Celebrating the 4th of July in France this year is an exciting and daunting event. The holiday is only 10 days before Bastille Day (Fête Nationale). Therefore, a small part of me feels bizarre, attempting to celebrate July 4th for Anglophone. Moving to a new country makes you question if you should leave some of “your” holidays behind, but this little bird is not giving up so quickly on her beloved American Independence Day. Regardless of where I live, I want to enjoy the feeling of freedom and togetherness.
Should I wait and just celebrate Fête Nationale du 14 juillet?
The Fête National du 14 juillet, better known to Anglophone as “Bastille Day” is a time for French people worldwide to celebrate. While living in New York City, I observed the French National holiday even though I’m not French. With this in mind, I assumed the same festivities would take place in France. Or at least in the dense Expat locations.
My French hubby seems to think it’s perfectly normal to celebrate 4th of July and 14 juillet so that will be my plan. What does your family do?
Paris is not an option for me to celebrate
I’m sure other American Expats who find themselves in France on the 4th of July are thinking the same thing. Can I only celebrate in Paris?
Going to the Eiffel Tower in Paris seems like the best option to celebrate the American holiday. Many American expats find themselves settled down in Paris and have found their crew. If I lived in Paris, I could easily buy a ticket to view the Eiffel Tower. Coming from someone who’s only seen Paris through an airplane window I’m sure it’s a spectacular event. Granted, there will not be a big firework show like there is in France on their national holiday, so keep that in mind when booking your ticket.
One day I will bring Jeanne and Coco on a holiday road trip to see the capital, but for now, our adventures will take place in The South of France.
American Independence Day in Montpellier
Unlike for Fête des Pères in France, it’s not assumed that everyone will know where to celebrate American holidays. I’m lucky enough to live near an expat hub in Montpellier. There are a few American owned/themed bars in the historic center that will give you a piece of nostalgia. Keep in mind because of Covid-19 many restaurants and bars are open but with restrictions.
Montpellier is full of American restaurants that will have your mouth watering for the 4th of July. Trip advisor has an extensive list of all the American bars in Montpellier! Truth be told, I use trip advisor and Yelp when deciding where I want to eat. What do you use when deciding where to eat for the holidays?
No reason to cut the 4th of July in France short, stay the night in the historic center of Montpellier is the perfect place to book a HomeAway or Airbnb.
July 4th for Anglophone in Nice
An Anglophone dream is waiting in Nice, France. I will soon call the French Riveria my home and be right around the corner from Nice. I’ve noticed that this area of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has a large expat presence. I love being in a foreign country and mingling with the natives; however, it’s nice to have someone who can relate to the culture you grew up with. You won’t have to ask, where can I celebrate American Independence in France? Chances are the place down the street has exactly what you are looking for.
Exhibit A: The HardRock Cafe in Nice is the first place I would check out if looking for 4th of July in France activities. Right now the website doesn’t list anything special since the national holiday is fast approaching. However, you’re sure to bump into an American or two at the bar.
- A reminder of NYC. Tribeca Burger. Don’t need to say anything else.
- 5 rue Emmanuel Philibert, 06300 Nice France
- Phone: +33 4 97 19 30 88
- In the mood for desert only? No problem, Emilie’s Cookies is sure to give you a glimmer of the American Chocolate Chip cookies your taste buds crave.
- 9 Rue Alberti 06000 Nice
- Phone: +33 04.93.13.89.58
- Veggies, veggies! Gimme the veggies! Le Blast
- 8 Place Charles Felix, 06300 Nice France
- Phone: +33 4 93 80 00 50
- The chances are high of meeting anther “Bro” at Brother’s Burger Bar
- 75 boulevard Francois Grosso, 06000 Nice France
- Phone: +33 4 93 52 03 33
Party in your Local Town
Think about how you would typically commemorate any fete as an American, expat or not. You would call up your friends and have a party at your house. Pick up some drinks, hot dogs, fireworks, and you’re ready to go. Who says holidays have to celebrate outside of the comfort of your backyard?
I’m curious to see what everyone else’s plans are this year. Let me know in the comments below.