Gay Berlin Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Berlin Germany 2019
Think of hedonism, history, and hipsters combined, and you get the glorious city of Berlin. Anything goes in this wild and wonderful capital; you’re more likely to see a man in a leather skirt on the U-Bahn at 8 am than you are to see a man in a suit and tie, and we are here for that.
By day you can explore the rich history and culture the city has to offer; walk along the East Side Gallery, climb onto the roof of the Berlin Cathedral, stroll along Unter den Linden before grabbing Kaffee und Kuchen somewhere. By night, who knows? Great adventures await once the sun goes down in Berlin whether it is in a labyrinthine dark room, smoke-filled pubs, camp drag bars or avant-garde cocktail lounges.
Often called the Gayest City in Europe – though with hot competition from Barcelona, Madrid, and Amsterdam – we would almost go as far as claiming Berlin is the biggest gay travel destination on the planet. Tel Aviv has its beaches, Palm Springs has its clothing optional resorts and New York has well, that city in a class all its own, but Berlin has kinky fetishes and morally-questionable debauchery on a scale that we didn’t even know was possible. A sensualist’s haven that smashes norms and set trends for gay subculture around the globe
There’s a long history of openness in Berlin, despite repression in Nazi-era Germany. In the ‘Golden Twenties’ Weimar Republic, Schöneberg saw the establishment of the first gay village in the world, and it’s still the heart of Berlin’s gay scene, although gay culture is so widely accepted that you’ll find a gay scene everywhere.
Everyone will have heard of Berghain, with its strict door policy, dark rooms, and sexual permissiveness. If you’re feeling even braver than that, head over to the caverns of the KitKat club for scenes, you won’t ever see again. Otherwise, there are plenty of gay clubs and bars in Schöneberg to get to know the locals in; go to Betty F*** Bar’s for a very different form of drag show. You won’t find the glossy Drag-Race inspired performances of San Diego, Miami or Chicago here!
If hard-core partying isn’t your scene (or you just need a rest day), then there’s a Queer Walking Tour, the world’s first queer museum and lots of queer bookshops to discover. And of course there’s a fabulous Gay Pride, called the Christopher Street Day Parade – one of the best Gay Pride festivals in the world; there’s even two separate Berlin leather fetish week.
A city where sex is celebrated rather than taboo, the LGBT community is embraced and nurtured and flamboyant gay magnificence can be found year round, its no wonder that Berlin is one of the world’s most popular queer travel destinations, and that so many of us flock here year after year to experience life with real equality and unconstrained freedom.
Depraved. Glorious. Diverse. Open-minded. No matter where your interest lie in Gay Berlin – culture, nightlife, food, wine, luxury hotels, sex or art – we are certain there is something for you here as well…
Gay Berlin Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Berlin Germany 2019
Being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city and most queer tourists will simply want to check out the top things to see in Berlin during the day!
Berlin is a very safe city, but still, all travelers should take caution with valuables. Gay people in Berlin do not need to make any precautions at all regarding public displays of affection in this very progressive city, and we encourage you to experience what true freedom feels like. There are so few places in the world as uninhibited and liberating for gay couples as Berlin, and this is something every one of us should be able to experience every day!
Berlin has so many things to do it can be overwhelming, but for LGBT+ visitors some neighborhoods are particularly interesting. The center of queer life here is undoubtedly in Schöneberg with quiet tree-lined streets, fabulous café terraces, raunchy gay pubs and an equal mix of burly leathermen and children riding bikes.
This what a well-established, multidimensional gay community feels like and we are living for it! This is also where two of the biggest gay events in Berlin are held, LGBT Park Festival and Berlin Pride / Christopher Street Day, in July. There is also two other popular gay areas to explore including the hip Prenzlauer Berg / Berlin Mitte area and alternative crowds in Kreuzberg / Neuköln / Friedrichshain
Everywhere in Berlin is gay-friendly however and you can also find numerous pink businesses and institutions doted around the entire city. Often where you least expect them. If you are not sure where to go, take a peek at our gay map of Berlin at the end to get an idea of where all the gay bars, clubs, sauna, cafes and stores are.
Having said that, here are just a few of our favorite things to do in Berlin to get you started!
Top Gay Highlights Of Berlin
Queer Berlin Half Day Tour – Discover the queer capital of Europe, Berlin, as you explore its busy streets with a local tour guide. Wander through Schöneberg, the gay neighborhood in the city, home of the iconic Marlene Dietrich and learn about how Berlin became a pioneer of gay and lesbian rights from the late 19th century onwards. Visit Eldorado, one of the oldest queer bars here and see a memorial for homosexuals persecuted by Nazis. Drop by Kreuzberg and get a feel for what life is like for the present LGBTQ+ community in Berlin. Great for getting ideas on what to do later in Gay Berlin, and meeting other cute boys -and girls – who are also in town!
Sissi – A gay-popular Austrian restaurant in the Schöneberg gay village with magnificent pink walls, in-style wooden furniture, and traditional Austrian menu specialties that we feel in love with in Vienna. During the long, warm, summer, gays flock here for the relaxed outdoor terrace and people watching.
Centro Delfino – A gay massage and spa in Schöneberg with a variety of treatment rooms and a dry sauna. If you are looking for a relaxing male massage in Berlin, come here and chose between a holistic full body massage, Thai massages almost as good as in Bangkok and Phuket, sports massages, aroma oil massages, hot stone massages and more.
East Berlin – Travel to Berlin during the period of the Cold War and discover what life was like under communist rule. Explore tourist landmarks located at East Berlin, such as the Brandenburg Gate and The Chapel of Reconciliation and see the remnants of the Berlin Wall, which stood in the middle of the city for 28 years, at The Berlin Wall Memorial/ Visit Tunnel 57, a hidden tunnel that was used as an escape route by 57 Easter Berliners in October 1964 then stop by the Bornholmer Strasse, where the fall of the Berlin Wall first happened in November 1989
Romeo & Romeo – The place for meeting, relaxing and chilling in the animated and free-wheeling Schöneberg. A quick coffee, chatting with all the cute guys around, reading the newspaper or just a tastefully meal, Romeo & Romeo invite everyone to come, enjoy and embrace this gaybourhood.
Friedrichstadt-Palast Show in Berlin – While in Berlin, make a trip to the Friedrichstadt-Palast theater for a captivating show you won’t soon forget. This admission ticket grants you access to the theater to watch THE ONE Grand Show, which features more than 500 costumes, 100 artists, and intense special effects. Choose from four seating options, and upgrade to VIP seating and receive a welcome drink with your ticket.
Café Berio – A popular gay hangout for over 50 years with decent food and coffee – but more importantly, a fun, cruisey atmosphere on their al fresco patio during summer.
Zsa Zsa Burger – A fashionable gay-owned burger bar in the center of Schöneberg’s gayest street with cocktails and delicious desserts. Named in honor of Hungarian-born Hollywood starlet Zsa Zsa Gabor this place is fun, fantastic and oh-so-delicious!
An Evening at Charlottenburg Palace – Spend a night out at one of the most famous sites in Berlin with “An Evening at Charlottenburg Palace,” a dinner and concert experience with the Berlin Residence Orchestra, plus a tour of the palace. Enjoy a 3-course candlelight dinner in the Palace Orangery. Then take in the classical sounds of the Berlin Residence Orchestra, performing selections from Bach, Handel, Mozart and more. Choose from four ticket categories. At intermission, VIP seat holders receive a glass of champagne. This event regularly sells out weeks in advance, so book early.
Dinner Atop the Berlin TV Tower – Celebrate your visit to Berlin with a sky-high meal in the clouds during this panorama dinner 679 feet (207 meters) above the city at Sphere, the Berlin TV Tower’s revolving restaurant. Enjoy skip-the-line access to the tallest building in Berlin, where you’ll sit down to a panorama dinner. Savor a delicious 3-course dinner at a guaranteed window-seat table, accompanied by three wines, and soak up the incredible vistas of nearby Berlin landmarks such as Charlottenburg Palace and Checkpoint Charlie.
John Reed (Prenzlauer Berg) – There are no gay gyms in Berlin, but this is probably the most gay-popular of all the locations we tried out. Very cruisey at different times, with ridiculously good-looking guys, but you could also try Fitness First (Gendarmenmarkt) with its rooftop terrace and pool or stylish Holmes Place (Neukölln) for other work out locations.
Berlin Street Art Tour and Graffiti Workshop – Explore Berlin’s vibrant street art scene on this guided, 4.5-hour, small-group walking tour. See both old and new examples of street and graffiti art on this engaging tour through the back streets of Berlin. Discover more than 50 incredible street artists from Berlin and beyond, find out what motivates them and learn their unique methods. Then decorate the walls of an abandoned factory and design a canvas piece to take home. The material and equipment for the art workshop is included. Some public transportation expense is required.
The Ballery – A groovy art gallery in the heart of gay Berlin that presents an independent collective of artists and performers who have stepped out of the mainstream to follow their own personal path, and whose artistry comes from a keen observation of the world. Consisting of artists coming from all parts of the world, visual arts, dance, music, film, or literature, each medium is an equally important part of more global work. Look out for there many norm-defying or queer-themed art shows in particular.
Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism – A poignant memorial in Tiergarten that stands as a reminder of the suffering inflicted on homosexuals by the Nazi regime. The concrete cube is not a traditional memorial, but a video playing inside gives a creative insight into the topic. Berlin might be very, very different today but this touching installation serves as an important reminder that minorities were persecuted under the Nazis – including homosexuals and the entire queer community. Their daily lives were made difficult, they were oppressed, persecuted and murdered in concentration camps.
Secret Food Tour – Discover the city’s best gastronomic offerings and you munch on a range of German dishes as well as Turkish delights, which have been a part of the local cuisine for 5 decades. Walk along the streets of Friedrichshain and marvel at the fusion of quaint and modern architecture, learn about the history of the city and its ever-evolving culinary culture from your fun and engaging tour guide Cap off this tour by feasting on a mysterious and tasty secret German dish that can’t be found anywhere else
Berlin City Pass – Plan on seeing and doing everything Berlin has to offer, gay or otherwise? Experience the best of Berlin with free entry to over 50 top attractions, tours, and museums. Choose a 2 or 3 day Berlin Pass to get the best deals prices and plan your own itinerary as you like it. Explore the city in the most convenient way with free Hop On & Hop Off Bus transportations around Berlin. You can even select the best Travelcard option to cover all of your transport needs so minimum hassle is ensured on the ground!
Gay Shops In Berlin
Let’s be clear here: Gay Berlin has the world’s widest range of gay stores offering absolutely everything you can imagine – and plenty of wild contraptions we still can’t quite believe actually exist.
Every conceivable type of kink and fetish gear is available here, helping you to enjoy the extensive cruise club scene later at night. We have only listed our favorites below covering most desires, but you are sure to find many, many, many more as you explore after your arrival.
Brunos Berlin– The gay shop in German that stocks everything sure to make any man’s heart beat faster. Well, the gay ones at least. Also found in Hamburg, Cologne, and Munich this anything-but-conservative store with big display windows and an atmosphere that shouts they are no longer taboo nor shameful. In order to make this shopping experience even more diverse, the product range has been considerably expanded in recent years. The fashion segment with underwear and sportswear is now an important focus in addition to books, magazines, and merchandise such as DVDs, sex toys and other gay accessories.
R&Co Berlin – Right in the middle of Berlin’s queer scene this gay fetish store combines the best quality leather with expert craftsmanship to produce a huge range of leather-, rubber-, fetish- and sportswear, including lots of toys, accessories and care products. Most of them designed and produced in-house and the helpful team here can answer (almost) all your questions regarding fetish, leather, and rubber and open a new world of twisted fantasies to you.
Prinz Eisenherz Buchladen – Berlin’s first gay bookshop founded 40 years ago in 1978 by the new gay movement as a collective to make the topic of homosexuality in all facets of literature visible and to expand the gay cultural landscape. From a scene meeting and manifestation point of gay political activists, Berlin intelligentsia and literature lovers, quickly developed this specialized bookstore for homosexuality. With a range of queer books, comics and DVDs (many in Germany) this guardian of the more enlightening Berlin gay scene is a must-visit, conveniently located near TOM’s Bar and Scheune.
Boxer – Another rubber and fetish gay store in Berlin. There are far too many to list all here, but Boxer is a beloved Barcelona institution and has recently opened this concept store in Berlin offering the very best in club and fetish wear.
Military-Store – A landmark gay store on Motzstraße offering everything from sexy soldier attire to old Communist uniforms, gas marks, tents, and practical accessories. In need for some new cruising options after feeling out of your depth in Gay Berlin? This is a good place to start.
Bodysphere Men Concept Store – Founded to revive the monotonous and often very boring fashion range at the German underwear market back in 2008. Today they offer a large range of imported and in-house produced attire so that luxury, design and sports-savvy gay men may find what they are looking for.
Other Nature – A sex store with a difference, one in which you could bring your mother! If mainstream sex shops are unappealing and you’re tired of big business capitalism, Other Nature hopes you’ll find there feminist, queer, sex-positive, eco-friendly, and vegan sex shop. a refreshing alternative. Inside you will find a variety of high-quality products, body-safe sex toys, awesome books and zines, feminist porn, alternative menstrual products, natural and organic lube, gender expression gear, locally-made vegan floggers and cuffs, and lots of other sexy stuff.
Boys-R-Us – A fun gay clothing shop in the Schöneberg village offering modern men’s fashion clothing, accessories and LGBT-popular brand names.
Slingking – The name says it all right. Offering over 2000 high-quality items from their own production line in the fields of BDSM, SM and leather fetish.
4 Hunks – Sportswear is their thing. Blurred the lines between fetishwear and sports attire are these popular designs online available from the Kreuzberg area store.
Mister B – A core part of the leather history in Amsterdam for nearly 25 years, now open in Berlin but still offering the best in leather, rubber, and gay sex toys.
Gay Events In Berlin
Porn Film Festival Berlin (October) – An alternative, independent film festival that focuses on sexuality, politics, feminism and gender issues, and is the only festival of its kind in Germany. Since 2006, the festival has screened an average of over 100 films from around the world, featuring feminist and queer perspectives on questions around sexual morality, identity, and body norms, emphasizing artistic, alternative approaches to the genre of pornography. Over half of the 8,000 viewers – who identify as a diverse mix of hetero-, homo- bi-, trans* and sexually queer – have been female, and 50% are international visitors from around the globe. The film festival is framed by panel discussions, lectures, readings, workshops, performances, exhibitions and many conversations and presentations on the subject of sexuality today. The festival is held in the oldest cinema in Germany, Moviemento. What is the difference between Pornography and Art? Art is more expensive!
Hustlaball Berlin Circuit Weekend (October) – A world of hustlers, hookers, pimps, streetwalkers, flesh-peddlers, porn stars, and other scandalous sorts. Hustlaball is one of the world’s most debaucherous dance events where thousands of gays circuit queens flock here for an entire weekend of parties featuring live sex shows, world-class DJs and a very sex-positive attitude. If you cannot attend there is normally also a one-off Hustlaball New Year’s Eve event as well or you could attend annual off-shots in New York, Las Vegas, Tel Aviv, San Fransisco, and London. But Berlin is the original!
Easter Berlin (April) – One of the largest European fetish meetings where thousands of guy come together to turn Berlin into Sin City on this holiest weekend. The two highlights are Mister Leather Berlin competition and Berlin’s most eminent fetish party PIG, both of which take place on Easter Sunday.
Gaywiesn Berlin (September) – Sure, Oktoberfest in Berlin might still be a celebration of Bavarian beer in giant glasses, big-bosomed women in colorful blouses and delectably salty pretzels, but the trust us: the gays don’t just sit ideally by. Similar to other gay days at beer festivals in Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart, and Munich – there is a dedicated gay tent each Monday at Oktoberfest Berlin. Expect live bands, outrageous drag queens, and happy LGBT people dancing to gay anthems well into the night. Just behave and keep your lederhosen on …at least inside the venue.
XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin (May) – Thirteen years of shaping, forming, breaking, discovering and finding, XPOSED is about QUEER FILM in all it’s forms, glory, shame, distaste, trash, and beauty. Built with the aim of creating entertaining, odd, left of center queer film programs, XPOSED is one of the world’s best gay film festivals -offering a dash of culture and sophistication to the Berlin gay scene.
LGBT Park Festival (July) – Europe’s largest LGBT street party held annually drawing in more than 400,000 visitors to the area Nollendorfplatz, the traditional gay stomping ground in Berlin-Schöneberg. This vibrant festival features an entertainment programme with live music, dozens of information booths and market stalls, a wide range of culinary treats, and performances and exhibitions curated LGBT groups in Berlin. The refreshing antidote to a roster of annual gay events in Berlin that are decidedly not family friendly…
Folsom Europe (September) – The the biggest fetish event in Europe in Berlin. Held since 2003, Folsom Europe successfully brings the non-profit leather festival concept pioneered by the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco to Europe in this annual celebration of BDSM and kinky gay subcultures. Some of the big parties organized around the Folsom Europe Street Fair are Perverts, Pig and Sneakfreaxx – so if you are about carnal indulgence, freedom, and sleaze then lock this in!
Berlin Pride / Christopher Street Day (July) – The first Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin was celebrated on the 30th of June 1979. Since then the gay community has extended its political agenda, broadened the definition of diversity and pushed the fight for equality. Up to 500,000 people celebrate the CSD in Berlin, which is also known as the biggest gay-lesbian “holiday”, with hundreds of club parties and queer events organized in the week leading up to the parade. An inspiring display of queer culture and defiance bringing together an often-fractured community for one day filled with love and acceptance.
While basically every hotel in Berlin is friendly and welcoming to the LGBT community, there are some that make an exceptional effort to be part of gay Berlin.
Some hotels and hostels are exclusively for gay men or there is always the hetero-friendly Axel Hotels. Some hotels in Berlin are still a significant part of the local gay scene because of their location and history and others again are just well known as particularly welcoming of gay guests. The following gay hotels in Berlin can all be relied on for an extraordinary stay in Berlin.
There are hundreds of other good hotel option in Berlin if you don’t find what you are looking for but we are confident you’ll find something here for you. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a chic designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Berlin as something for everyone!
Gay Hotels in Berlin
Axel Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – Schöneberg is at the heart of the gay scene, and this is where Berlin’s first Axel hotel is located. A sophisticated and luxurious hotel chain aimed at the LGBTQ community, we are obsessed with Axel and judging by there rapid expansion we are not the only ones. This location has 87 rooms which are sexy and elegant; the gold and black designs and mixture of textures in the design make it completely luxurious. They might not be spacious, but there’s enough space in there for the post-party rest. Have cocktails on the roof before heading out to one of Berlin’s legendary techno clubs or stay in and eat at the Georgian restaurant. If you really need to unwind, hop into the Jacuzzi on the roof; maybe you’ll make some new friends to experience the city with!
Two Hotel Berlin by Axel ☆☆☆☆ – You can tell a city’s popular with the LGBT community when Axel needs two hotels there. This second Berlin location is slightly more indulgent than the original: 42 of the 85 rooms are Junior Suites with king-sized beds and city views. It might be the better choice if you’re coming to Berlin with a special someone and want to spend some ‘alone time’ in the hotel. After all the Berlin partying you’ll want to detox, and the Wellness Spa is the perfect place to do that – enjoy a massage or a beauty treatment, and you’ll be ready for the next round!
Mineshaft Berlin Fetish Apartments ☆☆ – You won’t catch us staying here but these apartments are designed as comfortable and spacious playrooms, well equipt for all your kink needs. Like, ridiculously equipt. As if Berlin didn’t have enough sleazy kink spaces already… Excellently located and Italian-owned, though we didn’t find anything like this in Milan or Rome…
Toms Hotel ☆☆☆ – A relaxed gay hotel with straightforward rooms directly in the heart of the Berlin gay area – with very good transport links. Downstairs in the wild gay bar, Toms, and a few minutes walk away is the popular Bar Heile Welt, the scene-coffee shop Romeo & Romeo and The Jaxx. Even better? Breakfast is served at a reduced price until 4 pm. With very affordable single and double rooms, this basic gay hotel offers queer spirit at a very reasonable price.
My Gay Hostel ☆☆– As you can imagine from the name, this hostel wears its heart on its sleeve. A fun-loving, rowdy hostel perfect for gays who want to experience all of the joys Berlin has to offer. It might not be the most modern or designer hostel on this list, but it more than makes up for that with its intimate atmosphere and welcoming staff. Located in the heart of Schöneberg, there’s plenty of gay nightlife to explore and staying there means you’ll find just the playmates to do it with.
Gay Youth Hostel ☆☆ – Positioned in Berlin’s vibrant gay quarter, this basic hostel offers a space exclusively for young gay men- and is only a 5-minute walk from Nollendorfplatz square and its underground station. Still not for you? We have listed all of our favorite (almost)gay hostels in Berlin separate to give you more options!
Gay-Popular and Utterly Fabulous Hotels in Berlin
Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome ☆☆☆☆☆ – One of the most fascinating buildings in Berlin and close to the new-age age scene in Berlin Mitte. This former headquarters of Dresdner Bank converted into a luxury hotel has a lot to offer, and so much history. In the former gemstone safe, there is a swimming pool. The old ticket hall is now a big ballroom. The offices of bank directors became oak-paneled suites. This five-star hotel today stands for exceptional hospitality, tasty food, and first-class amenities, and is a popular option for discerning gay travelers who value indulgence and excellence,
25 Hours Bikini Berlin ☆☆☆☆☆ – A gloriously alternative hotel recently open for monkey business where lions and giraffes meet city legends and explorers. The listed Bikini building is home to the modern urban jungle outpost of the 25hours Hotel chain with a direct view to the Zoologischen Garten to the north and West Berlin’s hallmark to the south. The living room lobby with a check-in desk and a hammock lounge, the in-house bakery and the guest rooms with a view of the Kaiser-Wilhelm memorial church ooze the raw, unpolished charm of the Berlin creative scene. The luxe rooms facing the zoo, as well as the jungle sauna with a view of monkeys and elephants, then there is the restaurant on the roof, and the spectacular terrace offering stunning views over Berlin We have previously loved location in Vienna, Hamburg, and Munich, and the Bikini Berlin is no exception to this quirky, gay-friendly hotel chains impeccable track record.
Provocateur Berlin ☆☆☆☆ – Glamorous. Decadent. Playful. We are fanatical about this boutique glam hotel with only 58 inspired rooms and suites. An addictive hotel that takes inspiration from Paris in the 1920s, but whose heart and soul belong to Berlin. Explore your passions in the bedroom, experience culinary escapism at the otherworldly French-Chinese eatery or wander into the bar that envelops guests with its seductive atmosphere, enchanting elixirs, and intoxicating music and dance. The Provocateur is within walking distance to Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm), known for its great variety of shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars. But also the small streets along are worth noting. A perfect location to discover West Berlin with its distinctive charm. Sightseeing spots, as well as green parks are close by too.
Mercure Berlin Wittenbergplatz ☆☆☆☆ – Berlin loves fashion – and this is also true of this avant-garde property where the fashion theme runs throughout. Enjoy trendy rooms and the creative design of the extraordinary lobby – or if you get bored explore the upscale bar, divine dining or simply wander all the exclusive boutiques from well-known and up-and-coming designers nearby. One of the top-rated hotels within easy walking distance of the Schöneberg gay village, it is no wonder the Mercure Berlin Wittenbergplatz is so gay-popular.
Michelberger Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – A creative, independent, organic and original hotel with the wish to create a working and living space, aiming to maximize quality over profit. Gay-popular and matching the ethos of the nearby Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg alternative gay scene, the rooms are bright, have lots of wood, are architecturally interesting and come with the most comfortable mattresses -made of Eucalyptus fibers! The design is very bohemian chic and fitting of Berlin, which you can enjoy throughout including the very stylish café/bar/terrace which serves celestial vegetarian and vegan creations.
RIU Plaza Berlin ☆☆☆☆ – A magnificent urban hotel located near Schöneberg gay village. Very gay-popular and yet surprisingly affordable with contemporary rooms, rainfall showers, buffet restaurant, a lustrous bar, and a small gym.
Bananas Hotel and Guesthouse Berlin ☆☆☆ – In the heart of Berlin’s gay-friendly Schöneberg district, this men-only guesthouse features bright rooms each individually decorated with stylish artwork, and a mixture of contemporary and classic furnishings. Bananas Gay Guesthouse also features an appealing lounge area, complete with elegant tables and chairs, to encourage you to meet other gay travelers. It seems Like Bananas is no longer only for the gays however after a recent rebrand, but it is still 100% gay-friendly.
Schulz Hotel Berlin Wall ☆☆☆ – Located between Spree-River and East Side Gallery, a preserved part of the infamous Berlin Wall is this minimalist-chic hotel offering modern luxury at reasonable prices. Gay-popular in part because of access to the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg gay scene, but you can get everywhere fast with connections to all the sights of Berlin via the nearby Ostbahnhof.
Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof ☆☆☆ – Express yourself in Berlin at this stylish, affordable hotel steps from many of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg gay clubs. Serious style at a not-so-serious price point, the service is smart, the design awesome, and the technology state-of-the-art. Ready for a good time? Moxy Hotels makes that easy with the heart of a boutique hotel and an appetite for adventure. There’s a drink waiting for you with your room key and someone at the bar that wants your number. Moxy is for play… Jenga, karaoke, maybe a little game of spin the bottle? Here, you can get away with it. Plus, the WiFi is speedy, beds cushy and freshly made, but more importantly, the bar is always open and the crew is always on. We loved Moxy in San Diego, Warsaw, and Glasgow – but they are opening up so many locations in a crazy global expansion if you haven’t heard of this brand you soon will! Whether you’re staying for the night or a nightcap, Moxy is a great value option for affordable luxury and to get your party on!
Gay Nightlife in Berlin
We are not even sure where to start as the gay nightlife in Berlin is amongst the best in the world.
If you are as bewildered as we are, the only thing you need to know is there are three main gay areas of Berlin. The first, the Schöneberg Gay Village, is full of many homey gay bars from yesteryear while thePrenzlauer Berg / Berlin Mitte, to us was the inverse of the Schöneberg Gay Village with oh-so-chic gay-mixed bars for the modern world. Then there is the Kreuzberg / Neuköln / Friedrichshain area is the home of indie-hip and alternative queer venues for the ‘gender is a construct, tear it apart’ crowd.
Gay club parties in Berlin are all the range with different locations across the city every evening, but we have only listed the most popular and fabulous, as there are almost too many to count! Use our Gay Berlin Map at the end if you’re lost, but there is plenty of plenty of bars, cocktail lounges, bearded glitter queens and bear dens littered across Berlin to satisfy even the most discerning of gay travelers.
We have only focussed on explicitly gay venues here in Berlin, but the city and country are so liberal don’t feel like you can’t make out with your partner in most bars or clubs here!
Liberating and more than a little overwhelming, the gay nightlife in Berlin has something for everyone!
Schöneberg Gay Bars
Heile Welt – A straightforward Berlin gay bars offering a simple yet relaxed atmosphere to enjoy a drink, meet new people and start your night off. There is a separate smoking space, friendly bartenders and an entertaining mix of music.
RedGold1 – A one of a kind pint-sized gay bar with a huge selection of music, fast service, draft beer, delicious long drinks, coffee and much more. 800 record covers decorate the walls of this cozy space and everything from 80s hots to German Schlager music and gay anthems can be enjoyed throughout the night.
Blond– One of our personal favorite queer spaces in Berlin, Blond offers coffee and cake specialties during the day and over 80 cocktails at night. Flirt over jukebox choices, belt out gay classics at karaoke or have a laugh with drag bingo at this colorful retro gay bar. No stress, no hassles, no unfriendly waiters, no boredom and never overly crowded.
Tabasco Bar – One of the oldest gay bars in Berlin where the motto “men meet boys – boys meet men” sets the expectations just right. We don’t actually recommend going here since reports of pickpockets are rife, but this is a hustler bar and comes with the territory. Suitably red-lit, dark and seedy, save yourself some time – and a visit to the Police station to report your wallet stolen – and go somewhere else.
ToyBoy Bar – A well-known rent boy bar in Berlin, with a high chance of pickpockets and scams. It goes with the territory, but ToyBoy management seems to not care (or perhaps even encourages it). In Berlin, there is a chance for so much kinky, free fun, so why bother putting yourself in this uncomfortable environment.
Tramp’s – Another 24/7 bar in Berlin, because apparently gays here never sleep. A local gay hangout with questionable service and limited-English skills (depending on the staff/night) we personally found it oppressively smoky and dirty, and more old-school Germany than fun and fabulous. But, we all have different tastes right…
Blue Boy Bar – A 24/7 gay bar that knows how to give us queers what we desire: cheap drinks, quirky décor, and a pleasurable party vibe. Previously named Club David and Udo’s Blue Boy, the Blue Boy Bar has entertained guys from all around the world for over 40 years. This is the place for people searching for an eventful night drawing in lonely hearts, business people and tourists alike.
K6 – A gay bar popular with older guys if you are wanting to meet a silver surfer with camp German pop music setting the tone in the background. Perfect for conversations and meeting new friends with a small dance floor, daily Happy Hour and karaoke.Dreizehn – Good mood, nice guys, friendly (and sometimes cheeky) bartenders make this a fun gay-pub the perfect alternative to the arch-typical loud gay bars of Berlin. More mature guys head here for its old-fashioned styling’s, but we really enjoyed the warm, welcoming atmosphere – perfect for meet guys over beers. Especially during the weekday happy hour.
Hafen – A gay-ghetto party bar that is a popular port of call for many in the Berlin LGBT community. No longer as trendy and fabulous as its heyday, Hafenbar still knows how to pull in the crowds however with themed parties and fabulous vibes.
Pinocchio – A small and cozy gay bar opened since 1984. Affordable, accommodating and atmosphere, Pinocchio encourages conversation amongst its mostly gay, older audience.
HarDie’s Kneipe – Another gay bar popular amongst the older crowd (like most of the Schöneberg Gay Village) with friendly owners and Bavarian beer. If smoking inside bothers you, however, give HarDie’s Kneipe as miss – or during the summer enjoy the cute outdoor seating.
Prinzknecht – More popular with the mature, leather crowd, this is a gay bar with drinking beer and chatting with locals. Slightly cruisy with exposed brick walls, a relaxed terrace and “neighborhoody bear scene”. The service is terrible, but the loyal following Prinzknecht draws seem to love it.
Kreuzberg / Neuköln / Friedrichshain Gay Bars In Berlin
BarbieBar – The anthesis of the Berlin raw leather and hardcore fetish scene. We loved this unashamedly hot pink mess with Barbie dolls, stylish décor, atmosphere chandeliers, and hilarious drag shows. If you want to be sickening, fierce and fabulous this gay bar with a twist in Kreuzberg is waiting for you.
Rauschgold – In the middle of Berlin Kreuzberg, this is a hip gay bar where the night never ends and everyone is always welcome. The queer living room of Berlin with regular events, drag shows, and karaoke. Musically, the hits of the bygone decades mingle with modern anthems seamlessly. Trashbag-glamor is part of everything here – from the stage design to the decoration to the performers and artists, all served alongside super delicious cocktails and drinks at the bar.
Silver Future – A safe place open to queer people of all kinds of identities and desires in Berlin-Neuköln. Racist, sexist, homo or transphobic behavior are strictly forbidden here as well as anything anti-Semitism, we hate to say it but this is an important note as this creeps more and more into the (usually) ultra-masc gay bars in Gay Berlin. Hosting fabulous queer shows including dive concerts, drag show, open stage nights or dating parties most nights, admission is always free and everyone is always welcome.
Möbel-Olfe – located in the North-East of Berlin-Kreuzberg, close to the U-Bahn station Kottbusser Tor, this rowdy and hipster gay bar is housed in an old furniture store. Eclectic to say the least, and oh-so-alternative, we loved the décor, indie music and ‘only in Berlin’ location: in the middle of a 1960s housing estate home to many Turkish families. Bohemian art and the trendy queer community come together here in a hot mess of bodies, with high-proof vodkas and strong long drink adding fuel to the proverbial fire.
Roses Bar – Another camp gay bar in Kreuzberg offering an alternative to the masc-industrial cruise bars that plague Berlin. While no longer quite as cool as it once was, we still obsessed over the quirky interior featuring walls of plush pink fur and more kitsch décor than we could handle. Ver crowded at peal times, but a fantastic place to experience at least once.
Melitta Sundström – A cozy bar with a laid-back and open-minded attitude hosting students during the day and gays at night who are simply too lazy to go to Schöneberg. In the summer the large outdoor terrace is perfect for relaxing and people watching, while back inside the bar there is a range of comedy and cabaret performances throughout the week. Later at night there is dancing with the playlist being decidedly Top 40 free, populated instead with jazz, hip indie music and punk including an interesting mix of underground musicians to expand your musical horizons. Love it or hate it, there is still smoking inside…
Prenzlauer Berg & Central Berlin Mitte Gay Bars
The Coven – Aspiring to be more than a gay bar, The Coven offers an alternative to the old-guard LGBT establishments that litter Schöneberg. Designed by Berlin-based Architect, Thilo Reich, there is nothing pink, white or plush in sight, nor anything snug, but instead a design décor we would call: elegance simplified with chic colors, industrial detailing, and an atmosphere than attractions the open-minded people of Mitte. Relaxed ambiance and craft-cocktails make this one of the cities best LGBT meeting spots. Can you tell we are a little obsessed?
Bar Saint Jean – A simple gay bar with a French touch. Clear lines, not too many details, no fashionistas, where people simply go to enjoy a good drink or a quiet beer. While the Gym Tonic night has guest DJs, it is more about enjoy long drinks and cool meet & greets with local Mitte Berliners and an all-out wild party.
Bärenhöhle – The local hole-in-the-wall bear bar in Mitte with a range of music spanning decades and a loyal following comprising furry friends of all shapes and sizes.
Betty F*** Bar – A almost-glam basement bar in Berlin that delivers trashy drag queen entertainment alongside glam cocktails. Yet another bar that has made the conscious choice to avoid the vanguard Gay Schöneberg village to forge a new path for post-gay Berlin.
Marienhof – One of the most famous bar in Gay P-Berg. The ambiance, the personal atmosphere, and the central location make Marienhof so unique in Berlin. There is always something going on Monday through Saturday, and this cozy café / bar enriches the Berlin gay nightlife with its desire to be more than a location for seeing – and – being seen and average drinks.
Perle – A contemporary, cocktail bar that refused to be labeled as gay, but has a very loyal LGBT following. We told you Berlin Mitte was all about open-minded attitudes and fluidity! Focussed on provided divine cocktails with a twist, there is prompt service, friendly staff, and a beautiful outdoor seating area to enjoy in the summer.
FLAX – A popular café / bar with younger gays and lesbians who come for the funky themed nights – including Table Tennis Thursdays, a wide variety of drinks and queer companionship.
Gay Nightclubs In Berlin
Gay Beach Berlin – Not letting small details like a lack of shoreline get in their way, this gay dance party washes up in Gay Berlin every summer with palm trees, sand, lounges, and cocktails joined by DJs later in the night. The location changes every year so check back for further details closer to the time.
Connection Club – A popular weekend techno gay club next door to Prinzknecht bar (with the same owners). Famed for the huge ‘Twilight Zone’ darkroom area spread across two floors you will certainly find something for fun and to make new nice acquaintances. A core part of the Schöneberg gay scene for over 20 years, the focus might be cruising but there is also a fun dance floor and a mixture of people if you are more about dancing than making connections.
Die Busche – The party never ends here at this LGBT nightclub with a nightclub with three bar and three busy air-conditioned disco floors filled with young queers. Different floors place different music, stretching from modern club anthems to back through the decades. Before the fall of the wall, Die Busche was the only LGBT disco in East Germany and still today is going strong!
SchwuZ – A late night queen dance club that attracts a younger crowd with its mix of pop, indie, R’n’B, Schlager, house and techno – depending on the night. At every party, there’s plenty to discover in the three rooms that they have lovingly named the ‘cathedral’, ‘bunker’ and ‘salon’: From show acts by amazing dancers and sickening drag queens, a foosball & ping pong lounge, talent competitions, photo contests, a supervised bathroom area, information booths and more, SchwuZ always has something going on. Enrich (night)life in Berlin with concerts, readings, film screenings, panel discussions, theme months, debut celebrations and much, much more. You can find always find current information on their website event calendar. One of our favorite gay clubs in Berlin!
Berghain Club & Panorama Bar – A exclusive nightclub on the border of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg (thus the name) renown for being unbelievably hard to get into. There are no set rules and the doorman just looks for ‘the right balance of people’, but if you manage to get in you will find one of Europe’s best dance clubs, housed in a former power planet. A once-gay but now mixed epicenter for clubbers from around the world, Berghain offers a huge dance floor, epic line up and mega sound system. The Panorama Bar upstairs is more chic and intimate with some of the best views in Berlin. The gay cruise sex club, Lab-oratory is also found here but is a distinct venue in the basement with a separate entrance.
Gay Parties In Berlin
Herrensauna – A captivating party collective that is whipping Berlin’s gay underground into an absolute frenzy with these hedonistic parties. Held at various basement venues around Berlin, only one thing is constant at Herrensauna: techno music, pounding energy, sweat and an invitation to freedom with lots of separate dark rooms.
Hunters Party – An extremely popular gay foam party in Berlin usually taking place at the Untertage club in Kreuzberg. With showers, ground fog, dance floor, and hot, muscled men nothing will remain dry here at this mega-foam event. Any fetish and any type of guy is welcome, as long as you love electronic music and foam. An unforgettable night with no shame about getting right down to business.
MENtabolism @ Polygon Club – One of Berlin’s wildest dance and gay play parties. For all you men with an insatiable appetite, let the well-lubricated MENtabolism party satisfy your cravings with tech-house music, large play spaces, and so many muscles.
Revolver Party @ KitKatClub – A kinky monthly happening in Berlin, on the 2nd Friday of each month, hosting the best local and international DJs, unique performers from the gay underground and a secondary room of pure techno music. The venue for Revolver Party Berlin is the infamous and beloved KitKat Club, so you just know things are going to be gloriously sleazy. While this party is a majority gay night, everyone is welcome to attend with no dress code.
GMF @ House of Weekend – Another Sunday night gay dance party in Berlin taking over this exclusive nightclub with stunning city views, a compact dance floor and rooftop garden. For GMF the DJs spin house, electro, disco and urban on the 15th floor while the roof terrace remains open to catch your breath and cool off.
Gayhane @ SO36 – A monthly homooriential dance night for lesbians and gays with a fabulous mix of Turkish, Arabic, Greek and Hebrew pop music. Like fusing Dubai, Athens, Istanbul, and Tel Aviv together – with a distinctly ‘only in Berlin’ vibe – this legendary queer night has now been copied around the world. But Gayhane is the original and has to be seen to be believed.
Cafe Fatal @ SO36 – For more than 21 years, Café Fatal has been a wonderfully uncool Sunday pay tea party in the famous punk/rock shed SO36. Whether you are part of Berlin’s queer community, curious tourists or a local of the colorful Kreuzberg neighborhood – if you do not enjoy yourself here, it’s your own fault. Every Café Fatal evening starts with a dance class – very classic, and yet very different: newbies and secret Travoltas, singles, couples, and ballet thugs, everyone can learn to dance with like-minded people, without obligation, and without extra cost. Just come, watch and feel free join in. With these freshly learned steps the event then immediately moves to flesh and blood ball-room dancing…Just fabulous!
Gay Cruising In Berlin
If the bars or gay parties in Berlin are too vanilla for you, perhaps these gay sauna, fetish clubs, cruise lounges, and smutty cinemas are a better fit? This is where you can truly experience the unrestricted, uninhibited, no strings attached freedom that Berlin is known for…
We have to warn you; however, Berlin has the single most intense fetish and cruising scene we have ever come across – not even those in Paris, Munich, Vienna, or Prague come close. We have tried to identify places for the less ‘initiated,’ but there is nothing vanilla here.
It is definitely not for everyone.
Most of these ultra-hardcore cruising venues / gay sex clubs in Berlin are centrally located and easy to find, but you can use our Gay Berlin map at the end to find the closest to you. If you are horny there is always an adventure to be had in Berlin, and meeting people in the real world is still very much the norm, even in these “hook up app” oriented times. Speaking of which, however, the German app Planet Romeo, is more popular than Scruff or Grindr here.
Whatever your into, you can rest assured you will find at one of these seemingly infinite Berlin gay cruising spot options.
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in while traveling, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you...
Der Boiler – The only true gay sauna in Berlin, with most locals preferring to find their fun in the cruising clubs. Still, we are always partial to a little steamy fun and this large sauna fit the bill perfectly. Across three floors you can explore the Finnish sauna, steam sauna, and bio sauna, hop into the whirlpool, stumble through the darkroom or get your own private cabin. Free lockers are available, and there is a small bar & café with outdoor terrace to replenish your energy in. Or you can de-stress with a male massage tempting you with relaxation for both body, mind and soul. Always spotless, the patrons of Der Boiler is very friendly with no-attitude and we found it possible to even make lasting connections when socializing on quieter nights. On the weekends it is 24 hours, packed with some of the most gorgeous men on the planet and pure ecstasy. If heaven were a place on Earth, we imagine it would look a little like this…
Gay Sex Clubs In Berlin
Mutschmann’s – Clubbing, cruising and flirting all rolled into one in this hot-as-hell fetish club – which is pretty appropriate given the hardcore action in the play space and darkroom here. There is a strict dress code most nights aimed towards leather lovers, rubber and uniforms but Wednesday night everyone is welcome. Thursdays are generally naked night – so no underwear, shoes only – but no matter when you visit testosterone and sex scent the air.
WOOF Berlin – A popular gay bear hangout in Berlin for lovers of hairy men, leather daddies, and burly muscle men. With affordable drinks, fun themed nights and a social atmosphere this small bar is a hidden gem that provides a safe dark room for those who happen to want to go further. Open since 2006, every night from 10 pm all 365 days of the year.
New Action – The place to be in Berlin for all kinds of gay fetish designed for bold, sleazy pigs. It is no-holds-barred here and the focus is clear with well stocked dark room offering toys, play gear, sling, showers, and a St. Andrew’s cross. There is a strict uniform code listed on the website but you will need to be in leather, rubber, sportswear, army, biker ..etc gear. Despite all this, the front bar is actually very clean and, dare we say, stylish but the staff here have the typical Berliner impatience with foreigners.
Scheune – Another gay fetish cruise space catering to kinky pigs hosting naked parties and other themed nights. The downstairs dungeon is dark, dirty and depraved just as the attendees seem to like it. Mostly attracts guys over 30s, but there is no attitude here and everyone was pretty friendly. Strict uniform code is enforced.
Stahlrohr 2.0 – An industrial-styled cruise club in the Prenzlauer Berg gaybourhood hosting the standard array of themed parties. Doesn’t ever seem to get that busy and while the bartenders are unusually friendly (for Berlin) there is never many guys in the backrooms, maze, or cellar area. So much potential, but there is really only one reason to go to a gay sex club – and this reason disappears if they are as quiet as this.
Bull – A small gay cruise bar which, depending on your concept of “fun”, can be incredible or horrible. Best described and adorably sleazy. Open 24/7 this is a popular option for a cheap drink and quick fun whenever the urge arises. Everyone here knows exactly what they are looking for so leave your glitter, glam, and any valuables, at home.
Ficken 3000 – The name says it all really, and even if you don’t speak German you can probably take a guess. Ficken does one thing, and one thing well, with a small but busy dark room and bar open every night from 10 pm. A seedy sex club that we just can’t help but love, probably because it is unabashedly and quintessentially Berlin.
Triebwerk – A hard-working gay sex club where you can enjoy yourselves at more than 300 sex parties and over 50 open days (on Mondays) a year. Spread over 2 floors they offer a bar area, lounge with a big screen, playgrounds with air conditioning and one of the most striking darkrooms in Berlin complete with a St. Andrew’s cross, video cabins, gynecological examination chair, and sling. Check their website for events and dress codes for the night ranging from none to naked or underwear.
Greifbar – In heart of old East Berlin, this traditional gay bar is for gay men who are fans of the construction worker style and desire affordable drinks and a calm, private area for cruising.
Große Freiheit 114 – A Berlin favorite for local night owls and visitors alike. They offer a simple but effective combination of great drinks, welcoming staff and spaces for play and fun. Nobody stays alone for long here, every fetish is welcome, there is no dress code and admission is always free.
KitKatClub – An absolute institution of the Berlin gay sex scene opened by famed Austrian pornographic filmmaker Simon Thaur in 1994. Influenced by the atmosphere of the sunrise-beach parties in the late 80’s in Goa, the sexual exchange possibilities of different S&M clubs around the world and Simons own ideas of what sexual liberation means, this unique club is still today famed for its extravagance, outlandish fetish / S&M parties and one-of-a-kind space spread across 3 floors with a pool and outdoor area. At KitKatClub everything is allowed and desired except for the usual denim and T-shirt monotony. Of course, fetishistic, sexy and daring, out-of-this-world and original are recommended. The classic among their many events is the Saturday night party notorious “CarneBall Bizarre”: an exquisite mix of guests, an ecstatic atmosphere, sauna, separate playrooms, and a rocking, celebrating dance crowd. We absolutely love the freedom KitKatClub offers, but if you are after a purely homosexual crowd then be sure to attend one of their specific gay events.
Böse Buben – Germany’s only gay club for all varieties of flagellation and ‘butt spanking’. Seriously, we haven’t seen such a niche gay sex club since the bizarre micro-gay scenes of Tokyo. If you are interested in imaginative sex, experimentation and new experiences the play sessions here is the place to find it. Unusual encounters, sizzling eroticism, and paralyzing suspense – along with a red butt – are all to be expected here.
Tom’s Bar – A after-hours gay club with gloriously cruisy vibes, leather-clad daddies and a busy dark room. Live DJ’s pump out techno and house music adding the intense atmosphere, but sadly the selective doormen reinforce prejudices by turning away more mature men – or those simply deemed not acceptable.
Club Culture Houze – An imaginative club that organizes sex parties for all orientations and genders, to offer a platform for hedonistic euphoria and sensual sex. With several playgrounds on two floors and a cozy bar to relax and socialize in, there is no room for a dull moment here. Groping in the dark is not necessary as all rooms are illuminated by subtle light installations, so man/woman/human can recognize his opponent in an erotic mood. The dress code is ruled by the parties, so you will find the opportunity to indulge your boundless fetish fantasies here. Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays are exclusively for gay men, with other nights still being vibrantly queer. Surprisingly, we found the host here to be exceptionally friendly and helpful, helping foreigners to feel increasable welcome and at ease in what could otherwise be a very daunting space.
Lab.Oratory @ Berghain – A infamous space for the sexually audacious, this unhinged and exquisitely detailed gay sex club (aka the Lab) is attached to the famous Berghain Club, housed in a former East Berlin power station. Like straight out of a (kinky) movie, this is sensual, sexual heaven with people having sex everywhere you love, with massive open spaces and more play spaces that we could handle. Check your hang-ups at the door, and dive into wild fetish nights that appeal to fans of naked flesh, rubber, leather, sportswear and more. This male-only labyrinthine burrow has a cult following and is famed the world over- and one of hottest gay fetish sex spaces of all time. With cages, slings, busy glory holes, dank dark rooms, sorrid corners, and private cabins, there is a lot to explore here in this massive space. Come on Friday’s for no-dress-code and huge crowds – with a 2-4-1 drink special – or find the perfect event for you in their upcoming calendar. Just be sure to book in advance to avoid missing out on the day.
Gay Cruising Cinemas In Berlin
The Jaxx – The premier gay cinema in the gay Schöneberg district. Opened since 1995 this was the first sex cinema in Berlin to have numerous private cabins, a wide selection of XXX films, cruising area, and a darkroom. Still today, twenty years one, it continues to be a recipe for sweaty success filled with handsome guys and hot action. The Jaxx is known for its selective door policy, however, but sadly this is all too common in Berlin for what we heard. The Jaxx also has a sex shop we offer a wide selection of toys – should you need anything to further enhance your pleasure.
XXL Berlin – A busy Gay cruise cinema in the Gay Prenzlauer Berg area with private cabins, dark rooms, and fetish evens. Try to go on Wednesday or Sunday night for the most fun.
Duplexx – A popular gay cinema that has other locations spread out across Germany including Hamburg and Munich. Inside feel free to enjoy the cruising labyrinth, private cabins, over 5000 films, glory holes, sling, and darkroom.
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your global rainbow family and don't forget to share your best gay stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...We'd love to hear from you!