Often overlooked as the dull financial powerhouse of Germany, Gay Frankfurt am Main is a wonderfully multicultural, cosmopolitan and tolerant city where LGBT people are embraced as a natural part of society. They don’t call it ‘Mainhattan’ for nothing…
Frankfurt is not like any other German city, and you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a modern American city with all the glinting glass, steel, and concrete skyscrapers – rather than a historic city in central Europe.
Home to 5.5 million inhabitants, Gay Frankfurt-on-the-Main (pronounced ‘mine’) is a high-powered, fast-paced finance and business housing one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, Germany’s busiest airport and the polished headquarters of the European Central Bank. Many of the world’s most prestigious trade fairs are also held here, attracting thousands of business travelers every year – plenty of who are happy to let loose in the Frankfurt gay scene after work is finished for the day.
And for that, there is the Frankfurt’ Bermuda Triangle’ – Frankfurt’s queer neighborhood. Centered around found on Alte Gasse, in the downtown Innenstadt area and famed for its variety of queer bars, clubs, and venues – and night out here can be (almost) as crazy as Berlin. Bars are not required to close in the city of Frankfurt, which explains why locals have named it the Bermuda Triangle – because many travelers have disappeared here for long periods without re-emerging.
This phenomenon is especially pronounced over Pride – during which Frankfurt hosts one of Germany’s biggest queer celebrations. From dive-pubs and fetish dens to queer discos and late-night techno, you can find it all here. Most are even within easy walking distance of each other, though the gay saunas and cruise venues are located a bit further away…
While Germany might have taken a ‘better later than never’ approach to legalizing gay marriage, it is frequently named one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. 1920’s Berlin was famed as a relative paradise for LGBT people at the time, and same-sex sexual activity was decriminalization relatively early by world standards – 1968 in East Germany and 1969 in the West.
Today this results in Gay Frankfurt having a long and well-established presence with plenty of gay bars and cruising venues having histories that go back decades – but today, the fast pace of life here means hot spots and the trendiest gay parties change quick and fast. Yes, much like Hannover, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Munich – German’s love their pop-up queer take over parties, but thankfully we have tracked down the most popular for you.
Even without its fabulous queer nightlife, Frankfurt offers fine art, world-class museums, relaxes street cafes, and even historic architecture in its oft-forgotten quaint medieval Altstadt (old town). All this is to say, tourists who are willing to spend a few days exploring Gay Frankfurt – as opposed to just passing through – are in for a treat, and they discover for themselves a city that effortlessly mixes new and old, style with culture.
Still wanting more? How about busy gay beaches? High-brow cocktail bars? Futuristic skyscrapers? All-night underground club raves? Check, check, check, and CHECK!
Gay Frankfurt Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Frankfurt Germany
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Gay Frankfurt
Obviously 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 Frankfurt during the day… if you are not in town for business that is!
Frankfurt is a very safe city but still, all travelers should take caution with valuables especially in crowds. Gay people in Frankfurt do not need to take any extra precautions in terms of public displays of affection in this very progressive city and should have no issues exploring Frankfurt’s beauty!
Highlights of Frankfurt
- Frankfurt Food Tour – Taste your way around history-packed Frankfurt on this scenic food crawl. Enjoy six sweet and savory tastings of local German specialties, from Frankfurter “Grie Soß” to award-winning sausages. You’ll discover the city’s main historic attractions along the way, including picturesque Roemerberg and the narrow, alley-filled Coronation Route, as you listen to stories about its famous inhabitants.
- Museum Time – Frankfurt has an enviable museum scene and you could – and should – spend days exploring its many highlights. Given the propensity of skyscrapers here The Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Architecture Museum) is a must see, especially its exhibit “From Primordial Hut to Skyscraper” and just around the corner is the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), which boasts a significant collection of European and Asian craftworks from the middle ages to the present day. Cutting-edge exhibitions also appear alongside the world of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol at the boat-shaped Museum für Moderne Kunst (Museum of Modern Art). Head to Museumsufer, an area with numerous museums much like the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna.
- Palmengarten – One of three botanical gardens in Frankfurt am Main, though easily the most impressive. Here, guests experience flora from a variety of climate zones within a park area of over 22 hectares and 7,000 sq/m of conservatory space. Internationally renowned exhibitions and festive events offer an array of splendidly colourful programme and add to the appeal. One of the top things to visit in Frankfurt.
- Frankfurt Card – Frankfurt is a sprawling city with a public transport network to match, but getting round can be a challenge. With this handy 1-day Frankfurt Card, explore with ease and save up to 50% on admission to top city attractions including the Palmengarten (Botanical Gardens) and the Titus Thermen pools. Enjoy savings on city tours and Main River cruises, and help your money go further at participating restaurants and retail stores across Frankfurt.
- Rhine Valley Trip – Journey along the romantic Rhine on a half- or full-day tour from Frankfurt and take in the UNESCO-listed wonders of the Rhine Valley. Set sail along the Rhine River on a traditional steamer and cruise past sweeping vineyards, medieval towns and mountaintop castles. Jump off to explore historic Rudesheim, see the landmark Loreley Rock (full-day trip only) and indulge in wine tasting, then tuck into a delicious lunch (full-day trip) or dinner (half-day trip) by the riverside.
Gay Shops In Frankfurt
- InsideHer – A sex shop that specializing in female needs, the only such store in Frankfurt. They offer a large selection of particular erotic items and exciting lingerie as well as clubwear.
- Transnormal – A men’s boutique for men where you will find everything you need to head out as a lady. Inside there is a election of dresses, blouses, skirts, shoes, wigs, lingerie, stockings and tights – or if you want to be even more women like there is tight waist corsets, laced corsages, silicone breasts and the associated make-up available. Run by gorgeous Manuela, this small boutique is a second-home of many crossdressers from all over the world – and the perfect place to explore your female identity.
- RUFF Gear – A gay mens lifestyle and fetish store offering erotic leather fashion, rubber, sportswear and toys. Kinky…
- Sündige Mode (Sinful Fashion) – A fetish shop south of Frankfurt’s Zeil, offering something for all fans of lacquer and leather. Not specifically marketing at the LGBT+ community, but queer customers are happily welcomed. For gothic, club and dark wear, seductive fashion in exciting fabrics, party, steampunk, fetish, burlesque and more – Sinful Fashion is a great start.
Gay Things To Do In Frankfurt
- Queer Film Night @ Mal Seh’n Kino – At art-house cinema that participates in the once monthly screening of a queer film (along with 25 cities across Germany) before the official cinema or DVD launch.
- Rebstockbad – A large tropical-themed water-park with indoor/outdoor pools & slides, along with hot tubs & a sauna. A great place to escape the heat and meet cute German boys, especially on Thursdays, which is the unofficial gay day here.
- Cafe Groessenwahn – A historic café beloved by locals that is very gay-friendly, but not typically ‘gay scene’. You’ll never get a seat in the weekend without a reservation but this is a perfect place to try local food and drink with innovative twists.
- Harvey’s – A trendy and gay-popular restaurant-cafe named after famous LGBT activist and San Fran local Harvey Milk. The connection is tenious at best, but hipsters will love it and their basic burger and schnitzel-esque fare is delicious and worth a trip alone.
- Zur Schönen Müllerin – Gay-owned, this is one of Frankfurt’s oldest apfelwein (apple wine) restaurants served traditional food with relaxed indoor and outdoor seating. A fun experience and introduction to local Hessen culture.
- Langener Waldsee – The largest leisure and recreational center in the whole of the Rhine-Main region located in the city forest with a gay section. On hot summer days it can attract huge crowds to its 900 meter long sand beach. The surrounding woods are a popular gay crusing area, but the path to the gay beach branches to the left of the one leading to “Badesee”.
- CSD Frankfurt Gay Pride (July) – A celebration of LGBTQ life with various events including parties, panels, protests, brunches and more culminated in one amazing Parade on the Saturday and a outrageous party in Römerberg, the main square, afterwards. Frankfurt’s Christopher Street Day celebrations are, in fact, one of the largest in Germany and the perfect time to plan a visit and see this city loosens up and comes alive. As with most Pride events around the world, this is as much a fun celebration as a political demonstration, so make sure you take time to appreciate both. If you need some inspiration for pride outfits, we also have some great ideas.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Frankfurt Germany
Being one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, almost every hotel and hostel in Frankfurt can be considered open and welcoming to LGBT travelers.
After all, being gay-friendly is simply providing a non-judgmental and respectful environment in which all people are treated equally. Elegant design, helpful staff, and great value for money also help. Some businesses have gone above and beyond in recognizing and marketing to the LGBT community, and it seems to have paid off!
There are now quite a few popular hotels in Frankfurt that are go-to hot spots for queer travelers…because, really, doesn’t everyone like to be surrounded by people with common interests! Sadly there are currently no exclusively gay hotels in Frankfurt, but there are hundreds of other hotel option in Frankfurt if you don’t find what you are looking for.
Gay tourists normally find the most fun place to stay is in the Frankfurt downtown close to the main station and gay village – with options for business and pleasure all right on your doorstep. 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 Frankfurt as something for everyone!
- 25hours Hotel Frankfurt The Trip ☆☆☆☆ – One of our favorite hotel chains in Europe, 25hours The Trip is wonderfully queer-friendly and very popular with the LGBT community (much like their Paris and Zurich locations are as well). This is only helped by its phenomenal location in the heart of Frankfurt next to the main station. From the ground floor to the loft, each floor of the 25hours Hotel The Trip is reminiscent of adventurous journeys and legendary expeditions meaning you can travel around the world in a day with a stay here. The Arctic, tropics, and mountains become laid-back sanctuaries imbued with a quiet thirst for adventure and a longing for faraway places. Quirky and unapologetically different, amenities include the use of a free MINI, bike rentals, a fun Middle-Eastern diner-style restaurant, and a rooftop terrace with hip /LGBT popular bar.
- The Westin Grand ☆☆☆☆☆ – An upscale international hotel beloved by gay business travelers for its location, reliability and luxury service. Relax in refined rooms and suites, or head downstairs to enjoy a meal at one of the four onsite restaurants, including a modish Japanese restaurant that wouldn’t be out of place in Kyoto or Tokyo. There is also a quiet bar perfect for after-work drinks, an indoor pool, spa, sauna, and gym.
- The Pure ☆☆☆☆☆ – A entirely renovated loft in the heart of Frankfurt, The Pure seizes the city’s cosmopolitan spirit at every turn. The modern rooms offer puristic elegance and high ceilings, with high-gloss Zebrano furniture complementing earthy smoked oak parquet floors. This is to say: style and design are core to everything here, and gay travelers have raved not only about the trendy vibes and fashion-forward fit out but also its proximity to everything – including the gay village. In addition, there is a daily complimentary buffet breakfast, an elegant lounge, a fashionable garden, a gym, and a steam room.
- Fleming’s Selection Hotel ☆☆☆☆☆ – Incomparable service, exclusive comfort, and innovative design come standard at this five-star luxury hotel – complete with an ideal inner-city location. Step into your room and experience absolute luxury: modern design elements and a subtle retro-chic ensure sleek elegance. High-quality fabrics and materials in warm earthy colors and the atmospheric light concept create an intimate ambiance. As a special highlight, there is a marvelous summer terrace with a bar and restaurant, offering a breath-taking view of the Frankfurt skyline. If that isn’t enough there is also a spa area with a sauna and a steam bath to relax in.
- SAKS Urban Design Hotel ☆☆☆☆ – Care-free hotel living in an urban environment inspired by design is done right. SAKS offers affordable room rates and memorable stays, with rooms that have everything that discerning travelers could want including Nespresso coffee machines and refreshing rain showers. There is also a hip lobby bar, rooftop spa area with dual saunas, a relaxed sundeck, and a gym.
- 5Elements Hostel ☆☆ – For those on a budget, this queer-friendly hostel offers a clean, safe space in an ideal location to rest your head and perhaps connect with other travelers. Sure, you won’t be able to host unless you opt for a private room but there is always someone around to talk with and explore the Frankfurt nightlife with.
- Moxy Frankfurt City Center ☆☆☆ – A Frankfurt hotel with a finger on the pulse of the city perfect for fun hunters and action chasers. Downtown Frankfurt is the place to be and the Moxy Frankfurt City Center is the exclamation point in the middle of it all, offering a neon play area with foosball, a modern lounge with a fireplace, vibrant wall murals, free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour bar. In fact, your room key comes with a Moxy cocktail. Take a sip from your Moxified Sleeper Bed, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling art. Follow the motion-activated guidelights under your bed to your contemporary bathroom. Then, let your hair down. This hotel accommodation – like all Moxy locations – is striking, stylish and, most importantly, memorable—just like the queer nightlife in downtown Frankfurt.
Gay Nightlife in Frankfurt
Despite being a city of skyscraper and business, Frankfurt is a city that knows how to button-down and let lose after dark, whether you want to dance, cruise or socialize – there is something for everyone. While laid-back gay bars are very common in Frankfurt, if you want an all-night clubbing experience you will need to look out for one of the many ‘pop-up’ gay club nights in otherwise straight clubs.
There is normally one or two taking place every weekend, though in such a progressive city many queer residents let their musical tastes rather than sexual preference decide their venue for the night. Refreshing, right?
Most of the gay nightlife spots in Frankfurt are conveniently located in the downtown Innenstadt area, near Zeil shopping street, within walking distance of each other. this means, even if you are not sure where to go – you can easily hop around with recommendation for bartenders or other patrons. Trust us, Germans are far more friendly and welcoming than they are given credit for…
Gay Bars In Frankfurt
- Birmingham Pub – For some reason British style gay pubs remain popular in Germany and the Birmingham Pub in Frankfurt is no exception having been faithfully serving the local gay community for over 30 years. If you are missing nights out in Brighton or Manchester, this for be the antidote with good service, good prices, and a fun atmosphere. Open every night until 6 am, though it is gayest after dark and a popular spot for guys grabbing food on their way home.
- Comeback – A male-only gay cruise bar in Frankfurt with a busy darkroom and sleazy vibes. You’ll either love or hate it, just be aware as we have heard reports of rent boys hanging around here and tourists getting caught out.
- Zum Schwejk – Gays and party people have been meeting here since 1987 in what is probably the gayest nightlife venue in Frankfurt. Everyone who wants to celebrate queer life is always welcome here, resulting in a nice friendly down to earth vibe – even if it is often a little too crowded. Very quirky interiors and an absolute must-see. Every Wednesday from 8-10 pm everything is half-off, so you can drink double!
- Stall – A fetish gay bar in Frankfurt for men only hidden in a rustic cellar. With regular themed nights and facilities that include a darkroom and cages, Stall is absolutely not for shy boys. The audience is diverse and very mixed in regards to tribes and body types and there is no dress code meaning guys can be here as they like, even naked. For beers, meeting guys and Tom Of Finland-esuqe fun, Stall is the place to go.
- Lucky’s – One of the oldest gay bars in Frankfurt and Rhein / Main, though as of 2012 they moved to new premises. A lounge-style bar that is the perfect place to relax and meet new friends offering coffee and cake in the afternoon or cocktails and beer later at night. There is an entertaining karaoke session held on Tuesday nights and a popular Bear gathering on the first Saturday of every month. Rest assured, whenever you visit Lucky’s is a relaxed and friendly space to meet new friends and you will be warmly welcomed.
- Switchboard – An institution of the Frankfurt gay and lesbian scene where people have been meeting for over 30 years with a lush green garden that invites you to linger in summer, a vivid bar, and a restful lounge. With a hassle-free atmosphere and fair prices, Switchboard brings together what belongs together and hosts numerous regular events without which the Frankfurt queer community would be poorer. Events such as the Beat Club, the open stage, SWITCH culture, SWITCH theater, SWITCH cinema and the great SWITCH karaoke (every first Sunday evening) are worth mentioning. Numerous parties on fixed dates such as Pink Monday on Rose Monday, dance in May, Oktoberfest, Halloween, Beat Club or New Year round off the offer.
- Lemon Café & Bar – A intimate bar with great music, delicious coffee, colorful cocktails, and fabulous service. Not a gay venue but specifically LGBTI-friendly and popular thanks to one of the staff being a well-know gender-queer migrant and activist. A great place to strike up a conversation, start a day or just relax on the terrace in summer.
- Bar Central – A popular gay lounge bar with affordable drinks and different music each night. Located in central Frankfurt within walking distance to Switchboard and other gay venues Bar Central gets busier later at night but is more a place for socializing amongst friends than making new ones so it is not ideal for solo travelers. Still, it’s very cool and does host occasional themed nights.
- Autographs Bar – In the middle of Frankfurt, not far from the Konstablerwache station, you will find the Autographs Bar, lovingly decorated with – you guessed it – autographs by, for example, Caternina Valente, Otto Waalkes, Boris Becker, Konrad Adenauer and more. Step in to enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine or whiskey and you chat with the friendly regulars and enjoy the unusual atmosphere. Replacing the long-standing ‘Tangerine’ gay bar, and open daily from 4 pm.
Gay Parties In Frankfurt
- ATOMIC @ Nachtleben – An indie/ pop queer night held on the 2nd Friday of the month at Nachtleben club since 2006 and since September 2018 at Berlin’s Maze on Mehringdamm. Attracting a younger crowd. If David Bowie, The Cure, Joy Division, Billy Idol, Blondie, Depeche Mode, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper or Whitney Houston make you happy, this is the place to be.
- Club78 @ Velvet Club – A gay part with a cult following held for over 24 years in Frankfurt with two floors of classic hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00’s and today. Club78 is only held 4-6 times a year for big dates like New Years or Frankfurt Pride but when it is on you can expect thousands of guests to attend this funky disco party. Velvet Club also hosts other themed parties with a more LGBT crowd throughout the year and is always queer-friendly.
- Queertastic @ Cafee Koz – A night of house and pop for queers on the third Saturday of the month. The venue, Cafee Koz is a safe space at the Students House at Goethe University that is open to all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, physical condition, religion and other attributions and generalizations. If you don’t understand that, the KOZ is the wrong place for you. The beer is cheap and door policy is friendly, making any of their events worth attending.
- Orange Peel – Founded in September 2009 with its program in Frankfurt’s Bahnhofsviertel offers sophisticated entertainment far from the so-called “mainstream”. Weird theater performances, classic jazz and blues concerts can be found here as well as readings or rock’n’roll shows. We have listed some of their stand-out events but it is worth checking direct for other one-off gigs.
- PURE @ Karlson Club – A queer clubbing event held over 2 floors, with 3 DJs and the coolest beats from house and techno. PURE is the mood-boosting gay party filled with sexy sounds, fun-loving people and very Berlin-vibes that is sure to be your new favorite party! Held on the last Saturday of every month near Frankfurt’s Bahnhofsviertel Station, though check their Facebook page for other one off-events at different locations around the city.
- Milk’N’Cream @ Orange Peel – A successful pop, chart and house party breaking out in the Frankfurt’s gay scene. One wild night featuring Pop, Charts, RnB and House / Electro on two floors until the wee hours. The Milk’n’Cream takes place twice a month on the 1st weekend at the Orange Peel. The DragSlam competition often takes place beforehand at the same venue, and guests are allowed free admission.
- 1001 Gay Oriental Night @ Orange Peel – The only regular gay and lesbian oriental party in the Rhine-Main area and regularly attracts guests from all over Hesse, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Cologne and even Strasbourg. The sound of the evening is modern Turkish, Oriental, Balkan pop and house mixed with current pop and black sounds. From Gülsen, Ozan Dogulu or Ajda to Beyonce, Rihanna or Shakira everything is played. Taking place every third Saturday of the month.
- Delicious @ Panther – Another gay party in Frankfurt that is only held three times a year, but if it is on you should not miss the chance to attend. Very trendy, with unique themes, spectacular shows, and full-on productions this is a party that wouldn’t be out of place in Madrid, Brussels, Rome or Stockholm. By which, we mean things get wild.
Gay Cruising & Gay Saunas in Frankfurt
Had enough of gay cruising in Frankfurt – either in the bars or elsewhere? For those who want a bit more guaranteed action, the gay saunas in Frankfurt will not disappoint you (unlikely all those faceless accounts on the hook-up apps …).
In such a foreign-friendly city you should have no issues visiting any Frankfurt gay sauna, but you could also consider one of the many gay cruise club, bars and adult shops in Frankfurt if you’re more into the cruise & fetish scene.
- Jerome – A popular gay cruising cinema with cabins and store with toys and films for sale. Simple, sleazy, dark with unfussy action. Located at Elbestraße 17, a 15 minute walk from the main gay bars of Frankfurt.
- Saunawerk – A popular 4-story gay sauna in Frankfurt am Main with everything a gay (or bisexual) mans heart could desire. There is a swimming pool complete with waterfall, a whirlpool, aroma steam bath, hammam with starry sky, traditional Finnish sauna with automatic infusions and even a tepidarium – a heated room like those of a Roman bathhouse. Saunawerk offers both illuminated indoor and outdoor areas and dark cinemas and cabins spaces for whichever type of contact you prefer – as well as a range of promotions and parties including bear night, nudist, club after-parties and more. The staff are friendly, but we just wish smoking was not allowed inside. Open nonstop on the weekends or until 3 am every other night.
- Metropol-Sauna – The largest gay sauna/cruising space in Frankfurt open 365 days a year from noon till 7 am the next morning and 24 hours all weekend. Inside there is a dray sauna, bar, cabins, solarium, hot tub, and massage services available along with DJs on a Saturday night As we should all know by now, however, bigger is not always better and their new location is less than ideal with out-dated and somewhat dirty facilities. By no means terrible, but Metropol-Sauna Frankfurt just isn’t our first choice for steamy fun.
- Clubsauna Amsterdam – The oldest gay sauna in Frankfurt offering 3 saunas and a whirlpool for you to relax, discover and experience Germany. While they may have been open for 50 years, it is great to see they have kept with the times are frequently refresh their offering – which probably explains why they are still in business all these years later. Clean with friendly staff and only a 15 min walk from Frankfurt central station, Clubsauna Amsterdam is more popular with a mature clientele and closes before midnight each day, even on the weekend. Wild Amsterdam, this is not…