From bars to clubs and saunas to hotels, Berlin has turned into quite the gay travel destination. There are film festivals to attend, one of the largest Pride events in Europe, and cruising areas galore. Naturally, there is something for leather and fetish lovers as well, so come prepared with your favorite sex toys and dive into the fun. No matter if you are traveling alone or with your partner or husband, nearly every aspect of Berlin is welcoming to the gay traveler. Naturally, there is something for everyone year round, so make your travel plans now and prepare to party and cruise in Berlin.
Berlin is a vibrant city with a thriving lgbtq+Q+ scene, hosting a variety of gay events throughout the year. Below is a list of some popular events that cater to the gay community, offering diverse and exciting experiences for all attendees.
Here are some of the most popular gay bars and clubs in Berlin based on online reviews and rankings:
Berlin is known as the gay capital of Germany and arguably the queer capital of Europe. It has a vibrant and diverse gay scene with bars, clubs, dance clubs, cruise clubs, saunas, massages, and restaurants that cater to the lgbtq+Q+ community. Schöneberg is the main hub of the city's gay scene, while Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain are home to the legendary Berghain club and the notorious gay cruise club Laboratory. Berlin is known for its anything-goes culture, making it a popular destination for people seeking a more hedonistic experience. The city has many hotels that are gay-friendly, and there are many free city guides and maps available for visitors. Homosexual activity has been legal in Germany since 1969, and same-sex marriage was legalized in 2017.
Gay Parties to Look Out For
Pornceptual — A party attached to a visual arts project, taking place every two months at Prince Charles club. Entry prices are dependent upon how much (or how few) clothing you wear. Read more about my experience dancing without pants at Pornceputal here.
Gegen — Queer party at the legendary sex club, Kit Kat Club, taking place every two months, the first Friday of the month. Expect half-naked or mostly naked guys and gals, a swimming pool (at your own risk) and excellent electro DJs.
Buttons — Born out of one of Berlin’s more famous monthly gay parties (Homopatik ended in 2016), Buttons takes place every month, at a venue just as you’d expect from a Berlin nightclub. Expect rooms full of sweaty guys, all-weekend raves, a relaxing and cool beer garden and excellent music from their resident DJs.
Cocktail d’Amour — Another cult favorite in Berlin, taking place every month at Greissmüle—a great summertime venue where you can expect good music
Madonnamania — One of Berlin’s more popular gay parties at SchwuZ, it happens just four times a year only during months with five Fridays. It’s fun and quirky and weird—with, predictably, lots of Madonna music.
DUMP — An indie gay party, taking place intermittently at Mutschmann’s in Schöneberg (usually a gay men only fetish club).
Meschugge – A long-running gay Jewish party taking place every month, featuring Middle Eastern beats. One time at the basement Brunnen70 nightclub and now at Sophienclub.
Gayhane – The last Saturday of every month at Kreuzberg’s legendary punk club, SO36. Expect kitschy pop music, colorful characters and long nights.
London Calling — One of my all-time favorite club nights in Berlin. Taking place the first Friday of every month at SchwuZ, the three dance floors fill with an eclectic mix of guys, girls and drag queens rocking out to indie and BritPop tunes until sunrise.
Daily Parties to Look Out For
Mondays are the night for 2-4-1 drinks at slightly-sleazy (but kind of cool) Tom’s Bar. Or, for those looking for something more cultural, it’s also the popular Mongay night at Kino International when international queer films are shown each Monday at the soviet-era cinema, perfect for a great gay date night.
Tuesdays at Der Boiler—a gay men’s sauna—are very popular when entrance is just 2-4-1. (Also look out for the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month for youngSTARS gay sauna nights at Der Boiler; entrance is reduced for those 28 and under.) The queer bar, Barbie Deinhoff’s, also runs a happy hour every Tuesday from 7pm until midnight and hipster gay bar Möbel Olfe hosts ladies night on Tuesdays, popular with lesbian women.
Wednesdays used to be the night for some of the indie gay parties in Berlin, though many of those have stopped running in the past few years. Now, one of Friedrichshain’s best gay bars, Himmelreich, hosts a popular happy hour with both gay men and lesbians. And The Club, a queer bar popular with all varieties of Berlin’s lgbtq+ nightlife, hosts a 2-4-1 happy hour every Wednesday. The Club also runs a number of drag nights (usually on Fridays) and other art & cultural events.
Thursdays are one of the best gay nights out in Berlin, with countless parties happening around the city. Chantal’s House of Shame, running for nearly 30+ years, is run by drag queen Chantal who puts on sloppy performances in-between techno and pop on the two dance floors. Möbel Olfe is most popular with gay men on Thursdays (mostly wearing beards). Then there’s the Elektronischer Donnerstag every Thursday at SchwuZ—an electro night most popular with gay men at the alternative indie club in Neukölln.
Weekends are obviously popular for gay nightlife, with most of the monthly and bi-monthly parties taking place on Friday and Saturday nights, sometimes opening Friday night and staying open until Sunday. See above for some recommendations, though when in doubt, it’s often hard to go wrong with Berghain.
Sundays at GMF, located in Mitte, continue to be one of the most popular weekly parties—it skews young with basic dance and pop music by the DJs and guys in tank tops (or no shirts at all). Not a bad way to end the weekend, though.
Men-only or gay hotels in Berlin: