Berlin Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Berlin gay guide to the best hotels, restaurants, things to do, gay bars, clubs & saunas.
The Gay Travel Experience: Berlin, Germany
Berlin is one of the best gay destinations in Europe, if not the world! The city’s gay scene is legendary, known for a huge variety of gay clubs, bars, and sex-positive venues like the world-famous KitKatClub and Berghain.
Germans are generally known to be incredibly open and unafraid regarding sex, and the gay men in Berlin are a prime example! All the amazing and sexually liberated parties you hear about from your fellow travelers are truly just as fantastic as people describe.
I will say though—Berlin can be intimidating, especially for solo travelers. The intense gay scene along with travelers’ high expectations for a good time can sometimes be overwhelming. Just make sure to give yourself a few chances to find that perfectly memorable experience!
Berlin has a so much more to offer gay travelers than just nightlife. The city has endless historical sites, museums, vibrant restaurants and biergartens where you can learn about the city’s past or enjoy the local streetscape at a gay-friendly restaurant.
I’ll firstly tell you about Berlin’s gay districts below, and then cover all the best gay hotels, attractions, gay clubs, and plenty more.
Gay Areas of Berlin
Berlin doesn’t have on single distinctly-defined gay district like some other European cities. Instead, gay areas of Berlin are scattered throughout the city.
These local gay districts are best defined by nearby transit stations since the scale of Berlin’s neighborhoods is so large. For instance, you’ll probably hear that Schöneberg is the gay area of Berlin, but in reality, the gay area is a tiny section at the northernmost part of this district.
Kreuzbeg is another example. As I’ll clarify below, the gay hangouts are within this area because you’ll see that the Kreuzbeg neighborhood is a huge swath of central Berlin!
So, to make things clearer, Berlin’s gay areas are:
- Between Nollendorfplatz and U Augsburger Straße, mainly along Fuggerstraße. This popular area has the city’s biggest cluster of gay bars, hotels, and restaurants. Everyone also enjoys the main drag along Maaßenstraße in the warmer months.
- The area to the north of Kottbusser Tor.
- The Bergmannkiez district, where you’ll find local drag bars and the city’s epic gay sauna.
- The Reuterkiez area.
Gay Berlin: Hotels & Where to Stay
Berlin is a pretty large city, so it’s best to browse hotels in areas of the city where you plan to spend most of your time.
If you want convenient access to most of Berlin’s gay bars, choose one of the traditional gay hotels mentioned below!
Staying at a hotel closer to Berlin’s center is also quite convenient since nothing will ever be too far away. Plus, the city’s wide streets make traveling by taxi relatively fast.
Here are some of the best Berlin gay hotels along with some of my other favorite places to stay.
Axel Hotel Berlin
Axel Hotel Berlin is by far the most popular Berlin gay hotel, especially for convenient access to nightlife. It’s located in the heart of Berlin’s busiest gay area, just a block from nearly a dozen gay bars.
The rooms in the Axel Hotel Berlin have a sleek and minimal modern design with a sexy flare. Views from the rooms, as well as from the many other gorgeous common spaces of the hotel, are awesome!
A few friends of mine have stayed here and absolutely loved it. You can also take advantage of the hotel bar, fitness center, sauna and the impressive rooftop jacuzzi.
TWO Hotel Berlin by Axel
If you’re not a fan of the Axel Berlin’s red-accented rooms, or the other location is full during your travel dates, then TWO Hotel by Axel might be a good option.
You’ll have access to a cruisy steam room and sauna, as well as a gym, rooftop terrace and the property’s restaurant. Don’t miss the jacuzzi room either!
Wilde Aparthotel Checkpoint Charlie
I stayed at Wilde Aparthotel Checkpoint Charlie in an epic one-bedroom apartment while in Berlin. I absolutely loved how much space this modern apartment had. Having floor-to-ceiling windows, two balconies, and an entire living/dining area wasn’t bad either!
I fell in love with this place and didn’t want to leave by the end of the trip. The hotel has staff at the front entrance during the day who were super helpful. The building also had amenities like laundry, which was useful while staying for a week.
Staying here in Checkpoint Charlie is a pretty popular among tourists since it’s so central and near a ton of attractions. Grabbing a taxi, electric scooter or walking from the Wilde Aparthotel was all convenient.
NH Collection Checkpoint Charlie
NH Collection Checkpoint Charlie is a beautiful property and NH Collection is a notable gay-friendly hotel chain. It’s highly rated, centrally located, modern, and cozy! I’ve stayed at NH Collection hotels many times and have always loved the experience.
Tom’s Hotel is a gay men’s hotel known for its unbeatable location in the center of the gay area by Nollendorfplatz.
It’s an affordable 12-room property offering small apartment-like rooms with basic amenities. Tom’s tends to be most popular with tourists that only have a day or two in Berlin and want to experience the city’s nearby gay life.
Berlin Gay Travel Experiences
Tour the Reichstag Building
The Reichstag Building is a classic Berlin site worth visiting, at least for a quick walk around the outside. This government building now houses some of Germany’s parliament.
British architect Norman Foster redesigned the government facility after a devastating fire during the Nazi era.
Inside you can climb the beautiful glass dome and see the plenary chamber as part of an inexpensive Reichtag tour.
The Berlin Wall Memorial
A walk through the Berlin Wall Memorial is free, educational, and almost surreal. It’s toward the north of the city away from the larger crowded attractions, so it tends to be a calmer experience. I visited on a cool fall day and was one of few people here.
The modern elements are the most memorable aspects of the memorial, aside from being able to experience a walk through the “no-man’s land” that once existed between the two old wall segments. Along the way, there are informational posts with interesting technical and historical information.
Berlin’s Pergamon Museum is the perfect activity for a rainy day (or after sundown during winter like when I went)!
Some of the biggest draws of this well-known museum are its Babylonian and Persian collections, including the famous Ishtar Gate. I also loved the Islamic art collection.
The museum itself is beautiful and clean, too. Even the modern steps and façade were nice to take a rest on afterward.
Skip-the-line tickets were honestly super helpful since the queue to buy tickets at the front entrance was huge. I bought mine ahead of time and was able to go right into the exhibits with the code on my phone.
Walk the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is one of Berlin’s most popular and iconic attractions, where you can see long stretches of murals on remaining segments of the Berlin Wall.
It’s best to start your route at one of the ends of the gallery instead of the center. This way you’ll save yourself from re-walking half of the stretch! Outside The Wall Museum is a good starting point
More Berlin Attractions
Berlin has so many tourist attractions, it’s no wonder why so many day tours often have over 10 individual stops! If you’re interested in a few more places to visit, check out:
Gay Friendly Restaurants in Berlin
Südblock is one of Berlin’s most beloved gay friendly restaurants and bars. During the day, it’s a nice place to grab a snack or a coffee. When temperatures are warmer, everyone loves Südblock’s outdoor biergarten area. And no matter what time of day or year it is, this venue is always queer-friendly and accepting of everyone.
Exciting performances in the evenings are also popular at Südblock when the restaurant has a vibe more like one of the local Berlin gay bars.
Romeo und Romeo
Outside the Tom’s gay hotel, Romeo und Romeo is an adorable gay café with a bunch of outdoor seating and friendly staff. It’s such an inviting spot to people-watch or take in the vibe of the gay neighborhood while enjoying a snack or coffee.
Prince was another incredibly memorable restaurant in Berlin that I just have to mention! If you love any type of Asian food, you’ve got to eat here. Food this delicious is a perfectly good excuse to take a break from schnitzel and wurst.
The interior of Prince is beautifully modern with high ceilings and soft, moody lighting. It has a high-end kitchen, slightly romantic feel.
Berlin Gay Bars
Berlin has an incredible number of gay bars—so many that you’ll probably need to visit the city a few times before trying them all! I tried out as many as I could over a week-long stay.
Prinzknecht is definitely my favorite traditional gay bar in Berlin. It’s modern, has friendly staff and plenty of handsome men. It’s also a great gay bar to visit on Wednesday nights.
Tom’s Bar is another one of my favorites. It’s a casual and friendly gay bar also known for cruising. As you might guess from the name, it’s popular with the leather and fetish crowd.
For more of a lounge vibe, Betty F*** is the place to be. I love the cozy red couch that wraps around the bar. It’s a smaller, cozy venue great for casually meeting new people over a cocktail.
Betty F*** is also one of the few gay bars located in the actual center of Berlin, so it might be convenient to casually stop by if you’re staying in this area.
wolfyy’s ultimate guide to Berlin gay bars covers all the rest of the most popular traditional gay bars, as well as what type of guys to expect at each bar and when to go.
Berlin Gay Clubs, Sex Parties & Saunas
Get ready for a wild ride, because Berlin’s gay saunas and sex parties are some of the most intense in the world. Berlin is known for an uninhibited and hedonistic gay scene, and the places below are exactly where you can experience it for yourself.
Lab.oratory is Berlin’s famous gay sex club that hosts all sorts of different-themed sex parties. It all takes place in a part of the legendary Berghain Club. No matter what kind of fetish you’re into, there’s an event for it here.
Thursday naked parties are one of the most popular weekly events. The Lab.oratory website has an organized list of all weekly and less-frequent special events.
Importantly, the hours listed for events at Lab.oratory are the times when you can enter the club—not the hours of operation.
People will typically be allowed to enter from 9 PM to 11 PM. After this window, the doors will close but the party continue inside. So don’t be late!
Berghain Panorama Bar
Panaroma Bar is usually what comes to mine when people mention Berghain. This is the ultra-exclusive electronic music nightclub that everyone dreams of partying in.
Everyone wears extravagant outfits in the hope of getting past the notoriously selective door staff. And while it’s not specifically a gay club, there’s always an LGBT crowd here.
If you want to experience a night at Berhain, you’ll need to know why it’s so exclusive and how you can maximize your chances of getting in.
The renowned KitKatClub is a mainstay of Berlin’s clubbing scene, known for uninhibited, open displays of all kinds of sex around the club. The centrally located venue is popular with both straight and gay communities, with various events catering to different crowds.
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Boiler Sauna is one of the largest gay saunas in the world. The space is enormous with multiple levels of facilities including all kinds of pools, steam rooms, dry saunas, private rooms, a labyrinth steam facility, and even a restaurant and cafe.
The locker room literally has thousands of lockers. I’ve never seen anything like it! Everything is exceptionally clean, too. Berlin really takes gay saunas to the next level.
Boiler is a bit more costly than other European gay saunas, but it’s well worth it. Entry includes an electronic wristband to pay with, flip flops and a fresh towel.
Berlin Gay Travel Tips
No Photos Please!
Many gay bars in Berlin do not allow photos to be taken inside their establishments. They’ll often post signs prohibiting photography.
While this doesn’t quite apply to upbeat performance based bars and drag shows, you’ll generally want to avoid causing any trouble with photography.
If you do still try to take a picture or video, staff will frequently get mad and sternly tell you to stop. This happened to me more than once!
Local Gay Fetish Gear
Especially if you’re planning on visiting Lab.oratory or another sex club for one of their gay fetish nights, you might need some specialty fetish gear.
Maskulo Berlin is the most popular gay clothing and fetish accessory shop in Berlin. They’re conveniently located on Fuggerstraße by the local gay bars.
Bus Travel & Stations in Berlin
Note that Berlin’s central bus station (Zentralen Omnibusbahnhof) is 15 to 20 minutes from the city center by car. Many buses operate through here. You’ll definitely need to budget for this travel time.
Another busy bus hub is outside Berlin’s Alexanderplatz train station. I specifically want to mention how the Alexanderplatz bus stop can be confusing to find.
It’s connected to the train station only by underground walkways, which are accessed by elevators on the sidewalk. It’s not possible to walk across the enormous roadway that separates this bus stop from the train station.
Keep this in mind when requesting any sort of taxi or Uber as well, noting the designated pickup location.