Berlin hosts countless events and parties that celebrate gay and lesbian life; there is the Teddy Queer Festival, which is part of the Berlin International Film Festival in February. Every June, Berliners raise their rainbow flags to celebrate Gay Pride, known in Germany as Christopher Street Day with a colorful Gay Pride Parade, followed by the largest gay lesbian street festival in Europe. For more events and parties throughout the year, make sure to pick up the free gay city magazine Siegessaule.
The highlight on Cologne’s party calendar is its annual celebration of the Gay Pride aka Christopher Street Day, which attracts around 1 million revelers and is one of the largest gay and lesbian events in all of Europe. Highlight of the festivities is the colorful parade with more than 120 floats parading through the center of Cologne. Parties, open-air concerts, panel discussions, and a street festival make the weekend complete. Another not-to-miss event are the annual carnival celebrations in early spring, with many gay parties, the festive Rose Monday parade, and Rosa Funken, the first gay carnival club in Germany. For a great overview of Cologne’s countless gay bars, cafes and events, check out patroc.com
Same sex travelers shouldn’t miss the Munich restaurant and hotel Deutsche Eiche (German Oak), located close to Viktualienmarkt in the heart of the city. Offering Bavarian cuisine, this restaurant is the traditional center of Munich’s gay community and used to be the favorite restaurant of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder and singer Freddie Mercury. Deutsche Eiche is also the first gay-owned 3-star Superior Hotel and home to Germany’s largest gay sauna, spread over 4 floors.
After Hamburg’s Gay Pride in summer, the city hosts its annual Hamburg Leather convention, and during the holiday season, Hamburg is home to an erotic Christmas market that caters exclusively to adults.