July 14th is our French National Day: a beautiful moment of sharing but also a messy one in the streets of Paris. Here are a few local tips to master your Bastille Day in Paris, on Tuesday July 14th, 2015 (unless you just want to watch the military march on the Champs-Elysées in the morning and stand in the crowd under the Eiffel Tower at night for the fireworks).
Rise above the city
On our favorite rooftop bars and restaurants. Why? First, to escape the crowds and second, to enjoy a perfect view of the fireworks (between 11pm and 11:35pm). So where exactly?
Museums restaurants have the best rooftops for a dinner with a view.
> For a closer look at the fireworks, book a table at one of these two restaurants inside modern museum Palais de Tokyo facing the Eiffel Tower.
> Paris newest summer rooftops for a great romantic or friendly evening with drinks, food, music and of course a view.
> Paris most famous rooftops (article in French) to enjoy a perfect view of Paris as well. Book in advance!
Or watch the fireworks from the riverbanks
Escape on a boat
When the streets are filled with people, leave the ground for a night on a boat on the river Seine.
This can sound cheesy or very touristy at first but boats are not just simple water buses or taxis anymore. They now are real entertainment moving platforms whether you want a romantic gateway or a party at night with your friends or a family evening with the kids. It’s also a great way to enjoy the fireworks without having to stand in the middle off the crowds.
Here are our two favorite rides for July, 14th
Le Coche d’Eau: With a luxurious open-air terrace with a view on the Eiffel Tower, enjoy a 5-hour cruise on this retro-looking boat with a gourmet dinner and a DJ playing until 1am (120€/drinks are included). One glass of champagne served with appetizers, then Guinea fowl with morels or Steak of Royal Dorade with salt and rosemary infusion then Chocolate cake, caramelized apple cake and raspberry dessert served with one bottle of wine (or other drinks), coffee and mineral water. Great for friends and couples. Book here. Where? Escale Grenelle, Quai de Grenelle 75015 Paris. Metro: Bir-Hakeim (Line 6)
Le Bateau ivre Maxim’s: A true Parisian experience with a view on Notre-Dame. Replica of the famous Maxim’s restaurant next to Place de la Concorde on rue Royale, the boat recreates a charming Paris Art Nouveau setting (179€) for 7-hour ride: 3-h cruise on the Seine, a cocktail reception (have a look at the gastronomic menu) and live music until 2am. Perfect for a date or a family night. Book here. Where? Quai de Montebello, 75005 Paris. Metro: Saint-Michel (Line 4)
Dance with Paris fire fighters at the Firemen Balls
Here’s a tradition the ladies don’t want to miss: dance all night with the locals and… Paris fire fighters at one their 14 stations for the traditional firemen ball. We duly recommend two of them, that organize balls on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th nights from 9pm to 4am!
>The one in the Latin Quarter: 11, rue du Vieux Colombier, 75006 Paris. Metro: Saint-Sulpice (Line 4)
> The one in the Marais district: 7-9, rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris. Metro: Saint-Paul (Line 1)
(Try to avoid the station in rue Blanche, good party, but usually ends in fights and cops in the street).
Party at the best events in town
Don’t feel like dancing with the firemen? Fancy a day and night out with the Parisians?
> A garden party at the chic Longchamp horse racecourses in West Paris? On July 14th, from 4pm, live DJ sets and races! Book here.
July 13th-14th, 2016
Where: Paris, France