When LGBTQ+ people go on holiday, they often have different concerns than their straight counterparts. While they’d like to know exactly how far their hotel is from the major tourist attractions or which restaurant has the most authentic cuisine, they’ll also need to know if the hotel will object to them sharing a double bed with their partner or if the manager will refuse them entry for wearing gender non-conforming clothing. That’s why LGBTQ+ guides to a location are important and that is why we’ve compiled one for Marseille.
While anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination exists everywhere, Marseille is an incredibly safe place for LGBTQ+ people to visit because it’s in the EU and businesses, therefore, abide by the EU’s stringent non-discrimination standards. (Plus, same-sex relationships have been legal in France since 1791!) Marseille is one of the better places to be out and proud, given that it’s a major city and has a bustling gay scene, so let’s explore our top tips for LGBTQ+ people visiting this vibrant port city.
1. Hire a car
In Marseille, there is no set gaybourhood, which sets it apart from plenty of other cities. Instead, the LGBTQ+ venues are scattered throughout the city. This does make for an interesting scene, but it’s relatively hard to get from one place to another on foot or via public transport. If you hire a car at Marseille airport, you’ll find it a lot easier to get around all the locations you want to visit.
Our top recommendations include:
- The New Cancan: Marseille’s longest-running gay club, featuring live music and themed parties
- Le Trash Bar: A gay cruise and fetish club, featuring DJ sets, theme nights, and a monthly naked party
- Cargo Sauna: A modern and well-maintained sauna, featuring Turkish baths, spas, and steam rooms
2. Visit in July
There are two reasons to plan your trip to Marseille in July, even though it’s a fantastic holiday destination year round. First, the weather is amazing with bright sunshine being a daily occurrence. This means a chance to top up your tan and admire your fellow LGBTQ+ people on the gay, nudist Mont Rose Beach. You might even find a date for the night.
Second, Marseille Pride, which is one of the biggest in Europe, is always held in the first week of July. You can march in the Parade, dance to a DJ set in the gardens of Palais Longchamp, and buy rainbow merchandise from the Pride stalls. Best of all, in the days prior to Marseille Pride, you can attend the Festival of LGBTQ+ Cultures, which will feature films, exhibitions, and conferences about LGBTQ+ people who have contributed to our wider culture.
3. Find an LGBTQ+ friendly hotel
After a long night of painting the town rainbow, there’s nothing better than a comfy bed to crawl into. However, you should be sure to find accommodation where you can be yourself, which is why we recommend finding a hotel that caters to LGBTQ+ people. That’s not to say that you won’t find a warm welcome at the local Ibis or Formule 1, but it’s nice to know that your fellow guests will be just as gay-friendly as the staff.
Hopefully, this has helped you plan your next holiday to Marseille. If you found it useful, why not share with your friends?