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A Complete Guide to the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day!

Visiting the Eiffel Tower on France’s National Holiday (14 July), also known as Bastille Day, is on the bucket list of many travelers worldwide.

Even though the Eiffel Tower is not accessible on Bastille Day, it’s still known as the best place to celebrate this special day.

The Eiffel Tower is open all year round, but what makes the trip to the Eiffel Tower so memorable and special on Bastille Day?

Read this article to find out:

What is Bastille Day, and why is it celebrated?

Bastille Day is France’s national day, which is celebrated each year on 14 July. It commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, a pivotal event in the French Revolution.

The Bastille was a medieval fortress and prison in Paris that represented royal authority and oppression to many people.

On 14 July 1789, angry Parisian revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, seeking weapons and ammunition as part of an uprising against King Louis XVI.

The raid freed a handful of prisoners and marked the beginning of the end of absolute monarchy in France.

Bastille Day celebrates the outbreak of the French Revolution, a decade-long struggle to overthrow the monarchy and establish a republic based on the ideals of liberté, égalité, and fraternité (liberty, equality, fraternity).

The day is celebrated with large military parades, speeches, fireworks displays, balls, and feasts.

For the French, it is a day to reflect on civic rights and democracy—not only for their country but on behalf of freedom lovers everywhere.

The Eiffel Tower is closely related to Bastille Day, as it was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bastille Day in 1889.

The Tower symbolizes France’s developing architectural and technological achievements, which would, in the coming years, influence many other structures worldwide!

It stands as proof of the success of France as a country and carries on the legacy to future generations.

The Eiffel Tower celebrates Bastille Day with a great fireworks show every year. It is a great way to end your Bastille Day celebrations!

What can you expect at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day?

The Paris Eiffel Tower is closed on 14 July for Bastille Day. However, there are different ways in which the day is celebrated at the Tower.

Here are some exciting things you can expect at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day:

1. Spectacular Bastille Day fireworks display to end the night!

The beautiful fireworks show begins at 11 pm on Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower and lasts 35 minutes till 11.35 pm.

The fireworks display is also known as the Feu d’Artifice, which lights up the entire sky of Paris and is visible from miles away with its colorful sparkles.

Wherever you are in Paris, be sure to catch the beautiful fireworks from any of the 21 best places for viewing the Eiffel Tower.

The fireworks are accompanied by a unique light show planned in advance to match the fireworks and music.

2. A lavish lunch at Le Jules Verne

Le Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor has its doors open for all visitors, even on Bastille Day, for a memorable lunch at the Tower.

It is a one-star Michelin restaurant run by Chef Fredrick Anton, who makes delicious French dishes inspired by the Eiffel Tower, which are not available anywhere else in Paris.

It is open from 12 pm to 1.30 pm for lunch, and you must book your tickets online as no one is allowed to dine here without prior booking. 

The pricing for the menus for lunch at Le Jules Verne is:

  • A la Carte Menu: €160
  • 5-course meal Menu: €255
  • 7-course meal Menu: €275

3. A memorable concert at the base of the Tower!

The French National Orchestra, Radio France Choir, and many famous soloists come together to organize a beautiful musical performance at Champ de Mars on Bastille Day every year.

The orchestra concert begins at around 9 pm every year. You should arrive as early as possible to find seating close to the temporary stage installed. 

The garden is crowded by millions of people who travel from all over the world just to watch this special concert and the fireworks display.

Since no reservations are required for this concert, music lovers and tourists traveling on a budget to Paris must take advantage of the free seating!

The best places to watch the Bastille Day light show at the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is visible from all over the city of Paris, but here are some excellent photographic spots to watch the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day.

1. Champ de Mars Garden

Champ de Mars Gardens at the Eiffel Tower is the best spot to watch the light show and fireworks display on Bastille Day, with the added beautiful orchestra concert.

The view from this garden is unobstructed and romantic as it is so close to the Tower, which attracts a crowd of over a million visitors.

To find a great seat at Champ de Mars, you must arrive by afternoon at the latest. 

2. Seine River Cruise

The Seine River Cruise offers the most scenic view of the Eiffel Tower throughout the year, making it the perfect viewing spot.

Seine River Cruise also offers a dinner option, which you can enjoy with a glass of champagne while watching the beautiful displays from an uncrowded spot.

This is a great option for those traveling with children and visitors with mobility issues, as they can enjoy the view from a comfortable air-conditioned cabin on the cruise. 

3. Trocadero Square and Gardens

The Trocadero Square and Gardens stand across the Eiffel Tower, with the Seine River flowing through the center, and you can see the reflection of the Tower and the lights on the lake from here for free.

Visitors should expect the Trocadero Gardens and Square to be crowded since it is so close to the Eiffel Tower and offers a clear view of the skyline.

4. Île des Cygnes Island

The Ile des Cygnes Island is not a popular location for watching the Eiffel Tower, hence, you can find the least crowd here on Bastille Day.

This island is an artificial man-made island on the Seine River, which can be used to access the Pont Bir Hakeim Bridge, the Grenelle Bridge, and the Pont Rouelle.

The bridges, especially Pont Bir Hakeim, are also great spots for watching the Bastille Day fireworks. 

5. From around the Eiffel Tower

If you arrive sometime before the show begins and cannot find any good spots to watch the light shows, you can choose one of the streets around the Tower.

The Square Rapp and Rue Saint Dominique Streets are within walking distance from the Eiffel Tower and provide a great view. 

You can expect to find crowds all around the area of Champ de Mars at the time of the light shows. Hence, ensure that you arrive well before time to catch a spot and be comfortable.

Other attractions to visit in Paris on Bastille Day

Most visitors believe they can do nothing in Paris on Bastille Day since most attractions are closed, but this is not true.

Read further to find out the other attractions open on Bastille Day. 

1. The Bastille Day Parade and Military flyover display

The Bastille Day Military Parade has been a tradition since 1880 and is held along the Champ Elysees every 14th of July, beginning at 10 am and ending at 12.30 pm.

It consists of a long march by army and navy members from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.

The main highlight of this Parade is the Jet Flyover in which the aircraft fly in formation, performing stunts and releasing smoke of various colors that decorate the Paris sky.

Visitors planning to attend the parade and jet flyover should arrive before 8 am as the trains and metros would not be allowed to stop nearby for security purposes. 

2. The Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is the world’s biggest art museum, which grants all its visitors free entry every year on 14 July!

The Louvre Museum opens at 9 am daily and closes at 6 pm. 

Some of the famous artworks inside the Louvre are:

  • The Mona Lisa Painting
  • The Weddings at Cana Painting
  • Venus de Milo sculpture, and more!

The Museum will be crowded on this day. Be ready to brace the crowds or purchase a ticket and see the masterpieces at leisure!

It is better to purchase a skip-the-line entry ticket that will get you into the Museum in less than 15 minutes! 

For history buffs who want to learn more about each painting, sculpture, and the history of the Museum itself, we recommend you try out the Guided Tour of the Louvre Museum. 

3. The Paris-Plages

A great spot for a warm summer day on the 14 July—the Paris-Plages temporary beach on the coastline of the Seine is a great spot to relax during the day.

The Eiffel Tower and its fireworks display are also visible clearly from the beach, allowing you to enjoy the view while reclining on a beach chair and hearing the sound of the calming river. 

It is a great spot for those traveling with children as they would not get bored no matter how long the wait is!

4. Firemen’s Ball

One of the major fun activities organized by fire stations all over the city of Paris on Bastille Day is the Firemen’s Ball, held from the evening of 13 July for the entire Bastille Day.

It is a great spot to begin celebrating, accompanied by many DJ shows and hundreds of street food stalls.

If you plan to visit the Fireman’s Ball and have to travel by public transportation, you must reach before 2.15 am, as the metro stops at this time, and the RER stops at 1.20 am. 

5. Jardin des Tuileries Garden Fair

Every summer, an exciting Fair is set up in the Jardin des Tuileries Garden, where you can enjoy fun rides, like the Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds, bumper cars, and more. 

It is the second biggest fair organized in France every year.

There is also a long line of food stalls and places to purchase cheap souvenirs to take back home!

6. French Revolution walking tour around Paris

Paris has many historical sites and Museums and offers an exciting opportunity for history buffs to explore the city on a walking tour on Bastille Day for 2 hours! 

The professional guide will take you on an immersive journey, giving you all the information about the massacres, fights, and forgotten tales of the past.

Information on Public Transport for Bastille Day to get around Paris

The timings of public transportation in Paris undergo many changes on Bastille Day because of the continuous crowding and security. 

The only transport blockages are around Champ Elysees and the Eiffel Tower, as security measures increase in these crowded spots.

Wear comfortable shoes on this day in Paris, as you should expect to do a lot of walking in the central area, around the major attractions. 

Timings for the public transport in Paris are:

Metro timingsSunday to Thursday: 5.30 am to 1.15 am Friday and Saturday: 5.30 am to 2.15 am
RER timings5.30 am to 1.20 am on all days.You can expect a 15-20 minute gap among the arrival of the RERs.
Bus timings5.30 am to 1.20 am on all days. You can expect a 15-20 minute gap among the arrival of the RERs.

Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day

Here are some important tips to remember when visiting the Eiffel Tower for the best experience:

  • Arrive at the Champ de Mars Gardens in the afternoon at the latest to find a good spot to set up a picnic. 
  • Use public transport only, as the roads will be full of people and moving cars around is very hard on Bastille Day.
  • The riverside park- Parc de Rives Seine, has public toilets closest to Champ de Mars. 
  • If you have a hotel room close to the Eiffel Tower, stay in it and watch the view, as this will be the most comfortable experience. 
  • Check the schedule for the Military Parade, the routes, and more in advance to avoid last-minute confusion.
  • Learn basic and conversational French. If you lose your way or need assistance exploring the city on Bastille Day. Use Google Translate to understand written instructions.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the Champ de Mars area after 4 pm. Avoid carrying any if you plan to picnic in the garden. 
  • Avoid carrying big and heavy luggage with you. These could be lost in the crowd and make it difficult to explore. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes like sandals or sneakers so you can walk comfortably.
  • If you plan to visit Jules Verne for lunch, you must avoid wearing shorts, ripped jeans, or caps, as these are prohibited as per the dress code. 

FAQs for Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day

Is the Eiffel Tower closed for Bastille Day?

Yes, the Eiffel Tower is closed to the public on Bastille Day every year. With prior reservations, you can visit the Le Jules Verne Eiffel Tower restaurant, which is only open for lunch on Bastille Day. 

What is happening in Paris on Bastille Day?

Many events are organized in Paris on Bastille Day. Some of them are:
– The Military Parade and Jet Flyover 
– The Eiffel Tower fireworks display
– The Fireman’s Ball, and much more!

Are Paris Museums free on Bastille Day?

Some Parisian Museums, like the Louvre, offer free entry to all visitors on Bastille Day. 

Can I dine at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day?

Yes, you can have lunch at Le Jules Verne restaurant on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. The prices for the menus available are:

A la Carte Menu: €160
5-course meal Menu: €255
7-course meal Menu: €275

Is France crowded on Bastille Day?

Yes, France is very crowded on Bastille Day as it is a National French Holiday, and many tourists come from all over the world to watch the Eiffel Tower light shows and fireworks. 

Where is the best place to see the fireworks on Bastille Day?

Some of the best places to watch the Eiffel Tower light show and fireworks are:
The Seine River

– Trocadero Square and Gardens
– Champ de Mars for a close-up view
– Square Rapp, and many more spots.

The Ile de Cygnes Island is the least crowded place to see the colorful displays of the Eiffel Tower.

You can also read our detailed article on 21 best places for best Eiffel Tower views.

When are the Eiffel Tower fireworks and light shows on Bastille Day?

The Eiffel Tower light shows and fireworks begin at 11 pm and go on for 30-35 minutes on Bastille Day. 

What is the closest public transportation to the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day?

The closest Metro stations to the Eiffel Tower are Bir Hakeim Station, Ecole Militare Station, and Trocadero Station. You can also take the RER line C to Champ de Mars.

Which is the least crowded place to watch the Eiffel Tower fireworks from? 

The least crowded place to watch the Eiffel Tower fireworks is the Ile de Cygnes Island. The bridges leading to the island might be crowded. We recommend you arrive early to catch a good spot.

Is there a dress code to follow at Jules Verne restaurant? 

Yes, the Jules Verne restaurant has a strict dress code that you must follow for easy access. You cannot wear short pants or short skirts, ripped jeans, or caps and hats inside the Tower.

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