Berlin has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s most LGBTQ-friendly cities. Many neighbourhoods are explicitly queer-friendly and the whole city is a hub of tolerance. From the historic gay neighbourhood of Schoneberg, which has provided a safe haven for the gay community since the 1920s, to the central borough of Mitte, with its numerous gay-friendly venues, Berlin is a gay cultural paradise. There’s a gay museum, as well as an array of gay bars, night clubs, and saunas. On top of all this, every summer, the gay scene of Germany’s capital gathers for the annual Gay Pride parade. There are also plenty of gay hotels in Berlin that ensure a safe and comfortable stay in this freedom-loving city.
Berlin: Gay Party City
Berlin is one of the world’s best gay party cities! One of the oldest gay clubs is Connection. Situated in Schoneberg, the club looks back on a long tradition of gay hedonism. With its dark room and extensive cruising area, it still is primarily a place for gay men, but women are now allowed in at weekends. For a night of hardcore electronic music, the legendary Berghain club beckons. Alternatively, Chantal’s House of Shame offers legendary parties where all genders are welcome. Sudblock, in the heart of Kreuzberg is a popular queer hangout and also a good place to have a good meal. Nearby, Barbie Deinhoff’s offers something a little different every evening: drag shows, themed costume nights, and queer performances make this one of Berlin’s most fun venues.
Berlin’s Gay Districts
Schoneberg is the city’s main gay area and there are plenty of gay hotels in the area. Schoneberg was the world’s very first gay village back in the 1920s, and the gay vibe is still going strong here! You will find most of the action on the streets of Fuggerstrasse and Motzstrasse with numerous gay bars, shops, and clubs to choose from. But Berlin offers many gay hangouts outside of Schoneberg. Prenzlauer Berg is home to some classy gay cafes, such as Schall und Rauch, and Kreuzberg is another gay-friendly area that’s loaded with gay clubs and bars. Then there’s the neighbourhoods of Friedrichshain and Neukölln, which is where the young gay crowd hangs out in the Schwuz Club, or at the Silver Future bar. Anything goes in Berlin! Many venues welcome a mixed crowd of all genders and sexualities, as LGBTQs are becoming a more and more accepted part of the city’s social fabric.
The Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin is a huge, massively popular event. Held each July, this Pride is one of Europe’s finest, and has been celebrating diversity since 1979. The aim is still to bring an end to discrimination, calling out for inclusion of sexual minorities in all spheres of life. But the Berlin parade puts on a particularly extravagant show as people of all genders and sexual orientations walk from Kurfurstendamm to the Brandenburg Gate accompanied by floats thrumming electronic music. Everyone is welcome to watch the colourful procession and to enjoy the events that take place later in the day around the Brandenburg Gate. Later still, the capitals’ gay bars and clubs fill to the brim with revellers continuing their celebrations into the night. Many of Berlin’s gay hotels support CSD Berlin, and access to the parade is free of charge.
The Best Gay Bars in Berlin
Hedonistic Berlin is home to numerous fabulous gay bars, where people gather for drinks before heading out to the clubs! The city’s gay capital, Schoneberg, is home to some of the best bars. For example, Blond is a cafe by day that turns into a fabulous 80s-themed cocktail bar when the sun goes down. It’s inclusive and a lot of fun! Another bar in this part of the city is Hafen. With its friendly atmosphere and legendary themed parties, the Hafen is a firm favourite in the community. Dreizehn is another cosy bar located in Schoneberg. It attracts a more mature crowd and offers a laid-back atmosphere. Some of Berlin’s top gay bars are not in Schoneberg at all. In Neukolln, you will find Silver Future, a flamboyant and lively bar that welcomes all genders and is particularly inclusive of trans people. Nearby, Rose’s Bar is a flamboyant alternative with its red leather sofas and baroque red walls. In Mitte, you will find the chic Rizo Bar with its minimalist decor and classy wine list, as well as the French underground Bar Saint Jean, which offers an extensive cocktail list and an elegant vibe. There are many gay hotels in Berlin located close by the best gay bars in the city.
Living up to its reputation as gay capital, Berlin is home to several high-quality gay saunas. But the Boiler Sauna has got to be one of the best. With its steam room, whirlpool, and Finnish sauna, the Boiler attracts a diverse crowd. On most days, the sauna is open all afternoon and through the whole night. You can also book a massage here, browse the internet, or enjoy a snack at the bar with an outside terrace. With its maze-like cruising area with private cabins, the Boiler is also a good place for anyone looking for some naughty fun. The Boiler Sauna maintains an elegant atmosphere. It’s a fun, scrupulously clean place that deserves its popularity with local and visiting men.