Capital of Germany, Berlin could very well be called the gay capital of Europe, and rightly so. Its LGBTQ+ community is very developed and has been for many years. The historical legacy of the city and the remains of the former Berlin Wall will immerse you in a profound learning of European and former USSR history. Berlin’s unique atmosphere is reflected in its crazy, ultra-festive nightlife and in the open-mindedness of Berlin’s particularly cosmopolitan and free-spirited people. The gay scene is mainly located in the Schöneberg district, which has been a legendary LGBTQ+ district since the 1920s. In the meantime, it has also expanded and established itself in the districts of Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.
Berlin is the capital of Germany and has a population of almost 6 million people living in its urban area. The city is very large if we compare it to other European cities. Berlin is a very important cultural centre in Europe with an impressive number of museums, theatres and libraries. For 28 years (from 1961 to 1989) the Berlin Wall separated East and West Germany, making Berlin the centre of many political and ideological tensions between the Soviet Union on the one hand and the United States on the other hand. A stay full of emotion awaits you in this city, a symbol of the Cold War.
The first Gay Pride was held in Berlin in 1979 and is still called Christopher Street Day (CSD) in honour of the events of 27 June 1969 in New York. Already in the 1920s, the Schöneberg district was considered the gay district of Berlin. Even today, it is still home to the largest number of LGBTQ+ establishments, whether it’s bars, restaurants or other cruising clubs. Over the years, two other districts have also seen an increasing number of gay establishments: Prenzlauer Berg / Berlin Mitte and Kreuzgerg / Neuköln / Friedrichshain. The whole city of Berlin can be considered very tolerant and gay friendly. Don’t miss the memorial for the homosexuals persecuted during the Nazi period. This place of contemplation is located in the Tiergarten Park, 200 metres from the Brandenburg Gate.
Germany is a country that can be described as advanced in terms of rights for LGBTQ+ people. Homosexuality has been decriminalised in East Germany since 1968 and in West Germany since 1969. Gay marriage is allowed since October 2017. Gender reassignment is legal and discrimination is prohibited. Even if the religious dimension is still important, the population’ s tolerance is increasing with the passing of generations. The big cities of the country, whether it’s Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, or Cologne, etc. are all relatively gay friendly.
The currency is the Euro. All credit cards are accepted on site (car rental, hotels, etc.). Please note that in bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. you can often only pay in cash, as this is still one of the main ways of payment in Germany. So remember to withdraw some money before you leave in the evening.
For citizens of the European Union, Switzerland or a member state of the European Economic Area, a national identity card or passport is sufficient, as Germany is a member of the Schengen Area.
For travellers coming from Canada, USA, Australia there is an agreement with the EU which allows you to be exempted from visa requirements for stays not exceeding 90 days. However, please note that in 2022, you will have to get your ETIAS before leaving. This is an electronic travel authorisation that must be done online before the trip, which will cost €7 and will give access to the Schengen area. Here is the link for more information: ETIAS.
Berlin’s Gay Quarter – Schöneberg
Blond Cocktail Bar (Eisenacher Str. 3a). Gay cocktail bar with excellent service and good prices.
The New Oldtimer(Lietzenburger Str. 12). Gay bar pub located in front of the gay hotel Axel.
Dreizehn (Welserstraße, 27). Small cosy gay bar with good service. Small terrace in summer.
Redgold 1 (Fuggerstraße, 33). Small local gay bar with a local and mature clientele.
Prinzknecht (Fuggerstraße, 33). Big gay bar with good music. Rather mature and “leathery” clientele.
Tramp’s (Eisenacher Str. 6). Gay tavern bar open 24 hours a day, mostly frequented by locals.
Tom’s Bar(Motzstraße, 19). Famous gay bar in Berlin with cruising area.
Hafen (Motzstraße, 19). Gay bar next to Tom’s bar. Good atmosphere and music.
Bei Niki(Eisenacher Str. 11). Gay bar with lounge and cosy atmosphere.
Heile Welt (Motzstraße, 5). Gay bar serving good cocktails in a lounge atmosphere.
Blue Boy Bar (Kleiststraße, 7). Announced as permanently closed.
K6 (Kleiststraße, 6). Gay bar with a rather local and mature clientele.
Tabasco (Fuggerstraß, 3). Gay bar with old-fashioned decoration and possibility to play billiards.
Pinocchio (Fuggerstraß, 3). Small gay pub right next to the Tabasco bar.
Berlin’s Gay Quarter – Kreuzberg, Neuköln, Friedrichshain
BarbieBar(Mehringdamm, 77). Famous cosy gay bar in Berlin, with a very atypical decoration.
Rauschgold(Mehringdamm, 62). Gay bar with cabaret atmosphere and stage for shows.
Roses (Oranienstraße, 187). Gay bar with a very colourful decoration. The atmosphere is worth the detour.
Silver Future (Weserstraße, 206). Underground queer bar with lesbian dominance.
Möbel-Olfe (Reichenberger Str. 177). Gay bar located in a former furniture shop. Nice decoration.
Melitta Sundström (Mehringdamm, 61). Announced as permanently closed.
Berlin’s Gay Quarter – Prenzlauer Berg
Bärenhöhle (Schönhauser Alee, 90). Famous gay bear bar in Berlin with attractive prices.
Flax(Chodowieckistraße, 41). Friendly gay bar restaurant with excellent casual atmosphere.
The Coven Bar(Kleine Präsidentenstraße, 3). Gay chic bar located not far from the Pergamon Museum.
Betty F*** Bar (Mulackstraße, 13). Famous gay bar in Berlin with a very good atmosphere.
Marienhof(Marienburger Str. 7). Highly rated gay café bar with mixed clientele.
Bar Saint Jean (Ziegelstraße, 29). Gay bar with very good cocktails and good atmosphere.
Pearl (Sredzkistraße, 64). Announced as permanently closed.
Berghain Club & Panorama Bar(Am Wriezener Bahnhof). One of the most beautiful and atypical danceclubs in the world in an equally impressive building. Expect a long wait to get there. Underground atmosphere, large dance floor, house clubbing atmosphere with excellent sound system. Gay friendly.
SchwuZ(Rollbergstraße, 26). Famous gay club in Berlin with popular music, young clientele, and reasonable prices.
Connection Club(Fuggerstraße, 33). Gay club located right next to the Prinzknecht gay bar with a rather mature clientele. Cruising zone.
Die Busche (Warschauer Pl. 18). Gay club with a mostly lesbian clientele.
Cruising Bar Gay Berlin
Berlin’s gay cruising scene is very fetish, underground and hard in general, so the public need to be well informed.
Woof Berlin (Fuggerstraße, 37). Very well known gay bear bar with nice atmosphere.
Tom’s Bar (Motzstraße, 19). Famous gay bar in Berlin with a nice cruising area.
KitKatClub (Köpenicker Straße, 76). Gay cruising club as part of the institutions in Berlin. Selective entry, be in the theme.
Lab.oratory(Am Wriezener Bahnhof). Located in the same building as the Berghain club, but with a separate entrance. Gay fetish cruising club and dresscode parties.
New Action (Kleiststraße, 35). Gay cruising bar with leather and fetish clientele.
Bull Berlin (Kleiststraße, 35). Small gay fetish cruising bar.
Mutschmanns (Motzstraße, 30). Gay cruising bar with dance floor.
Böse Buben (Sachsendamm, 76-77). Clean, well-equipped gay cruising bar with good customer ratings.
Club Culture Houze (Görlitzer Str. 71). Gay fetish and SM bar with theme nights.
Greifbar(Wichertstraße, 10). Gay cruising bar which is more like a classic bar but with a cruising area.
Große Freiheit 114 (Boxhagener str. 114). Gay bar as if in a boat with a cruising area.
Quälgeist (Lankwitzer Straße, 42-43). Extreme cruising gay club.
Scheune (Motzstraße, 25). Gay fetish bar with cruising area in the basement.
Stahlrohr 2.0 (Paul-Robeson-Straße, 50). Well-equipped gay sex club with theme evenings.
Club Triebwerk (Urbanstraße, 64). Gay cruising club. The basement is now closed.
Ficken 3000 (Urbanstraße, 70). Gay cruising club with bar, dance floor and cruising area.
Gay Cruising Cinemas Berlin
XXL Berlin (Bornholmer Straße, 7). Sex shop with gay cruising cinema.
Duplexx Schöneberg (Martin-Luther-Straße, 14). Gay cruising club in the Schöneberg district.
Duplexx Prenzlauer Berg (Schönhauser Alee, 131). Gay cruising club in the Prenzlauer Berg district.
City Men (Fuggerstraße, 26). Gay sexshop with cruising area and cinema.
The Jaxx (Motzstraße, 19). Gay sexshop with cruising area.
Gay Sauna Berlin
Der Boiler (Mehringdamm, 34). Very large, clean and well-equipped gay sauna in Berlin. Pleasant place popular with tourists.
FMG@Club Ritter Butzke (Ritterstraße, 26). Big gay party that has been taking place every Sunday night for more than 23 years on 2 dancefloors (pop/rnb and electro/house).
Revolver Party @KitKatClub (Köpenicker Str. 76). Monthly gay trash and fetish show evening. Very crowded in Berlin.
Gayhane – Gay Arab Party @SO36 (Oranienstraße, 190). Gay party with an oriental theme. Hot ambience.
Cafe Fatal @SO36 (Oranienstraße, 190). Teadance gay party very well known in Berlin for more than 19 years.
Chantals House of Shame @Suicide Circus (Warschauer Brücke, Revaler Straße 99). Gay cult evening with shows and performers.
Other big and famous gay nights that change locations, so check out the event for its location:
July 23-25, 2021.
The Berlin Gaypride, better known as Christopher Street Day (CSD) will take place from July 23 to 25, 2021. The big Pride March is scheduled for Saturday, July 24th.
Other gay festivals in Berlin:
Hustlaball Circuit Berlin, Folsom Berlin, Easter Berlin, Gaywiesn Berlin, LGBT Park Festival, Xposed Queer Film Berlin, Porn Film Festival Berlin
You can find all the Germans on PlanetRomeo, an application more used locally than Grindr or Scruff.
Of course, as Berlin is a very popular LGBTQ+ destination, other applications, especially during summer or during events, will also be used in large numbers, but make sure you always give priority to PlanetRomeo in Germany.
Video source: YouTube – Berliner CSD e.V. Berlin Pride Official – 4 June 2020. Photo credit: licensed by Shutterstock.com / photographer: canadastock.