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Gay & Lesbian Berlin

The Gay Scene in Berlin is as diverse as the city´s districts. In most parts of Berlin gay people are as accepted as anyone else. In the main districts, Kreuzberg, Schöneberg, Mitte, Friedrichshain & Prenzlauer Berg, same sex couples can be seen, like any other couples, kissing and holding hands. Because of this acceptability, the gay scene is not limited to gay venues. Gay social life is one of the many threads which make Berlin and add to its amazing character. In districts further away from the center and particularly to the East of Berlin, the presence of right wing elements means that same sex couples need to be more cautious about showing affection in public.

The scene here is a strong one with a lot of variety, something for everyone. The more traditional gay male scene is at Nollendorfplatz . Kreuzberg is a liberal, open-minded part of town, where gay life is most connected with the diverse pulse of the neighbourhood. Freidrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg are part of a newer scene in the east which feels like its very alive and still developing. Part of Prenzlauer Berg has already developed into a yuppie scene which is in sharp contrast to the more happening and less-developed parts.

Links

Siegessäule (the victory column) - is a free gay magazine which has hundreds of listings of clubs, cafes, services and saunas. You can find it in most cafes and some libraries and shops. It´s the best source to find what events are happening when and where.

Sergej - is another free mag for the gay scene. Its focus is similar to Sigessäule but its feel is glossier - not as grass roots.

Cafes, Bars & other Places of Interest

Anderes Ufer (Other Shore)
Haupt Straße 157, 13159 Berlin - Schöneberg | U7 Kleistpark |
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In the afternoon, Anderes Ufer is a café away from the scene. People come in to have a coffee and read the newspapers and they sometimes even have newspapers in English. The atmosphere is cool with a mix of old and new, gold picture frame mirrors and colorful walls. In the evenings the café takes on more of a gay bar scene. If you check out www.anderesufer.de - it isn´t the cafe´s site but it is a gay forum and has some interesting info (in German).

Begine Café Bistro Bar - Meeting place and culture for women
Potsdamer Str. 139, Berlin - Schöneberg | U2 Bülowstraße | Times: daily except Sundays 17-1
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Beguine is a long-established women's café/bar which offers a friendly environment in which to meet up with other women for a chat or for a light meal, and also regular events such as parties, concerts, dances, book presentations, and talks. Located not very far from the scenes around Goltzstraße and Nollendorfplatz, it has a somewhat more sober ambience than the Schokocafe, for example. This does not mean the atmosphere is any less friendly. The kitchen here offers excellent meals, not just snacks.

Bierhimmel
Oranienstrasse 183, Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 615 31 22, Fax: no fax | U1, U8 Kottbusser Tor | Times: daily from 14:00
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Another popular spot on the Oranienstr. crawl, Bierhimmel makes a great meeting point before a night out. Up front is a more subdued, well lit cafe with a wide selection of beers, cakes and 1.50DM espresso shots; in back is the intimate 'Love Lounge´ cocktail bar with low lights and cozy booths.

Cafe Berio
www.berio.de
info@berio.de
Maaßenstraße 7, 10777 Berlin - Schöneberg | Tel: 216 1946, Fax: 216 1945 | U1 + U4 Nollendorfplatz | Times: 8:00 - 1:00 Kitchen until 23:30
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Cafe Berio is located at Nollendorfplatz, the predominant scene for gay men. But as with most areas in Berlin, it´s mixed. During the day, with the right weather, the patio is the perfect place to hang out in the sunshine. In the evening it´s a place where people meet to have a drink before going the a club. The atmosphere is comfortable with good lighting and a simple design of white walls and hard wood floors.

Cafe-Pension Amsterdam
www.pension-amsterdam.de
info@pension-amsterdam.de
Gleimstrasse 24, Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg | Tel: 448 07 92, Fax: no fax | U2+S-Bahn Schönhauserallee | Times: Sun.-Thurs.: 9:00-3:00, Fri & Sat: 9:00-5:00 | Prices: Single room DM59, Double DM118
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A walk down Gleimstrasse and you can´t miss the bright orange facade of Cafe Amsterdam. Stop by in the morning for the fantastic breakfast buffet, or come later when there´s nightly drink specials such as Tequila Tuesdays, when shots are just 1.50DM, or 7,90DM Caipirinhas on Thursdays. Not only is Amsterdam a bar though, it´s also a bed and breakfast. The rooms are large and comfortable, all with TV and bathroom.

Christopher Street Day
(23 Jun, 2001)

Arguably the best of Berlin's rash of summer street parades, Christopher Street Day commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots on Christopher St in New York which sparked off the modern gay liberation movement. Upwards of 70 wagons and accompanying paraders prance, pose and sashay their way from the Kurfürstendamm to Tiergarten, finishing with a grand circle around the Victory Column , Berlin's favourite phallic symbol and namesake of the local gay magazine. The champagne spurts from the majority of the floats (available also to bystanders for an appropriate fee), cooling down the mass of sexually-charged sweating dancers. Political slogans alternate with fantastic costumes, and the diversity of the spectators reflects the success of the movement. A great day out for the whole family.

Connection/Prinzknecht
www.connection-berlin.com
Fuggestrasse 33, Berlin - Schöneberg | Tel: 218 14 32, Fax: no fax | U2, U1, U4 Nollendorfplatz | Times: Prinzknecht: 15:00-3:00, Connection: Fri. & Sat. from 22:00
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This is an all-in-one complex right in the heart of Nollendorfplatz. Facing the street is the Prinzknecht, boasting a "kilometer long bar", billiards, and nightly specials such as 2 for 1 drinks on Wednesdays before 21:00. On Fridays and Saturdays the Connection Disco opens with some of Berlin´s finest techno, several bars, and a multi-level cruising area. On top of all that there´s also a shop with videos, magazines, toys, piercing jewelry etc.

Eastside-Gayllery Shop and Pension
www.eastside-gayllery.de
reservations@eastside-gayllery.de
Schönhauserallee 41, Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg | Tel: 43 73 54 84, Fax: no fax | U2 Eberswalderstr. | Times: Mon.-Sat. 12:00-20:00 | Prices: Rooms start at 69DM per night, special rates during weeknights.
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This new gay and lesbian pension and shop couldn´t be in a more perfect location; just steps away from the metro station and right in the center of the Prenzlauer Berg scene. Although located on heavily trafficked Schönhauserallee, all of the rooms are quietly tucked away into the back courtyards. They´re spacious and immaculate, all including shower, W.C., TV and video. The shop is well stocked with postcards, artwork, jewelry, rainbow accessories, books and posters; and they sell and rent DVD´s and videos.

Enjoy Bed and Breakfast
www.ebab.de
info@ebab.de
Motzstrasse 5, Berlin - Schöneberg | Tel: 215 16 66, Fax: 21 75 22 19 | U2, U1, U4 Nollendorfplatz | Times: daily 16:30-21:00
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Enjoy B&B is an agency offering private accommodation for gays and lesbians. There are over 400 rooms for rent, and not just in Berlin, but also all over Germany, other major European cities and New York. They try to keep the prices low, usually ranging from 35-45DM per person per night including breakfast. It´s a wonderful concept and a great alternative to hassling with impersonal hotel bookings.

Gay Museum, Archive and Library (Schwules Museum)
www.schwulesmuseum.de
SchwulesMuseumeV@aol.com
Mehringdamm 61, 10965 Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 693 11 72, Fax: 693 40 37 | U6 + U7 Mehringdamm | Prices: 7 , 4 (conc.) | Times: Wed - Sun 14:00 - 18:00
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Located in the courtyard behind Melitta Sundström is the gay museum. The exhibitions vary in content. Oscar Wilde is the theme of the next exhibit (1 Dec. -26 Feb. 2001). The archive and library are upstairs from the museum. The collection of English fiction is big, and it´s free to read. The only drawback is that you can´t check the books out. The staff are helpful and speak English. Both the museum and archive are good resources for learning more about gay cultural history and current happenings in the gay world.

Melita Sundström
sundstroem@crosswinds.net
Mehringdamm 61, 10965 Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 692 44 14, Fax: no fax | U6 + U7 Mehringdamm | Times: Mon-Sun Times: 9:00 - varies, when everyone is ready to go home
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Melitta Sundström cafe is, for the most part, a typical Berlin cafe with a menu of espresso, drinks, cakes and an assortment of light food. What makes it stand out from other cafes are the shelves of books on one wall in English, German and French, the gay memorabilia, and postcards all for sale. The books are a bit kitsch with some cheesy titles. The items for sale don´t interfere with the cafe atmosphere where one could easily spend an afternoon reading or chatting with friends. The downside is that the air is a bit smokey.

Micro-Test
Johannisstr. 2, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | U6 Oranienburger Tor | Fridays at Kalkscheune from 23:00 | Price: 10 or 7 with membership card (membership is free but needs to be applied for).
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This popular women's club night, organised by micro diven, is hosted every Friday night in the basement of the trendy club Kalkscheune. Music focuses around funky jazz house, break beats and more techy beats. Usually the sound environment is accompanied by a visual experience of video projections by various artists. The atmosphere is friendly, both the girls behind the bar and on the dance floor (or on the sofas) and you will even be ok if you are older than 19.
Due to the organisers' involvement in other projects such as working on their own CD release and fashion label presentation there will be - for the time being at least - only one more "micro-diven" club night:
Fri, Dec. 29th, "micro-test", Basement, Kalkscheune, from 22h, entry DM10 (Tama Sumo - house tracks, deliciousartspace - visuals)
Men are welcome as guests of women.

Offenbar
Schreinerstraße 5, 10247 Berlin - Friedrichshain | Tel: 426 09 30 , Fax: no fax | U5 Samariterstraße | Times: 10:00 - 4:00 am
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The Offenbar is a hip, slightly dark bar with its own scene. The crowd is a mixture between young-hip-gay-east and an eclectic (including average) group of people. The bar has a hint of seventies flair and isn´t too trendy. A great place for an afternoon Latte. And the Brazilian bar keeper is really nice. They also serve a nice brunch on Sundays.

Oxon Magenta restaurant-cafe
Greifenhagenerstrasse 48, Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg | Tel: 44 73 64 82, Fax: no fax | U2+S-Bahn Schönhauserallee | Times: daily from 10:00 | Prices: Entrées DM15-25
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Located directly behind the Schönhauserallee shopping center, Oxon Magenta is one of the newest cafes on the Prenzl´ Berg scene, offering fine fish and vegetarian cuisine at reasonable prices. There´s a regular breakfast and light snack menu, as well as lunch and dinner menus that change daily. On one visit they were featuring such delights as salmon tartar, wild mushroom fettuccini, vegetables in coconut curry sauce with fresh ginger, and homemade cinnamon mouse with chocolate sauce. The drink list is huge, the service exceptional, and everything is tasteful from the minimal decor to the Illy coffee.

Romeo Nightbar
Greifenhagenerstrasse 16, Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg | Tel: 447 67 89, Fax: no fax | U2+S-Bahn Schönhauserallee | Times: nightly 23:00-8:00?
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If you´re suffering from insomnia, looking for a pint to wind down after a heavy night of clubbing or simply a night owl, Romeo´s is the perfect place. It´s small and cozy with candle-lit tables and a friendly, well-caffeinated bar staff that caters especially to nightcrawlers.

Roses Bar
Oranienstrasse 187, Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 615 65 70, Fax: no fax | U1, U8 Kottbusser Tor | Times: daily 21:30-5:00
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Not simply satisfied with plastic flowers, pop art Virgin Marys and other such bric-a-brac, if the decor doesn´t glitter, sparkle, blink or flash at you, you´re not in Rose´s. This classic Kreuzberg bar has taken Kitsch to a higher level. A lively, mixed and unusual crowd packs the two rooms chattering over the sound of classic house tunes. A popular stop before, after or during a night at the So36.

Schoko - Café & Bar for Women
Mariannenstr. 6, Berlin - Kreuzberg | U1/U8 Görlitzer Bahnhof/Kottbusser Tor | Times: daily from 17.
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Schoko Café is a long-established women's café/bar which offers a friendly environment in which to meet up with other women for a chat or for a light meal, and also regular events such as parties, concerts, dances, book presentations, talks, and space for various specialist organisations such as a Kreuzberg women's LETS scheme. It is located in the same building as the women's Hamam, near other lesbian and gay (-friendly) pubs and venues along Oranienstraße. The café's decor features mosaics of mirror glass and tiles as well as collages on the tables, giving a certain retro ambience and the kitchen offers a different range of snacks every month. Upcoming events include:
  • 24 December - Xmas Party
  • 31 December - Große Sylvesterparty - New Year's Eve Party


Schwuz
www.schwuz.de
info@schwuz.de
Mehringdamm 61, 10965 Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 693 70 25, Fax: no fax | U6 + U7 Mehringdamm | Prices: 5 - 15 | Times: parties start around 22:00, check the press for details.
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Schwuz is the oldest gay club in Berlin. Now located below Melitta Sundström, it has had many locations. It´s a club which plays mainstream music more than techno. The nightly themes change from House to Oldies to Latin. In the earlier hours of the evening, the crowd is mixed, lesbians, gay men, drag queens and hetero friends. By 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning it becomes a party of mostly men. As is often the case, lesbians seem to go home earlier...

SO36
www.SO36.de
sub.opus@snafu.de
Oranienstraße 190, 10997 Berlin - Kreuzberg | Tel: 614 01 306 , Fax: no fax | U8 + U1 Kottbusser Tor | Prices: 5 - 15 Times: check press, parties vary
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SO36 has different parties each week. A night of Bingo with some friends at this place is a blast. Even if you´re German is nearly non-existent, you can practise your numbers while watching a fantastic show with two drag queens and their friends. The other nights' themes vary from Techno to Oriental and a gay singles night called "Hungry Hearts." The crowd is a mixture of gay and straight depending on the night.

Sonntags - Club
www.sonntagsclub.de
Greifenhagener Str 28, 10437 Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg | Tel: 449 75 90 , Fax: no fax | U2 + S8 Schönhauser Allee | Times: Mon - Sun 17:00 - 24:00
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Sonntags - Club is a bar and cafe as well as a meeting place for trans- bi-, and homosexual, groups. It´s something of a community centre so as well as being a comfortable place to go and have a coffee or a beer, Sonntag-Club offers resources for the gay community such as counseling and information. The club existed underground during GDR times when homosexuality was frowned upon. The feel of the club reflects this history and its atmosphere isn't yet completely westernised.

Timmy's Bed & Breakfast
www.gaybed.de
info@gaybed.de
Perlebergerstr. , 10559 Berlin - Tiergarten | Tel: 8185 1988, Fax: no fax | U9 Birkenstr; Bus 127, 340 | Rooms: DM70 (Double) DM50 (Single) breakfast incl. Reductions for stays over 7/14 nights and for Long Yang Club
Centrally located homestay B&B providing private accommodation for gay visitors to Berlin. The room on offer is light, clean and furnished in "Feng Shui" style. Those planning stays longer than 14 days can negotiate further discounts on the published rates. The owner, Tim, knows his way around the gay scene in Berlin and is happy to share his knowledge with newcomers.

Windows Cafe
Martin Lutherstrasse 22, Tel: 214 23 84 , Fax: no fax | U2, U1, U4 Nollendorfplatz | cnr Motzstrasse | Times: daily16:00-4:00, Sun 15:00-4:00
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Situated directly on the busy corner of Martin Lutherstr. and Motzstr., this mixed gay and lesbian cafe is named appropriately. The sides are compromised of large, greenhouse-style windows, making it a great place for a relaxing drink while watching the crowd go by. The music is upbeat with a very social crowd.


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