If you only have 2 days in Berlin, you shouldn’t waste time trying to find out where you can find other cute guys like you. So here is my first tip: stay in the Schönenberg district, in southwestern Berlin. The closer to the Nollendorfplatz subway station the better. The city is the second largest capital in Europe and has many venues where homosexuals gather together, but Schönenberg is certainly where they are most welcome. You’ll feel that as soon as you start walking by a wide range of restaurants, bars, grocery stores and sex shops with tailor-made leather and rubber clothing on the shop windows.
Gay-friendly hotel in Berlin
A gay-friendly hotel with good reputation near the station is called Tom’s and lies at Motzstrasse 19. The hotel will spoil you providing free internet access, breakfast until 5pm and even a pass entitling you to get discounts in the neighborhood.
If you weren’t coming alone to Berlin, I would recommend the RoB Berlin Leather Apartments, at Fuggerstrasse 19. It’s also close to Nollendorfplatz and definitely a nice place to spend the night on someone’s company, but consider yourself lucky if you find a vacant apartment there.
Cruising and sightseeing
After exploring the hotel’s surrounding area, walk to Tiergarten, a huge park where many nudists feel at home during the summer.
One of the most popular cruising spots of Berlin is right there at the park, more specifically on its western side, opposite to the Siegelsäule. This imposing monument with a statue of an angel on the top is also the core of gay parades.
Walking eastwards along the 17.June Street, you will reach Brandenburger Tor, the city’s post card and the most popular check point while the wall divided the city in 2 different worlds.
I know you’ll be tempted to keep on walking around, but here is my advice: return to Nollendorfplatz and stop in the prestigious Café Berio, at Maaßenstrasse 7, before you go back to your hotel.
You will need to save energy for the big party, so take a nap and don’t bother leaving before 1am.
Your destination is the Panorama Berghain, a huge nightclub set in an old factory at Am Writzener Bahnhof. Get there taking the U-1 subway at Nollendorfplatz and getting off at Warschauerstrasse subway station. Then ask for directions and walk 10 minutes. Here is an important tip: stay cool on the lineup. The doormen are famous for barring people who are loud or even too well-dressed.
The club tends to get packed on Saturday night and everything is possible on its dance floors, in the dark rooms and mixed bathrooms. The party goes on after the sunrise, but you can also just leave it in the morning and walk a few blocks to the Kit Kat, at Köpenikerstrasse 76. This is a smaller nightclub, but still has 4 different environments, including a lounge with an outdoor pool.
The Kit Kat’s community has played a very important role for over a decade in the gay scenario of Berlin, so it’s worth passing by after 8am, when the Afterhour starts and the dress code is forgotten.
As you might be half-dead on Sunday, here is a light, yet interesting program: visit the Flohmarkt am Mauerpark, a stylish second-hand market and meeting point for many young adults from the early morning until late in the afternoon.
Other than old stuff, you will find new exclusive clothes and several options to have a coffee or lunch in a contagious laid back atmosphere. The closest subway stations are Bernauerstrasse (U8) and Eberswalderstrasse (U2).
To end your weekend, I’d suggest you to relax in one of the gay saunas of Berlin. The Treibhaus is located at Schönhauser Allee 132, very close to the ‘Flohmarkt’. You can spend some time in the bar before you go upstairs to the wet or dry saunas. In case you’re no longer alone at this point, you should get one of the private cabins and enjoy your time.
If you decide not to go to the flea market, I recommend the Apollo Sauna Club Brasil, which lies at Kurfürstenstrasse 101, about 10 blocks from the Nollendorfplatz station. The greatest thing there is the foam party that usually takes place on Sunday afternoon.
After that, I’ll leave it up to you. Have fun, stay safe and don’t forget to pack and take good memories of this weekend with you.
Photo of hotel room courtesy of Tom’s Hotel Berlin