“Du bist verrückt mein Kind, du mußt nach Berlin.” [“You are crazy, my child. You must go to Berlin.”]
So said one of the great composers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz von Suppe (1819-1895) during a time when Berlin was so famous for its liberal attitude and sexual freedom.
Berlin, specifically Schöneberg, was one of the first gay villages in the world. The city has retained its extremely relaxed attitude to sex and sexuality, not only in Schöneberg but also in places like Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Friedrichshain in East Berlin, since the Wall came down.
Following their visit, gay couple Nomadic Boys take us to their 5 favourite gay bars of Berlin. You can also read more about their whole Berlin experience over at nomadicboys.com.
This is the coolest gay bar in Schöneberg, large, full of friendly people and serve up delicious cocktails like Pisco Sours. Most bars in Schöneberg are geared to one thing (think dark room) or tailored to a particular fetish, or just too small. Heile Welt ticks all the boxes as a normal decent gay bar to hang out with your friends with a bit of space to spread out.
Heile Welt is open daily from 8pm to 3am, make sure you look out for the Chewbacca inspired wall decoration! HW can be found at 5 Motzstraße (pronounced Motzstrasse) in Schöneberg.
Bear with us, Stagger Lee is not technically a gay bar – But it is located right at the heart of the gay neighbourhood in Schöneberg. It’s a little gem, perfect for a romantic drink or more relaxed gathering with friends. Traditionally it’s a speakeasy bar and serves up delicious and innovative cocktails.
Stagger Lee is open everyday from 7pm until 2am (closes at midnight on Sundays) and can be found at 27 Nollendorfstrasse in Schöneberg.
The super exclusive Berghain is the most popular club in the country, with a fierce reputation to match. It is based in East Berlin’s Kreuzberg area and used to be a railway warehouse before it was transformed into the “alternative” cool nightclub it is today. It opens on Friday evenings and continues right up until midday on Monday. It’s always full, with hour long queues to get in.
The door men of Berghain are notorious. Their word is final, no matter who you are! Even Britney and Macklemore were famously turned away – no one knows the exact formula of how to get past the fierce door men!
This is the ultimate clubbing experience to check out in Berlin – if you can get in. like we did!
Möbel Olfe is another cool and busy hang out in Kreuzberg. It gets seriously busy here, and is definitely one of the best gay bars you need to check out in the city. They have some themed evenings for trans, lesbians and bears so check their programme for the most up to date information.
Möbel Olfe is open Tuesday to Sundays from 6pm-3am and can be found at 177 Reichenberger Straße (pronounced Strasse).
SchwuZ is a large popular gay club in Neukölln in East Berlin. It’s been around for almost 40 years and attracts a young crowd in their 20s and 30s, playing a mix of pop classics, and themed nights like Madonna Mania, Electronic Thursday, L-Tunes (Friday lesbian night) and more.
SchwuZ is open from 11pm-7am and located at 26 Rollbergstr in Neukölln.
For more info, travel tips and stories, check out Stefan and Sebastien’s site – nomadicboys.com.