Gay Guide to BERLIN

Whether you are staring up at the Brandenburg Gate or gazing into the eyes of the blue eyed blonde you just met in Schoenberg, Berlin will make you smile. There is a vast and diverse gay crowd in Berlin, so if beautiful blondes don´t do it for you, the bear of your dreams may be just round the Strasse.

Brandenburg Gate  Gay Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate lit up for Berlin Pride or CSD as it is know in Germany, a sign of the city’s openness and tolerance.

Folsom Street Fair Berlin

Berlin is famous for its Fetish and Leather scene. Its not hidden or underground. Folsom for example has several street parties!

Our Insiders Guide to Gay Berlin

Street cafes, fabulous restaurants and tree lined strasses. Loads of late night clubs, saunas and sex bars. Superb gay festivals and parties and if you lean toward Marlene Dietrich, monocles, martinis and beautiful boys and girls, Berlin has that too (well maybe the not the monocles). It´s good to be gay here…

Berlin´s history is Europe´s history and it is evident all over the city. The wall came down in 1989 bringing reunification to Germany and you can trace exactly where it stood right through to the last bricks remaining at the Eastside Gallery in Friedrichshain near the Oberbaumbruke. The city’s gay history includes a period from 1919 to 1933 when it was home to the pioneering Institute for the Science of Sexuality, whose works were destroyed during the Nazi book burnings.

Poignant reminders of the past surround Berlin, including the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, on the edge of the Tiergarten – a concrete cube where a video shows gay and lesbian couples in various embraces. In Nollendorfplatz, small memorials commemorate the neighbourhood’s many firsts in gay history, including the world’s first gay demonstration, which took place in 1922.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to declare that Berlin has evolved into the first major gay city of the 21st century – it rivals London, Paris and New York in sheer enormity, cultural importance, and ‘it’ factor, and more than any of other prominent world capital. Its gay scene is defined less by clusters of discos and drag bars and more by the remarkable degree to which GLBT residents and visitors permeate the fabric of numerous neighbourhoods.

  • Berlin Leather & Fetish Scene

    Berlin is famous for its hardcore leather and fetish scene. Cubs such as New Action at Kleistrasse 35 and Bose Buben at Lichtenrader Strasse 32 offer regular S&M action, while huge parties are organised throughout the year, especially during the Easter Fetish weekend and Folsom Parties.

The gay scene in Berlin is warm and friendly.

The Gay Scene

The city has several districts, each with its own unique ambiance and personality and all of them are gay friendly. Schoneberg in Nollendorfplatz is the most prolific for gay culture and nightlife while Prenzlauer Berg is complete with fashion stores and gay and lesbian parties that never seem to end.

Affectionally called Xberg, Kreuzberg remains the hippy happening and Friedrichshain keeps the younger gay and lesbian crowd happy and has a strong student population. Mitte is the trendy end and has specific gay and lesbian parties on a very regular basis.

To be fair, plenty of other big cities – including those mentioned above – have seen a trend away from gay ghetto-ization, and Berlin has a Gay Village (around Nollendorfplatz, in Schoneberg) that bears a striking resemblance to Sydney’s Oxford Street, West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard, and countless others.

Schöneberg has largely remained the same over the past decade, while the rest of Berlin has been transforming since reunification in the ’90s.  But outside of this still highly charming district of campy bars and cafes festooned with rainbow flags, your ‘gaydar’ is likely to detect critical mass all over the city, in areas that fall both west of the former Berlin Wall, and east of it.

Particularly among the younger generation of queer Berliners, there’s a sense that every intersection blessed with a few sidewalk cafes and diverting boutiques qualifies as miniature anchor of gay society. And yet in the most buzz-worthy of these areas – such as Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg, Schonhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg, and Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain – people care not a lick about one’s sexual orientation. Indeed, Berlin’s Christopher Street Day gay pride parade isn’t the only one anymore, with the Kreuzberg CSD taking place annually on the same day.

The diversity of bars, restaurants and clubs in Kreuzberg makes it easy to get around and a tourist-friendly area. The über-hip Neukolln neighborhood has become Berlin’s hotspot, often called the up-and-coming Berlin neighborhood. Even one of Berlin’s longest-running gay clubs, SchwuZ, moved from Kreuzberg to Neukölln, marking a shift eastward in the gay Berlin scene. Set in what was once the Kindl Brewery, the new SchwuZ opened a 16,000-square-foot industrial-chic megaclub with three dance floors and a massive stage. Hipster-soaked Neukölln, while still rough around the edges is definitely seeing an uptick in queer nightlife action.  With other gay bars opening up in Neukölln, like the small dive bar & open-minded The Club, Neükolln is no longer up-and-coming—it’s the heart of the new gay Berlin.

And while long-running clubs such as cult-favourite Chantals House of Shame and Berghain still draw in the crowds, new bars and club nights often just pop up. Monthly techno queer parties like Pornceptual at Prince Charles and Homopatik have moved the crowds into alternative venues and neighbourhoods. The northern end of the Schöneberg district still reigns supreme as the full-on gayneighborhood of choice, with longtime queer favorites like Prinzknecht and Café Berio  still going strong.

  • Getting Around

    Public transportation is never really a problem in Berlin most of the gay neighbourhoods well-connected and easy to reach from the airports. The TXL airport is pretty much in the center of Berlin so even taxis are an economical option for getting from the airport to your hotel/holiday apartment.

  • The Subway

    The subway system is called the “U-bahn” while the overground train is called the “S-bahn.” Berlin works on a zone system starting with Zone A in the center and B and C moving out towards the outskirts of the city. Tickets are valid all on all trains and buses and need to be validated at the machine before boarding. The most economical route is to purchase either an unlimited or multi-day ticket or perhaps a 4-ride ticket which offers a discount compared to single rides.

  • The Airport

    Berlin has two airports: Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schönefeld. Berlin Tegel is in zone B and you can reach the city center by taking either the TXL bus or X9 JetExpressBus with a zone AB ticket, purchased from the machine outside the terminal. Berlin Schönefeld requires a zone ABC ticket since it’s farther out but is connected by the S-bahn train. The train station is not directly at the airport so you’ll take a free transfer bus from the terminal to the station.

Where to stay in BERLIN? TOP TRENDING HOTELS.

Most Berlin hotels are within walking distance of Alexanderplatz, but boutique and designer hotels are scattered throughout the other neighborhoods. Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg are easily accessible via public transportation and provide a more local experience for travelers. Neukölln is another great area to stay thanks to a handful of cool hipster hotels.

Hotel Zoo Berlin

Stunning Design Hotel

As a member of the  Design Hotels network, the Hotel Zoo Berlin stands out as one of the most remarkable boutique hotels of the West. The individually designed rooms showcase a unique clash of modern design and historical elements. The hotel also offers an amazing breakfast in the Grace Restaurant. Check rates now!

Gorki Apartments

In the trendy central Mitte district.

Gorki Apartments are centrally located in Berlin’s trendy Mitte district, surrounded by numerous bars, cafés, galleries and shops. Guests can relax in the elegantly furnished apartments.

Housed in an attractive 19th-century building near Rosenthaler Platz, the accommodation consists of individually furnished apartments and 2 very spacious penthouses. The property combines famous design names with quirky flea-market items and contemporary elements. Check for rates!

Ku’Damm 101

Panoramic views & central location.

Located in West Berlin, this stylish design hotel has an amazing breakfast room with a panoramic view over the famous Kurfurstendamm shopping street. The Swiss-designed hotel is reminiscent of Bauhaus designs from the likes of Le Corbusier. Check rates now!

Where to party in BERLIN?

While Berlin’s nightlife options are wide and varied, it can be difficult to find out about what’s happening when. There are reoccurring party nights and gay events happening day-by-day, but Berlin’s best gay parties are the ones that happen less frequently—usually every month or just bi-monthly.

Prinzknecht-Berlin

Prinzknecht is in the hear of Schoneberg and is one of our favourite bars in the city – diverse guys and friendly staff.

Homopatik

Homopatik The gay party takes place at electro club ://about blank. Several floors and bars, and in summer a huge, enchanted garden area with swings.

Schwuz

Schwuz is now firmly embedded in its new home in Neukölln. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, this “living room” for the GLBTQ community is open and always full..

Revolver Berlin

The biggest monthly partyat one of the most loved and notorious clubs…the KitKatClub

Gay bars and parties we love in Berlin!

Berlin is in a constant state of flux and events come and go quickly, however the mainstay venues have stood the test of time and reinvent themselves regularly as the fashions change! We have more than 30+ listings for gay bars in Berlin, but here are 4 that have been popular for eternity! Check them out

Scheune Berlin

Scheune-Berlin

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A gay cruising bar popular with skinheads, dress code is jeans, sneakers, uniforms, rubber and skins, offering a darkroom and videos,
Prinzknecht Berlin

Prinzknecht

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A very big gay bar popular with local Berlin guy and a magnet for tourists looking to hook up with them.
Toms Bar Berlin

Toms Bar

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Tom's Bar is the infamous Schöneberg gay club, known throughout the world for its great music, and dark room!
Roses Berlin

Roses

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Small but so much fun! this gay bar has pink walls and is always packed so do not be surprised if you suddenly find yourself being groped,

What to See & Do in BERLIN?

Berlin is teeming with history and its key attractions bare testimony to that. But there is something to interest just about anyone of any age in this intriguing city. The infamous Checkpoint Charlie and Jewish Museum are two just examples of the many sights that serve as a stark reminder of Germany’s torrid past and history buffs will enjoy exploring all the museums and memorials this great city has to offer.

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, displaying graffiti from over 118 artists from around the world and is an enduring testament to a moment in history that changed Germany and the world.

Schwules Museum

The Schwules Museum is one of the world’s largest and most significant institutions for archiving, researching and communicating the history and culture of GLBTIQ

Hamburger Bahnhof

Hamburger Bahnhof is home to works by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys.

Museum Island Berlin

 Berlin’s Museum Island is a magnificent work of art in its own right, an extraordinary ensemble of five world-renowned museums on an island in River Spree right in the heart of Berlin’s city centre.

Sights worth seeing!

The remains of the infamous Berlin Wall are now the Eastside Gallery, the largest open-air gallery in the world displaying graffiti from over 118 artists from around the world. It has become a major landmark in the city and a wonderful tourist attraction not to be missed.

The historic Hamburger Bahnhof, one of the most popular art galleries, is a must for culture lovers while the Postdamer Platz is a wonderful place to explore. The square, boasting a fantastic mix of restaurants, shopping centres, hotels, a casino, theatres and cinemas, draws both Berliners and tourists seeking good food and recreation. The Kollhoff building located in the square features a panorama platform, which can be reached by Europe’s fastest express elevator, and offers breathtaking views of the city.

Berlin’s Museum Island is a magnificent work of art in its own right, an extraordinary ensemble of five world-renowned museums on an island in River Spree right in the heart of Berlin’s city centre. The many highlights include the bust of Nefertiti and the Pergamon Altar.

Schwules Museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating all aspects of LFBT life through exsibitions, lectures and workshops. It has a permanent exsibitinon dedicated to 200 years of gay culture.

Shopping & Dining in BERLIN

Over the past few years, Berlin has increasingly become a tasty hot spot where trends are not only followed but forged.The German capital now has 18 Michelin star restaurants and some of the finest department stores in Europe. The city is constantly reinventing itself with inspiration from its bohemian design stores and vibrant street-food movement. Berlin is a city for all tastes, from Champagne to beer!

Prenzlauer-Berg-Berlin

Schönhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg connects up several
local neighbourhoods, which have everything the shopping heart could desire.

Markthalle-Neun

Streed Food Thursday at Markthalle-Neun allows you to sample food from the 4 corners of the earth, all in one hip market.

KaDeWe

KaDeWe is Berlin’s largest and most famous department store. The Store has some amazing window displays throughout the season and their foodcourt has some amazing items you wont find elsewhere!

Cecconi's-Berlin

Cecconi’s-Berlin is one of our favourite restaurants in the city, part of the SoHo House group and with a diverse menu!

Eat, Shop & Be Happy

Where do you get the best breakfast, the tastiest falafel or the hottest gear? Correct! Around Schönhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg. It connects up several local neighbourhoods, which have everything the shopping heart could desire set well away from the mainstream areas: plenty of unusual boutiques and restaurants. In a nutshell: you’ll find everything here that’s fashionable and chic.

The KaDeWe is Berlin’s largest and most famous department store. Its 60,000 square meters of retail space and gourmet floor attract visitors from all over the world.

In October 2011 a historic market,  Markthalle Neun (Market Hall Nine),opened its gates again in Kreuzberg’s Eisenbahnstraße – precisely 120 years after its original opening: on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays there’ll be a traditional weekly market, while everyday except Sunday all the kinds of food you can imagine is on sale.

It gets very crowded every Thursday evening (from 5–10 pm) at “Street Food Thursday”. The various stalls compete with each other with their culinary delicacies, but it’s the visitors who are the winners. Excerpt from the menu: British pies, Thai tapioca dumplings, Mexican tacos, Allgäu cheese spaetzle or Nigerian FuFu.
Bier’s Kudamm 195 in western Berlin whose Currywurst pedigree goes back to 1965. Many of its regulars, including numerous local celebs, enjoy washing down their sausage with a small bottle of Champagne, and it’s often busy until the
wee hours. Another popular night owl roost is the famous Curry 36, either the original branch in Kreuzberg or the newish one at Zoo station.

No need to be a Soho House member to dine at Cecconi’s – this dispenser of reliably executed Italian classics is open to all even though it’s set within the famous members-only social club emporium. Aside from pasta, pizza and risotto – some souped up with lobster and truffle – the menu also checks the superfoods box with its quinoa and chia salads while also featuring carnivore- pleasing grilled meats. The vibe is Berlin-chic thanks to the handsome clientele, sensuous crimson leather seating and tables overlooking the open kitchen.

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