Gay Guide to Berlin: Bars, Saunas, and Cruising in Europe’s Most Open City

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is renowned for its rich history, vibrant nightlife, and inclusive, diverse culture. This city celebrates freedom and tolerance, reflected in its thriving LGBTQ+ scene. In this Gay Guide to Berlin, we will explore Berlin’s gay history, neighborhoods, main attractions, accommodations, bars, clubs, saunas, and much more. If you’re planning a trip to Berlin, this guide will help you discover the city’s best gay spots.

A Brief Gay History of Berlin

Berlin’s gay history dates back over a century. In the 1920s, Berlin was considered Europe’s metropolis with the most vibrant and diverse gay subculture. However, this golden era came to an abrupt end in 1933 with Hitler and the Nazis’ rise to power. Despite adversities, Berlin’s gay community has persevered and thrived, making the city a beacon of freedom and acceptance.

Berlin’s Gay Neighborhoods and Main Attractions

Berlin is a city of neighborhoods, each with its unique character and charm. Some of the most popular neighborhoods among the gay community are Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, and Prenzlauer Berg. These neighborhoods are filled with LGBTQ+-oriented bars, clubs, and shops.

One of Berlin’s main gay attractions is Berghain, a nightclub set up in a former power station that has gained a global reputation for its electronic music and inclusive atmosphere. Another notable venue is SchwuZ, Berlin’s largest LGBTQ+ club, known for its themed events and almost festival-like ambiance.

Gay Accommodations in Berlin

Berlin offers a wide range of gay-friendly accommodations. Here are a few examples:

Axel Hotel Berlin: Located in the Schöneberg district, known as Berlin’s gay district, this hotel offers modern rooms and a rooftop terrace with panoramic city views. Address: Lietzenburger Str. 13/15, 10789 Berlin, Germany. Website: Axel Hotel Berlin

Tom’s Hotel: Situated in the heart of Schöneberg, this men-only hotel features themed rooms and a relaxed atmosphere. Address: Motzstraße 19, 10777 Berlin, Germany.

Hotel Sachsenhof: Located in Schöneberg, this hotel is known for its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff. It also offers a gay bar in the basement. Address: Motzstraße 7, 10777 Berlin, Germany. Website: Hotel Sachsenhof

Gay Bars and Clubs in Berlin

Berlin is famous for its nightlife, and its gay bars and clubs are no exception. Some of the most popular ones include Blond, a cozy bar in Schöneberg, and Woof, known for its bear clientele. Additionally, Tom’s Bar is a Schöneberg landmark, ideal for those visiting Berlin for the first time. Here are some notable gay bars in Berlin with their descriptions and websites:

Bar Saint Jean: This small basement bar has become one of the most popular meeting spots for gay men in Mitte and its surroundings. Address: Ziegelstraße 29. Website: Bar Saint Jean

Bärenhöhle: This is a bear bar for bears and friends in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. It’s a smoker’s bar and is very popular among the local community. Address: Schönhauser Allee 90. Website: Bärenhöhle

BarbieBar: Located in Berlin Kreuzberg, BarbieBar is a very extravagant bar with a glamorous atmosphere. Address: Mehringdamm, 77. Website: BarbieBar

Betty F: This bar has made a name for itself as a popular address in Mitte. It’s known for its lively atmosphere and diverse clientele. Address: Mulackstraße, 13. Website: Betty F

Mann-O-Meter: Although not a bar in the traditional sense, Mann-O-Meter is an information and meeting center for the gay community in Berlin. Address: Bülowstraße 106. Website: Mann-O-Meter

SchwuZ: A well-known gay bar in Neukölln with three dance floors and special themed events. So much fun! Located at Rollbergstraße 26. Website:

Gay Cruising Bars in Berlin

For those interested in the cruising scene, Berlin has much to offer. Lab.Oratory, located in Berghain’s basement, is probably the city’s best sex bar, with numerous themed nights. Another notable venue is New Action, a fetishist cruising bar for lovers of leather, latex, uniforms, and sportswear.

Lab.Oratory: Am Wriezener bhf, 10243 Berlin. Website: Lab.Oratory
New Action: Kleiststraße 35, 10787 Berlin. Website: New Action

Gay Saunas in Berlin

If you’re looking to relax and meet new people, Berlin’s gay saunas are the perfect place. Der Boiler is the most visited gay sauna in all of Europe, known for its clean and modern atmosphere. It’s known for its modern facilities, including a large pool, sauna, steam room, and relaxation areas. The sauna also hosts various events and parties throughout the year. Address: Mehringdamm 34. Website: Der Boiler


Berlin is a city that celebrates diversity and freedom, and this is reflected in its vibrant gay scene. With its rich history, character-filled neighborhoods, cozy accommodations, lively bars and clubs, cruising spots, and relaxing saunas, Berlin is a must-visit destination for any LGBTQ+ traveler. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, partying, or relaxation, Berlin has it all. We hope this guide helps you plan your trip and discover all that Berlin has to offer!

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