Berlin is the urban epicentre of Germany and one of the coolest capital cities in Europe. From queer and kitsch to the fun and the fetish – Berlin has it all.
During the 20s and the 30s, Berlin was an uprising cultural hotspot in the continent. It certainly wasn’t as wealthy as Paris, but it was equally attractive to writers, musicians or architects. By that time, there were many establishments for gays, lesbians, trans folks and even several nudist venues.
A few decades later, the Schöneberg neighborhood arose as the epicenter of Berliners’ gay life. It used to concentrate all the gay bars in Berlin. However, during the last years, Kreuzberg is disputing Schöneberg the hegemony as the main gay area in the German capital. In fact, some of the trendiest gay bars in Berlin are located in this multicultural area.
From the days of the Weimar Republic to the many clubs which populate the city today – this is a destination which has always been a little different, a little edgy but perennially hip. While Schöneberg might be the traditional gay district, there are many other great bars to check out all across the city.
Gay bars in Berlin are not in short supply. No matter what type of evening you’re after, you’ll find it in this uber cool destination that caters for everyone. No persuasion, taste or fantasy is left uncatered for. If you’re looking for something a little more mainstream the central district of Mitte is an excellent place to start. Betty F*** and Bar Saint John are two great bars which turn into venues with a great club vibe as the evening progresses.
In you’re in Kreuzberg, and you really should be, then Roses it the place to be. This pink, fur-lined bar in the heart of the city’s coolest district is always open and up for a good time. Just up the road from Roses is the hidden gem that is Ficken 3000. This den of hedonism, which has a bar upstairs and a dark room downstairs, is not to be missed. You’re guaranteed a great night if you head over after midnight on a Tuesday when they have all night two for one drinks. Barbie Deinhoff is a cosy, queer bar next to Golitzer Park that also has excellent drinks deals on a Tuesday.
If you’re across the bridge in Friedrichshain and want to stay local your options are a little more limited but there are places none the less. Grosse Freiheit is a small sailor-themed bar which generally attracts the older crowd but is a fun place to grab a relaxed beer. Himmelreich is a small cafe and pub close to the main square, Boxhegener Platz, and is a cute drinking establishment if you’re looking for somewhere chilled to relax with a beer.
Gay Bars in Berlin
It is one of the oldest gay bars in Berlin and it is also said that David Bowie was a regular customer there. During the years the British artist lived in Berlin, Bowie frequented this cozy venue in the heart of the Schöneberg. Many pictures from the 70s hanging on the wall prove the case. Neues Ufer is a must go place to have a coffee if you are interested in Berlin´s gay life as it is a fundamental part of the city´s history.
It may look like any other corner bar, but Blond is one of the most popular gay bars in Berlin, particularly among the youngest customers. It has a very friendly and fun atmosphere, with plenty of youngsters staying at this venue at any time, from breakfast until very late in the night. Those who don´t like karaoke, please avoid going on Tuesday night!
It is a stylish gay bar with friendly service, house and dance/pop music, and a friendly atmosphere. Prinzknecht is one of the gay bars in Berlin with the most diverse clientele. It is the place where locals meet tourists and where mature men flirt with guys in their twenties and thirties. They all go to this venue to enjoy a drink (and walk through the dark room) in a carefree fashion where attitudes are not needed.
In the middle of Schoenberg, we can find a bar with a very 80s look, a place to listen to global music hits, a living tribute to those times when people loved vinyl records, ABBA and Donna Summer. It is Redgold, one of the gay bars in Berlin with the strongest personality. If in Berlin, one can approach this venue feeling confident it will be busy. In fact, it is very popular among tourists.
In this bar we can find plenty of students during the mornings, maybe because of its more than decent coffee – or it might be due to the presence of bookshelves filled with books. When the night falls, Café Melitta Sundström keeps its appeal and is full of gay men and women who prefer remaining in Kreuzberg (the latest gay are in Berlin) rather than going to Schoenberg. It is the perfect place for those who love the hipster and alternative way.
Barbie Deihoff´s is as diverse as the neighborhood it is located in. It is a very popular venue among youngsters, both gay and straight, and is particularly busy during the evenings.
Local DJs create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a drink and admire its stylish decoration, which includes many Barbie dolls. It is definitely, one of the trendiest gay bars in Berlin at the moment.
Kreuzberg is very popular among the trendiest Berliners (as Dalston or Shoreditch to London), and so is Zum Schmutzigen Hobby.
Hipsters and gays (and gay hipsters too!) love this venue. However, the atmosphere is quite relaxing and it is not the kind of pretentious place many cool bars are. Tourists love it, and many trans* folks go there often. Sometimes you can even find a celebrity sipping drinks at the bar.
Betty F*** is one of the gay bars in Berlin on top of the lists of hipsters, trans* people, fashionistas and any other trend you can imagine among the gay and gay-friendly community. It is a little basement extremely popular on the weekends. Betty F*** organizes theme parties and also hosts performances. It is located in Mitte.