Out of the Ordinary in Paris
Thu 1 Jul 2010
La Mosquée de Paris (pictured above)
39, rue Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, in the 5th Arrondissement.
01 43 31 38 20. Women’s hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs and Sat, 10–9; Fri, 2–9.
Have a rubdown! As mentioned in the Tea section, the Mosquée de Paris is a very different but interesting experience. It’s a bit like a quick visit to Morocco for the day. You can have a massage, a gommage (a hard-core scrub-down) and enjoy the intense heat of the 1920s-era hammam (Turkish steam room), then drink a glass of sweet mint tea, all for about 30–40 euros, depending on the package you select. The setting is sublime—be prepared for lots of nudity. Afterward you can go outside or in the courtyard and have tea and sweets like baklava, or enjoy a meal of couscous and then smoke a hookah. It’s a cheap trip to North Africa.
Les Bains du Marais
31–33, rue des Blancs Manteaux, in the 4th. 01 44 61 02 02. Women Only: Mon, 11–8; Tue, 11–11; Wed, 10–7.
Mixed (swimsuits a must): Wed, 7 p.m.–midnight; Sun, 11–11.
Hammam: 30 euros; with treatments: 60 euros.
A more modern choice than the Mosquée but not as impressive of a hammam; massages here are much better, though, and you’ll pay for it. They also offer hair and nail services. The café is quite lovely, and a late afternoon spent here is the ideal way to finish off a shopping session in the Marais.
Hammam des Cinq Sens
10, rue Robert Planquette, in the 18th. 01 42 52 22 40. With reservation: 9–3; without: 3–10.
This small place offers all different types of massage, including Thai and Indian, plus gommage and even waxing. But it is not the grand hammam experience that the others offer.
Hammam Medina Center
43–45, rue Petit, in the 19th. 01 42 02 31 05. Women Only: Mon–Fri, 11–10; Sun, 9–7.
Mixed (bring your suit): Sat, 10–9.
This is a fairly new place with a pool, massage, bar and restaurant.
17, rue Mayet, in the 6th. 01 43 06 55 55. Mon–Fri, 11–8; Sat–Sun, 10–8.
A sparkling new hammam in the perfect area. Try the four-handed massage.
22, rue Dussoubs, in the 2nd. 01 42 36 94 66. Email: email@example.com. All female, by appointment only.
O’Kari, an Arabian spa, is a mélange fusing the best aspects of the hammam and the Western spa: enjoy refreshments of mint tea and dates before the treatments, which use handmade, hydrating Alep and black soap. Exfoliations are thorough, all the way down to your cuticles—mini mani-pedis included! Note that a paper G-string is what you will wear around the spa and during treatments that occur near other clients. Don’t worry, you’ll be too blissed out to care!
Yes, there is yoga in Paris—but it doesn’t appear to be as popular as in the US or UK. (Classes are in French unless otherwise noted.)
For those who like it HOT, there is Bikram, with one location in the Marais and the other in the 9th. Consult the website.
The Buddhist Center
2,5 rue Condorcet in the 9th. 01 44 53 07 31. firstname.lastname@example.orgGives classes on Buddhism and meditation practice mostly in French, but they will also teach in English.
Centre du Sivananda Yoga
140, rue du Faubourg St.-Martin, in the 10th. 01 40 26 77 49. email@example.com Offers free meditation sessions Wednesdays at 8 p.m., and weekends at 6 p.m. Sessions include 30 minutes of silent meditation, 30 minutes of chanting and then 30 minutes of the center’s philosophy on yoga. They give a free beginners’ yoga class on Saturdays at 2 p.m.
68, rue Mazarine, in the 6th, near the Odéon metro station. 01 46 33 79 17. Email or call before attending.
Offers a free intro to tai chi in the Latin Quarter on Fridays at 1 p.m. and a full compliment of classes for paying customers. Some classes in English available.
21, rue St. Jacques, in the 5th. 01 43 54 14 59. A very pretty place with lots of different types of yoga each day—some are even taught in English. Prices are 20 euros a class, plus you can get a massage here.
6, rue David d’Angers, in the 19th. Outdoor pool near the Buttes Chaumont.
7, route d’Auteuil aux Lacs, in the 16th. This is one of the nicest pools in Paris—it’s partially open to the sky.
Piscine Josephine Baker
Quai François Mauriac, in the 13th. A floating pool on the Seine, open in the summer.
Piscine Pontoise (pictured above)
19, rue de Pontoise, in the 5th, at Club Quartier Latin. 01 55 42 77 88.
The sexiest pool, housed in a 1930s building. Discussed in further detail in the Beauty section.
148, ave Gambetta, in the 17th. Large pool on the roof.
For more, see this full listing of all 37 pools in Paris, complete with hours and phone numbers.
Where to Meet French Men (or Ladies)
Get your fancy duds on, don’t forget the sexy lingerie and get yourself out to the bars, cafés and nightclubs. See our Nightlife section. Don’t be afraid to stare—they’ll stare back. For more tips, consult our post on flirting in Paris.
Girls with Girls There are great lesbian bars in Paris. The most famous is probably the Pulp, which is an after-hours bar and club. (5, blvd Poissonnière, in the 2nd. 01 40 26 01 93).
Here is a complete listing of lesbian bars in the Marais.