Gay Hamburg might not be as alternative as Berlin but Germany’s second-largest city is still an intriguing destination for lesbian and gay tourists with a liberal spirit, well-developed gay scene, oh-so-cool vibes, and all that maritime heritage.
We will leave it up to you to consider what all those naught seamen did with their time at sea – but when they arrived In Hamburg, the biggest port in Germany it was straight to the gloriously seedy red-light district of Reeperbahn in St. Pauli – which today is one of the cities biggest attractions, gay or straight or unicorn…
While St. Pauli has a smattering of gay bars and establishments, the gay scene of Hamburg today is now centred around the hip St Georg district – a former red-light district also – and is a fabulous place to stay with plenty of gay cafes by day, and bars, club events and cruising clubs by night.
We love how gay-positive sex-embracing the Germans are, and St. Georg is the perfect place to experience this when the established leather culture of Hamburg intertwined with upscale fashion, raunchy gay saunas, all night-raves and gorgeous luxury hotels. Its no wonder this is where the famous Touko Laaksonen (better known as Tom of Finland) chose to host the first-ever exhibition of his erotic ultra-manly imagery.
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. Just another reason to love Gay Germany!
From its seedy beginnings as the world’s port city, Hamburg has become one of German’s most cosmopolitan and wealthy cities, with cool districts, inspiring architecture and one of the most under-the-radar gay scene’s. Shopping, culture, art, food, and sex are all a drawcard for those considering Hamburg – and did we mention there is 40 theatres, 60 museums, and over 100 live music venues? Welcome to Gay Hamburg – one of the coolest cities on earth!
Gay Hamburg Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Hamburg Germany
In this article we will cover...
Attractions in Gay Hamburg
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 Hamburg during the day! Hamburg is a very safe city, but still, all travelers should take caution with valuables. Gay people in Hamburg do not need to take any extra precautions regarding public displays of affection in this very progressive city and should have no issues exploring Hamburg’s beauty!
Top Things To Do
- St. Pauli Sex And Crime Tour – Discover Hamburg’s wild side on this sex and crime tour in the St. Pauli district. Learn about how the legendary “Zur Ritze” bar got its name, and visit the boxing club in the basement, where Mike Tyson and the Klitschko brothers have trained. Find out where the famous local boxer disappeared to and why so many celebrities come to this rustic bar. Hear exciting anecdotes and details about the lives and loves in the red light district.
- Go-Kart Race – Explore Hamburg by go-kart and discover the Hanse city from a perspective that only a few get to see. Admire stunning sights such as Speicherstadt and HafenCity, St. Michael’s Church, the TV tower, the Reeperbahn and more. Choose between a daytime tour, a tour at dawn and an overland drive from Hittfeld. On Fridays, you can also drive through the old Elbtunnel.
- Evening Illumination Cruise – Experience a beautiful evening cruise from the historical and romantically-illuminated Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world – through the sea of light that is the Hamburg harbor. Enjoy a grand boat tour through the canals of the historic Speicherstadt and discover the highlights of Hamburg from the water.
- Harrys Hamburger Hafenbasar and Museum – Probably the most bizarre museum in Hamburg. Immerse yourself in a world of sailor treasures from all over the world. For over 60 years, this unique museum has been known around the globe for its odd collection of curios. Pop by for a journey to remote African tribes, Asian temples, South American peoples and places that no longer exist.
- Elbphilharmonie – Visit the Elbphilharmonie and gain interesting background information about the new Hamburg landmark. Enjoy the unique view from the Plaza, and experience the lovingly named ‘Elphi’ up close with your professional city guide. Admire the Elbphilharmonie from the quay before you enter on the longest escalator in Europe. Then take a moment to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Hamburg.
- Hamburg Food Tour – Take a HafenCity culinary tour and visit the Elbphilharmonie and Speicherstadt. Savor five tasty appetizers in up to 4 great restaurants. A fun way to see the city from a new angle, and to discover that German food is not so dull after all!
- Hamburg Card – Discover more, pay less! Free transport and up to 50% discount for over 150 sights. With the Explorer Ticket, you can explore Hamburg at your leisure, with flexibility, and at affordable prices. Just hop on and start your journey.
Gay Things To Do In Hamburg
- Kyti Voo – The most gay-popular cafe in Hamburg, located in the heart of St. Georg. Claudia Kiesel is the owner, who is also the organizer of L-BEACH and chair of the CSD Hamburg Pride. Stop by for craft beer, cocktails and snacks handcrafted with love, and enjoy some prime people watching from their outdoor terrace. The place to see, and be seen, Kyti Voo is a vital part of the Gay Hamburg experience and not to be missed! Plus the staff are so cute…
- Café Uhrlaub – In case the array of rainbow flags outside didn’t tell you, this is unabashedly a gay cafe – one of the oldest in German event. Open from 8 am, stop by to try traditional Germany food for lunch, breakfast, and dinner. You never know who you will meet here. The outdoor backyard terrace is also extremely popular in summer and the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
- Cafe Gnosa– For more than 20 years this little cafe in St. Georg has been an LGBT meeting point with delicious cakes, baking, meals, and a casual, relaxed atmosphere.
- Startschuss Hamburg – A popular LGBTQI sports club offering a wide variety of group sport with everything from football, badminton and volleyball to table tennis, yoga and stand-up paddle boarding. Nordbären Hamburg – The local furry bear group who host many events throughout the year from sauna visits, dinner, bar nights and the legendary Bärenpaadiie XXL – a weekend-long party with local and international “bears.” WOOF!
- Dikes on Bikes – The first German offshoot of the original San Francisco Dykes on Bikes where women who love bikes get together to charity work within Hamburg’s rainbow community. With the wearing of the cowls and the color, the campaign for the visibility of lesbians and have frequent ride meet-ups.
- Brunos Store – A queer clothing chain for the modern gay man with plenty of fun contemporary products, sexy or otherwise. In the heart of the Hamburg gay village and bursting with Pride. You really should take a look and support a business that is committed to the gay community first and foremost!
- Männerschwarm – A bookstore specializing in comics, magazines, fiction, and non-fiction about LGBT life. Regular events such as lecturers, book signings and readings are held here.
- Erotica Boutique Bizarre – One of the biggest sex shops in Europe located in St. Pauli. An extensive collection of erotic literature, films, and toys with everything you could need – gay, straight or in-between.
- Pulverfass Cabaret – Fabulous drag cabaret, dinner, and show with a mix of song, comedy, impersonations and over-the-top theatrics. Even if you don’t speak German, this is a fun night out – even if you just go to chat with guys at the bar.
- Mr. Chaps – The world-famous rubber and leather tailor that is sure to have something to cover all your fetish needs. In operation since 1985, there is also a sizeable second-hand area to explore.
Gay Annual Events In Hamburg
- Leatherparty 2018 – The oldest leather fetish club in Germany throws an annual festival of kinky delights, every August for the last 45 years. Immerse yourself in the vibe of the legendary Ledertreffen – the oldest fetish event in the world complete with dinners, cruise nights, a huge party and election of Mr. Leather Hamburg.
- Hamburg International Queer Film Festival – Germany’s oldest and biggest queer film festival which really lives up to its name. The events welcome about 15,000 visitors per year with a colorful and comprehensive selection of films includes everything from feature-length feel-good movies and documentaries to politically courageous productions and rarely-seen experimental projects – allowing everyone the chance to find something to get excited about. Held annually in October, it is Hamburg’s second largest film event and screens yearly over 65 programmes and about 120 films from around the world on seven screens over six days.
- Harbour Pride – DJs, singer/songwriters, and drag queens liven up the stage at the fish auction hall in celebration of the Port Anniversary Weekend festival. On Sunday, the LGBTQI community is represented by a colorful and musical boat in the grand departure parade.
- L Beach – A annual beach party held by the Baltic Sea for LGBT+ women in April. A whole seaside village with tropical pools, its own supermarket and countless activities exclusively for use by the group. Female empowerment has never been so much fun!
- Winter Pride – What could be better than German Christmas markets? Gay Christmas Markets in the heart of the gay St. Georg neighborhood. We are gagging!!! A gains sparkling reindeer looks fierce as feel, plenty of mulled wine and mulled wine – plus on-stage entertainment. We are in love!
- Hamburg Pride – A week-long party celebrates the role of the LGBT community in making Hamburg what it is today, and is totally worth planning a trip around. Held annually in July, the highlights are the huge ‘Christopher Street Day’ festival + vibrant parade and all the gay parties – but there are plenty of other events covering the LGBT spectrum and all interested! Today it is largely about celebrating but of course much needs to be done to achieve total equality, and Hamburg Pride still has a strong focus on its political roots.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Hamburg Germany
Being one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, almost every hotel and hostel in Hamburg 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 well-known hotels in Hamburg that are go-to hot spots for gay travelers…and really, doesn’t everyone like to be surrounded by people with common interests! Gay tourists normally find the most fun place to stay is close to the St. Georg gay area, with its hyper-trendy atmosphere and resplendent gay flags.
The Hamburg City center is very close and is a popular option too. If you don’t find what you are looking for, there are hundreds of other hotel option in Hamburg if you don’t see what you are looking for. 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 Hamburg as something for everyone!
- Reichshof Hamburg ☆☆☆☆☆ – A luxury 5-star property part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, gay travelers will love the location close to the gay scene of Hamburg. Designed in Art Déco style with high ceilings and luxurious furnishings, the rooms and suites will calm you from the busy and bustling streets of Hamburg. The property also features exquisite meals inspired by local gastronomy at the property’s “Stadt Restaurant.” Meanwhile, at EMIL’s Bistro, Cafe, and Bar, guests are offered an energy boosting breakfast to kick-start the morning, a delicious afternoon tea as well as snacks and aperitifs right before evening activities. Finally, there is also 250 m² fitness and spa area that includes two saunas and an exclusive relaxation lounge. Inspired design in the heart of the St. Georg gay area – No wonder the Reichshof Hamburg is so gay-popular.
- Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg ☆☆☆☆☆ – Dating to 1909, this grand luxury hotel on the shores of Alster Lake is a short walk to the St Georg gay scene and all of Hamburg’s attractions. The refined rooms are individually styled with designer furniture and plush fabrics and feature original artworks and high ceilings. Some of the luxe rooms even feature floor-to-ceiling windows with utterly intoxicating lake views. Onsite you can relax in the indoor pool, make use of the world-class spa, dine in the upscale seafood restaurant or start your night at the funky art deco bar.
- SIDE Design Hotel Hamburg ☆☆☆☆☆ – Recently re-opened after an extensive renovation, this unforgettable hotel uses puristic design and high comfort to create a unique atmosphere. An ultra-contemporary, glass-sided facade with minimalist rooms and an oh-so-chic vibes make this hotel extremely gay-popular. It also helps there is a sleek, vibrantly colored spa, a gym, and an indoor pool.
- 25hours Hotel HafenCity ☆☆☆☆ – A piece of living history. Once the Office for Electricity and Harbour Construction and filled with the lasting memories of sailors from all over the world doing…we can only imagine, it is now a cozy captain’s home for weary travelers. We first became obsessed with the hip 25hours hotel chain after stays in Dusseldorf and Zurich – and are proud that they are now taking Europe by storm. The world needs more of its penchant for contemporary design, unique stays, and welcoming staff. Every hotel is utterly unique – which is unusual for most hotel chains – and HafenCity is no difference, offering an unforgettable stay seaside and only three stops on the U-Bahn from Gay St Georg.
- Barceló Hamburg ☆☆☆☆ – A lovely urban 4-star hotel with an avant-garde design in the center of Hamburg, perfect for business or tourist trips. Beneath the sleek, modern facade is bright rooms with polished, contemporary decor, hardwood floors and glass accents – and suites with panoramic city views. Seriously, the views are worth booking for alone! For guests that need to recharge their batteries, the hotel also has a fantastic culinary offer of fusion cooking at its 1700 Restaurant, and the B-Lounge wine bar and patio terrace.
- The George Hamburg ☆☆☆☆ – Set in the heart of the St. Georg district, this refined British-themed designer hotel offers elegant, plush rooms and suites with unique wallpaper and design touches. There is an on-site upscale Italian restaurant, the obligatory British bar and a fabulous rooftop lounge – and even a Marrakech-style day spa if you want to spoil yourself. Go on; you are worth it!
- ARCOTEL Rubin Hamburg ☆☆☆☆ – A contemporary hotel with modern rooms with colorful accents, made gay-popular thanks to its on-site sauna, 7th-floor fitness room with city views and location in St. Georg district. The restaurant FACETTE serves regional and vegan cuisine, homemade cakes, and pastries, while the Crystal Bar specializes in rare gins from around the world. Sure, it is not the most inspired design we have ever seen, but the prices reflect this, so ARCOTEL Rubin Hamburg is often a real bargain find!
- Hotel Village ☆☆☆ – A gay-popular hotel in St Georg with a romantic, Paris-esque vibe. Truly unique, their headstrong taste for style and comfort mirrors the charm of the past, and us gay boys seem to love it. This is not high-fashion, but hotel rooms you won’t soon forget. Close to the main train station, and some of the lowest private room prices in Hamburg.
- Frauenhotel Hanseatin ☆☆☆ – An exclusively women’s only hotel directly opposite the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall. We are not saying this is a lesbian hotel in Hamburg, but it is very lesbian-popular, and the artwork around the house says it all really. There are classically furnished rooms, and breakfast offered every morning in the breakfast lounge with garden terrace. Friendly and helpful staff, with affordable prices and a safe/welcoming environment.
- Hotel Alt Nürnberg ☆☆☆ – In the heart of Gay Hamburg, this casual, country-style hotel offers affordable prices, and 12 relaxes rooms with private bathrooms. Cute and convenient, this is one of the most popular hotels with gay travelers in Hamburg.
- Junges Hotel Hamburg ☆☆☆ – A vibrant hotel in the St Georg district with bright, contemporary rooms. Quirky and colorful, we love how they serve striking, modern design and clean rooms without the attached price rooms. The amenities are nothing to write home about, but the price and location are!
- Generator Hamburg ☆☆ – We love the Generator Hostel chain which is taking Europe by storm with its high-design focus, inclusive service, and fun vibes. There are no gay hostels in Hamburg, but we would have stayed at Generator anyway. After all, it is an industrial-chic hostel occupying a former Beatles recording studio and is only steps from the Gay Hamburg scene. If you want a high-quality hostel to meet other travelers, explore the nightlife or just to save some euros…The Generator Hamburg is the best bet!
Gay Nightlife in Hamburg
Hamburg is well-known for its wild nightlife that goes until sunrise, and there are plenty of gay bars and clubs to cater for any kind of mood. While laid-back gay bars and cafes are very common in Hamburg if you want an all-night clubbing experience you will need to look out for one of the many gay club parties taking place weekly or monthly. Hamburg has a world-class selection of beer but don’t gays in Hamburg to be out enjoying it. Much like the rest of German – Stuttgart, Hannover, Munich, etc. – day-drinking is uncommon here, and you will have to wait until around 10 pm for the bars to get busy.
Most of Hamburg’s gay bars can either be found in St Georg, on and around Lange Reihe street or in St Pauli, close to Reeperbahn station. If you can’t decide where to go, just head to these areas and look for the rainbow flags, cute boys, and crowded doorways!
St Georg Gay Bars In Hamburg
- M&V Bar – A bar for sailors & frequent flyers, for Machos & Vamps, for millionaires & vagabonds, for Mum & Dad, for gays & friends. Open to all, M&V is a very gay-popular trendy bar that has become a bit of a household name in Hamburg. Aquavit or cherry brandy, bear curd honey liqueur or hamburgers champagne drops this cozy, cool has it all on the city’s most spectacular drink menu. Very crowded at the weekends when dancing breaks out, but otherwise just a fab place for homosexuals and heteros drink together!
- Generation Bar Hamburg – An upscale gay bar with gun cocktails and themed parties most weekends. There is a daily cocktail happy hour from 5-9 pm, relaxed terrace seating outdoors in summer and a funky DJ in the weekends. Generation Bar is all about fabulous music, fabulous drinks, and fabulous people!
- Bellini Bar – An institution in the heart of Gay St. Georg, this bar is a mecca for the gay scene in Hamburg. Tasteful design and Italian flair combine with perfect service and good music to create one of our favorite chill out spots in the city. Go early, as Bellini Bar gets back quick!
- PickUp Bar – A no-frills basement gay bar in Hamburg with good music and cheap drinks. Attracts a wide range of people from workers, artists and young things always giving PickUp Bar a friendly, buzzing vibe.
- Extratour – In the heart of gay Hamburg, this fun friendly gay bar attracts a young crowd who stay well into the early hours of the morning. Very laid-back with an eclectic interior perfect for a few drinks and getting more info on the Hamburg gay scene.
- Cube Cafe.Bar Hamburg – A funky little place with friendly service and great cocktails. Gay-friendly / gay-popular on Lange Reihe street. Affordable prices, a wide selection of gin and the best Moscow Mule in Hamburg !!
St Pauli Gay Bars In Hamburg
- The WunderBar – Week by week, hundreds of cute boys and handsome men flock here though anyone who wants to party is welcome, regardless of gender, age or orientation. Hamburg’s, if not Germany’s, gay living room for 25 years now with a dominating red and gold theme. Opulence or kitsch, the gay boys in Hamburg love it! Open daily from 10 pm, but every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Wunderbar becomes a popping party venue with DJ and one of the best Hamburg Gay Parties.
- Toom Peerstall – An old-school gay bar in Hamburg, and one of the oldest in the city. Mainly for older men who enjoy Schlager music – but you could always pop your head in quickly and see if it is for you!
- Piccadilly Bar – A small gay venue full of locals and cheap drinks. Low prices and great music make Piccadilly an excellent way to start off the night.
- Olivia Jones Bar – A fabulous bar and drag show venue in Hamburg’s red light district, owned by famous drag icon Olivia Jones. A tourist attraction in its own right, everyone flocks here to see the whole Olivia Jones drag family perform nightly. One of the last cabarets in the style of the golden times of St. Pauli, and they also offer city party tours to discover Gay Hamburg from a new angle (though all in German..)
Gay Parties In Hamburg
- PiNK INC – Organiser of frequent gay parties in Hamburg, generally in the form of queer take-overs of otherwise straight clubs. Hosting events roughly 2-3 times a month, make sure you get your tickets in advance as they are the hottest gay nights in Hamburg and almost always sell out. Drawing in a wide variety of people from across the LGBT spectrum.
- Electric Circus @ Hühnerposten – A huge but infrequent gay dance party focusing on pop and R&B music. Held roughly every two months with different themes, the hottest boys, and high production values. Gay-focussed but open to everybody – Electric Circus is high-energy, fabulous and frivolous queer fun!
- Babylon – The first gay party in Hamburg exclusively for men, with a strict no-photo or video policy and a busy dark room. Sexy DJs, circuit-style music, and men who can go all night! Babylon is a new bred of gay parties in Hamburg and has taken the city by storm. Held every two months on average at Club Bahnhof Pauli, this hyper-masculine party is hot, hot, HOT!
- Alpha Girls – Offering lesbian parties around Hamburg occasionally in different venues + an annual CSD Pride Women’s Party.
- 136 ° – A monthly club night that is all about cheerfulness, flirtation, and celebration! An Uber-cool underground space where DJ’s spinning upbeat electro/house/ dance music and the guys dance without a care in the world. The nights are loud, hot and intimate – their guests uninhibited, sexy and lascivious.
Gay Saunas in Hamburg
Had enough of gay cruising in Hamburg – either in the bars or elsewhere? For those who want a bit more guaranteed action, then there are three gay saunas in Hamburg, including one of the best in the world! Foreigners are typically welcoming throughout the Hamburg gay scene, and most guys do speak English – but you should be good at reading non-verbal cues. Luckily we have our first-time gay sauna guide to help!
- Dragon Sauna – Our favorite gay sauna in Hamburg – if not the world -, having been open for over 20 years and right in the middle of St George, Hamburg’s gay neighborhood. 1800 m2 of fun and relaxation spread across two floors. Enjoy their Finnish sauna, caldarium, steam room with labyrinth and whirlpool or stop by the bar for a drink. There is also an enclosed smoking lounge and numerous areas for resting, playing and cruising. Hamburg male massages are also available. Events every day of the weekend including partners day, singles, wellness and more – all on their website (which is one of the best we have ever found for a gay sauna!).
- MensHeaven Spa Hamburg – A four-level sauna to escape the world and fulfill your greatest fantasies. Finnish sauna, steam room, sling, darkrooms with glory holes, cinema, private cabins, playgrounds – everything you could want, including some of the best male massages in Hamburg! Uncomplicated, steamy fun!
- Apollo Sauna – A smaller gay sauna in Hamburg focussed on guys over 40, or their admirers. Very clean and almost stylish, inside there is a dry sauna, steam sauna, relaxation room, movie room and several cabins.
Gay Cruising and Fetish Clubs in Hamburg
If the bars or gay parties in Hamburg are too vanilla for you, perhaps these fetish clubs and cruise lounges are a better fit? Hamburg gay cruise clubs have extensive facilities and a variety of themed nights making them worth visiting is you want to play harder. Use our Gay Hamburg map at the end to find the closest to you.
- TOM’s Salon – The oldest gay cruise bar in Hamburg, operating in 1974. Everyone knows Tom’s! Inspired by the famous Tom of Finland – of which there are plenty of drawings-, this leather/fetish popular spot in a basement in the St Georg gay district has all of the expected facilities to kink up your night including gloryholes, slings, cage, dark room and an extensive bar. A small space but generally very busy, especially on weekends. Check out their Facebook in advance for frequent events and dress codes.
- SLUT Club – Probably the most hardcore gay sex club in Hamburg, as you might guess from the name. Dress codes are strictly enforced for all events – think Leather, Rubber, Boots, Pigs, Slaves, Uniform, Army, etc. Only raw action and an entirely impersonal experience. SLUT Club maintains an up-to-date list of upcoming events on their website, but seriously if you are thinking of trying a gay cruise club for the first time – Do not start here!
- Mystery Hall – Gay shopping and cruising round-the-clock. Large cinema, private booths, and 24/7 action. Cinema tickets entitle you to multiple visits within 16 hours. Lockers are available for cloakroom and valuables.
- Contact Men’s Bar – Another gay cruising bar in Hamburg in the in the middle of the gay quarter St. Georg. Chill and enjoy a drink with the full bar up front unleash your desires in the cruising areas out back – complete with glory holes, sling, and a dark maze. Most popular during the naked party every Friday from 8 pm to midnight.
- Basement XXV – Exclusive XXX rental location in the center of Hamburg’s Gay district. One of the city’s best-equipped fetish play areas including jails and sling with a fully equipped bar.