Our Gay Germany Travel Guide
Germany: Castles, sausages, beer, and, of course, cars. The Federal Republic of Germany with its 16 federal states, that have been several kingdoms in the past, can be considered as the geographical center country of Europe. Germany is thereby surrounded by France, Luxembourg, and the BeNeLux (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg) states in the West, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria in the South and Poland, Czechia in the East. According to the Spartacus Gay Travel Index, Germany is ranking among the top 10 LGBT-friendly countries in the world and is known as a very welcoming and gay-friendly country, in the bigger cities at least.
Lesbian, gay, and queer travelers should visit Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt, as these are considered to be the biggest, and gay-friendliest cities in Germany. In fact, cities, towns, and municipalities organize more than 60 annual gay pride and LGBT events all around the country. We collected essential information about why, when, and where LGBTQ+ travelers like you should start planning their visit to Germany. Therefore, we will add new blog articles to our Gay Germany Travel Guide with more information on a regular basis. But now, enjoy Germany through a Couple of Men‘s eyes.
Berlin | Hamburg | Dresden | Munich
Gay Kiss – of a Couple of Men | CSD Berlin – Gay Pride © Coupleofmen.com
How gay-friendly is Germany?
Traditionally, Germany is known to be a gay-friendly but relatively conservative European country. But despite the reservation of the ruling Christian party, the majority of the German government voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in Germany in 2017. However, Germany currently ranks among the top gay-friendly gaycation destinations like Canada and Sweden referring to the annual Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2020 due to the gay-friendly environment in major cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne.
Although Germans living in the countryside might have some prejudices against lesbian, gay, and queer people, they will stay polite offering you the best service they can. LGBTQ+ travelers should keep that in mind. Unfortunately, there are right-wing streamings especially in the eastern part of the country, so it is still recommended to exercise caution being publicly intimate in those areas. When encountering a suspicious group of people it is wise to let go of each other’s hands and act like many LGBT travelers would act in any other city in the world.
Spartacus Gay Travel Index: Rank 10 for Germany (in 2020)
Wikipedia LGBTQ+ Germany: LGBT rights in Germany
Highlights LGBTQ+ Events: CSD & Pride in Germany in 2020
Gay Berlin Travel Guide | Gay Germany Travel Guide © Coupleofmen.com
Gay Berlin Travel Guide
Berlin as Germany’s capital city and the largest German city is considered to be the gay-friendliest metropolis of Germany. Despite the difficult history of being a divided city for over 40 years by the allied forces after World War II, Berlin developed a considerably diverse LGBTQ+ culture including the gay neighborhood Schöneberg and the popular club scene with Berghain, KitKat Club and SchwuZ for example, where every fetish has its own party. Good to know for LGBT travelers coming to Berlin: the Pink Pillow collection of LGBT friendly hotels in Berlin offers a broad variety of gay-friendly hotels all around the city. Throughout the year, Berlin is hosting several LGBTQ+ events like the “Motzstraßenfest”, the annually Gay Pride (called CSD Berlin), and, of course, the fetish festival Folsom Europe.
Hand in Hand exploring Hamburg | Gay Germany Travel Guide © CoupleofMen.com
Gay Hamburg Travel Guide
The Hanseatic city Hamburg in the north-western part of Germany is the second biggest city in the country and its own, so-called city-state with a strong connection to the River Elbe. We visited Hamburg several years ago as one of the first trips we’ve made together. Lesbian, gay, and queer travelers should explore the unique architecture of Hamburg by visiting the modern buildings at the harbor area, the City Hall, the Speicherstadt, and the recently completed and opened concert hall, Elbphilharmonie. Hamburg is a popular residence city for LGBTQ+ people in Germany offering a gay-friendly environment with several events around the year like the Harbour Pride in May, the Leather Pride in August, and the Winter Pride in November or December.
Gay Dresden Travel Guide © Coupleofmen.com
Gay Dresden Travel Guide
Dresden is Karl’s home town and the capital city of the Eastern German federal state Saxony. Nestled in the Elbe riverbed, Dresden is known for its stunning old town city center that was just recently rebuilt after it was completely destroyed in WW II. Today, Dresden has a reputation for being a creative, open-minded student city with a small but lively LGBTQ+ community. CSD Dresden Pride is one of the event highlights for local lesbian, gay, trans, and queer people as well as LGBTQ+ travelers. At least once a year, we are spending a couple of days in Dresden combining a city trip with visiting Karl’s family. Dresden is a city worth being mentioned in our Gay Germany Travel Guide and being very high on everyone’s gay travel bucket list!
Gay Munich Travel Guide © Coupleofmen.com
Gay Munich Travel Guide
With over 1.4 million inhabitants, the Bavarian city Munich is the third-largest city in Germany. Bavaria’s capital city is internationally known for its beer, local cuisine, traditional culture, and, of course, the annual beer festival Oktoberfest. Besides the culinary highlights, Munich has a considerable lively gay scene primarily located around the city center district of Glockenbachviertel. Members and travelers of the LGBTQ+ community should put the annual Gay Pride Weekend “CSD München”, the Queer Film Weekend “Verzaubert”, and other gay events during Oktoberfest on there list.
Gay Cologne Travel Guide
Located relatively close to the Belgium and Dutch border, the next city in our Gay Travel Guide for Germany is Cologne. Located on both sides of the huge River Rhine, the city of the famous Kölsch beer is part of Europe’s major metropolitan area Rhine-Ruhr. The fourth biggest city of Germany is a well-known gay hotspot for the entire LGBT community and a very attractive destination for lesbian, gay, and queer travelers. The gay life covers an area of two districts with the main gay area around Rudolfplatz, also named as Cologne’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’ and in the Old Town of Cologne. The Gay Pride in Cologne is considered to be the largest annual pride event in Europe.
Gay Frankfurt Travel Guide
Frankfurt (at the River Main) is Germany’s business and financial capital located in the center of the country with an impressive skyline that stands in contrast with the historic buildings of the city center. It also has the largest airport in Germany, Frankfurt International, operating flights from all around the world connecting to nearly all national airports. Therefore, the city is an international hub for the LGBTQ+ community with a lively diverse gay scene, attracting a very international crowd. One of the biggest gay events in Frankfurt is the annual CSD, Gay Pride Frankfurt.
Best Reasons to visit Germany
If you are wondering about the best time to visit Germany, there isn’t any. Although, clearly, the spring, summer, and autumn months are, in our opinion, the best time to explore the diverse nature and landscapes of Germany. From May to September, travelers have the best chances to catch longer dry, warm and sunny episodes to go hiking in the Central German Uplands, to go camping and swimming in the North Sea or Baltic Sea, or plan a city trip to the German cities with their rich cultural heritage and Gay Pride Festivals. Many German cities are offering a variety of LGBTQ+ events around the year, like the Queer Festival in Heidelberg.
In wintertime, when most parts of the country are regularly covered in snow, several central German Ski Resorts and the Wintersports areas of the German Alps are open to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and any other winter-related activities. Additionally, the German cities and states know how to brighten up the dark times of the year with their world-famous Christmas-markets and, yes, there are even Gay Christmas Markets to put on your Gay Germany Travel bucket list!
Must-Try Food in Germany
When visiting Germany, the first thing LGBTQ+ travelers wanna try is, of course, the world-famous German Beer. For centuries, Germany is preserving the traditional way of brewing beer in all variations protecting the purity by law. And it is true, the beer is considered to be the best you can get in the world. But the influence of the culinary heritage of the former German kingdoms who merged into the federal republic of today is very diverse and definitely not only about potatoes and sausages. Having said that, the sausages are seriously something LGBT explorers should try at least once. The (Bavarian) veal sausage “Weißwurst”, the Thuringian “Bratwurst”, or the Frankfurt sausage are just some that seriously need to mentioned here.
When you starting your gay travels around Germany in the northern part of Germany, do put some of the traditional fish and seafood dishes like sour Herring on your list. When traveling to the central regions and states of Germany, you’ll have to try the typical potato, kraut, and cabbage dishes that are an essential part of the German food experience. But besides tradition, LGBTQ+ travelers in the bigger cities like Cologne, Hamburg, and Berlin will find all kinds of international trends and influences in German cuisine. Lately, the meat-loving Germans are expanding the vegetarian and vegan food scene as well.
It is recommended to make a reservation particularly during the peak dinner times from Thursday to Sunday. After dinner, it is custom to put your wallet on the table when you want to pay your bills. The approaching waiter will ask you if you want the check. You usually do not have to get up from your table in order to pay. Generally speaking, card payment is commonly accepted in the city but be sure to check before taking your seat since the preferred payment method is cash, even in the major cities.
Enjoy your meal! Guten Appetit with our Gay Germany Travel Guide. © Coupleofmen.com
Plan your Germany Trip with Couple of Men:
Gay Germany Travel Guide: Please consider our information as suggestions with no guarantee that it still will be like that when you are traveling there. Though we did our research and all our opinions written in this Gay Germany Travel Guide are honest, authentic, and true. If you have any questions about your plans for traveling to Germany, send us an email or follow us along and drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. See you around the world and the next time in Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Munich, and Germany!
Karl & Daan.