day

A Cultural Experience

Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th in France, marking the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris which was an essential kick-off point for the French Revolution. It’s an incredibly important day in French culture — the equivalent of the Fourth of July in the USA or Canada Day.

This special day is celebrated with military parades, fireworks, firemen’s balls and lots of music and partying. Celebrations are held throughout the country — but where are the best Bastille Day celebrations in France? If you’re going to be in the country during this time, plan to be in one of the following locations on the 14th!

Champs Élysées, Paris

One of the best places in France to celebrate this national holiday is the famous tree-lined boulevard of Champs Élysées in central Paris. This 2 km street will be covered in blue, white and red decorations and is the route of a huge military parade.

The march leads from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde, with fighter jets soaring through the air in formation. After taking in the parade, you can head to the Champs de Mars, the area in front of the Eiffel Tower, where you can watch a spectacular 30 minute fireworks display.

The fireworks will be accompanied by a classical music concert by the National Orchestra of France, as well as the Radio France Choir. If you want to get a patch of grass with a good view, be sure to show up early!

Fireworks over river and bridgeFoodies will want to head to Lyon on Bastille Day to indulge in the many food markets and events.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lyon

Besides parades and fireworks, what do they do to celebrate Bastille Day? Eat!

Known as the foodie capital of France, Lyon is another one of the best places to be in France during Bastille Day. This lovely city is located between Paris and the Mediterranean and features gorgeous Renaissance architecture and many bustling food markets. This is really the place to head if you love food — it has more restaurants per square mile than any other European city except Paris.

There will be plenty of food events and gourmet get-togethers on Bastille Day. If you want the best view of the stunning fireworks display the city hosts, head to the top of Fourvière Hill.

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Green fireworks over medieval walls in CarcassonneWatching fireworks against the backdrop of a historic city is a sight to behold.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Carcassonne

Another great place to head during Bastille Day is the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. The Festival de la Cite takes place throughout the month of July and features a wide range of musical and theatrical performances.

The July 14th fireworks display here is considered to be the best in the entire country. The 25 minute show against the backdrop of the historic city is a sight to behold, with huge pyrotechnics taking place over the 600 metre high walls. It’s hard not to fall in love with this beautiful town, as it feels like a medieval storybook.

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