Germany’s 2nd largest city and ‘Gateway to the World’. Hamburg is famous for its harbour, great hamburgers and established gay scene.It should come as no surprise that a liberal metropolis such as Hamburg has a thriving gay and lesbian scene. Its centre is the St Georg district, with a number of mainstream gay cafés and bars sited along main-drag Lange Reihe. Café Gnosa at no. 69 is the daytime lynchpin and best source of information for what’s on.
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The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg – Germany’s 2nd largest city and ‘Gateway to the World’. Hamburg is famous for its harbour, great hamburgers and established gay scene., and also an independent state. It is located about 100 km southeast of the North Sea along the river Elbe and has the largest seaport in Germany. Because of the port, the pent-up river Alster and the numerous canals and smaller rivers Hamburg is one of the cities in Europe with the most bridges.
The settlement history of Hamburg began with the Saxons in the 4th century BC. In the 9th century a castle named Hammaburg was built in this place, from which the name Hamburg derived. In the 12th century the settlement was given the port law (Hafenrecht) and special trade privileges which allowed Hamburg to develop into a flourishing commercial center during the Middle Ages. As a member of the Hanseatic League it evolved into a world trading center in the 16th century. In 1558 the first German stock exchange opened in Hamburg, in 1678 the first German opera house followed. Even the decline of the Hanseatic League could do the city no harm, it is still the largest economic center of northern Germany.
Hamburg was hit by numerous disasters that changed the town strongly: the great fire of 1842, the cholera epidemic in 1892, the bomb raids in 1943 during the Second World War and the flood of 1962. Many historic buildings were destroyed or subsequently demolished and new ones were built. Hamburg is in constant upheaval. With HafenCity a complete new district is currently conjured up out of nothing. The most infamous site in this complex is the Elbe Philharmonic Hall (whose completion date has been delayed several times).
One of the city's other claims to leather fame, the GLSM, thrived as an unrivalled and unrepressed, no-holds-barred leather sex group until the turn of the century. But like everywhere, it seems, the scene has since evolved into something more casual, adapting to newer generations, interests and sensibilities, with Toms Saloon now more leather-friendly than leather mecca. Still, Hamburg's annual Leatherparty continues to thrive to some degree every August, with MSC Hamburg – who oversaw the event's glory years of the 1980s and 90s — taking control once again following the 2013 demise of local organisers SPIKE. 2014 also saw the return to the harbour of party-friendly MS Stubnitz following two years of hiccups. its gargantuan predecessor Cap San Diego hosted its last August leather spectacular in 2005, after which it became a museum.
One component of the new HafenCity is the historic warehouse district. It was built from 1883 and is the world's largest warehouse complex built on oak piles, and with its neo-Gothic brick architecture it is definitely worth a visit. And indeed the whole port area with its many attractions – such as the Hamburg fish market every Sunday, the harbor birthday celebration in May or the flying visits of many large cruise ships – is a magnet for visitors. Just around the corner, in the St. Pauli district, is Europe's largest red-light district, the famous Reeperbahn.
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.
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!
Hamburg's gay life is concentrated in the St. Georg district, especially in and around the street Lange Reihe, the main shopping street and promenade with numerous relevant cafés and boutiques. Among the gay highlights of the year are the
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!