Cologne Gay Travel Guide & Map 2021

Upcoming Events in Cologne

|  18 November – 23 December 2021
Heavenue 2021: Cologne's annual Xmas market for gays and friends and open-minded people. Bratwurst, hot wine punch and stage shows. Located between the gay 'Bermuda triangle' at Schaafenstraße and the big Christmas market at Rudolfplatz.
Monday-Thursday 16:00 – 22:00, Friday-Sunday 14:00 – 22:00.
@ Mauritiuswall/Schaafenstraße
|  24 February – 2 March 2022
Cologne Street Carnival 2022: 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...
|  2 May 2022
Werq The World 2022: the stars from RuPaul's Drag Race on tour in Cologne with their new show.
@ Lanxess Arena (Willy-Brandt-Platz 3)
|  26 May 2022
Come Together Cup 2022: annual charity football tournament with over 70 amateur teams from many different groups in Cologne and around.
@ Vorwiesen RheinEnergieStadion
|  17 September 2022
Run of Colours 2022: annual charity-run in support of Aidshilfe Köln.
5 km and 10 km
@ Harry-Blum-Platz (Rheinauhafen Köln)

Accommodation Tip

Hotel. From 90 €
New modern hotel with a big lounge bar in vintage style. Located close to clubs and parties such as Greenkomm.
@ 79-83 Hohenzollernring
Cologne 50672
U: Friesenplatz

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.