Fête Nationale: What’s on in Paris on Bastille Day 2015

Bastille Day Concert, Fireworks and the Firefighters’ Balls – Paris:

Fete Nationale, 14th July Follow Me on Pinterest

Happy Bastille Day

As the French prepare to celebrate Bastille Day on July 14th, the grand celebrations is a summer event not to be missed if you are in Paris.

Here is a taste of what’s in store for the grand Fête Nationale celebrations.

Military Parade

The traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées is the high point of the National Day ceremonies.

From 9:10 a.m.

  • The troops assemble at the Place Etoile for the military inspection.

From 10:00 a.m.

  • The Bastille Day military parade starts with the arrival of the President of France (Francois Hollande) and other military chiefs at Avenue de Friedland  on the Champs-Elysées.
  • Tribute paid to the President.
  • Opening fly-past
  • Parade of troops on foot from Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde, followed by mounted troops
  • Procession of troops in military vehicles
  • Departure of the President

Fireworks at the Trocadero – July 14

The Champ-de-Mars and the Trocadéro are favourite places to watch the spectacular firework display. This year’s fireworks display will have the theme “Paris accueille le monde” (Paris Welcomes the Word). Starting at about 23:00, it will last for about 35 minutes.

If you’re planning on attending the fireworks, do arrive early and avoid driving.  The Metro and RER are the best means of getting to the Trocadero as even the Vélib stations around the Champs de Mars will be inaccessible.  Note: Paris Metros are very busy at best of times and for the Bastille Day celebrations you can expect it to be packed.

The Orchestre national de France and the Choeur de Radio France will perform a big concert of operatic works at the foot of the Eiffel Tower starring the greatest international artists. This year’s theme ‘Paris Welcomes the World’ ties in with the fireworks display.  This free event in an amazing setting starts at 9.30pm.

Balls of Fire in Paris

The legendary annual fire brigade’s ball takes place at many of Paris’s fire stations.  All are welcome to join in as the firefighters party from about 20:00 – 04:00 am. Entry is generally free, but there’ll be a barrel going around for donations.  For the list of fire stations to head for and dates and times, see Parisinfo page.

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Please share your thoughts on this by posting a comment below.


  1. avatarEffie says

    Can sb please help us? We’ll be with our two kids (5 and 7), visiting Paris on the 14 (we’ll be staying at Val D’Europe), but we’ve NO idea which stations will be closed. Please give me advice on the following:

    1. We want to see the airplanes that form the French flag when the parade begins. Where should we get off while on the RER A line to see that? Will Etoile be closed? Should we get off at Chatelet and see them from the Louvre IF they’re visible there? Should we get off at La Defense and go to that Concorde Lafayette hotel cafe to see them (and have a drink or sth), but is that open to poor folk like us and how do we get there ? (not sure if taxis are easily available)

    2. We want to go to the Science Museum in the afternoon, but, again, no idea how (also don’t know which stations will be closed)

    3. Is there a place NEAR an RER A line station (hopefully they’ll be open, but the RER site wasn’t working in English) with a new view at the fireworks at night ? Again, we’ll be with two children and it’ll be very late, so we need easy access

    Thanks guys :)

    • avatar says

      For information on which Paris metro exits will be closed on July 14th, we suggest that you check this information with your hotel concierge who will have the latest holiday metro news. Your hotel concierge will also be able to provide you with metro maps and show you where the stops are.

      As regards getting to the Science City, Line 7 will get you to Porte de la Villete station where you get off. (see the metro map here). As there’s tram construction work in the area, please follow Science City’s instructions on how to get to museum.


      The fireworks at 23:00 is being launched from the Trocadero, so the best views are near the Eiffel Tower. Again, the metro will get you there. The metro will be very crowded after the event so consider if you want to subject your young children to the crowded transport system, especially if you don’t know your way around.

      • avatarEffie says

        Thank you so much for replying to me!!

        And to think that we had a hotel near the Eiffel tower, but cancelled it to stay in Val d’Europe. Sigh. In fact our hotel is Ibis, so I HIGHLY doubt there’s a concierge to give us metro information. And with two young kids, the trip will be made even more difficult. Can you imagine getting into so much trouble to go to the science museum, only to find out that it’s closed? THeir website is always under construction when it comes to the English version :( In fact I’ve emailed them but haven’t received a reply yet.

        I wonder if it’s better to rent a car. Of course that would still be a problem, as the area around the Eiffel tower will be too crowded or closed, and we’re too scared to rent a car because we’ve never driven on that side of the road (and, again, we’ll be with two young kids. Our kids).

        Would you say watching it from far wouldn’t be that much of a good idea? Or maybe we shoul djust stay in Disneyland that day? I know they have ‘special’ fireworks, but would they be worth it as much as the Eiffel tower ones?

        Thank you :)


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