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Gay capital of Germany?

The city of Cologne (Köln), Germany is known worldwide for its impressive medieval Cathedral and other historic sites, but don’t be fooled. This city has much more to share!

Are you aware that Cologne is also known as “The Gay capital of Germany”? Cologne stands out as one of the most vibrant and inclusive cities for LGBTQI+ individuals in Europe, if not the world.

For visitors, it offers a variety of bars, restaurants, clubs and other LGBTQ friendly shops all around the city. Phonix Sauna and Hennes Terrasse are some of the most renowned bars and restaurants in the city, among many others.

There are two main sections in Cologne where you will find yourself to be in a happier area: Rudolfplatz, known locally as the “Bermuda Triangle”, has a more modern vibe with a selection of cafes, bars and clubs that have been established for the past twenty plus years. The old town, being the second section, is home to more traditional pubs and bars for mixed ages. You will find this area to have a bit more tourists.

Every year in July, Cologne organizes the Gay Pride March aka “Christopher Street Day” (CSD) which is one of the largest European gay pride events that attracts more than a million participants each year.


The city is so gay it is also home to the Gay History Center (Centrum Schwule Geschichte) which has exhibitions about the struggles for equality and sexual freedom.

Cologne was proudly gay long before the rest of the world. The city has a rich history of activism and advocacy. It has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQI+ rights in Germany, with grassroots movements dating back to the early 20th century. Throughout the years, Cologne has witnessed significant milestones, including the founding of one of the country’s first LGBTQI+ organizations, the Homosexual Initiative Cologne, in 1972.

Cologne boasts a vibrant LGBTQI+ nightlife. with a plethora of clubs, bars, and venues catering specifically to queer clientele. One of the city’s most iconic LGBTQI+ establishments is the legendary “Exile,” a historic gay bar located in the heart of the city’s bustling Old Town. Since its founding in the 1960s, Exile has been a beloved fixture of Cologne’s LGBTQI+ scene, known for its welcoming atmosphere and eclectic mix of patrons.

Along with Berlin and Vienna, Cologne also offers the QueerCityPass, a transport ticket that gives you discounts at LGBT venues.

Things to do

Cologne Pride
July 6 to 21

Throughout the year: The Rude Bastards (also in Spanish), Funky Fun (also in Spanish) walking tours brought to you by Can You Handle It? Tours

Or in winter the Winter Wonderland walking tour to go see the Christmas markets

Places to Visit

Bermuda Triangle (Schaafenstraße) clubs: Exile, Hennes Terrasse, Die Mumu, ExCorner
Centrum Schwule Geschichte
Memorial to gay and lesbian victims of the Nazis

Shopping for leather and everything else (😉😉)

MGW Concept Store
Brunos Cologne

Scroll down below for all our Cologne tours!