In no other city in the world will you find a larger number of gay and lesbian attractions -- not even in London or San Francisco. If that's surprising to you, you've never heard of Berlin's hedonistic parties and vibrant gay life. It's such a liberal and open-minded city, that many of the sunbathers you'll see in the city's huge central park are nude, and many of them are gay. So it's also not surprising that the city elected a gay mayor in 2001 and that there's a gay museum in town.
Gay life in Berlin is therefore not limited to a ghetto of exclusive gay venues, but is instead just another part of the city, extending to several areas within it. Schöneberg, Friedrichshain, and Prenzlauer Berg may be where you'll find the most gay bars and restaurants, but other areas such as Kreuzberg and Mitte also have a number of gay-friendly offers.
The Gay Museum - ©UCityGuides.com
The Schwules (Gay) Museum chronicles the history of homosexuals through permanent and changing exhibitions, and presents a variety of topics relating to the every day life of gays and lesbians.
The Gay Memorial - ©UCityGuides.com
The "Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism" was inaugurated in 2008. It's a concrete cube with a small window, through which visitors see a short video of two men kissing. Next to it is a plaque explaining gay persecution in Germany (in German and English -- pictured at the top of this page).
Locate it on the map: Gay Memorial
As one of the best established gay bars in town, you'll find a large crowd during the week, and an even larger crowd on weekends when the place turns into a techno club. Dress well and fashionably to blend in.
This large bar in Schöneberg gets packed with a mixed crowd even during the week (and especially on Wednesdays when it offers drink specials). It's especially popular with macho men who also enjoy the good music. During the warmer months there's pleasant outdoor seating.
Berlin's top club naturally attracts both gay and straight. Join them on the sweaty dancefloor or at the rooftop bar.
If you only make it to a couple of gay hotspots in Berlin, this should be one of them. It's one of the most popular, with a large bar and three dancefloors where the techno music will always be pounding in your ears. There are drink specials throughout the week, as well as a shop where you can get your magazines, toys, and videos.
The world's biggest DJs (and that has included Germany's own Paul Van Dyk) often spin at this stylish club. The crowd is there to party (and dressed for that) so expect a friendly ambience and some of the best nights in town.
This gay Berlin institution is still going strong after three decades. It has witnessed many of the city's historic gay moments (the Gay Museum upstairs illustrates many of them), and still hosts a number of parties, including a weekly one for lesbians. Sit at the cocktail lounge, stand by one of the three bars, or get on one of the two dancefloors as you hear pop, house, and sometimes rock and indie music.
A slightly more alternative and mixed crowd invades this club during its popular theme parties. To find out which one is coming up next, consult its website.
This has been a gay hotspot for over three decades. It gets especially crowded after 3AM.
This popular lessbian hangout serves delicious cakes and non-alcoholic cocktails. In fact, you won't find any alcohol here, as it first started as part of a female rehabilitation center. It often hosts a variety of events and exhibition, and during the summer months its terrace is the place to be.
Facebook Page: Cafe Seidenfaden
Axel Hotel Berlin
It used to say it was a gay hotel, now it says it's "adults only." That means it won't discriminate straight guests, but as it's a well-known chain among gay travelers, you can expect it to still be mostly gay. In addition to modern minimalist rooms, you'll find a gym, sauna and bar.
Tom's Gay Hotel
Located by gay bars and cafés, this 3-star hotel has simple but comfortable rooms. The staff is helpful in recommending the hottest places to go.
TWO Hotel Berlin by Axel
Another "adults only"/gay hotel by the Axel group. This one offers a gym, spa center and hot tub.
Gay Youth Hostel
If you're on a budget, consider this hostel. It's not just a hostel for gay men, it's for young gay men (between the ages of 18 and 38). It has four dorms with bunk beds and shared bathrooms.
Look for the hotel or apartment that best matches your budget, type of trip or personality. You may guarantee your reservation but do NOT pay anything at the time of booking. Payments are only made at the property, and there are no booking fees. Most hotels and apartments allow cancellations with no penalty if done up to 24 or 48 hours in advance. You'll see that information at the time of booking and again in the confirmation email:
Search for Berlin hotels or Berlin apartments
Walking Tour of Berlin's Gay and Lesbian Scene
Explore Berlin's gayborhoods on a walking tour with a professional guide, who'll tell you all about the past and present of the city's LGBT community. You'll pass by the Gay Memorial, the Tiergarten park where gay men often meet, and the Gay Museum.
Berlin Schöneberg Neighborhood and LGBTQ Community Walking Tour
Schöneberg is Berlin's gayest neighborhood, and on this tour your guide takes you to the Gay Museum, tells you about LGBT life under the Nazis during WWII, and shows you the city's gayest shops.