Bastille Day...after the parade?
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jun 6, 2012 9:59 PM Last Post By: bigsciota
Jun 4, 2012 7:10 AM
Bastille Day...after the parade?Hello eveyone,
Just a quick Bastille Day question---+yes one of those :)+
I'll arrive in Paris on July 13 and plan to arrive at Champ de Elysee early the next day (would arrival by 7 AM be too late for a decent view?) My question is where/if I need to camp outside all day to see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower in the evening? Is there a better location? I hate being outdoors all day as I am quite sun sensitive.
I am also a bit concered about transportation to and from the festivities. My nearest metro will be 'Jules Joffrin" but my understanding is that some lines will be closed? What might be the best way to get home, for a solo female, after the fireworks---if not a taxi.
Jun 4, 2012 7:58 AM
1You do not have to arrive super early for the parade on the Champs Elysées. 8:30 a.m. would be more than enough. However, location is everything: you should be away from the Arc de Triomphe. The parade goes in the direction of Place de la Concorde and a lot of the large armoured vehicles enter the parade at avenue George V. My personal recommendation would be to be between avenue George V and the Rond Point des Champs Elysées. The non-commercial part of the Champs Elysées will be filled with by-invitation bleacher seating, so there is little chance of getting a good view closer to Concorde. Since one of the most impressive events of the parade is the flyover by all sorts of military aircraft, you should not be in a place where the trees block the view of the sky over the Champs Elysées.
As for the fireworks, they are meant to be viewed from the Champ de Mars, which will have a huge sound system to go with the fireworks and also the concert that will probably be held before the fireworks. If you are willing to suffer for a perfect view of the fireworks, you would need to be between the Eiffel Tower and the river, but this is a real crush zone and on top of that, it is the most difficult to leave after the event -- the fireworks are actually shot from across the river on top of the Trocadéro and in the gardens, so that area is completely closed off. Most people settle for the normal view from the Champ de Mars and are perfectly happy to have the Eiffel Tower in silhouette in front of the fireworks. It is much easier to choose your personal comfort zone here because it can be as crowded or as uncrowded as you want -- it all depends on how close you want to press forward. Thousands of people will picnic on the Champ de Mars starting around 7 pm and it will not get really crowded until around 8:30. Many people are under the illusion that it is all going to be super cool and that they will be able to watch the fireworks sitting on the grass, but no, everybody will stand up when the time comes because other people have stood up in front of them and those people stood up because of other people in front of them... Anyway, the official time for the fireworks is 10:30 but the real time is 10:45. The whole thing is finished by about 11:30.
What you need to do is plot a walking route from the Champ de Mars to metro line 12 -- for example Solférino. Don't even think you have any chance of getting on to a metro closer, but don't worry about security because thousands of other people will be walking with you.
No metro lines are closed on the 14th but some individual stations are closed -- for example the stations along the Champs Elysées in the morning, and the stations closest to the Eiffel Tower in the evening. So just carry a good map and prepare to walk.
Jun 4, 2012 12:24 PM
2That's a pretty comprehensive answer from Kerouac. Nothing to add.
Don't forget to look into the firemen's balls 'bal des pompiers' IMHO the best part about 14 July!
Jun 5, 2012 6:55 AM
Jun 6, 2012 9:59 PM
4After getting up early you might be quite tired, but if you can you might want to grab a drink or something and sit for an hour before trying to get on the metro. I ended up doing that last year after feeling completely smothered down there, and I actually also walked a bit up the line further away from the prime viewing spots. It'll be crazy no matter what (and the RER was hellish that night, be glad you don't have to get on that), but giving it a bit to die down might give you some literal breathing room. I guess it depends on how claustrophilic you're feeling.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$214.90 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$133.81 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$35.35 per night