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For more than a century our history has been profoundly affected by events in Berlin. It's had a massive cultural and social influence on the whole of the continent and today Berlin has a gay scene unrivalled in size and visibility by any European city.
In the 20's and 30's its divinely decadent gay nightlife, celebrated in Cabaret, attracted a legion of British homosexuals escaping from this country's oppressive laws. More than 90% of Berlin was destroyed by the Allies at the end of the war, then there was the Cold War isolation of the city into East and West zones.
West Berlin was given massive cash subsidies to develop into a showpiece of Western freedom and democracy and it attracted a large alternative subculture. This was partly because living on a Cold War battleground inside the Eastern bloc wasn't particularly attractive whatever your politics or lifestyle, and more importantly, it was the only place in West Germany where you didn't have to do national service.
Meanwhile the East German government tried to make their part of Berlin a prestige showpiece for its oppressive regime. With the reunification of Germany and millions of Deutschmarks pouring in to reconstruct the East, Berlin is currently the most exciting European capital for gay men.
Berlin still has two centres based around the old West and Eastern sectors and the gay scene reflects this. However with gays an accepted part of Berlin life, there are many gay and gay friendly bars and shops spread all over. Only in this city (or perhaps San Francisco) would you find a stylish and very large Waterstone's style gay book and video store with explicit window displays on a main shopping street - Brunos opposite Nollendorfplatz U-Bahn station.
You can even find a camp version of the city's ubiquitous street snackbars complete with mirrorball - Fritz & Co on Wittenbergplatz.

BARS AND CAFES

West Berlin has a gay village just south of the Nollendorfplatz. Tom's is one of the city's oldest bars and though it's leather and extremely cruisy with darkrooms, there's no strict dress code. Next door is Hafen's which guide books recommend you visit, but is no more than a local bar and has a reputation for attracting pickpockets. If you're looking for rent, and there's plenty available in Berlin, Blue Boy Bar and Pinocchio are popular pick-up joints. If you don't want to pay then Ficken 3000 (literally Fucking 3000), Urbanstrasse 70 in the Neukölln district, tells it like it is in its labyrinthine cellars. In the Eastern part of the city many bars are situated around the Schönhauser Allee in the Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg areas. Regeneration has meant much of East Berlin now has plenty of designer shops and trendy bars.

Greifbar at Wichertstrasse 10 is a Construction worker style bar, where you can meet exciting and interesting guys or have a drink in a relaxed atmosphere with your friends. There's also a private area for cruising. Bar to the Dirty Hobby, is a small bar which plays grungy, trendy, music in a good atmosphere. Although not very stylish it is cozy with outdoor sitting that's great in the summer!

Heile Welt also has a nice atmosphere. It's Heterofriendy and can be visited by women. There's plenty of space to move and hang around and it's a trendy after-work spot or somewhere to begin your clubbing night. There's a separate smoking room. Prinzknecht is a popular meeting place of the Berlin scene not only for its summer terrace. The circular bar attracts the hottest guys and they hold The Wednesday of the Prince's Servant event each week when you have two drinks for the price of one and see twice as many delicious men!

CLUBBING

Connection Fuggerstrasse 33, has a mirrored dance floor and three floors of cruising corridors. This popular leather bar features a darkroom called the Twilight Zone. It's best to go here quite late on as it doesn't get busy until after 1am. Berlin's best known club lab.oratory is located at Am Wriezener Bahnhof. Pump up your weekend with a sex party open for everyone, and their bonus of two drinks for the price of one all night. Fuck 2-4-1, Yellow Facts, Naked Sex Party, Athletes night, Naked Mondays, Snearsox and even an Office Slut Meet are just some of their specials.

The SchwulenZentrum, shortened to: SchwuZ was founded in 1977, regards itself as a place of rebellion and emancipation for non-heteronormative lifestyles. They come together as men, women or neither of the two, white or black queers, queers of color, trans or inter people, lesbians and gays, bearded women, queens, butch and fem, people with and without disabilities, migrants, young and old, and so much more. They throw parties every Friday and Saturday, including pop, indie, R.n.B & hip hop, all-time favorites, oldies, German hits, house & techno!

GMF Berlin is located right in the heart of Berlin, at the Alexanderplatz. Changing DJs entertain you on 2 floors with House/electro and pop/HipHop/RnB. On the roof garden of terrace you can enjoy the views over Berlin and refreshing drinks. Every Sunday at 11: 00 they host a popular gay party which has established itself in the gay Club culture of Europe.

HOUSE OF BOYS

With prostitution legal in Berlin, it's very easy to find company if you want to pay. The two former House of Boys are no longer operating, but you might like to try Club Culture Houze which has opened as a sex club that organises sex parties for all orientations and genders. This infamous place is a hedonistic playground for all your desires and fantasies.

Many of the bars mentioned attract rent boys - Blue Boy Bar, Tom's Bar, Hafen and Pinocchio all have plenty of opportunities to pick up a guy if you wish to pay. The Toy Boy Bar is another such venue in the building previously occupied by Blue Boy Bar, before it moved around the corner. Toy Boy Bar has regular shows and loads of guys who'll entertain you.

SIGHTSEEING

Berlin is a great city to be a tourist in. Public transport is cheap and efficient and the strong pound makes everything very good value for British tourists. You can still see preserved sections of the Berlin Wall, and a double line of cobbles marks the line of the wall where it's been torn down. Checkpoint Charlie still exerts a sinister fascination, and the neighbouring museum is fascinating if over-crowded.

The Germans love architecture and the reconstruction of the Potsdamer Platz and the new British designed glass dome on top of the Reichstag are both fantastic. If you like Amsterdam then you'll love Berlin but wrap up warm as an icy wind can blast the city from across the Polish plains.

Book Berlin Hotels At Special Discount Rates Online

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Bar to the Dirty Hobby (Revaler Str. 99; T: +49 30 36468446; facebook)
Blue Boy Bar (Kleiststraße 7; T: +49 30 2187498; Website)
Brunos Berlin (Maaßenstraße 14; T: +49 30 21473293; Website)
Club Culture Houze (Görlitzer Straße 71; T:+49 30 6170 9669; Website)
Connection Club (Fuggerstr. 33; T: +49 30 2181432; Website)
Ficken 3000 (Urbanstraße 70; T: +49 30 69507335; Website)
Fritz & Co (Wittenbergpl.; T: +49 30 2183426)
Greifbar (Wichertstraße 10; T: +49 30 89751498; Website)
GMF Berlin (Alexanderstraße 7; T: +49 30 28095396; Website; facebook)
Hafen (Motzstraße 19; T: +49 30 2114118; Website)
Heile Welt (Motzstraße 5; T: +49 30 21917507)
Lab.Oratory (Am Wriezener Bahnhof; Website)
Pinocchio (Fuggerstraße 3; T: +49 30 23620333; Website)
Prinzknecht (Fuggerstraße 33; T: +49 30 23627444; Website)
SchwuZ (Rollbergstraße 26; T: +49 30 57702270; Website)
Tom's Bar (Motzstraße 19 T: +49 30 2134570; Website)
Toy Boy Bar (Eisenacher Straße 3, facebook)


Revised March 2018

 

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