The biggest day in the French calendar is celebrated with exuberant parties, parades, performances and firework displays worldwide. From the Fete de la Federation along the Champs-Elysee in Paris, to traditional firemen’s balls and banquets in small towns, there are many ways to celebrate liberty, equality and fraternity across France.


Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel, Paris

Heralded by a chorus of trumpets and bugles, the President opens the July 14th parade along the Champs-Elysées, in what is perhaps the highlight of the French national holiday celebrations. The drums sound out as elite units of the French army parade down the avenue, and the Patrouille de France, puts on an aerial display. If you don’t fancy nudging your through the crowds, the Paris Marriott Champ Elysees Hotel has views of the famous avenue, and some rooms have private balconies overlooking it.

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Terrass” Hôtel Montmartre by MH, Montmartre, Paris 

Eight stories of Art Deco-style splendour, this romantic 18th Arrondissement hotel in Montmartre is a 15-minute walk from the Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur, and close to Paris’s famous department stores. The Terrass” Hôtel Montmartre by MH has a stylish bar on the 7th floor terrace with a panoramic view over Paris. It’s not really possible to exaggerate just how spectacular that vista is, taking in the French capital’s iconic skyline. It makes an excellent place to watch the Bastille Day fireworks spectacle.

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Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne – MGallery Collection, Carcassonne 

If fireworks are your thing, the beautiful medieval city of Carcassonne in France’s Languedoc region will give you plenty of bang for your buck. If not legendary, Carcassonne’s 25-minute display is certainly famous as one of the most spectacular. Lighting up the ramparts for more than 400,000 people standing on the banks of the River Aude, the finale is about as explosive and impressive as it gets. You can comfortably enjoy the display from the fabulous Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne’s terrace.

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Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy Deauville 

For revellers at the upscale beach resort town of Deauville in northern France, quatorze juillet kicks off the summer season. The extensive celebrations reflect this, extending beyond Bastille day itself. Among the festivities there are concerts, lantern processions, a ceremony to honour firefighters, and a spectacular Bastille day firework display on the beach. Located in Deauville City Centre, the grandiose Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy Deauville with its spa is a wonderful base from which to enjoy the party atmosphere.

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The Pontchartrain Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 

France’s influence extends way beyond its borders, and Bastille day is celebrated world-wide. Famous for its festive spirit, New Orleans – or should that be La Nouvelle-Orléans? – was founded by French missionaries in the 18th century, and is now a melting pot of French, African and American culture. It celebrates Bastille Day on the Saturday before July 14th, and the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighbourhood throws one of the best parties, featuring live music, food and drinks, arts and crafts and games (including pétanque, natch). The Pontchartrain Hotel is at the heart of the action.

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