Known as the "other" gay capital of Germany, Cologne is an absolute MUST on the scene. It may be a little smaller than Berlin, but remember...Size doesn't matter - it's what you do with it that counts!
Not only is Cologne Pride the biggest in Germany, but they're host to so many festivals for our community and allies like the Gay Games, Fetish Pride & Carnival and Bear Pride. Cologne's accepting and friendly nature has allowed a few different LGBTQ+ districts to flourish. In Rudolfplatz you'll find the crowd is a little younger and super on trend, and if you head on over to the stretch between Alter Markt and Heumarkt, you'll find it fetish friendly if you fancy a night with a little more bite!
There's so much choice here in Cologne, I mean, come on! It's Germany, there's steins and schlagers EVERYWHERE! If you want a cosy start to the night with cocktails and a good vibe, check out Ruhrpott, it's even got a fab menu too! Ladies who love the cocktails and their fellow ladies, you've got to check out the Iron Cocktail Lounge and Kattewinkel, some of the coolest lesbian bars around. For cocktails, a little drag and sometimes scantily clad, Amadeaus has events galore and is always a good shout on a night out! Dancing until the wee hours in one of the craziest gay clubs in town? That'll be Mumu! Two of the biggest names that are certainly not to be missed in Cologne are Exile and Ex-Corner - fab places that host some really big nights to keep an eye out for.
lgbt liberation in cologne
Homosexual activity was illegal in the late 19th century but the LGBT community saw brighter days not long after. In fact, Germany had a thriving gay scene prior to WWII. It was in Berlin, then referred to as The Gay Capital of Europe, that the world's first gay magazine was born!
Unfortunately, the Nazi's extended the same laws as the German Empire which resulted in the deaths of thousands of homosexuals during the Holocaust. This was revoked 5 years after the war ended.
It’s been a very long, windy road for the LGBT community in Germany, so we couldn’t be happier that same sex couples now share the privilege of marriage, adoption, military service and gender reassignment with PRIDE. Hold on tight, we’re getting there… 🌈