The Hornet Guide to Gay Berlin
Gay travel bloggers Nomadic Boys say Berlin is super gay, and who are we to disagree? But if you want proof, how’s this? Schöneberg, the first ever gay village in Berlin, has been the heart of the gay community since the 1920s. Of course, Schöneberg has many gay bars and clubs to choose from — so whatever you’re into, you’ll find it in gay Berlin.
And gay Berlin is not just Schöneberg — there are also alternative gay spots in the East, springing up over the past 20 years — mainly Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Friedrichshain. With so many options, it’s super easy to find favorite gay Berlin hangouts.
Besides a thriving nightlife, Berlin also has an excellent culture scene. With magnificent architecture like Fernsehturm or the Reichstag Building, it’s no surprise Berlin is one of our favorite European cities.
Must-Visit Local Attractions
Checkpoint Charlie, the famous Berlin Wall crossing point joining East and West Berlin during the Cold War, is a must-visit local attraction. The historic spot is now on display in the open-air section of the Allied Museum in Berlin-Zehlendorf. There’s also a devoted Checkpoint Charlie Museum documenting history about the Berlin Wall.
Speaking of the Berlin Wall, it’s another famed historical attraction. There are three long sections still standing. The first wall is at the Topography of Terror, the location of the former Gestapo headquarters. A longer part of the second wall is along the Spree River near the Oberbaumbrücke. The third section, partly reconstructed, is in the north at Bernauer Straße, and it was turned into a memorial in 1999.
Don’t forget to visit The East Side Gallery, an open-air gallery on Mühlenstraße. This section consists of a series of murals painted directly on the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Today, the East Side Gallery also serves as a monument to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
You also can’t miss the massive Fernsehturm tower in central Berlin. Enjoy fine dining at the landmark’s restaurant, or just take in a beautiful panoramic view of Berlin from the top.
If you prefer to stay away from the standard tourist attractions, there are plenty of local tours and sites to visit. Alternative Berlin Tours are one the best tour to learn about Berlin from a local’s point of view — including the artistic side of Berlin. They also offer personalized tours like pub crawls or graffiti tours for an authentic experience.
There’s even an underground tour to let you take a peek under Berlin’s streets. You’ll go on a fascinating journey of Berlin’s extensive network of subterranean architecture. You’ll also get to see what it was like during World War II inside the bunkers.
Not far away from East Side Gallery, YAAM is one of the most prominent beach bars — perfect for a day of relaxation and fun. Famous for its beach games and chill atmosphere, it’s non-stop entertainment!
No one can resist a delicious bacon burger from Burgermeister. You must try the Meisterburger (with BBQ sauce and bacon) or Meister Aller Klassen (similar to the Meisterburger but with double meat and cheese). Mmm, we’re hungry!
As the top cultural city in the world, Berlin has many well-known museums worth exploring. Topography of Terror, an outdoor and indoor museum, is the site of many of the central Nazi buildings. It’s also a memorial, detailing the history of oppression under the Nazis.
Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, the German Museum of Technology in Berlin, pays tribute to technology throughout history. There’s an extensive collection of planes, boats, trains and cameras. You can easily spend the whole day here, discovering innovations like early steam locomotives, rail cars and more.
If you’re up on your German, you’ll know the Museum für Naturkunde is a natural history museum. Discover the secrets of universe, and check out the geology exhibition. It includes an enormous T-Rex skeleton housed within its gorgeous archetecture.
The Museum für Fotografie showcases pictures from the 19th century to the present. If you like contemporary photography, this museum features an extensive collection of work by Helmut Newton, the famed fashion and portrait photographer.
After-Hours Fun in Gay Berlin
Berlin has a healthy attitude when it comes to sex, so it’s unsurprising that there’s so many opportunities for cruising. After all, you’re after an authentic gay Berlin experience! Ficken 3000 is a fun bar with different theme nights. If you’re looking for uninhibited adventure, check out the basement for a night of sleazy fun.
Berlin’s hidden gem is Reizbar, a fantastic leather bar with gorgeous and intriguing artwork. But after all those museums, you might be sick of art — so just head down to Reizbar’s darkroom for some fun.
Große Freiheit 114 is a very safe environment for sexual play. Any and all fetishes are welcome at this sex-positive club. Between sessions, hang out on the patio or in the bar. If you’re looking for more discreet fun, you can always play with strangers in the guest room.
Scheune is a hole-in-a-wall place for a kinky experience. If you love leather and fetish gear, this bar regularly hosts theme nights like the Dungeon Party or Rubber Lust.
Mutschmanns, another local favorite, is a regular hangout in the heart of Berlin Schöneberg for lovers of leather, rubber and/or uniforms. Like Scheune, this place also hosts fetish parties like the Naked Sex Party so you can dance, flirt and cruise.
What’s your favorite place in Gay Berlin? Let us know in the comments!
Feature image by lechatnoir via iStockphoto.com