Women walking hand in hand or men kissing in the street do not warrant a second glance in Cologne. One in ten inhabitants of Cologne is attracted to members of their own sex. The huge number of gay and lesbian bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs shows how important and ingrained the scene has become to Cologne.
Later during the night, many gays meet up in one of the bars around Schaafenstraße, where people can be lost for hours. This is why locals have lovingly branded the area the “Bermuda Triangle”. Sip on exotic cocktails in the bar “Iron”, “Maxbar” or “Ixbar”, taste the popular “Mumu Saft” in the manic bar “Die Mumu”, do a detour into the “Exile on Mainstreet” or drink your Kölsch (Cologne beer) until the early hours of the morning in the “Ex- Corner”, which resembles the mother-of-all Cologne bars.
More mature men will particularly enjoy the Altstadt (Old Town), for cosy beer nights in “Cox”, “Hombres”, “Barcelon” or “Baustelle 4U”, for cruising adventures in “Boners”, or “Station 2b”. A younger party-crowd gathers in “Venue”, “Clip” or the recently refurbished “LeCarrousel”, the oldest gay bar in town. A popular alternative for lesbians and their multisexual friends is the “Blue Lounge” on Mathiasstraße with busy parties in a lounging atmosphere.
There is also a small but nice scene around Ebertplatz in the northern part of the city center. In a cosy atmosphere people can dine in “Zum Köbes”, mainly women meet to eat and watch Sunday TV thriller in “Gezeiten”. “Kattwinkel” is very popular among gays and neighbours from the Eigelstein district.
Find out more: Christopher Street Day
Party for women above 30 and their gay friends on two areas, including a stylish lounge area and a dancefloor in the basement, filled with house, dance classics and soul. 4th Friday of the month from 10 p.m. at Café Franck.
Party series with Indiepop, Britpop, Trash and Electro, mostly at the Sensor Club. As themed “Queer, Straight, Not Sure, Rock’n’Roll” the event is for party people of every thinkable orientation. Mostly at 2nd Saturday of the month from 11 p.m. www.myspace.com/backstagediaries
Blue Lounge Tanzbar
A popular club with a timeless ambience for lesbians, gays and friends. Regular parties and many special events. Wednesday to Sunday from 9 p.m. www.blue-lounge.com
Brot & Spiele
A pleasant and mixed crowd dances their heads off on two areas to a great mix of Indie & guitar music on ground level. themed nights for electro Music or 80s classics. Every 3rd Saturday at Werkstatt. www.brotundspiele-party.de
Party in the middle of the week with a hilarious mix of pop, charts and house for a younger gay & lesbian crowd. Wednesdays from 10 p.m. at Loom Club. www.celebrate-cologne.de
The event for bearded guys: impulsive house music presented by the landlord of the “Boners“ and DJ Darko during gaylesbian “bank holidays” such as CSD or Bear Pride, at “Alter Wartesaal”, also during carnival season. www.cock-pit.com
Germany’s biggest gay and lesbian party, which takes place only once a year on Cologne Pride. With a breathtaking view from the terraces over the river Rhine to the cathedral. 7th of July from 10 p.m. at Rheinterrassen. www.colour-cologne.de
DJ Catrin’s popular women’s party with ballroom dancing till 22hrs, then sounds from the 70s till today. Every 1st Saturday of the month from 9 p.m. at Büze Ehrenfeld www.dj-catrin.de
Elle World Party
Cool sounds in glamour surroundings. Lesbians enjoying cocktails, hot outfits and special acts until the early hours of the morning at “Alter Wartesaal“. Irregular dates. www.elle-world.de
Popular party with music from the 70s, 80s and 90s and current charts. Special events on occasions such as New Year’s Eve, carnival, etc. Every 1st Saturday of the month from 10 p.m. at Zeughaus24. www.flashdance-cologne.de
Americanized club night for gays, lesbians and friends with the best US club sounds mixed with European mainstream, charts, pop, R’n’B and vocal house. 5th Saturday of the month from 11 p.m. at Venue www.gaycademy.de
Cologne‘s biggest Halloween Party for gays, lesbians and friends. With the adequate decoration, you will get the creeps till the morning. 31st of October from 10 p.m. at Alter Wartesaal. www.facebook.com/gayoween
Gay Students Night
Students and trainees enjoy the reduced entry at Gay Student Night. House, pop, charts and R’n’B guarantee an ultimate mix of music with a great dance vibe. Every 3rd Saturday of the month from 11 p.m. at Venue. www.gaystudentsnight.de
Goys & Birls
Party for a very mixed indie-minded crowd with queer punk, sex funk, super soul, disco glam and alternative. Irregular dates at Subway www.goysandbirls.de
Unbeatable to 17 years – Cologne’s most popular after hour party for gays and open-minded straights. Listen to progressive and trance and enjoy the large fruit buffet. 1st Sunday of every month from 6 a.m. at Nachtflug. www.greenkomm.de
Experience a bit of the Orient whilst listening to Turkish, Arabic, Greek and other international sounds and indulge into an oriental buffet. Every 4th Saturday of the month from 11 p.m. at Venue. www.homoriental.de
Maydance ist the popular gay and lesbian „Dance into May” party directly at Cologne central station. As a special, each guest can get a professional photo shooting. 30th of April at 10 p.m. at Alter Wartesaal. www.maydance.de
Party for gays and open-minded heteros, with a mix of house,tribal, electro, pop, progressive und classics. Irregular dates. www.nightkomm.de
„Everything becomes Pop“ is the motto of this party which attracts mainly the younger gay audience. Pop music of all kinds for dance floor lovers. Every 1st Saturday of the month from 11 p.m. at Venue. www.poptastic-party.de
Techno Party for a mixed gay and lesbian crowd, including the best of a young DJ scene with local heroes and high-profile guests from Berlin. Irregular dates at varying places. www.facebook.com/pulstarparty
Still existing party for a younger crowd organized by Cologne students for students and those who used to or are going to be. Irregular dates at Unikum www.lusk.de
Cologne’s party hotspot of last years. Each time with several floors, top DJs and many other surprises. A hot night is to be guaranteed. Irregular dates from 11 p.m. at Sartory Hall. www.sexy-cgn.de
Spacious fetish club, exclusively for gay men, with a dance floor and a cruising area downstairs. Leather and house parties on Fridays and Saturdays (dress code). www.station2b.de
A very young crowd boogies to chart sounds and pop. Every 4th Friday from 11 p.m. at Venue. www.facebook.com/twinkylicious
Weekender is the new party for boys and girls between 16 and 27 years. DJ Sean Baker & friends rock the hood with the latest songs. Every 2nd Friday from 9 p.m. at Goldschläger Lounge. www.weekender-cologne.de
Women Pleasure Party
All-round pleasure for women of all walks. Best-of-music mix from Melissa Etheridge to Madonna. Women only. Irregular dates at Bürgerhaus Stollwerck. www.womenpleasure.de
Wir lieben 90er
The best music from the nineties. No matter if it‘s Aqua, Blümchen, Britney Spears or the Vengaboys. Every 3rd Friday from 11 p.m. at Venue. www.facebook.com/wirlieben90er
Photo: Fabian Schmelcher