Marking the historic storming of the Bastille fortress and prison and the French Revolution, Bastille Day sees grand celebrations held across the country. But Paris offers the best experience, culminating in a spectacular firework display by the Eiffel Tower. During the day, there’s the military parade down Champs Elysees, firemen’s parties, free concerts and a general festive feel. For the best views, go early and try finding a spot at Trocadéro Gardens, Sacré Cœur, the Parc de Belleville, the Champ de Mars or the Montparnasse Tower.
Language tip: Learn the phrase “Vive la France!” so you can join in the chanting and impress the locals.