The fun-loving culture in Cologne welcomes with arms wide open anyone who is able to buy a Kölsch, which probably goes some way to explaining why the LGBT community from all over Germany and beyond come here for a great night out. The gay scene in town has two centres: the young and trendies go to all the bars and clubs around Rudolfpltaz-Schaafenstrasse and the older, leather-scene guys hang out in the Heumarkt-Mathiasstrasse in the Altstadt. What follows is our picks for the best of the best.
This cozy bar is the mother of all gay bars in Cologne, in the sense that it is where all the pretty young things drink and flirt well into the wee small hours. There is a happy hour every night to get the party started. Food and music as you would expect with the occasional injection of Schlager – a special sort of cheesy German folk pop.
Exile is another one of the big players on Schaafenstraße trifecta. The neat and non-kitsch décor, rotating DJs and friendly bartenders keep the vibe chill and stress-free at Exile but don’t make the mistake of thinking that means it’s a bunch of old guys who don’t know how to have fun. There is at least 1 big party a month to keep things hopping.
If cruising is on the agenda for the evening, then Station 2b is the place to be. More than 400 square meters (4300 square feet) over two floors will provide plenty of opportunity to suss out the situation. Upstairs there’s a bar, dance floor and stage. Downstairs, a play area with cabins, a maze, slings, a dark room and glory holes awaits those up for further adventure. Check the weekly sex party program to see what’s on.
One of the city’s few bars geared towards women and the people that love them. The bar was renovated a few years ago and is now a super chill cocktail bar serving interesting drinks. Though men are allowed to join their female friends for a drink, it’s a majority lesbian crowd.
Ladies that love ladies that love to chill in tiny, neighbourhood bars will find Kattewinkel in up-and-coming Eigelstein to be just what the doctor ordered. There’s regular bingo nights and drag shows but the main vibe is queer gemütlichkeit.
This cafe and cocktail bar is pretty new on the Cologne gay scene, but it has quickly established itself as a place to go with great food and fantastic cocktails. It’s the perfect spot if you want to actually talk to and even hear the people you came with. There’s no dance floor.
If you’re less than 25 and like to dance til you drop, head to Mumu. It’s one of the crazier gay bars in Cologne, but then again, kids these days… With regular karaoke nights, drag parties and a mind-boggling number of other themed evenings and dance parties, there’s always something worth seeing at Mumu. At the vey least, make sure you take a trip to the bathroom.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.