Experiencing "Gay Paree"
They don't call it "Gay Paree" for nothing. The city elected an openly-gay mayor in 2001 (the first capital to do so),
its gay pride parade every June just gets bigger and bigger each year (at this rate
it may very well attract 1 million people to its streets in a few years), and the Marais is one of the gayest neighborhoods on the planet.
IN THE DAYTIME
During the daytime hours, a recommended place is Les Mots à la Bouche, a gay bookshops (with plenty of gay literature), magazines, and videos.
For another intellectual spot, there's Duplex. Local artists often exhibit their paitings or photos at this bar. It is a place for the after-work hours, with tables on a balcony upstairs.
We also suggest Open Cafe, a popular meeting place with heated terrace seating, making it the ideal spot to people-watch even in winter. The weekend brunch is great, as are the usual salads, sandwiches, and cakes.
Another eating and drinking option is Le Gai Moulin restaurant, a success for close to three decades. Close to the Pompidou Center, it is a good dining choice, serving traditional French cuisine. It is straight-friendly, so hags will also feel welcome...
Also consider KOFI DU MARAIS (54 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie), presenting a menu filled with double-entendres, although you'll have to exercise your knowledge of the French language to understand them. The prices are reasonable and the service is friendly, making it a valuable Marais option.
Creativity and humor is also part of Curieux Spaghetti Bar, an Italian-inspired eatery with an ever-changing décor. If you're not yet feeling hungry, hang by the bar, with its friendly atmosphere and varied crowd, and afternoon "happy hour."
Also located in the Marais, Le Carre is a lounge bar and restaurant serving original cocktails and tapas at the bar. The nicely-designed restaurant space serves a varied menu.
BARS AND CLUBS
Once you're ready for some clubbing, Le Raidd should be your first stop. Located in the Marais and with an open air terrace, it would also win the contest of "sexiest bartenders in Paris"... Late in the evening everyone really goes crazy with the shows under the shower. Watch and drool. There is also a lounge downstairs with comfy sofas.
Cruisy Le Cox is also popular, filling up by 7PM! It is the place to go before hitting the other clubs.
After that you may consider Queen. It is a Paris institution, although it is also becoming increasingly straight (and touristy). Currently, its best night is Sunday.
But Les Bains Duches has now overtaken it in gay popularity. This notorious club opened in 1979 as Paris' version of New York's Danceteria. It was known for its new wave scene, and is still going strong today as the place for party animals. It has gone through and survived all the fads over the years, and is now spinning House sounds.
Also with a great atmosphere is CUD Bar, mixing 80s hits with the latest dance tracks. The drinks are affordable and the bar staff offers plenty of eye candy.
You'll probably also hear about Banana Café, a well known bar next to Les Halles. It has a tropical look, and its popularity remains high, helped by its strippers...
The girls will want to check out the friendly, girls-only 3W CAFÉ (8 rue des Ecouffes) late in the afternoon and perhaps stay until later.
Alternatively, there's La Champmeslé. It is one of the oldest lesbian bars in Paris which has maintained its popularity due to its welcoming atmosphere. Every night is different, with several shows such as Cabaret.
Also serving as a female meeting place is the bar-restaurant-club Le 3eme Lieu. It is perhaps the coolest lesbian meeting place in the city.
End the night at Le Pulp, which is always guaranteed fun.
One of the best-established saunas is EURO MEN'S CLUB (10 rue Saint-Marc). It includes a Jacuzzi, a pool, sauna, and bar on three levels.
Les Jardins Du Marais Hotel
Le Pavillon Bastille Hotel
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