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Bastille Day - Stay in Paris or leave?

We'll be in Paris on Bastille Day this year and wondered if there are festivities, if we should stay around, or if this would be a good day to go to Normandy due to museums being closed, etc. All opinions welcome...thanks!

Posted by
340 posts

My daughter and sister (both just graduated) were in Paris on Bastille day 2004. Lots of excitement, parades, etc. Just don't stay out after 11pm - midnight. Unlike the US where things can be just getting going at that time of night, the dangerous element comes out on the street. All the people who had been enoying the fireworks with them seemed to have vanished. The girls were in the Eiffel tower area and were harrassed and chased by groups of boys/men while trying to get back to their Rue Cler hotel. Even the police gave them a hard time about being out on the street. They finally found a (begrudging) police escort. This is probably true most nights, not just bastille day. Have fun but be on guard if you are out late.

Posted by
320 posts

We were in Paris on Bastille Day 2004 as well and did not experience anything like the prior post. We watched the tremendous fireworks from the Champs du Mars - which was absolutely packed! The real difficulty was after the fireworks the Metro was crammed. Still - the children said that the Bastille Day fireworks were the highlight of their 5 day in Paris. It was special. Have fun!

Posted by
421 posts

Personally if I was there during Bastille day I would say go out enjoy it....
part of the experience of the culture~!!!

Posted by
112 posts

My girlfriend lived in Paris for a year during her undergraduate years. She went in August and came home the following July. I believe it was 98-99 or 99-00. Her two biggest regrets - 1: She got zero snow all winter and 2: She wasn't there for Bastille Day. Stay there for Bastille Day! I'm always mentally preparing for the next two trips and one plan involves France and Switzerland, or Spain next July. She'll get Bastille Day and I'll get to be in a small town as the Tour de France goes by. :)