Paris Gay Travel
Paris gay travel guide to the best hotels, gay bars, clubs, things to do & the Paris gay district.
The Gay Travel Experience: Paris, France
It’s easy to see why so many gay travelers love Paris. There’s a thriving gay scene, world-renowned food, and of course the luxurious and romantic ambiance!
An enormous city with so many attractions and a ton of gay nightlife, Paris can also be intimidating. But with the help of the recommendations in this Paris gay guide, you’ll be set for a great trip.
For my friend Oded, Paris is a cultural and fashion paradise. He feels more at home here than in his hometown of Tel Aviv. The dark and gritty Paris gay nightlife is attractive to my friend Tom. The financial opportunities keep my good friends Hervé and Ivan happy.
Now, here’s all the Paris gay travel info you’ll need from where to stay to gay clubs.
Gay Paris: Hotels & Where to Stay
Before reading the hotel suggestions below, keep in mind that your hotel’s location is important for a good experience. If you pick a place that is too isolated, traveling from one place to the next can be difficult.
Hotels in close proximity to a Paris Metro station are best unless you plan to splurge on taxis. The metro is cheap and expansive enough to get you just about everywhere you could want to go.
Le Marais Hotels
Grand Hotel du Palais Royale
The Grand Hotel du Palais Royale is incredibly well-rated and surprisingly affordable. Their location is perfect for gay travelers since it’s close to Le Marais, yet also near big attractions like the Louvre.
I really love the huge glass showers in the rooms. They also have a steam room and sauna, which is perfect after a long day of touring Paris.
Hotel Bel Ami
Hotel Bel Ami is an even more affordable option located right in the center of Paris. They’re a smaller hotel with a modern aesthetic. Facilities include a small fitness center and spa, which is pretty nice considering the property’s price point!
Four Seasons Hotel Georges V
The Four Seasons Hotel Georges V is an easy choice for luxury travelers with a sizable budget. If you want something romantic and classically Paris, the Four Seasons will blow your mind.
Their spa, dining spaces, courtyard, and rooms all have stunningly detailed decor. It’s right near the Seine, close to the Arc de Triomphe.
Overall, the most expensive accommodations will be close to major landmarks. To save a bit of money, look toward the nearest residential area that offers a local feel. You can also search for a quaint, authentic central Paris apartment rental.
Luxury rentals in Paris curated by Plum Guide are the absolute best option if you’re looking superior quality. There’s a decent number of listings throughout the city.
Paris Gay Travel Experiences
Cafés in Paris are notoriously elegant. My favorite in Le Marais is Le Café Suédois. With outdoor seating in a cobblestone courtyard surrounded by ivy-covered walls, it feels royal. Make sure you order some freshly baked pie and grab a coffee refill.
Visit the Paris Gay District
While everyone knows the Le Marais gay neighborhood, many do not know that there are actually three sections. Each section of the gay district attracts varying amounts of gay tourists versus gay locals.
Rue des Archives is the area with the most tourists. Most of the gay bars are here. Local gay French men tend to avoid this area unless they’re visiting to party.
Ze Restoo is a decently priced restaurant in Le Marais. I enjoyed their food and how friendly the waiter was. Perfect during sunset or a nightly walk after dinner, don’t forget to spend at least a little time walking along the Seine.
Things to Do in Paris: Shopping & Viewpoints
The best shopping in Paris is between Hôtel de Ville and Châtelet in my opinion. I also checked out some boutiques just north of here in Le Marais. My friend Oded took me shopping here and helped me pick out some new clothes.
Head to Sacré-Coeur for the best views of Paris! Climb to the top and enjoy the wonderful vistas. I did it in the middle of a snowstorm and don’t regret it one bit.
Outside the City center: Porte D’Asnières & Porte de Clichy
Stop for coffee at Le Trebois Café if you find yourself near Porte D’Asnières. I strolled through this neighborhood after visiting Sacré-Coeur.
Le Trebois is a bare-bones coffee shop, but the espresso is delicious, there is strong wi-fi and you can most importantly observe local life.
In the Porte D’Asnières, Clichy and Porte de Clichy neighborhoods, you can easily escape the tourist hype and experience local life. I spent one day in these neighborhoods visiting friends and exploring the feel of the streets.
Authentically Experience Paris
Most importantly, tourism is not all about landmark counting! Often the most memorable experiences are not taking a selfie in front of a landmark, but discovering hidden spots and mixing in with the locals.
While it’s definitely easy to do so in Paris, I urge you not to be a landmark counter. Travelers expectedly plan to visit some “must-see” spots. However, don’t get too carried away just for the sake of saying you did it. Set aside some time to see the Paris that locals love.
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Paris Gay Bars & Clubs
Nearly all of the Paris gay bars are in the Le Marais gay district. There are a bunch to choose from, so you can afford to be picky!
Le Raidd Bar
Le Raidd is probably the most iconic gay bar in Paris. It’s a medium-sized high-energy Paris gay bar famous for their “shower show.” A completely naked dancer performs in a rain shower booth a few times per night. You won’t want to miss this!
The street level at Le Raidd is mostly for dancing and it gets pretty packed on the weekend. The bar’s lower level has lots of small lounge spaces, a smoking lounge, and a coat check. If you’re visiting in winter, arrive earlier to avoid long coat check lines.
Gibus Club hosts some of the best gay parties in Paris. This club is a popular late-night and after-hours party spot, and the events here get pretty intense!
The lights will be dim, the music will be loud, and the men will be sweaty. Some parties even have a dark room for cruising. Either way, be prepared to check your clothes, stripping down to just your sexy gay party gear.
The club typically plays techno or trance-like music, but this will depend on the specific party. Check the Gibus Facebook page for the latest scheduled events.
Parties typically continue until 6 or 7 AM, so even more guys tend to show up here after all the regular gay bars close.
Le Next Gay Cruising Bar
Le Next is one of the best spots for gay cruising in Paris. It’s an uninhibited 2-level afterhours bar and club with a live DJ where guys completely let loose. Inside you’ll find dark rooms, private cabins, a video room, showers, and of course a locker room to check your clothes.
They host different events every day of the week, usually starting at either 10 PM or midnight and continuing until the late morning hours.
Salle Wagram Papa Party
A planned event with friends, I attended an Eliad Cohen Papa Party featuring Netta at the Salle Wagram. Many Parisians, Spaniards, and other northern Europeans danced the night away.
The space is huge and I was stunned by how efficient the security and coat check were. I wish clubs in New York were more like this!
Papa Party is just one of the many international circuit parties that tour in Paris. If you want to party, try to line up your trip with one of them.
I visited a Paris gay bar called CUD during a night out in Le Marais. Honestly, the venue wasn’t so impressive.
There didn’t seem to be any Parisians and the music was a bit strange. Perhaps skip CUD or save it for last!
Paris Travel Tips
Local Parisians don’t party as hard as other Europeans in my experience. There are tons of Paris gay bars, but the nightlife scene fizzles out much earlier than similar large European cities like Madrid.
Options will be a bit limited if you are looking for larger circuit party-style venues unless there’s a specific event happening.
The metro unlimited ride pass works on a weekly basis that starts on Monday. It is a bit strange in that the pass does not work on a rolling 7-day basis. Instead, all passes expire on Sunday evening, and on Monday, new unlimited passes begin.
Buy single tickets until Monday comes and then get an unlimited if it is worth it for your stay.
Prices for goods and services in Paris are pretty much on par with other expensive cities. For many things, like coffee and clothing, your dollar won’t go as far if you are American. On the other hand, wine is cheaper!
Whenever I’m flying between European cities, I always check Vueling first. Their tickets are some of the cheapest and I’d definitely choose them over Ryanair. Paris is a huge Vueling hub too, with flights to both the Charles De Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) airports.