So it’s hardly surprising that Berlin has evolved into one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.
Two gay-packed days in Berlin are never long enough, especially if you want to sleep in between. The city’s gay nightlife is notorious and it starts after midnight.
Berlin is one of the cheapest West European capitals, so be sure to go shopping. KaDeWe (Tauentzienstraße 21-24) is the second largest department store in Europe after Harrods and is always full of bargains. As it is also in the Schöneberg gay area it is probably the first port of call.
In Schöneberg, at Motzstraße 23, you will also find the Prinz Eisenberg gay bookstore. Although most of the books are in German, there is a large section of LGBT literature in English.
The shopping streets are Kurfürstendamm or (Ku’damm) for luxury brands like Armani, Prada or D&G and Friedrichstraße for smaller brands like ZARA and H&M. For local designer boutiques, go to the Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg where the hip Berliners go shopping.
For gay sightseeing, start with the Schwules Gay Museum in Kreuzberg (Lützowstraße 73; €6; 14:00-18:00; Tue closed). There are special exhibitions, but there is also an impressive permanent exhibition . It contains rare 18th-century pamphlets, 19th-century pictures of drag artists and portraits of same sex couples from the last 200 years.
A very moving exhibit is the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism. It stands in the Tiergarten opposite the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the corner of Hannah-Arend Strasse and Ebertstraße. It consists of a concrete cube with a small window where you peek through to watch a short video of two men kissing.
You cannot really talk about gay restaurants in a city where it doesn’t matter who your partner is, but the Ganymed Brasserie at Schiffbauerdamm 5 has been welcoming gay people since the Fall of The Wall (daily 12:00-24:00). It is still one of the best places for a candle-lit dinner for two. (tip: book 3 days in advance.)
After dark, pop in and out of the gay cafés and bars in Motzstrasse, Fuggerstrasse and around Nollendorfplatz that are literally next to each other.
After midnight you have many options. In Schöneberg, most end up at Connection at Fuggertsraße 33. The biggest night is Friday.
In Neuköln, Schwuz at Rollbergstraße 26 has nights with different themes, such as Madonnamania, all offering modern pop.
If you like techno, its cathedral is Berghain (am Wriezener Bahnhof). The entrance stamp allows you to come and go from midnight on Saturday until Monday evening at 18:00 when the club closes.
Sunday afternoons are normally reserved for saunas, but beware; in Berlin, you have to pay extra for a private cubicle.
If you still have stamina, the best night in Berlin is Sunday night: the GMF party at the Weekend Club on Alexanderstraße 7. Popular, wild and the best way to finish your frenetic 48 hours in Berlin.
04-03-2014 by Nigel Phillips | More: Gay Berlin
"In Berlin sauna, you have to pay extra for a private cubicle" - that's not true.
“Sunday afternoons are normally reserved for saunas, but beware; in Berlin, you have to pay extra for a private cubicle.
That's not true anymore. .... in sauna boiler all private cubicles are free. Only in appollo sauna you have to pay for a private cubicle.“
Pet on 08-07-2015 | Problem with this review?
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