Why you should go to Paris !

No other city in France - or the world - matches up to Paris as a global destination, rich in history, culture, culinary delights, shopping, architecture, fashion, sensory pleasures. And few cities are as welcoming to LGBTQ travelers. More than a dozen years ago the city began actively courting gay tourists. "We want to create a gay friendly spirit across the whole city," a spokesman for the project announced on the steps of City Hall. Gays have become a force in the revitalization of the Marais, a historic neighborhood along the Seine, but throughout the city there's the freedom of expression with gays able to display affection in public and check into hotels.

Paris has a number of Gay Pride activities and organizations. The Paris Gay Pride Parade (Marche des Fiertés) attracts hundred of thousands of people each June, slowly winding from the Left Bank to the Place de la République for dancing, DJs and live music with celebrations in bars, restaurants and clubs along the way. It is the largest Gay Pride celebration in the country. Planning is already underway for Gay Games 2018. France remains among the most open-minded European countries when it comes to LGBTQ rights with same-sex marriages accounting for 14.25% of marriages in Paris as of 2014.

Paris has long been famous on the LGBTQ scene. Oscar Wilde died and was buried here. Colette and Proust wrote novels here. Sylvia Beach opened a bookstore. Alice B. Tolklas baked brownies. Dior, St. Laurent, Gaultier, Balmain designed dresses. It continues to be a gay mecca because no other city offers what it does and because France is at the forefront of recognizing LGBTQ rights. In 1985, France passed a law barring sexual discrimination in jobs and housing, amending it in 2004 to make homophobic slurs illegal. In 2013 it became the 13th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage with the right to adopt children. When Paris became the first European city to elect an openly gay mayor in 2001, his sexual orientation never came up in the campaign. The openly gay can serve in the armed forces.

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Paris it's incredible and passionate place around the world too!

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Paris is awesome ! i love this city!

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Most glorious city in the world. Looking to solo travel there again this year. Didn't check out the LGBT scene, though.

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Getting around

Paris, a city made for walking, has an excellent network of metro lines, buses and RER (suburban rail), the same ticket used by all. Hold on to your ticket until you exit the stations. The Metro and RER close down between 12:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. weekends) and 5:30 a.m., which means looking for a night bus or hanging out at the boîte until dawn. The city center and airports are connected by public bus, coach and rail. For savings and convenience, look into the Paris Visite travel card for 1,2, 3 or 5 consecutive days in central Paris and close-in suburbs and includes Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Versaille by bus, metro, tramway and RER networks. There is also a weekly smart-card pas.

You don't need a car - or the traffic snarls and parking challenges - while visiting Paris. The public transportation system will get you where you want to go. If you plan to get out and about in France, rent a car at the end of your Paris visit and pick it up on the outskirts of town in the direction you're going - like Orly airport for south or west and Charles de Galle for for points north. Another option is to take a high-speed train to the region you want to explore and pick up a rental car there.

Thanks to Bertrand Delanoë, the first gay mayor of Paris (2001-2014), you can pedal your way around the city on Vélib, a self-service, 24-hour bike rental system on a 1-day or 7-day ticket. Vélib, BTW, stands for "vélo' (bike) and "liberté." The first 30 minutes of every ride is free, and you can buy tickets online. Stations are strategically placed all over the city.

Metro lines, which used to be designated by where they ended, now go mostly by number, so it's useful to consult maps in metro stations or download free apps like the Paris Metro RATP Map. Individual tickets at €1.80 are sold at machines in stations, some tabacs and windows at RER/Metro hubs. You can also buy 10 at once - a carnet - for €14.40. Buying a pass for a limited number of days not only saves you money but gives you freedom to bounce around town..

Buses are a great, cheap way to see the city. Some of the more picturesque routes: #69 from Père Lachaise Cemetery to Eiffel Tower, #80 from Sacré Coeur to Eiffel Tower, #73 from Hotel de Ville to Eiffel Tower. Nociliens, night buses, fill the rail void between midnight and dawn on 47 routes with buses every 15 - 60 minutes depending on route. The same tickets work for bus and metro.

Taxis can be hired at taxi stands or hailed. You'll know the taxi is free if the roof sign is green. Choose the Metro over taxi during rush hour if you have to get anywhere fast. Be prepared to pay cash. A taxi from Gare du Nord to the Marais might cost you around $12 plus tip. As of now, the French government has barred Uber after taxi strikes.

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