Berlin boring? OutUK's Adrian Gillan samples Germany's sexy south where even the beer's queer in Munich.
Germany's third largest city, punches well above its gay weight. The vast
scene is well organised and concentrated in the central area around Sendlinger Tor
and Müllerstrasse where it seems every window bears a rainbow flag. And - unlike
Berlin - magic Munich is also visibly steeped in history and culture well before
the twentieth century, much of it medieval. It's a beauty!
The Munich skyline. Photo : Rudolf Sterflinger
The Gay Community Centre boasts Sub, one of the friendliest, youngest bars out on
the scene in its own right and a perfect place to start your grand tour. It is
swarming with volunteer staff, only too delighted to sketch out the local pink
landscape on one of their many queer maps.
Just round the corner, if you want a
traditional slice of gay Bavaria - both beers and beards - hop into the nearby Edelheiss
on the corner. Or skip over the road to the unpretentious Rendezvous. If it's more a
quiet drink in cosier surroundings you hanker for, park your sausage at Feuerwache.
For style plus the odd gay pretension, Nil is a bit of a hub, always buzzing with
bright young things.
Talking of which you can't go wrong with PopParty. It's mixed night club that stages a number of gay and
specialist nights. They boast the "prettiest boys and girls from Munich and all over the world", all genres of pop,
RnB, hip hop and charts included in their music repertoire, 2 large bars, a terrace with bar, relaxing lounge area and a large dance floor.
Christopher Street Day at the Marienplatz
Pride in Munich is celebrated at the Christopher Street Day, in memory of the gay uprising in New York's Christopher Street in June 1969.
The parade and after show program is at Marienplatz on a Saturday in early July, with a street festival on both the Saturday and Sunday of that weekend, which attracts over 40,000 people.
It's the biggest event of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and inter people in Bavaria, and the focus is on political demands for
acceptance, equality and diversity in society as a whole but also in state politics.
After the historic success of the recent German marriage equality, there is now a need for a strong commitment from society to social
acceptance to reduce the still existing homophobia and transphobia.
As with Berlin, there's no shortage of men-only butch and fetish bars, which tend
to open later. I'm afraid you'll have to be a real man to visit Ochsengarten.
It's well known as Munich original gay bar for leather, rubber, uniform
and jeans - and bar is definitely for Men only.
Camp is the other well know cuising and men play bar in Munich, with naked and underwear nights, plus
Sleazy Wednesday, Fetish Friday and the Big Bang on Saturday!
The Munich Lion's Club is another gay leather and fetish club with boys and men in leather, rubber and military uniform,
fans of sneakers and biker gear, gay skins and punks, lovers of SM practices and industrial gear. With the two big events
that the MLC organizes every year (Starkbierfest and Oktoberfest reunions) the club is very well-known, even outside the Bavarian borders.
Drei Glöcklein is a popular bar in Hans-Sachs-Straße, where MLC members and friends get together in the Glockenbach quarter to have a chat,
meet others and have a chilled beer in a cozy environment close to the UnderGround and often before they go there.
You're spoilt for choice for munchies, as there are hundreds of restaurants and bars throughout the city
which cater for every taste.
It's certainly worth a trip to the Thalkirchner for Kraftwerk, a gay-friendly cafe,
bistro & bar with free WiFi, serving brunch, global meals, coffee & cocktails.
Wanna dance? Well, clubs in Munich
are very cheap to get into, and stay that way once you're in them, with beer by the bucket.
The Hofbräuhaus. Photo : Robert Hertz
New York is the cheese club in town. With 80s black and white décor, it is covered
in mirrors and the occasional flashing neon Manhattan skyline. It still packs them
Prosecco sees itself as a fun and event location for a mixed party audience, which wants to party beyond all style constraints
and stressful clubbing. You will find people of all ages, gay and straight dancing off with a mix of pops, rolls and charts or
of course you can just sip your drink from the extensive drinks menu.
Prosecco-Bar Wein Sprizz Cafe in Westenriederstraße is a 2-min walk from the Viktualienmarkt and offers a small but nice gay
bar. The music is good and the obligatory Prosecco most welcome. The clientele are pleasant and friendly.
Jungs München is also known as the diversity youth center. it's located in Blumenstraße and is a welcoming home to lesbian, bi, gay and trans
youth in Munich. They focus on people under 27 years of age and offer many group activities, a youth café, and queer education. The Diversity Café
is their second location where the youth groups take place. Also here it's for everyone up to the age of 27 - regardless of gender, whether gay, lesbian,
bi, trans or straight. The cafe is just down the road from the youth centre also in Blumenstraße.
In contract, Gay & Gray München in Müllerstraße, is a self-help group that together with its umbrella organisation “BISS” (Federal Interest Group
for Gay Seniors) offer weekly meets for group evenings some with lectures and some just to socialize. They also organise Hikes, visits to museums, beer
gardens and day trips suitable for an older and deserning community - whether you are alone or with a partner - 40, 50 or well over 60.
The Deutsche Eiche is the largest sauna in town, and still attracts the biggest
crowds, including more than a few young'ns. The sauna also has a gay hotel attached to it
together with somewhat pricy restaurant.
You'll be lucky to encounter much
life at the smaller Schwabinger Men Sauna. For cruising, go to
the lower tract of the English Gardens between the Haus der Kunst and Bayer National
Museum any time in the early hours. It's considered safe, and it's very popular.
The English Gardens. Photo : Hans Schmied
You'll find a range of gay shops in the district selling the usual porn and pouches,
but do pop into one of the Duplexx München stores if you seek wider stimulation.
They offer Cinema and private cabins together with a cruising area, labyrinth, glory holes
and slings, a dark room and loads of dvds, supplies and toys in the main shop.
There are three to choose from in Poccistrasse, Theresienstrasse and Rosenheimer Strasse.
So, when all is said, the Munich gay scene is huge - the above sketch is by no
means exhaustive - and conveniently nestling together. It is also inexpensive and,
with most guys all too keen to show off their near perfect English, you're in for a
warm Germanic welcome!
Get special deals at gay-friendly hotels and book online with
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
CAMP (Reisingerstrabe 15; T: +49 89 23230830; Website)
Christopher Street Day (Marienplatz; Website)
Deutsche Eiche (Reichenbachstrasse 13; T: 004989 2311660; Website)
Diversity Youth Center - Jungs München (Blumenstraße 11; T: +49 89 55266986; Website)
Diversity Café (Blumenstraße 29; T: +49 89 55266986; Website)
Drei Glöcklein (Hans-Sachs-Straße 8; T: +49 89 266175; facebook)
Duplexx München (Poccistrasse 2; T: +49 89 74640905; Website)
Duplexx München (Rosenheimer Strasse 81; T: +49 89 62423011; Website)
Duplexx München (Theresienstrasse 130; T: +49 89 57952647; Website)
Edelheiss (Pestalozzistrasse 6; T: 004989 26 54 53; Website)
Feuerwache (Blumenstrasse 21a; T: 004989 260 44 30; Website)
Gay & Gray München (Müllerstraße 14; T: +49 89 38012185; Website)
Jungs München - Diversity Youth Center (Blumenstraße 11; T: +49 89 55266986; Website)
Kraftwerk (Thalkirchner Str. 4; T: +49 89 21588881)
MLC München - Münchner Löwen Club (Machtlfinger Strabe 29 - rear building; T: +49 89 45237899; Website)
New York (Sonnenstrasse 25; T: 004989 59 10 56; Website)
Nil (Hans-Sachs-Strasse 2; T: 004989 26 55 45; Website)
Ochsengarten (Müllerstrasse 47; T: 004989 26 64 46; Website)
PopParty (Werk3 in Atelierstraße 12; T: +49 160 4440955; Instagram)
Prosecco (Theklastrabe 1; T: +49 89 23032329; Instagram)
Prosecco-Bar Wein Sprizz Cafe (Westenriederstraße 6)
Rendezvous (Müllerstrasse 54; T: 004989 260 41 25)
Schwabinger Men Sauna (Düsseldorfer Strasse 7; T: 004989 307 23 42; Website)
Sub (in Gay Community Centre, Müllerstrasse 43; T: 004989 260 3056; Website)
Revised January 2023