We had an epic Paris weekend recently celebrating Bastille Day on Saturday and Sunday France played in the World Cup championship to beat Croatia and become Champions du Monde! Paris is always magical but you guys… this weekend was epic!!!
Bastille Day in France is 14 July and since this year it fell on a Saturday, celebrating it in Paris was a must-do for me! I had our trip booked about a year out 🙂 and it did not disappoint. If you can get to France for 14 July, do it! Paris has a spectacular fireworks show behind the Eiffel Tower at night, along with a military parade in the morning and military jets streaming bleu-blanc-rouge behind them, along with other fun activities!
We chose to get in Friday morning so we could enjoy the whole day exploring new places. The city was hot all weekend and I loved this look of my flowy culotte pants paired with a colorful fitted crop top and of course my favorite studded neutral heels!
On Friday we had a good lunch at Pink Mama in the Pigalle area, and a fabulous dinner at the new-to-us Le Petit Commines and post dinner drinks at Little Red Door, both in the Marais/Republique area. There’s tons of fun bars and restaurants in this little area!
Lunch at Pink Mama ^^ and below dinner at Le Petit Commines
We always make sure to stop for a glass of Chablis at our favorite café, Le Saint Médard in the 5th!
Every year in Paris, all of the firefighter stations host a Bal de Pompiers, or Firefighter’s Ball in each arrondissement on 13 July. They host it to raise money for the year and bring the neighborhood together for a good time! It’s less of a fancy “Ball” and more of a fun party complete with a stage, lasers, and stands with firefighters selling bottles of champagne. 🙂 The Bal de Pompiers is open to anyone and goes from 21:00 to about 03:30. Be prepared to wait in a long line, we waited almost 2 hours but made friends with the people in line and everyone was in a good mood.
We always stay in the 5th arrondissement and the local Bal de Pompiers is held in the Arènes de Lutèce, a large outdoor roman ampitheatre right next to the metro Place Monge. It was a great evening, the music was thumping and my favorite part was the firefighters selling bottles of champagne to the party goers because… we are in Paris and that’s how the French roll!! You could also buy beer too but the bubbly felt more appropriate! We stayed until the party closed down around 03:30, and headed to our airbnb right around the corner happy and ready for some sleep!
Saturday was Bastille day and although we chose to sleep through the military parade in the morning, it would be a highlight to see if you are in town! They also have flyover jets with blau, blanc, rouge to get everyone in the mood!
We spent some time at my favorite place to shop, Le Bon Marché with it’s iconic escalators…
And in the early evening found a perfect spot to picnic to see the sun set and get a good spot for the fireworks show.
We ended up choosing a spot right along the Seine river bank, our feet dangling over the edge with the Pont Alexandre III to our left, and the lady Eiffel to our right.
We picnic-ed on a fresh baguette, camembert and goats cheese, fresh sliced jambón, and a bottle or two of vin rosé. We chatted with our picnic neighbors, a group of Parisenne girls who just graduated from high school and are soon off to college, about the differences between French and Americans, stereotypes of the two verses how things really are, and many other topics. It was a perfect, magical evening as the sun set against the Seine.
After a fun few hours of enjoying our pic-nic and our neighbors, the Bastille fireworks show had begun! Every year there is a large fireworks show behind the Eiffel Tower, set to music. You could enjoy the fireworks right on the Champ de Mars, but we opted not since I knew it would be crowded and alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed after 15:00. We wanted to enjoy our rosé wine so I think our spot along the Seine was perfect!
After the firework magic, we headed home to our Airbnb to rest up, there was a World Cup championship to watch and France was playing Croatia for the title… this was the most perfect weekend to be in Paris to cheer on Les Bleus!