The Federal Republic of Germany with its 16 states can be considered the geographical center of Europe. It’s surrounded by France, Luxembourg and the BeNeLux states in the West, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria in the South and Poland, Czechia in the East.
According to the Spartacus Gay Travel Index, Germany ranks among the top 15 LGBT-friendly countries in the world and is known as a very welcoming and gay-friendly country, particularly in the bigger cities.
LGBTQ+ visitors looking for welcoming destinations should visit Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Cologne, as these are considered to be the biggest and gay-friendliest cities of Germany. In fact, the cities, towns and municipalities of Germany organize more than 60 annual gay pride and LGBTQ+ events all around the country.
Why Visit & When to Go?
The best time to visit Germany will depend on what places and activities you’d like to experience. Although, given the cold winters, the spring, summer and autumn months are going to the better times to explore the nature of Germany.
From May to September, visitors have the best chances to catch longer dry, warm and sunny episodes to go hiking in the Central German Uplands, to go camping and swimming in the North Sea or Baltic Sea or plan a city trip to the German cities with their rich cultural heritage and gay pride festivals.
In winter, when most parts of the country are regularly covered in snow, several central German ski resorts and the winter sports areas of the German Alps are open to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and other winter-related activities. Besides winter sports, many German cities and towns know how to brighten up the dark time of the year with their world-famous Christmas markets located across the country.
Interesting Cities to Visit in Germany
Berlin is the largest city in Germany and is considered to be among the most gay-friendly capitals in Europe. Despite the difficult history of being a divided city for over 40 years, Berlin developed a considerable, diverse LGBTQ+ culture including the gay neighborhood Schöneberg and the popular club scene of Berghain and SchwuZ. Good to know for LGBTQ+ travelers: the Pink Pillow collection of LGBTQ+ friendly hotels in Berlin offers a broad variety of gay-friendly hotels all around the city. Throughout the year, Berlin hosts several LGBTQ+ events like the “Motzstraßenfest,” the annual gay pride (CSD/Christopher Street Day) and Folsom Europe.
The Hanseatic city Hamburg in the northwestern part of Germany is the second biggest city of the country with a strong connection to the River Elbe. LGBTQ+ visitors should experience the unique architecture of Hamburg by visiting the modern buildings at the harbor area, the City Hall, the Speicherstadt and the recently opened concert hall, Elbphilharmonie. Hamburg is a popular residence city for LGBTQ+ people in Germany, offering a gay-friendly environment with several events around the year like the Harbour Pride in May, the Leather Pride in August and the Winter Pride in November or December.
With over 1.4 million inhabitants, the Bavarian city Munich is the third-largest city in Germany. Bavaria’s capital city is internationally known for its beer, local cuisine, traditional culture and, of course, the annual beer festival Oktoberfest. Besides the culinary highlights, Munich has a considerable lively gay scene primarily located around the city center district of Glockenbachviertel. LGBTQ+ visitors should put the annual gay pride weekend “CSD München,” the Queer Film Weekend “Verzaubert” and other gay events during Oktoberfest on their must-see list.
Located close to the Belgium and Dutch border, the city of Cologne is located on both sides of the huge Rhine River. It’s the city of the famous Kölsch beer and part of Europe’s major metropolitan area Rhine-Ruhr. The fourth-biggest city of Germany is a well-known hotspot for the LGBTQ+ community and visitors alike. The gay life covers an area of two districts with the main area around Rudolfplatz, also named as Cologne’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’ and in the Old Town. The gay pride in Cologne is the largest annual pride event in Germany and one of the largest in Europe, and is worth noting for lesbian visibility as well.
Frankfurt is Germany’s business and financial capital. It’s located in the center of the country with an impressive skyline that stands in contrast with the historic buildings of the city center. It also has the largest airport of Germany, Frankfurt International, operating flights around the world and connecting to nearly all national airports. The city is an international hub for the LGBTQ+ community with a lively diverse gay scene, attracting a very international crowd. One of the biggest gay events in Frankfurt is the annual CSD, Gay Pride Frankfurt.
There is certainly a lots of stuff for everyone to see in Germany. Very importantly, it is very safe and friendly travel destination for gay and lesbian travelers.
Maybe the link on photo below can provide you with an idea what to see