Paris Gay Pride (or the "Marche des Fiertés" in French) has steadily grown in popularity over the years to become one of the city's most-anticipated annual festivals, drawing tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people into the streets of Paris every June or July for a lively, colorful street party celebrating diversity.
More than just a Carnival-like festival, it's also served as an important platform for supporting full civil rights for LGBT people, in France and around the world.
While the annual Pride Parade and associated events are an opportunity for LGBT organizations to draw attention to key issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, and celebrate newly acquired rights such as the right for same-sex couples to marry, Gay Pride is never a purely solemn affair: it's almost inevitably a lot of fun.
This is a joyful, sometimes a touch rowdy, but never intimidating event that brings together Parisians of all stripes -- one that's not to be missed. Local politicians and celebrities are known to join the procession, and it's a bit like Carnival: colorful and willfully over-the-top, full of music, dancing, creative drag and floats. All are welcome -- come as you are, and be prepared to live it up!
Make sure you're respectful, though: allies are always welcome, but remember that this is not a spectacle. Go if you want to take an active part in celebrating and showing your solidarity, even if only from the sidelines.
Refrain if you're not supportive of LGBT rights or think of it as a funny occasion to see people dressed in elaborate drag: that's not what Pride is all about.
2018 Paris Gay Pride Parade Details (and Where to Party Afterwards)
Gay Pride Paris/ Marche des Fiertés 2017 festivities will take place on Saturday, June 30th, beginning at 2:00 pm.
The march begins at the Place de la Concorde (with the party extending over to the Place de la Madeleine), leaving from the area at 2. The procession will slowly wind down Rue de Rivoli, past the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre, before turning north at Metro Chatelet and winding up to Place de la Republique, where the traditional dance party and musical program will be held. There will be live concerts on the square from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There is no entry fee to the square.
Partying often spills into the very queer-friendly Marais district, where cafes, bars and clubs often offer dinner and drink specials for the "fete".
Check out our guide to the best gay, lesbian, and LGBT-friendly bars and clubs in Paris for a shortlist of great spots to party till the wee hours of morning. Paris is generally a very gay-friendly place, so whether you choose one of these spots specifically catering to an LGBT clientele; or any number of other clubs that are open to all, the ambiance is likely to be welcoming and fun.
More Information on Gay Pride 2018:
- Visit Gay & Lesbian Travel Guide Andrew Collins' page on 2018 festivities
- Paris Gay Pride Official Website (Marche des Fiertés)
Pictures of LGBT Paris Pride in Past Years:
Great pictures of the Paris Gay Pride event can be viewed on Flickr.
Read More About LGBT Events in Paris:
Check out our guide to the best LGBT events in Paris for an overview of what's on in the French capital every year, including film festivals, pop-up dinners, and more.