Are you wondering where to watch Bastille Day fireworks in Paris on July 14th?

The spectacular 35-minute show at the Eiffel Tower begins at 11pm, just as the summer sky finally turns dark.

If you're lucky enough to be in Paris on Bastille Day (or La Fête Nationale or Le Quatorze Juillet, as it's called in French), the elaborate display of fireworks provide a glorious ending to France's national holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, seen as a turning point during the French Revolution.

The most iconic place to watch the fireworks is Champ de Mars, the expansive green space covering almost half a mile between the Eiffel Tower and École Militaire where up to a million spectators gather.

Joining the crowd at Champ de Mars also lets you hear the Bastille Day concert by the French National Orchestra, the Radio France Choir, and international soloists at the Eiffel Tower, which begins at 9:10pm and concludes right before the fireworks begin. 

If you're not a fan of densely-packed crowds and therefore don't want to join the million or so people on the Champ de Mars, don't worry.  You will be able to see the fireworks show from any point in Paris where you can see the Eiffel Tower - and that includes a lot of places such as Seine River cruises, nearby streets, restaurants and rooftop bars, hotels with views of the tower, city parks, and even bridges. 

Take a look at all the possibilities described in this article, and check out the photos to get a sense of what the view will be like.  Most of the fireworks shoot up high into the sky, so even if trees or buildings your view of the bottom of the Tower, you'll still be able to see the display at the top.

We also provide some tips about how to stay hydrated, find toilets (especially if you plan to watch from Champ de Mars), and get back to your hotel or apartment after the show without getting stuck in a huge crowd.

Find out about all Bastille Day events including the big military parade and flyover

Check out the Firemen's Balls (Bals des Pompiers) on July 13th & 14th

Top photo: Bastille Day fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, (c) Paris Discovery Guide

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Best Locations for Viewing Bastille Day Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

View of Bastille Day fireworks from Tuileries Garden
View of Bastille Day fireworks from Tuileries Garden

Champ de Mars by the Eiffel Tower:  Best Place to See Bastille Day Fireworks & Hear the Concert

To enjoy excellent close-up, unobstructed views of the fireworks lighting up the sky behind the Eiffel Tower and hear the pre-fireworks concert at the foot of the Tower, you'll want to head to Champ de Mars - but only if you can spend much of the day there. 

Because here's what you need to know:  Champ de Mars may be an ideal viewing spot for the fireworks, but it's not exactly a "hidden secret."  In fact, this highly popular location attracts up to 1 million people for this event.

So, in order to secure a spot on Champ de Mars, be prepared to arrive early.

View of Champ de Mars and Ecole Militaire (the building at the end) from the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower
View of Champ de Mars and Ecole Militaire (the building at the end) from the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower

How early? 

Many Parisians enjoy spending Bastille Day relaxing on Champ de Mars with friends and family, enjoying a picnic lunch with a bottle of wine or two, and perhaps taking short nap. 

As a result, it's not unusual to see people staking out their spots on the grass by noon or shortly thereafter.  By mid-afternoon, the space begins to fill up.  By an hour or two before the concert begins, squeezing in will be almost impossible.

If you're visiting Paris for only a short period, you may prefer to spend most of Bastille Day sightseeing, taking a cruise on the Seine, exploring a museum, or shopping (because remember, summer sales!).  But don't worry - try Tip 2 or Tip 3 below, or one of the other viewing options.

Finally, if you don't like big crowds, you probably won't enjoy being at Champ de Mars with approximately 999,999 other people.  So keep reading, because there are plenty of other spots you'll find more comfortable.

Pro tips:  

1)  Bring a blanket or towel to sit on, perhaps a picnic with wine (but remember that alcohol is prohibited starting at 4pm on Champ de Mars), and a water bottle.  Sunblock and a hat are also a good idea.

2) If you don't want to spend all day here, one strategy is stop by in mid-to-late afternoon, and see if you can find a spot; if not, have a "Plan B" in mind - another location to watch from instead.

3) Another strategy is to arrive shortly before the fireworks begin but don't try to get close - instead, take a contrarian approach and head for Ecole Militaire across from the far end of the field near where most people will be standing and the crowds will usually be thinner.

Nearest metro and train stations:  La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle, Ecole Militaire, Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel (RER-C) - BUT these as well as other nearby streets and metro stations will close by 7pm (sometimes a little earlier) on Bastille Day.

View of Paris Bastille Day fireworks from École Militaire - Photo credit: Flickr/Joe deSousa
View of Paris Bastille Day fireworks from École Militaire - Photo credit: iStock/Sergii Rudiuk


Spending Bastille Day @ Champ de Mars: Paris Discovery Guide's Best Toilet Tips 

If you plan to spend the afternoon and evening at Champ de Mars before the concert and fireworks, be aware that there are very few public toilets in this area compared with the number of people who gather for the concerts and fireworks. 

Area cafés will not let you use their facilities unless you are there for a drink or a meal.  If (or when) the nearby cafes fill up to capacity, you'll be turned away for seating and therefore won't have access to their restrooms.

You can find a few public toilets at Parc Rives de Seine - the riverside park along the Left Bank of the Seine just beyond the Eiffel Tower.  They are usually reasonably clean thanks to their automatic sanitizing feature, and are a fine option if you're not at a cafe.  They're also free.

 

If all the nearby cafes are full, the Parc Rives port-a-potties may be your only option unless you want to keep walking further away from Champ de Mars in search of a less-packed cafe, or even return to your hotel if you're staying nearby.

Find out about all Bastille Day events including the big military parade and flyover

Check out the Firemen's Balls (Bals des Pompiers) on July 13th & 14th


Seine River Fireworks Cruises: Excellent Views of Bastille Day Fireworks

If you want to enjoy excellent, unobstructed close-up views of the fireworks without spending much of Bastille Day sitting on Champ de Mars, special fireworks dinner cruises on the Seine offer a fantastic experience.

You'll enjoy dinner, wine, and perhaps music and dancing as you float past all the iconic landmarks along the Seine and then watch the dazzling fireworks overhead.  

The most important thing for you to know:  If you want to join one of the fireworks cruises, book as soon as you know your travel dates.  They sell out much earlier than you might expect.

Here are three wonderful choices (unfortunately, all have sold out for this year):

  • Bastille Day Dinner Cruise with Wine, Champagne, & Fireworks - Savor a special 6-course dinner cruise with Champagne and wine plus live music - and then enjoy the spectacular fireworks.  This cruise always sells out well before Bastille Day - so don't wait to book
  • Bastille Day Sightseeing Cruise with Fireworks - Start with a 2-hour cruise through the heart of Paris, enjoy a simple boxed meal, and stay on the boat (docked at the river's edge) to watch the fireworks until midnight.
  • Bastille Day Dinner Cruise with Fireworks - Enjoy a 4-hour cruise including a gourmet 3-cours dinner with wine and Champagne.  Finish your evening by watching the fireworks and then relaxing with live onboard music and dancing.

More Seine River Cruises

For a fun Bastille Day river excursion during the middle of the day, choose a 2-Hour River Seine Lunch Cruise offering a 3-course gourmet lunch, white and red wine, an optional cheese course, and live music on board.  

Although this cruise takes place every day starting in July (and on selected days in June), the Bastille Day cruise will be especially popular - so book early if you want to get a table.

Paris Restaurants with Views of Bastille Day Fireworks

Paris skyline and Eiffel Tower seen from Montparnasse Tower
Paris skyline and Eiffel Tower seen from Montparnasse Tower

Here are some of the best-known top restaurants offering superb views of the fireworks (needless to say, make your reservations very early to get a table). 

To avoid disappointment, call the restaurant if necessary to request a table with a good view and to confirm the correct time to reserve in order to see the fireworks:

  • La Ciel de Paris Restaurant at Montparnasse Tower - The tower's observation deck will be closed by 11pm, but you get a direct view of the fireworks from the perfect height - and the food is very good too!  Book online
  • Les Ombres at Musee du Quai Branly - Located on the museum's rooftop terrace and designed by famed architect Jean Nouvel, this gastronomy restaurant.   Book online
  • La Terrass' Restaurant and Bar (12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 18th arr) - Located on the 7th floor of the Terrass' Hotel perched high on a hill in Montmartre; although the bar doesn't take reservations, the restaurant does.  Book online; for the ultimate convenience after the fireworks end, stay in the 4-star Terrass' Hotel - Reserve now
  • Girafe Paris near Trocadero and the Musee de l'Homme - Famous for its seafood - and the direct, stunning Eiffel Tower views from the terrace. Book online
  • Monsieur Bleu - Also near Trocadero, with a fantastic terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower, plus a special prix-fixe Bastille Day menu.  Book online

Paris Hotels Overlooking the Eiffel Tower & Bastille Day Fireworks

Bastille Day fireworks - Photo credit: Yiwen/Unsplash
Bastille Day fireworks - Photo credit:  iStock/wadudley

Of course, staying in a hotel or apartment where you have an Eiffel Tower view gives you the ultimate convenience - great (even if obstructed) views of the fireworks show, plus no hassle getting back to where you're staying. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the hotels offering the best views also command premium rates which soar even higher for the night of Bastille Day.  If they're in your budget, check out these hotels in the extra-special "Palace" tier of 5-star properties:

  • Four Seasons George V, the largest of the Palace hotels in Paris, with superb views of the Eiffel Tower from its terraces and many guestrooms
  • The Peninsula Paris, featuring fabulous Eiffel Tower views from its rooftop restaurant
  • The Shangri-La, where you can splurge on a room with your own private terrace overlooking the "Iron Lady."

In a more affordable range, consider these 4-star properties:

  • Pullman Eiffel Tower Hotel, located very close to the Eiffel Tower with spectacular views from many guestrooms as well as its gym (tip: when booking, make sure your room offers a view of the tower's top)
  • Terrass' Hotel, overlooking the Eiffel Tower from its lofty perch on a Montmartre hill, with great views from the onsite restaurant and many guestrooms
  • Le Damantin Hotel & Spa, located almost directly across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, with superb views from many of the 44 guestrooms 
  • Canopy Paris Trocadero Hotel by Hilton, where the large rooftop terrace bar offers direct Eiffel Tower views
  • Hôtel Eiffel Trocadéro, a small boutique hotel almost directly across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, with great views from a number of the guestrooms

Find more hotels near the Eiffel Tower

Find more Paris hotels in the 7th arrondissement

More Locations Near the Eiffel Tower for Viewing the Bastille Day Fireworks

Bastille Day fireworks viewed from the intersection of Rue Université and Avenue de la Bourdonnais - Photo credit: iStock.com/Clinton Harris
Bastille Day fireworks viewed from the intersection of Rue Université and Avenue de la Bourdonnais - Photo credit: iStock.com/Clinton Harris

As mentioned earlier, you'll enjoy great views of the fireworks from any location where you can see at least the top half of the Eiffel Tower. 

Here are some specific suggestions close to the Eiffel Tower:

  • Trocadero, directly across the Seine River - The viewing platform above the pool and fountain offers fantastic views, but be aware that crowds will be dense.  The slopes of Trocadero Gardens, especially near the top, are usually less packed.  You can also find decent views along the streets above Trocadero, include Avenue Georges Mandel and Avenue President Wilson
  • Nearby streets on both sides of Champ des Mars with views of the Eiffel Tower; explore these areas prior to Bastille Day and choose your favorite location; Rue Saint-Dominique, for example, has several good spots
  • Any place along or near the banks of the Seine River with Eiffel Tower views, especially in the 16th arrondissement
  • Seine River bridges - Although Pont d'Iéna will probably be closed and used as a staging area for the fireworks, other bridges offering great views include Pont Bir Hakeim and Pont de l'Alma
  • Île des Cygnes in the Seine River (access it from the Pont de Grenelle or Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge) - Trees block the views in some spots, but most people forget about this little island so it's not usually too crowded
  • Place de la Concorde - Many spots with great views
  • Tuileries Garden - Areas near the Louvre and also near the Orangerie Museum are best, as trees block the view in other parts of this park
Bastille Day fireworks viewed from the intersection of Rue Université and Avenue de la Bourdonnais - Photo credit: iStock.com/Clinton Harris
Bastille Day fireworks viewed from the intersection of Rue Université and Avenue de la Bourdonnais - Photo credit: iStock.com/Clinton Harris

More Distant Locations with Views of Paris's Bastille Day Fireworks

These locations also offer views of the Eiffel Tower (and, therefore, the fireworks) - but they are significantly further away and the fireworks views will feel fairly distant.

If you're staying near one of these places, they may work well for you.  If you're not, be aware that although the nearby metro stations will be open with trains running, there may be disruptions.  Worst case, consider that you might have to walk back to where you're staying, so make sure that is feasible in terms of distance.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Can you spot the Eiffel Tower along the Paris skyline in this photo from Parc Buttes-Chaumont?
Can you spot the Eiffel Tower along the Paris skyline in this photo from Parc des Buttes-Chaumont?

This gorgeous park in the 19th arrondissement on the edge of eastern Paris offers lovely skyline views from some areas, but the Eiffel Tower is about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) away and barely visible in the above photo.  

Hint:  The tower is close to the tree top above the horizon on the right side of the photo.

On a positive note, although most Parisian parks (including Parc de Belleville, where you can find better views) close around 8:30pm - 10pm during the summer, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is part of a small handful to stay open until 12 midnight from July 1st through early September.

Be aware:  Parts of this park are currently closed due to ongoing renovations and work to stabilize the terrain.  The slope shown in the above photos, which is near the Rosa Bonheur guinguette, appears to be in one of the open areas - but if you want to watch the fireworks from this park, consider going by on the day before just to confirm the views in the accessible areas.

Sacre Coeur Basilica

Set almost at the top of the highest hill in Montmartre in Paris's 18th arrondissement, Sacre Coeur commands sweeping views of Paris - but its view of the Eiffel Tower 3 miles (4.8 km) away is not the best (the view from the Terrass' Hotel is actually better directionally). 

However, the viewing platform in front of Sacre Coeur is a popular place to watch the fireworks, so if you choose this location, you'll have plenty of company.


Practical Tips (& Tricks) for Viewing the Fireworks on Bastille Day in Paris

  • Champ de Mars - If you only want to watch the fireworks from Champ de Mars but don't want to spend hours camped out on the lawn in order to have a good spot, consider arriving not long before the show begins and find a spot at the back near Ecole Militaire
  • Pickpockets - Will these scourges of crowded areas be present?  Yes, probably - but use your common sense and don't make yourself a target.  Carry just an official government ID (required of everyone according to French law), maybe 10 euros in case you need to buy a drink in a cafe to use the toilet, metro tickets, and any other absolute essential.  If you don't plan to take photos, consider leaving your phone in your hotel safe.  And no matter how enraptured you may be by the fireworks, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay hydrated if you're going to be out in the sun before the festivities.  But don't drink so much that you need to find a toilets
  • Choose a viewing location within easy walking distance from your hotel, because remember, metros near Champ de Mars shut down for the night at around 7pm, and there may also be service disruptions in other areas.  Don't count on getting an Uber or Bolt
  • Wherever you decide to view the fireworks, position yourself on the edge of the crowd closest to your hotel or apartment if you want to make a speedy exit

Find out about all Bastille Day events including the big military parade and flyover

Check out the Firemen's Balls (Bals des Pompiers) on July 13th & 14th





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