Le Marais (French for 'the Marsh’) is a beautiful, historic district in gay Paris, France. Since the 1980s, it's also famous for catering to the gay community, and is now known as one of the most gay-friendly destinations in Europe. Although France seems somewhat on the conservative side, Paris is the gayest city in the country, with Le Marais being at the heart of LGBT life. Paris was the first capital to elect an openly gay mayor in 2001 and campaigners celebrated in Le Marais after the Gay Marriage bill passed on April 23, 2013.
Le Marais very much has a medieval vibe to it, with narrow streets and architectural masterpieces. Gay cafés, bars, restaurants, sex-clubs and more can all be found here, mostly near the southwestern portion of the Marais, next to the City Hall and the Jewish district, along rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie, rue du Temple and rue des Archives.
The Marais is home to dozens of gay and gay-friendly establishments. Gay restaurants such as the Who’s, the 4Pat (gay-themed pasta) or Les Marronniers, gay cafés and bars (Raidd Bar, Open Café, Cox), a gay bookstore and a gay baker, popular gay sex shops, clubs, hair salons, gyms, gay saunas and some sex-clubs.
Spread your wings
But don’t be afraid to leave Le Marais and explore the rest of the gay Paris: check our map for the hundreds of gay bars, clubs, restaurants and gay saunas spread all over the city.
Consider a trip to gay Paris in late June and enjoy the two craziest days Le Marais has to offer: Fête de la Musique on June 21, a hedonistic celebration of summer, and Paris Gay Pride on thelast Saturday of June.
The next big thing: in 2018, Paris will be hosting the Gay Games, with thousands of athletes flying from all over the world to gay Paris. See you there!