Travel

Paris for Bastille Day Celebrations 2018

Last Saturday we went to Paris to watch the fireworks show on the National Day of France. I am crazy about fireworks shows, and this one, in particular, was on top on my list. I have been to Paris before, so this weekend was about experiencing the French national holiday. In my opinion, if you rank nationalities by patriotism, France gets second place, right after the United States. I was very excited for this weekend! Also, my birthday is next week, so we started the celebration in Paris.

There was a lot of security in the city, armed police officials, and security controls. I thought that would make me feel safe since I’m always surprised by the low-security controls in Europe. But to be honest, it actually made me feel nervous seeing military tanks and armed policies officials everywhere. It literally felt like there was some sort of war going on. With the terrorist attacks that have taken place over the past three years in mind is understandable why they took such extreme security measures. All of this held us back from visiting touristy areas like The Louvre museum or Notre-Dame.

Military Ceremony

During the morning, there is a huge military parade at the Avenue des Champs Élysées. As early as 8:30 am people were gathering to watch the parade. The ceremony was supposed to start at 10 am. This year it ran a little late, besides the President, who was the only one that showed up on time. Due to he had to fly to Russia for the FIFA World Cup final. I bet he was more excited about the match than the parade. ⚽️🏆

It was so hot and crowded that we had to walk out right after the flyover of the military craft. But hey, at least we saw the president and the best part of the parade. But most importantly, were there when the planes made up a new version of the French flag in the sky.

Walking around Paris

Paris streets were completely crowded. We enjoyed a drink on a terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower. How romantic! We were lucky we got there “early” because later on there was a queue to get a table. After that, we spent some time shopping. Most shops were open and even had sales or special offers to celebrate. Kind of the same as the 4th of July sales. I bought one of my favorites skincare products that happen to be French and for whatever reason is not sold in The Netherlands. We had a very decent lunch, considering the high prices in Paris, it was ok. 39 euros for the two of us for a salad and a burger with drinks and coffee.

Fireworks on the Champs de Mars

Later in the afternoon around 5 pm, we bought some sandwiches, drinks, and snacks and headed to Champs de Mars for a relaxed picnic. The area was fenced, and you had to pass through security to get there. There were a lot of locals as well as tourists. They were families with dogs, children, and groups of friends. It was a very sunny day, and spots in the grass or with shade fill out very quickly. The show did not start until 11 pm, but around 8 pm it was entirely crowded, and it got tough to find a spot.

During the show, people wanted to stay seated on the grass. But the moment one person stands up, everyone had too. The show was incredible; it’s genuinely one of the most amazing experiences I had enjoyed in my life. I could not imagine how it could feel being French at that moment. The crowd was very excited for the FIFA world cup final, and after the fireworks show finished, they started to scream “Go blue!”.

 

For a preview of how awesome the show was, check out this short video. 🇫🇷💕

In a word Bastille day in Paris is fantastic. People were thrilled and trust me; French people know how to put up a massive show to celebrate their country. Bastille day in Paris is definitely something that can not be missed. I had heard from friends how awesome this celebration was, and even though they put my expectations high. Paris came through and amazed me! Paris for Bastille day 100% recommended.

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