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.