The best places to see the fireworks in Paris on Bastille Day

The Best Places To See The Fireworks In Paris On Bastille Day

In exactly one week France is celebrating their national day, La FΓͺte Nationale, more commonly known as Bastille Day. Commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution, it is always celebrated on July 14 throughout the whole country, culminating with an impressive show with music and fireworks in Paris. A lot of travelers come to Paris around this date and I was one of them last year. While planning the trip, I kept asking myself what are the best places to see the fireworks in Paris on Bastille Day. Because I wouldn’t like my research to go to waste, so let me show you what I found out.

Anywhere you can see the top of the Eiffel Tower

Although the title says I’ll talk about the best places, I’m starting with the worst choice because some people may think it’s a good idea. The fireworks are usually directed towards the middle of the Eiffel Tower so if you booked an apartment with a view and you only see the top of the tower, you’d better turn on the tv.

Viewpoint rating: 0 out of 5 Eiffel Towers

Montmartre

Sure, Montmartre offers some great views over Paris and even if you do find a good spot, you’ll be far away from all the fun so all the fireworks will be tiny. Not to mention you won’t hear anything. My suggestion: explore Montmartre on another day and go somewhere else for the fireworks.

Viewpoint rating: 1 out of 5 Eiffel Towers

Montparnasse Tower

The imposing Montparnasse Tower in Paris

This would be the perfect place to see the fireworks but it has two major flaws. The viewing platform closes before the fireworks start. However, you could book a table at the restaurant, enjoy a nice dinner with an amazing view. But you won’t be the only one with this idea and odds are you’ll need a reservation weeks, if not months, before and a very generous wallet.

Viewpoint rating: 2 out of 5 Eiffel Towers

Boulevard Pasteur

While desperately searching for the best spot to see the fireworks in Paris on Bastille Day, I found an article mentioning a hidden secret of the city: the Pasteur boulevard. Basically, it’s an uphill street with a good view of the Eiffel Tower, between Place de Catalogne and the Pasteur metro station. It won’t be deserted, but there will be less people than in some other places. You only need to worry about being stuck behind a taller person. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been there though, so I don’t know what the view is like, that’s why it gets the 3 out of 5 rating.

Viewpoint rating: 3 out of 5 Eiffel Towers

Pont de l’Alma

The best places to see the fireworks in Paris on Bastille Day
Wouldn’t this have been the most perfect place? (Screen capture from Google Street View)

After months of analyzing this bridge and the boulevards it connects, I have decided it was the best spot to see the fireworks. Not too crowded and with a great view. Due to some metro issues, I have arrived too late and the bridge was already full. Lesson learned: arrive early and enjoy the show! It would have been even better if I could have walked a bit from the bridge, on the banks of Seine, on Voie Georges Pompidou. Sadly, the whole street was closed and my perfect spot was gone. You can read all about my experience on Bastille Day to have an idea what to expect.

Viewpoint rating: 4 out of 5 Eiffel Towers

Champs de Mars

The best places to see the fireworks in Paris on Bastille Day
View of the Eiffel Tower from Champs de Mars

Probably the most crowded place in Europe on July 14, but it is all worth it. The show is designed specifically to be watched from Champs de Mars and that’s why people come to secure a spot from as early as 10 am. With sunscreen, food and wine, you’ll be up for a very long picnic but you’ll be rewarded with the best fireworks you’ve ever seen.

Viewpoint rating: 5 out of 5 Eiffel Towers

So there you have it, the best (and worst) places to see the fireworks in Paris on Bastille Day. Wherever you go, it’s going to be crowded and going back to the hotel will be a slow process, but the show will be worth it.

Have you ever been to the French capital on this day? Do you have any recommendations?

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  • Wow Vlad, this is a very unique post! Love the awesome approach, not the typical Parisian article (in the very best way~!) Congrats πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Thanks! Will def save for the future πŸ™‚

    http://atstarfish.blogspot.com

    • Thanks, I hope you’ll have a great time in Paris πŸ™‚

  • John Pilkington

    Great idea for a post, Vlad! Would you recommend Paris during Bastille or is the city a little bit crazy?

    • Thanks! The city didn’t seem much crazier than when I first visited in May, I was expecting a lot more people throughout the days. It was super crowded on the actual Bastille Day though because everyone wanted to see the fireworks.

  • Lucy Dodsworth

    Great tips. When I was in Paris for my Bastille Day 30th birthday we didn’t brave the crowds but stayed on the Pont des Arts – you could just about see the fireworks but there was room for everyone to sit on the bridge so it was quite chilled out. Next time I plan to stay in a fancy apartment with a prime firework view though (I wish!).

    • That would be lovely, fingers crossed we can both book an apartment like that! πŸ˜‰

  • 10am on Champ de Mars?!?! to secure a post? Oh my! I’ve visited Paris many times, but never on the 14th of July! How about Trocadero, which is opposite the Eiffel Tower? (though it’s going to be super crowded too)

    • Trocadero is super crowded as well too and last year that metro station was closed, I don’t know how or if it was possible to go there.

  • Ohhh I almost would spend this day in Paris!! I came back on Tuesday, and I got to see the preparations for the Bastille day! I remembered your post from last year when you were there πŸ˜€ These are great recommendations, and I’m sure a lot of research too!!

    • I loved how Champs Elysees looked with all the flags, wasn’t it lovely? πŸ˜€

      • Yesss!! I love that avenue… did you know that during Christmas they make a Christmas Market there? It’s located when you go in the direction of the Place de la Concorde… it’s sooo cool and beautiful with all the lights πŸ˜€

  • Fireworks and Paris? How much better than this can it get? You have a good eye for the fireworks, Vlad. I love your photos!

    • Thank you, Anda! πŸ™‚

  • Ruth Rieckehoff

    I think one of the greatest experiences of traveling is visiting a country during a National Holiday. I am sure the fireworks in Paris are great. What others things are done to celebrate Bastille Day? Are the Champ de Mars located below the Eiffel Tower?

    • Yes, Champs de Mars is right in front of the Eiffel Tower, making it the perfect place to watch the fireworks. There is also a military parade and the day before there’s the traditional Fireman’s ball in the fire stations πŸ˜€

  • That would be one looooooong picnic while you wait from 10am! But I’m sure with some good French cheese and a bottle (or two) of French wine time would pass quickly! Wait…can you drink wine on the streets in Paris?

    • Yes you can. Thus, that long picnic doesn’t sound THAT bad πŸ˜‰

  • I just returned from Paris, two weeks ago. Hopefully, next year we can time it correctly so that we are their during Bastille Day. Love all your pictures!

    • Thank you, I hope you had a great time in Paris!

  • contented traveller

    We were in Paris last month and love it. Could imagine how exciting it would be on Bastille Day

    • It truly is an unforgettable day! πŸ™‚

  • I’ve been to Paris, but not on this day. Normally we try to avoid the crodws πŸ˜‰

    • To my surprise it wasn’t as crowded as I was expecting, only on the night with the fireworks

  • I was in Paris during La FΓͺte Nationale when I was 17! It was my first trip abroad alone. I was stunned :))))

    • Paris was also my first trip abroad, I had an amazing time! πŸ˜€

  • I went to Paris in May but didn’t see any fireworks. I can only imagine how stunning fireworks would be against that beautiful skyline!

    • I went in May the first time I visited too, it was lovely although cloudy and rainy, haha.