Magic Cities

for the LGBT community

Berlin is reputed to be the third biggest gay city in Europe, and in Cologne men kissing and women holding hands are as much a part of the scenery as the famous cathedral.

The LGBT scene is also firmly enshrined in the cultural life of the other Magic Cities where there are events such as parades and parties to mark Christopher Street Day, Pink Monday at the Biggest Funfair on the Rhine in Düsseldorf, or Pink Christmas in Munich, which is popular with everyone, whatever their sexual persuasion.

Special guides in many cities ensure that visitors find their way around the gay scene.

Discover and experience Germany

Frankfurt - lost in the Bermuda Triangle

The 'Bermuda Triangle' is located to the north and east of the Zeil pedestrian precinct in the heart of Frankfurt. This unofficial gay and lesbian district boasts the greatest concentration of gay and lesbian venues in the city.

The broadest range of amenities for gay and lesbian visitors can be found in the city-centre district bounded by Konstablerwache, Bleichstrasse and Eschenheimer Turm, which is known as the Bermuda Triangle. From Zum Schwejk, a traditional old pub, to popular bars and clubs such as Piper Red Lounge, Friends and Lucky's LM27 to InsideHer, Germany's only sex shop exclusively for women, all tastes are catered for.

At Bar Central, electro and alternative music plays into the small hours as the bar becomes ever more crowded. If it's still too early to go home, a trip to The Stall is called for. Entry to this leather bar with dark room is for men only.

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Christopher Street Day in Frankfurt

In feather boas, leather gear or normal clothes, a diverse range of gays and lesbians always celebrate Christopher Street Day. This three-day gay pride event with a grand parade, street celebrations and varied programme of shows and music is both a party and a political statement.

For three days, the Christopher Street Day events fill Frankfurt with booming music and bright colours. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and straights campaign for equality and acceptance. Every year, on the Saturday of CSD weekend the three-hour long parade pours through the city centre to converge on Konstablerwache where the party really gets going, sustained by international food and drink. Music from the stage transforms the market square into a dance floor where everyone struts their stuff – young or old, male or female, gay or straight. The party continues into the night in the surrounding bars and clubs. An annual ecumenical memorial service at the protestant Lutherkirche church is also a firm fixture of Christopher Street Day.

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Frankfurt for females

Women and lesbian couples also feel at home in Frankfurt. With an exclusively female clientele, La Gata is Germany's oldest women's bar and is a cross between a club and a restaurant.

Frankfurt's La Gata opened in 1971, making it the oldest women's bar in Germany. Today, it holds regular karaoke and darts evenings. On weekdays and Saturdays it is only open to women, but on Sundays the bar allows ladies to bring their male friends along.

Frankfurt am Main is home to around 40,000 to 50,000 men and women who describe themselves as homosexual, bisexual or transgender, so information and advice centres are as much a part of the city as its skyscrapers. The LIBS lesbian information and advice centre is the focal point for women.

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Leipzig – open to all

Hetero, homo, don't know – everyone is welcome in Leipzig. The scene is young – and the city is tolerant.

In Leipzig, the city of the peaceful revolution, there is certainly no problem with intolerance. Nor with discretion at venues such as Stargayte, Europe's biggest gay sauna which really is like a gateway to another world. Covering an area of around 2,600 square metres, its gay saunas, gay cinema and gay bar all stay open continuously from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.

For slightly more innocuous fun, there is the popular PonyClub series of parties, a mixture of children's birthday party and queer city spectacle. KissKissBangBang is another regular gay party night at the TwentyOne club in the city centre – it starts at 10pm every Friday.

The RosaLinde Leipzig Association publishes an annual gay guide with useful information about the scene in Leipzig.

www.leipzig.travel

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Glamorous Dresden

Sensuous beauty is all around in Dresden. If you look carefully enough, lots of homoerotica can be found in the Dresden State Art Collections and even dotted around the city.

Diamonds are NOT ONLY a girl's best friend – Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony, amassed a fabulous collection of jewellery that he stored in the Green Vault, a treasure trove that occupies two stories of the Residenz palace. The classical sculptures in the Dresden collections enchanted Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the gay founder of modern archaeology, when he lived in Dresden. Dresden's most prominent gay early 20th century artist was Sascha Schneider, whose works showing ideals of male beauty can be admired in the Albertinum museum, the Karl May Museum and in the park at Eckberg Castle. Ballet performances at Dresden's Semper Opera House also radiate voluptuous sensuality and perfect beauty.

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Dresden's gay scene – small is beautiful

Dresden has a modest but vibrant gay and lesbian scene that is largely concentrated in the Neustadt side of the river Elbe. Its bars, saunas, cinemas and leather clubs offer everything that gays – and also lesbians – expect in a cosmopolitan city.

Actually, all the bars in Dresden's Neustadt district are gay-friendly – some are also hetero-friendly, such as Boys Bar in Alaunstrasse which runs different themed evenings, Valentinos café and new Queens & Kings. If you call in at the Bunker, where the Dresden Leather Club meets on a Friday or Saturday night, be prepared for fetishism, leather, rubber and uniforms. Man's Paradise gay sauna in Friedensstrasse also offers a range of options for relaxation and enjoyment. Nearby Sappho in Hechtstrasse is popular with lesbians.

The performances at Carte Blanche drag revue theatre are legendary. Street parties and demos/parades to mark Christopher Street Day have been held in Dresden for a number of years, usually in early June.

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Hamburg - gay events and 'in' parties

Hamburg is a buzzing travel destination, with countless restaurants and cafés to sample in the 'gay village' of St. Georg as well as the party district of St. Pauli, not to mention the added attraction of numerous gay events.

As well as the famous – and infamous – Reeperbahn in St. Pauli, gays and lesbians flock to the St Georg district for the nightlife and to see and be seen. The hottest spots are Kyti Voo on Lange Reihe and Olivia Jones Bar on Grosse Freiheit run by a famous German drag queen of the same name.

Hamburg also has plenty of gay events on the calendar, such the International Queer Film Festival, which is not only Germany's oldest gay film festival, but also one of the leading festivals of its kind in Europe.

Gays and lesbians first took to the streets of Hamburg as part of Christopher Street Day back in 1980 – out and proud and loudly proclaiming their rights.

The St. Georg district festival along Lange Reihe street is renowned for its huge diversity, with a wide range of music organised by local restaurateurs and entertainment of all kinds.

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Huge range of Hamburg hotels

A good night's sleep is vital if you are on the move exploring the city. Hamburg offers a broad range of stylish accommodation – with some particularly extravagant and boutique hotels.

Whether smart or over-the-top, affordable or luxurious, Hamburg's hotels have something for everyone.

The 25hours Hotel Hamburg HafenCity is in the hyper-modern HafenCity district and its cabin-style rooms reflect the stories of 25 sailors from all over the world.

The George Hotel Hamburg is in the St. Georg district very close to Outer Alster lake. Its décor is typically British with an English-style garden, library and flamboyant wallpaper. In the city centre, the luxurious SIDE hotel offers top quality accommodation with fantastic views.

The stylish EAST boutique hotel located in a street that runs parallel to the Reeperbahn provides a sophisticated Asian ambiance in Hamburg's St. Pauli district.

The elegant and imposing 21-storey Empire Riverside Hotel towers over St. Pauli and features Skybar 20up at the dizzy heights of its 20th floor.

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Hamburg's cultural and architectural highlights

Take a walking tour of Hamburg to discover its architectural features, and enjoy cultural gems such as the Deichtor Halls with the House of Photography, contemporary art exhibitions and the Falckenberg Collection of modern art installations housed in a former factory.

Take a walking tour of Hamburg to discover its architectural features, and enjoy cultural gems such as the Deichtor Halls with the House of Photography, contemporary art exhibitions and the Falckenberg Collection of modern art installations housed in a former factory.

The imposing Chilehaus building constructed of red clinker bricks, reminiscent of a ship's prow, and the Venetian-style Alster arcades represent just two of the varied architectural styles and periods encountered on almost every corner in Hamburg. From the picture-book to the palatial, great architects have left a fine legacy in all parts of the city. Visits to HafenCity, Europe's largest urban construction project, and the Dancing Towers on the Reeperbahn are essential for fans of modern architecture.

Art lovers can enjoy a wide variety of pictures and exhibitions at the Deichtor Halls in Hamburg, one of Europe's largest indoor art exhibition spaces. The House of Photography hosts special international photographic exhibitions while the Falckenberg Collection shows works by artists such as Paul Thek and Robert Wilson as well as featuring pieces from the collection and staging themed shows.

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Fine dining

In terms of food and drink, Stuttgart has two styles that visitors appreciate in equal measure. One is exquisite and much acclaimed, while the other is regional and more down to earth.

Délice, Olivo, Speisemeisterei, Restaurant Top Air, Wielandshöhe, Zirbelstube. In terms of numbers, Stuttgart's award-winning restaurants rank fourth in Germany behind Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. Visitors arriving by plane can taste their first gourmet meal soon after landing at the airport. Master chef Mario Urru has been cooking at Restaurant Top Air, Europe's only Michelin-starred airport restaurant, since 1995. The Top Air won its star in 1991. TV chef Vincent Klink is also reaching for the skies at the Wielandshöhe restaurant. High above the city, guests not only enjoy good food, they also get a fantastic view of Stuttgart.

Rustic wine taverns such as the Kachelofen in western Stuttgart are perfect for a relaxing evening with a glass of wine and typical Swabian fare. Visitors to the redesigned Viniculture Museum in Stuttgart-Uhlbach can find out more about Stuttgart's wine-growing history before rounding off their visit by tasting some delicious regional wines.

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Discover Stuttgart's museums and theatres

The Mercedes-Benz and Porsche automotive museums in Stuttgart, the home of the motor car, should not be missed. The Stuttgart Theatre and the Renitenz Theatre stage events that appeal specifically to members of the LGBT community.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is the only museum in the world to explore the full 126-year history of the automotive industry, from its infancy to the present day. The Porsche Museum was opened in 2009. Not just anywhere, but right on Porscheplatz square. This is where sports cars bearing the Stuttgart Rössle (horse) on their bonnets have been produced since 1950.

Miss Wommy Wonder, southern Germany's most acclaimed drag queen, makes guest appearances at the Stuttgart Theatre and presents a show featuring cabaret, comedy, drag acts and chanson. Stand-up comedian and entertainer Robert Kreis regularly appears at the Renitenz Theatre where his audiences enjoy decadent comedy and black humour.

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Young designers and elegant boutiques

Stuttgart is a shopaholic's paradise, with a shopping street over 1km in length and numerous elegant shops and boutiques.

Düsseldorf's lively Königstrasse shopping boulevard, which extends for more than one kilometre, is lined with specialist shops, department stores, international fashion chains, cafés, restaurants and quiet zones. It starts at the main train station, forms Europe's longest pedestrian shopping area and runs right through Schlossplatz, the heart of the city. Here you can shop till you drop, but you can also take time out in style.

To the left and right of Königstrasse there are other prestigious thoroughfares such as Eberhardstrasse, Stiftstrasse and the chic Calwer Strasse with its elegant shops and boutiques. Garish fashion and most of the young designers can be found in the Gerberviertel district. The Bohnenviertel district is awash with art dealers, wonderful antiques and collectables shops, quaint wine taverns and lively pavement cafés. For decades, Breuninger, the name of Stuttgart's leading clothing store, has been associated with top-quality clothes and a wide range of upmarket goods, plus the excellent fashion advice that makes shopping there so enjoyable.

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Düsseldorf - warmly recommended

Düsseldorf, the cosmopolitan city on the Rhine, presents itself to its visitors as welcoming, exciting and tolerant, with something for everyone, whatever their taste. Düsseldorf's gay scene may be compact but it is bigger than you think. And the community is definitely diverse, dynamic and with the Rainbow carnival association, a valued presence in the annual carnival festivities.

The gay scene's most popular and most visible events are the Queers Parade during carnival, Christopher Street Day in the summer and the traditional Pink Monday at the Biggest Funfair on the Rhine. The community always meets there on the Monday, wearing gaudy fancy dress, which creates a colourful spectacle. The epicentres of the party are the Schwarzwald Christel bar and the Füchschen brewery tent.

Our Gay Guide with full information about the gay scene and tips about all aspects of a perfect city break can be downloaded here: http://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/en/gays-and-lesbians/

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Hannover's LGBT hotspots

Hannover is uninhibited and cosmopolitan, with special venues for every persuasion, from gay bistros, cosy cafés, gay bars and meeting places to a lesbian cultural and entertainment centre complete with bar. The disco and party scene is also not to be missed.

A popular meeting place for gays and lesbians is Café Konrad in Hannover's old town. It's easy to find because there's a metal sign depicting Ralf König's cartoon character Konrad hanging outside the timber-framed house which was built in 1646. Other haunts include the Martinos gay café, Le Fiacre and Burgklause, Hannover's oldest gay bar. The Schwule Sau, a gay and lesbian culture and entertainment centre, holds Two Girls One Club parties for women. Now something of an institution, there is also the sensational gay marathon party at the world's biggest Schützenfest fair where the Gaypeople Tent – with dance floor and drag shows – attracts fans partygoers from all over Germany. The StörenFrida women's and lesbian bar holds film screenings and talks and also provides space for debates.

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LGBT events, festivals & parties in Hannover

Hannover is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse programme of entertainment. Countless visitors are attracted by major events, festivals and traditional funfairs in the city as well as by outstanding events in the surrounding region.

Mega-concerts at the AWD Arena, the park stage, the TUI Arena and the AWD Hall attract fans from all over Germany and beyond. The city centre is transformed into a gigantic open-air stage when more than 250,000 music fans dance along at Fête de la Musique, while it becomes a jazz centre during the 'enercity swinging hannover' festival in late spring. The BootBooHook and MASALA open-air festivals are also attracting increasingly large numbers of visitors. In summer, the Maschsee Festival brings a touch of the Mediterranean to the lakeshore, with infectious music, children's activities and food and drink – a real party atmosphere on the promenade. Hundreds of thousands of people have a ball on the spectacular fairground rides and in the party tents at the world's biggest Schützenfest fair. The Festival Weekend at Lake Steinhude is another fantastic event with illuminated boats on the lake and fireworks lighting up the sky.

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Hannover's open spaces

Hannover has a surprising number of parks, forests and lakes, including the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, Eilenriede city forest and Lake Maschsee, providing excellent places for rest and recreation close to the city.

Hannover's open spaces offer exceptional opportunities for relaxation, for admiring the scenery, walking, swimming, hiking or cycling. The Great Garden with its spectacular fountains and water features is lovely and cool on a summer day and the idyllic Berggarten provides plenty of quiet spots to relax in. Lots of people use the Georgengarten, which is laid out in the style of an English country park, to meet friends or play games and sports. The shores of Lake Maschsee, Hannover's most attractive body of water, are ideal for strolling, jogging, inline skating and cycling, and the lake itself is great for water sports. Ricklingen ponds and numerous other lakes offer opportunities for walking and swimming, while Eilenriede forest, which is large and wonderfully shady, provides a haven of green in the city. Destinations outside the city include the Deister hills, the southern stretches of the Leine river, the Wedemark region and Lake Steinhude.

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Cologne for gays and lesbians

According to Cologne's carnival constitution, 'It takes all sorts to make a world' – which is one reason why Cologne is known as the gay and lesbian capital of Germany. The LGBT scene in Cologne is diverse with a distinctive nightlife as well as special festivals and events.

There are plenty of good reasons why Cologne is known as the gay and lesbian capital of Germany. People in Cologne are down to earth, sometimes a bit outspoken, chatty, life-affirming and open-minded. This attitude is reflected in the sayings that they often use, such as 'Live and let live' or' It takes all sorts...', pithy expressions of the city's legendary tolerance.

One in every ten inhabitants of Cologne is attracted to his or her own sex and the deep roots of the gay scene are reflected in the huge number of establishments catering for gay and lesbian customers, from relaxed cafés and restaurants to stylish bars and clubs.

Cologne Tourist Office's Out in Cologne brochure contains information about the wide range of activities on offer. More information about ColognePride, the CSD Parade and associated events can be obtained from the Cologne Tourist Office or by visiting: www.koelntourismus.de and www.colognepride.de.

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Munich for gays and lesbians

Munich's traditional colours of blue and white are joined by pink and all the colours of the rainbow. The city's cosmopolitan outlook and international feel coupled with traditional Bavarian hospitality and a mediterranean atmosphere attract millions of visitors every year.

'Live and let live'. A vibrant, self-confident gay/lesbian scene adds its own nuances to the Munich mix. The city's gay/lesbian life is mainly concentrated in the Glockenbach and Gärtnerplatz districts, but there are also pretty boys and girls, and more attractions, in other locations. Museums and palaces, beer gardens and river banks - Munich has everything and more for the ultimate city break.

Regular gay events take place throughout the year, from the Rose Monday carnival ball, Christopher Street Day street party in Hans Sachs Strasse and Gay Sunday at the Oktoberfest to Pink Christmas. In 2004, Munich hosted the EuroGames, living up to its reputation as a tolerant, open-minded city.

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LGBT scene in Nuremberg

The first port of call in Nuremberg is the Fliederlich gay and lesbian centre located at Breite Gasse 76 in the pedestrian area. Events are held at the Confetti information centre and café, see www.fliederlich.de for times and other details.

The website at www.gaycon.com is also useful. Its Gaycon city navigator lists and describes all of the cool places to see and be seen on the gay scene, including bars, restaurants, shops, events, saunas and clubs.

The Paradies revue theatre is a real gem, a drag queen cabaret venue in a class of its own. For 34 years, beautiful 'girls' in flamboyant costumes have been entertaining audiences with burlesque, live singing, comedy shows and introducing them to the colourful world of the drag queen. Only Hamburg offers anything to match.

Christopher Street Day and the gay-pride parade have long been part of life in the city, but because Nuremberg has always been a bit different, the party goes on for five whole days! www.csd-nuernberg.de The programme would not be complete without the addictive Trällerpfeiffen, Nuremberg's gay male voice choir.

There's also plenty going on at Christmas on the LGBT scene. The NLC gay Christmas market event has now become a tradition. Every year, the highlight is the premiere of a play produced by gay theatre group Schlampenlichter. Performance dates and details of the play are available at schlampenlichter.org.

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Interactive map

Top Events

01-May-2014 - 30-Sep-2014

Hannover -

International Fireworks Competition

17-May-2014 - 05-Oct-2014

Hannover -

Exhebition: The Hanoverians on Britain’s Throne 1714-1837

27-Aug-2014 - 07-Sep-2014

Stuttgart -

Stuttgart Wine Festival

30-Aug-2014 - 14-Sep-2014

Stuttgart -

Stuttgart Music Festival: Bach Academy concerts

03-Sep-2014 - 07-Sep-2014

Berlin -

Berlin Music Week

Discover the Stars of Germany

Discover the Stars of Germany

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Destination Germany

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