Berlin gay area: bars, clubs and gay hotels in Schöneberg

Berlin gay area: bars, clubs and gay hotels in Schöneberg

Berlin is super gay. Gayness is so well accepted in every aspect of society that you’ll find sprinkles of it everywhere.

Schöneberg is the heart of the gay community and has been since the 1920s when it became the first ever gay village – in the world.

Although it was all heavily repressed during the Nazi era, it was reborn after the Berlin Wall was erected in the 1960s and has continued to thrive ever since.

Alternative gay scenes have started to spring up in the East over the past 20 years since the Wall came down, particularly in Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Friedrichshain.

But Schöneberg nonetheless remains the Queen of the Berlin Scene.

Gay guide to Schöneberg bars and clubs

Sebastien, the Queen of the Schöneberg gay scene

1. WHERE IS SCHÖNEBERG?

Schöneberg is located in the centre west of Berlin, close to the Zoological Garden and Tiergarden Park. It has everything you need: shopping centers, restaurants, high end hotels, transport links and of course, the bulk of the gay scene is right here.

The gay action happens around Fuggerstrasse and Mostrasse, where the majority of the bars, clubs and cafes are based.

2. WHERE TO STAY IN SCHÖNEBERG

Whether you’re gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, dressed in leather or simply curious, people don’t care. In Berlin, you can come just as you are.

There are many excellent gay friendly hotels in Schöneberg, which will welcome you with open arms. Here’s a few of our favourites:

GAY: AXEL HOTEL

  • Axel is a very cool gay “hetero friendly” hotel.
  • The rooms have a modern design with darkened lighting to give it that sensual atmosphere. Look out for the famous “DO DISTURB” signs you can put on the door if you want some attention!
  • Axel is located right in the heart of Schöneberg’s lively gay area and also has a popular Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
  • Juniper is the fabulous restaurant linked to Axel, which is a great place to get a bite to eat and a few drinks before a night out in Schöneberg. On some evenings it features live music, stand up comedy and drag shows.

CHECK PRICES NOW

Axel gay hotel in Schöneberg Berlin

That moment when Stefan almost thought he was finally going to get that elusive wedding ring at Axel’s Jacuzzi… and the lovely Miss Epiphany at Juniper

LUXURY: HOTEL PALACE BERLIN

  • Hotel Palace Berlin is a 5* luxury option, based right in the heart of the main shopping area, opposite the Zoological Garden, minutes walk away from Schöneberg gay scene and OMG: the cute footballers of the home team Hertha Bsc stay here when they play a home game!
  • The rooms are spacious and the beds very comfortable, with the choice of 3 pillow types.
  • The Hotel Palace has an excellent Lounge area for business use as well as a gym, a sexy pool and a Jacuzzi.
  • This is the place to come and truly spoil yourself.

CHECK PRICES NOW

Hotel palace berlin, gay friendly hotel

Sebastien enjoying our room and Stefan relaxing in the Jacuzzi before a day of sightseeing at the Hotel Palace Berlin

BE INTIMATE: HOTEL Q

  • Hotel Q is a small boutique hotel conveniently located in Kurfürstendamm, the main shopping boulevard.
  • They have a restaurant serving yummy Asian food and delicious signature rum based cocktails.
  • The rooms are very intimate with an open jacuzzi bath right next to the bed. You can also order their Sex Toys package: a special Secret Passion box full of toys and prizes to spice up your stay…

CHECK PRICES NOW

Hotel Q gay hotel Schöneberg

Stefan wondering what’s inside Hotel Q’s Sex Toy package.

MID-RANGE: HOTEL CROWNE PLAZA

  • The Hotel Crowne is a great mid-range option, near Wittenbergplatz shopping area and walking distance to the gay bars.
  • Fast internet, generous buffet breakfast, a pool, spa and excellent modern gym to work out.
  • The Crowne Plaza’s in house restaurant, Wilson’s Prime Rib is worth trying. They offer a delicious 5 course menu with accompanying wine for each course, all for only €60 per person.

CHECK PRICES NOW

Crowne plaza in Berlin Shoneberg, gym and restaurant

Sebastien working out at the Crowne Plaza gym before a night out in the gay bars of Schöneberg and Stefan going face down as usual (at Wilson’s)

DIFFERENT: MISTER BNB

  • Mister bnb is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBT community. Unlike Airbnb you know your host is gay (or at least gay friendly) and it’s a great way to connect and meet with locals.
  • It is easy to use and also available to download as an app for iPhones.

Mister bnb apps for gay travellers

BUDGET: GAY YOUTH HOSTEL

  • This is a good budget option if you’re travelling alone and want to make friends.
  • The Gay Youth Hostel is located in the heart of the gay scene in Schöneberg, minutes away from all the bars and clubs.
  • They offer rooms and dorm beds for up to 8 people starting from €22. We just loved their marketing for what goes on in their dorm rooms (!)
Gay youth hostel in berlin perfect for budget travellers

Party time at the Gay Youth Hostel’s dorms

3. GAY BARS AND CLUBS OF SCHÖNEBERG

Schöneberg has a whole bunch of bars and clubs to choose from. Whatever you are into, you will probably find it in Schöneberg. One tip is to look out for the bars offering 2 for 1 drinks promotions because these will be the most happening places on that particular evening.

For drinking fun

Here’s a few of our favourites for drinks, fabulous cocktails and just to hang out at with friends:

  • Heile Welt: our favourite gay bar in Schöneberg, very friendly crowd and they do yummy Pisco Sour cocktails. Look out for the wall decoration – it is literally made out of Chewbacca! Heile Welt opens every day from 7pm until 3am.
  • Hafen: small bar, but always busy, going strong since the 1990s. They have a quiz night (in English) on the first Monday of every month. Opens in the evening until late in the night (well after 3am).
  • Prinzknecht: just around the corner of Axel Hotel, this is a popular bar especially on Wednesday evenings when they have a 2 for 1 drinks promotion. Opens from 3pm until 2am.
  • Stagger Lee:  this gem is not technically a gay bar, but perfect for a romantic drink or more relaxed gathering with friends. It’s traditionally a speakeasy bar and does delicious and innovative cocktails. Opens everyday from 7pm until 2am (closes at midnight on Sundays).
Stagger Lee speakeasy gay bar of Schöneberg

Stefan with a delicious cocktail at speakeasy Stagger Lee

For some naughty fun

Berlin is well known for having a very diverse and no taboo gay-scene. If you’re looking to unleash your wild side, check out these clubs:

  • Tom’s Bar: not as popular as it used to be but definitely worth going on Monday evenings for the 2 for 1 drinks promotion.
  • WOOF: the HQ for bears and otters. Tuesday is the busy evening when they have a 2 for 1 drinks promotion.
  • Mutschmann: ideal for leather aficionados, but they also feature many other fetish nights. Check their website for more info.

4. GAY BARS AND CLUBS OUTSIDE OF SCHÖNEBERG

Gay Berlin is not just in Schöneberg, it is everywhere. Areas in East Berlin such as Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln are also popular gay hangouts.

For a real whacky alternative night out, check out The Club in Neukölln where we saw one the strangest drag shows:

The Club gay bar in Berlin Neukölln

One of the whackiest drag shows we’ve ever seen at The Club in Neukölln

There’s a handful of excellent gay clubs and bars to check out like Möbel Olfe in Kreuzberg and SchwuZ in Neukölln.

And one club you must (try to) visit in Berlin is the famous and super exclusive, Berghain:

Berghain gay club Berlin Kreuzburg

The famous Berghain club of Berlin. This former railway warehouse is now an extremely exclusive club

Berghain is a huge former railway warehouse, turned cool, nightclub in Kreuzberg, for electronic music lovers. 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. This is the ultimate clubbing experience to check out in Berlin – if you can get in!

Gay guide to Schöneberg and around Berghain club Kreuzburg

“WE GOT IN!” – our proud Berghain selfie with Adam (Stefan still in shock they let him in)

To read more about the best gay bars in Berlin outside of Schöneberg, check out Adam’s 5 best gay bars in Berlin post.

5. CAFES AND RESTAURANTS IN SCHÖNEBERG

Foodies will love the culinary offerings in Schöneberg. There’s a plethora of excellent offerings to suit even the pickiest of palates:

Gay cafe hangouts

  • Romeo und Romeo cafe: popular gay cafe with excellent WiFi…and rainbow vegan cake! All those boys you saw the night before in Heile Welt will be hanging out here during the day.
  • Cafe Kalwil Kunde: another quirky gem with fancy Victorian-esque decor, perfect for a romantic brunch or coffee with a group of friends. We loved their Breakfast Heinrich, which comes with sparkling wine.
Cafe kalwil, gay cafe in Berlin

Kalwil cafe, a quirky little cafe in Schöneberg, serving breakfast with bubbles

For a little snack

  • Fritz & Co: one of food stands outside Wittenbergplatz metro selling the famous Berlin spiced sausage: currywurst.
  • Except this is no ordinary currywurst. This is a gay currywurst, sprinkled with fabulousness!
Fritz & Co gay currywurst food stand gay guide Schöneberg

Welcome to gay Schöneberg, where even the currywursts are fabulous

Restaurants in Schöneberg

  • Maharadscha: this Indian gem is famous and highly rated by just about everyone. It is open only for dinner, and gets really busy, so best call and book ahead.
  • Raststätte Gnadenbrat: this is a gem for good hearty German food like Schnitzel Tegernsee and Bavarian Leberkäse (beef and pork loaf served with fried egg and potatoes).
  • Frida y Diego: Mexican restaurant with very sweet charismatic waiters.
  • Zsa Zsa Burger: the ultimate hangover food serving up the tastiest burgers in Schöneberg.
Zsa Zsa burger gay restaurant Schöneberg

The perfect hangover food – showing off our delicious burgers at Zsa Zsa with our friend Dave

6. WHAT TO DO IN SCHÖNEBERG

Gay events all year round

Berlin hosts the biggest gay events in Europe, all year round, for everything and everyone. The most popular are:

  1. The Lesbian and Gay City Stadfest Festival: around June/July, this is the largest street festival for gays and lesbians, taking place around Nollendorfplatz. The festival attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.
  2. Berlin Gay Pride (Christopher Street Day): in July, hundreds of thousands of people march for LGBT rights with a great parade, extravagant floats, and crazy music.
  3. BLF Berlin Leather Fetish: Berlin kicks off the Spring with the Easter Fetish Week, perfect if you’re into leather, skins, punks and…puppies!
  4. Folsom Europe: this is the largest fetish party in Europe going strong since 2003, held every September. The highlight is the popular Folsom Europe Street Fair, whch takes place at Fuggerstrasse and Welserstrasse, close to Wittenbergplatz.

Learn about Gay Berlin

Berlin walks offers a Queer walking Tour to learn about the history of Schöneberg, the first gay district in the world which dates back to the 1920s. We did a tour with Finn McCool from Berlin Walks who we highly recommend. He’s a fountain of knowledge about everything to do with queer Berlin, and the city in general.

Finn also offers his own private tours to places like the gay concentration camps: the Nazis took the gay boys to Sachsenhausen camp and the gay girls to Ravensbrück.

Queer Walk gay things to do in Schöneberg

Our buddy Finn, who is an excellent tour guide and leads Queer tours in Schöneberg

The Schuwles gay museum

This is an excellent museum in Schöneberg, dedicated to the history and culture of LGBTIQ communities. It was founded in 1985 and is now the world’s largest institution for the queer community.

It’s open everyday except Tuesdays and features a variety of different exhibitions throughout the year, like SuperQueeroes – the famous queer comic heroes/heroines.

Prepare your wallet for some serious shopping

If you like shopping, Schöneberg is the place for you. The high end shopping mall KaDeWe is based right outside Wittenbergplatz metro.

The Kufurstendam Boulevard is like the Champs Elysees of Berlin with all the popular high street retailers like H&M, Zara, Lacoste and many more.

Other shopping malls in the area include the Bikini Mall and the Karstadt Kufurstendam shopping centre.

Gay guide to Berlin shopping in Schöneberg

Bear-Lin…get it? Shopping fun in Berlin’s busy Kufurstendam shopping avenue

Discover Berlin on a Bike

If you’re heading to Berlin, you will no doubt want to embrace its rich heritage and learn about its history. Berlin is a large flat city, with the sites spread out, so what better way to see everything, then by bike.

We did a private tour with Sascha of Berlin on Bike who showed us the main sites like the iconic Brandenburg Gate, remains of the famous Berlin Wall, the Bundestag and more.

Gay guide Berlin Brandenburg sightseeing

A Brandenburg romance…a moment of love by this very iconic building of Berlin

Romantic stuff to do in Berlin

If you and your other half are looking for some serious romance, Berlin has a lot to offer: for some inspiration, check out our 5 romantic things to do in Berlin guide.

To read more, check out Wander Tooth’s guide about the best neighbourhoods in Berlin.

7. TRANSPORT LINKS

Moving around Berlin is easy. In Schöneberg itself, you’re never far from a metro station to catch the U-bahn or S-Bahn.

To maximise your enjoyment and avoid queues at the ticketing machines, it’s definitely worth investing in a Visit Berlin WelcomeCard before you arrive. It will give you unlimited access on the metro (from 2 to 6 days) and discounts on various attractions.

TIP: remember to stamp-validate your ticket in one of the machines before you board a train. It’s easy to forget, allowing the unforgiving plain clothes inspectors to fine you!

Gay guide to Schöneberg Berlin WelcomeCard

Our Berlin WelcomeCard served us well

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41 Comments

  1. Adam

    Wow! A very comprehensive guide to Schöneberg – nice! Still can’t believe I let you get a photo of me outside of Berghain!!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      You loved it ?

      Reply
  2. Fred in Motul

    Fascinating! Who Knew? One more reason to visit Germany, one day.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Definitely worth visiting 🙂

      Reply
  3. Gay Voyageur

    Thank you so much for this new post! I love Berlin. Great gay destination in Europe. Love places. Love bars. Love festivals and many more. Nice job my friend! Each time, your post was excellent. Thank your for your blog. It’s appreciate. Really! See u 🙂

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks buddy 🙂

      Reply
  4. NOM NOM Boris

    wow what a great guide!!! I am so going to use this for my Berlin trip. I never been so everything on this list would be fun to try. So i am curies how naughty things get in the naughty places?? Do you recommend going to Berlin by yourself or with a friend?

    Reply
  5. Thomas

    Hey guys, thanks for this nice guide. I love Berlin as well!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Our pleasure and thanks Thomas 🙂

      Reply
  6. Sumti Bhadani

    Never heard of this place but was interesting to read !!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks

      Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thx

      Reply
  7. Lily

    I love this. Great information which will help a lot of people I’m sure. The photos are great and made me laugh.

    Reply
  8. Katja

    Great guide! Really comprehensive and informative. I’ve never been to Berlin (yet!) but it’s high on my list. Two questions….
    1. what was going on in that drag show?!
    2. what’s the secret to getting in to Berghain??

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Ha ha ha ha thanks Katja – 1. ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA!!!!! 2. Luck – or dress like a hipster and speak German apparently but no one really knows…!

      Reply
  9. Amelie Gagne

    Let me know next time you’re in Berlin, I’d love to meet you guys! 🙂

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Sure thing! We’d love to meet you too 🙂

      Reply
  10. Tamara Elliott

    Never been to Berlin before, but will be FINALLY in a couple of weeks! I’ve heard such great things about the city.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      You’ll love it Tamara 🙂

      Reply
  11. Rea

    This post is super original! Love the whole idea of writing about and for the gay community. And yes, I agree that Berlin is a really good place to mingle around and meet new people whether you are gay or not. I loved this city, its “openess” and its diversity.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Right on!

      Reply
  12. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

    What a terrific comprehensive guide! I never even knew there was a Mr. bnb. That is a great idea and I’m sure has helped many gay travelers feel more comfortable. I’ll have to pass that tip along to my friends. That drag show looks so fun!

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Jackie

      Reply
  13. melody pittman

    Well apparently I missed all the fun stuff in Berlin! Wow, what a great guide. I had no idea that Berlin was the first ever gay village. Never would have guessed in a million years. You guys have so much fun! Take me along some time! 😉

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Melody – would love you to join us 🙂

      Reply
  14. Rosemary

    What a great guide. Definitively saving your tips and recommendations. Didn’t know about Mister Airbnb – about time 🙂 Looks like you guys had a really great time! Great read 🙂

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Rosemary 🙂

      Reply
  15. Tess Andrade

    A sex toy box? In a hotel? OMG. I’m so curious now :)))))) Looks like you guys had a LOT and I mean a LOT of fun! As always you have the most awesomest photographs that make me chuckle every time! And those hotels…………keep living the dream guys! You’re doing it right.

    P.s.: What was in the box??????

    Reply
  16. Laura Lynch

    Again you’ve managed to find some of the best food in town too. I like the look of this place. It looks really fun. But then, you guys have a way of making everything look fun.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Awwww thanks Laura – you’re a sweetie xxxxxx

      Reply
  17. Nisha

    A great and really comprehensive guide. Informative too! I’ve never been to Berlin but it’s high on my list.

    Liked the fact that AirBnB is present there. Those hostels, not for us but yes liked perspective. 🙂

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Nisha

      Reply
  18. Shiv

    Please tell me that the lady in the mddle of both of you is actually a wax model. Please tell me?

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Ha ha ha – why that’s Epiphany the famous drag queen 🙂

      Reply
  19. WILLIAM M O'CONNELL

    My favorite place to stay in Schöneberg is ArtHotel Connection. Right on Fuggerstrasse. Funky. Friendly staff.

    Glad you mentioned Scwules Museum. One must-see you left out, the gay holocaust memorial, in Tiergarten directly across the street from the main (Jewish) holocaust memorial. A must see for any gay visitor to Berlin.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks William

      Reply
  20. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Stefan,

    Wow what a hopping scene!

    And you guys are always having fun too.

    Great post, great presentation, as always 😉

    Ryan

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thanks Ryan 🙂

      Reply
  21. AHMET BUĞRA TOKMAKOĞLU

    What a great job. Thanks for information.

    Reply
    • Stefan Arestis

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply

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