With no less than four gay neighborhoods, an openly gay mayor, a museum of homosexual life, a memorial to gay victims of the Holocaust and even a cemetery for lesbians, Berlin really is a gay capital in Europe.
The city has long been open to all sexualities. The first human rights organization for gay and lesbians was founded there in 1897 and led to establish the city as a gay capital in the 1920’s already.
FOUR GAY DISTRICTS IN BERLIN
Gay venues are spread over no less than 4 neighborhoods in the city, each with their own athmosphere and their own style. The best known and oldest is the Schöneberg district, the former western part of the city; in the east, Prenzlauer Berg is becoming very trendy, with more scattered places; there is also Friedrichshain, with a rather student crowd, where you will find the Berghain / Lab.Oratory (Am Bahnhof Wriezener), the legendary gay club and infamous sex club; and finally the more popular Kreuzberg.
Schöneberg is the main gay area. Centered around Motzstraße, Nollendorf and Winterfeldt squares, it extends to Fuggerstraße and Maassenstrasse (Metro stations: U Viktoria-Luise-Platz, U-Bülowstr, U-Nollendorfplatz).
On sunny days, you can enjoy the terrace of one of the emblematic venues of the area, the Café Berio (Maassenstrasse, 7), the perfect spot to watch the pretty boys of the neighborhood walking aroud. In the evenings, you can opt for a traditional dinner at Sissi (Motzstraße 34) or try the More if you are looking for a more trendy atmosphere (Motzstraße 28).
GOING OUT IN GAY BERLIN
For a drink after dinner, Tom's Bar (Motzstraße, 19) is an institution, with a large international clientele. Formerly known as "leather bar", it now attracts a diverse crowd. To enjoy more elaborate cocktails, prefer Heile Welt (Motzstraße 5).
Our naughtyest users will also visit the New Action Bar (Kleiststrasse, 35), but be aware and follow the dress code! The Connection (Permoserstrasse, 33) is the main gay club in the neighborhood, as legendary as its darkroom. Recently refurbished, it offers showers for the gogo dancers.
For those who would like to discover the trashy side of Berlin, BDSM clubs are numerous: Böse Buben (Sachsendamm 76-77) Greifbar (Wichertstraße 10) Stahlrohr (Paul-Robeson-Straße 50) or Triebwerk (Urbanstraße 64) are only a few examples. But you should really check the theme of the night and follow the dress code!
If needed, you can find your outfit at Rob Berlin (Fuggerstraße 19) or in one of the many other specialty shops in the neighborhood, as Mister B (Motzstraße 22), die Butcherei (Motzstraße 18) or Gear (Kalckreuthstrasse 13). For a simple shirt, visit Wagner Berlin (Motzstraße 32).
Other unusual places that are worth visiting, The Jaxx (Motzstrasse 19), first gay cinema in Schöneberg district, or Bruno's, a sort of gay supermarket where you might find a souvenir (in Schöneberg - Bülowstraße 106 or Prenzlauer Berg - Schönhauser Allee 131 ).
To relax, enjoy the Apollo Splash Club (Kurfürstenstraße 101) with 2,000 m2 of wet fun in a very modern and sleek decor with solarium and foam parties. The Boiler (Mehringdamm 34) offers different types of sauna as the Finnish or the bio sauna, depending on the desired effect.
Berlin is also the birthplace of the gay culture. The Eisenherz (Motzstrasse. 23) is one of the most prestigious gay bookstores in the world. Another unique place: the Schwules Museum (Lützowstraße, 73) is the only museum in the world dedicated to the gay life in all its forms.
BERLIN MAJOR GAY EVENTS
Gay pride parade ("Christopher Street Day") attracts more than 400,000 people each year in late June. In Summer, you will also enjoy a large street party in Schöneberg. Berlin, the capital of the leather and fetish scene, also hosts several festivals among the hottest in Europe : Folsom in September, Hustlaball in October or Easter in Berlin at Easter.
Summer is the ideal time to explore the German capital. For three months, everything happens outside around terraces, lakes, swimming pools, parks, equipped beaches, outdoor festivals. And the garden of Tiergarten gets really cruisy.
You do not speak a word of German? Do not worry about the language barrier ... There are no barrier to Berlin! You will realize that if you spend an evening in one of the hottest clubs in the world, the KitKat Club, with its very strict dress (Bruckenstrasse 1)
Yes, Berlin is a highly attractive city for the gay tourists! In perpetual renovation since the fall of the Wall, its architectural and cultural offer is impressive : Museum Island, the Reichstag dome, Alexander or Potsdamer Platz ... But Berlin still remains one of the cheapest European capitals, especially if you are looking for a gay friendly hotel, like the Axel Hotel Berlin (Lietzenburger Straße 13/15) or an apartment (on misterbandb.com)!
In the end, the hardest thing in BErlin, will be to find the courage to fly back home!