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Celebrating Bastille Day in Paris

Marking the anniversary of the storming of Bastille Prison and what is renowned to be the start of the French Revolution, Bastille Day is a very big deal in France. You'll soon discover this by seeing for yourself how they celebrate the occasion and what better place to do so than in Paris?

Year round, Paris is a beautiful city full of stunning architecture emitting culture and history at every turn. The city carries with it proud traditions that portray it's history and heritage and this is reflected in it's Bastille Day celebrations. 

As you would expect, there is a Bastille Day parade which serves as the real highpoint of the day's celebrations. The spectacle highlights regiments of the French military and will feature the President Francois Hollande. Head to the Avenue de Friedland (near the Arc de Triomphe) to experience it for yourself and see an impressive flyover kick off the foot-parade followed by motorized regiments of the military. 

louvre

Bastille Day also sees an array of events taking place city-wide that celebrate the joys of a free and democratic France. Most notable of which is the Louvre's free day, in which entry is (rather predictably) free. You'll want to get there early though, as it is likely to be incredibly busy with the standard 15 euro entrance free being waived. 

Since 1990, thousands have gathered in Paris and it's surrounding towns to behold the Paris quartier d'ete festival in which an assortment of different public places including gardens, monuments and theatres play host to local groups and street theatre companies putting on some delightful performances. These shows include dance, theatre and music, most of which being either free or at severely reduced rates. 

firemans ball

One of the most rewarding and romantic Bastille Day experiences can be found when the fire stations throw open their doors to the public to put on firemen's balls for the public. With staff, Parisiens and tourists alike all in attendance, these balls are a truly special way to dance the night away quite literally as they run as late as 4am. Again, most of these are free, though donations are encouraged with proceeds going towards improving the working conditions of the firemen. 

fireworks

Finally, in truly spectacular style, there are the traditional and spectacular 14th of July fireworks at Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Head to the Champs de Mars and Trocadero to get the best view of the fireworks as they illuminate the night sky, making for a spectacular backdrop behind a true symbol of France. For a truly unforgettable experience, book a dinner cruise for the evening to catch a unique view of the show in style. The show kicks off around 11pm, so get there early for the best spots, though it does last about half an hour so not to worry if you arrive fashionably late after the fireman's ball...

Vive la France!
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