Flagrant, yet at the same time wet behind the ears, OutUK’s Adrian Gillan dowses himself in
Cologne, or Köln, is Germany’s oldest city. It's now fast becoming its queer capital
and is increasingly affordable with flights under £100.
The RAF may have altered the skyline somewhat years ago, but that old man river of a Rhine
flows timelessly by, beneath the eternal spires of one of the world’s truly great
cathedrals, as cute young jungen and horny herrs flood the streets of
at least two parts of town.
Photography by Günther Ventur.
Courtesy KölnTourismus Office.
BOY BABES AND BEARS
Boy babes head just west of centre to the strassen around Rudolfplatz; the generally
older leather, SM and bear brigade tend to rivet themselves to the queer cluster
in the older quarter just south of the Rathaus (Town Hall). Indeed, with this
two-centre gay getaway, you’ll know in which camp your bovver boot will largely
lodge. There are many more bars than listed here, but this should give you bearings.
Younger guys head for Die Mumu on Schaafenstraße an area of town which is known by locals as the bermuda-triangle.
It's a somewhat crazy full on bar that takes no days off and so there's a lot of partying!
In the same area you'll find Kinkz on Balduinstraße, junction of Schaafenstrasse. It's very much Men Only! as their slogan is "Dont be shy be Kinky'.
They certainly live up to that in this small fetish-friendly gay bar open from Thursday to Saturday.
Barcelon has a mediterranean atmosphere, and offers a gay and lesbian mixed crowd some outdoor space.
Baustelle 4 U on Vor St. Martin is a real Cologne local. Elderly gentleman in the early evenings meet here, and later on it's a popular
late night meeting place for young and old, with some fetish nights being staged.
The nearby, Exile on Main Street also on Schaafenstraße has Germany's blondest drag shows entering the next round with a welcome to ladies, gentlemen and all in between. They boast that The Only Naomy invites you once again to a show where you can barely escape lipstick, hair and heels. Roxy Love from the wonderful Cathedral meets Future Stone from Berlin. Forget Magic Mike live because it's gonna be hot hot hot that your panties will be wet. Yes, it's that sort of a place!
In the other extreme My Lord by Olli is a strange name for a Gay hangout offering beer, cocktails & snacks in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere.
It's very much a bar for gay seniors and their admirers, with a friendly owner and staff that create a nice relaxed atmosphere.
The 3B is a bar for the bear community and that means to them that they are open to everyone. Just as the bear scene developed in the 90s - everyone is as they are, and as they want to be - whether with or without a beard, glasses or belly. The bar at Mühlenbach 53 has a long history and it actually goes back almost 2,000 years, as part of the former Roman city wall that surrounded Cologne is integrated into the bar area. This architectural feature gave the first gay bar at this location its name – the Römerstuben. Many others were to follow. In the 90s, it became Germany's first bear bar under the name of "Cox", and then "Gentle Bears". Now they've relaunched again as The 3B which very roughly includes the names of it's owners - Björn, Bluzie and Frank!
Youth before mature beauty, and a few yards north of Rudolfplatz you’ll stumble
upon some welcoming gay style cafes. Coffee, cake and chatter flow at
Ex-Corner, one of Cologne’s most constantly
packed bar-cum-pubs, with a buzzing vibe and patrons of all ilks and ages and just nearby you'll find
the tiny-yet-cutsy Schampanja and that's also popular with a gay crowd in their 30's and 40's.
Pullermanns is found at Mathiasstraße 22, an address well known to local gay men as it was known as “Bumslokal”
since 1972 or "Platzjabbeck" which roughly translates to "Hands or Boners". Eitherway you can live out your fetish and celebrate your sexuality, while
you meet old and new friends at the bar or chat with the bartender. Be free is their motto - In Pullermanns the leather man meets the man in the suit, the bear and the skater boy sit together at the counter. Whether born in 1940 or 1990, whether completely in rubber or completely naked, everything is possible. The only (but very important) rule of the game is openness, mutual tolerance and acceptance.
Nachteule is a cozy bar between Cologne's Rudolfplatz and Neumarkt which invites you to linger, talk and celebrate. It's very LGBT-friendly with a
rather young clientele.
Amadeus features an energetic, pink-hued gay bar with drinks, cafe bites & drag shows, plus outdoor tables. Being right at the entrance of an U-Bahn station makes it a perfect location for a night out where you can get home easily.
Whatever you hanker, you’ll need some succour. The boys can dine from morn ‘til eve
amongst the charming and spacious specials-all-day available in Quo Vadis. You'll find it at Vor St Martin 8-10,
serving up all those German favourites - everything from Cologne Caviar to Liver Sausage and Goulash Soup to Bratwurst.
Diner's in the Neumarkt is the ideal location to see and be seen in the very heart of the city. It's gay owned and operated and offers a full breakfast in the morning and an extensive menu the rest of the day. They have all sorts of ever changing dishes for both small and large appetites and they have some of the best coffee that's served in the city.
Photo: © Superbass
CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Zum Pitter Cologne located in the Alter Markt has been the first point of contact for gays and friends in the middle of Cologne's lively and popular old town for many years. Forget the worries of everyday life, meet very nice people and simply feel good. It is not for nothing that guests often refer to Zum Pitter Cologne as the “living room”. A compliment that they are very happy about. They have friendly, good-looking staff, and their parties are also legendary: Here we celebrate, flirt and dance until late in the morning with delicious SION Kölsch and feel-good music.
The Brunos store is the largest shopping and leisure experience for the gay lifestyle. In the middle of the gay scene, situated near the
U-Bahn station Rudolfplatz, Bruno's offers a diverse and current selection of fashion, magazines, books, toys, condoms and lubricants
at fair prices. The number of films on offer includes movies and porn, which can also be hired.
Dome Fetisch has many specials, from XXS till XXXL latex, leather, uniforms, cockrings, and much more including a large selection of toys.
There's also MGW Cologne with clubwear, underwear, leather, rubber, neoprene and more. This store also has a small shop inside for the Mr.B
range of goods from the well known retailer in The Netherlands.
If you are after a night out with the guys only then Rainbow Party Cologne organise regular nights that play multicultural Club Beats, and their shows are well known amongst the LGBT community. They attract loads of sexy dancers on stage.
Deck 5 is one of the best offers very late at night after 1.30am. It's one of the horniest places in town, but
not to be recommended for aesthetics. Smoking is also allowed and there's some fetish and video shows.
Also on offer is Reineke Fuchs which has a well priced bar with good DJs,
although it's sometimes difficult to get past the door staff.
Sadly you'll find no more Hands in Cologne.
If you just want a dance then the best known mixed club is Green Komm. It has 21 years of being the best party at several of the best
clubs of Cologne including Club Nachtflug Köln. The venues change on a regular basis, so check out their website for details. What doesn't change is the format. It's a must for all dancing boys with 14 Hours of non-stop dancing to great music presented by the best DJs from around the world.
OUT AND ABOUT
If you still haven’t pulled and it isn’t raining, it’s only a five minute stroll
west to the hilly forested piece of land between the large pond at the Aachener Weiher
and the railway line. If it is raining, there are saunas aplenty. Back in the more be-leathered eastern quarter try Vulcanus.
In boy-babe land, wallow and orgy in the mock Roman glamour of Badehaus Babylon Cologne.
Phoenix Sauna Köln is the other well known sauna in the city. It attracts a gay crowd most of the week apart from Mondays which is their Unisex day.
Men, women and transgender all together with entry possible from 12 noon with a password from the Planet Romeo Club or by registering in the Joyclub.
The Phoenix is one of the oldest men's saunas not only in Cologne but in Germany and is known for wellness, fun and after parties.
Also: boy toy shops abound, with their naughty knick-knacks and private video booths for those beyond the pull - try the two on
Mathiasstrasse to the east. Sex and Gay Centre has two video cinemas, toys and books, lubes and condoms. Their 40 years of trading in the gay erotic industry provides a big price advantage when choosing from their huge range of DVDs.
Equally, Gay Sex Messe is just down the road with in-store shopping, and the chance to watch films and hook up with other shoppers. It too is aimed very much at the gay market.
If you have money to spend then Altstadtpub is a rent bar almost exclusively for gay men. It attracts a mix of guys of all ages and is known for being frequented by young hustlers.
Original upload - GaP Cologne / German Wikipedia
CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons
Or, there's always Traumboys. They call themselves a modeling agency and have been around for many years. They have a selection of solo and duo guys who they can fix up a meeting with. In Germany now there is a prostitute protection law that strictly regulates the rights of the boys and the
duties of the agency operators. You pay the guys for their services, and they have their own deal with the agency, who have a team of operators
We can fully recommend Trip Inn Hotel Ariane.
With its stylish and comfortable décor, fully gay-friendly hospitality and hearty breakfast
buffet, it is ideally located in the heart of the leather district, but a short walk
Art'otel Cologne in the Holzmarkt is a stylish new Art-Hotel in the city center directly on the river.
It offers a full breakfast, massage and dry sauna.
You can book other gay-friendly hotels online through our partners
Low cost airline
Eurowings offer flights from Heathrow or Stansted, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham direct
to Cologne-Bonn airport, which is about 9 miles southeast of the city centre.
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Altstadtpub (Unter Käster 5-7; T: 0049 221 277 4868; Website)
Amadeus (Vor St. Martin 8; facebook)
Art'otel Cologne (Holzmarkt 4; T: 0049 221 80 1030; Website)
Badehaus Babylon Cologne (Friesenstr. 23 - 25; T: 00 49 221 257 7006;Website)
Barcelon (Pipinstraße 3; T: 0049 163 159 8165; facebook)
Baustelle 4 U (Vor St. Martin 12; T: 0049 221 258 1783; Website)
Brunos (Kettengasse 20; T: 0049 221 272 5637; Website)
Club Nachtflug Köln (Hohenzollernring 89-93; T: 0049 177 400 0901; Website)
Deck 5 (Mathiasstraße 5; T: 0049 221 271 7973; facebook)
Die Mumu (Schaafenstraße 51; T: 0049 221 1686 7277; Website)
Diner's (Neumarkt 16; T: 0049 221 257 0669; Website)
Dome Fetisch (Händelstraße 27; T: 0049 221 923 4209; Website)
Era (Friesenwall 26; T: 0049 221 271 2725; Website)
Ex-Corner (Schaafenstrasse 57-59; T: 0049 221 249 061; facebook)
Exile on Main Street (Schaafenstraße 61A; facebook)
Gay Sex Messe (Mathiasstraße 13; T: 0049 221 8014 7772)
Green Komm (Various Locations; Website)
Kinkz (Balduinstraße 20; T: 0049 221 1687 5038; facebook)
MGW Cologne (Händelstrasse 53; T: 0049 221 271 627 41; Website)
My Lord by Olli (Mühlenbach 57; T: 0049 221 4490 7535)
Nachteule (Am Rinkenpfuhl 51; T: 0049 221 4231 0316; facebook)
Phoenix Sauna Köln (Richard-Wagner-Str. 12; T: 0049 221 258 1171; Website)
Pullermanns (Mathiasstraße 22; T: 0049 178 660 0620; Website)
Quo Vadis (Vor St Martin 8-10; T: 0049 221 258 1414; Website)
Rainbow Party Cologne (Hohe Str. 14; T: 0049 221 6306 0270; facebook)
Reineke Fuchs (Aachener Str. 50; T: 0049 171 322 9969; Website)
Schampanja (Mauritiuswall 43; T: 0049 221 24 4294; Website)
Sex and Gay Centre (Mathiasstrasse 23; T: 0049 221 23 5301; Website)
The 3B (Mühlenbach 53; Website)
Traumboys (Mathias-Brüggen-Straße 13; T: 0049 1512 001 0084; Website)
Trip Inn Hotel Ariane (Hohe Pforte 19 - 21; T: 0049 221 23 6033; Website)
Vulcanus (Marienplatz 3-5; T: 00 49 221 21 6051; Website)
Zum Pitter Cologne (Alter Markt 58-60; T: 0049 221 9602 0000; Website)
Revised October 2023.