Note : In April 2016, the French Parlement passed a law allowing for punters to be fined up to 1 500 euros for paying a sex worker. It is very hard to tell how this is working in practice. From what we know so far, this law has mostly been used to remove 'local nuisance' and it is more likely that in general, the law is being ignored - because the police don't have the resources, for starters


Place Pierre Semard


This is an article giving some brief information about the situation in Avignon.

In 2015, petitions were being raised among the residents of in Boulevard Raspail and rue Velouterie in Avignon because of prostitution in the area.


Avenue President Wilson


Quartier de la gare Saint Jean : Belcier, quai de paludate

Quartier Saint-Rémi : rue du pont de la mousque, rue courbin

Les quinconces

Passage Birly, rue de Ruat : massages

Rue du Pont de la Mousque

More information here


Cours Montalivet, Caen The traditional area of place Saint Saveur appears to have been displaced to other areas, and French workers appear to have been largely displaced by foreign workers.

Africans formerly used to work from vans on cours Montalivet, but have now moved across the river to the Presqu'île de Caen (see image). According to the press, the workers feel safe here : "Nous avons de bons rapports avec la police et nous nous sentons en sécurité ici. Notre transfert s'est déroulé sans problème / We have a good rapport with the police and we feel secure here. Our transfer went through without problems".

Among the relevant streets are cours Caffarelli, quai de Normandie, rue Gaston Lamy.

Otherwise : Romanians on quai de Juillet and la promenade de Madame de Sévigné, the banks of the River Orne in general, or quai Hamelin.

Earlier they talked of 'torpedo-prostitutes' who lived in Paris and travelled up to Caen for the day. Apparently more women are now actually resident in the area.


La croisettte


place Gustave-Rivet and along boulevard Foch.

Le Havre

Rue LaSueur, Le Havre

THis seems to hanging on by the skin of its teeth. I need to research the situation further to be certain of the current state of affairs. Previously we had said :

Small and cheap but not of a particularly 'high standard' as such.

The center of gravity seems to have shifted recently. Previously it was concentrated on the rue LeSueur, adjacent to place Danton with one or two women on the rue Laperouse. With the demolition of the prison, the trade on the rue LaSueur appears to have finished, and recent renovations on rue Haudry appears to have done the same there. Thus leaving the rue Laperouse adjacent to the bar on the corner, with maybe just one 'frangine'.

It is also quite strange in not 'opening' until about 1400 and seeming to close down around 1800. There appears to be no activity during the night at all.

The view shows rue Laperouse where the 'center of activity' is close to the bar shown on the corner.

Newspaper article

Photos (1)

Photos (2)


Quartier Peuple Belge (Rue de Monnaie, Rue de Gand, place de Gand, rue de Courtrai, place aux Bleuets)

Prostitution dans le Vieux-Lille : le ras-le... by TNTWeo

•  La Madeleine, just to the north of Vieux-Lille

•  Prostitutes quitting the streets of Lille


The area around the Champ de Juillet, opposite the railway station. In 2014, the mayor and council attempted to halt the trade in this are, but that was officially annulled at the end of 2016, after a legal challenge.

Prostitution in Limoges


near gare de Perrache (image from Wikipedia)

Cours Charlemagne prés de Perrache. River "quais" (Rhone and Saône), quai Perrache, quai Jules Courmont .

•   Occupation of Saint-Nizier Church by the Prostitutes of Lyon

Occupation of Saint-Nizier Church by the Prostitutes of Lyon, events of 1975


Quartier du Val Fourré


Red Light Districts of Marseille


Boulevard de Strasbourg

The avenue de Toulouse appears to be a more shady district, inhabited by clandestine immigrant sex workers (and possibly subject to common police checks).


Eue de la source


Rue Paul Bellamy

Quai de la Fosse

Rue de Strasbourg

Rue de Talensac


Promenade des Anglais

Rue de France


Rue / Boulevard St Denis

rue St Denis, Arc de Triomphe The rue (and boulevard) St Denis is possibly the best known area - roughly speaking the area south and east of the prominent arch. This area includes the side streets of rue Blondel and rue de Ponceau (a bit further to the south). Rue Blondel appears to have recently 'changed' its character a bit - for example, there is a launderette halfway along the street.

Despite the law of 2016, there now appear to be as many women here as before. And what's more, they usually make no attempt to speak with passers-by, just as though this new law had never been introduced.

On the boulevard St Denis, between rue St Denis and boulevard de Sebastopol, there are often a large number of (mainly) Chinese women. In the past, you might have been expected to take a metro ride out as far as Charonne or similar, but nowadays I think there is a good chance that they usually have a room within walking distance

Latest (but possibly inaccurate) news on this topic:

Chinese Prostitutes of Strasbourg - St. Denis and Belleville

There are often one or two women further down rue St Denis between rue Réaumur and rue Turbigo (adjacent to the passage de Cerfs particularly).

In the past there were often a few older women right at the bottom of the rue St. Denis, around the rue des Lombards (but this might no longer be the case).

Many sex shops were formerly to be found in the 'middle' section of rue St Denis, i.e. south of the rue Reaumur. This trade has declined but now there is there the Love Hotel where 'exotic' rooms can be rented by the hour. (One sex shop does still exists at the top of the rue St. Denis, just down from the arch (incidentally, and there a few around the gare du Nord).

'Aux Belles Poules', rue Blondel 32, is a former brothel that has retained its interior (consequently it has had a preservation order slapped on it). It is due to be preserved and be opened for viewing.

photograph from 1933, Brassai - Prostitute at angle of Rue de la Reynie and Rue Quincampoix From "Paris by Night", an area close to the bottom of the Rue St Denis

report on the rue St Denis earlier (e.g. 60s)

report from Peeps magazine

another report on the 1960s

• If you are interested in a short history of the rue St Denis area, go here. The porte St Denis and St Martin are reminders of the course of a former city wall of 1347, which is marked today by boulevards from the Bastille area and went from here down the current rue d'Aboukir.

Video showing earlier times.

Video on the contemporary situation.

How to Get There : Metro Stations Strasbourg-St Denis (the arch end) or Sebastopol Reaumur (the rue Reaumur end)


The 'unofficial' district around Belleville (an obvious Chinese district) appears to still exist, and the new law has probably given it a 'boost'. The number of women definitely seems to imply that the new law is not being applied.

The area lies adjacent to the Belleville metro station and north-west along Boulevard de la Villette and Rue Civiale. Sometimes outside the L'Espace Belleville de la CFDT (building of the CFDT), on the Boulevard de la Villette, and in the open space behind this building.

Video on situation previously.


Moulin Rouge, Pigalle The Pigalle area is known for the Moulin Rouge (see image) and its past, although today it is probably very tame in comparison. There was formerly an interesting Museum of Eroticism (now closed unfortunately)

The Sexodrome in Pigalle sells itself as officially the largest sex shop in the world.


along the boulevard de Marchaux, specifically

la porte de Champerret

la porte d'Aubervilliers.

rue de la Chapelle

porte de Bagnoles

Boulevard Barbè - unchecked

The bois de Boulogne and porte de Vincennes are well-known areas for working from vans.

The rue de Budapest close to gare St. Lazare, appears to have ceased its activities.

General Links

Photographs of Paris

Photos of Paris - 2

Vintage Erotica Depicts Parisian Sex Workers In The 1930s

Brothels of Old Paris

Brothels of Old Paris

Brothels of the Belle Epoque

The Infamous Madame Claude and Her High-Profile Client List

Pre 1914 : France's Grand Era of Prostitution


Rue St Jacques, in the evening. Possibly spreading into the boulevard des Belges

•  Further details here

• Photos


Avenue de la Forêt-Noire

Route du Rhin

Quai des Alpes

Quai Louis-Pasteur

Boulevard de Lyon Quartier de la Gare


Rue Bayard

Quartier du Canal

Boulevard de Strasbourg


Red Light area of Troyes boulevard Gambetta, rue Argence, rue Paul Dubois

• More information

La Jonquera (Espana)

Paradise, Le Jonquera

A town on the French border that appeears to have 'profited' from recent French laws on prostitution. In 2010, the Paradise was opened, which claims to be one of the biggest brothels in Europe, with.around 100 bedrooms. It lies on the main road in the south of La Jonquera

La Jonquera has announced fines of up to 3000 euros for prostitutes and their clients conducting their business in public.

  • Le Paradise

(two other brothels under same ownership at at Melianta, near Banyoles (south of Figueres) and at Mont-Ras near Palafrugell on the Costa Brava).