Situated in the heart of Europe Germany not only has an ideal geographic location, it might also be considered the center of gay Europe. The LGBT community in Germany is an important part of society and enjoys some of Europe’s most advanced rights of gays and lesbians. Examples such as the German Foreign Minister and the Mayor of Berlin show that being out of the closet does not pose any obstacles to a political or public career.
Well-organized and lively LGBT communities have sprung up in all major and many small-sized cities and account for Germany’s legendary LGBT culture that influences the overall cultural life to a great extent. Numerous gay events take place throughout the year, peaking with the annual pride parades, in Germany known as Christopher Street Day Parades, which are organized in every major city, commemorating the gay and lesbian movement.
In Germany the gay traveler gets to experience a wide variety of cultural attractions, vibrant cities, natural beauty and a well-integrated LGBT community. With more than 6,000 event venues, outstanding infrastructure, reliable and professional partners as well as high-quality service, Germany is also an ideal business travel destination. Come to Germany and see for yourself why it is considered one of Europe’s most LGBT-friendly vacation and convention destinations. Please visit www.germany.travel for more information.
The German Capital is one of the largest gay metropolises in Europe. The dynamic and diverse LGBT-scene has contributed to the city’s culture and vitality for many years. The gay-friendly neighborhoods Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain have become trendy and hip not only with gays and lesbians but with artists, young and creative people.
Berlin has become a creative capital and a mecca for artists. While the architecture clearly indicates a change to modernity, the creative and inventive climate is what characterizes Berlin best. Numerous museums, of which many can be found in the Eastern part of the city and around the Unter den Linden Boulevard, are proof of the various art and cultural eras of Berlin. Additionally today the art can be felt publicly, on walls, in galleries and in alternative art centers, especially in Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.
Berlin offers a wide array of activities, services and institutions specifically designed by and for the LGBT scene. There are more than 150 gay bars, free city magazines, bookstores, pharmacies, sports clubs, boutiques, same sex dancing classes and studios, language courses, radio broadcasts and even a gay French fries kiosk. This is only in addition to various organizations, meeting places, counseling services and associations.Aside from the gay-friendly attractions, don’t forget to check out Berlin’s main attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate, The TV tower on Alexanderplatz Square, the Memorial Church, Gendarmenmarkt Square, Potsdamer Platz Square, the dome of the Reichstag and Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The historic city on the river Rhine, known for its Cathedral, has its very own joie de vivre. The city is made up of cosy cafes and bars, where Kölsch, the local Cologne beer, flows constantly, Rhenish specialties are served and the atmosphere is warm and happy. Especially on weekends you can find locals, tourists, youths and students enjoying themselves at clubs, bars, restaurants and lounges in the quarters of Kwartier Latäng, Friesenviertel, Belgisches Viertel, Südstadt und Ehrenfeld. Surprisingly the prices are moderate for a city of this size and Happy Hour can sometimes be all day long – typically Cologne. Locals are communicative, optimistic and tolerant and most of all: they love their city. You can sense this especially during the carnival season when the whole city celebrates and has fun!
But Cologne has much more to offer than party-culture. Enjoy its many museums, the Art Cologne exhibition, a lively art and music scene and one of Germany’s biggest gay pride parades. Every tenth inhabitant of the city claims to be attracted to members of their own gender – at least occasionally – which contributes to a vivid and active LGBT-scene. Same sex couples are just as much part of the cityscape in Cologne as the Cologne Cathedral.
Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, often called “Mainhattan” referring to the adjacent river Main and the skyscrapers that remind vaguely of Manhattan offers fine dining, shopping and impressive galleries. This is the city where Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born and you can still visit his birthplace, the Goethe Haus. Another historically important site is St Paul’s Church, where the first freely elected parliament of Germany met in 1848. The Römerberg Square and the old town hall are the center of historic Frankfurt. Get up the Main Tower to get the best panorama of the city.
The LGBT scene in Frankfurt, is rather small, but multi-cultural and international due to the high density of international businesses. Frankfurt’s gay scene concentrates around the so-called “Bermuda Dreieck” (Bermuda Triangle). The pride parade (Christopher Street Day) in Frankfurt takes place each year in July and attracts around 200,000 visitors.
“Live and let live” is the motto in Hamburg, the “Gateway to the World”. With its 800 year-old harbor, which is perfect for strolls and sightseeing by boat, Hamburg offers a mix of old and new, modern and traditional. The natives love Hamburg for its abundance of water and the freedom that this implies.
Hamburg is a very open-minded and tolerant city which is why the gay scene feels very welcome here. Another city with a gay former mayor, it was no coincidence that Germany’s first gay marriage was officiated here. The quarter of St Georg with its many cafes and bars is the gay hotspot in Hamburg and the city is also famous for its Christopher Street Day and leather convention. A highlight for nightlife in Hamburg is the “Reeperbahn” with numerous clubs and shows. Germany’s most famous drag queen Olivia Jones owns a bar on Reeperbahn and also offers guided tours for tourists.
The LGBT scene in Munich is very active and the event calendar stretches from a Rose Monday gay ball until the Gay Sunday during Oktoberfest, before all gays and lesbians get together for Pink Christmas in the Glockenbachviertel – the quarter is the heart of LGBT Munich. The first gay city councilor to represent a gay party, the “Rosa Liste”, the pink party, can be found in Munich.
Munich is an international art and culture metropolis situated close to the Alps in the South of Germany. Conveniently located close to many historic castles, Munich is an excellent gateway for sightseeing in Bavaria.
For travel: www.germany.travel
Cologne Panorama © KölnTourismus
Cologne © KölnTourismus
Munich Schwuplattler © Josef Sattler GmbH
Christopher Street Day Berlin © visitBerlin.de/ Tanja Koc