Berlin has more gay bars than any other city in the world. With so many places to choose from, where do you start!? Funny enough, the best nights often start out just by strolling around aimlessly and keeping your eyes and ears open for what´s already happening around you. This is a great way to get to know the city, especially if you have just arrived.
The Schöneberg district (especially the area between Motzstrasse and Fuggerstrasse, as well as Nollendorfplatz, formerly home to Christopher Isherwood) has been at the forefront of the gay scene since the 1920s. In Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg, there are numerous bars, saunas and clubs for any kind of taste, ranging from innocent to crazy wild. One thing is certain though: no matter where you end up, you will find Berlin is an incredibly tolerant place.
If you do want some sort of structure to your night out, here is a selection of the 5 best gay bars Berlin has to offer:
1. Bar zum Schmutzigen Hobby
The “bar to the dirty hobby” as it translates to English, is a place made famous by one of Berlin´s most prominent drag queens, Nina Queer. Unpretentious and laid back, it is one of the best places to get to know people. Check out the events lined up through out the year, like Oktoberfest, quiz nights or public viewing events. Most guests are part of the LGBT community but everyone is welcome here. Update: actually, everyone comes here now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin
Transportaion: U1, S3, S5, S7, S75, S9 Warschauer Strasse.
Opened daily from 9pm.
2. Möbel Olfe
This bar is a bit hidden, wedged in the deepest part of Kreuzberg between Turkish snack bars- it´s a short walk from Kottbusser Tor. It is usually packed, especially on Thursday nights, and always fun: in short, an excellent place to start or end your night out. The former furniture store still has remnants of furniture hanging from the ceiling and the drinks ain´t bad either. The crowd is mixed: you will find gay, straight, young, old, local and foreigners happily conversing together. There´s also a “Mädchendisko” (girl disco night) on Tuesdays. Tip: try out the German and Polish selection of beers and vodkas.
Reichenberger Str. 177, 10999 Berlin
Transportation: U1, U8, Kottbusser Tor.
Opened Tues- Sun, 6pm-3am (best night is Thursday).
3. Barbie Bar
During the day, Barbie Bar functions as a Cafe. At night, it turns into a bar. The service is quick and friendly, there´s always some newspapers and magazines to flip through and the home-made cakes and cookies are worth every penny. The decor might be a bit “kitchig” but it also makes this place different from any other bar in Berlin. At night, check out the excellent cocktails. An excellent place to have a comfortable chat with friends, as it does not get too loud.
Mehringdamm 77, 10965 Berlin
Transportation: U-bahn Mehringdamm. Bus 19, N4, N46: Bergmannstraße
Opened Mon-Thu 2pm – 12am; Fri, Sat 2pm – 3am; Sun 2pm – 8pm
4. Silver Future
Silver Future: a charming bar full of interesting folks. One of the few places to have kept its authenticity in Neukölln rather than trying to desperately become “hip.” Can be quite smokey at times, but there´s a good selection of drinks to make up for it. Expect a splendid atmosphere (especially on the weekends). So: quite comfortable place to chill if you don´t mind the smoke. One of my favorite things to order: a giant cup of vanilla- cocoa with whip cream. Really hits the spot.
Weserstrasse 206, 12047 Berlin
Transportation: U-bahn Hermannplatz or Sonnenallee
Opened daily 5pm-2am (Fri & Sat until 3am)
A dimly lit, quirky bar with fury pink walls and a small dance area. Come here for feel-good music (anything from pop to house or soul), cheap drinks and blasphemous religious iconography. Döners plentiful just around the corner. A magnet for artists and creative types. Non-gays can´t seem to get enough of this place either.
Oranienstrasse 187, 10999 Berlin
Transportation: U1, U8 Kottbusser Tor
Opened daily 9:30pm- 6am