Cologne Gay Travel Guide & Map 2020

Upcoming Events in Cologne

|  11 November 2020
Cancelled: Carnival season opening: at 11:11 a.m. in the Old Town and then in many bars and clubs all over Cologne.
|  18 – 22 November 2020
ART COLOGNE 2020: annual international trade fair for modern and contemporary art.
11:00 – 18:00/19:00 @ Koelnmesse (Köln-Deutz)
|  25 – 29 November 2020
Cancelled: Bear Pride Cologne 2020: annual international bear's meeting with parties, bar nights, saunas, sightseeing tours and the Mr. Bear Germany contest.
|  11 – 17 February 2021
Cancelled: Cologne Street Carnival 2021: The mad days in Cologne last for 6 days and start on ›Weiberfastnacht‹ – the Thursday before Carnival Monday. Streets, trains, trams and pubs are crowded with people – many of them with costumes – drinking, flirting, singing, swinging & swaying. Sunday afternoon sees the school group and borough parades, but the highlight of the Cologne Carnival is the kilometre-long procession on ›Rosenmontag‹ (Rose Monday). The Carnival ends in the night from Tuesday to Ash Wednesday when at midnight dolls called ›Nubbel‹ are burned all over the city – the Nubbel symbolizes the scapegoat responsible for all the sins commited during the Carnival days...
|  30 May – 13 June 2021
lit.COLOGNE 2021: annual international literature festival with readings, theatre and panels.
|  2 – 4 July 2021
Cologne Gay Pride 2021: with the parade on Sunday afternoon and the street festival from Friday till Sunday in the Old Town of Cologne.

About Cologne and its gay life

Although situated in Western Germany, Cologne is sometimes called the ›most southern city of Germany‹. That is partly because the people in Cologne tend to be more easy-going and approachable than in other German cities. And they love to imitate the Southern European lifestyle – as soon as two rays of sunshine hit the city you will see some tables outside in front of many cafes and bars.

Cologne had been extensively destroyed during World War II. And the paradigm of the first after-war and ›Wirtschaftswunder‹ decades to replace everything old by something new unfortunately did the rest to prevent Cologne from becoming one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in Germany. For the sight-seeing traveller it hasn't much to offer besides the Cathedral, an UNESCO World Heritage site, a wide range of high quality art galleries and museums, and a few other attractions.

But Cologne more than compensates for this with its more friendly and easy-going atmosphere. As one result Cologne became the gay capital of the western part of Germany. Its big rival in the East, Berlin, is bigger, more dynamic and vibrant, which makes the Cologne gay scene look more provincial – but Cologne is also more familiar and warmer.

Our Cologne Gay Map shows the two major gay areas in Cologne: Many of the cafes, bars and clubs around Rudolfplatz have started during the last twenty years and have a rather modern style. Traditional pubs and bars for mixed ages are located mainly in the Old Town.

If you like your travel destinations crowded and with a million people partying on the streets and in the pubs, then the Carnival in winter and the Cologne Gay Pride in summer are made for you.

Other popular annual queer events and highlights in Cologne are the Fetish Pride week in May or June and the Bear Pride weekend in November.