Paris is full of places that are particular friendly to the LGBT community. These hip spots, predominantly but not always in the Marais, contribute to making Paris a welcoming and festive city. A quick look at some not to miss addresses!
Gay and lesbian bars in Paris
For a drink during the day and in the evening, go to the Open Café! With its corner terrace and a few tables, this cafe is without doubt one of the most popular spots as soon as the weather is good. Nearby, COX is also a firm favourite in the district. This trendy bar attracts a varied clientele that spills onto the surrounding pavements for drinks such as Quetzal. Lively atmosphere guaranteed! On Rue des Lombards, the atmosphere is masculine at Bear’s Den with its aptly-named clientele, and more mixed at The Labo Bar Club. A friendly atmosphere guaranteed! And for dancing and drinking, try the Souffleurs or Yono. Other bars with a friendly atmosphere include Café Voulez-Vous on Rue du Temple, Who’s Bar on Rue Saint-Merri, or Duplex on Rue Michel Le Comte. And to sing both classic and modern-day hits, head to a karaoke night at L’Enchanteur.
Just outside the Marais district, you’ll come across the Banana Café, an institution for gay nightlife and recognizable by its exotic facade (and its late happy hour). The atmosphere is gay friendly at Raymond Bar, for a drink on the ground floor or dancing in the basement. And around the Gare de l'Est station, Café Moustache is one of the oldest gay bars in the capital.
In the past few years, ‘going-out’ places have been popping up around the Marais and in the 19th and 20th arrondissements. In the 11th, Udo Bar, open on weekends, specializes in German beer and curry wurst in a Berliner atmosphere. Among Paris’s newer gay and lesbian venues, Le 17 is located at 17 Rue de la Folie Méricourt with DJs and regular entertainment, while M’sieurs Dames on Avenue Parmentier holds its own with after-work events (D.R.H., La Martine), Queermess nights, and bingo nights hosted by drag queens.
For a girls’ night out, head to the area around the Centre Pompidou, where the Mutinerie and the Bar’ouf share a lively stretch of the Rue Saint-Martin. Workshops and concerts are all part of a great programme of events offered by these 2 staples of Parisian lesbian nights. Also in the Marais, the 3W Kafé (Women With Women) is an landmark venue in the district offering a cosy atmosphere and dancing.
A few steps away is the Champmeslé, one of the first bars for girls, which opened in the 70s! It puts on unusual events such as cabaret evenings or clairvoyance sessions in a relaxed atmosphere.
LGBT clubs in Paris
From 2am in the morning, head to one of LGBT friendly clubs to dance until dawn! At the Tango (La Boîte à frissons)there’s a great atmosphere for dancing to music that ranges from pop to kitsch hits. Lesbian, gay, bi, trans, hetero, everyone is welcome!
At So What?, party goers enjoy a live music programme every Thursday, and every weekend there’s dancing to DJ sets, especially for girls, with a mojito in hand.
As for the sexy Raidd Barn, it has built up a reputation for itself as a hotspot in the Marais due to its amazing decor and go-go dancers. At CUD, one of the most popular spots with men in the Marais, clubbers can dance to the latest hit songs on the dance floor, whilst Gibus, not far from the Seine riverbanks offers a constantly changing night scene.
Gay and lesbian nights out in Paris
The Parisian (or visiting) LGBT community also party at venues in different parts of the city where everyone is welcome.
In Paris, the number of itinerant evening events has grown exponentially! Don’t miss the famous Wet For Me nights (hosted by the Barbieturix collective), or Flash Cocotte, which changes venue between each event (past venues have included Cabaret Sauvage, Wanderlust, and Social Club, among others). In Parc de la Villette, the restaurant and bar A La Folie hosts numerous gay or gay-friendly evenings in their club space. Le Pont Ephémère, by the Canal Saint-Martin, is also a celebratory space for the LGBT community.
Another unmissable event is the electro night Bizarre Love Triangle that has been hosted at Maxim’s for over 10 years. Doctor Love is still at Club Haussmann, and Le Dépôt on Rue des Ours organizes club nights at the weekend. In the Château d’Eau district in the 10th arrondissement the Les Etoiles club hosts gay nights, such as those dedicated to the disco music of La Madame Klaude.
Over towards Gibus, the Nuits des Follivores / Crazyvores liven up the République district in an offbeat atmosphere to the sound of French and international hits. At the Java, gay evenings follow on one after the other, like the House of Moda or the Trou aux biches whilst on Sunday, the Badaboum hosts the Bastille gay friendly event. Over at the Yoyo club at the Palais de Tokyo, BIG (Beautiful Is Gay) and BearDrop party nights liven up the 16th arrondissement with their pop house music scene.
Sunday evenings are now packed with events, including the gay nights at Rosa Bonheur in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, or in bars such as Le Café A for La Dimanche, the Les Planches club for LIM (Love is Mylène), and at the Badaboum club near Bastille.
Other festive events: the evening programmes of LGBT festivals such as Loud & Proud, organized by La Gaité Lyrique, the closing of TIP (Tournoi International de Paris), or the Gay Games. Check the schedules on their respective websites and Facebook pages.