Three words to describe our visit to Berlin – liberating, insane and gay; so very gay! Berlin probably eats other gay cities for breakfast!
There is an attitude of open mindedness across Berlin that seems to be embedded into its culture. People don’t seem to care if you are different and we really felt a sense of ‘anything goes’ and ‘you do you’.
Not only that, but it is a beautiful city, steeped in history and activities to keep you entertained all weekend unless the nightlife takes you first.
During our visit, we were here for Berlin Pride hosted by visitBerlin to learn everything about what gay Berlin had to offer!
In this guide we will provide you with the best gay bars in Berlin, clubs, gay and gay friendly hotels as well as some practical advice for your trip!
Let’s get started….
- 1 Gay Area of Berlin
- 2 Gay rights in Germany
- 3 Berlin Gay Bars and Clubs
- 4 Gay and Gay Friendly Hotels in Berlin
- 5 Berlin Gay Pride/Christopher Street Day
- 6 Gay Parks in Berlin
- 7 Gay Tours in Berlin
- 8 Getting around Berlin
Gay Area of Berlin
You could feasibly say the entire city, however the ‘official’ gay area of Berlin is Schöneberg whose LGBT community dates back to the 1920s!
However, unlike most cities, you will still find a gay scene elsewhere including Kreuzberg/Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg/Berlin Mitte.
Gay rights in Germany
Germany ranks well being one of the better countries for LGBTQ+ rights, in summary:
- Same sex intercourse: legal since 1968/69
- Gender identity: Sex changes are legal, no need for surgery.
- Discrimination protections: yes
- Marriage: yes since 2017
- Adoption: yes since 2017
Beyond the laws, the local attitude felt very relaxed and more than simply tolerant. It’s very common to see gay couples walking hand in hand here and we had no bother.
Berlin Gay Bars and Clubs
Berlins gay scene is insane (in a good way) by most countries’ standards! There is something for everyone and everyone is welcome.
It’s worth pointing out that Berlin is well known for its positive and ‘matter of fact’ attitude when it comes to sex so don’t be surprised to find a dark room and cruising area as standard in most gay bars.
Here are some of our favourites:
Berlin Gay Bars
This is one of the go to bars for most people to start their night, especially since they often have 2-4-1 drinks specials.
The crowd here is quite mixed but tends to be slightly older. They do play music and we somehow managed to get them to play back to back Ariana followed by Cher.
The main thing about this bar for us was that it was fun, friendly and gave off good vibes. Oh, and there is a small dark room/cruising area downstairs (of course).
GMF is the place to have a big, fun filled dance night out on a Sunday.
They usually have multiple rooms catering for different music tastes so we were very happy to get our Little Mix fix even though we weren’t expecting it in Berlin!
Each Sunday has a slightly different theme, check out their Facebook page for upcoming parties.
GMF also ran the main, biggest and best pride parties over Berlin Pride.
This bar is a little bit more casual to ease you in to the gay scene here in Berlin.
It is in the heart of Schöneberg and is a popular gay bar with regular events, parties and quiz shows.
More Gay Bars in Berlin…
Start with the bars above and if you need more then there are many more to choose from including Blond, Redgold1, Pinocchio, Toyboy Bar, Heile Welt, TABASCO, Dreizehn, Blue Boy Bar, Tramp’s, and K6.
Berlin Gay Cruising Bars
We thought a sex club or cruising bar would be incredibly intimidating but because of the open culture here, it felt very relaxed and normal!
If you are from a ‘prudish’ country like us set your worries aside and check one out! It’s a life experience and of course you don’t have to do anything – all these bars and clubs still have a completely seperate bar and drinking area where you can just sit and chat to the locals, who are all extremely friendly!
This is a large cruising club/bar which starts with a bar and dancefloor before moving down to the lower levels where all the action happens. Expect anything you can imagine.
This is one for a Friday when they have drinks offers on.
Toms Bar is extremely popular on Mondays (when most other places are shut).
It had a surprisingly diverse crowd which was good to see! The upstairs is a well-lit, very social bar to sit and chat. Downstairs they have lots of much darker areas to explore and have your fun.
Mutschmanns is very busy on a Wednesday, attracting a very mixed crowd. For €5 you get entry and 2 drinks vouchers.
Like most of the bars, upstairs is mainly for sitting and chatting and downstairs for everything else.
Kit Kat Club
Not officially a gay club, but well known for its sexualised parties welcoming all sexualities.
Keep a check on their websites for their gay nights (Revolver) which we heard are well worth a visit.
We did not make it here but got told about it time and time again by people we met during Berlin Pride.
Lab-oratory is underneath the well-known Berghain Club and to access it you must walk past the queue for people wanting to get into Berghain, find the door for Lab-oratory and knock.
On entry, change into your outfit (some nights have themes), your clothes will be taken away and a number written on your shoulder for your bar tab.
From what we have been told, this is an all-out, anything goes kind of place.
More gay cruising bars in Berlin….
This is just the tip of the iceberg! The ones we have listed are among the most popular and a good place to start. There are so many more to check out in Berlin!
Gay and Gay Friendly Hotels in Berlin
Berlin’s inherent gay friendly nature means that no matter what hotel you stay at, you should be welcomed as a gay traveller.
Here are our top choices:
Gay Friendly Hotels in Berlin
Many hotels have gone one step further and signed a charter to become a member of the Pink Pillow Collection with Visit Berlin. This charter states that:
- all guests are treated with same courtesy, dignity and respect
- to contributing actively in social projects
- to create a work environment of respect and tolerance
- to offer their guests information about the LGBTI* scene
- participate in visitBerlin’s semi-annual LGBTI* information days
For more information on the Pink Pillow Collection take a look here. During our time in Berlin, we stayed at and can recommend:
Hotel Indigo is well located in Alexanderplatz. It is a modern and trendy hotel with cool décor in the rooms and balconies for some.
Here they have a gym and serve a really good breakfast to get you ready for the day.
Book your stay here.
The Holiday Inn really stood out for us. The room was very spacious, modern and comfy. It also served one of the best breakfasts we had during our stay in Berlin which we were very happy about.
It is a little bit further out, but there is a tram stop metres away from the entrance so you can be in Alexanderplatz within 10 minutes.
Book your stay here.
The Henri Hotel Berlin Kurfürstendamm was very unique. The building itself felt quite historical which gave it more character compared to some of the more modern hotels.
We would describe the room as boutique French chic style with a very comfy bed! The service here was great and we also enjoyed that they serve snacks from 7pm for €5 (we indulged in a cheese board).
In terms of location, this hotel is a 15-minute walk to the gay area of Berlin (Schöneberg).
Check out rates and book here.
Gay Hotels in Berlin
There are also many hotels in Berlin that are just outright gay!
We stayed at the Axel Hotel Berlin, which is in the heart of the gay area making it perfect for a night out and while it may advertise itself as hetero-friendly, is just mainly full of gay men.
For a full list of outright gay hotels in Berlin, take a look at this post: The Hottest Gay Resorts and Hotels in Europe.
Berlin Gay Pride/Christopher Street Day
We said that Berlin was gay, but when Berlin Pride (also known as Christopher Street Day) comes around the city is taken over by gays from all around the world!
Berlin Pride is held towards the end of July each year and is one of the largest prides in Europe. If you are thinking about adding a European Pride to your list, add Berlin!
When you visit Berlin for Berlin Pride, make sure you check out these events:
Berlin Pride Parade
The parade was incredible. Set to start from 12-2pm the parade went on much longer and was bigger than we could have imagined.
We loved this particular parade as it was a lot less commercial than others we have attended and much more open to public participation throughout.
The parade route normally starts south of Tiergarten park, before coming through the park and finishing near the Reichstag building.
You are allowed to drink in the street here so go wild!
Berlin Canal Pride
Clearly one pride parade is not enough because the Thursday before the main weekend huge canal boats turn into parties on the Spree (the river running through the city).
We were on the boat for Visit Berlin and the Pink Pillow Collection along with almost 400 other party goers! The DJ had everyone on board dancing until we docked ready for the after party on shore!
GMF Pride Party and Closing Party
GMF hosted the main Pride Party and closing party this year and we loved it!
There were so many different rooms and areas catering to different music tastes and people! The parties went on all night and it really felt like the place to be with thousands of people – not to be missed!
Gay Parks in Berlin
Tiergarten Park is well known for is gay area and for cruising later on in the day. It is legal to sunbathe nude here and with Berlins tolerant attitude, everyone seems pleasantly carefree about it.
To find the gay area of the park is quite easy. It is the first section immediately south-west of the Victory Column.
There are other gay cruising areas/parks around the city, however Tiergarten is by far the most popular. Other areas to explore include:
- Volkspark Friedrichshain close to the Marchenbrunnen Fountain.
- Volkspark Hasenheide during the daytime.
- Grundewald near the S-bahn station.
Gay Tours in Berlin
Rainbow Gay Tours
If this is all a bit overwhelming and you want to explore gay Berlin with a gay guide, Rainbow Gay Tours also operates in Berlin.
Their tours aim to give you detailed information about the history and culture of Berlin and an insight into the LGBTQ scene so that you get to discover its history, its current lifestyle, the cruising and meeting areas, its nightlife and much more!
Take a look here and take a 10% discount when you quote ‘GLOBETROTTERS’.
More tour of Berlin
Getting around Berlin
Berlin is massive. There is no way you are going to be walking from place to place around the city.
The best option as a tourist will be to get a Berlin Welcomecard which covers your transport for a specified period of time (bus, tram, S-bahn and U-bahn) as well as giving you discounts on the most popular things to do.
You can choose how many days your ticket lasts, for example 4 days would be 34 euros. Check out all the options here.
Once you have your ticket, validate it in one of the machines and you are good to go. All transport is very regular and you can use google maps for up to date times and routes.
We loved Berlin! It left us exhausted but elated. When it comes to cities for a gaycation, this is up there with the best! Who else has been to Berlin, let us know your experiences below.
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