This article was published on May 21st, 2017
Berlin – a city that was once divided by two walls, separating the communists from the allies, has undergone years of gentrification and evolving. While there are still a few signs from the past, Berlin has metamorphosed into possibly the gayest city in the world, where expression, art, culture and exploration are as open today as it was in Berlin’s heyday of the roaring cabaret 1920s.
Tourists come from around the world to see world-famous sites like the remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, known as the East Side Gallery, The Brandenburg Gate, Check Point Charlie, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, The Reichstag, The River Spree, and Tiergarten to understand and experience the history and culture of the German capital.
Residents of the German capital have a saying: ‘Everyone in Berlin is gay after two drinks.’ While this may or may not be true, visitors will find Berlin to be open to all walks of life and very accepting towards the LGBT community.
Neighbourhoods like Freidrichshien, Kreuzburg, Neukölln, and especially Schonburg serve as the gay barrios, where ample gay bars, spas, clubs, and secret sex dungeons await partygoers, locals, and tourists. There are over 100 LGBT specific establishments, including more than 20 clubs and bars specifically catering to gay men.
There are some great sites to see around the city, but it’s better to go via train, on bicycle, or on go on a guided walking tour with an agency like Rainbow Tours, to get a full sense of the history. Rainbow Gay Tours offers different tour options including showing famous landmarks of LGBT history. HomoCulture readers can save 10% on pre-booked Rainbow Gay Tours.
Berlin was a gay capital in the early 1920’s and ‘30’s before the Nazi’s took over and began disposing of gay people. It wasn’t just the Jews that were part of the Holocaust; it was also the LGBT community that was executed by the thousands. The Homosexual Monument, just across from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, offers up the more than a century-old history of out gay people in Berlin and Germany and is just one of many stops on a tour.
Many buildings in Berlin have either been resorted or are under restoration, including the museums, universities, etc. See the 19th century fountains, and the neo-classical style architecture throughout the city.
You can still see where bullets and shrapnel have hit buildings and have remained imbedded for more than half a century. Take the U Bahn or S Bahn metro to experience some of the train stations as they looked over 50 years ago. See the famous Check Point Charlie, the TV tower, and other iconic spots in Berlin.
Whether wanting to dive into art and culture, food and drink, partying and dancing, sex and wild abandonment, or action and adventure, Berlin is the place to go in Europe for an exciting capital worthy of being considered one of the greatest cities on earth.
Start planning your trip to Berlin today with Visit Berlin. Berlin is also loud and proud of their signature Pink Pillow program, which identifies hotels, like the Mercure Hotel, that are LGBT friendly.