Anyone who has lived in Berlin during the winter will know that the winter months completely transform the city. Gone is the al fresco dining and Freikörperkultur of summer and in its place are winter layers and gallons of Glühwein. While it’s tempting to stay indoors, Berlin still has plenty to offer and here are just some of the LGBTQ friendly/inspired happenings to tempt you out the door.
Berlin is known for its nightlife and just because there’s snow outside it doesn’t stop the party. Monthly techno party B:East at Alt Stralau 1 is billed as a predominately gay night but welcomes everyone, and parties usually take place Saturday of each month, although they make exceptions for occasions such as New Year. When talking about LGBTQ nightlife most people would point towards Schöneberg as the place to go but Neukölln is quickly taking the title. Hotspot Schwuz is open Thursdays to Sunday and hosts arguably the best LGBTQ parties in town. They are relaxed about who comes in, so straight people are always welcome and they have special themed nights with a variety of music from house, techno, indie and hip – hop. The Club may look small from the outside but don’t let that fool you – this spacious two room bar hosts regular events such as drag shows, bingo nights and regular DJ sets, so there’s something for everyone.
If you’re going to need more the clubs and bars to brave the harsh weather, the weekly Friday night Drag and Drinks show hosted by drag queen Judy LaDivina in the Axel Hotel will provide you with much needed entertainment while you sip your cocktails. Look out for their Dinner Drinks Drag shows where you can really make a night of it with a three-course dinner thrown in to the mix.
For an altogether classier affair, Boheme Sauvage can transport you back to the roaring 20’s with their monthly Weimar era themed nights, the perfect antidote to Berlin’s “poor but sexy” attitude. Dress up, drink champagne, watch the cabaret, even learn the foxtrot, whatever you encounter here, it will be the most original night you’ll have in Berlin and will be guaranteed to bet your winter blues.
The one thing about winter in Berlin is you can finally get around to all the museums and arts spaces the city has to offer. The Schwules Museum, the world’s first gay museum, holds regular talks on not only LGBTQ Berlin’s past but also its future, exhibitions ranging from everything to queer stories from around the world to public toilets and guided tours in both German and English, giving you an in-depth look at Germany’s complex history with the LGBTQ community. The Ballery in Schöneberg is an art space always hosting different events from classical concerts, talks with some legendary Berlin folk and hosts Speakeasy every Tuesday where you can choose a table (based on your language of choice) and meet new people, including the exhibiting artists.
So it may be cold out there, but wrap up, down a hot beverage and get exploring everything Berlin has to offer!