Where to Find the Best Parties in Cologne

Cologne underground I © Dietmar Temps/Flickr
Cologne underground I © Dietmar Temps/Flickr
Photo of Evelyn Smallwood
28 August 2017

Cologne is most famous for its small bars and pubs but it also has some large world class parties, some of which attract revellers from across Europe. Want to dance with neon headbands to 90s pop? Cologne can make it happen. Perhaps dancing to techno beside a fire breathing dragon is more your thing? No problem. And yes, if dancing in a crowd of several thousand buff shirtless men is more you bag, they have that too. In Germany there is no such thing as last call, so these parties often go to 6 in the morning.


The most legendary club in Cologne is a junkyard turned hipster magnet with several dance floors, a magic school bus, fire breath dragon and music ranging from Goa to Disco. Make sure to check who is spinning before you go. Germans are known for their many variations on the word “techno” and if you prefer swaying to David Guetta and Co. this is not the place for you.

Odonien – Hornstr 85, Cologne, Germany +49 221 9727009

Trash Island bad taste party

If retro pop music is more your jam, check out the Trash Island party. It takes place twice a month in Heinz-Gaul, a club in Cologne’s party district a la “abandoned warehouse”. Upon entry you receive neon glasses or a headband to help with the trashing up. Several rooms cater to different tastes and a bouncy castle, well, let’s be honest, a bouncy castle appeals to everyone.

Heinz-Gaul, Vogelsanger Str. 197, Cologne, Germany +49 221 9920590

The Sexy Party

If wading in a sea of gentleman is the kind of thing that floats your boat, land ho! The Sexy Party is a mainstream gay party which has over the years established itself as one of Northern Europe’s circuit parties. With guests from far and wide, you never know where the cute guy over yonder is from. The party takes place only a handful of times per year, but this gives you plenty of time to save your pennies. Fun on this scale isn’t cheap.

(no fixed address)

Backstage Diaries

One of Cologne’s long standing alternative gay parties, it has a more “queer” vibe with a mix of gays, lesbians, not sure, and their friends. They have two dance floors, one with all the Madonna you can handle and the other with more beat-driven techno. This party takes place once a month at ArTheater in Cologne Ehrenfeld.

ArTheater, Cologne, Germany +49 221 5509960

Flamingo Royal

If you think you are still in Munich and need bottle service with your party, check out Flamingo Royal. In the centre of Cologne this night club is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, with a very mainstream crowd and music to match. So bring your LV clutch, leave your credit card at the bar, and let’s party!

Flamingo Royal – Friesenwall 90, Cologne, Germany +49 177 8846627


For many people in Cologne, Carnival and its music is a year round event. Klapsmühle is legendary for its unwavering commitment to the cheesy carnival song and is lovingly referred to as Cologne’s Dive Bar. If you want to party to Carnival music in July, this place is for you.

Klapsmühle – Cologne, Germany +49 221 56797542

Das Ding

There are two things university students in Cologne learn on their first day: the location of the cafeteria and Das Ding. Over the 40 years old, Das Ding has been a gathering spot for students and it is quite common for ex-students to come back to the city and have a night out at Das Ding to relive their glory days. The vibe is studenty, because it’s for students but if that’s your jam, then heaven awaits.

Das Ding – Cologne, Germany +49 221 246348

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