Bastille Day

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale. The French National Day is the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a major event of the French Revolution.

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Basic information

One that has been reported as “the oldest and largest military parade in Europe” is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.

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If you are lucky enough to spend Bastille Day – known in France as La Fête Nationale (French National Day) or Le Quatorze Juillet (July 14th) – in Paris, you’ll get to experience the biggest summer celebration in the city.

Champ de Mars is also the site of free open air concerts through the early evening hours.  At 9:10pm, a special concert of classical music and opera featuring internationally acclaimed artists begins with musicians performing from the base of the Eiffel Tower and special lighting effects, and will also be aired live on France Inter and France 2 TV.

Fireworks start at 11pm, once the sky is finally almost dark, and the show lasts about 35 minutes.

The Fête de la Fédération on 14 July 1790 was a celebration of the unity of the French nation during the French Revolution. The aim of this celebration, one year after the Storming of the Bastille, was to symbolize peace. The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was located far outside of Paris at the time.

After the end of the official celebration, the day ended in a huge four-day popular feast, and people celebrated with fireworks, as well as fine wine and running nude through the streets in order to display their great freedom.

+ More info: WikipediaWikivoyage

Must to See & Do

Paris

City of Paris

Bordeaux city

City of Bordeaux

Nice

City of Nice

Louvre

Louvre Museum

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Also check out all informative articles about popular cities, attractions and festivals in France

Transport

sobus.travel — sells bus tickets for all the bus companies.

The Noctilien (Map of Noctilien) is a night bus service that operates in Paris and the Paris region from 12.30am to 5.30am. OuibusIsilinesFlixBusEurolinesMegabus >> (*Intercity buses in France)

Trains are a great way to get around in France. For regional trains, schedules can be found at ter.sncf.com. You can get from pretty much anywhere to anywhere else by train.

For long distances, use the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or High-speed train) on which reservations are obligatory. TGVThelloOuigo. + RailEurope • EurostarThalysizy (Paris-Brussels) • TGV Lyria (Switzerland) • DB (Germany) • RENFE (Barcelona) >> *Rail travel in France

Several weekends throughout the year in France are known as ‘Black Saturday’ (Samedi noir) because of the start or end of school holidays and the coinciding traffic jams on French roads caused by thousands of tourists travelling to and from their holiday destinations. When possible it is wise to avoid these days. For traffic reports, see the website of the French traffic service.

⇒ Driving in France (wikivoyage)

aeroport.fr – list of airports in France. / parisaeroport.fr – Paris airport information.

Brittany FerriesP&O FerriesDFDS Seaways

England ⇔ France:

  • P&O Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Dover to Calais.
  • DFDS Seaways – operate freight and passenger services from Dover to Dunkirk.
  • LD Lines – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Le Havre.
  • Brittany Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Caen, Cherbourg, andSt Malo, from Poole to Cherbourg and from Plymouth to Roscoff.
  • Condor Ferries – operate freight and passenger services from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, Poole to St Malo and Weymouth to St Malo.

Ireland ⇔ France:

  • Brittany Ferries – operate ferry services from Cork to Roscoff.
  • Celtic Link Ferries – operate ferry services from Rosslare to Cherbourg.
  • Irish Ferries – operate ferry services from Rosslare to Cherbourg and from Rosslare to Roscoff.

Video source: Paris je t’aime

Links to additional resources with useful information for planning your trip.