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How Americans Celebrate 4th July Abroad

Calling all Americans currently traveling the world! Where will you be on Independence Day and how will you be celebrating 4th July abroad?

Independence Day is the national day of the United States of America and it is also known as the Fourth of July. This federal holiday marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which declared the USA’s independence from Great Britain. When Americans are in their home country, they usually associate Independence Day with picnics, barbecues, parades, carnivals, live music, family get-togethers, and of course, fireworks. Every small town and big city in the USA will have some sort of party going on during this special day.

However, what if you are an American traveling in foreign lands or living abroad this Independence Day? How do you celebrate 4th July abroad when you are halfway around the world from the traditions of home?

Where to Celebrate 4th July Abroad

There are many 4th July abroad celebrations which take place at American military bases, as well as others which are held in high traffic areas for American tourism where the locals know that celebrating will help to increase traffic.

July 4th Fireworks at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, USA
July 4th Fireworks at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, USA

If your international travels happen to fall on July 4th this year and you find yourself in another country during this special day, here are some of the Independence Day parties that will be going on around the world:

(PS. If you are a Canadian click here to learn how Canada Day is celebrated abroad.)

Milan, Italy

If you are currently backpacking through Italy, make your way to Milan for a fantastic 4th July abroad celebration. The party is hosted by the design museum known as La Triennale di Milano and it features hamburgers and beer as well as a free English language tour of the museum. Tickets for American Airlines flights will be given away and admission to the museum is free.

Mannheim, Germany

In this southwestern German city near the Rhine you will find the German-American Summer Fest, which is a week long festival that includes karaoke, fireworks, rides, great food and drink and live entertainment.

Shanghai, China

There is a huge American expat population in Shanghai and the American Chamber of Commerce in this mega-metropolis hosts a July 4th soiree at the super-fancy 5-star Le Meridien She Shan resort. At this swanky celebration there will be live music, dancing, activities and an array of delicious food.

Happy Birthday Uncle Sam!
Happy Birthday Uncle Sam!

Happy Birthday America!

These are just a few examples of the 4th July abroad events which are happening around the world, so check out what is planned for wherever you are!

If the foreign city where you are currently living or visiting does not have any 4th July abroad events arranged, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make plans yourself. Try to connect with some other American expats and travelers in the area and arrange an Independence Day party.

If you are an American traveling abroad, share with us your plans for Independence Day in the comments below.

About Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.


  1. I’m not currently travelling abroad, but I will say that when I lived in France, I had no problem finding July 4 celebrations in Paris, and if Americans can, that’s where I’d urge them to go. In a way it’s always very anticlimactic to celebrate a holiday abroad though- the worst for me was actually Thanksgiving, which basically did not exist.

  2. I was in central Asia one year during the 4th of July. I was an English instructor, and my students practically begged me to give a traditional American barbecue. So I did what I could – the ingredients weren’t anything like American tastes (the cheese in the mac and cheese was made of goat’s milk!), but I was able to decorate everything in red, white, and blue & sing patriotic songs. So it worked out.

  3. @Kelly I am from England, and one of my flatmates is American. On the 4th July last year he sat down with a huge dinner and everyone just looked on like “huh?”

  4. What a pity! I have been in Milan from the first of June till the 3d of July. I want to ask you a question: Is this party worth visiting? And the next year I will be in Mannheim. Do I need to go to the party?

  5. I won’t prefer celebrating 4th July abroad, while we have so beautiful places in US itself. I love Florida.

    • Hi John,

      I think you have misunderstood this article. It’s not about Americans going abroad just to celebrate the 4th of July.
      It is about Americans who happen to be backpacking/living abroad/working abroad during the 4th of July and end up celebrating in a different country.

      Next time please read the article before you comment. :p


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