Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July in Paris

Bastille Day

image via wikipedia.org

This National holiday, marking the day the French Revolution began in 1789, is celebrated every year on the 14th of July. The main event is the military parade and ceremonies on the Champs-Élysées led by the French President. Other popular events are the 14 July Fireworks which take place over the Eiffel Tour, and the Firemen's Balls in fire stations throughout the city.

The Parade starts around 9:00 am at Place de l’Etoile.  The whole event lasts until about noon when the President departs, and includes not only a parade of soldiers and military vehicles, but numerous fly-overs from Air Force planes and helicopters.

The Fireworks begin around 10:45 pm and are launched from Trocadéro. They can be viewed from the Champ de Mars, but believe me it will be crowded.  Many get there around 5 or 6 pm to claim their spot and have a picnic while waiting for nightfall.

The firemen's balls are actually the night before Bastille day on the 13th, and in my opinion are the most fun part of the holiday.  What's not to love about a party full of French firemen in short shorts?  If you weren't aware, the firemen in Paris tend to wear short shorts as their everyday uniform. I'm not complaining. These guys can pull it off.

But I regress... back to the balls. There are several around the city and a full listing is found here. You can catch me hanging out at the one in the 17th. That is if the Dutch don't win the world cup semi-final. If they do I'll be back in Holland cheering them on in the Final on Sunday Evening.

Another helpful tidbit of information is that entrance to the Louvre is free on Bastille day. It's true... and since most of the city is occupied by the parade, the entrance line may not actually be that long.  At least it was not when I went on Bastille day a few years ago.

Outdoor Cinema - Parc de la Villette

Starting July 23rd and continuing through August 24, Parc Villette turns into a giant outdoor cinema.  One movie is shown each night (Wednesday - Sunday). The great part for us expats is that many will be in English.  All of the movies will be shown in their original language, so just check the listings for movies from the US or UK. Some highlights for me include: Quadrophenia - 27 July, American Graffiti - 2 August, and Fame - 24 August. Movies begin when it gets dark. Bring a blanket or rent a chair on site.  Oh, and of course, don't forget the wine and cheese!

Check here for more info and listing of the movies.

Some other events of interest:

Festival FNAC Live ~ 17-20 July brings free concerts to Hôtel de Ville.

Paris Plages ~ 19 July - 17 August  - the Seine transforms into a beach, complete with sand, loungers, beach bars, and activities for the kids.  You probably don't want to go for swim though.

Tour de France ~ on 27 July the final stage of this famous road race takes place in the center of Paris, culminating at the Champs-Élysées

and don't forget about the Peacock Society this weekend...


  1. Love that photo of the Eiffel Tower!


  2. Love the first picture! it's incredible!!!
    Xo, Belen
    A Hint of Life

  3. It is the best place of the world and I always want to visit there, It is the best day for you to spend some times with together. You can choose the best and excellent package of Trips to Paris.