They don't call it "Gay Paree" for nothing -- the gay scene is open and thriving in the French capital. It elected an openly-gay mayor in 2001 (the first capital to do so), its gay pride parade in June just gets bigger and bigger each year (it may very well attract one million people), and the Marais remains one of the gayest neighborhoods on the planet. That neighborhood is, naturally, one of the most pleasant and fashionable parts of town, offering dozens of gay, gay-friendly, and straight-friendly cafés, restaurants, bars, and clubs. On a typical evening, groups meet at a café, go for long dinners and end up clubbing at midnight.
A popular meeting place with heated terrace seating, it’s the ideal spot to people-watch, even in winter. The weekend brunch is great, as are the usual salads, sandwiches, and cakes.
Facebook Page: OpenCafeParis
This bar has a tropical look and has remained popular over the years thanks to its go-go dancers...
This cruisy bar is in business since 1995. It’s the place to go before hitting the clubs, although the resident DJ often makes everyone stay all night long.
Despite the Spanish name, this isn’t a latin-themed bar, it’s more of a cave for bears. It does serve tapas along with the drinks, but it’s a bar to hear a variety of musical styles in the company of friends, bear or not.
Different DJs spin different tunes throughout the week at this bar with a small dance floor. On weekends the crowd tends to spill out to the street.
Late in the evening, everyone goes crazy at this bar with its shower shows. Hunky guys get in a tank and show off their bodies as everyone watches and drools. A must when you’re in Paris.
Facebook Page: RaiddBarParis
Featuring a small outdoor terrace, this is a bar for people watching in the evening or late at night. There are nights of karaoke and DJs on weekends.
Facebook Page: Sly-Bar-Club
The place to be after bar-hopping on weekends, this club is also open on weekdays for special theme nights.
Facebook Page: cudbar
This club throws parties that attract guys of all ages to its two dance floors. The music is selected by its resident and guest DJs, and can go from Madonna and Lady Gaga remixes to the latest club hits.
If leather, rubber, sportswear, uniforms or underwear are any of your fetishes, head to this club in the heart of the Marais, which has a different theme for every day of the week. Uninhibited men get together in the two dark rooms and cabins, or just enjoy a few drinks at the bar.
Cruising and dancing are the main activities at this club for over two decades now. DJs select house and trance music for the dancefloor on the ground level, while the basement is for fun in the dark.
You can’t be shy if you step into this red-hot club. Clothes come off at the entrance, and from there everyone goes through the stone interior divided into bar, smoking room, cabins and maze.
Euro Men's Club
One of the best-established saunas, it includes a jacuzzi, a pool, and a bar on three levels.
Gym Louvre Paris
Doubling as a gym and sauna, it provides a Finnish dry sauna, hammam, private and common showers, and massage services. The name derives from its very central location close to the Louvre.
This large sauna spread over four levels includes a gym, an extra-large hammam, jacuzzi, dark room, slings, and private cabins.
Le King Sauna
In business for four decades now, this sauna features a hammam, dry sauna, cabins, a lounge, and common showers.
Featuring a curious Indian-themed interior, this huge sauna offers a gym, an indoor swimming pool, a cinema, steam room, jacuzzi, and dark room.
Le Gai Moulin
In business for three decades, this restaurant close to the Pompidou Center has always been gay-friendly, and is a good dining choice, serving traditional French cuisine.
Facebook Page: GaiMoulinBistro
Despite the 3-star rating, this is a fabulous place to stay if you’re looking for unique design. Each room is different, but all inspired by street art and literature.
Jules & Jim Hotel
The location in the heart of the Marais district naturally attracts a number of gay guests, as do the views of Paris’ rooftops and the stylish interior. They also enjoy the cocktails at the bar or on the terrace and courtyard with an outdoor fireplace.
Want to wake up with a view of the Eiffel Tower? Choose this 4-star hotel which is divided into rooms and suites. Some of them have a balcony or terrace, and are a good value when compared to similar properties in Paris.
Le 20 Prieuré Hotel
For the boutique hotel experience at a lower price, check into this 3-star hotel with rooms featuring contemporary design and large images of Paris. The staff is friendly and used to welcoming gay guests.
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Gay Paris and the Marais Gayborhood
Get to know the gay side of Paris on a unique tour that takes you through the Marais, exploring the best bars, restaurants and shops that welcome LGBT locals and travelers, while also getting to know France's queer history and influencial gay and lesbian personalities.