National day in Marseille

July 14th 2021

Every year, the people of Marseille and visitors meet in the streets of the city and on the “Vieux-Port” (Old Port) to celebrate the bank holidays. The evenings are organized to be in the front row to attend the fireworks, which are fired as usual on the “Vieux-Port” (Old Port) and the “Fort d’Entrecasteaux”. Let’s just hope that the “Mistral” (wind) does not invite itself to the party !

Published on 12 July 2021

The military parade

As every year (except in 2020) the military parade will start at the end of the street “Paradis” at the corner of the “Avenue du Prado” and will head towards the “Rond-Point du David”. The ceremony will start at 9am.
• 9am : start of the ceremony
• 9:30am : welcome of the authorities by the commander of the troops who greets the authorities and presents all the troops to the Governor who reviews the detachment of honour, the foot and motorised troops.
• 9:50am : The decoration ceremony
• 10:15am: music parade and start of the parade for the public
• 10:20am : start of the flypast, on foot then motorised
• 10:55am : parachutists jump
• 11:05am : end of the parade
• 11:10am : Salute from the authorities, the music, the decorated, the parachutists, the flag bearers and the veterans.

Last parade of the music in the “Valbelle” park.

The fireworks

« Le plus beau feu du monde »

The city of Marseille promises an exceptional fireworks display this year. Fired every year from the “Vieux-Port” (Old Port) and the “Fort d’Entrecasteaux”,  spectators will be able to admire a majestic fireworks show accompanied by a soundtrack  for almost 30 minutes. The “Vieux-Port” area will be completely pedestrianised and the “Pharo “( Palais du Pharo) garden, exceptionally closed for the whole day, will open its doors from 6pm. In order to limit the impact on the environment, the parts used for the packaging of the fireworks are made of biodegradable materials ( paper, cardboard, felt).

The best places to see the fireworks are Le jardin du Pharo (Pharo Garden), Vieux-Port, Abbaye Saint-Victor (Abbey of Saint Victor), Esplanade de la Tourette, Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica.

Did you know ?

The first  fireworks in Europe took place in 1612 on the “Place des Vosges” in Paris, for the wedding of Louis XIII and “Anne d’Autriche”. It was not until 1880 that it became the flagship event of the 14th of  July festivities.

Evening events

On a boat

The shipping company Localanque offers an unforgettable private evening on board of one of its boats, located between the Town Hall and the Mucem. You will have a front row seat to watch the fireworks. The company  turquoise Calanques also proposes an evening on board with aperitifs and cocktails. The company Croisières Marseille Calanque  proposes to embark on board the ” l’Illienne” and go to the sea for an evening at sunset before enjoying the fireworks !


Several places welcome you to celebrate our bank holidays with dignity, between music and fireworks, the party will be part of it ! The ” halles de la Major ” (Halls of the Church Major) offer you a live concert, see you from 6pm..An evening on the unmissable ” Rooftop des terrasses du Port“,  from 7pm!

At the hotel

Le Sofitel Vieux-Port offers you an exceptional evening with a breathtaking view of the “Vieux-Port”, at the bar, at the brasserie  or even in a room with a terrace, you will be facing the show, just like  le Radisson Blu, enjoy the restaurant facing the Port!

Parking conditions

Traffic is prohibited on Wednesday the 14th of  July from 5:30am to 12:30pm on :
• l’Avenue du Prado (8e)
• l’Avenue Pierre Mendes France (8e)
• Promenade Georges Pompidou (8e)

Parking is prohibited from the 13th of July at 9am to the 14th of july at 12:30pm on :
• Les  allées latérales de l’avenue du Prado (8e)
• L’allée centrale Borely (8e)
• Promenade Georges Pompidou (8e)

Attention ! in case of strong winds the fireworks might be posponed !

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