Everyone in the world wants to visit Paris and it’s often listed as many people’s dream destination. As the world’s most visited capital city, La Ville Lumière (The City of Lights) is quite possibly one of the most romantic places on earth as well. Wandering around its ancient streets transports your mind to an idyllic space where free thinkers, musicians, artists, and youthful hearts both lost and discovered themselves amongst the city’s many splendid monuments. These monuments combined with the cities architecture, spanning from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century, as well as the perfect picturesque scenes of everyday life in the city are testaments to its long and storied history. Paris is the perfect destination to relax, wander around, and explore with the person you love most…no matter who they are! If it’s history and breathtakingly beautiful sites you crave, gay Paris is definitely for you. Use this guide to help you plan your gay Parisian adventure!
Today the city is a bastion of progressive thinking and welcomes the LGBT community with open arms. In fact, Paris was named 2018’s most gay welcoming city in the world by misterb&b. The city also played host to the 2018 Gay Games, a worldwide event which promotes equality through sport. Aside from the the various LGBT events hosted throughout the year, gay Paris is home to a thriving and eclectic gay community largely located in Le Marais. This district enjoys worldwide fame as being a beautiful area and hugely popular with the gay community. It is in this area where you will find the majority of gay bars, restaurants, clothing stores, sex shops, and even a bathhouse. I’ve visited Paris more times than I can count and have stayed in various sections of the city. La Marais is, by far, my favorite district of Paris.
When to Visit Gay Paris
Personally, I don’t think there is a bad time to visit gay Paris but depending on your preferences, one season may be better than another. There really is no off season in Paris. Therefore, I would not plan based on crowds. Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, receiving more than 30 million travelers a year. That means no matter when you visit, there will always be tourists and fairly large crowds.
Summer: The summer season is from June to August and brings perfect weather to gay Paris with average highs in the 70s (21C) and, of course, longer days. Just keep in mind, everyone loves perfect weather. Therefore, summer is also the most crowded season. As a result, a visit to Paris in summer will cost substantially more than other seasons. The price may be worth it though!
Winter: Paris’ winter season lasts from approximately November through February/early March. This is, hands down, the cheapest time of the year to visit gay Paris and lines are minuscule compared to every other season. Be prepared for leafless trees and you won’t necessarily be able to picnic in a park. Winters in Paris are pretty cold but the amount of money you save by visiting in the off season can be put to good use tasting wine and enjoying some fine dining.
Spring: Spring in Paris starts in Late March to early April and goes through May. This is the time of the year when the city springs to life from its long winter and the blooms are incredible. The city seems to buzz with excitement and it’s a great time to visit. Just keep in mind there is still a chill in the air during most of Spring so if it’s warmer temperatures you’re after then wait a bit and go in summer.
Where to Stay in Gay Paris
When it comes to lodging in Paris, there are more than enough options to choose from. As one of the most visited cities in the world, gay Paris is home to pretty much any hotel you can think of. Therefore I’m not going to list out a ton of hotels for you. In fact, Paris isn’t known for having too many gay boutique hotels like other cities. But here are a few options.
Hotel Original: This hotel is located in the middle of the city so you’ll have easy access to everything you want to see and experience. You’ll find typically expected accommodations including a sauna and concierge. There is a restaurant and a bar on site. The hotel is located only about a 10 minute walk to the Paris Opera and the Opera Bastille. Mid-range in price and worth it.
Address: 8 Boulevard Beuamarchais, 11th arrondisement – Bastille, Paris, France
La Maison Bleue: Stay in this quaint bed and breakfast located in a historic house in Paris’s 20th arrondissement. It’s one of the few places left in Paris with homes and gardens. The bed and breakfast is located a short hike from the main sights you’ll want to experience but Paris has a great metro system that is easy to navigate. Oh, did I mention this bed and breakfast is gay-friendly?
Address: 60 Rue du Capitaine Ferber – 75020 Paris
Hotel Jules and Jim: This is an upscale hotel located in Paris’ city center. It’s very close to Place de la Republique, Centre Georges Pompidou, and Le Defenseur du Temps. If you’re looking for something close to the Marais district then this will definitely fit the bill.
Address: 11 Rue des Gravilliers, Le Marais, Paris, France
Gay Paris Hotel Alternatives
Personally, when I visit Paris, I prefer to have a more local and authentic experience. Therefore, I usually book an apartment of some sort so that I can get that at home feeling in gay Paris. There are a lots of services but these are the ones I use for Paris bookings.
Cobblestone Paris: I recently learned about this company and they are amazing. Cobblestone Paris offers super nice and luxurious apartments in some of the best parts of the city. I stayed in an apartment in Le Marais which was situated along a 19th Century passageway. It was very quiet at night yet close to everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Misterb&b: If you’ve not heard of Misterb&b then it’s time to change that! Misterb&b is a service much like Airbnb in that you can rent room and entire homes from locals in an area. The only difference is that Misterb&b goes through the extra effort to ensure all listings are LGBT-friendly. It’s a great way to stay like a local without the worry. Use my link below to get $10 off your first booking!
Airbnb: If you’ve traveled anywhere then I’m sure you have heard of Airbnb. As explained above, this service allows you to rent a room or an entire apartment wherever you are. it’s a great way to stay like a local. Use the link below to join Airbnb and you’ll get $40 to put towards your first trip!
Gay Paris Restaurants
As you can probably imagine, there are more than enough restaurants to choose from in Paris. You can choose food from all over the world too since Paris is very much an international city. However, one thing that sets gay Paris apart from other cities is that there are a number of gay-owned restaurants you can choose from too. You should definitely give these a try!
TaTa Burger: This is probably one of my favorite places to eat in Paris when I want something that’s no frills and just tasty. I eat at TaTa burger every time I visit Paris. Located in the heart of the Marais district, this restaurant offers a selection of burgers for just 11 Euros each. You’ll love the campy decor including a tree of good and evil adorned with dildos and fun, vulgarities. The staff is super friendly and the food is great!
Address: 54 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
L’Open Cafe: Open Cafe is one of Paris’s most popular meeting spots with a heated terrace for seating on the street at any time of the year. Most the staff are friendly and speak English and the food is pretty tasty. In the evening and at night, it becomes a popular place to grab a drink and people watch. It’s also located near a lot of attractions including other gay bars.
Address: 17 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris, France
Le Gai Moulin Bistro: This affordable Italian restaurant offers great food inspired by the Mediterranean region of Italy. Of course, the food has a bit of French flair but that makes it all the better. The owner and staff are great and the restaurant is gay-friendly. If you’re in Paris and craving Italian food, give this place a try! My personal favorite thing on the menu is the delicious tartar.
Address: 10 Rue Saint-Merri, 75004 Paris, France
4 Pat: This canteen style restaurant offers entrees ranging in price from 9-12 euros and a lively atmosphere. On Tuesdays and Thursdays 4 Pat hosts special events that can’t be missed!
Address: 4 Rue Saint-Merri, 75004 Paris, France
If you’re visiting Paris for the first time, you will hit up all the major attractions. It pretty much goes without saying that you’ll visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, Ard de Triomphe, among others so I am not going to go into detail about these. If you’d like to learn more about the can’t miss attractions of Paris then check out this article. But I will suggest a few interesting things to do in Paris that don’t include your typical monuments.
Visit Pere Lachaise: Pere Lachaise is Paris’ largest cemetery and is the final resting place of many notable people including Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrisona among others. It’s also home to a number of monuments and it’s interesting discovering the plethora of artistic grave markers.
Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris, France
Explore Odd Museums: Paris is home to some pretty famous museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. These museums are totally worth visiting but if you’re looking something a bit more eccentric, Paris has a lot more to offer. Check out wax figures at Musée Grévin or the history of magic at Musée de la Magie. If you’re not squeamish then you should check out the History of Medicine Museum. There are many smaller less famous museums to explore!
Musée Rodin: This museum is dedicated to the artist, Auguste Rodin who is famous for his bronze sculptures. You can see some of Rodin’s most famous works here including The Thinker, The Kiss, The Gates of Hell, and the Burghers of Calais. It’s an excellent way to spend a sunny day as the gardens are an important part of the experience.
Address: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France
Sainte-Chapelle: One of the most beautiful churches in Paris is not visited by as many tourists as Notre-Dame. In fact, it’s hardly even visited by locals. It was once the private church of French kings and it’s mosaics will take your breathaway. It is located in the Palais de Justice so you’ll have to have your bag searched before entering but it’s totally worth the small inconvenience.
Address: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Explore the Catacombs: Beneath gay Paris lies a city of the dead…and you can explore it! The remains of more than 6 million people lay under Paris in tunnels which now serve as ossuaries. These tunnels were once quarries beneath the city but in 1786, cemeteries began to be emptied and bones relocated. You can now tour these bone gardens for a very low cost.
Address: 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
Gay Bars and Clubs
What would gay Paris be without its LGBT establishments including bars and clubs? One of the reasons I can say I love Paris is because it has quite a wide range of eclectic watering holes where the LGBT community meets, drinks, and spend time together. There are tons of bars to choose from and here are a number of those choices laid out for you. Choose one and go…try something new!
Raidd: This popular bar is famous for its shower show, in which wonderfully attractive, muscular men stand above the crowd in a shower while dancing, stripping, and exposing themselves. What’s not to love, right? It can get very crowded in the main room…especially during the shower show.
Address: 23 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris, France
FreeDJ: A dive bar at heart, this two-story bar/dancing venue is the perfect place to start the night out. Offering affordable drinks and typically full of cute men, you can’t go wrong here!
Address: 35 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France
Le Cud: When that bars of Le Marais close, Le Cud is where the late night party goers head. Be weary however, late night party people tend to be slightly intoxicated and this can lead to fights. I saw a couple of fights break out. However, it’s still a good place to dance and go to at least once.
Address: 12 Rue de Haudriettes, 75003 Paris, France
Cox: An old school gay bar with a pub-like ambiance is what you’ll find at Le Cox. With an apparent absence of attitude from most patrons, it’s really easy to talk to people here! This no frills bar is a great place to have a beer and meet someone new.
Address: 15 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris, France
Bear’s Den: This bar is dedicated to bears, otters, and the men who enjoy them. A friendly, grungy bear bar that offers a number of beer choices as well as other drinks. With multiple levels, there is plenty of space. Try going on karaoke night for some great entertainment!
Address: 6 Rue de Lombards, 75004 Paris, France
Naughty Gay Paris Fun
Sun City: There are number of gay saunas in Paris but my favorite is Sun City. If you are looking for a great bathhouse where you can explore your kinks and have fun then Sun City is definitely the place for you. This is one of the largest and most popular gay saunas in Paris with multiple levels for your enjoyment. With a swimming pool, giant steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, private cabins, dark room, video room, well-equipped gym, and a lounge bar, you’re bound to have a great time!
Address: 62 Boulevard de Sebastopol, 75003 Paris, France
Gay Paris Tours To Take
The Gay Locals: There are many tour companies you can use to discover every corner of Paris but I’d like to draw your attention to the Gay Locals. The Gay Locals can help you plan your gay Paris holiday or they can take you around on a tour to help you understand the lay of the city. The best part is the company is gay and can definitely help you discover Paris’ gay side!
**Check out my review of Cobblestone Paris apartment rentals!
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