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Gay Life in Paris

Gay Life in Paris

When you rent a furnished apartment with Absolu Living, you can stay in the heart of gay life in Paris!

Paris attracts gay tourists from all around the world—for good reason

Paris is the capital of fashion, the most beautiful city in the world and the destination par excellence for a romantic getaway. Both dining and partying are excellent.

The Parisian lifestyle is famous the world over, and the gay community in particular appreciates the fashion, French lifestyle and the overall romantic atmosphere.

For your next stay in Paris, find an accommodation in the middle of the Parisian gay life.

Since the 1980s, gay life in Paris has become concentrated in one neighbourhood, the Marais. That’s where most gay businesses are found, including restaurants, bars, bookshops and boutiques.

It’s also where Absolu Living has the majority of its furnished apartments, so when you rent a furnished apartment directly with Absolu Living, you can really make the most of gay life in the Marais and stay in the heart of Paris.

Whether you’re looking for shopping, entertainment, relaxation or culture, let Absolu Living take you to the heart of the Marais where you’ll find some of the most famous spots on the Paris gay scene...

Learn more about the gay life

Le quartier gay du Marais

The Marais

The Marais is the heart of gay life in Paris—but also a charming historic neighbourhood

The Marais is Paris’ gay neighbourhood but also an important historical neighbourhood

Geographically speaking, the Marais neighbourhood is found in the centre of Paris, between the city’s third and fourth arrondissements.

Made up of narrow streets and former private mansions, this part of Paris is inhabited by the city’s gay community, which is mostly clustered around the rue des Archives and the rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie.

The Marais is both a place for the gay community to spend time and a historical and cultural destination for tourists visiting Paris. This is where most of the city’s gay and gay-friendly bars, boutiques and restaurants are found.

The Marais: one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Paris

The Marais is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Paris. It was built on former marsh land, and its French name today still means ‘Marsh’.

In the 16th century, monks lived here, and it was only in the 17th century, after the opening of the place des Vosges, that it became popular with Parisian nobility. Several private mansions were built during this period, and many have survived to this day.

Over time, it has maintained its picturesque charm despite being one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in Paris.

The Marais: home to the city’s gay and Jewish communities

From the end of the 19th century up to the Second World War, the Marais was also a popular meeting place for the city’s Ashkenazi Jewish community. After fleeing from Eastern Europe, many set up home in and around the rue des Rosiers.

Although fewer in number these days, the Jewish community still has an important presence on the rue des Rosiers, which is full of restaurants and delis offering—or inspired by—Ashkenazi Jewish traditions.

The modern Marais is a hip, trendy neighbourhood that welcomes two communities: the gay community and the Jewish community.

Our guests’ Paris & Marais experience

Homme sous la douche

Gay saunas and sex clubs

Absolu Living has put together a list of the best gay saunas and sex clubs in Paris

After a long day of seeing the sights in Paris, it’s time to relax. Absolu Living has compiled a list of the best gay saunas and sex clubs in Paris. Most of them are located near our apartments in Paris, but all of our selections are popular with the locals. Maybe you’ll meet somebody new ...

The Bunker (sex club) - 150 rue Saint-Maur – 75011 Paris

The Bunker is probably the hottest sex club in Paris. For those in the mood for something kinky, the Bunker is very well-equipped, with 38 cabins, 18 gloryholes, leather and steel swings, medical tables, prison cells and even more if you want to take things further.

The Dépôt (Sex club) - 10 rue aux Ours - 75003 Paris

In the city’s third arrondissement, right in the heart of the Paris gay scene, the DEPOT is a cult gay venue that’s open every day from 2 pm to 8 am. It’s France’s biggest sex club. Spread out over two floors and 1, 400 m², you can meet some of Paris’ hottest guys and enjoy a dance.

The DEPOT is unmissable end to any stay in Paris and a night out on the city’s gay scene.

Gym Louvre (gay gym and sauna) - 7 rue du Louvre – 75001 Paris

The Gym Louvre includes both a fully-equipped gym alongside a real gay sauna, occupying over 1, 500 m². The basement gay sauna at Gym Louvre is one of the biggest in the city. It’s also one of the cleanest, and has everything you’d expect from a gay sauna. The atmosphere is modem and the decoration mixes contrasting colours set the right note for some interesting encounters. The gay sauna and gym share the same communal shower space ... 

'IDM' (gay gym and sauna) - 4 rue du Faubourg Montmartre – 75009 Paris

IDM has one of the biggest gay saunas in Paris, and is also one of the most attractive. IDM offers a variety of different themed areas, allowing you to experience some of Paris’ most exciting encounters over five floors and 1, 000² of space. IDM also has a large gym offering a full workout with over 20 machines for cardio and bodybuilding. If you’re in Paris for a few months, you can sign up for a pass.

Sun City (gay gym and sauna) - 62 boulevard de Sébastopol – 75003 Paris

This central Paris gay sauna is spread out over three floors and over 2, 000 m² of space. The interior is inspired—and imported—from India. There are two jacuzzis, a great pool, a dry sauna and a large steam room. Other facilities include a movie room, a bar, a well-equipped gym and a floor devoted to cabins. They’ve thought of everything for your workout, with an impressive selection of machines for cardio and muscle work.

IEM (Sex shop) - 16, rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie – 75004 Paris

IEM has been the desination for gay shopping in Paris since 1981. For more than 20 years, both the boutique in the Marais and the online store have built up a well-deserved reputation. The staff are friendly and will put you at you ease so you can choose a toy that you had always dreamt of ... but never dared to buy.

Learn more about the Sauna gay & Sex club

Gay-friendly Restaurants

Gay-friendly Restaurants

Absolu Living has picked some of the best gay-friendly restaurants in the Marais

If you need to stop for lunch or need somewhere to start your big night out in the Marais, you have plenty of gay-friendly restaurants to choose from:

Le café Beaubourg - 100 rue Saint Martin - 75004 Paris

Very popular with both fashion victims and stylish gay guys. The big terrace is a place to see and be seen. 

Pizzéria Vito - 12 rue des Archives - 75004 Paris

Open every day for lunch and dinner, and even later at the weekend, this is the gay pizza place in the Marais. Many of the customers come from the nearby Cox bar or the other gay bars in the area. 

Tsou - 16 rue des Archives - 75004 Paris

A gay-friendly Chinese restaurant. Friendly staff and great Chinese food. The terrace is great for people-watching. 

Les Marronniers - 18 rue des archives - 75004 Paris

This is the other great terrace where locals come for lunch or dinner. Excellent value for money for bistro-type food. 

Tata Burger - 54 rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie - 75004 Paris

This burger restaurant is most famous for its penis-shaped burger, the DSK, named after the French politician who was arrested in New York after allegedly assaulting a hotel chambermaid. 

Des gars dans la Cuisine - 72 rue Vieille du Temple - 75003 Paris

A more upscale restaurant with cosy décor. The innovative menu offers good quality food. Excellent brunch on Sundays. Reservation required.

See our gay restaurants recommendations


Gay Bars

When it comes to nightlife in the Marais, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

After diner, it’s time to try some of the Marais nightlife in one of the neighbourhood’s many gay bars:

Le Cox - 15 rue des Archives – 75004 Paris

One of the most famous bars in the neighbourhood, popular with bears and muscle guys. Also one of the neighbourhood’s busiest bars thanks to the daily happy hour.

L’Open Café - 17 rue des Archives – 75004 Paris

Located on a strategic crossroads in the heart of the gay neighbourhood, this is one gay bar not to miss during your stay in Paris. It’s bright and welcoming inside and with a heated terrace outside in winter. It’s not always easy to find a space.

Le Spyce - 23 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie – 75004 Paris

A gay bar and club. Entry is free and the crowd is mostly young. It’s a great place to meet people and the atmosphere is often electric. 

Le Raidd Bar - 23 rue du Temple – 75004 Paris

A Marais classic, with the city’s biggest DJs on the decks. The famous ‘Shower Boys’ are under the shower every night and it’s often packed at the weekend.



The Marais features several boutiques popular with gay customers

A shopping trip is the best way to discover the Marais!

The Marais is home to plenty of fashion shops popular with gay customers, and, more recently, luxury boutiques around the BHV Marais department store. At Absolu Living, some of our favourites include:

Les Dessous d’Apollon - 8 rue de Moussy – 75004 Paris

In this megastore, you’ll find underwear and swimwear from the biggest names, including ES collection, Andrew Christian, Addicted, Diesel,  Emporio Armani, Rufskin  and more. 

ES Collection Paris - 15 rue du Bourg Tibourg – 75004 Paris

A store dedicated to the Spanish brand ES Collection 

Le BHV MARAIS - 36 rue de la Verrerie – 75004 Paris

Right in the heart of the Marais, BHV is the department store for central Paris. Just next to the main store is a second branch specialising in men’s fashion. From streetwear to collections by new designers with suits and accessories thrown in, BHV Marais l’Homme covers four floors and is not to be missed for men into fashion. 

Diesel Store Marais - 21 rue sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie – 75004 Paris

The 280 m2 of the Diesel Store Marais are laid out like a loft apartment. This new boutique has some of the latest arrivals from the Diesel and Diesel Black Gold menswear collections.

Best place to go shopping - the BHV Marais

Couple lesbien

For Girls

Absolu Living is proud to welcome lesbian visitors to Paris!

The best lesbian venues in Paris are found in the Marais...

Girls usually prefer the south end of the Marais, around the rue du Roi de Sicile and the rue des Ecouffes. There’s just a few minutes’ walk between the 3W Café, Les Jacasses and the Little Café, main lesbian bars in Paris and the only dedicated sex shop.

On rue Saint Martin, near the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Unity Bar has karaoke nights, a big pool table and girls-only DJ nights.

Learn more about the lesbian life in Paris

Voute palce des vosges

Museums and Monuments

Take a look at some of the museums and historic sights in the Marais

After a long night out in some of the gay bars and clubs in the Marais, why not explore some of the neighbourhood’s most important historical sights:

Le Musée Carnavalet - 16 Rue des Francs Bourgeois -75003 Paris

Dedicated to the history of Paris, from the prehistoric period to now, including exceptional paintings, sculpture, furniture and more.

Le Musée Picasso - 5 rue de Thorigny - 75003 Paris

Entirely renovated in 2014, this museum is in the Hôtel Salé, one of the most beautiful former private mansions in Paris. The Paris Picasso Museum has the biggest collection of Picasso paintings in the world, covering the entire period of the artist’s work.

La Place des Vosges - 75004 Paris

First opened in 1612, this is the oldest public square in Paris and without doubt one of the most splendid, with its perfectly symetrical layout of redbrick buildings. The centre of the square is given over to a garden, where topless sunbathing is an option on sunny days.

Les Archives Nationales - 60 rue des Francs Bourgeois - 75003 Paris

Since the French Revolution, this building has housed the archives of the entire French government, with the exception of the Army and the Foreign Affairs Ministry. It includes a museum open to the public. 

Le marché des Enfants Rouges - 39 rue de Bretagne - 75003 Paris

The oldest covered market in Paris dates back to the start of the 15th century. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, this lively market offers fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, but also several restaurants. A must-see. 

The 5 museums you must see in Paris

If our Paris gay guide has left you wanting to come and explore gay life in the Marais, why not rent one of the many apartments we offer in the neighbourhood. All you have to do is ask ...

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