Paris Gay Travel
Paris gay travel tips to help you discover the Paris gay district and find the best hotels, gay bars, clubs & things to do.
The Gay Travel Experience: Paris, France
My Parisian Gay Friends
An intensely stylish guy, Oded shared his story with me in a Paris café about how he found his love for the French capital. It’s always heartwarming to hear how people fall in love with cities and what exactly drew them in.
Each of my local gay Parisian friends loves Paris for a different reason. It’s a fashion hub, and for my friend Oded, it’s paradise. He feels more at home here than his hometown of Tel Aviv.
With this wolfyy guide, Paris gay travel will be a cinch! Start reading now to get the low-down on gay bars, accommodations and my favorite café in Paris.
Gay Paris: Hotels & Where to Stay
Le Marais is the well-known Paris gay district. If most of your time will be spent in this neighborhood, then it is best to search for hotels in the 3rd arrondissement or perhaps near in hotels in the 11th arrondissement. Aside from this, it is generally difficult for me to recommend specific locations to stay because it really depends on why you are visiting.
Paris Experiences for the Gay Traveler
Cafés in Paris are so 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! It’s also fantastic because refills on drip coffee are free (at least when I went)! Make sure you order some freshly baked pie. I’ll never forget how delicious mine was.
Paris Gay District: Le Marais
If you find yourself in Le Marais in the morning, then stop by Legay Choc for some phallic-shaped treats. For more phallic shaped food, go to Tata Burger, where you can find penis-shaped cheeseburgers! Gay travel to Paris is not complete without a visit here.
Everyone knows the Le Marais gay neighborhood…but something you likely didn’t know, is that there are three sections. Each section of the gay district attracts varying amounts of gay tourists versus gay locals.
Le Rue des Archives is the area with the most tourists. Most Paris gay bars are here. Local gay French men tend to avoid this area unless visiting to party. Here are some of the best 3 to 5-star hotels in Le Marais.
Things to Do in Paris: Shopping & Viewpoints
In my opinion, the best shopping in Paris is between Hôtel de Ville and Châtelet. 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. He has an amazing sense of style, and he did a stellar job helping me with some new looks. Thanks, Oded!
Here’s a tip for Sacré-Coeur. Avoid walking into groups of foreigners asking you to sign petitions. I witnessed them become very aggressive toward tourists who walked past them and I did not like this. Take a route around them.
Outside the City center: Porte D’Asnières & Porte de Clichy
If you find yourself to the northwest of the city center near Porte D’Asnières, stop at Le Trebois Café. 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 Porte D’Asnières, Clichy and Porte de Clichy, you can escape the tourist hype to experience local life. I spent one day in these neighborhoods visiting friends and exploring the feel of the streets. A nearby shopping called So Ouest offers an hour of free high speed Wi-Fi, and so I browsed some stores as I warmed up from the cold.
Travel Authentically & Experience the Real Paris
Very importantly for maintaining some travel authenticity: don’t be a landmark counter! Some “must-do’s” for everyone visiting Paris for the first time are undoubtedly filled with tourist havens.
The wonderful Louvre, the iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and more. I encourage you to see some of these sights but don’t forget to try to get to know the Paris as locals know it.
Paris Gay Bars & Clubs
Just about all of the gay bars in Paris are in Le Marais, the gay district. There are a bunch to choose from, so you can find one with a vibe that suits you. Wander the neighborhood. You can definitely afford to be picky!
The Most Famous Paris Gay Bar: Raidd Bar
If you’re visiting in winter, get there earlier to avoid long coat check lines. I had an amazing time at Raidd Bar. The music was excellent and the people were fun!
Paris Gay Clubs
Gibus is a popular gay afterhours party (starting at 4am) for the diehard dancers. The club plays trance-like music with heavy beats. It is a very dark, intense venue not for the faint of heart.
During a night out in Le Marais, I visited a Paris gay bar called CUD, although I did so against the recommendation of a local friend. The venue wasn’t very impressive. There didn’t seem to be any Parisians and the music was a little odd. I guess Parisians don’t frequent this place I should have listened! Maybe skip CUD or save it for last.
Salle Wagram Gay Event: 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 how efficient the security and coat check were. Clubs in New York should take note!
One other local favorite is a place called Restaurant Bar. Although I did not visit this specific venue, one of my Parisian friends loves it, so give it a try.
Paris Travel Tips
The city of Paris may be huge, but if you didn’t know, the French don’t party as hard as other Europeans. There are tons of Paris gay bars, but if you are looking for larger circuit-party style venues on your Paris gay travel adventure, options will be a bit limited.
Gibus, as mentioned before, is where you will find the gay locals who love to party until sunrise.
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.
Just as in cities like Tokyo and New York, don’t try to cover all of Paris in one shot! The city of love will take time to get to know. As I said earlier in this article, pick a few major tourist sites you really want to see. Then dedicate the remainder of your time to exploring neighborhoods and taking recommendations from locals. Spontaneity can bring the best moments!
Prices for goods and services in Paris are pretty much on par with other expensive cities like New York. 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!
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