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France Gay Travel

The flavours, fashions, and romance of Paris and the French countryside continue to seduce and enthrall gay travellers to this day.

It’s no wonder France has been dubbed the world’s most popular tourist destination. French culture lures and captivates with its effortless nonchalance. Chic women sip café with their croissant, and a dainty menthol dangling from their fingers. Buskers and accordionists peddle near popular attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. In the south, locals and visitors alike bask in the sun-soaked Mediterranean from shady terraces while sipping Soixante-Quinze cocktails (aka The French 75). If we had to sum up this timeless destination, we’d describe it as an extravagantly simple delight that’s as familiar as it is unexpected. It just has that je ne sais quoi.


Quick Facts

  • Capital City: Paris
  • Currency: Euro
  • Languages: French
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May to October

LGBT Rights in France

Gay France Travel

Best Places to Visit in France

More Info

France has always been intrigued by unconventional lifestyles. So when it came time to recognize LGBTQ+ people, the country was leagues ahead of its European neighbours. Paris has been a queer mecca since the ‘70s, if not earlier. And smaller scenes exist in every major city including Lyon and Marseille. Overall, the country is very LGBTQ+ welcoming and has strong anti-discrimination laws. Same-sex marriage and adoption are legal, while changing your gender doesn’t require surgery.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Same-Sex Marriage: Legal
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Legal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal

Paris claims to have one of the largest and most robust queer scenes throughout Europe, only matched by cities such as Madrid and London. And while we j’adore Paris’s Le Marais district, it’s not the only district in the country featuring guys who like guys, and gals who like gals. Marseille and Lyon both have excellent LGBTQ+ scenes worth indulging in. Nice—the country’s famous summer escape—has not one, not two, not three, but four popular gay beaches to choose from. With multiple annual Prides, plenty of bars and clubs, a sex-positive culture, and even a number of lesbian-centric institutions, France is one of our favourite queer destinations in the world. 

Gay Villages in France
Paris: Le Marais district
Lyon: Primarily around Quais de Saône, the Terreaux, and Bellecour Square

Pride and Gay Events in France:
Marche des Fiertés LGBT Paris: Annually in June
Pride Marseille: Annually in July
Lyon Queer Film Festival: Annually in March
Lyon Pride: Annually in June

Best Gay Bars in France:

Paris: CUD (Young crowd. Club)
Paris: Le Raidd Paris (Mixed Crowd. Club with strippers.)
Paris: Les Souffleurs (Hip gay bar)
Paris: Club Banana Café (Younger crowd. Go go dancers, drag, parties)
Paris: FreeDJ (Mixed Crowd. Dance bar)
Paris: COX (Rough-and-Tough crowd)
Marseille: Play Bar (Casual. Mixed-Crowd)
Marseille: Le 5.5 (Karaoke)
Marseille: New CanCan (Club)
Lyon: La Ruche (Mixed Crowd)
Lyon: XS Bar (Bear Bar)
Lyon: La Chapelle Café (Mixed Crowd. Cocktail Bar)
Lyon: It Bar (Mixed/Younger Crowd. Late-night 80s club)

Best Lesbian Bars and Events in France:
Paris: La Champmeslé
Paris: Rosa Bonheur
Paris: Le 3W Kafé
Marseille: AUX3

Best Gay Beaches in France:
Marseille: Mont Rose Beach
Nice: Castel Plage
Nice: Coco Beach
Berck: Terminus Beach
Biville: Biville Gay Beach
Erquy: Le Lortuaise
Nantes: La Palmyre Beach

5. Meaux
A charming, picture-perfect town known for its world-famous white-mold cheese.

4. Château de Versailles
Few palaces exude the opulence, grandeur, and zeitgeist of the Renaissance quite like Versaille.

3. Nice
France’s summer playground. Expect gorgeous beaches, a surprising art scene, and some of the best seafood in the world.

2. Champagne
It’s no wonder this gorgeous swath of French countryside produces the world’s most romantic beverage ever corked.

1. Paris
Paris is many things, to many people. A romantic honeymoon destination where couples can pop champagne on the bank of the Seine. A grungy European capital with real city grit. A historic center brimming with monuments, museums, and cathedrals. A leader in food and wine, overflowing with patisseries, Michelin-starred restaurants, and neighborhood bistros. Like so many have said before us, “Paris, nous t’aimons.”

Best Time to Visit: May to July, and September to October are the best times to visit France. August is also excellent, however, many smaller cafes and restaurants may be shut down while their employees enjoy a month off.

Electricity: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type E sockets. Visit https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/france/ for more information.

Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (GMT +2)

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements: Out Adventures requires proof of full Covid-19 vaccination from all guests, following recommendations by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more details please see our Covid-19 FAQ.

Other Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for France, there are no other vaccinations needed. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic. Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations. 

Visas: A visa is not required for American, Australian, British, and Canadian citizens travelling to France for fewer than 90 days. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Last updated on Sept 24, 2021. Disclaimer: The information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, but cannot be guaranteed.
LGBT Rights in France

France has always been intrigued by unconventional lifestyles. So when it came time to recognize LGBTQ+ people, the country was leagues ahead of its European neighbours. Paris has been a queer mecca since the ‘70s, if not earlier. And smaller scenes exist in every major city including Lyon and Marseille. Overall, the country is very LGBTQ+ welcoming and has strong anti-discrimination laws. Same-sex marriage and adoption are legal, while changing your gender doesn’t require surgery.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Same-Sex Marriage: Legal
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Legal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal

Gay France Travel

Paris claims to have one of the largest and most robust queer scenes throughout Europe, only matched by cities such as Madrid and London. And while we j’adore Paris’s Le Marais district, it’s not the only district in the country featuring guys who like guys, and gals who like gals. Marseille and Lyon both have excellent LGBTQ+ scenes worth indulging in. Nice—the country’s famous summer escape—has not one, not two, not three, but four popular gay beaches to choose from. With multiple annual Prides, plenty of bars and clubs, a sex-positive culture, and even a number of lesbian-centric institutions, France is one of our favourite queer destinations in the world. 

Gay Villages in France
Paris: Le Marais district
Lyon: Primarily around Quais de Saône, the Terreaux, and Bellecour Square

Pride and Gay Events in France:
Marche des Fiertés LGBT Paris: Annually in June
Pride Marseille: Annually in July
Lyon Queer Film Festival: Annually in March
Lyon Pride: Annually in June

Best Gay Bars in France:

Paris: CUD (Young crowd. Club)
Paris: Le Raidd Paris (Mixed Crowd. Club with strippers.)
Paris: Les Souffleurs (Hip gay bar)
Paris: Club Banana Café (Younger crowd. Go go dancers, drag, parties)
Paris: FreeDJ (Mixed Crowd. Dance bar)
Paris: COX (Rough-and-Tough crowd)
Marseille: Play Bar (Casual. Mixed-Crowd)
Marseille: Le 5.5 (Karaoke)
Marseille: New CanCan (Club)
Lyon: La Ruche (Mixed Crowd)
Lyon: XS Bar (Bear Bar)
Lyon: La Chapelle Café (Mixed Crowd. Cocktail Bar)
Lyon: It Bar (Mixed/Younger Crowd. Late-night 80s club)

Best Lesbian Bars and Events in France:
Paris: La Champmeslé
Paris: Rosa Bonheur
Paris: Le 3W Kafé
Marseille: AUX3

Best Gay Beaches in France:
Marseille: Mont Rose Beach
Nice: Castel Plage
Nice: Coco Beach
Berck: Terminus Beach
Biville: Biville Gay Beach
Erquy: Le Lortuaise
Nantes: La Palmyre Beach

Best Places to Visit in France

5. Meaux
A charming, picture-perfect town known for its world-famous white-mold cheese.

4. Château de Versailles
Few palaces exude the opulence, grandeur, and zeitgeist of the Renaissance quite like Versaille.

3. Nice
France’s summer playground. Expect gorgeous beaches, a surprising art scene, and some of the best seafood in the world.

2. Champagne
It’s no wonder this gorgeous swath of French countryside produces the world’s most romantic beverage ever corked.

1. Paris
Paris is many things, to many people. A romantic honeymoon destination where couples can pop champagne on the bank of the Seine. A grungy European capital with real city grit. A historic center brimming with monuments, museums, and cathedrals. A leader in food and wine, overflowing with patisseries, Michelin-starred restaurants, and neighborhood bistros. Like so many have said before us, “Paris, nous t’aimons.”

More Info

Best Time to Visit: May to July, and September to October are the best times to visit France. August is also excellent, however, many smaller cafes and restaurants may be shut down while their employees enjoy a month off.

Electricity: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type E sockets. Visit https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/france/ for more information.

Time Zone: Central European Summer Time (GMT +2)

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements: Out Adventures requires proof of full Covid-19 vaccination from all guests, following recommendations by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more details please see our Covid-19 FAQ.

Other Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for France, there are no other vaccinations needed. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic. Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations. 

Visas: A visa is not required for American, Australian, British, and Canadian citizens travelling to France for fewer than 90 days. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Last updated on Sept 24, 2021. Disclaimer: The information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, but cannot be guaranteed.


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