|Berlin is always worth a visit!|
To put it bluntly, Berlin is probably one of the most economical capitals in the world which also happens to have a rather large gay scene! Sometimes one must go far for fun, and Berlin's gay scene is spread all over the city:
- Schöneberg, the traditional center of west Berlin's scene
- Kreuzberg, for the "hip" alternative crowd
- Prenzlauer Berg, with its quirky East Berlin scene
It must be said that there is a large choice of bars and events for fetish queens. The scene is mixed and has a variety to suit all tastes. There are clubs for heteros and homos that are famous for their atmosphere, i.e. Berghain (below from which is the seperate and legendary men-only laboratory), but also clubs that have a lesbian-gay mix (almost no heteros) such as "Die Busche".
Berlin is traditionally an extremely tolerant and open city, in fact since 2001 the city has an openly gay Mayor, Klaus Wowereit, who came out with the famous quote "Ich bin schwul und das ist gut so!" (I am gay and that is also good!), and then subsequently went on to win the elections. There is a large selection of tourist attractions too!! For example The Brandenburg Gate, The Parliament (Reichstag), and also a vast array of museums, many of which are found on the museum island, e.g. the Pergamon museum. There is also the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz and a very large choice of theaters, restaurants, clubs and bars etc.
No trip to Berlin in the summer is complete without a trip by ferry or liner on one of the many lakes (e.g. Wannsee), or one of the city's rivers and canals. A daytrip to Potsdam to visit the Prussian Kings Palaces and Gardens is also a must, especially in summer!
Traditionally in June, the Lesbian and Gay Street Party is held in the streets near Nollendorfplatz (14th and 15th June 2014), and also the Gay Pride, known locally as CSD, is held in the city (22th June 2013). The street party is the largest of its kind in Europe and is spread over 4 streets. There are countless stalls, many famous people, 2 stages and always good music on offer from famous (Techno) DJ's, and one can dance in the streets until 11 pm! At the beginning of September there is the Folsom Europe street party and at Easter the traditional Easter-Leather Weekend is held with a small street festival in front of Hardie's Kneipe near Wittenbergplatz.
Now for some other tips from certain areas ...
Around Nollendorfplatz, which is also known as the gay Bermuda Triangle, is the traditional centre of gay life in Berlin that spreads from Motzstraße, over Eisenacher Straße, and Martin-Luther-Straße to Fuggerstraße. For a good disco here, Connection is of note. Before going there one can go to the warm up in Prinzknecht, which caters for all ages and tastes. For breakfast one can go to Café Berio, and for lunch or dinner, Gnadenbrot, More, Sissi or Giorgios are to be recommended.
Accomodation options are plentiful in the Nollendorfplatz area including Axel Hotel, Tom's Hostel, Kooomi Guesthouse and Guesthose 21, to name but a few. Gay souvenirs can be found in Bruno's, books in Prinz Eisenherz, and for those who need it harder then a trip to Mr. B can satify your appetite. In between times, one can have a little fun in Jaxx. If cocktails are your thing then you can grab on in Heile Welt or in Hafen. Next door to Hafen is Tom's Bar, with its vast dark downstairs play area which opens at 1am! For those who don't wish to look for long and also have the all important cash at hand, then a trip to Blue Boy Bar or Tabasco can quench ones thirst for company of the male kind. Or one can simply sit in Blond and watch the world go by. Just a short stones throw away is the largest gay sauna in Berlin, Apollo Splash Club.
The fetish queens meet in bars such as Scheune or Mutschmanns. Another tip: Never take your mobile phone, wallet or papers out with you, on the streets in this area are sadly many pick-pockets, who also go into the darkrooms of Tom's Bar, Bull or New Action. So it is advisible to only take the money you need for one evening out with you. If you do happen to be the victim of crime, then you are welcome to visit men&media gay internet café on Nollendorfstraße, to find emergency numbers to stop your bank cards and mobile phone.
In Tiergarten is the park with the same name with the victory column (Siegessäule) its center. There you may find also the traditional cruising area. Since May 2013 the Gay Museum (Schwules Museum) moved here, after it was located in the district of Kreuzberg for 25 years.
It is always good to go dancing at the weekend in SchwuZ. Coffee and Cake can be found in Melitta Sundström. In the neighbourhood are many good restaurants and cafés.
If this is not alternative enough, then one can always pay a visit to Bierhimmel (Oranienstraße) or to the famous Möbel-Olfe (Kottbusser Tor).
Since October 2011 on Mehringdamm is a big new gay sauna, the boiler!
A very nice sauna in this area is Treibhaus Sauna. One street away is the Gleimstraße, with many good bars and cafés, e.g. Schall & Rauch, or Café Amsterdam. Cruising fun can be had in Stahlrohr 2.0 or in Greifbar. For those who prefer the open air, then you should go for a walk in the Tiergarten or Volkspark Friedrichshain.
Apart from the above locations, Berlin has so much more to offer, the above is just a little taster. One must not forget the lesbian bars, meeting points and info-points such as Mann-O-Meter and clubs such as the Sonntags-Club, not to mention the countless hundreds of gay friendly nightclubs, bars, restaurants and hotels.
Enjoy your stay!