Every year on July 14 it’s the same old story in Paris as locals and tourists alike scramble to find a spot on the Champ de Mars, adjacent to the Eiffel Tower. But what if you could enjoy the fireworks display without having to fight off the hordes, and celebrate the national holiday with a bit more serenity and originality? Here are five ideal spots to help you spend a memorable evening this Bastille Day.
A cruise on the Belle Vallée
Pack a picnic and avoid the chaos of the Champ de Mars by taking your party onto the Seine. At 6:45pm sharp, the Belle Vallée will depart from the Port de la Râpée and work its way up river towards the Eiffel Tower.
Come 11pm, the boat will idle in a prime location near the Eiffel Tower, where after having enjoyed the sites of Paris from the river and enjoyed your food and drink on both open decks of the boat, the fireworks will explode practically overhead. The cost of the cruise is €48 for adults (includes a complimentary cocktail) and €44 for children up to ten years old, and the boat will return to dock between midnight and 1am.
For more information, go to the Belle Vallée‘s website (French only)
An extravagant evening on the rooftop of the hôtel Rafaël
How about opting for a panoramic view from the top of the 5-star Rafaël? This luxury hotel is ideally located down the street from the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs-Elysées, and on the top floor, guests and visitors alike can take advantage of the newly revamped menu while sipping on delightful cocktail concoctions.
The rooftop terrace of the Rafaël provides one of the best views of the capital, and the distance from the Eiffel tower is ideal to fully appreciate the firework spectacle. A word of advice: book in advance.
Visit the hôtel Rafaël’s website: leshotelsbaverez.com
Get a bit of perspective from the top of the Tour Montparnasse
On the top floor of the Tour Montparnasse, the Ciel de Paris welcomes fans of panoramic city views to its bar and restaurant, at which, for Bastille Day on July 14, the chef has created a special €320 prix fixe menu.
Not only will guests have a spectacular view of the city, with the Eiffel Tower and the fireworks directly in front of them, but they will even get to experience the ambiance of the Champs de Mars thanks to an audio system relaying the two.
At the terrace of the Les Ombres restaurant
Here’s a great way to spend next Tuesday: a romantic walk along the quais will bring you to the Musée du Quai Branly, where you can spend the afternoon meandering through exhibits such as the soon to be over “Les maîtres de la sculpture de Côte d’Ivoire,” an exhibit on master sculptors from the West African nation, or “Tatoueurs, Tatoués,” the world’s most comprehensive exhibit on the art of the tattoo. Come nightfall, head upstairs to the museum’s restaurant, Les Ombres, where you can enjoy some serious culinary offerings practically in the Iron Lady’s shadow.
You can peruse the dinner menu on the website for Les Ombres
Take in the 180-degree view from Montmartre
If you want to get away from the city center and all the hustle and bustle of Bastille Day, a quick hop over to the 18th arrondissement and the Terrass Hôtel is in order. Recently renovated, this iconic address in the picturesque Montmartre neighborhood has a 500+ square foot “penthouse terrass” adjacent to its 7th floor bar and restaurant.
On July 14, a special €190 menu, six courses with their wine pairings, will be offered upon reservation only, timed so that the fireworks and final glass of champagne close out this perfect evening.
More information on the Terrass Hôtel: terrass-hotel.com